Saturday, January 21, 2012

Simple Faith: Part 2

"God’s mission in the world is to save people and sanctify his people. Christ died “that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:15). We were chosen in Christ “before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Eph. 1:4). Christ “loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her…so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27). Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14)." ~Kevin DeYoung (the hole in our holiness)
I said in my last post that the gospel is not the end of the story of Christianity, but only the first step. This time, I want to talk about what comes next, how we continue living out Christianity.

The grace of the gospel is only for the purpose of dealing with our sin to bring us closer to God's holiness, not to allow for ongoing, excused rebellion against Him. Notice that the word "holiness" is used here. God is a loving God, but also a holy (perfect) God, and His holiness cannot be separated from His love.

If you consider yourself a Christian, you should be trying to look like Jesus (who is also God) in every aspect of your life. That's kind of the whole point!  When you become a Christian, your whole life then becomes all about taking off your old self and putting on the armor of Christ.

Wait, hold on! Won't that take work? Yes, yes it does. Christianity takes work. I think the religious term for it is sanctification. Exhaust your resources, put in the work to make Christianity happen.

Pursuit of godly character (virtue, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, and love) should affect your entire life. People around you should be able to see the fruits of your labors and be able to automatically label you as a christian. Don't be so caught up in the physical, temporal world that you become blind to the spiritual.

The thing about Christianity is that there is no middle ground. You are either for or against God and righteousness.
1 Peter 1:10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.

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