“You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.”
~Ephesians 4:20 (NIV).
Some people get it and some don’t. But for those of us who do get it, Christ and all he commands must be everything to us.
We were taught to ‘put off’ the old way (v. 22) and make that new life in the Spirit work with all abandon. It’s an all-or-nothing situation here, no turning back. The zealots of truth and grace—who’re often, paradoxically, shot down in flames for their passion by the less fervent believer—are blessed in the knowledge that with Christ, nothing stands against—pronto, null, absolute, zilch.
We never forget that:
“... we are more than conquerors through him [Jesus] who loved us.”
~Romans 8:37 (NIV).
Our belief manifest in acts of good works should set us apart; we should respond to life situations quite abnormally compared with how the world would react. Forgiveness, acceptance, grace, love-thy-neighbour-and-enemy-alike etc should characterise the evident new birth.
Paul insists ‘in the Lord’ that the Ephesians (and any other believing reader of his letter) abide by the commands of the new life.
We reject ‘futile thinking’ and the consequent ‘darkened heart’ (Eph. 4:17; Rom. 1:21) that otherwise characterises those who respond to the message of the new life and of grace but don’t go on, and we go on without them.
We’re mechanically and inspirationally thankful—to God in the midst of his blessings, and to others for all they’re doing for and with us; bearing with us in our conditioned humanity as we bear with them in theirs.
We glorify God in everything, remembering praise and thankfulness in our day to day going in and about, in our lives. This is worship. It is an attitude towards God’s grace that is underpinned by an urgent thrill for just being alive in his irrefutable Presence.
When we find the possibility that nothing is beyond us in God—when we latch onto that concept—we’re incredibly inspired beyond the old life—sprung forth as in a springboard past the beckoning shadow of our former selves.
But there’s always more and we’re always on the lookout for what God is doing in and through us. Hungry for his Spirit and thirsty for truth, we go on, never satisfied—either in motive or deed.
There is always more!
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.