“Either way, Christ’s Love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for EVERYONE so that those who receive His NEW Life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, Who died and was raised for them.” – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NLT
Does anyone else struggle with these verses? It isn’t that I don’t believe them, because I do, complete. I suppose my struggle isn’t really the words that Paul writes, but rather with the people I know who profess to be Christian. I’ve said it before, and I will reiterate it again: I am NOT perfect. I fail miserably at being a Christian, and continually slide into sinful behavior. I want to live for Christ, and I strive to do so. I’ve said that so that I can present my dilemma. If a person professes to be a Christian, and they believe they are a child of the Almighty LORD, how can they curse with abandon, lose their temper, make rude gestures at others who irritate them, and/or continue with behavior that are blatantly un-Christian?
I understand backsliding. Been there, done that; still do it. I also believe that the Gospels preach that we are ONCE saved. There are no do-overs. Once we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, it’s a done deal. I cannot become unsaved.
“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have LIGHT from the LORD. So live as people of Light! For this Light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the LORD. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the LORD wants you to do.” – Ephesians 5:8-12, 17 NLT
I understand broken people. I believe that our GOD uses brokenness to show how brightly His Light can shine through the cracks. Once we have fallen into the darkness of the enemy, we crack and fade. Through the redemption of our LORD, we are pieced back together… and He leaves cracks and holes for the new Light of Jesus to shine through. It’s a beautiful sight to see! So where does this leave us, with the professing Christian who lives like any other person instead of striving to let go of the old man and embracing the new? It is not for me to judge, or even to speculate whether that person has been born again in Christ Jesus. That judgement belongs to the LORD. The only way I know to deal with these people is to pray…. and that is a HUGE thing to be doing. The power of prayer is astounding.
If you are like me, and you have family and friends who profess Christ but don’t live Christ, I hope you’ll join me in prayer for them to see where the Light is coming from, and realize that they are hiding it from the world with their behavior. “Jesus Loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
“Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the LORD in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to GOD the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 5:18-20 NLT (http://bible.com/116/eph.5.8-17.NLT)