My goal in this series is our greater joy in Jesus, even in complex struggles intellectually, emotionally, relationally, etc. So, each time I will offer a buffet on 8 ‘P’s of good news. Chew and savor whatever helps your joy in Jesus. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1)
Joy comes by Life from God, through God, and for God as revealed in the Bible. (Romans 11:33-36) And Christ’s Plain-Speaking lovingly exposes our sins by His truth. No, God’s people are not to speak as judge and jury, much less executioner against others’ sins or even our own. But He does call us to serve as compassionate, preemptive bailiffs, relaying His judgment that is commuted onto Christ for all who turn from their sins, trust and follow Him. In the video below we explore this key truth of the gospel.
The Plain-Speaking of Christ also brings many other specific benefits for His followers. In the next video I describe some of those. Discuss them with other believers and the fact that we can’t simply enjoy His blessings but not address evil in our lives. In fact, as I note several times in this series, when Jesus names the second greatest command in Matthew 22:39 He is quoting from Leviticus 19:17-18. That passage describes biblical confrontation as part of love for the Lord and godly relationships with others. As my Mom said in a previous video, if we had some broccoli in our teeth we would want someone to tell us. How much more do we need to help each other with glaring sins in our lives?
His Plain-Speaking is also a help to those who do not know God. How is it helpful to talk with non-Christians about their sin and current separation from God? Think about medical exams. When a patient is sick or injured, the doctors might order an ultrasound, x-ray, or even a CT scan. Those tests reveal many things, and they’re the least expensive. But if they need a more detailed test, they might order an MRI which is much more costly. In fact, doctors and patients sometimes postpone exploring more deeply for that reason, even when both want to know what’s really wrong. Still, love pushes through pain – even as the Holy Spirit uses His Word to cut into a person’s heart. That’s the love we see in Ezekiel 3:16-21, Proverbs 17:10 & 27:5, Matthew 18:15-20, Ephesians 4:15, Galatians 6:1-2, etc. In the next video I outline some applications. As you listen, a friend of yours may come to mind.
You may remember an introductory video in which I compared the function of the 8 ‘P’s to a car’s engine and the ‘reciprocal feedback loops’ in any system. The first example of such a loop is on day one and two of creation: the Presence and Plain-Speaking of Christ. These are images of God’s grace and judgment, respectively. In other words, God loves with both hands. For good parents know that grace without justice breeds complacency and entitlement, and justice without grace breeds fear and bitterness. Only through Christ on the cross can a holy God be gracious and just toward sinful people. Without Christ, we bear our punishment, and we must not be silent about that.