What a challenging verse!!! It reminds me of the huge commission God has given those who profess to follow Him to live accordingly. Not because that justifies us, but rather that it is the evidence that we are sincere in our faith, that we, in fact, are born again spiritually.
Evangelism, or telling others the Good News of Christ redeeming us from our sinful depravity, is something all Christian’s are commanded to do. Yet it’s extremely daunting for a lot of us. Our insecurities threaten to overtake us. Our fear of being rejected or looked upon as some ‘spiritual freak’ can often cause us to clam up; to compromise what God calls us to stand up for. However we must always be ready to give a clear account of the hope we have in Christ and to live true to that hope. That doesn’t mean driving it down people’s throats or thinking that we are ‘more spiritual’ if we tell more people, let alone ‘convert’ them. Let’s not let our ego’s think that we are the ones that cause people to become Christians. That’s a work done by God alone, by the work of the Holy Spirit. He uses us to spread that good news, to impact people’s lives to draw people to Him. God alone gets the glory.
However in reading that passage above, I am reminded how much I must work on the small things in my life; to respond faithfully to the call I have embraced from God to live for Him; to realise that people notice how I treat others; how I spend my time; what I invest myself into. Living our lives in obedience to Christ is the foundation on which we will evangelize more effectively. From there we are to build relationships with others, respecting where they are in life and with God, whilst upholding how God has called us to live.
We must NEVER compromise our obedience to Christ for the sake of evangelism. It may sound noble to those who know no better, however often it’s just spiritual camouflage for feeding our own selfish needs. Christian’s must walk as aliens in this world, remembering our citizenship is in heaven, not on earth. Our salvation in Christ has been bought at a great price. We must remember we are God’s children, united in Christ, a redeemed people justified before God through Christ’s work on the cross. We are not children of this world. Yet we are commanded to reach out and invest into others’ lives in the hope that they too will come to embrace the hope that is only found in Jesus.