Some have tried to avoid the concept of “Christ’s life for me and my life for Christ” depicted in the gospel exchange (cf. 2Cor.5:15; Mt.13:44-46; Lk.14:28-33; Mt.10:37-39; et al.) by imagining a dichotomy in the Christian life. They suggest that there are two alternatives when signing up for eternal life. They claim that you can choose to be “an average Christian” (i.e., someone with a “simple trust” in Christ which delivers them from the penalty of hell) or you can choose to be “a sold-out disciple” (i.e., someone who is committed to following Christ on a day-to-day basis). This supposed dichotomy does not exist in the pages of the New Testament. It is a creation of modern churchgoers to explain away the “all in” call of the gospel. Some say it is necessary to avoid the addition of “works” to the gospel equation. But clearly the Bible is not contradicting itself when it tells us that eternal life is a “gift of God” (Rom.6:23) and that the impact of the gospel will necessarily result in us becoming “slaves of God” who pursue “holiness” (Rom.6:22). The biblical gospel freely offers Christ’s life for us and demands my life for his.
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