It has been a while since I have been on this forum and asked questions, but I am still kicking around with the Christianity thing. Last time I checked in here, everyone was really helpful with providing me some answers and verses that were in accordance with my personal search for truth. Right now I am working on an essay paper about Christianity, or specifically "What makes a Christian any different from anybody else," and there are some more verses that I was hoping you all might know or be familiar with, that I am looking for...
In part of my essay, I am writing about Paul who I thought had some verses or sayings in the bible about how he knew Christians were "different from others," inferring different as in possibly better. I don't want to immediately say better, because I know in Romans 14:1, he says "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.." But are there any verses or quotes from Paul where he says something the effect that one can tell a Christian from a non-christian? Or that it's easy to see what a Christian is, or if he said anything to the effect about how "Christians were different from others?"
Also, I am trying to remember the verses in the New Testament, about how Christians or followers of Jesus are supposed to be like Lights, or filled with light and how that light is supposed to be observable by everyone, and how we are supposed to be lamps to the rest of the world. Christians are to be Lights or lamps to the rest of the unbelieving world... I am trying to find verses that talk about that, I know the book of John says that Jesus was the light of the world (John 8:12), but I was wondering if there are verses that talk about Christians also needing to be seen as those types of "Lights?"
Thanks for taking the time to read these questions (and great job on the website)!
About Christians striving to be different:
As you already noted, Christians are not to be arrogant people, who think they are better than everybody else. Rather, they are to strive to purify their own selves, rising above the path of sinner, which they had previously chosen. This should make a difference in their lives, which should be apparent to all:Paul wrote:For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.(Titus 2:11-14)
I am not sure if any of these are the passages for which you were searching. However, based on your description for the other verse, I am fairly confident of its location:Peter wrote:Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. (I Peter 2:11-12)
For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. (I Peter 4:3-4)
Is this the passage for which you were searching?Mark Shepherd wrote:Also, I am trying to remember the verses in the New Testament, about how Christians or followers of Jesus are supposed to be like Lights, or filled with light and how that light is supposed to be observable by everyone, and how we are supposed to be lamps to the rest of the world. Christians are to be Lights or lamps to the rest of the unbelieving world... I am trying to find verses that talk about that, I know the book of John says that Jesus was the light of the world (John 8:12), but I was wondering if there are verses that talk about Christians also needing to be seen as those types of "Lights?"
Please note that the purpose of letting one's light shine is to bring glory to God, not the Christian. In fact, the above passage must be balanced with the following verse from the same sermon:Matthew wrote:"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)
Matthew wrote:"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:1-6)