Okay, enough preaching . . . well, maybe . . .
Have you ever read R. L. Stevenson’s book, The Stange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? This story gives us a fascinating story of a man with a two part multiple personality. One was a fine, upstanding and educated gentleman. The other was a diabolical and demented maniac. One good—the other evil. Even when the good was in control, the evil was always lurking just below the surface.
What is underneath the surface of the average Christian? Has the grace of God saturated your being and altered your nature? On the other hand, is there lurking just underneath the surface a character more like the old nature than the new? In 1892, the English novelist, Israel Zangwill, said, “Scratch the Christian and you find the pagan.” Is there a pagan inside you, clothed with Christian skin? Is this an accurate picture of the Christian? Are we just a facade, where underneath lays a man or a woman more in tune with the world than with the Kingdom of God? One brother once said, “The word Christian is both a noun and an adjective. We need more adjective Christians, more Christian Christians. Christians who are more Christian in thought and spirit and deed as well as in name.” He’s right, you know? Each one of us has to become Christian, not just in name, but also in character and in deed.
We are living expressions of God’s grace, we must possess the kind of attitudes and portray the kind of actions toward one another and the world that exemplify the character of Christ.
In Romans, Paul reveals both these attitudes and actions that we are to manifest toward one another and the world. If you want to make a difference in the lives of those people who are your associates at work, your neighbors, your friends, but who do not know Christ, you need to listen carefully to the practical instruction contained in this passage. If you will put into practice the principles found here, when the world scratches you, instead of finding a pagan, they will find a genuine child of God.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome