Sometimes we hear criticisms levelled against us along the lines of: ‘The problem with Christianity is that it makes no practical difference in the lives of its adherents. When one compares the lives of those who claim allegiance to Jesus Christ against those of other religious persuasions, there is no tangible qualitative difference.’
Two responses: firstly, ‘Ouch!’. Where that is true, may the Lord forgive us and transform us. But secondly, when we look at the lives of those who comprised the early church nothing could be further from the truth . They were so noticeably different that they drew the attention of their detractors with comments like: ‘See how they love each other!’ The apostle Paul in the passage this morning shows the impact which flows inevitably from our Christian convictions into the practical realities of our earthly lives. The real problem may be that our 21st century form of Christianity needs a radical return to our 1st century roots. Historically, real Christianity has always made a potent impact in people’s lives. May it be so again today.