… be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Saviour and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy — Titus 3:2-5
The Gospel’s exhortation for practicing kindness, compassion, and tolerance is not based on some humanitarian spirit of benevolence. Rather, it is based on the stunning mercy of God towards sinners who are deserving of only wrath and condemnation. In other words, when we are confronted by the shocking intensity of God’s eternal love for us despite the depth and severity of our own depravity, that becomes our motivation for extending sacrificial love towards others. We love, not only because He first loved us (1 John 4:19); we love because even when we were enemies of God Christ died for us (Romans 5:8,10). Clearly, our ability to be channels through which God's love flows to the world depends on us having a right view of just how unworthy we are to be the recipients of His infinite love.
Of course, in a world where narcissism is the stock in trade and self-esteem, the preferred currency, such feelings of unworthiness are anathema. Sadly, many churches have compromised with this spirit of the age and silenced all references to sin and guilt and condemnation. However, as those who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, may we truly grasp that our only worth is in Christ. And may this newfound worth motivate us to bear witness to the love of Christ far and wide.
“Evangelism begins by sharing why you need Jesus.” — Wes Simmons
Contributed by Peter Rufus