Christians develop an ear for identifying like-minded believers. Not that all Christians are like-minded – we most decidedly are not – but sheep know their master’s voice (John 10:3, 4, 16, 27). It shouldn’t be surprising that we can discern the voice of other sheep in our flock.
For example, when we hear the phrase “on my heart” (church-speak shorthand for, “God has prayerfully put something on my heart,”) we’ve likely encountered another Bible-believing evangelical. The expression typically means a person feels “led” (another Christian code word) to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
Christianity teaches that God’s laws are written on our hearts in faith. The Bible is very plain about that (Romans 2:15, 2:29; 2 Corinthians 3:2-3). People are saved by their faith in Christ, period (John 14:6), not their good works.
Christians properly feel led because Jesus says, “Follow me,” a couple dozen times in the gospels. Never once does Christ volunteer, or even remotely suggest, that He has any interest in following us. Jesus came to lead, and to reveal the truth.
As for speaking the truth in love, Jesus did that a lot. His message of faith inspired some but incensed others. Jesus as the “fulfillment of the law” (Matthew 5:17) was something neither religious nor civil authorities wanted to hear, nor what His Jewish brethren were prepared to accept. Jesus’s wisdom was respected and his miracles were spectacular, but His humility was mocked and His truth was attacked.
The truth of Jesus Christ has always been challenged by arrogant mankind because Christ’s truth, truly, is the final answer. It is superior to any temporal truth – legends, societal norms, academic whims, political causes or spiritual fashions – created by self-praising man.
John 15:18 says not to be surprised when Christian believers are hated because the world hated Jesus first. Modern cultural Pharisees still take Christians to task for publicly espousing the plain, scriptural totality of God’s truth in Jesus Christ. And perhaps the three most important truths are that 1) God loves us, 2) salvation depends on faith in Christ, and 3) our human sin is a very big deal.
The Pharisees and the Romans killed the messenger who brought that message 2,000 years ago. Many try to kill the message today.
“Duck Commander” impresario Phil Robertson, I’m guessing, can relate. Witness the furious but mostly silly, self-righteous and biblically uninformed cultural backlash ignited by Robertson’s recent plainly spoken and scripturally-buttressed assessment of sin, love, truth and modern culture. If we have an ear for it, we can recognize a faithful voice from our flock. Even if it is a duck call.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) doesn’t hunt, but appreciates God’s truth. Have a happy, happy, happy New Year.