Sunday, May 26, 2013

"If you love me..."

.... In the historic religious smorgasbord of works-based religious choices, Christianity remains the only grace-based option. While other religious moral systems encourage adherents to behave well because someone is watching and evaluating your merit, Christianity alone removes this driving factor related to salvation. Christianity is, as a result, the one religious system that provides the structure and foundation for truly virtuous moral behavior. Christians have already been assured of their salvation; it’s a free gift of grace. Our “good works” have nothing to do with our justification. When Christians properly appreciate the gift they have been given and the extent to which they have been forgiven, we find ourselves wanting to live in a way that reflects this appreciation. ....

We Christians sometimes abuse the freedom we have in Christ. We don’t always appreciate the gift we’ve been given or live as though we do. .... Works-based religious systems require their adherents to perform “good works” in order to be saved. If that was the case for Christians, I bet more of us would work harder and look better to the world around us. But I don’t think it would result in us becoming better people; we would just start to look better. Motive matters. When we, as Christians, respond rather than perform, we become the people God wants us to be.