We have an opportunity to say to a world seeking the false, inadequate, burdensome law, “we have something better; something more.” God’s law in the life of the believer manifests as vertical and horizontal love: We love God, so we keep His commandments, and in doing so, we love our neighbor. This cannot be legislated.Voddie T. Baucham, Fault Lines
What a book this is! I know a lot of people currently reading it, and just want to say it brings so much needed clarity and Biblical truth to this disastrous wasteland that is quickly becoming American culture and politics. It is the sinful heart of man at the root of our problems, and no amount of human-driven penance or shame will ever change hard hearts. As disagreements become all out wars, and as truth becomes something that is only necessary if it fits a narrative, the little ‘fault lines’ which seemed at one time insignificant have become a chasm. We must choose our side firmly and wisely, for as he warns us, they are growing larger every day, and we may soon not even recognize where we stand.
I often wonder, “what exactly is my job here?” Dr. Baucham is clear to explain what our job as Christians is not:
The Christians “job” is not to liberate oppressed people from oppressors, but to see people delivered from their sin.”Fault Lines
Do you hear that? It is not our job to right every human wrong with the expectation that in doing so, we have ‘saved’ anyone. We don’t hold that power. We have hijacked Christ’s role in our lives and tried to become little saviors on our own. Yuck. It’s gross to watch and it always ends with more strife and division.
Isaiah 53:6 tells us, we have all sinned and gone astray and are in need of redemption. This saving grace doesn’t however, come from man-made ideas. From Critical Race Theory all the way down to ridiculous pandemic rules, I think it’s safe to say that we cannot ever legislate our way to a just or even sensible society.
The burdensome law has indeed sunk its claws deep into our collective psyche… and as we search for redemption through human means, the hearts of the lost just spiral more out of control.
Our Bible study group is going through the book of 1 Corinthians, and this week, something really stood out to me as we were discussing the overarching theme of the first few chapters:
We need to be moving forward through surrender to Jesus instead of our own agendas.
Paul was faced with some really competitive, divisive and exhausting people in Corinth. The church there had divided up into groups, following certain personalities in a cult-like fashion. They were totally deceived in regards to their identities, obsessed with wealth and power and generally just totally oblivious to how selfish and backwards they had become. The law was a huge stumbling block to many of them as well, they were driven by rules and legalism, and had forgotten that sometimes Jesus calls us all to just get over ourselves and forego what we ‘deserve’ for the good of the Gospel message.
Sound familiar? Nothing really changes in the human heart, not even over the millennia.
I left last week’s message very encouraged about one thing: we all do better when we are outward-focused instead of inward-obsessed. Like that old metaphor about a stagnant pond verses a moving stream, we receive in order to give, we are blessed to be a blessing to others. Holding too tightly to our perceived rights and what may be owed to us is just playing into the world’s system. Paul reminds us that the wrong kind of knowledge only serves to “puff up”, but love actually builds up and edifies (8:1). We are all too much in our own heads at times with things that only serve us in the short-term.
Love well and share well. The saving love of Jesus is the only answer to this chaos. No new law, no critical theory cooked up at an elite university, and no man-made idea will ever pull us up out of our sin and change us the way Jesus does. Seeing people delivered from hard hearts? That’s our mission. One at a time. Christians, use your gifts! Get out there and be different.
What does that look like for you? The body of Christ is so diverse, so gifted, and has so much potential to actually go out and be the real answer for these giant wounds that have been festering in our country. No scholar, newscaster or politician will ever have the solutions we need. Get out there and point to Jesus.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding int he work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.1 Corinthians 15:58
Here’s a link to Jennie Allen’s series on 1 Corinthians as well…