Christianity is about Jesus Christ. It’s an obvious point, but it leads Christians to an incredibly important question: ‘Is the life that I am living something that can be called Christianity?‘, or, more succinctly: ‘Is my life all about Jesus Christ?’
You might think that’s a tall order, or perhaps excessive, but Paul disagrees, instructing Christians to ‘present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God’ (Rom. 12:1), because to do so is ‘rational’ (footnote translation ESV).
If giving our lives away to God is rational, how do we reason it? Jesus ‘laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers‘. (1 John 3:16) We often assume Jesus’ death on the cross to be the point at which he laid down his life, but his sacrifice began much earlier; he offered himself to God’s plan of salvation each day of his life on earth, so that he might be a suitable sacrifice for sin.
As we consider that, and consider it deeply, we should be persuaded that the only suitable gift to return to the one who lived entirely for us is to live entirely for him. It will never be an equal repayment, but it is something that he will be pleased with. Therefore we should make it our life’s purpose to adopt the inner characteristics that please Jesus, to demonstrate his goodness to others, and to give our time, money and effort to helping our local church.
We will explore all these different ways of ‘stepping up’ our rational service to God in this series of Beroean. But the combined advice and experience of our authors will be wasted if we do not have an attitude of willingness to both make positive changes to our lives to become more like Jesus and to become occupied with serving among his people in gratitude for the life that he lived for us.