The remedy to the culture
Categories: Evangelism, Leadership, Ministry, Missions
Guest writing today on the Cross Church School of Ministry blog is Lee Larry. Lee is serving with the Cross Church School of Ministry as a resident minister on the Pastoral Ministry track. Lee joins the CCSM from Winchester, Kentucky.
Throughout history the church has found itself at odds with the culture of the world. Today, as a church, we face the same issue we have always faced—how do we spread the gospel in our culture? We live in a sin-sick world and because of this the culture of the world carries with it the symptoms of sin. We know as believers that the gospel of Jesus Christ is without question the remedy to sin, but how do we get the world to listen among all the noise that is out there. Paul in his first letter to the church at Corinth gives us an answer:
“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 ESV
Paul’s “self-imposed” slavery gave him the freedom to connect with both Jews and Gentiles alike and to preach the gospel unhindered by the any cultural hang-ups.
We must remember that while we are living “in the world but are not of the world” that we are called to do what it takes to reach this world for Jesus Christ. I believe the best place for us to start is to remember what I believe Paul is alluding to in this passage; the world needs to know that we are all struggling with the same issue. Sin.
It is easy to forget when we are standing in a church building and giving glory to God that every single one of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and the only thing that separates us from non-believers is our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. (Roman 3:23-24) Letting the world know that they are wrong and we Christians are right will not save them from their sin, but letting the world know where we were before Christ, where we are now because of Christ, and where they can be if they believe in Christ can.
So, how can the church begin to minister to our culture for the cause of Christ? We can start by not getting caught up in every new issue that the world throws at us. Am I saying that we should back off from defending the sanctity of marriage or speaking up for the unborn? No. I am saying that while we speak to those issues we must attend to the bigger issue and that is that we live in a fallen world. Paul says that he became all things to all people so he could save some. What we can be to people is sinners saved by grace. We must walk alongside the world and show them what we have found in Jesus Christ. We must show them that there is more to this life than the world has to offer. We can’t always be all things to all people, but we must be one thing above all else and that is a confessor of Jesus Christ and His gospel.