True Christianity is relevant—it’s meaningful, life changing, and it gives sensible answers. But anything that masquerades as Christianity isn’t. The masqueraders have fooled millions of people for hundreds of years. In other words, the problem comes when Christians makes things other than Christ relevant.
The majority of our life is consumed with answering questions like these:
Many times we try to answer these questions without having a clear Biblical worldview. Christians should determine relevance based on Christ’s approval. Our answers to the above questions should look something like this. We are children of God. We are here to bring honor and glory to God. Our purpose is to express God’s love. When we die we will be with God for eternity. The world is broken because of man’s choice to sin against God. Jesus made everything right through his life, death, and resurrection, and we can share in his perfection through saving grace.
Think about the last time your were in an argument and got frustrated, irritated, or even worse. Did you seek out friends and family to validate your behavior, or did you check your behavior against God word? Did you pray for God’s peace? Did you seek out the opinion of another Christian that is a trusted and honest? The first question creates a relevance based on man’s opinion. The rest of the questions create a relevance based on God’s ways.
In Galatians 1: 10 Paul challenges the Church to find their relevance (approval) in Christ alone.
“10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Finding relevance in Christ alone takes belief, application, and doing life together. Read through Galatians 1 before we break down what finding approval in Christ alone takes.
FINDING RELEVANCE IN CHRIST ALONE TAKES
BELIEF: belief in the power of the gospel (vs. 13-17)
Paul was radically transformed by the gospel. He was a murderer, deceiver, and willing to do whatever it took to destroy Christians. When God revealed himself to Paul he was radically changed. The murderer became a beacon of salvation through Christ. This radical of a belief change has a way of turning someone’s world upside down. From that day forward Paul’s belief in the gospel was the only thing that mattered. It was his relevance. The stronger your belief in the gospel the less other things matter.
What could you do to strengthen your belief in the gospel?
APPLICATION: practical application of god’s word (vs. 23)
Actions reveal beliefs. God’s word clearly expresses what Christian character will be. It’s our practical application of biblical principles that should be revealed through our actions. God did not send Jesus to overturn governments or change cultures through force. Christian character works in any culture or context. Jesus came to reunite mankind with God. He did this through applying the one descriptor that sums up the Bible, love. When we are reunited with God, his word becomes a source of direction, encouragement, and assurance. This frees us to love the way Christ loves.
How could you better apply God’s words to express love in your context?
DOING LIFE TOGETHER: the process of becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ (vs. 18-24)
The Christian life is not a characteristic of a person. For example: This is my tall friend, smart friend, artistic, analytical, African American, Native American, religious, Curly haired, short, or round friend. When someone is a Christian is encompasses everything they are. They are Christian, fully devoted followers of Christ. The only way to become this kind of Christian is to do life together. (Challenged) Find others that are further along in their faith journey, (Challenge) find people that are not as far along as you are, (Encouraged) and find people that are on similar journeys and begin to pray together, discuss the scriptures together, laugh and cry together, hold each other accountable, and seek to encourage the best in one another. This is doing life together.
What could you do to be challenged, challenge, and encouraged by other believer?
Relevance is found in Christ. The more the Church tries to adapt to meet the needs of the world, the more it runs the risk of taking its focus off of Christ to focus on the world. The world needs the relevance of Christ. It comes through our unconditional love and acceptance. Our love is motivated by a deep desire for people to find the answers of life in a relationship with Christ.
What could God be asking you to do to position yourself to share God’s love?