As Christians we must all ask ourselves what the truest expression of love is. Unequivocally, the answer is Christ our Lord and Savior being sent down by God to redeem us, a fallen and sinful people. It is Christ Jesus, the Son of God, bearing the wrath and punishment we rightfully deserve upon Himself in order to provide a way for God’s people to be reunited with Him for all eternity. This is what the Gospel is about. This is why Christ gave His life. So that we could be saved. This is why God, gave His only begotten Son. So we could be saved. This was the greatest expression of love. A perfect and Holy God saving a sinful and rebellious people.
It’s imperative that we understand the seriousness of this expression. Because in today’s society many are minimizing this magnificent act of love by focusing purely on the miracles of Christ. The miracles of Christ are supplanting the sacrifice of Christ. The danger of doing this is that Christ is then seen as only a philanthropist or divine humanitarian. The consequences of presenting Christ in this form are grave:
The world misses the point of Christ
If as Christians, we refuse to present the gospel message in its entirety the world will not hear the gospel. If the world does not hear the gospel, people can not be saved. Christ took the punishment and wrath that we all deserve for breaking God’s Holy laws. For living in rebellion to God. For being sinners. If we are not sharing this message we are not sharing the Gospel. If we are not sharing the gospel, the world undoubtedly will miss the point of Christ being sent into the world.
We create a false representation of Christ
Refusing to acknowledge Christ’s hatred for sin works to neutralize His deity and makes Him out to be just a mere humanitarian concerned with helping the poor. The reality is Christ did condemn sin and He preached God’s law, the commandments. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is a clear example of this. Another example of Christ condemning sin was at the cleansing of the temple.
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, 13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:12-13)
In fact, at times, Jesus even preached and condemned sin while healing.
“Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” (John 5:14)
Christ did not come to earth to heal the sick and help the poor. He came to save the world. No where in scripture is it revealed Christ came to earth to heal the sick or to help the poor. That was not Christ’s purpose for coming. Focusing solely on the kind acts of Christ misrepresents Christ as well as His mission.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)
Christ calls us to repent and believe.
“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15)
We fall into works righteousness
By refusing to share the gospel message in its entirety we become passive in our faith. We become lazy in evangelizing our faith and fall victim to expecting people to become saved by the way we live our lives. However none of us can live our lives according to God’s moral standards if we never hear the message of the gospel. The gospel is what saves us and brings us to a humbled position, allowing the holy spirit to sanctify (make us holy) us progressively. Without sanctification by way of the Holy Spirit, none of us would be able to live according to God’s moral standards. In fact, even with progressive sanctification, as Christians, we still fall victim to sin and breaking God’s law due to our imperfect nature of rebellion. To focus on our works and how we live our lives, causes us to live in opposition to what the bible teaches us concerning salvation; that we are all saved by grace alone, through faith alone by Christ alone.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
People become saved by hearing the gospel. Not by watching our good works. The bible makes this clear.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:13-14)
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
We lose our distinction
If the Christian faith becomes a faith of philanthropy, humanitarian efforts and nice deeds then what makes us different from other religions that teach the same things? What is our distinction? Why should anyone become a Christian then? What makes Jesus special? What makes Christianity the only way to eternal life? The Christian life is not a life of “likeability”. It is a life willing to sacrifice any and all things in the pursuit of a Holy God. It is a life that brings persecution. It is a life of repentance and faith. It is a life of serving the one and only Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.
The harsh reality is we as Christians can not afford to misunderstand or redefine the meaning of love. Refusing to preach the gospel, refusing to expose sinners to the law which shows them their sinful state, refusing to condemn sin is nothing short of anti-biblical. It is the farthest thing away from love that one can get and this stance works to help usher people into the direction of eternal damnation. Let us not usher people into this direction. We are called to be Christians. Let us be Christian. Salt in the world and light in darkness. Let us shed our fears and have faith in God while we express the true meaning of love by sharing The Gospel.