September 1 I Sunday
1 Corinthians 12
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.”
In some parts of the world, when a birth certificate is made, there is a place to write down one’s religion or religious affiliation. Parents would check-off which religion their child belongs to when the child is only three or four days old. Upon this report, a recent figure tells us about 33% of the world’s population is Christian. At this moment, we are currently a population of about 7.5 billion, which means 2.5 billion claim to be Christian—that is higher than any other religious group.
From the last Canadian census, 67% of the population reported that they are affiliated with Christianity—and this is information people give about themselves. It is a bizarre figure in reality to talk about 67% of Canadians as Christians. There is a possibility that some people associate with being a Christian because they were brought up in a good Christian family without knowing Christ, or they were baptized as a baby but no longer attend church, or their grandparents were Christians, or they got married in church or they consider themselves a pretty good person. In fact, one could be a pastor, missionary, elder, board member, leader or Christian worker without actually knowing Christ personally.
Some of us may become familiar with the things of Christ—with Christianity—but have not come to Christ Himself. We cannot imbibe the Gospel by being around it.
The Christian life is not like an airborne disease, where hanging around Christians makes one a Christian. If we asked somebody, “Are you a Christian?” they cannot answer, “Well, I have been around Christians for many years and I have been in church for 25 years, so yeah, I must be a Christian.” That would be the equivalent of a single man answering, “Are you married?” with “Well, I have been hanging around women for 20 years, so yeah, I think I am married.”
We can be Christianized without being evangelized, which is why there has to be a personal dealing with God. We can only come to this alone, not on the coattails of our parents, family, friends, environment or even a birth certificate. Paul tells us, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16). When we believe in God, the Spirit within us testifies that we are His children.
There was a man who sat under the gospel teaching for 60 years. He faithfully attended church every Sunday, singing all the songs and listening to all the messages but it was not until he when 92 that he finally converted. It is never too late for us to know the Lord personally and be called His child.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that I could be called Your child. I pray that my assurance of salvation does not rest on external circumstances but solely from knowing You personally.