the theology of private ryan


i watched Saving Private Ryan on Memorial Day.  great reminder of the sacrifice made for the freedom we enjoy.
i had seen the movie before, but had forgotten the power of the plotline.
to do an injustice to the movie i will now sum it up with this statement:
a team of soldiers mobilize to find another soldier, private ryan, in order to grant him his freedom (a trip home).
throughout the entire movie the discussion is had – how valuable is this one life (private ryan’s) that we would risk a team of 8 soldiers to bring him home safely?
that’s a great question.
most of the 8 soldiers end up dying to save private ryan…and one of the last words muttered from the captains mouth was:
earn it.
translation: live a life worthy of the sacrifice me and my team just made for you.

I couldn’t help but think of christianity.
ephesians 4:1 calls believers to “live a life worthy of the calling you’ve received.”
pause:  there is NO WAY we can earn salvation.  i’m not saying that.  we are not under the law anymore…we’re under grace
it’s not by our works that we are right with God…its by Jesus’ finished work on the cross.  amen.

every analogy breaks down somewhere…but the lesson is the same.
every day we have the opportunity to live our lives in such a way that it would be considered “worthy of our calling.”
all too often we use that “we’re-saved-by-grace” mentality as an excuse to do absolutely nothing about our faith
that’s not how its supposed to be
let’s pursue discipline
let’s pursue stronger faith
let’s pursue generosity
let’s pursue sacrifice

let’s pursue lives that are worthy of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ

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