[CONVERSATION HAD WITH FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK]
Right on, XXXXX. The Gospel about Jesus Christ (i.e., born to die, perfect living, willful dying, triumph over death, raised to the Seat of Glory) is the sole truth that sets people free.
Of course, this truth also says something about the condition of people (whose sin(s) He must bear, once-for-all!). He did for sinners (those born in a state of sin) what they couldn’t do for themselves due to their captivity/incapacity in this State.
The question remains: What does the Gospel-truth (about Christ) free us unto, here and now? Is it just a “get-out-of-Jail-free card?” Or does the ‘once-for-all forgiveness’ and ‘eternal-life-given’ — that Christ accomplished and applies — actually change the lives (mind and actions) of believers/be-livers ? Or again, does their existence (being) continue to conform to their environment (earth)?
An answer: We definitely have reason to rejoice, in the Truth about Christ ‘for us’ (Bethlehem, Palestine, Calvary, MT-Tomb, Zion) and ‘in us’ (born-again, new creation, new heart, mind of Christ, etc).
And no doubt, there’s a calling upon us to wisely communicate these truths, in the milieu of everyday life (as we walk and talk). We don’t need a special invitation (or meeting) in order to do this. There are, of course, times when a door of opportunity is wide-open, providing a time and place for us to speak directly to Gospel-truths. However, more often than not, we bear witness to Christ crucified and risen in our everyday lives. Most of the circumstances (environment) of our lives will be like that of those who have YET to genuinely believe (trust and rejoice) in the redemptive work of Christ Jesus. And yet, there is truly something different at the core (heart) of one who is genuinely a disciple, of which outsiders ought to be able to catch a glimpse.
As people get to know us, existentially, they will be faced with ‘something-of-the-reality’ of what is the engine (Christ crucified and risen) that drives our lives, regardless of things being similar circumstantially on the outside. There typically is a problem in the “thinking” of believers though, which results in their “living” stunted lives.
Why are we “living” stunted lives? I believe it begins with our having stunted “minds”. We possess too small of an understanding of the nature of being a Christian. In other words, we are having an identity-crisis, in failing to grasp the realities of what it means that “Christ is in us” and how this can genuinely impact our lives, to His glory and our neighbors good.
Problem is…most “believers” wrestle more with their “environment” (where in the world they are; what in the world is the world doing) and miss the need to begin and continue with a sound understanding of our “existence” in Christ and He in us. Meaning, most “believers” are distracted by “environment” and fail to comprehend “existence” (their new identity in Christ/Christ living in them). Thus, we can go on living out this identity-crisis and in so doing mis-communicate the truth regarding Christ ‘for us’ and ‘in us’.
So then, we are first and above all “accountable” to believe rightly, and then we can hope to live rightly, before God and toward our neighbor.