And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
There is more to Christianity than escaping hell. Affirming Jesus Christ as Savior without truly wanting the Holy life that He offers will not work. It is inconsistent to want a Holy life in the ‘here-after’ and to disbelieve that such a life is a attractive in the ‘here-and-now’.
When God tells us that we can be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, then we can ask ourselves whether or not we are experiencing such a reality, or whether we are existing in denial of what our Lord tells us to do. And while the “fruit of righteousness” is more than just the love of God; the “fruit of righteousness” is never found apart from the expression of the love of God.
Are there no consequences to existing in denial of what our Lord tells us to do?
Since your moment of becoming a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) truly takes place in a moment; it is important to discern your present reality. “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
What is the primary purpose of this promise that “the new has come”? It is the Great Commandment, to love God (and others) with all of your heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37-40). How can we possibly think we are pleasing Him on a daily basis if we do not give attention and reflection upon His first priority for us? I am not saying we do not occasionally love Him, or incidentally love Him. But is not the Infinite God worthy of our intentional cooperation? Is occasional love and incidental love ‘good enough’ for our Lord Jesus Christ?
In the Philippians passage above it says that we can be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ. It also points out that such a condition flows from our love that abounds more and more in knowledge (in the context of knowing love) and all discernment (in the context of discerning love), with a result of purity and blamelessness (in the context of love), so that we can be filled with the fruit of righteousness. This comes through Jesus Christ. This glorifies God. This is our primary purpose after we have become a ‘new creation’.
Why wander half asleep through your only life on this planet? Why not live the life He offers? Why not try what He says we must do? What might happen to your awareness of eternal life if you set out to become skillful at loving God and others? As for me, I don’t have anything better to do. And I find nothing even remotely as satisfying!
I am not advocating a human program or paradigm. I am not even the advocate! I am trying to get you to see that Christianity is a great practical, knowable, and measurable way to live. Live Jesus’ way; He is the advocate!
What of your experiences with and among other Christians? Does the following passage accurately describe what you are finding in the world?
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,… Titus 2:11, 12
Does this describe who you are right now? Is this description a characteristic of those who profess Jesus Christ around you? Isn’t the most excellent way to do what God says - actually to do what God says?
Now, it is not up to me to pass judgment on how Christians live. But when I am dissatisfied with what I see in others I can at least try and follow the Lord myself. And I can affirm and encourage those who love others intentionally. I can try and set the example of what I think I discern about eternal life. People need someone around them who will love them with the love of God. So that will be the goal of my life. God help me! For I want to do what You say must be done.
Do I love perfectly? Am I your example of holy love? Don’t be absurd: I am as dumb as a post. Jesus Christ is you perfect example of holy love. He is the one we should follow. Follow Him!
The book, “The Most Excellent Way”, can help. It continuously points out what God says about love and applies it to most areas of a Christian’s life. It is not my human theory based on human experience. It is constantly calling attention to what the Bible says about love.