Who's The Best Christian?
By David J. Stewart | December 2009
It's not where you're at in life that determines how good of a Christian you are; but rather, how far you've come in your life. Christian A came from a good home, with good parents and went to a Christian school. Christian B grew up in a bad home, with uncaring parents and went to a public school. Christian A would never even think of smoking a cigarette, drinking a beer or uttering a curse word. However, Christian B recently drank a beer, smoked a cigarette and said a curse word. Yet Christian B is the better Christian.
How can the Christian who recently smoked a cigarette, drank a beer and said a curse word be the better Christian? It's because he or she came down a much farther path in life, a rougher path. It's a miracle that Christian B is even saved, considering the horrible circumstances they've endured throughout their life. Christian A would never even think of smoking a cigarette, drinking a beer or saying a curse word; yet Christian A has not come as far as they should have with all the opportunities afforded to them in life. Christian B has struggled throughout life, and although still has some sinful faults, is actually a better Christian than Christian A, because they came much further to the point of where they're now at in life.
So you see, no one can really judge a person based upon observation, because you have no idea what kind of life they've had. You don't know what they've been through. Certainly, we should take a Biblical stand for God against those who publicly promote sin and attempt to legitimize evil. However, I do not judge them as far as where they're at in life. Only God knows their heart. God is the only true Lawgiver and Judge (James 4:12).
Remember, a hypocrite is not a person who does wrong, that's called being “a sinner.” A hypocrite is someone who views another person as being a worse sinner than them self, because we are all equally guilty in God's eyes (James 2:10).
The best Christians often feel like the worst, because they are closer to the Lord and see their own faults; whereas those who are farther away from God are blinded to their own faults, wallowing like pigs in their own sinful pride. There are two types of people in this world: those who try to live right, and those who don't. You'll find both groups of people amongst the saved and unsaved. As ironic as it may seem, there are unsaved people who try to live right, and born-again believers who don't. The reason is because eternal life is not conditioned upon one's own self-righteousness; but rather, upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which is solely by faith in Him.
Thus, there will be believers in Heaven, who will receive no rewards because they failed to live right here on earth (1st Corinthians 3:15); and yet there will be unsaved people, who lived honorable and decent lives here on earth, who will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever (Matthew 7:21-23). Salvation is not by works of self-righteousness; but rather, by faith alone in “Him that justifieth the ungodly” (Romans 4:5). We are all ungodly in God's eyes. If you think otherwise, you are still in your sins and need to repent toward God (1st John 1:8).
The best Christian visiting my ministry may have recently smoked a cigarette, drank a beer or said a curse word. Others, who would never do such things, have come down an easier path in life and ought to be doing so much more for God. Perhaps you have been through hell on earth, and are fortunate to even be alive. So, whoever you may be, I do not judge anyone. I encourage you to move forward for God. Jesus always said the same thing when He forgave and healed the misfortunate... “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). Jesus didn't browbeat them over their past mistakes, nor condemn them to Hell because of their sins. It was the self-righteous crowd that Jesus rebuked (Matthew 5:20).
There's a beautiful Scripture found in Romans 8:34, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Isn't that precious? The Bible asks who it is that has a right to condemn us? Then we are reminded that Jesus died and rose up three days later, ascending into Heaven and is now seated on the Father's right-hand, interceding on behalf of the saints. Hebrews 4:15-16 teach that Jesus is every believer's High Priest, and that we have a right by the blood of Jesus to come boldly unto God's throne of grace for His help.
What a bunch of doctrines contained in just one Bible verse! Jesus died, but moreover, He arose. The Lord is seated at the Father's right-hand. And the Lord maketh intercession for us, the saints. Therefore, the answer to the question is that NO ONE has the right to condemn us. People may condemn you and me to the grave, but NO ONE can condemn us to Hell as God can (and will if you die in your sins without Christ as your Savior).
So don't allow people to discourage you to quit because you are not everything they think you should be. God is your judge, not people. As the chart I made shows, it's not where you're at in life that determines how good of a Christian you are; but rather, how far you've come along the road to where you're at. God looks at the big picture; whereas people misjudge only by what they see. May we all keep our eyes on Jesus, Who will be our eternal Judge (John 5:22). Hebrews 4:13, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
If you are truly a born-again Christian, than the only righteousness which you posses is Christ's imputed righteousness, “and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The only righteousness which I have is Christ in me, the hope of glory!!!
Please don't miss what I am teaching here, because it is a foundational truth of the Christian life. I've known so many Christians in my life who after they got saved, went around condemning others who weren't living as holy as they thought they should (aka, the Lordship Salvation crowd). So it becomes a battle of who's living the most self-righteous life. That's not how Christianity works and certainly not how God wants us to live from day-to-day. We are saved by grace through faith, and we live the Christian life by grace through faith as well. The truth, as I mentioned is taught in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
We don't live the Christian life with God's help; but rather, Christ lives through us as we yield to the Holy Spirit in obedience to the Word of God. 2nd Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
Isaiah 51:7, “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.”
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