“If the gospel is offensive to those in culture why would we not expect the way we live the gospel, in Biblical community to be equally as offensive to culture.” This was the driving point in this week’s regular conversation with the executive pastor on how to do community. But it also begs a much more important question for individuals – Is my life any different from that of my mis-believing neighbor or is “Christianity” just one of the boxes checked in my identity card?
I talk a lot about identity, because I think it an area in which we are most often confused and purposely deceived. But as followers of Christ we are Biblically called to holiness or plainly speaking – difference. Difference from culture norms and popular thinking. We are defined by our identity in Christ ALONE and by nothing else.
Depending on our context the lack of difference plays out in abuse of alcohol, sex, lying, laziness, hatred. And maybe you recognize these things as sin and feel bad about doing them when you “know better” but you keep feeding those beasts and committing the act. Friend that is just guilt, that is not regeneration. Where is your purpose, your sacrifice, your passion to live in your identity in Christ?
You are not different from culture because you feel guilty. You are different from culture when you are actually different. You function in your new identity with victory over sin and sanctification actually remaking you.
There are days I recognize that I am no different from the identity confused culture around me. I need the gospel more and more to have fewer of these days and to live a life of difference that might offend some but glorifies God.