Jesus said that he came that we may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10.10)
To live as a Christian is not to live a restricted life, but to have life opened up for us by God. A Christian life is a life lived in the light of God’s love, the love uniquely revealed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A Christian life is part of God’s mission to the world.
In 1988, the bishops of the Anglican Communion described God’s mission to the world using ‘Five Marks’:
- to proclaim the good news of the kingdom
- to teach, baptize and nurture new believers
- to respond to human need by loving service
- to seek to transform unjust structures of society
- to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the earth
Christians do these things not because they are do-gooders, but because they have had an encounter with God and been changed by his Holy Spirit. They do so with confident hope, looking forward to the return of Jesus, when heaven and earth will come together and God will be all-in-all. To live like this is not to escape the world. It is rather to be actively involved in God’s world. It is to love God and to love other people, in response to God’s irresistible love for us.