Thursday, July 16, 2009
How does Christian love hit the road?
Since I began asking myself questions over fifteen years ago when I had the freedom to question the truths of my upbringing and creedal church, one of the major changes in my thinking was in the area of how we are to relate to and view people outside the visible church.
Theologically there are twin truths that seemed to be overlooked in many Christian's practice. Reconciliation is explained by Paul as the message which we are ambassadors of "that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them"...so we entreat you on behalf of God, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God".
This tells me that God in Christ had this change of purpose after the cross and resurrection, and when people accept it they are not somehow triggering it, but accepting that which God had already accomplished. In other words, you are not qualifying or changing your status, you are realizing the status you already have, and that realization begins to change us.
So, our message to sinners is not God may love you, but God does love you, and the sooner you accept that the better your enjoyment of life and your growth in grace will become.
The other truth is adoption, which Baxter Kruger of Perechoresis has helped me see has a wider scope in the new covenant than most allow, that next time.