Consider the relevance of this: We are called to live holy lives, not to merit God’s favor but to be like him, to grow in godliness, to mature in Christlikeness. As such, to live our lives in holiness is not a burden of conformity but a family trait to be embraced and enjoyed. What is even more extraordinary about this is that our holy God calls us saints, even now, even as we wrestle with our sinful flesh, even as we are on this side of eternal life. We are saints of God, because of God’s grace alone through faith in Christ to the glory of God alone.
If we are to go into all nations, making, sealing, and teaching, our going must be motivated by something greater than subduing or separating from cultural circumstances. Running for the hills to hide every time the winds of culture change is not what Jesus meant by going and making disciples. And mourning the supposed demise of the church because of political change does not testify to the truth that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Christ. Our going, like our redemption, is to be grounded in the grace of God in Christ. It was only after the Lord revealed himself to Isaiah, giving him the grace to confess and be forgiven, that he could say, “Here I am! Send me,” and be sent into the most difficult of circumstances. When our hearts are captivated by our cultural circumstances, we tend to retreat into protectionism, but when our hearts are captive to the grace of God, we will have a heart for our neighbor and the nations.
As John Stott taught his study assistant, when we get our theology of grace right, then we see the necessity of grace in all things, which leads us to worship, whether it be the thin end of a cup of coffee or the wide end of the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
As we see and taste the bread as the sinless, broken body of our Lord, as we see and taste the wine as the atoning blood of our Savior, our right response is praise, praise for deliverance.
When Christians realize that their citizenship is in heaven, they begin acting as responsible citizens of earth. They invest wisely in relationships because they know they’re eternal.
But know this, although Jesus’ last Passover became for us the Lord’s Supper, there will come a day when we will enjoy this meal of bread and wine in the physical presence of the Lord in our “Father’s kingdom.” Through the sacrifice of Christ’s body upon the cross, through his shed blood for our sins, by God’s grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we will feast together at “the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).
Only those who have received grace from heaven can see the way. Jesus came from heaven in the authority of his Father, but the self-righteous would not submit. Only those who have been conquered by grace can submit to Christ.
Rejoicing in the generosity of our gracious God, let us extend grace to our neighbor, rejoicing in God’s blessings. And let us glorify God with our lives, living in gratitude for grace.
Like the sweetness of a bedtime kiss, our heavenly Father has blessed us with the presence of his Spirit and the promise of his love. Living like a child, let us remember that there is nothing in all of God’s creation that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:39).
This is indeed the mountain top air that we breath: Freedom in Christ! And “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).