During this time of year, many people begin to think about Christ. More attention is given to trying to live as he lived — helping others, giving of himself to others.
God’s will is that all men have this kind of spirit all the time, not just one or two periods for a few weeks a year. God wants humans to be victorious in overcoming sin and living so that they one day can go to heaven.
It is in Christ man can find victory. That is how Paul was able to say, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Paul knew his reward awaited him, and he longed for it. His life serves as an example of how a child of God should live: ever seeking to please God. When he became a Christian, he lived for Christ every day, seeking to please God and help others see Christ.
In Isaiah 53, the prophet gave a look at Christ to help humans see God’s plan for man’s victory and his great love for man. In Christ, salvation is to be had.
One must believe that Christ is the son of God, turn to God and away from sin, be willing to confess Christ before men, and then get into Christ through baptism. As we look at God’s word, we find that one “gets into Christ” through baptism. Notice the words written by Paul: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). To those at Rome, he wrote, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4). When one is baptized into Christ, he is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17) and has forgiveness of sin (Colossians 1:14), as well as salvation and eternal life (2 Timothy 2:10, 1 John 5:11). This obedience is part of living like Christ. Though he had no sin, he fulfilled the will of the Father by submitting to baptism (Matthew 3).
A person then must remain faithful to God all the days of their life. This takes study and work to live every day for the Lord. John wrote that the blood of Christ cleanses one of sin (1 John 1:5-7).
Solomon wrote, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The one who seeks to please God will heed these words of the “wise man.” God has provided “… all things that pertain to life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1:3). Christ was provided by God to die for the sins of mankind (John 3:16).
Man must see that it if one lives like Christ, victory can be found.
Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part series.