The American church has done a great job of calling people to follow Christ but have not done as well in helping them to mature. It’s possible that we have somehow given the impression that we can enjoy forgiveness at Jesus’ expense and have nothing more to do with him. Perhaps we think the gospel is limited to John 3:16 and not Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Jesus did, however, call for our obedience:
If you love me, you will obey what I command.
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.
If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our home with him.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love,
just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
You are my friends if you do what I command.
Becoming a Christian is more than fire insurance. It is becoming like Christ. But this is not happening. Polls by Barna Research and the casual observation show that there is little difference in the behavior of believers and non-believers. Even on such big issues as abortion, divorce and cheating on taxes!
Imagine the witness to the world if most Christians became more like Christ.
If you want to “Be Like Mike” (Michael Jordan), you do more than just buy his shoes and wear his number. You practice dribbling, passing, shooting and defense. You observe his moves and mimic them.
It’s the same if you want to be like Christ. Observe what Christ did and practice it: prayer, fasting, serving, and quoting the Scripture from memory.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is
—his good, pleasing and perfect will.