This week, Pastor Ted Wilson talks about Christian behavior and how God wants us to live life as stated in the twenty-second fundamental belief of the Seventh-day Adventists.
God cares about how we live our lives. In fact, He wants an abundant life for us. He says in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”
This abundant life means both a successful, holy life here on earth and a taste of the promised eternal life in heaven. To have eternal life, we must make the most of our earthly life by following God’s counsels.
We are called to live as Christ’s followers not only for our own good but also for the influence we have on others. 1 John 2:6 reminds us, “Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”
On this note, the Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Belief #22 reads, “We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with biblical principles in all aspects of personal and social life.”
It continues, “For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord, we involve ourselves only in those things that will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty.”
“While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit.”
“It also means that, because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well.”
“Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, Who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness.”
In addition, since our appearance reflects who we are as Christ’s ambassadors, we are to dress simply and modestly. Outward adornment such as jewelry is not necessary as God-given beauty shines from within.
Also, what we feed our minds with and how we spend our time affects our relationship with God and other people. So, we must carefully choose what we watch, listen to, and read. Philippians 4:8 advises us, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
We do these things not to earn our way to heaven for Jesus has already paid the price of our salvation. Instead, we do them because we love Him and want to live a life that gives Him honor and glory, shedding light in this world of darkness.
In her book, The Desire of Ages, on page 668, Ellen White notes the result of a life lived in a healthy relationship with Christ, saying, “All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.”