Previous articles have dealt with a Christian’s duties to the church and to the family. This article deals with a Christian’s duty to various segments of society.

Each Christian has the personal duty to live a life that provides the proper example to the world. This duty can be achieved by following a five-step process as next described.

(1) The first step in this process is to have the mind of Christ. In Philippians 2:5-9 Paul said: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, {7} but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. {8} And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. {9} Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,”. Solomon said in Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” All of our actions result from the thoughts that we have. As we seek to make positive contributions to society, we need to try to ensure that we have the mind of Christ.
(2) The second step in this process is to be thoroughly indoctrinated with the teaching of God so that we are properly guided and then we are better able to do what He would have us to do. JESUS PROVIDES THE PERFECT EXAMPLE of being properly guided by God. In John 5:19 we read: “Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.’” Can you imagine the effect upon society today if all men would attempt to see what God the Father has done for mankind? Can you imagine the effect upon society if members of the church would see and apply ‘in like manner’ what God and Christ has done for mankind?

(3) The third step in the process is to carefully study the life of Christ and follow the example that He left us. In John 13:15 Jesus said: “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” Jesus provides us with many examples of how we should live. In this particular instance, Jesus provides an example which most of society chooses to ignore. Also, many in the church fail to follow this example. Jesus made the statement in John 13:15 in the context of serving others. If more members of the church had a servant’s mentality, more members of the church would be more Christ-like. If more members of the church has a servant’s mentality, the church might have a greater positive impact upon society.

(4) The fourth step in the process is to see the way and direction in which Christ walked and then to walk in the same ways. In 1 John 2:6 John said: “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” In 1 Peter 2:21, we read: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:” In Matthew 11:29 Jesus said: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” In Ephesians 4:20 Paul said: “But you have not so learned Christ,”. Do any of us really think we can have a positive impact upon society when we fail to walk as Jesus walked? Consider the positive impact upon society if all Christians did as Christ did and:

• Treated others the way they themselves wanted to be treated.
• Maintained honesty in all of their dealings with others.
• Cared enough about others to teach them about Christ.
• Attempted to serve others at every opportunity.
• Spoke out against sin in all of its various forms.
• Showed compassion for the less fortunate.
• Spoke up for the weak and downtrodden.
• Prayed for others, including adversaries.
• Loved others in the agape sense.
• Spoke out against injustices.
• Sacrificed for others.
• Loved God with heart, soul, and mind.

(5) The fifth step in the process is to remember that we must be constantly aware that that which we do is to bring glory to God. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” We may deceive others as to our thoughts and actions but we will never deceive God. As we attempt to have a positive influence upon society, our efforts are much more likely to be successful if our underlying motive is to bring glory to God rather than ourselves.

Not only do we have duties to society in general but we also have duties to governments under which we live. A careful reading and analysis of Romans 13:1-7 teaches several basic truths that all Christians need to accept.

(1) Governments are established by God and get their authority from God.
(2) When we oppose the government under which we live, we oppose God.
(3) Wrongdoers have cause to fear rulers.
(4) Christians have the responsibility to pay their taxes.

Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, {2} for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. {3} For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, {4} who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Notice that Paul says that it is good and acceptable for Christians to pray for those in authority “that they may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” It would seem that if we are to pray for such, then as individual Christians we may have a duty to work toward the goal of having men and women of a godly and reverent nature to be our leaders in society and government.

Each individual Christian needs to serve as salt and light within the society in which he/she lives. Only then can society improve.

By Owen B. Moseley

Return to the General Articles page

Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /