Monday, November 1

Righteousness, Wrath and the Gospel

For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. --Romans 1:17-19

As our country prepares for the presidential election, voters are grappling with the constant influx of information about the candidates, all of which is aimed at getting them to know what the issues are and where the candidates stand on those issues. This, along with recently televised debates, has demonstrated that in order to win votes, a diplomatic approach is best. Neither candidate wants to risk offending any member of the public by defining an absolute on any particular issue.

How many of us demonstrate this same principle in our approach to witnessing and evangelism? In an attempt to win others to Christ, do we gloss over the absolutes of God's word and adulterate them so as not to offend anyone? Do we try to promote Christianity as simply a moral lifestyle, and fail to mention that unrepentant sin is grounds for dismissal from God's presence? I am afraid that too many of us walk on eggshells, afraid to be bold and call sin by name.

The message of the gospel is not a "touchy feely" one. Our God is a God of judgment, but this is because he is just and fair, not because he is mean or vindictive. God is very clear about where he stands on certain issues. He clearly communicates to us through his word that there are a number of things he will not tolerate--sexual immorality, divorce, and homosexuality just to name a few. If we let people believe otherwise about God's nature, we do them a great disservice. God and his truths are absolute. We cannot share God's word in a manner that changes depending on our audience. There are times when Christianity and diplomacy must not co-exist. God's truth is hard-hitting and uncomfortable. It is a double-edged sword with both the power to restore and to obliterate.

The most amazing truth about God is that it is precisely his method of judgment that can save us. There is not a single one of us who could stand up to God's judgment, and he knows that. Because of our inherently sinful nature, we are unable to come into the presence of our God, who is completely holy. For that reason, he sent his son, Christ Jesus, to bear the weight of the world's sin. Jesus faced painful death by crucifixion and then separation from God the Father by enduring the punishment of hell that we each deserve. It is in his death that the price for our sin was paid. In paying our debt of sin, death was conquered and Christ rose again and ascended to heaven. By claiming faith in Christ's death and resurrection, and by believing that it is the only way to get to heaven, we are saved.

Those are the absolutes of who God is. Those are the aspects of his righteousness, and the content of his gospel. Those are the truths we are compelled to share with others. Sharing God's word with others can be difficult--especially when we need to confront people with the reality of the effects of unrepentant sin. We must be bold and unashamed of the truth, always exercising tact and integrity in our witnessing to others, but never adulterating the truth of God's character in order to make his word less offensive to certain people.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
Would you like to receive Pools of Grace in your email?
Enter email and click Subscribe: