Commitments For A New Year
By the time this post releases, we will have embarked on the journey known as 2022. A New Year has dawned upon us yet again, seeing as how fastly time flies, 2023 will be knocking on our door before we know it. While I am not a participator in New Year’s resolutions, I do realize the turning of the calendar provides a consistent time for us to ponder life and make evaluations. To that end, I want to provide a few commitments which I firmly believe the church needs to renew this year, and frankly, every year!
God is The Creator
Genesis has been under attack by the secularists for countless years. Sadly, for an extended period, many “evangelicals” have helped the secularists in their effort to attack biblical Christianity. Most likely serving at the head of this pack in 2021 was none other than Dr. William Lane Craig. Any conservative Reformed individuals familiar with Dr. Craig’s theology should not have been surprised to see this reality, yet I found a few were in fact shocked at this development. Dr. Craig wrote a book on The Historical Adam and wrote a couple of pieces at First Things on this subject (https://www.firstthings.com/article/2021/10/the-historical-adam). In a nutshell, Dr. Craig argued for an evolutionary approach that sees Genesis as part myth and part history. This type of argumentation has been promoted for a long-time, but he definitely gave a big boost to a massive controversy.
In response, I urge Christians to again renew their commitment to the foundational doctrines of Genesis. Scripture clearly says God created in 6-days and rested on the seventh (Genesis 1, Exodus 20:11). The temptation today is to back away from this issue and label it as unimportant for the life of the church. Yet, if we do not uphold what God says at the beginning of the Bible, then what makes us think we will be clear about the rest of it? Proverbs 30:5 says, “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” The entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation is to be upheld as divine truth with absolute purity. As Christians, we need to again stand firm on the doctrine of creation not only as it pertains to the origins of the earth, but also when speaking about gender issues. God created humanity and defines our identity. Being bold in proclaiming the truth of God as the Creator is central to the Christian faith.
The Lordship of Christ
Another issue which we need to commit to proclaiming with clarity again is the complete Lordship of Christ. Consider the words of John in the beginning of the book of Revelation:
“John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.”
This text, at the end of verse 5, describes the glory of Christ. He is faithful, preeminent, and completely sovereign as the King of kings. His Lordship extends to everything for He has all power and authority on heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18-20). Therefore, our response as believers must be to live every moment fully for the glory of His name. We should lay down our own desires, pick up our cross, and follow up the hill of Golgotha for the renown of our Lord. Our objective is to cast aside sin and be sanctified unto holiness in Him. Since He is the Sovereign Lord who has saved us by His own blood, we can know that He is at work to sanctify us which means we seek to conquer sin and walk in righteousness according to Scripture.
Yet, the Lordship of Christ also means we apply His Word in all of life because He has complete authority. The events which unfolded in 2020 and 2021 demonstrated that many Christians reacted more out of fear than trust in the Lordship of Christ. Buying into mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and complete lockdowns, there was a clear failure to think biblically understanding Christ’s Lordship. What we need is a heightened passion on behalf of the church to proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Lord and there is none other. The necessity is for us to bring the Word of God to bear in every realm of life. We must call sinners to repent of their sins bowing before Christ the Lord. Looking at those in the realm of governmental authority, we should call on them to repent believing in Christ serving Him in their life and duties. All of these vital truths come from a robust understanding of His Lordship which we need again today!
Christians need to see the necessity of holding to Scripture ALONE. The Word of God is the authority for life and godliness. We must proclaim its sufficiency as the inspired revelation of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says:
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
With social justice ideologies everywhere the church needs to hold to the inspiration, infallibility, inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of the Word. Christ’s bride does not need the devil’s theology to know how to live pleasing to her Lord. Christians must cast aside the ways of this world seeking to live solely by the Scripture which Christ has given to them. Pastors must preach expositionally seeking to open up every detail of the passage. Churches must regulate the entirety of their worship and practices by the Bible. Every believer must be fully submitted to the Word of Christ in their life.
Another key emphasis on this point for the church must be centered in the pulpit. If pastors are ignorant of the Word, plagiarizing their sermons by downloading notes from the internet, then they are not acting with confidence upon Sola Scriptura. They are undermining the doctrine by not proclaiming the Scripture but another man’s outline from the internet. Where such immaturity is allowed to go unchecked, rest assured the biblical doctrine and practice of a church will suffer. Instead of such pretend preachers, we need men who will unashamedly run to the Scripture. Who will bleed the Bible when they are pricked as was said of John Bunyan. This type of a man can, by God’s grace, preach the full counsel of the Scripture for the glory of Christ and the good of the church!
Opening Another Year
I pray that as we open this year, all of you will have a blessed 2022 serving the Lord with faithfulness. These are just a few reminders I wanted to bring to the forefront of our minds as we enter a new year. May we be steadfast to the Lord in these and all other areas. Feel free to message me some areas you think the church needs to specifically remember this year, I am sure the list can be extended well beyond what I provided in this post!