We must do the right thing

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This week I want to share with you all a line from Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp’s book on sanctification, How People Change. They write this: “If all we needed was information about how to do the right thing, Jesus never would have needed to come.”

Think on that for a moment. He not only would not have needed to come; He would not have needed to die.

The premise of the book is that Christians often stumble into “gospel amnesia.” We know that we have been justified (past) and we know that we will be with Christ forever, glorified (future); but we often forget how the gospel shapes our here-and-now. Lane and Tripp call this the “gospel gap.”

The gospel is a present and active reality. Jesus is not an abstract ideal to obtain a better life.

No, your hope is a person, the person of Christ.

This past week, have you thought about how the wonderful news that Jesus has come to save and prepare His people for eternity has affected your daily life? Have you thought about it at all?

Do not buy into the error that you “cannot do it.” Yes, you can, because Jesus is here. Do not stray into the fallacy that godliness is “just for the super-Christians or just for the pastor.”

Jesus personally calls us all to this gift of righteousness, for He alone can give it. It is life from the dead, and He gives it to whosoever asks, without preference.

If you are a believer, a child of God, your identity as a Christian is not merely a membership at your church or just a preference on a census form. It is who you are, today and right now, forever.

Now back to the quote from Lane and Tripp that I opened with. Christianity is not merely moral information about what to do and what not to do. It’s not just another self-help.

It’s not regulations, statutes, and commands invented to obstruct your life.

No, Christianity is life. Think about this as you start your next week: if Jesus didn’t come and I had never heard His sweet name, where would I be?

(Jeremy Breland is a farmer from Ruffin. He can be reached at jbreland572@gmail.com.)

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