The true consequences of the emancipation we receive in Jesus Christ are real compassion and care for our fellow rescued family who are troubled by sin, given always in an awareness of our own frailty (Vs 1). Christ’s will is that we truly love each other from an understanding that we can only do this in Him, because if we believe we can have any confidence in our own abilities, we once again fall into the snare of self-righteousness (Vs 3). Paul calls us, then, to test ourselves on these matters – do we find in us a affection for those we see struggling? Are we careful not to give grounds to our all too natural inclination to find assurance in our own ‘religious' propensities, our own judgement about ‘our’ goodness? That is the burden we must bear (Vs 4).
The true role of the redeemed is to share the richness of what has been gained, to ‘sow’ amongst others the truth, thereby neglecting to invest in things that are contrary to the new life we now share, but truly communing in the life that comes from above (Vs 6-10). The great joy is that we can indeed encourage and assist each other in enjoying and expressing the astonishing life that is now ours.
The world boldly and easily parades religion that makes a ‘fair show in the flesh’ – it panders to our fallen state and feeds us on the lie that we can be ‘holy’ before the god of our own making (even if that god is just ourselves), but all this is dust in the wind. Our deeds, our morality, are no more than a wreath of rotting distractions on the graves of dead creatures that have defied and ignored the opportunity for true rescue from their peril and demise. The only boast we have, says Paul, is in the Lord Jesus Christ – His death is our life, for it cuts us off from our folly and alienation, and brings us peace with God… therein is the new creation.
Let us always look to Jesus.