Love was most clearly demonstrated on the Cross of Christ. The sinless Son of God died to save sinners.
Amazing love, how can it be, that thou my God should die for me.
Modern theology has done a fine job of emphasizing Christ. Unfortunately, sometimes they took this emphasis too far. “He did it all, we do nothing!” and other banal phrases are strewn about the theological landscape.
Although I get what is being said, and in one case would even agree–we are not saved by our works, but by Christ’s one act of obedience–this thinking gets misapplied.
Christ did die for you. This is true. By faith we benefit from His death. And by faith we join Him.
Romans 6 says we were crucified with Christ, buried with Him, and raised up with Him. He didn’t just do it FOR US; by faith we actually do all this WITH HIM.
The result then is that we are raised up to newness of life. This new life looks like the Gospel.
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.“
This is where many turn back. This is where many a theological barricade is thrown up.
“Nope, it’s all by grace. I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to deny myself or live for others, Jesus did all that for me.”
That sounds fine and humble and Christocentric and whatnot, but it also sounds very unbiblical.
Not living for yourself, not living according to your fleshly lusts, not living for this world is what the New Life in Christ is.
Hate to break it to you.
No, actually, I don’t hate to break it to you. I’m pleased to break it to you.
Your flesh life isn’t all that great. Gotta be honest with ya. Christ is way better than you. I’d rather have you live His life than yours.
Yeah, if a guy really bought into this he’d have to give up on his American Dream. He’d have to maybe quit some hobbies, passions, interests, and maybe even some jobs. He’d have to make some tough calls, go through the pain of cutting off fleshly patterns.
But the end is Christlikeness!
I mean, really? You’d rather be a good golfer than like Christ? You’d rather get straight A’s than be like Christ? (Those are just examples. I’m not saying Christians can’t or shouldn’t golf or get straight A’s. Different people have different hangups, What are the ones keeping you from Christ?)
It’s amazing what dumb stuff consumes our time, money, and energy. It’s amazing how “busy” we are but still manage to do all the flesh stuff.
Priorities demonstrate what life you are living. Do you have new life in Christ? Does anyone see it? If no one does, do you really have new life in Christ?