And . . . YOU CAN …
- You can read the Bible. Or, if more suitable for you, you can listen to the Bible read (from audio recordings). When you read or listen to what the Bible actually says, the promise is – you can understand the message Paul and the other apostles brought to man from God. “When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,” (Ephesians 3:4).
- You can obey the gospel. Think of this in terms of problem and solution. The problem is that you have sinned. The solution is what God has provided – salvation in Jesus Christ. You apply that solution to your personal situation when you obey the gospel. Hearing that message, believing in Christ, confessing your faith, repenting and being baptized – you are responding to the gospel. You are doing what the apostle said. People who are lost, who do not have God in their life are the people who have “not obeyed the gospel,” (Romans 10:16).
- You can be a Christian. You should come up from the waters of baptism ready to be a Christian. That simply means, based on your reception of God’s grace and your love for Christ, you live by the teachings given in the New Testament. You determine to get up every day and “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” (Ephesians 4:1).
- You can support your local church. Open your New Testament to the Table of Contents. Observe that God, through His inspired writers, gave instruction to Christians in groups. The church in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, the churches of Galatia, etc. It should be clear – just from the content of the New Testament – that God intends His people to be together, to work and worship together. When “each part is working properly,” there is the increase and edification God desires (Ephesians 4:16).
- You can evangelize. Not, you can become a public evangelist or local preacher (though qualified men may take up that work). This is about what you can do, simply by living right and telling people about the Lord.
- You can have a good attitude. By doing these things in this list, you are able – from the Word of God – to discipline your attitude; to think and act toward people as God directs; to control your temper. With consistent application of Scripture in your heart, you can be “pure in heart,” (Matthew 5:8), you can be “meek, merciful” and a “peacemaker,” (Matthew 5:5-9).
- You can say “no” to the devil every day. When Jesus was tempted (in the account in Matthew 4), He showed us – we can rely on the written Word of God to refuse the advances and lies of the devil. The devil cannot force you to sin against your will. Instead, you can will to know God’s Word, know it and use it to resist sin.
- You can worship. Consider, if you love God and you have obeyed Christ in baptism and you want to glorify God – worship is not something on your duty list; it is a joyous passion of your heart. God’s people want to honor Him through their lives. But more specifically, there is the opportunity afforded by the local church to take the Lord’s Supper, give, join with Christians in song and prayer and listening to God’s Word.
- You can grow. If you accept the challenges written in this book, you will want to be closer to God with every passing day; you will not tolerate standing still, but will desire to press on. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen,” (2 Peter 3:18).
- You can pray. This chapter is about you and God, so obviously an important dimension of that is your communication with God. As a Christian, through Jesus Christ, you can approach God, ask for forgiveness, help, guidance and strength. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us,” (1 John 5:14).
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” – James 4:8