It seems that everybody in the world today has an opinion about how the rest of the world should live
and operate, particularly in America where every individual is viewed as determiner of his or her own
destiny. These opinions are often filtered through the lenses of race, class, and political affiliation.
And each of these perspectives only tend to create and foster more division between people rather
than reconciliation for the betterment of all. For many, the solutions to our problems are found in
human effort rather than in divine reconciliation. Sadly, this practice has enveloped many Christians
and Christian leaders who should know better.
The church of Jesus Christ is called to be different from the world (Rom. 12:1). Christians are to rely
on what God, who created us, says is best for humanity rather than our own myopic worldviews and
subjective opinions (Is. 55:8-9). According to the Bible, God’s final word on all matters human and
divine, the reconciliation needed is not going to be accomplished by social justice initiatives,
redistribution of wealth, or legislative actions designed to compel someone else’s subjective morality.
Reconciliation occurs as a result of the transformative work of God in our lives through Christ who
died for us (2 Cor. 5:18-21).
The reconciliation needed is between man and God who are separated from one another because of
sin. Only when the relationship between the human and the divine is restored is their any hope of
reconciliation between human beings. This is what we mean by the term “gospel perspective.” In the
good news that is the gospel, sin and separation are dealt with once and for all by the penitential
sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:8), appropriated by the grace of God through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). The
gospel brings reconciliation that is both vertical, between man and God, and horizontal, between
human beings. A gospel perspective then sees things not as they are, but as they could be. So,
where have we gone wrong?
Jesus calls on Christians to set aside their own wants, desires, needs, and worries in favor of
personal sacrifice and commitment to holiness (Mt. 6:34). Christians are called to be “living sacrifices”
as an act of worship to God, and to be “transformed by the renewal of our minds” so that we may
discern the will of God for our lives (Rom. 12:1-2). With this sacrificial mindset the Bible expects not
only individuals but the world itself to be transformed as a result.
Imagine what our nation and our world would look like if Christians were to live out their lives as
sacrifices to God. What kind of influence would the church have on our country if Christians truly
modeled what it is to follow Christ? How could our neighborhoods, our cities, and our nation be
transformed if Christians truly showed the love of Christ in all that they did? How would the societal
problems of poverty, illness, and suffering be remedied if we truly sacrificed ourselves for the good of
others? And what effect would be evident in our government, our corporations, and our entertainment
industries if we truly modeled Christian discipleship?
The answer to the world’s problems is not found in my opinion or yours, it is only found in the Word of
God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only answer, not legislative action, or community upheaval.
Societal pressure seeks to place blame on others, and influence the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of
others to produce change. A gospel perspective says I must be the first to change. Our problems will
never be solved by looking back and pointing fingers, but by looking forward with a sacrificial mindset
and serving others in the name of Christ. It is not that I am right and you are wrong and vice versa, it
is that we are all wrong and God is right. A gospel perspective supersedes human perspective and
puts us on the path to reconciliation.