The Meaningless Life - Cont'd

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Good day to all the RC family members and friends.

In last week’s Connect Point entitled, “The Meaningless Life,” I left off asking you this question; why are we called to be distinct? Why are we called to counter-culture?

Let me remind some and inform others that you are called to be distinct (recognizably different in nature from something else of a similar type) because you have been exposed to a better, more excellent way. This was learned by attending the school of Christ.

In Ephesians 4, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul begins to get very practical in his teaching. He instructs us to live holy lives, not only because of our adoption into Christ’s family, but because Jesus has educated us. In other words, “you were taught” to be distinct (recognizably different in nature from something else of a similar type).

John Stott said, “When Jesus Christ is at once the subject, the object, and the environment of the moral instruction being given, we may have confidence that it is truly Christian. For truth is in Jesus. The change from his title ‘Christ’ to his human name Jesus seems to be deliberate. The historical Jesus is himself the embodiment of truth, as he claimed.”

So this means if we have learned from Christ and because He allows us to have a personal relationship with him, we must honor him by giving our lives over to him, making us “distinct.”

This all leads to us being different from the people around us. Do you know that God calls you and me to be a “distinct people”?  We are not called to go along, to get along. We are called to go against the grain, against the current, against the tide. See, just because the contemporary culture says it’s been that way doesn’t mean it stays that way! Just because something has become the norm in our culture does not mean that Christians should conform.

So, this makes me wonder where we as Christians fit in? Are we ‘cultural’ or ‘counter-cultural?’

In Ephesians 4:1, Paul says, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” The Holy Spirit is instructing us here that if we are Christians, we should live like Christians. In other words, “walk worthy of the call by preserving unity among fellow Christians!”

That is SO important for the body of Christ! There are not hundreds or thousands of tiny parts of the bodies of Christ scattered all over the world. There is one body of Christ– parts of whom meet in different locations because of geography, but there should be unity among them & a spirit of love & cooperation! So Paul continues the same train of thought and says, “WALK WORTHY OF YOUR CALL BY BEING DIFFERENT (or DISTINCT) FROM THE WORLD!”

Eph 4:17-32, “17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.” (NIV)

Family, I believe the Holy Spirit is showing us in Eph 4:17-32 what it means to live a meaningless life. A meaningless life is a life that is lived by those who have “Futility of their thinking”; (the word futility means pointlessness or uselessness); “darkened in their understanding”; “ignorance”; “hardening of their hearts”; “loss of all sensitivity”; “given themselves over to sensuality to indulge in every kind of impurity with a continual desire for more.”

Family, I believe this is an accurate portrait of life without God. So many of us (myself included) will sometimes get up in arms and be upset about the current state of affairs in our world. But if we think about it, the world is just doing what the world has always done when Christ is rejected. The Bible makes it clear that the world is controlled by the evil one.

In fact, we are reminded that while we have to live in the world, Christians are not to be OF THE WORLD! Why not? Because we’re supposed to be DISTINCT! Family,  the world is going to be the world! Now, I don’t mean that Christians shouldn’t do what we can to change that with our influence, but it’s a reminder of just how desperately our world needs JESUS.

Paul’s message is clear: Life without Jesus is plain and simple; MEANINGLESS!

 

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