Guilty by Association With Christ

Suffering_For_ChristI never thought that we would live in an era when Believers in Christ would be seen as the outcast of the world again and also seen more of an enemy to particular groups of people. The first Believers in Christ faced oppositions that we haven’t faced in the United States (yet) because they were up against the laws of man and faced terrible deaths because of their belief in Christ. If we were in particular countries and we acknowledged our allegiance to Christ then we would face similar deaths today but in America we are blessed to be able to worship and openly confess our love for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Well, to an extent we are still able to do these things.

Within the past few years, we have witnessed a change toward Believers. We are being covertly targeted by all types of entities on many levels. It’s at a point that if we mention God or Christ Jesus in schools, government establishments or practically anywhere in public we will receive major scrutiny by non-believers to the point that we seem to be on trial everywhere we go. For example, if we freely express that we believe what the Word says about man and woman being married not man and man then we faced penalties from the media and possible expulsion from particular establishments. This is one of the reasons why many Believers remain quiet instead of expressing themselves in public. Major networks and organizations have sided with those that openly oppose what the Creator of the Universe is for. In most cases we know that these entities have financial agendas at stake but we Believers can’t take such a reckless position that will jeopardize our salvation. Today the world sees us as guilty by association with God because we chose to follow His Word and not waver when faced with the oppositions of the world. We have to remain strong in God’s Word and follow Christ no matter the oppositions.

download (1)In the biblical era, there were many Believers who died remaining strong in God’s Word and while following Christ. Keep in mind that early Believers were not allowed to worship and openly confess belief in Christ. After so many years of Believers being hunted down and killed because of their belief in Christ, it seems as if people would simply let it go but our earliest Brothers and Sisters in Christ had faith the size of mustard seeds. They didn’t waver and they showed through their sacrifices that they loved God with all of their souls, might, and hearts. They were guilty by association with God and Christ.

In a one instance, one individual denied his association with Christ so that he wouldn’t be killed. This is an excellent example of the Bible showing us that even those close to Christ can become very weak. That individual was Peter that denied association with Christ (Mark 14:66-72). The situation between Christ and Peter is deeper than most can understand because Christ did say that “If you deny me before man then I will deny you before my Father”. Christ eventually forgave Peter for denying his association to Him because He saw the sincerity in Peter’s heart in John 21:15-21 when Peter reaffirmed his belief and love of Christ. Just because Peter denied Christ and was forgiven for those actions does not mean we should deny Christ today and ask for forgiveness tomorrow. There is no reason why any one of us should ever consider denying our association to Christ!

In some instances, Believers like Stephen weren’t given a chance to affirm or deny Christ. Stephen was killed because he spoke the truth that the people didn’t want to hear (Acts 7:54 – 8:2). Stephen was the first Believers to be killed because of his association with Christ. Saul (later transformed into the Apostle Paul) ordered the stoning of Stephen and later it would be Saul who was persecuted because of His association with Christ. Paul was not the first to witness Christ but he was one of the first to express his belief and love of Christ through his faith and works which led to his imprisonment and ultimately, his death.

The mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and other women were the first to witness for Christ after His resurrection but they first showed their association to Him by traveling with Him and remaining with Him while He was on the cross (Matthew 27:55-56 & 28:1-10). It was through their faith and works that they showed their association with Christ.

There is a man in the bible that’s least talked about but played a significant role in our belief in Christ. This man helped Christ carry His cross (Matthew 27:32). The Cyrene was singled out because of his association with Christ. If Simon of Cyrene wasn’t guilty by association with Christ before helping Him carry the cross then he definitely was guilty by association after he helped Christ carry His cross. Through eyes of many, the Cyrene was guilty by association with Christ because of his works.

Are you guilty by association with Christ? Would you rather follow God and be judge by the world or follow the world and be judged by God? Are you going to help carry the Cross for Christ?

To restate my position in this era and beyond, I would rather follow Christ to the light of God than follow the world into the darkness of the pit. I’m going to embrace being an outcast if that’s part of what I’m to receive for doing the Father’s business and following the teachings of His only begotten Son. I’m going to help carry the Cross everyday no matter the cost. I hope that all Believers will remain guilty by association with Christ and not conform to the world! Let’s increase our works for the kingdom and hopefully God will say to each one of us, “Well done my good and faithful servant”. Blessings!

The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:11-13

Calvin Brown
Calvin Brown is an Ordained Non-Denomination minister at Shechaniah River Church in Newport News, Virginia. He retired from the Army in 2009 after serving 20 years as an enlisted Soldier. During his active duty service, he participated in many major military campaigns such as deployments to Somalia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan and received numerous awards to include two Bronze Stars. He attained his Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies at Saint Leo University, Florida. Calvin currently lives in Hampton, Virginia.