Domains of Darkness
As our culture struggles with serious moral issues, how do we as the church respond, especially if those moral issues stand in conflict with the Bible. It is important for us as Christians to keep in mind that real people suffer real anguish over sexual identity issues and other moral issues. As Christians, we of all people, should understand the struggle of the inner man that occurs because of sin and the fall of man. Paul says this in Romans:
Romans 7:21-23 NASB
21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.
22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
These are real people with struggles that need our understanding and compassion. Compassion however, does not mean compromising biblical truth. We are to speak truth, but in love as it says in Ephesians (Eph 4.15). “In love” means speaking with great respect, ￼￼empathy, and humility. Every person who deals with moral issues is a real person who bears the image of God.
I am concerned that as Christians we are being shamed into believing lies and a false wisdom that is not from God. We are warned about this in Romans ...
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Our culture today is struggling with exalting self-fulfillment and self-autonomy over other people and truth itself. One of the lies of the sexual revolution is that sex is a private matter ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼and is does not affect anyone but myself.
"The sexual act is private, but our sexual decisions have public consequences, they are not done isolated from our communities and relationships with other people" (John Stonestreet).
We must not allow the world to shame us into silence. We need to be able to speak, but speak from an informed place and speak with wisdom and love. We can present our values without attacking and making derogatory comments about the other side. However, for cultures to drift morally, there must be a shaming of people into silence. This is something that we see happening today. If you speak up against any of the popular moral issues of today you will surely be shamed and pressured to change what you believe.
We are being led to believe that we cannot speak truth and love people at the same time. We do not have to chose between speaking the truth and being loving in the way we speak.
"Both truth and love find their existence in the person of Jesus Christ who is the ultimate expression of both truth and love" (John Stonestreet).
Jesus came to deliver all of us from our domains of sinful darkness, no matter what those struggles are.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
It is Jesus’ truth that sets us free ...
"... and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
We need to pray for ourselves and for all those in our culture caught in sin, that we and they would experience genuine encounters with God and find true freedom from sin.
Help with Holiness
One of the most difficult aspects of walking with God is the concept of being holy. What does it mean to live a holy life? How does God view holiness? Does holiness depend on what I do or do not do, or is it primarily a heart issue before God?
Recently I have been reading through the Psalms and found myself in the longest Psalm of the Bible, Psalm 119. Whether I understand all the questions concerning what holiness is or not, I certainly pray for God’s help is living a holy life. Below are several verses from Psalm 119 that you can turn into prayers as you seek God for the grace to live a life that pleases Him:
Pas 119:5 Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments.
Psa 119:17 Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word.
18 Open my eyes, that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law.
19 I am a stranger in the earth;
Do not hide Your commandments from me.
20 My soul is crushed with longing
After Your ordinances at all times.
Psalm 119:24 Your testimonies also are my delight;
They are my counselors.
As the Bible says elsewhere, "let the Word of God richly dwell within you." (Col 3:16)
Posts are a collection of thoughts by the Pastors and leaders of Church on the Rock Melbourne.