LIFT Renewal Ministries

Cultivating Pathways for Discipleship to Jesus Christ

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Discipleship-Personal, but never Private

“In Praise of Jesus Christ: The Foundation of Our Work and Witness” 1 Peter 2:4-10

Becoming a disciple of Christ is a deeply personal experience…but it is never private.

In Christ we have become part of a body, and are incorporated into his mighty acts of salvation for the whole world. Individual Christians experience salvation as a breathtaking passage from darkness to light, or a hard and painful squeeze through a gate so narrow that no else could fit. But when each new Christian comes gasping and blinking into the dazzling brilliance of God’s Kingdom, the first thing he or she sees is a countless multitude of other Christians, each one likewise bedazzled by the experience of coming through a gateway just large enough for themselves.

The author of 1 Peter exhorts the church to come to Christ–who is himself a living stone–and “like living stones let ourselves be built” into a temple of sacrifice and praise. It is a call from from an individualistic, “Lone Ranger” approach to ministry and into koinonia–fellowship in the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for “building” here is rendered in a passive tense, forever reminding the church that it is Christ Jesus alone who is building his church, and our task is to “simply” to make our lives available for his purpose and pleasure.

Some Christians say “act a certain way and the heart will follow.” Others say “fix the heart first, and then right actions will come around.” In the end, both approaches are true; for from top to bottom, from outside to inside, from heart to highway, we are wholly and dearly loved by God. As we follow Christ faithfully, and as we submit to him in all things, we become “a people set apart” by him…a chosen race…a royal priesthood. In Christ’s love you and I are becoming “we” together, and the watching world “sees our good works, and gives glory to our Father in Heaven.” May it ever be so.

February 03, 2016