Sunday, May 14, 2006

So was he or wasn't he... and does it matter?

So about the guy in our track who came to know Jesus this week after growing up in a Christian home and even being a leader in his IV chapter. I have been tempted to gloss over his conversion and say, "Well, maybe he was already a Christian, so it's not THAT amazing." Now, I say tempted to do that because I cannot help but notice the change that came over him. He went from being distant, pensive, and somewhat closed to being joyful, loving, and open, eager to learn. I could see the difference and it was amazing!

So did he move from death to life? From darkness to light? From spiritual oprhan to adopted son of the King? Or did he just wake up and realize what had happened some time earlier in his life? And is there a big difference between the two?

Certainly on the eternal scale there is a big difference - if we are in Christ or not has tremendous bearing on where we will spend the rest of all time. But even if this young man was in Christ due to intellectual assent, he was not experiencing the life that Jesus offered, and that is one of the main reasons Jesus came. Not just to save us from sin but to save us to Life and Adoption.

I wonder how many people in the Church are like my friend, knowing in their head but paralyzed and numb in their heart. And even if eternity is not at stake for them, LIFE is at stake. We have too many numb Christians trying to get by on obedience and dilligence and not drawing from the life of Christ. Obviously I am not discounting the importance of discipline and obedience, but those can flow from a well-spring of life so that Christ lives through me, or they can be manufactured through my flesh, which leads to burnout and a lack of joy.

To motivate Christians to witness, serve, give, obey when their heart is not free and not experiencing the life that God offers is to encourage them to trust in themselves and live by the flesh. This is why we begin the Good News track preaching the Gospel to the students who are wanting to share the Gospel with others. This is why we teach them more about prayer than about apologetics. We must live by the Spirit.

Praise God for setting our Brother free to know life, and not just life but Life Abundant. The Good News is necessary for us all - like I have told students for years, "We never graduate from the Gospel."

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