What manner of persons ought we to be?
I think that we, as Christians, sometimes are so inundated with the “stuff” of modern Christianity that we often forget the things that are most basic and most important in our faith, those things which separate us from the rest of the world. It is those things which define the manner of persons we ought to be, those things which define “holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.”
2 Peter 3:11-12
Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
One of the basic, fundamental ideas is that Christ lives in us. The God of heaven, the Creator of all things, has chosen to place His very Spirit within me. It is a mystery which I will never fully understand, but a truth which I must grasp. In Galatians, Paul writes:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 2:20 KJV
Within this human body, Christ lives. Just as He once lived in His own fleshly body, He has chosen now to live in mine. And what I do in this body, He does with me. What I do with this body, He lives with. Matthew 10:30 and Luke 12:7 tell us that the very hairs on our head are numbered. Christ knows everything there is to know about our bodies; He is aware of every cell. Do we force Him to live in a toxic “home” by filling our bodies with physical and emotional junk food? Do we treat our bodies as belonging to ourselves, rather than belonging to Him?
Perhaps one very basic question we could add to our vocabulary this year in an effort to live in holy conduct and godliness: Why am I choosing this food for my body? Is it because it satisfies my cravings and taste buds? Or is it because it is healthy for this body? I think that, as Americans, we are so unaware of how self-centered (rather than Christ-centered) the most basic decisions are. We often go into a restaurant with the mindset “What do I want to eat?” rather than asking ourselves “What is here that is healthy for this body?”
John Wesley writes:
“God has entrusted us with our bod