Most evangelicals would agree that the greatest advantage to being a Christ-follower is the forgiveness  of sin and the freedom that follows this first step of faith. But don’t stop there. Let this premise be a preamble into some other distinct advantages the Christian has over the non-believer, including the ability to please God and the fruits of the Spirit.
Exclusive Benefits For Christians
Non-believers cannot, no matter how good they are, make God smile. It’s impossible. Romans 8:8,9 “ Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.” This ability to actually PLEASE God rests in having the Holy Spirit, which is something only believers can achieve. The Holy Spirit takes up residence within the Christian at the moment of his salvation. (John 3:5-8 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”). Those without God’s spirit cannot please him. Non-believers forever fall short, being simply inadequate and unable to ever win God’s favor or approval. Yes, they are truly invisible without salvation.
Do non-Christians realize the “good” they do does not please God like the “good” a Christian does? Do they care? Do Christians experience a greater euphoria knowing their good actually pleases God and not just their own sense of I-did-a-good-thing? Youbetcha! Christianity has exclusive benefits.
Fruit of the Spirit
The believer in Christ also has the advantage of the fruit of the Spirit. (Galations 5:22 ). Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Have you ever read of those Christian martyrs  that are led to their deaths with an eerie peacefulness about them? Even, Paul, a Biblical Christian, seemed nonplussed by the concept of death. Here is a summary of his attitude in the book of Acts in his response to Roman officials:
- Death? Great, I can die and be with Christ.
- Torture? Great, I can suffer for Christ.
- Freedom? Great, I can preach Christ.
He wasn’t crazy, just fruity. This attitude is reflected in Philippians 3: 19-26 “Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.” Did you notice his focus? He mentions Christ four times in this passage; his savior is first in his thoughts.
These advantages barely scratch the surface. “No one has seen, or heard, or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love him.” I Corinthians 2:9. Keep looking for these advantages and share them with others , especially those who ask. I leave you with the words of I Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Guest Post By Tracey Westphal
Tracey is currently home educating her four children, ages 7-10 in the great state of Michigan. In an effort to encourage, uplift and edify others, she writes devotional and parenting articles. In the past, her work has appeared in Today’s Father, Grit, and Group Magazine as well as the Upper Room devotional. She also maintains a blog and a parenting beat for Yahoo.