The old has gone, the new has come. We are new creations in Christ Jesus. What does this mean? How does this work itself out?
Religion is an aspect of one’s life, it may have a say on many different facets of how a person thinks or acts, but it ultimately has boundaries, and bends to who we are as individuals. Christianity, on the other hand, breaks the mold and breaks our rules of autonomy and self-governance. God makes it clear throughout his word that what he is after is not a piece or part of us. Instead, God wants all of us, to the extent that God uses words like death, denial, and loss to describe our former lives. When we are saved by God, and called by his Spirit, we do not know at that point the full extent of the surrender being asked of us, but we step out in faith and willingness to give up our rights and autonomy for the surpassing greatness of belonging fully to God. We are called to a life of surrender, even though none of us knows the full extent of what God will ask us to give up and give over to him.
The Corinthian church wrestled with this reality as well, and how to live and conduct themselves in light of what Christ had done for them. While there are cultural differences between the Corinthian church and our church, and not everything written in 1 Corinthians can be directly applied, we can, with wisdom and discernment, see God’s call on our lives and culture as well. The series focuses on laying a foundation for life surrendered to God, and then looks at separate pressing cultural issues that God calls us to surrender to him and his goodness.
When we surrender to God’s good plans for our lives, it is not simply self-denial, or asceticism, rather, it is trading the perishable for the imperishable, folly for wisdom, and the things that are now, for an unimaginable glory.