Our new life demands a new way of living.  Our faith is to be visible in our actions.  Our re-creation after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness means that our words and actions are to reflect Christ in us.  As children of God, we are to be imitators of our Heavenly Father.  Thus, we are to walk in love.  We are to walk as children of light by discerning what is pleasing to the Lord and then doing it.  We are to walk wisely in a world marked by foolishness.  We are to walk worthy of the Gospel.

These truths dominate Paul’s letters to the New Testament churches.  As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7).  The Gospel is transforming.  It takes people who are dead in their sins and walking the course of the world in the passions of the flesh and makes them people who are alive together with Christ, walking in the good works that God has prepared for them to do.

Yes, we are saved to the praise of God’s glory, but we bring glory to God and His saving grace when we are actually representing Him to the world, not just by calling ourselves Christians.  Our works are the primary demonstration of our faith.  We show that we are the people of God by walking in God’s ways instead of in conformity to the ways of the world.  We show we are the people of God by loving what God loves and loving how God loves, not consuming ourselves with what the world loves and treating others with a shallow, Christless love.   In other words, we are to be different!

It is our unwillingness to be different that is largely the problem with the church fulfilling the mission of God.  As Christopher Wright says, we are to live by different standards that reflect the God who is radically different from all the flawed gods of the nations.   Reflecting Jesus means being radically different!  So, let’s be different by living in a manner that is controlled by the Spirit, conforming to the way of God, and consistent with the transforming grace of the Gospel.  Be different in the way you treat your spouse and care for your kids.  Be different in the way you love and serve your neighbor.  Be different in the way you view ‘things’ and spend your money.  Be different in the way you respond to trials and the ‘bad days’ that we all have.  Be different in the way you talk about your boss and co-workers.  Be different by imitating God!

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