Christianity is founded upon one principal: Love. Jesus only gave us one new commandment – “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Sounds simple, right? Can you imagine a world where all of us actually followed Jesus’ example every day? In a world where all of us battle with envy, pride, selfishness, lust, as a matter of course, it is difficult to say the least.
We are all sinners. ALL of us. We sin every day. And although our sins have been paid for, we are asked by God to trust Him, and by Jesus to follow Him. Follow his lead, follow his example. Love one another, just as they have loved us. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
When you think about it, if we all loved each other as Jesus showed us, many of the laws we have wouldn’t even be needed. Most laws are in place because someone felt that their rights were above someone else’s rights. Then the courts have to decide.
Under the old covenant, sin was based upon the 10 commandments (and about 600 Jewish laws). Under the new covenant, Jesus made it simple to understand. Lying isn’t a sin because of the commandments, lying is a sin because it hurts someone you are supposed to love. Stealing is a sin because it hurts someone you are supposed to love, and so on.
I know people have left the church or given up on Christianity because they “just weren’t getting anything out of it”. If we are Christians because of what we are going to get from it, we need to leave anyway. It’s not about about what we get or when we get it. It’s about what we can do for others. Remember, Jesus asked us to follow. He said specifically, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Grace is undeserved favor. It ceases to be grace when we expect it or demand it or ask for it. And, when we receive it, nothing is expected in return. In spite of the fact that we do not deserve God’s grace, He is willing to forgive us and bless us abundantly. Undeservedly, He sent us his only son to die for our sins. The gospel is the good news of God’s grace. Again, the only thing God wants from us is our trust in Him.
There is nothing we can do to make God love us more and nothing we can do to make Him love us less. The message He sends us through His son Jesus Christ is that our relationship with Him will always be good, and, instead, we need to work on our relationships with our “neighbors” as Jesus commanded us to do. Help each other. Encourage each other. Forgive each other. Love one another.
I, for one, have a lot of catching up to do, and a lot of amends to make with a lot of people. After all of these years, I finally realize what it really means to be a Christian. I am striving every day to walk this path and continue my quest for knowledge and the wisdom to use it as Christ has taught us. I am blessed to be surrounded by a supportive Christian family and my brothers in Christ at Re:Generation.