Thursday, September 04, 2008

Created To Be Cruciform

I highly recommend to you to read Created To Be Cruciform on Chuck Colson's Breakpoint. It is probably one of the best articles I have come across lately that deals with explaining the gospel and how to live it out as well. I regularly scour the internet for articles and blog posts on the gospel and I can say that as I read this one it felt like a breath of fresh air to me. Below are a few excerpts from the article.

The Christian life is all about being shaped by the cross into the shape of the cross. At least that’s the way I’ve come to understand it, and I am beginning to teach others to do the same. For the last 10 years I’ve been working to develop a Christ-centered, Kingdom-oriented worldview and practice it in my everyday relationships, roles, and responsibilities. With the help of a few friends and mentors along the way, I’ve found that what I’m calling “the Cruciform Life” is a helpful way to frame the life of faith. As I get the opportunity to teach others these concepts, I am pleasantly surprised to learn that this cruciform pattern helps them, too. In the next few issues of the Worldview Church, I’ll pass this framework along to you. Perhaps the Spirit will be pleased to use it to encourage you in your walk with Christ and equip you with a discipleship tool that will help your local church “build itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:16). . .

The description of Jesus’ life in the gospels, and the prescription for the Christian life in the rest of the New Testament, have led me to believe that there are two major ways in which cross-shaped disciples progressively become like their Master, Jesus (Luke 6:40). . .

First, a cruciform disciple is shaped like Jesus, the Son, who lived in complete awareness of and dependence upon His relationship to the Father as His Beloved (Matthew 3:17, 17:5; Mark 1:11, 9:7; Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 1:13; 2 Peter 1:17). . .

Second, a cruciform disciple is shaped like Jesus, the Servant, who lived in complete awareness and practice of His role as bondservant to God, people, and all of creation (Mark 10:43-45). Jesus’ confidence and contentment in His relationship with the Father enabled Him to lay aside His rights, pick up the towel and basin, and take the form of a servant by emptying Himself for the sake of others (John 13:3-5; Philippians 2:5-11). As we fill up on the love of the Father as it is offered in the Good News about Jesus and poured out by the Spirit, we overflow with love back to God and out to others, our lives taking the form of a cross-shaped servant. . .

Then, as we pursue by faith a life of Spirit-empowered obedience to God’s Law, we will come to find all the ways we still fall short of the Law. By faith we will seek God, only to find that we don’t seek Him well or worthily, and we will return to the cross with this new insight into our remaining sin (Romans 7:22-25). By faith we will shepherd our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, only to find out how selfish we still are and again see clearly our need to embrace the Gospel. By faith we will be sowers in our Personal Mission Field, only to discover how little we love our unbelieving neighbors, and we’ll be driven back to the cross for fresh grace to love them like Jesus does. By faith we will steward the resources God has given us, only to be convicted afresh by how we use them for our sake, not His, and we will run like the wasteful, prodigal son back to our forgiving Father and ask to be clothed with Jesus again. . .

If you are blessed by this article I would encourage you to email a link of the article to your family and friends. Also, be sure to prayerfully read and reread the article again and again. Spend time meditating on what is says and thinking about how you can apply it to your life. Then take specific steps and actions to make it a reality in your own life.


1 comment:

cruciformlife said...

Will, thanks so much for the encouraging words about the article. Thanks, too, for your work for the Kingdom in Romania.