All children come from their parents. My dad is African, born in Ghana, raised in Nigeria. My mother is Caribbean-of Jamaican decent born in Britain. That makes me British born Afro-Caribbean. I am very much a sum of their parts-a living synecdoche. Using this template when I say “I am a Christian,” what does that mean? To me it means I’m a part of a very large whole-the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:27 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
I’m part of a family spanning hundreds of nationalities, languages, and flags but all sharing one thing in common-Jesus the Christ our redeemer. It means that while I was a sinner Christ died for me for the sole purpose of integrating me into the family of God. It means I’m God’s adopted child, grafted into the family of Christ.
Romans 11:17 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,
It means I’m a light and an ambassador and must strive to live an exemplary life that guides others to the knowledge of God with humility and love.
Matthew 5:14 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
It also means I’m royalty and I must carry myself as such, leading by example but also this means I have an inheritance.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
I get to share in the riches of God the father, I get to share in His holiness, His presence, His majesty-His righteousness through Christ powered by the holy spirit! It also means I must be patriotic to the kingdom I’ve been made a citizen of. I cannot claim to be destined for the kingdom of heaven but observe the laws of the kingdom of darkness-my actions would betray me and prove me to be a liar! Atheists and Agnostics and other unbelievers even expect us to follow-up on all the things we say we believe in, by proving it in action for all our trumpeting. We must let our actions preach on behalf of us as much as our words by the grace of God. James puts it aptly when he talks about faith and works.
James 2:14-26 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? …26 As the body without the spirit is dead,so faith without deeds is dead.
For too long many of us have declared one thing and like dubious politicians, done another. The first sets of people to be labelled Christians were for all intent and purposes “Christ-like”. They were sentient similes of Christ, preaching to people not only in word but in action and they did so by starting with each other (Acts 11:23-26). I don’t labour under the illusion that “Love your neighbour as yourself,” (Mark 12:31) is a cake walk. It is not. It’s incredibly hard at times-some people are just difficult. That however is the hilarious beauty of it because while we were yet sinners God died for us.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Shouldn’t we be long-suffering and extend mercy and love to even the most difficult of people? Jesus in his ministry even says we shouldn’t just love our friends but our enemies too!
Luke 6:27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
This is not to say we must disrespect God’s commands in the name of libertarianism because even Christ drew lines where righteous conduct was concerned. It does however challenge us to love more freely and deeply just like our father, God, as He reveals himself to us revealing more of our true potential until He finally and victoriously returns.