Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Christianity: the Way of Truth and Righteousness

Saving faith comes from hearing the message from, and concerning, Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:17), whom the Gospel presents as Savior and Lord. When that gospel message is rightly understood and truly believed it realigns (converts) the person so that from then on they habitually respond to Christ as Savior in confidence/trust, and characteristically respond to him as Lord in  allegiance that leads to what Paul calls "the obedience of faith" (Rom. 1:5)

The Christian life is called, in 2 Peter, the way of truth and the way of righteousness (2 Pet. 2:2, 21). That mirrors Paul's description of Christianity (in Titus 1:1) as a "knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness."  And so Christianity is a way of life rooted in belief and knowledge of the truth (about God, ourselves, sin, salvation, etc.) that addresses every aspect of a person's life (1 Cor. 10:31; 2 Cor. 5:14-17). It is a repudiation of the empty way of life that was handed down to us (1 Pet. 1:18) that we live before in our ignorance of gospel truth. And it is a new way of seeing, knowing, believing, valuing and doing that is shaped by the gospel truth concerning Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Eph. 4:17-24)  It is a walking in faith by the Spirit, according to Paul (2 Cor. 5:7; Gal. 5:16) and a walking in truth and obedience, according to John (2 John 4; 1 Jn. 1:6).

All of  these Biblical images (of walking in and along a new way) refute the notion that becoming a Christian can be merely about making a decision that leaves a person unchanged and unmoved.  Images of 'walk' and 'way' require movement and action -- which may involve detours and backsliding that needs to be reversed through new repentance -- but it is movement forward toward the goal of Christlikeness in character, conduct and purpose.

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