I have felt for a long time that modern evangelical Christianity (as I have experienced it) has a curious overemphasis on ceasing to sin and an alarming lack of emphasis on doing good works. We recognize all of the bad things that we are not to be doing and frequently talk about them, but how often is the new life that we are to be walking in Christ expounded upon? I have heard countless sermons that go on and on about dying to sin and what that looks like and the process entailed and then finish with minor if any reference to living to righteousness. However, when we really consider the gospel message, when we look into what the Bible teaches of salvation, we will see that our life is crucial! At this some of you may be putting up red flags, and while I would love to address them now, that is not the intent of this post, however I would encourage you to look over Ephesians 2:8-10, Matthew 7:15-27 (spec 20 & 24), Galatians 5, Colossians 3:5-4:6 (note the extensive list of good works following the short list of bad works to avoid), Titus 2, James, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Peter 4:1-11. I could list many more passages, but even a short perusal of these will quickly illuminate the fact that 1) the good news of our salvation is rarely mentioned in the Bible without being immediately followed by a call to live a good life and 2) passages encouraging us to stop doing bad things, to put off sin, are always followed by a specific admonition to also put on godliness, or good works.
Unfortunately it seems that the modern day evangelical community has lost this focus on what our new life in Christ is supposed to be and I have recently come to two conclusions as to why this is. I will devote each of my next two posts to discussing these points.