The Decider vs. The Savior

October 24, 2016

“I just gotta be me.”

“I have to be true to myself.”

“This is the real me.”

More than any other time in history, we hold a seemingly unshakeable conviction that we are the only true judge of ourselves.  Here are some of the “truths” we hold to be self-evident:

  • I get to decide the truth about me.
  • I get to decide the truth about my morality.
  • I get to decide the truth about my sexuality.
  • I get to decide the truth about my body.
  • I get to decide how I will live my life and no one else has the right to decide for me, period.

I am the Decider.

Unfortunately for our “me-centered” worldview, there are a great many truths in the world that exist independent of us. It really doesn’t matter if we believe certain things if they aren’t true.  Just ask anyone who has tried to recharge their iPhone by microwaving it.

This applies not just to the proper way to care for your electronics, but to laws of morality and how each of us fits into the grand narrative of the universe.  The world is built on certain unchangeable truths that are externally verifiable.

Even Jesus had this to say about himself:

“If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true.” (John 5:31)

Jesus (you know, the Creator of the Universe, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Savior, Messiah, and Christ), wasn’t so arrogant as to declare himself the Decider of his identity.  In the next few verses he lays out external evidence: John the Baptist (v33-35), miracles he had performed (v36), God the Father’s audible voice (v37).

In pretty stark contrast to Jesus, we insist on being the self-authenticating master of who we are.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, we believe that we get to be the Decider of what is true about ourselves.

It’s no wonder that Jesus goes on to say,

“How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44)

The #1 barrier to our belief in Jesus is that we want to be able to define our own reality and insist that others approve of our iron-clad self-determination.

But God won’t play ball.

The Bible is chock full of people declaring the “truth” about themselves only to come face to face with the Truth–Jesus.  He rattles the religiously arrogant, the sexually permissive, the violently abusive, and after showing them the real truth about their humanly constructed identities (which always includes a fair dose of sin), he shows his true identity: Savior.

Jesus didn’t just challenge the sinful identities we build for ourselves, but he took them onto himself (and onto the cross) to decisively hand us a new identity: his own.

That really leaves us with only one big sin left to commit: unbelief.  Or as Jesus himself said it,

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. (John 5:39—40)

[tweetthis]The #1 barrier to belief in Jesus is that we want to be able to define our own reality.[/tweetthis]

Photo Credit

Comments are closed.