Have you ever been perplexed by a friend who claims to be a Christian but displays so little of it in his or her life? They've 'received Christ' but that seems to be about as far as it goes. I'm not talking about days or seasons of back-sliding sloth. All true Christians temporarily distance themselves from the lordship of Christ in isolated situations. I'm talking about those who claim to be believers but the overwhelming evidence long-term testifies that their loves are elsewhere. How are we understand such people? John Piper helps us when he writes:
"One way to describe this problem is to say that when these people 'receive Christ,' they do not receive him as supremely valuable. They receive him simply as sin-forgiver (because they love being guilt-free), and as rescuer-from-hell (because they love being pain-free), and as healer (because they love being disease-free), and as protector (because they love being safe), and as prosperity-giver (because they love being wealthy), and as creator (because they want a personal universe), and as Lord of history (because they want order and purpose). But they don't receive him as supremely and personally valuable for who he is. They don't receive him the way Paul did when he spoke of 'the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.' They don't receive him as he really is - more glorious, more beautiful, more wonderful, more satisfying, than everything else in the universe. They don't prize him or treasure him or cherish him or delight in him." - John Piper, Think, pp. 71-72
Will we love such 'Christian' friends enough to challenge them with the demands of the grace of the Cross?