“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
Someone has once said, “There are basically only two kinds of religion in the world. One kind says: Do! The other says: Done! All of the religions of the world say you must earn your way to heaven; Christianity says Jesus Christ has accomplished salvation by His death and resurrection!” The apostle Paul spent many years trying to earn salvation by his life of singular devotion to the law. But Jesus Christ stopped Paul in his tracks – and forever changed the course of his life. Paul came to understand that only the cruel death and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ brought true and eternal life! The law could never save!
In the passage above, Paul claims that he resolved to know nothing among the Corinthian believers except Jesus Christ and him crucified. Does that mean that Paul was unconcerned with how these believers lived? Was Paul unconcerned with obedience? No – but Paul realized that the greatest motivation for living a life of true obedience was not the potential of earning salvation. No, the greatest motivation for true heart obedience – is love for the Lord Jesus Christ! In fact, without love, there is no obedience. We may conform outwardly to a respectable, religious standard – and even be respected by many – but a heart devoid of love for the Lord Jesus is a cold, dead heart!
A proper understanding of the gospel and of the incredible nature of the unrelenting love of God, fuels true heart obedience. The glorious good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ says, “We are in a relationship that produces obedience – we are not striving for obedience that produces a relationship!” Scripture has many imperatives – but they are not to be seen as conditions for the love of God – but responses to the love of God! As we continue to grow in our understanding of the unadulterated holiness of God, and of the wretchedness of our depraved hearts – may we also grow in our understanding of the bridging of that great chasm by the grace of God in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ! And may that understanding continue to fuel real and lasting transformation in our hearts and lives to His glory!