In The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says to the soon-to- become Christians standing before Him…and to all future Christians…that we are to be the light of the world…that a city on a hill cannot be hid, and that a lit candle is placed on a candlestick (lampstand)…not under a “bushel”…to give light to all who are inside the house.
This implies that Christians are to be different…but in what way?
The answer is…in the way of demeanor, attitudes, tone, tenor, and character…not “conforming to this world” (Rom. 12:2).
Paul says of the Jews of his day: “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written” (Rom. 2:24). The Jews were supposed to be the light to the Gentiles, showing them the way to the one, true, living God and away from polytheistic idol-worship.
Instead the Jews in the first-century were worldly-minded in the worst way (Jn. 8:32; 11:48).
They were bound by horizontally conventional, worldly thinking…not having journeys of faith like Abraham…not following in the heritage and footsteps of the great men and women of faith in the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament).
What this has to say to Spirit-born Christians today is that we are not supposed to be living in the reactive mode in the zone of worldly conventional thinking.
We are not supposed to be merely responding to whatever comes our way in life in conformity to the current social paradigm of random, chance-driven progress…based upon the slowly dissolving and disappearing theory of Darwinian naturalistic evolution…unfortunately still pervasive in our modern culture.
We do not have to wait for someone else to start a worldwide Christian reformation.
For Spirit-born Christians…absolutely nothing stops us from being the very best people we can be…of starting our own personal reformation within our sphere-of-influence…of being the best husband, wife, parent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, grandparent, friend, employer or employee, student, and citizen.
What differentiates a journey of faith following Jesus Christ…from the self-realization program of self-energized good works…is that born-again Christians have the Holy Spirit to help us achieve a better and higher level of godliness and holiness in our lives (Col. 3:8-10)…based upon what God has called us to do.
God has detailed and specific life-scripts…to procure our eternal happiness through the cross and the resurrection…His cross and our cross…above and beyond human imagination or literary invention.
What is more whimsical and irrational…to place our faith and trust in the God who crafted the extraordinary biblical narrative stories of faith…fully formed, premeditated, and ready to step into right out of the box…no tools required…or to culturally conform to a system based upon random-chance that by definition has no foresight, no expectations, no goals, no purpose, no meaning, no end-points to aim for…and thus no clear path to get there (Mk. 8:36-37)?
The undirected relativism of post-modernism…pervasive in our culture…has the potential to go in meaningless circles…leading nowhere.
A God-composed journey of faith life-script for Spirit-born Christians today is intended to craft us into becoming the light of the world…a very specific outcome.
This is one goal of the Christian life in the risky zone of faith.