1 John 2:4-6 - Christians aren't perfect - but we should be working on it!

In 1 John 2:4-6 we read: "The man who says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." While it is true that our salvation is not based on what we do, but on our faith in the work of Christ Jesus, we are still called to live righteous lives. It is unfortunate that Christian bumper stickers like "CHRISTIANS AREN'T PERFECT - JUST FORGIVEN!" have appeared because people tend to use this kind of reasoning as an excuse for unrighteous living. We all agree that adultery, murder, homosexuality, and stealing are wrong and sinful, but we often don't think twice about telling a few "white" lies...or having lustful thoughts...or permanently borrowing stationery from work... We often don't see any problem with holding grudges or being selfish. Yet this so unlike the teachings of scripture. Paul writes to Timothy: "But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11). Jesus Himself said: "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord', and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice." If we were more aware of how much God hates sin and how much it offends Him, we would be more reluctant to disobey. How easy it is to purposely exceed the speed limit, to cheat on our tax returns, or to tell a lie in order to get out of some commitment. Christians should not behave like this - we are meant to be different. We are meant to stand out - to ooze goodness and righteousness - to be lights in a dark and evil world. Let's not just call Christ "Lord" - let's live as though He is!

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