Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
I heard someone say it instead in this way: lay down one’s lifestyle for one’s friends. Thinking of it this way makes us think of more mundane things than such a dramatic and rare event like sacrificing one’s physical life, although sometimes that may be required ( ask anyone in police, firefighting or armed service careers).
What do we do for our brothers and sisters while laying aside our comfort and desires? Get up and get something from the kitchen for them or remain comfortably at the table? Give up that shopping trip to the Mall to bring over a meal? Perhaps a little more dramatic: give up the dream career and work instead at a job which will give you more time with your family. (James Dobson: I spent my whole life climbing the ladder of success and when I got to the top I found myself leaning against the wrong wall).
Steve Laug once told us at the Chapel to preach the Gospel to ourselves every day. Jesus laid out the cost of this, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” And so, because we believe Him we set aside our own lives, die daily and serve others as unto the Lord, carrying our cross as unto Him.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “So much could change, if people really believed this.”
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave self for me.
He became one of us, lived a perfect life, and satisfied the Father’s requirement of spilled blood for sin by enduring that very same sin with and upon his own bloodied body. That sin He carried with Him to the cross and died there once for all. What we do for our part is as He says, “Go and do likewise.”
The amazing grace that followed after was that He freely gave His perfect righteousness to we who believe.
What did He do to save us? Everything. What did or can we do? Nothing.
So what is our lifestyle?
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”
“Master, what did I do to earn this?”
“When I looked upon you, I saw the Son living daily in you and therefore because of Him I have seen the righteous life. Enter now into your Master’s rest.”