We make a regular practice in our Worship services to acknowledge our sin both through prayers of corporate and individual confession and allowing scripture to speak to sin as it is, a repulsive offense to a Holy God that demands expiation (atonement through blood). The atonement, as we looked at this past week in John 10:11-21, is substitutionary by nature (Christ died in our stead, not merely on our behalf as a moralistic example) and extends to the sheep, relieving all of their sin for all time through a single sacrifice.
What happens when you see sin the way the world does? What happens when the church begins to adapt some of those views of the world and refuses to proclaim sin as sin according to biblical standards? Inevitably, the cross becomes something else (or less).
Read this USA News article HERE. It’s a very well written article leading up to Easter. There are some excellent viewpoint represented; both ones we would agree with and those representative of a different view. It is helpful for us to know what culture sees and feels so that we can be certain that scripture continues to speak with relevance (because people have always been people in need of a Savior). None of us want to become that face of ultra-religious-right-fundamentalism that is more passionate about speaking against things than for Christ. We may hold very similar convictions, but I encourage you to speak truth with the courage of one who is so affectionate for Christ, that what grieves Him grieves you, and His boldness is your boldness and His faithfulness is your faithfulness.
As I’m studying for this Sunday’s sermon in John 10:22-30, I came across an incredible quote by Charles Spurgeon on this passage:
“Sometimes the point in which man is lacking is not in his understanding of the gospel, but rather his own need of it. He may know all of Christ that is needful for his salvation, but he may not know enough about himself and his own lost condition; and therefore Christ does not appear precious to him, because he is ignorant of his deep and terrible need of a savior.”
Let us pray that we will speak with both the truth and grace that’s seen in Christ. We know that we can only depend on the Holy Spirit to convict men and women of their sinful condition and bring them to saving faith, but we are called, as God’s agents, to faithful speak ALL of the gospel. If you don’t proclaim it all, you’ve probably proclaimed none at all.