I am not a strictly black and white person. There's always been a good bit of gray in my eyes. But last month, everything went gray.
I look around and all I see is a world trapped in bondage. Unbelievers are bound by a life that is subject to sin. They have no power or peace or victory over it because they do not have Christ. We know that. But what about believers? Do you know what bondage I see in us? The bondage that comes with trying to live your life under the wrong law. My new favorite (and least favorite) passage of Scripture is 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. The more I grasp of this passage, the more free I feel.
"For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings." (ESV)
When I hear my Brothers and Sisters describing their Christian lives, more often than not that comes in list form. I hear about all the stuff they do, and all the stuff they don't do. "I serve, I tithe, I teach, I volunteer, I sacrifice. I don't gamble, I don't drink, I don't listen to secular music, I don't cuss, I don't beat our kids. Oh yeah, and I have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It began on October __, 20__ when I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart."
Of course, there is nothing wrong with what you're doing or what you're not doing, and there is nothing wrong with knowing the date that you gave your life to Christ. What's wrong is putting all of that into a neat little package and labeling it "The Christian Life".
Paul became all things to all men. Do you know why? He had tree goals in doing this.
- To win some for eternal life.
- To save them from the wrath of God.
- To share in the blessings of the gospel.
Christ did that for me. And by his grace I will endeavor to do the same.
It's about love. And what Paul is urging us to do is find the line that we must walk in pursuit of Christ. If we veer off to one side we become so immersed in the world and it's culture that we no longer look like Christ, and we become useless. But! Friends, if we veer to the other side we become so isolated from the world that we no longer have any impact for Christ, and we become useless.
I will pursue love.
I will pursue Christ.