Text: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Roman. 8:28 NIV)
The Christian calling is a unique one. It is unique in the sense that it is a glorious call from darkness into God’s wonderful light to be his chosen people, royal priesthood, a holy nation, people belonging to God for the purpose of declaring his praises (1Peter 2:9). It is a special calling which requires the called to turn his back to the world. It demands being in the world but not of the world(John 17:6) The Christian being in the world and not of the world pitches him against the world, and the world against him. Very often, he faces rejection, persecution and hardships in his uncompromising stand as a Christian
The Epistle appointed for today- Roman 8:26-30, offers comfort to Christians facing hardships, persecutions and rejection on account of their faith. In their hardships and persecutions God will work out all things-good and evil for their own good and well-being. In other word, God in his infinite wisdom and power will turn whatever challenges they face into a long range good for them in order to fulfill his purposes in them. God’s promise to make all things workout is specifically for those who love him and are making themselves fit into God’s plans as the lives of Daniel, Peter and Paul illustrate. These were the people who kept on trusting God despite the challenges they faced because they knew that God was with them.
The demands of the faith on today’s Christian are not different from those of the past. What then is required of today’s Christian in order to be able to cope with the challenges confronting him or her an account of his faith? What is required is Christian watchfulness. Christian watchfulness means being on one’s guard against temptations and dangers that can destroy one’s spirituality. Every Christian must be watchful (Roman 13:11) because the devil is on the prowl seeking people to devour (1Peter 5:8)
Today’s Christian must watch against:
(1.) Backsliding which comes as a result of spiritual carelessness.
(2.) Temptations (Matthew 26:41) over confidence (Peter), relaxation (David) and weariness (Moses). They all militate against one’s spirituality.
(3.) False teachers and teachings (Acts 20:29-31; II Timothy 4:3-4) They deceptively lure Christians from the faith.
(4.) Today’s Christians must watch for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as we do not know when he will return (Matt. 24:42-43; II Peter 3:1ff)
(5.) Today’s Christian must actively participate in evangelism and use his or her resources to support the Church.
Today’s Christians like those of the past have been given the weapons to face the challenges of today’s world.
These weapons are found in Ephesians 6:10-19
- Truth as belt Ephesians 6:14
- Righteousness as breastplate Ephesians 6:14
- Gospel of peace as shoe Ephesians 6:15
- Faith as shield Ephesians 6:16
- Salvation as helmet Ephesians 6:17
- The word of God as sword of the spirit Ephesians 6:17
- Prayer Ephesians 6:18
When Christians of today seriously employ these weapons, they will certainly succeed in their Christian race in today’s world.
Very Revd Dr. Adewale Adebiyi The Provost