There are fantastic advantages to being a Christian. Have you ever considered or recounted them? Too often believers tend to carry on life with generic benefits and clichés. They are so entangled in them they do not even know the true benefits of being Christ-like. To be a Christian is to live Christ-like and it has wonderful advantages. When we begin seeking what they could be, we often find answers. For the God of heaven permits us to find them. Through His Word and the Spirit He equips us with knowledge, passion, and strength. By the answers we find we reach a maturity that God in Christ has desired in us. God looks down from above to see what person at what time has the deepest desire to seek and embrace the advantages He availed to them. The apostle Paul in the Spirit remembered the former people and said, “Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?” (Rom. 3:1).
We too ought to ask ourselves as to what advantages we have as Christians. If a Jew is known by his circumcision and has an advantage, we too who are born again by the will God have advantages. They received the oracles of God by which they carried on the purpose and will of God. Therefore, they received from Him untold mercies, favors, works and blessings. To have been born again in the Spirit is much more than being a Jew and therefore, its advantages too are better. As Christians there are many things we ought to consider for a righteous and holy life. Yet, thankfully, by intimacy with God all those things are reminded to us by the Holy Spirit that lives in us. As for us, through what is being reminded, we ought to bear in mind the advantages of being a Christian.
- Closeness to God. We are closer to His throne of grace than ever before. He has provided us with such facility. He gave us His Spirit so that He is continually with us and so that only the things He desires for us enter us. There is no way the enemy can escape His notice and enter us. Sin fears to make itself known in us. And the light that shines in us instinctively restricts the works of sin. Therefore, Paul said, “For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). The defeat of sin by placing no confidence in the flesh reflects our closeness to God. Now, there is nothing we desire that we do not receive; there is no thought in us that is useless; there is no work we do that is ineffective. As long as we choose to glory in Christ, i.e. seek and do His will, and worship in the Spirit, we care little to give importance to the flesh. Hence, we are what we have been made to be – true circumcision.
- Ability to foresee. Our closeness to God has a huge impact on foreseeing. No man can foresee, unless he has been intimated by the all-knowing God. If there is one thing we are not allowed to foresee, it is the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. As far as the things pertaining to our life and the will of God to us, God makes sure we know them so that our privilege of being His children is upheld. Once He has called us His children, He does not restrain Himself from unfolding His plans and goodness toward us. A case study to this is the righteous man Noah. “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb. 11:7). He foresaw, because of the One who called him. By knowing the things not yet seen it is easier to escape the corruption of the world and the consequences of it.
- Having a specific role. We understand it by the command God gives us. He instructs us exactly as to what we are to become for Him. Insofar Paul is concerned he had the privilege of knowing that which God had in mind toward him. It was by the only reason of being a Christian. He said, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope” (1 Tim. 1:1). His call for a specific role contains the principle that cannot be thwarted. It applies to all. The principle is that God commands us to become for Him that which He appointed for us. Every believer is called by God for a specific role, or else there is no need to continue living on earth after having been saved.
- Spiritual blessings. When the above mentioned three factors are applicable in us, countless spiritual blessings flow into us. With this in mind it is written, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Spiritual blessings are a sign we glory in Christ Jesus. It is sign we value knowing Christ more than anything else. No matter the circumstances we have not given room for confidence in the flesh. It is for this reason Paul was able to consider as loss the things that were profitable to him. Spiritual blessings are not only gifts of the Spirit, but provisions, assistance of God and indications of the Spirit at critical times.
- Concrete evidences. The evidences we produce by speaking concerning the Lord will surprise many. The Lord too gives evidences to our words. These evidences not only serve as a strong support to our faith, but also as pathway for those who are yet to know the Lord. “Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord” (Acts 13:12). Evidences are the works of the Lord. For every situation in which the Lord has placed us He expects us to convey Him to others. He leads us to turn a situation to His favor and in turn does favor to us. We always benefit in the end.
- Additional honor. The Lord adds more to that which He has already given us; He adds blessings to blessings. Naturally, we gain greater respect and reputation that does not fade away. “Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas’” (Luke 19:24). When we keep everything that is being reminded to us by the Spirit, we cause an increase to that which He entrusted to us. It is known by the fruit we produce and has rewards. Then, it only happens that He is pleased to add more to that which we already have. Whatever He adds elevates our stand and relationship with Him. We realize the length, breadth, width and height of His kindness.