This “paper,” and subsequent issues, intends to address practical issues of faith as they work out in our lives—who we associate with, how we live, how we work, how we raise our families, how we approach “church.” There is a growing consensus among some modern evangelicals that the church must work to make the gospel “relevant.” Initially, I react to the term “relevant”, and my general critique is to say “The gospel of Jesus Christ...is the power of God for salvation to all who believe” (Rom. 1:16). The gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news of salvation leading to life of purposeful faith in God, is relevant for any culture, time period, and socio-economic level. That said, it is still right to come before God and each other with these reflections: “So I'm a Christian. What does it mean to live as a Christian today?”
Jesus tells us in John 3:18 that there are two kinds of people: 1. Those who believe in Jesus Christ and are not condemned; 2. Those who do not believe in Jesus Christ and are condemned. Perhaps another way to look at the “How should a Christian live?” question is to ask “What does it mean to believe?” The truth is, until we believe in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, questions of how to practically live out our faith are not relevant, since it is always of first importance where our belief is. We will never “EARN” our way to salvation by doing good works, as we have likely read numerous times from Ephesians 2:8,9, “Not of works, so that no-one can boast.” Yet the Bible does teach that those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will desire to honor God through obedient sacrifice to Him.
So there we have it. If you have accepted the gift of God's grace for salvation through Jesus Christ, and if you have recognized that you cannot earn your way to God's favor through your own merit, you are then compelled by the Spirit of God to become “God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” (Eph. 2:10). May we continue to grow in a saving faith that works to the glory of God!