Dealing with the public, many people who call themselves “Christian” generally think of it in terms of either:
What I have noticed over and over again is that a person who thinks Christianity is any of these is missing the life-changing effects and implications of the gospel. Yes, Jesus dies for our sins, but the questions is, “If you believe that basic fact, how does that affect the way you live?”
All of us can find ourselves being ungrateful, selfish, bitter, and actually consumed with our own security, comfort, happiness and pleasure. But living as a Christian is living as a representative of Jesus, the only Jesus most are going to encounter. We have to change; we cannot reduce the work of Christ to a fortune cookie affirmation. It has to come from the realization that Jesus is the Savior, and without Him we cannot be saved…saved to eternal life, but saved to an abundant life right now!
The fact that Jesus can take away our sins also means that we no longer have to be hurt by other’s sins against us. We no longer need to be burdened by our own mistakes that we have logged throughout our lives. To be unforgiving of others and unforgiving of ourselves is continuing to make a memorial of our victimhood and our own depravity. Either way it is a form of idolatry and denies the full impact of the gospel. If we use our faith, it will be powerful, and it will be much more tangible than any religious activity which actually distracts us and wastes our time. Do you struggle with this? I certainly do sometimes, but I know the remedy. Are you stuck? Quit denying the gospel and get grateful!
I say this because our mission statement is “to save one life and change another, through the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Yes, we work with many secular and government agencies and our door is open to all. But we know that the gospel is powerful to change lives. The gospel is true no matter how we feel and our lives should prove it! I just wish that more people that say they are Christians actually acted like they understand this important principle. We all fall, but remember: we don’t have to stay there.
In Him Alone,
Tim Durham, M.Ed., Director of FLS