So last week I heard that an elderly woman in our church had complained she didn't like the taste of the new brand of grape juice used for Communion. Feeling like she had rather missed the point, I instructed the person to whom she complained to tell her if she had more faith then it would taste better. Of course, I was joking ... mostly.
As sweet as it is, I think the blood of Christ can quickly become bitter to the taste when Christians seek to continue living destructive, self-centered lives without thought or worry - thanks to the salvation ticket we carry around in our back pocket. Viewing our forgiveness like some kind of grace umbrella, many of us feel we can romp in the acid rain of sin & selfishness & not get wet. But in Romans 6, the Apostle Paul writes, "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. "
He goes on to add, "I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life."
Can a person live with his girlfriend & still be a Christian? Can a person drink heavily & still be a Christian? Can a person cuss daily or crack sexual jokes or otherwise live in consistent & intentional compromise & still be a Christian? From the Westernized, dissected view of salvation... I suppose the answer is "yes"; but they would certainly be missing the whole point. Let's not miss the point of our salvation. Instead, let's commit together to "grow in respect to salvation, since we have tasted the kindness of the Lord" (1 Pt 2:2-3) ... eliminating compromise as we enjoy the sweet taste of grace in our cups!
(For an interesting & brief post on Christian Practice by John D., click HERE.)