We're in the 2 month of 2011, and I found out I want to aim for this year. It two separate things that connect together:
1.) Growing in the knowledge of Christ, the Gospel, and the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:18)
2.) Living out my salvation (Philippians 2:12b)
In 2010 the Lord has given me knowledge of His Word and Himself. He gave me some points of theology to wrestle with, awakened me to sin that I was blind to, gave me understand of some passages of Scripture, and led and taught me His ways. The Lord continues to teach and reveal to me what He wills, and I hunger for more knowledge of Him and His holy Scriptures.
Yet the Lord has also impressed upon my heart to not only grow in knowledge of these things, but to also live out what I know and preach. He has reminded me that it's one thing to know and preach, but it's very different in living it out.
Here are some passages of Scripture that come to mind when I think about this.
"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12b)
"The scribes and the pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe all that they tell you- but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. (Matthew 23:2-3)
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (James 1:22)
These verses remind me that the Christian life is not all about knowing, but about living as well. We were created in Christ to do good works(Ephesians 2:10). We are to abide in Christ, and bear fruit. Our faith apart from works is as dead as....roadkill. So I ask you the same question that I asked myself: Are you living? Are you working out your own salvation with fear and trembling? Are you living out the gospel? Or are you just focused on growing in the knowledge of the Word, of theology, and of Christ? I'm definitely not against growing in the knowledge of Christ and the gospel; rather I commend and encourage you to do so, but I want to encourage you just as much to live! We are to make sure that our manner of life is centered around Christ and the gospel. So is it?
I conclude with this: The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20)
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
The phrase, "teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." is in bold, because it stand out when I think about living out the faith. We as Christians have been taught to observe all that Jesus has commanded us to do. The NIV translations has "obey" in place of observe. There is a lot in the gospels thaty Jesus has commanded us to do. I encourage you to go through the gospels, more so the entire Bible in search of the commands that the Lord has given us to obey, and see how we are to live in light of the gospel. As a good friend once put it: "Let us not only talk, let us live!"