Since I have been doing book reviews for a while I wanted to break it up with something I have been pondering lately. Is there such a thing as a “couch potato Christians”? Of course there are, so maybe I should say “should there be such a thing? A verse from Ephesians is used frequently by many denominations to show us our salvation is a total gift and has nothing to do with what we do.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. Eph 2:8-9
While I 100% agree with Paul’s statement I take exception to those who think that therefore we have nothing to do but wait to die and then proceed to heaven. As I have said before I think Christianity is a call to action, not a sit back and wait religion. As the Lord said when you come to faith you throw off your old life to take on a completely new and radically different one. That is hard to do when your butt is glued to a sofa!
I think the “do nothing” attitude is one of the stumbling blocks to many who seek God. They see some Christians saying “all you have to do is accept Jesus as your savior and nothing else matters”. Of course we have all grown up with the sayings “you get what you pay for” and “nothing is free”. So they carry that thought to those Christians words. Then they look as Judaism and Islam with all their rules and daily requirements and think which one is real. The something for nothing religion or the work your butt off religion? If only we Christians could make it clear that becoming a true believer in Jesus Christ CHANGES EVERYTHING!! Jesus tells us to completely, and he means completely, throw off our old life of selfishness and greed and take on a new one of humility and servitude. If we could only get this point across we would do better at making disciples for Christ. It is hard to explain that no we don’t earn our salvation through these actions but they are just a much a part of our conversion as eating and breathing. We need to figure out how to do a better job of that. Our friends, neighbors, and even some family members eternity depends on it! But then we have to face the controversy over “works” which so many evangelicals stumble on.