I’ve come to a conclusion today. I think I’ve been building toward it for years.
We’ve done ourselves and others and our Lord a disservice by trying to categorize the Christian life.
We’ve split it into categories like good behavior, faith, spiritual discipline, discipleship, evangelism, benevolence, worship, fellowship, and on and on and on.
Convinced that we must master one area, perhaps, before we move on to the next.
Listening in Bible class a couple of weeks ago to what the apostle had to say in 2 Peter 1, I realized that wasn’t what he or his Lord had in mind at all:
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. ~ 2 Peter 1:5-7
You don’t master one before you move on to the next. You keep adding them to each other in an ongoing, lifelong process. How do I know that?
None of us is going to master any of them. I mean, we’ve all read Romans 1, haven’t we?
But we can all grow in each of them:
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Peter 1:8
So we don’t grow into them for ourselves alone, nor even to glorify God alone — but to become effective and productive.
The Christian life is a life that follows Christ, in every way. Being a disciple means following Him in every way He lived His life. He is our perfect example of a life that IS ministry; He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant and became obedient even to death on a cross, serving as our example of self-sacrifice even to that extreme..
His life was one life; not a series of mastering categories and moving on, but of meeting people who sin — where they are in their sin — and helping them master it. He pointed, not to Himself, but to the Father.
So I’ve tagged this first post in a series of indefinite length with several tags that are new to this blog: “evangelism,” “ministry,” and “following Christ.” They’re new because I’ve never really written much about them before. I’ve never really written much about them before because I don’t really know very much about them.
I’m 58 years old. I may not have that many more years and opportunities to learn. Now is the best time there is.
I’m planning to learn as much as I can from studying Jesus’ life and example from the gospels, prophecy, epistles and any other sources where I can find His journey.
You’re welcome to join me on this journey. I would love to have the company, and the chance to benefit from the wisdom of others who have traveled it before (or have never been on this road) and have come (or are coming) to the same conclusion (or even a different one).
Even if it didn’t take you 58 years to get where you are.