The air your breathe matters. Think of it. The level of oxygen, the toxins, the mold spores, the carbon monoxide… all in the air you breathe in an out and the balance of these things makes all the difference. Whether you are healthy and thriving, or suffering and gasping for something more.
This is true metaphorically in the church as well, shoot, in any pattern of thinking and believing. The air we breathe matters, it is even life and death.
In Western Christianity, here is the air that is in abundance: God created the world. Starting with a spark the expanse becomes a garden and life begins. A deity is responsible and he has given us free reign. God then desires for people to be good, nice, fair to each other as taught in the Bible and actually in most world religions. It is all suggestion and the best way to live really, so give it your best college try! While we are being good, the real goal of life is to be happy and feel good about oneself – the world revolves around you and when I say that I mean specifically me!
God is still there but he doesn’t need to be particularly involved in my life until I have a crisis or need to resolve a personal problem. When there are bumps in the road to happiness, God is there to give me a comforting platitude to get through the day.
When the journey is all done, good people go to heaven when they die.
If we consume nothing but this air, our systems get used to it and actually start to crave it. Anything that smells different becomes suspicious and wrong. But it is bad air. Toxic leading to death. There is purer air to breathe.
Here is a taste:
“To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:43
To Jesus, all of the Bible points. Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins. Full stop. No more work to earn a way in because you could never match the perfection required. No steps to cross off the list. No obedience to maintain to prove your worth. Justified in Christ alone. How can it be?!
The Lord of All appointed Judge of the living and dead becomes the Savior through his blood. Jesus’ perfect obedient life for you. His substitutionary death for you. And his life-giving resurrection for you.
Rejoice. Breathe deeply this fresh, freedom inducing air. Worship Jesus. And in your awe, tell someone about him.