Pen Points 4
One of the signal characteristics of Christians, biblically, is that of submission. Christians are to submit to one another (Eph 5:22), submit to governing authorities (Rom 13; 1 Pet 2:13), and above all, submit to God. This is following after our Lord, who Himself submitted to the Father in carrying out God’s purposes (see Phil 2:3-8). In doing so, He also subjected Himself to men in order to be put to death. If following Christ leads us down this same path, then may God help us to rouse up the courage to glorify Him in doing so.
Biblical Christianity is not entangled with insurrection or political power plays. Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, and His servants fight another kind of battle. For followers of Christ, there is to be no cutting off the ears of servants of the enemy, for swords have been beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, and it is by this and with His strength that we fight for souls to be reconciled to God and renewed into the image of the One whose visage was marred more than any man. Those who oppose such reconciliation and renewal will oppose the followers of Jesus. Nevertheless, as much as it depends upon us, we shall seek to be at peace with all, though never at the expense of our allegiance to Christ. Herein our mettle is challenged.
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Pet 2:21).
Implications of Salvation
If we are not careful, we will see salvation in mere selfish terms — it’s all about “my” forgiveness and “my” eternal life. It is about what it does for “me” and how it helps “my” state of mind.
Our redemption is not less than the personal blessings God provides, but it is much more than that. It is about denying self and being re-formed into the image of Christ. It is about being crucified with Christ and armed to suffer for His sake. It is about being raised with Him so that He is our life. It is about being zealous for doing what is good, about a passion for loving God and loving others, about being light and salt in the world and proclaiming the excellencies of Him who called us into His marvelous light. It is about humility, exemplifying mercy and compassion, loving justice, doing good to all people, standing for the orphan and widow, and going into the ditch to pull out the beaten and abused. It is about rebirth, renewal, reformation, transformation. It is about standing against sin and all that is opposed to God’s glory. It is about standing for righteousness and all that praises God. It is about being the new creation, knowing our purpose, and living in this world with meaning and intent, even yet while the living hope grounded in the resurrection provides an anchor of the soul. It is much more than what it does for “me.” It is the catalyst for what we can do for others while we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Do not sell the truth of biblical Christianity short for its effects in this world. We can bless others through the blessings God provides for us. Do not see it merely as a tool for personal blessings; see it as a worldview by which all that we do glorifies God and seeks to reconcile others to Him. We have the message the world needs to hear. It is a message that is proclaimed not only in word, but in deed.
Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord (cf. Isa 2:5).
Luke 9:23; 2 Cor 5:17; Rom 8:29; 1 Pet 4:1; Titus 2:11-14; Matt 5:14-16; 1 Pet 1:3-5; 2:9, 12; 5:6-7; Matt 5:7; 6:33; 22:36-40; Luke 10:25-37; Jas 1:26-27; 2:1-13; Rom 12:1-2; Gal 2:20; 6:10; 2 Cor 5:14-15; Col 3:1-5
There is a difference between gospel content and gospel living. When the living fails, don’t blame the content. Yet the content must be preached with a view to living it. Yet in failing to live it, the gospel can once again provide the answer to forgiveness.