“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 ESV)
These days, if you watch the news and read about many main line churches, or what’s going on in many college campuses, the great passion of today is not what John, the Baptist, is saying here.
There is an overwhelming pressure for social justice, diversity, full acceptance of many minority identity groups, and the idea that “you are not a Christian church or a good person if you don’t love, promote, celebrate, and endorse just about every lifestyle and identity plea that is thrown at you.” Inclusion! Inclusion! Inclusion!
The Apostle Paul emphatically states in 1 Corinthians 14:1 to “pursue love” (ESV). Another version says, “Make love thy great quest.” The KJV renders it, “Follow after charity.” Paul, earlier in 1 Corinthians 13:3 says, “. . . but have not love, I gain nothing” (ESV).
God is love and God is for love. We dare not forget that!
But He is also the God of eternal, unchanging, inerrant truth. I believe John the Baptist knew about this never-to-be-separated duo of love and truth.
Proverbs 3:3 states this essential connection: “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the tablet of thine heart” (KJV Bold added).
These two, mercy and truth, are never to be found separate. Yes, Jesus was, is, and always will be about love. But as John declared here, may we never forget the eternally important truth that Jesus came to save sinners from being damned and lost forever!
I guess in these days of the watered down or forgotten Gospel, I’d like to see us all return to a more healthy balance of mercy and truth. Concepts like conviction, repentance from sin, and a holy reverence for the Word of God are desperately needed in our churches, our campuses, and our culture. Please join me in praying for this if you are led.
Many thanks to Jim Grunseth for contributing this guest post. Jim and his wife, Barbara, are the authors of numerous materials on marriage, marriage preparation, family, dealing with past emotional wounds, and discipleship. People from over 93 countries have visited their website, www.marriageanchors.com . Couples and churches from over 50 nations have downloaded their free ebooks. They have sent free of charge their materials to 186 local pastors, missionaries, seminaries students, and orphanages their materials to strengthen families, build up local churches, and advance the Gospel. They have 7 children and 11 grandchildren and live in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
Jim has been on staff with Campus Crusade for 37 years. He is a graduate of The United States Military Academy at West Point and also has a Masters in Counseling – Psychology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Barbara is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and taught 13 years at Faith Christian School in Williams Bay. She has been on full time staff with Campus Crusade for 18 years.