As followers of Christ, we have received an amazing gift, or should I say amazing gifts!
We have been forgiven of our sins, we have received the gift of eternal life and we have received the gift of the Spirit, to name three; isn’t it fitting that we should respond?
I realize that Christians might answer this question in various ways depending upon their particular doctrinal backgrounds, so let’s acknowledge that right here and now. I’m not going to get all upset if you might give an answer that varies somewhat from mine. Here’s how I see it:
We have received these unspeakably awesome gifts when we entered into relationship with Jesus Christ by His work on the cross. There, He shed His blood for forgiveness, establishing a new covenant between man and God in His blood. I think we can all agree that Biblical covenants have three components: Parties, terms and promises, and that because of our entry into covenant with Him, we have become ‘parties.’ The promises are pretty clear, they are the gifts I mentioned at the top of the post. We sometimes disagree about the terms, however. Covenant terms or stipulations are the things that constitute our “response.” To me, there is one statement that sums up the covenant terms of the New Covenant, that we should live as Christ would live (in our place). It seems to me that if we adopt this notion, then there is no need to make a list of rules, for it is quite clear that Jesus wasn’t one who went around behaving badly. What He did do was in all things to serve God by serving others in a way that advanced God’s purposes.
He was never selfish, never concerned about the accumulation of earthly goods, and always served the interests of others. He didn’t do this in the earthly sense as a rule, for He took on God’s perspective and served people in a way that would advance their eternal interests; even to the point of giving Himself up to go to the cross.
Therefore, it seems to me that the appropriate response for each of us to the awesome gifts we have received is to serve God selflessly at all times and in all things. It is to let go of the earthly perspective that dominates modern life and to serve God by serving others in a way that advances God’s purposes. I believe that this is what Jesus meant when He said: “Follow me!”