Closing The Gap
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Christ has suffered sacrificially for the sins of all to bring us close to God! How do we experience suffering as Christians? How are we called to suffer in our discipleship?
Faith is a critical component of drawing close to God and God’s purposes for our lives. Faith leads us to righteousness. Believing without necessarily seeing promises come to fruition is part of our faith.
Christianity struggled to be taken seriously by adherents of Judaism and Greek
Philosophy. What they deemed as important criteria (Signs and Wisdom, respectively) for
validity conflicted with the essence of Christian Faith. Even today, Christianity is attacked as
illogical, inconsistent, or irrelevant. Atheists and agnostics challenge people of faith and
embrace secular philosophy, relativism, fatalism, or (isolated) science as more enlightened
paths. We are challenged at the core of our identity and understanding as Christians. Even
within Christianity, some hold only to moral guidance, rather than full embrace of our faith.
Grace redirects us from sin and desires of the flesh toward a more faithful life of selfless and God-centered life in partnership with God. We are saved by grace, not good works. However, good works are an outcropping of our redeemed life through God’s grace in Jesus Christ. In other words, we are saved by grace to do God’s will through good works, rather than try to earn our salvation through good works.
The power of Jesus Christ was demonstrated by his submission to an earthly
life and in his ultimate suffering for humankind. Jesus was obedient in his submission to the
will of the Father and to his call to selflessness and sacrifice, even to the point of death. He
obediently submitted to offer eternal salvation to those who follow and obey him. Our
discipleship calls us to submission and obedience to the call of Jesus Christ.