Wednesday, March 12, 2008
We are in a discussion these days in the church about what the "way" looks like. I can't even begin to tell you how that effects conversation on a college campus, in a School of Theology; but what does "the Way" look like? I think that is a question I've been seeking to answer my whole life. I'm not sure there is one that is completely prescriptive, but there are attempts to answer this question.
In our tradition, the "way" is about holiness, being and living like Jesus lived. At times this is confusing, because we're called to be like someone we can't be like, yet we strive to be like him anyway. So, is this "way" just one of frustration? Is it attainable? Can I be like Jesus?
I think if the way I answer that set of questions means I can live a sinless life, the answer is no. But if the way I answer that set of questions means I don't have to sin, the answer is yes.
I think if the way I answer that set of questions means I can't ever sin again, the answer is no. But if the way I answer that set of questions means that the spirit enables me to live beyond the bondage of sin, the answer is yes.
I think if the way I answer that set of questions means I reach a point of sinless perfection, the answer is no. But, if the way I answer that set of questions means sin has and can be defeated on a daily basis on my life, the answer is yes.
I've been led by my colleagues around here to some of the keys to living the Christian Life, "The Way" to keep the conversation contextual. Here is what I'm thinking about today:
Four of the things I'm hearing "The Way" is about concern posturing, position, community, and confession.
We posture ourselves, realizing how desperately we are in need of a Savior, and a Spirit that enables us to live the life we can't live without. Humility is key is our understanding of ourselves, and our God.
We position ourselves on "the Way" of holiness. What I mean by that, very simply, is that as much a player as grace is to our salvation, obedience is just as key to our growth. If we are saved by grace, and God no longer sees who we were or what we did, it's just as imperative that those who are a part of the kingdom position ourselves as those who are obedient. Like my friends says, who we are shapes what we do, but we also have to own up to the fact that we are what we do.
Community is where it all happens. One of the first disciplines that we should practice, is coming together for worship, fellowship, and accountability. We are not islands to our own selves. We do not decide for ourselves what we believe. This always happens within the community of faith, those we now see, and those who have come before us. Like Paul said, never neglect the gathering of the people of faith.
Confession shapes our life. It puts us in the right posture, positions us in the kingdom, and keeps us accountable to God and each other. We aren't about a bland, therapeutic brand of faith, where all we become concerned with is making ourselves feel better about ourselves and lives. We are called to share in the suffering of our Lord, realizing nothing we do has the ability in and of itself to save and keep us.
Our life is about the Spirit, not our ability. It's about his grace that saves, not our morality. It's about our obedient response by living like Jesus did, not a license to abuse the freedom found in the grace-filled life. And it's about trusting that the work He began in us, he will complete.
Posted by Oldyuthguy at 2:57 PM