Christianity Isn’t About You

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

Romans 9:1-5 (ESV {emphasis added} )

Every time I hear the phrase “I know I’m saved so I’m good,” it completely baffles me, mostly because it goes against absolutely everything Jesus and the apostles stood for.

I’ve heard this said in conversations about salvation, sanctification, and even evangelism of all things, and I’ve heard it said by people with seminary degrees and years of pastoral experience.

That’s pretty appalling. Is that what we’re teaching the congregation? As long as they themselves are saved and are being sanctified, that’s all they need to care about?

If that’s the case, I guess Jesus didn’t need to minister to people. I guess the apostles never needed to start the church. I guess the Great Commission is just a silly myth, or it’s only meant for people called to full-time ministry. Except it’s not.

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:16 – 20 (ESV)

Now, I don’t think any Christian you ask on the street would say that evangelism isn’t important, but much like missions, fasting and trying to think deep thoughts about scripture, they’ll say it’s meant for the select few with a certain calling.

So, since sanctification (the process through which the Holy Spirit makes Christians more like Christ) is meant for evangelism, I suppose we can assume that’s not something everyone should seek, or that God shouldn’t bother sanctifying anyone outside of the specific called few. But what about the scripture all over the Bible about every single person who follows Jesus being sanctified by God?

The kind of thinking that says “I’m saved so I’m good” leads to a very self-centric version of Christianity. It leads to you thinking that every negative thing that happens in the world, even when you aren’t involved, is somehow a message to you. It leads to people taking what they feel are personal revelations from God during their prayer time and holding that to a higher authority than scripture. It leads to defensiveness when people are called out. It leads to altering or ignoring parts of the Bible to fit your life.

That kind of thinking has led to today’s Christian culture, which copy and pastes everything from pop culture and puts Jesus’ name on it. “Those vulgar lyrics don’t matter.” “The way I’m dancing doesn’t matter.” “I can handle watching this show.” “I can have sex with my girlfriend because I know for sure we’ll be together forever.” It’s self-centered garbage Christianity that looks nothing like the original.

And, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it leads to your feelings trumping facts and scripture.

I know this culture is self-indulgent, and it’s very hard to find anything in our society that doesn’t promote that. But the Bible doesn’t promote that. Jesus never promoted that. God is pretty negative toward pride, and it’s very clear that our emotions matter far less than our standing with God. So if we can turn away from the “me” culture of the world, recognize that we don’t know everything and that everything doesn’t exist just for us and God doesn’t do everything He does just for us, then we can live real evangelical Christian lives. Just something to think about.

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