To be a Christian, as I understand Christ, means the acceptance of the absolute authority of Jesus in all of my life. It means that in everything I am and do—when I eat and drink, when I buy and sell, when I work and play, when I read and think—that I look to Jesus as my Master. It means that I enthrone Him as King in my affections; that I subject my friendships to His dominion; that I conduct my business and my intellectual and social life under His inspection and direction. It means that my ruling passion—the passion that shall absorb all other interests shall be to live my whole life under the sovereignty of Jesus. It means that I honor His name above every other name, and place obedience to Him above every other obligation.
To be a Christian means that I am no more my own man, but Christ’s man. It means the giving of myself away to Him, so that I have no more right or title to myself; so that I have no more claim upon myself, and am no more at my own disposal. To be a Christian means to belong body and soul to Christ, now and evermore, for Him to do with me as He wills.
Hence, it means that in being Christ’s man, I am set free from all fear. My joy must be in doing His will, in being His slave, in the confidence that whatever comes to me, when following Him, is His doing. In a real sense, I make Him responsible for my life. I am responsible for following, He is responsible for leading and keeping. It can be none of my business what happens to me, what I gain or lose, when I follow Him. That is Christ’s business. It is His to command, mine to obey. I am sure He will not waste a fragment of my life if I let Him possess and direct it. I am also sure it will be mainly waste, friction, vain striving and misdirected effort, sickening failure and defeated ambition if I try to direct my own life.
My part as a Christian is not to find out the opinions of men, but to keep my eyes fixed on Christ, to let my mind dwell on Him, having a constant mental vision of His character; to make His life the food on which my soul shall live; to make His gospel the textbook and authority by which I stand or fall.
John Robert Stevens
To Be A Christian is an excerpt from To Every Man That Asketh. Copyright © 1959 John Robert Stevens, revised 1971.
† Excerpt from This Week, Being A Bondservant Of Jesus Christ. Copyright © 1972 by The Living Word, a California nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved. Used by permission. This publication may not be reproduced in any way without written permission from The Living Word.