A Story For Our Time Part 2

Rooted In Christ

A Summary of Part 1

In part one of this post, we looked at the purpose of parables and how they were used by Jesus to teach people about spiritual realities. We used the parable of the pearl of great price as an example and from there we transitioned to the parable of the soils told by Jesus in Mark 4.

Through this parable, it was established that there are different inner conditions of the human soul that are more or less conducive to receiving the Word of God. Our focus narrowed onto the thorns which choke the word out of people, linking it to the so-called prosperity gospel. Then there was the rocky ground which was shallow and did not allow for deep roots meaning it could not endure any adverse conditions. We equated this to the cultural storms swirling in the culture and the church presently.

The conclusion we reached through looking at the parable of the soils was that while the prosperity gospel may have been the primary tool of the enemy to rob the church’s faithfulness and fruitfulness in the past, that has now shifted. It has shifted to the social and cultural issues of race, identity, gender, wealth, politics, and sexuality. These are tearing through the church and exposing many as not being truly rooted in Christ but rather in one of these other things. 

The Issue At Hand

The main issue that I want to address here is one of priority. At the outset, I want to make one thing clear. I am not arguing that the issues listed in the prior paragraph [race, identity, gender, wealth, politics, and sexuality] are unimportant. The Bible has a lot to say on each of these topics that can equip us with a biblical worldview that we can carry into the world that needs to be reconciled with God. 

As I stated at the beginning of this section, the problem that faces us in the church now is one of priority. If we allow these or any other issues to become our main priority in this life we have a serious problem.  The serious problem is that the main priority of the church has been lost. The church exists to proclaim the gospel, make disciples, and to bring glory to God through its worship (Rom 1:16; 1 Tim 3:15; Mt 28:19; Eph 3: 20-21; Heb 12: 22-24).

This misprioritization speaks to the idea of the attempted redefinition of being. What is the fundamental nature of your being? What I mean is that instead of defining people as “human beings” the culture is seeking to re-define ourselves into “racial beings” who see things racially and process events that happen through this lens. We have “gender beings” who hold their gender independence as a treasure that defines their reality. We have “political beings” whose hope is in ideology and governmental structures. The cultural pressure that exists in our society has caused this. Neutral positions and camps are disappearing and we are being forced to declare our deepest allegiance. 

Time to Declare Sides

Jesus stated that we cannot have, serve, and love two masters (Mt 6; Lk 16), it is impossible. We cannot simultaneously hold our ethnicity and Christ as our most prized possession. The reason is that because as we currently see happening in the culture now, when these two things are pitted against each other (CRT and Biblical Christianity) either one of the two must be abandoned or biblical Christianity has to be so disfigured to allow for the union that it loses the distinctives that make it uniquely Christian. The same is true for any of the other issues mentioned above. 

Remember the example parable from part 1 of this blog, the merchant sold all his previous possessions to get the pearl. My question to those who are trying to substitute race, sex, class, gender, or justice in priority over Christ and the gospel would simply be this…you say you want the pearl (Christ) but have you sold all else you have?

The sad answer seems to be no. These times have revealed our roots in Christ and in the word to be shallow and easily uprooted.

Warnings Abound

The apostle Peter received a sharp rebuke from the Lord when the happenings of the world captured him, clouded his mind and distracted him from the purposes of God. Jesus said to him, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Mk 8:33). This reality is potentially damning. 

Consider another warning Jesus gives in Matthew 10:

“Therefore, everyone who confesses Me before people, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.  But whoever denies Me before people, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. (Mt 10: 32-33 NASB). 

Again Jesus tells us that it will not be the people who spring up quickly with immediate joy at the word that will be saved but rather he says, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Mt 24:13).

My prayer is that as you read this God’s spirit will confront your souls like the prophet Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings18. He said to them, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Ki 18:21). This is the exact point this post is meant to ask you to consider. If ethnicity is god, then follow it…if gender is god, then follow it. If sexuality or politics are god, then they should be obeyed and followed. But if God is God then he alone can be followed. None other.

Rooted in Christ

Christ is what we need brethren. We need to be “in Him” as Paul tells the Ephesian church no less than 11 times in that letter. The time for being “Christian” in name only is becoming an untenable position [not that it ever was]. Have these recent worldly storms swept you away or have they pushed you deeper into Christ and your faith?

Perhaps the Lord’s words have been written in your notebook, or even in your mind but not in your heart. If you have been swept up and you are reading this, then might I offer some practical advice?  

Ask the Lord to work in your soul the following:

Write the Law on My Heart

Jeremiah 31:33 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

Root Me Deeply in You and Your Word

Psalm 1: 2-3 “but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted (or rooted) by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”

Make Me a Doer of Your Word

Luke 6: 47-48 “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.”

Brothers and sisters, if in these troubling times your root is in your race, gender, politics, secular societal hopes, financial markets, medicine, or governments…please know that all these are temporal and are passing away (1 Cor 7:31; 1 Jn 2:17). 

We are called to plant our roots in Christ and labor upon that foundation alone. For his glory.

Appendix 1

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand

Here is a song to sing to reinforce the truth communicated in the article:

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,

I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale,

My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,

Support me in the whelming flood;

When all around my soul gives way,

He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,

Oh, may I then in Him be found;

In Him, my righteousness, alone,

Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.


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