This past week we heard from Romans 6:15-23, and Pastor brought a message focused on “Living in all that God has for us: Holiness”. It was a great reminder that there are basically two paths ahead of us:
1. Living for ourselves (either selfishly (which includes the “who cares/whatever” realm), or even un-selfish humanism), which allows us to be free from “righteousness”, but also leads ultimately to death. Obviously, whether due to selfish desires being unbalanced, or due to human efforts ultimately only being able to accomplish a limited amount.
2. Living obediently in Christ. This leads to righteousness (things being put right, and happening the way God designed), which leads to holiness (being set apart for God’s use/purposes). Obviously we cannot expect for “all things” to be put right in our own time/effort, but as Christians we live toward the expectation that we join God in what He is actively doing and will bring to completion.
Ancient Greek philosophy isn’t too far removed from what goes on in many hearts and minds today. The word “telos” means “goal, purpose, result/outcome”. Many of ancient times, through today are giving thought to the goal, purpose, or intended result of our actions and lives.
So what is the “telos” of choice number one here? Death (Rom. 6:21). Not something simple, like being dead. Not the time-bound activity of dying. But death itself. Misery, brokenness, and separation from God. We mourn that many will actually choose this, either out of selfish desire for pleasure, or a chosen desire to deny any need for the existence of God as loving “other”.
What of the “telos” for choice number two? Eternal Life. (Rom. 6:22). Not something simple, like life that becomes invincible. Not the time-bound activity of living forever from now on. But life itself. Stretching in more dimensions than linear time, and more powerful simply by definition than any walls or boundaries. We not only hope toward this, but are already being transformed by this life that is breaking through our world today.
So how does that impact our lives today?
We make decisions on a daily basis, both for what we will be about, and for what our families will be about. May we make choices obedient to the Truths revealed in the Word and the Living Word of Jesus Christ. It may not always be received well to a world built on choosing “death”…in fact, it may very well lead to our death (both literal and symbolic). But even if it ends in such a death, we believe in the promise that we share in the Resurrected Life of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).
May our end be His end in the end…:)