Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Jesus paid it all. That's great!! So there's nothing I need to do?
Not to earn your salvation. Jesus has completed everything you and I or anyone in the world needs for salvation. That's settled.
In my work among people from non-Christian cultures, and even from those who have been exposed to Christianity extensively, a recurring theme is the idea that religions, and especially Christianity, are moral and ethical codes. Follow the rules and everything will work out all right.
Christianity is no kind of a moral code. The Gospel is a proclamation of a gift of God, provided for all who believe, freely. There are no strings attached. None at all. Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, period.
However, even while we proclaim this, we recognize that the Christian religion does lay claims on those who are called by Jesus' name. This is the content of our Epistle reading from 1 Peter 2. Jesus has done some things for you, priceless things. You can never repay them. However, he does call his people to follow in his steps, taking his example.
Peter mentions some specifics that should characterize our lives as we try to emulate Jesus' example. He spoke the truth. When he was reviled and insulted, he didn't revile and insult in return. Rather, he trusted that God was able to guard him He committed no sin, but lived in righteousness. We are also to die to sin and live to righteousness.
Most of these characteristics are difficult to measure. What does it mean to die to sin? It's hard to see what an attitude that considers sinning something not worth doing will result in. But we can predict that it will be result in a life spent serving others' needs rather than our own desires. Likewise, trust in God will leave us not trying to depend on our own intelligence, diligence, or natural abilities. Sure, we'll use those things, but we use them as resources that God has given us, not as our own possessions.
The Christian life, then, is pretty complex. It has a lot of nuance to it. We live for God and for the world he has given himself to redeem. We consider ourselves as his servants, his instruments, his people who walk in the ways that he would walk.
Again, this is not a moral or ethical code that we would follow so as to be justified. He has taken care of that. We live out a moral and ethical life to follow in his footsteps. We do it for his sake, knowing that he is the Lord who has rescued us from all the trials we could bring upon ourselves by depending on ourselves. It lets God in Christ be the savior.
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