OR, WHAT DIFFERENCE SHOULD THE CHRISTIAN FAITH MAKE IN MY LIFE?
July 6, 2016
[...] What is the sum of it all? What difference does and should Christianity make in your life? We insist, in the first instance, that the Christian’s faith is not only grounded in real history (historical truth) but also in “experiential truth.” The Christian lives in recognition of what God has done, not just in general, but what God has done for him. This truth affects us and transforms the way we live. Consider some practical implications.
Because God alone is God and the only Creator, the Christian understands that no creature can ever be the Creator, and that no man can ever be God. This is why the Christian understands that attempts to divinize man and make God out of the government, the church, a man who is called Pope, any non-profit organization, any and all attempts to misplace our hope in anything or anyone are hollow attempts to find substance in what is ethereal and fleeting. It is idolatry. Christians don’t bow down to anything or anyone claiming to be God. Christians worship God alone.
Because the Christian understands that God alone is God, he does not fear tyranny or dictatorships of any kind but calls them out for what they are: emperors without clothes, rebels armed in futility against Christ the King. Because he understands that God’s law is the absolute standard for life and belief, he does not fear man’s law when man calls good evil and evil good. He fears God alone and is fearless in the face of the raging of the world.
Because Jesus destroyed sin and evil and devil and death in His death and resurrection, the Christian understands that he has victory in his struggle against sin, the world, and the devil. He is not hopeless but is hopeful as he daily battles to trust in God. Because he knows God has given Him every grace he needs, the Christian use the grace of repentance not to continue in sin but to turn from it and to turn to the God who loved Him and bled for Him.
Because God the Son became a man for us men and for our salvation, we do not fear materiality or the created order. Rather, we rejoice in that God is restoring Christians as the new humanity to the right use of creation. Christ is restoring human sexuality and human bodiliness not as prisons to be broken out of, but as temples in which He dwells and with which to love and serve God with all that He has given us, and to love our fellow neighbor as ourselves.
Because Jesus Christ told 12 regular men in an obscure part of the world that they were the salt of the earth and then used this ragtag band of believers to completely change the world, the Christian understands that God does not need human might nor horses, powerful people nor philosophers, kings nor influential personalities to accomplish His eternal purposes. The Church of Jesus Christ goes forth, then and now, neither in her power nor with a message she has invented. Christ’s Church goes forth in the name of Jesus Christ, the LORD of Lords, the KING of kings. In a few short years, the Church had been accused of turning the then-known-world completely upside down. And we know that it’s going to happen again in the future in a much bigger way. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess Christ as Lord in the ultimate reversal.
Because the Christian knows that God works in and through history, the Christian fights for an accurate depiction of the past, not just redemptive history, but all of history. The history of the world is the history of what God has done in the past and is thus our history as the people of God.
The Christian fights for an accurate depiction of the present and how news is interpreted and editorialized. These are not random occurrences that can be isolated from one another. Rather, present occurrences find their meaning and interpretation within the story line of God’s purposes.
The Christian fights for an accurate depiction of the direction of the future. Where is this all going? Who will be the winner in history? Neither sin nor the devil nor the world nor the LGBT agenda, nor those who distort the Law of God nor those who twist the moral fabric of the created order will be on the right side of history. God and all those who have confessed Him with their lives are on the right side of history. History is not cyclical. It’s going somewhere. Progress is not to measured by anything but Christ’s rule and dominion. When all things bow down to Christ, then the end will come (1 Cor 15). The future belongs to God, and because we belong to God, the future belongs to us. Christ is the King now and He will be then ever more so. We have the victory now through Jesus, and we will have the victory then ever more so through Jesus. And because the Christian knows what the direction of history is and that Christ is the absolute King, he has confidence in His God, that God will do what God has promised to do. He is daily thankful to God and he lives in unshakeable hope. He has a positive, future orientation.
We are not fearful. We are not guided by what the world says. Christian men marry Christian women and give themselves in lifelong devotion and service to their brides. Christian parents have children (as many as God gives!) and we are not afraid of what the world says or thinks. We raise them to fear the Lord and to have this Biblical consciousness, this way of thinking and living and relating and loving.
Because we find our true selves in loving God and loving those around us, we are generous to all with our time, our money, our laughter, our energy. We are loyal to God who remains loyal to Himself and to us, and loyal to one another. Christianity is not an escape from the world. Christianity does not reject matter. It embraces it as God’s creation gone awry in sin but restored in Christ. Christianity celebrates with deep joy God’s wondrous works. That is why Christians are festive and joyous. And in our times, above all else, we remain patient, because we know the best is yet to come.
From a sermon entitled, The Saltiness of Christianity, on January 3, 2016.
Listen to it here: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1516171526