For many centuries between the writing of the New Testament and the Reformation there were two spheres of life: religious and secular. Religious tasks were, more or less, solely the duty of the clergy. Most people could not even participate in communion or read the Bible, much less lead and serve in ministry. The Reformation sought to radically change all that. Martin Luther wrote that:
“It’s pure invention that the Pope, Bishop, priests, and monks are called the Spiritual Estate, while the princes, lords, artisans, and farmers are called the temporal estate. ALL Christians are truly of the spiritual estate, and there is no difference among them except that of office. We are all one body, yet every member has its own work by which it serves the others. We are all priests.” Martin Luther, To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation
Luther was proclaiming that ALL OF US are equipped and called to be serving God with our lives. Its not just ministers that are to take up the Cross and follow Jesus, but everyone who believes in Him. This is, of course, not an idea developed by Luther, but one Luther found in-bedded throughout the Bible. One of my favorite verses on this comes from the Apostle Paul: Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Hebrews 13:7
Sadly, this divide continues to crop up over 500 years later. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard Christians say: “that’s not my responsibility, that what the Pastor is for.” That, however, is a very incorrect way of thinking, see, in our own ways we’ve been called to make a transformational impact on others. Paul mentions three specific things here that everyone of us needs to be doing DAILY in our lives.
- Live a Lifestyle worth considering: Are we living modeling our daily lives after that of Christ Jesus? If I’ve learned one thing in ministry it is that living a Christian lifestyle is more impactful then even the best evangelism message.
- Carry a message worth remembering: So many of us think sharing the message of Christ is the duty of Pastors and Teachers. Its best left to “the professionals.” Hogwash! We are blessed that the message of God is so simple, yet so powerful. For God so loved the World that He gave His only Son, so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have Eternal Life. John 3:16. Remember, it’s not the greatness of the messenger that saves, but the greatness of the message.
- Have a faith worth imitating: If someone has a car that they complain about all the time, would you want to buy that type of car? Of course not! If we profess a faith in God, but walk around complaining about everything in our life, why would anyone desire to follow God? The stronger our faith and reliance on God is, the more we shine for Him in our life.