We cannot conform to our culture; We have to be distinct, set apart — holy. In doing so, we will be the salt of the earth that prevents moral decay and adds Christian flavor. And we’ll be the light of the world that dispels darkness and attracts others to the light of Christ — bringing glory to our Heavenly Father, the King
In the last of the traditional ‘Seven Last Words’ of Jesus from the cross, Christ quotes the first half of Psalm 31:5. This good ole Jewish song had become a good ole Jewish (bedtime) prayer. Just as Jews would pray this prayer, trusting their Heavenly Father to awaken them from sleep, Jesus also prays this prayer, trusting the Heavenly Father to awaken Him from death (cf. Lk 9:22, 18:31-33).
People change. Societies change. Things change. But the facts of what Christ did for us do not change. Christ does not change. The widely-accepted historical facts are best explained by Christ’s Resurrection. This is the firm foundation of our faith. Because of God’s love and grace, we should respond with love and faithfulness.
The only kind of faith that works, is faith that works. “Faith” that does not produce godly works of mercy and obedience is dead. True, saving faith is active faith. Faith: it’s what we do.
What is “love”? What does love look like? True, crucial, Christ-like love has both a vertical component – joyful, loving obedience to God in Christ – and a horizontal component – self-sacrificially striving for another’s ultimate good.
What are we training for? Are we training ourselves to be worldly, or are we training ourselves to be godly. Are we training ourselves to resemble the culture, or are we training ourselves to resemble the Christ? Do we have a healthy spiritual diet and exercise routine? In short, are we Cross Training?
Research suggests that the modern conception of freedom — our most cherished virtue — is almost purely negative (i.e., freedom *from* constraints). The Truth of Jesus gives freedom *from* (negative freedom) our rebellious nature and freedom *to* (positive freedom) fulfill our original purpose — right relationship with God. Though our culture often co-opts His words, His is the Truth that truly “will set you free.”
In spite of what the world preaches, our ways are evaluated by the Way of the LORD. As Christians, we affirm that our way should be that of The Way, The Truth, and The Life. It is not us; Jesus is the standard for morality — not ourselves.
Peter tells us not to fear people, but to revere Christ. We are to always be ready to make a reasonable defense for our faith – a defense I believe is more convincing when supported not only with personally subjective reasons, but objectively evidential reasons. And we are to do this gently, out of reverence to God.