Almost every day I post something under the category of “Christian Life”. Many of these posts end with what I hope is a thought-provoking question, sometimes they are straight encouragement; I hope they are all uplifting.
In thinking about what to post today, it occurred to me that I seldom actually come right out and say what a Christian life is supposed to consist of, other than doing good things instead of bad things. Everyone should pray, love, give and represent our Lord well in the way they treat others. Of course, as Paul might have said, even the pagans know that!
The thing that really makes the Christian life different from others is the obedience to our Lord’s commands. Yes, of course He has commanded that we behave ourselves; that should be a given, but He has commanded us to do something specific that quite frankly is not being done much these days, at least in Europe and America, and that is to make disciples. OK, I have blogged about making disciples quite a few times, but I’m not sure that I have actually set out why this is; maybe I’ve just assumed it was obvious… but it isn’t.
I think the confusion comes in when we confuse the entry into covenant (i.e. “getting saved”) with the terms of covenant. Of course many Christians today don’t even speak of covenant! To make this simple and to stay out of an overly academic discussion that would bore most people I’ll put it this way: What you need to do to be saved, or enter into relationship with Christ, is not the end of the story, for He has given us all commands for what should happen after we are saved.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Sharing the Gospel is an activity that is always Christ-like. Are we doing this? If not can we honestly say that we are living like Christ? Making disciples includes what happens after a new Christian is saved: are we teaching them to obey Him? (Are we obeying Him ourselves as we go through daily life not mentoring, ministering or serving?) Please understand that I’m not trying to be difficult, but I am passionate on this point, so try to cut me a little slack if I’m insistent on this point…
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant —not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
(2 Corinthians 3:6)
It is interesting to note that in the full context of this chapter, Paul is talking about the execution of the New Covenant. “Execute” is the meaning of the Greek word that the NIV renders as “ministry”. To execute the covenant is to follow the Lord’s commands, the very same ones He referred to Matt. 28:20. So, again I ask: Are we making disciples? Bear in mind that this is not a command that is only for the “professionals” as there was no such thing when Jesus commanded it.
Service to God is sharing your faith and making disciples, and aiding those who are doing so; it is not serving ourselves and saying that we wish we had the time…
Yes, I realize that this is a mere thumbnail sketch; maybe I’ll write a book! In spite of the thumbnail nature of this post, I hope you get the idea, I’m sure you can fill in whatever blanks I’ve left. Let’s just leave it for now with one more question:
Are we living a Christian life?