Radical Discipleship – Part 2
Dec 28, 2014 1021
by Edward Fudge
Ephesians 2:10 says that God has assigned us certain good works to do. But how do we identify and then perform these deeds in the natural course of everyday life? How can any person determine where God wants him or her to serve, and which good works God intends for any particular person or persons to do?
* * *After a life of loving, faithful obedience, presented to the Father in his sacrifice on the cross, Jesus was rewarded with the seat of universal sovereignty, second only to God’s own throne. God is now ready to use the observable lives and life-choices of Jesus’ people, both as individuals and as community, to conform his people into Jesus’ likeness and to bring the world to himself (Phil. 2:5-16). Pehaps most impressive of all, God accomplishes this two-fold mission as his people go about their business one day at a time (Eph. 2:10).
Paul and other New Testament writers anticipate that both a Christian lifestyle and a Jesus-patterned community life in the church will be conspicuous in the surrounding world-darkness (Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Pet. 2:11-12; 3:8-16). Christians can expect the contrast to generate discussions which their acquaintances will initiate. The Christian can expect to turn such discussion into gospel presentation and personal witness (1Pet. 3:15-16). God will work through it all to draw people to himself, to enlarge the Christian community, and to accomplish his ultimate saving pupose throughout the world (Phil. 2:1 -11, 14-18).
Would-be participants must live always supported by a foundation of prayer–specifically, that God will act to advance his purpose, that he will do so here and now, and that he will graciously use us in the process (Col. 4:1-4). Alongside this prayer there needs to be constant watchfulness (Col. 4:2). The times are urgent. Paul calls on believers to make the most of every opportunity–and he uses a word that basically means to be a good shopper. Lives marked by sensitivity, sacrifice, and seriousness will be regular arenas for God at work in the world through his people. We do not even need to know when that happens, for it is ultimately God’s work and not ours.
– Edward Fudge (Used with permission from GracEmail)