Most of us (the vast majority of which discovered that the world can’t provide everyone with their dream job) think that work itself is a curse of the Fall and desire nothing but retirement from age 22 onward. This isn’t God’s plan. We were made to work. We were made to have dominion over creation. So how do we work to God’s glory? How do we serve our companies as we serve our God? Do we treat those two things—our companies and our God—as identical? How can we bring the sanctity of our new identities in the Gospel to bear in the secular workplace in a way that both glorifies God and serves our co-workers well?
Children are such a cramp on our lifestyles. They are so disobedient and inconsiderate and unappreciative of what has been done for them. Our kids are sinners in need of the Gospel. But does our parenting reflect it? Does our discipleship of the younger believers around us—our spiritual children—reflect it? Do we parent with a gospel of “do better so we’ll be nicer to you” or with a Gospel that says “you’re broken, just like me, and you need Jesus. . .here He is”?
Marriage is so much more than having a lifelong roommate, but many people just don’t get it. So many look at marriage as a way to simply add an extra means of pleasure to their usual lifestyle. On top of all of that, our culture has loaded so much baggage onto this passage of Scripture that we miss the real meat of what Paul is trying to say about the mystery of marriage. Marriage is deeper. Marriage relates to us a cosmic union, so much more than two friends moving in together. So how do we get to a deeper understanding of marriage? What is the point—the purpose—of marriage? What rhythms can we practice to strengthen marriage when all that we really bring to it is our own pride?
Pornography seems to be one of those really big elephants in the room. So many people are addicted to it, both inside and outside the church, but no one really ever wants to talk about it. We try to dismiss it as not really hurting anyone or “just one of those sins I’ll be stuck with until I die”, but Scripture disagrees. It flies in the face of the nature of the reality of God, supporting every lie that Satan has ever wanted us to believe. But why is that? Why is pornography so bad? Why is it that it is so pervasive in the church? What can we do to fight against it other than just telling ourselves to “do better”?
It always sounds really cheesy to talk about Jesus being our friend. Why? Is it because we think it sounds too much like Jesus being our “homeboy”? Or do we just not have an understanding of real friendship? As a culture we have a terribly low view of what friendship is. Scripture clearly identifies Jesus as our friend and then He displays it by laying down His life. So what is Gospel-centered friendship? What do we do with our 1,300 Facebook “friends”? How do we develop relationships with each other that actually reflect our friendship with Christ?
No one these days really wants to hear this, but the reality is that we all harbor some form of hostility to those we perceive as unlike ourselves. However, Christ came to tear down that division and hostility, reconciling us to each other and to Himself. In this passage we discover that racism isn’t nearly as much about a broken society or government as it is about the broken, sinful people who make up that society and the Gospel that makes one new humanity.