The Lens of the Gospel

The world is filled with a lot of Moms, Dads, Mr., Mrs., Professors, Sargeants, etc. “Christian” is another label that we use, but it is much more than a title that lays alongside all the others.  You see, those other titles can be used independently of one another. The fact that you are a father doesn’t necessarily impact your role as a biology teacher. It may, but not out of necessity.

Becoming a Christian, though, means that all other titles, responsibilities, and views in life become subservient to your faith. The gospel changes everything in life. Sure, not all things will appear to change externally. But our attitudes and goals do. For example, work is no longer viewed as a dreaded means to an end, simply a way to feed the mouths of your family. Instead, it becomes a way to glorify God through using your skills and helping the society around you flourish. The money you earn is no longer just a way for you to accumulate lots of stuff, but an opportunity to bless others and help advance the kingdom.

Let me put it another way: the gospel is the lens through which we view the world. Have you ever worn sunglasses that were tinted a different color? They altered the way the entire world looked. The red stop sign transformed to darkish green color. Your golden retriever became a light green retriever. Even the green leaves that covered the trees around your house appeared a different hue of green. Because of those lenses, nothing in the world appeared the same.

That’s what the gospel does to us. It radically changes the way the world appears to us. Nothing in this world remains untouched by the lens of the gospel. There’s a difference though. The gospel doesn’t make things appear some funky shade of greenishness. It snaps all things into sharper focus. Before becoming a Christian, questions such as, “What’s the purpose of my life?” or, “Why am I here?” hung as millstones around our neck. Now, we understand that “all things were created through him and for him” (Col. 1:16). That’s our purpose in life, to glorify Christ in all things by applying the gospel to all things in our life. As the oft-quoted Tim Keller statement goes, “The gospel is not the ABC’s of Christianity, it’s A to Z.”

Modern Christians sometimes like to compartmentalize their personal faith from all other realms of life, and Satan would have it no other way. The belief that faith shouldn’t show up in the office, science or anywhere in the public square runs rampant in our culture.

This notion is completely foreign to the Christianity that we find recorded in God’s Word. As Paul exhorts the Corinthian church, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). The gospel speaks to marriage (Eph. 5:22–32), work (Col. 3:22–24), government (Rom. 13:1–7; 1 Pet. 2:13–17), and a whole host of topics that I haven’t listed. To say that our faith should remain something strictly personal is not to read the Bible on its own terms.

Christ has saved every facet of our being. Therefore, we honor Christ with every facet of our being. We may come off to the watching world as a bit odd, but that’s expected. After all, we’re seeing the world through a different lens.

We are a people who are a part of new creation. We are a future reality in the present age. Thus, we view the world differently. We view it through lenses that mix the dark red of a blood-drenched cross and the soft yellow of a morning sunrise stretching its fingers into an empty tomb.

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