Much of preaching today centers on moral improvement, healthy relationships, better parenting, wiser dating, better marriages, less stressful workplaces and financial responsibilities. And many think that is exactly what the Bible, Christianity, and the church should be developing.
They would not argue that we are to focus on Christ but let’s focus on Christ as it pertains to these areas of human betterment. But there lies the problem! If you focus on Jesus it makes those areas impossible to address.
This is what I mean. Jesus wasn’t about moral improvement but he was about substitution. He was about dying in our place because we were condemned and had not hope in ourselves. He didn’t have many relationships while he was here. In fact, the very people who knew him best rejected his claim of deity and He was so hated and despised that they crucified him. He was not married, so we can’t look to his marital prowess. He loved children but had none of his own, therefore we have no concrete evidence of his parental skill. He was on a mission to preach the gospel but he did not have a job he had to perform everyday. How would Jesus deal with an inflexible employer or unruly co-workers, we don’t know. Jesus didn’t have a car, a house, credit cards, electric bills, water bills, and the like. He went through his life with little possessions and few financial responsibilities.
But He was the Son of God. The Christ! The Anointed One! The Messiah! He came and he lived a perfect life. A life without sin in thought and deed. He perfectly obeyed His father. He went to the cross to absorb the wrath of God that we deserve. He paid the debt owed for our sins. He arose the third day, his sacrifice accepted and our justification secure. He currently intercedes for his people at the right hand of the Father and he is coming back to gather his people from the four corners of the earth, defeat every foe and establish his everlasting kingdom. Why don’t we preach that?
Do Christians improve morally, have healthy relationships, become better parents, wiser in dating, have better marriages, deal with stressful workplaces, and become financial responsible? In most cases, yes. Not because of a set of do’s and don’t that are now put into action. But because the law has crushed thoughts of self-improvement and the good news of the gospel has shown what humanity could not do, Jesus did do. And now it is Christ that lives in the believer and progressively is making them more like Christ. And as we become more like Christ we become more Godly citizens, friends, parents, spouses, and workers. But we must focus on Christ—who he is and what he has done and know that He who started a good work will complete it. May God help us to abandon our perceived needs and may God cause us to desire to be holy as he is holy.
The bottom line is that the Bible, Christianity, and the church is not about us but it is about God and his glory! It’s not about Jesus making me better its about Jesus beingbetter!