“And you became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Ghost. So that you were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 7.
The religion of Jesus Christ works a reformation in life and character. The true Christian seeks constantly for the grace that changes the objectionable features of the natural character. Instead of speaking sharp, dictatorial words, he speaks the words of encouragement that Christ would speak were He in his place. He shows benevolence to all, not only to the few who may flatter him and exalt his wisdom. The purity and holiness revealed in Christ’s life radiate from the life of the true Christian.
Christians are to be light-bearers in the world, shining amid the darkness of sin and crime. In the kingdom of this world, the principalities and powers that take Satan as their leader must constantly be met. Following Christ’s example of cross-bearing and self-denial makes those who receive Christ children of God. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). They are victors in the battle of life; for they have put on the new man, “which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10). –The Upward Look, p. 75.