Friday, January 22, 2010

If It's Christ We Believe in We Shouldn't be Confused with the Heathens

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come," 2 Corinthians 5:17.

One of the great gifts of a life changed by Christ is the realization that our works are not what save us. A great burden is lifted when we are made aware of the fact that because we have Christ's righteousness on our record and we no longer have to try and make our "good acts" outweigh the bad. But one of the mistakes we often make when coming to this realization is that we think, "Well hey, if my works aren't what save me then I can do whatever I want!" This, of course, is a lie. We take grace and forgiveness for granted and live lives just as we did before. Paul anticipated this argument in Romans after he explained that we live under grace. "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Romans 6: 1-2. Now, as new creatures in Christ, we must strive to glorify God in the way we live, not because we fear losing our salvation, or we think that our good works will somehow make Him love us more, but because we want to honor Him. Thankfully, we are not left to change on our own. Ephesians says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

It's no wonder the world often perceives us as hypocrites. Sometimes we take advantage of the grace of God, and live as if we have not been saved from the punishment we deserve. May we strive to glorify God in our lives, and to help the kingdom come in the world we live in. God has allowed us to be His tools in the world, now let's act like it. But let us not forget where we came from, that before the grace of Christ we were deserving of hell. Our holy lives should be tempered with the humility that comes from how little we deserve the grace we've been granted.

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