18. Our Moral Imperative

Romans 8:12

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

How can I find the strength to do what is right? Why doesn’t God intervene in my life in special ways to help out? We frequently find ourselves asking, either someone or ourselves these questions.

We often want to know why God does not intervene in our lives to do something special. But what do we mean when we ask that question? Do we mean we want God to reorder events to suit our own personal wishes? If so, we have no right to ask that, nor should we want to. That would mean we know better than God, that we can order the events of our lives better than he can.

Or do we mean we want God to solve our problem by some external means, perhaps by removing the temptation, by changing our thinking so that we are no longer attracted by the wrong, or by providing an experience that will strip the temptation of its power? But if God were to do that, it would mean that what we are able to do as normal Christians unaided by some supernatural intervention of God does not count. What would be the point of being a Christian if, in crisis situations, God always has to intervene in some way. What would be the point of life overall?

To be a Christian means this:

  • You will live for him. And not only will you live for him, putting to death the misdeeds of the body and living in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s desires, but doing so will also matter profoundly. A Christian follows Christ and longs to be like Christ in being and character. Therefore, we do not live anyhow we want, but we have an obligation to be holy as our God is holy, and that is the crown of our morality. This obligation leads us to the Scriptures, where the mind and will of God is unfolded, and simultaneously, this obligation makes us be dependent on God, on his Spirit that is in us to fashion new change in us.

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