Christians are 'free samples of Jesus'
Christians are called to be part of God's saving work on Earth by embodying Jesus, according to theologian NT Wright.
He says the Gospel is about much more than "final destiny stuff" and that Christians are tasked with becoming "free samples of Jesus" in the here and now.
To be God's image bearers in his "putting right project", as Wright calls it, means reflecting God in the world.
In a video interview with Langham Partnership, he goes on to explain how being "put right" with God - or justified - does not mean some end-time benefit for the individual alone.
Rather it goes hand in hand with God's expectation that believers then work with Him in the wider work of salvation for the world.
In that sense, Christians are the means by which God fills the world with His love and justice.
Wright argues that explaining about Jesus and salvation will make much more sense if Christians themselves are behaving like Jesus in their daily life.
As a word of encouragement, he says that Christ-like living becomes easier the more it is practised each day.
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"The idea is that being image bearers we are meant to reflect God into the world and we are to reflect the praises of the world back to God," he says.
"One of the fascinating things about the Christian vocation is that it isn't just about 'Now that I am saved maybe I can save a few other people as well'.
"If you take the issue of justification, the point is that God intends to put the whole world right at the end and as part of that project He puts people right with Himself in order that they can be part of the putting right project.
"In other words it's not 'I'm justified so I'm alright and maybe a few other people can be as well'."
The interview was conducted by Langham as part of its 9-A-Day series resourcing Christians to become more Christlike in their daily lives.
Watch the interview in full here: