Practice of Hospitality: It is incumbent on the believer to ensure that he practises hospitality to the best of his ability. It is a requirement of the new life and the Bible speaks volume of such a practice, (Gen. 18:1-8, II Kings 4:8-10, Matt. 10:42, Acts 16:11-15). Impliedly, the believer should try to accommodate people and not shut them out from the things that God blesses him/her with. Remember, what is it that we have that we did not receive from above?
Should Share His Testimony: It is a Biblical demand that we should not be ashamed to testify in whom we believe: “So, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me, His prisoner. Instead, join me in suffering for the gospel by the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8). The believer is anxious to share his testimony with people around, as a way of building up their faith in the Lord. Whenever the opportunity calls, he should be bold to grab it. It is unfortunate that most persons fail the Lord, hence, as you look round, the society is full of evil. But can we continue this way? Jesus had cautioned believers: “If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26). Therefore, every child of God should make it a point of duty to share the testimony of what God has done and is still doing in his life, as a way of building up their faith in Christ. It is an incontestable fact those testimonies do build up people’s faith in Christ. For example, testimonies like ‘I was once a thief or a prostitute or I nearly committed suicide when my business was gutted by fire, but when the word of God hit me I became a totally new person in Christ,’ are such powerful statements.
Total Dependence on God: Apostle Paul had a better idea when he said: “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And that which I now live in the flesh, I live through faith from the Son of God, the One having loved me and having given up Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Therefore, the new life demands that the believer depends on God in order not to make a mess of his faith in Him. We need not pretend to live as if we can do it outside Him, but we need to depend on Him in all circumstances of life. We, therefore, urge all God’s people to depend on Him in whom they live, move and have their being.
Another critical factor aside the new life in Christ is that the believer’s life should be controlled by the Holy Spirit. But we may ask, what is a life without the Holy Spirit? It could be likened to a car without a brake. The believer needs the Holy Spirit for walking in a manner worthy of the Lord. Yes, the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and gentle in His approach.
In fact, Holy Spirit’s activity in a believer’s life makes him a brand new person and with this new state, he listens to the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit in all things. It is unfortunate that some claim to have the Holy Spirit, but their lives often negate such claim. Let it be noted that the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in a life of ‘contradictions’. He is gentle and can easily be absent in a life of contradictions. The Bible said of Him: leads into every truth, sanctifies, convicts the world of sin, wonderful counselor, a great intercessor and energies and reveals the mind of God (John 16:6-15; Romans 8:26-27)
Therefore, it should be every believer’s desire to welcome the Holy Spirit into his life. For the Holy Spirit helps him to walk worthy of the Lord. He needs to be careful the way he lives his life in order not to quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Rather, as a matter of urgency, the believer should be filled with the Holy Spirit and not be filled with wine, (Ephesians 5:18).
From the foregoing, those who think and feel that Christianity is just a claim should think twice. It is recommended, therefore, that a Christian’s life should have the acid test of a new life and that which is filled with the Holy Spirit. I think and rightly, too that the Lenten period should afford us another opportunity to demonstrate what we stand for.
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical
Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.