By Jay Pearson


Success and failure are not that far apart. I think that is why we are often unhappy. If you are not driven by a desire to succeed, a passion if you will, you fail at that which you are trying to accomplish. Success is a continuous challenge and does not end until the results are favorable or the time has run out. In the case of a Christian, it is not fulfilled until the return of Christ at the gathering of those who are in him. Webster’s first definition of success might surprise you.

1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors or the like

The solution to finding Christian success is not in an achievement on your part. It is solely in the achievements and accomplishments of Jesus Christ. In this study, by the grace of Almighty God and his Son Jesus Christ, you will learn to manage and maintain that which God has put in your trust. I believe you will also develop a closer relationship with the Son of God. You will be delivered from your tiring efforts to succeed, by resting, walking, and standing in the Lord. Yes, by resting in his grace and your thankfulness, walking in trust and hope, and standing in his glory and power, you will be a Christian success story, and you will bless the Lord God.

Our journey starts in John 14:6 of the Holy Word of God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” This is foundational and fundamental. Without Christ, there is no Christian, only a religious man.

Before I say you need to be saved, let me first share a truth from Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We need to be saved from death. That is why I say you need to be saved. You need to have Jesus Christ in you and therefore be a Christian, born again to eternal life now.

Romans 10:9-10:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

When you first accept Jesus Christ, everything is great. But then you start running into problems trying to be a good Christian. You do all the things mandated by your Christian friends and other people, but somehow you are not spiritually fervent, not hot like before. You feel cold. You feel like a failure.

Why do you think the new babe in Christ is always hot in the Lord? His eyes are on Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith. But as time goes on, he starts to look at his own self portrait, and he sees imperfection and sets about to repair his flesh.

Galatians 3:1-4:
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

Wait a minute! Let’s back up and check this out!

Ephesians 2:8-10:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Now I get it! I didn’t do anything good to become saved. Now here it is, what you’ve been waiting for all these years, the answer to finding Christian Success. It is in Ephesians. Yes, the book of Ephesians. It begins with the fact that God has made us to sit together in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:6:
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Note here that it was God who made us sit. We did not even sit of our own effort.

Hebrews 4:3:
For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

The first man began in God’s rest after God’s creation was finished. The saved man began in God’s rest after Jesus Christ accomplished all the Father gave him to do, when he uttered, “It is finished.” Then at the appointed time after Jesus Christ’s resurrection the Father made the gift of the Holy Spirit available to all those that accept Jesus Christ and believe that God raised him from the dead. This is eternal life. Now, let us rest in the grace and accomplishments of all that Jesus Christ did so we could be righteous in him. Rest. We have been made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Don’t try to get up and do it better. You can’t. The Perfect One perfected your salvation and mine. REST.

Now pertaining to our WALK, let us walk in him, rest in his completed work, and witness our heavenly position in the Lord Jesus here on earth for all to see. We do this not to draw attention to ourselves, but to draw men unto him.

Ephesians 5:1-2:
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

1 John 1:7:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

To walk in Christ is to witness in Christ. It is your profession as a Christian.

Acts 1:8:
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

To be a witness does not mean that you have to be always talking, preaching, or teaching God’s Word about the Lord Jesus Christ. It means your life will reflect his inner presence. That may be displayed in your work as a carpenter, millwright, window washer, home maker, mother, lawn keeper, retiree, pastor, preacher, fitness instructor, etc. Whatever you are doing, it should reflect the inner presence of Christ in you, the hope of glory. Do your best at managing in traffic or waiting in line at the grocer. You are an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21:
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Here is one more exhortation to walk in him.

Colossians 2:6-7:
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

You can’t walk in him unless you trust in him.

Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Psalm 50:15:
And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Now let us talk about STANDING. Your call is not to go out and conquer your adversary. Your call is to stand and hold fast to the victory that Christ has already given. Your position is holy. Defend your ground; give no place to your adversary. He doesn’t have what you want. He only wants to mess up what you have.

Ephesians 4:26-27:
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.

Standing requires being strong in the Lord and putting on the whole armor of God to be able to stand. We read about our armor in Ephesians chapter 6:

Ephesians 6:10-18:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

To be a successful Christian you must finish your course. You will need Jesus Christ with every step you take. Don’t try to be your own workmanship. Be his workmanship. What you look at is what you reflect. If you are looking at your imperfection you will reflect your imperfection. Look at Jesus and reflect his perfection.

Ephesians 2:10:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Hebrews 12:2:
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Yes, by resting in his grace and your thankfulness, walking in trust and hope, and standing in his glory and power, you will be a Christian success story, and you will bless the Lord God Almighty.

Ephesians 3:20-21:
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.



From the May 2005 issue of The Vine & Branches