Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Monday, September 29, 2014

Jesus died so that I....

A few days ago, I was listening to one of the more popular woman teachers on the scene today. She's been around for a while and has a fairly huge following. I listen occasionally, almost always with a fair degree of unease and have found that I have to listen very carefully and analytically, with my Bible open, to figure out why. 

Her message, like the message of so many others that have risen in popularity, is subtle and smoothly intoxicating, drawing you in to a theme that, while attractive and sensible on the surface, puts those who accept it without careful, prayerful consideration, on a dangerous path. 

Her primary proposition on this particular morning was "Your identity in Christ", a safe and sound enough sounding idea. But, therein lies the problem. We'll get to that in a moment. 

She built her case, expounded Scripture (much of it taken out of context) and came to her conclusion, "Christ died so that you could find your true identity." 

An explosion went off in my mind and heart. 

The whole message was based on the idea that the only Son
of God took on flesh, suffered, died an indescribably horrible death, was resurrected and ascended into heaven, all so that...I could embark on a voyage of self discovery??

This is not a message peculiar to one off-the-path teacher in the church today. It is everywhere around us. We are repeatedly told that the reason Christ died is so that we can get, become or realize that we already are something we really want to be, which has enough truth in it that it becomes easy to grasp, but also easy to get wrong. 

When we do get it wrong, the craziness begins. It happens when a very subtle shift is made, when the reason for all this becomes centered on us and not on Christ Himself. 

"Jesus died so that you..."

We need to be extremely careful here. Although our identity in Christ is a vital part of our salvation, nowhere in the Bible does it say Christ died so that we could find it. 

But, the deception doesn't stop at our identities. Just fill in the blank at the end of "Jesus died so that you_______" and you're on your way down the wrong path. 

There are plenty of similar propositions to be cautious of, all of them finding their attraction in a "me-centered" theology, a theology largely focused on "me" and what I get out of God's plan of redemption. 

This is not really theology, which is the study of God, but "meology", the study

We hear   these propositions frequently. There's the familair "Jesus died so that you...." There's also "God wants you to have...", "Jesus came to give you....", "You can have....", "You already have...", "You'll get....", "You command....", etc. If you listen carefully, you'll hear them in a lot of different forms.

Fill in those blanks with anything that does not point directly back to God and His glory, and you're probably listening to questionable teaching.

Here's what the Bible says about why Jesus came...

Isaiah 43:25

25 “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

Isaiah 48:10–11
10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.

Matthew 10:39

39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Mark 10:29–31
29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,
30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

We miss so much of the richness of our salvation and so
many of the blessings of our sanctification when we reduce the work of the cross to what we get out of it. God sent His Son to glorify the Father in the redemption of His precious children. The story of the Bible is not our story, it is the story of Christ and God's self- revelation through the work of the Trinity. When we begin to embrace the truth, 

"Jesus died so that He could bring glory to the Father."

rather than the deception...we'll see that being caught up in God bringing glory to Himself is a far better place to be than being caught up

1 comment:

  1. As a young man, and a new Christian, I was absorbed into a group of mentors that were heavily steeped in this theology of self. Not having a prior knowledge of scripture, I was thoroughly indoctrinated in meology; I was also thoroughly diverted in my walk. For years, I suffered because of this errant doctrine, not experiencing the true joy of what it meant to be a Christian - to bring glory to God. Unfortunately, the idea of placing God on the throne vice ourselves is anethma to so many in the current church. What follows – what is a natural progression of “meology” – doubt, discouragement, apostasy.