Some things just don’t make sense; no matter what angle you look at them from. When you do the math it doesn’t add up. You keep checking and re-checking, trying to figure it out. Sometimes you just have the wrong terms. You need the right equation before you can get a solution that works. It may be especially hard to discern when you are missing a key parameter. There is an “Ah ha!” moment when your brain finally clicks and you see what’s missing.
The Bible is an equation you can apply to life. It gives a lot of parameters. Most people think of the “DO NOTs” when they think about scripture. Those are important, since they are given for our own good, but I’ve heard it said, “The DOs are far more important.”
Students of the Bible should be well familiar with this passage:
“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’
‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’
He answered: ‘ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’‘
‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.'” Luke 10:25-28
Of course, the conundrum for the lawyer is we are lame at doing either by God’s standard. Jesus had to give his life for us because of that, else there would be no salvation.
After his resurrection Jesus gave this command to his disciples, and by extension all who later become his disciples:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” Matthew 28:18-20
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Later, Paul wrote this in his letter to Philemon:
“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Philemon 1:6
I believe that after salvation a person begins a new life in Christ. I mean that in a very literal sense, as Christ said, “You must be born again.” This new life comes with a calling and belongs to God. The calling is to be active in sharing our faith in God’s love and purpose in Christ. More specifically, it is a calling to stand with Christ and be counted with him before God and men. In this way we express our love for God and our neighbors.
I believe the “Ah ha!” moment for a follower of Christ comes after he or she puts this calling into the parameters of their new life in him. It is the purpose to which we are called. Living out this faith in obedience to the call makes us a participant in God’s work. That’s where the rubber meets the road. Without this parameter, without exercising the power of Christ to fulfill God’s plan, the numbers won’t add up for a Christian. Life will be empty and stale. I don’t believe a person who truly receives Christ can be “un-born-again” nor aborted from Christ, but the bond of fellowship in him will have no joy without practicing one’s calling.