Friday, July 26, 2019

The Life of the Children of God

1. “People as Doers of the Word”
We are confronted by God. In this confrontation, God frees us from sin and death by setting them behind us. Made new by the Holy Spirit, we live as seekers—and so as lovers—of God in Christ. As such we live also as doers with others as Church. As people set free for God, we live to praise God with others as his witnesses.

2. “The Love of God”
God is love. God is love in relationship as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God actively revealed this love to us in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ died in our place so that we might stand reconciled before God as his children. Our creation, this reconciliation, and our future redemption are wholly free acts of God’s unmerited love.

Jesus tells us to love God wholly (Mark 12:29-31). As members of the Christian community who know how much Jesus loves us, we hasten by God’s grace to love him in response. We hasten to respond in love to the one and only Lord of life who freed us from the power of death, not by manipulating us, but by utterly giving himself. We love our Lord when we freely obey his command to be our true selves by loving him. We love him by acknowledging as true his always surprising Word of gracious judgment and sharp grace. We love him with our whole self in all times and places our whole life.

3. “The Praise of God”
Jesus commands us to love God wholly and our neighbor as our self. The first commandment is greater because the love of God is the source of our love of neighbor while our love of neighbor is a sign of our love of God. We obey the second commandment to love our neighbor when we praise God.

We shall love our neighbor because, knowing what God has done for us and for everyone in Jesus Christ, we constantly want to share that good news with others so that they too may celebrate. Like the Good Samaritan, our neighbors are those who benefit us and we act as neighbor when we likewise show mercy toward those who cannot otherwise help us. Those who benefit us most are those who, by God’s grace, bear witness to us of Jesus Christ. Those who suffer are our neighbors because they most clearly represent the Lord who suffered for us. Those to whom we may show mercy because they cannot help us may well be those who regard themselves as our enemies. We love our neighbors when we allow their sins to remind us of our own and so to point us both to Jesus Christ who alone truly saves. We love our neighbors by naming this source of help. We witness to our Savior in words, in acts of assistance, in the way we live. We love our neighbors as we love our self when we trust God’s grace to enable our words, actions, and attitudes to witness to him, and therefore to be loving, despite our sinfulness

Copyright © by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.