The Truth Upholds Us
The apostle Paul tells his young son in the faith, Timothy, that the truth, given to us through Scripture, is a pillar and buttress. I really love those words. That is, the truth of Scripture upholds and sustains the church in every age and in every culture, regardless of what may be taking place outside her doors.
Now we have to ask the question, How does the church respond in this type of world? Well, first I think she must separate herself and boldly refuse to be conformed to this present world. That is, she must continually be transformed into imitators of Christ—that's who we are as believers, the lights of the world.
Secondly, I think the church must proclaim the counter-cultural truth of God's word, and that's exactly what it is. It's counter-cultural in love. Of course, we never must beat people over the head with a Bible, but must lovingly herald every command, every commendation, and even every condemnation of Scripture.
And then third, the church must develop discerning wisdom, bringing every outside word and every outside ideology and thought, and take it captive to the obedience of Christ according to his word. My mind goes to Jesus's sermon on the mount in Matthew 5, as he lovingly gazes over the crowd of people and he proclaims, “You are the light of the world.”
We, as the church, are a reflection of the truth, the glory, and the radiance of Jesus Christ.
We are lights, not because we emanate some inherent light where we have no light in us apart from the Holy Spirit, but we are the reflection of Christ to a hostile world. And so as Christ is the reflection of his Father's glory, we, as the church, are a reflection of the truth, the glory, and the radiance of Jesus Christ.
The world—full of lies, hate, deception, murder, half-truths, death, and all the rest of it—is illuminated by this light. So if I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to be what you are: blazing lights in a world of lies.
Dustin Benge is the author of The Loveliest Place: The Beauty and Glory of the Church.
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