FOLLOWING Jesus is less about spruiking the biblical standard, more about living in the light of the Father’s grace. If we’re calling people to grace, because Father God now sees Jesus in each of us, we have less of a role pretending to be perfect, and more of a role living in harmony with other sinners.
The Christian sees themselves for who they are; a ruined sinner in dire need of saving. And we all need saving — once for all time, and yet, now and today, tomorrow, and certainly yesterday.
Being in the world yet not being of the world leaves us Christians living on a knife’s edge. Conversion to Christ has shown us just how imperfect we are, and how beautiful such an awful reality can be, but the nonbelieving world have some warped perception that, as Christians, we have our lives together. We certainly wish we had, because we want all the glory for that to go to God, so they might also be convinced that God is great.
But the more Christian we become — I mean, by understanding — the more we know how much we need saving, the more we realise how insidiously dangerous sin is, and the less we rest in our reliance on our own strength. Being a servant of the Lord reconciles us to the necessity for humility, which is honesty, integrity, the fear of the Lord. We keep close check on pride, and judge and condemn people less, understanding and accepting that we will still be prideful, and we will still judge and condemn people.
What sets us apart from those who are worldly? Well, there’s another concept the world misunderstands. They see us Christians as either ‘holy’ or supposedly holy, either as people who are ‘good enough’ (i.e. better than others) to be Christian, or hypocrites. I say ‘holy’, because the word means ‘set apart’ to God. It has little to do with being perfect, yet the world links perfection with the term, ‘holy’. The irony is we, of all people, have come to terms with how imperfect we truly are. That is what sets us apart. We know how good the good news is! — that we could never satisfy God if not for Jesus. This is what the world cannot understand.
As Christians, we are wholly imperfect forgiven and restored people living for the glory of God. We, of all people, need to live as sinners saved by a gracious God, and that’s all. Not as the world imagines us to be.
The great thing about the good news is that we who are no good are regarded by God as godly good because of one who was the only good.
We who are no good ought never to pretend we are, and, because we have been saved, we give the glory for good to God.