We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. – (1 John 5:19 ESV)
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free..” – Luke 4:18 NIV
“I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” – (Luke 5:32 NLT)
The whole world lies under the power of the evil one. That’s why Jesus came; to set spiritual captives free. The perfect life, atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ makes all of this good news. In fact, its great news when we consider that all of us, except for Jesus, are broken and sinful people. No one has ever been able to deliver themselves from sin – we all need a Savior for that. We are not capable of doing enough good works in our own strength to earn our own salvation. Being born into this world without sin makes Jesus uniquely qualified to reconcile us to God.
This good news, that seems to be too good to be true, comes with a catch. Or better yet a commitment. This commitment starts on God’s end. By His divine power, he enables us to grow in godly character. He is committed to us. But, regardless of what some may say – Jesus requires total commitment to his Lordship to inherit his Kingdom. I’m not talking about works-based righteousness, actually, its grace empowered living. He clearly taught that those that lose their self-absorbed lives, will find true life in Him. In other words; you can’t receive his forgiveness, without acknowledging his Lordship. This is real and radical Gospel-centered Christianity.
As subjects of the Kingdom of God, we must take on his worldview – all of it. We are all terribly flawed people, but God is patient with us. Jesus is not asking for perfection from us, just a desire and willingness on our part to obey him.
I contend that both liberal and conservative politicians use the name of Jesus to manipulate sincere people to advance their political agendas. It’s imperative that we ask the Holy Spirit for discernment to know when we are being used for political purposes.
In the Bible, we see the social justice side of Jesus that demands justice for the poor and the oppressed. And the fact is; if you don’t see this side of God in the Scripture, you have been blinded by a materialistic and distorted view of God’s Kingdom.
On the other hand; if you champion the cause of social justice for the oppressed and overlook what the Bible teaches about sexuality and the taking of innocent life,(through abortion or any other unjust killing) you are living in deception also.
The fact is; taking up our crosses and following Jesus on the narrow road of life, involves suffering and self-denial. Jesus bought us with the price of his own life. So, we don’t have the right to live sexually immoral lives anymore. Nor do we have the right to ignore the plight of those in poverty.
God is gracious to forgive us when we ask him, as long as we don’t justify the kind of behavior he forbids. We are now a new creation in Christ and are called to do good works. Which means we seek to alleviate the pain of humanity in the power of the Holy Spirit and live holy lives as we work in his name.
Father, help us to be who we say we are – real Christians. In Jesus name, Amen.