The conviction that lies at the heart of our current sermons series—Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World—is the simple fact that we all need wisdom. Wisdom, of course, is the right use of knowledge. It is the proper application of God’s truth to every area of our lives. And we need this. We need wisdom if we are to navigate the complexities of life in this broken world.
It is painfully obvious that this world is broken, and it is full of complex, broken situations. On a daily basis we are confronted with issues and problems where a wise and proper response is not always intuitive.
For instance, what should we make of the push to redefine marriage? How should we respond to the pressing issue of the refugee crisis? How are we to engage in politics? What about issues surrounding gender? How can we be wise when it comes to a sensitive issue such as abortion? We need wisdom to properly navigate these issues.
Sure, we might have an opinion on these issues, but the question remains, how, as followers of Jesus, should we engage in them? How can we apply God’s truth to these pressing issues?
Let me say it again if it isn’t obvious already: we need wisdom.
Over the course of the next 9-weeks, in harmony with our sermon series, Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World, we intend to explore these issues and more in a series of blog posts.
Before we begin, however, we need to acknowledge that these posts will not be exhaustive. We will cover as much ground as we can, but much will also be left unsaid. That is the nature of a blog post. They can only go so far. Our hope is that if we at least start the discussion, you will then be able to work these things through in your own life, and in community with your Growth Group.
Likewise, we must remember that issues such as marriage, sexuality, politics, and abortion are not abstract, but are personal. They are human issues; issues that involve real people, experiencing real pain, in a broken world. Maybe even by you. And while we are confident these are issues that God says something about in his Word, we must also remember that God doesn’t deal in the abstract. God deals with people. People that he loves. And people that he sent his Son to die for. So while God certainly has something to say about these issues, we must remember he speaks loudest in Jesus. Jesus is God’s final word, and he is a Word full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
As we engage these potentially divisive issues we must also heed the Bible’s pervasive and repeated call for unity among God’s people (Ps. 133:1; Rom. 12:16; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:3; Col. 3:13–14; 1 Pet. 3:8). Exploring these issues is not an occasion to divide into camps and assign labels to one another. It is, rather, a time to display maturity, humility, and teachability. It is a time to remember God despises the proud of heart (Prov. 16:5) and it is a time to remember we are all “one in Christ Jesus”(Gal. 3:28).
And in this way, it is a time to be a witness to the grace of God in Jesus Christ in a divided, fractured, and confused world. When in his final hours Jesus prayed for us, his followers, he prayed for unity (John 17:20–23). In fact, the one thing Jesus said would mark his followers in the world would be their love for one another (John 13:34–35). This means our plea for unity in the midst of discussing these complex issues is not perfunctory or unimportant, it is absolutely central. In fact, unless people see the grace and truth of Jesus in us, and in our approach to the big issues of our time, we’re getting something wrong.
So, as we stand on the precipice of this blog series, we need to admit the world is very broken, and it is full of complex, broken situations. But if we rush in to try and solve this brokenness without Jesus, we will get it wrong. Without him we have no answers for the brokenness and confusion of this fallen world. But in him and with him, we have everything we need. Because, in the words of Colossians 2:3, in Jesus Christ are “…hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
So, I hope you agree, we need wisdom. I also hope you realise that in Jesus, we have everything we need. So let’s enter into these issues with confidence, not in our intellect and ability, but in Jesus Christ, and with our hearts prayer that, “to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.”(Rom. 16:27)
Bray Park Community Church