Contend Earnestly: It's the blood of Jesus, baby...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

It's the blood of Jesus, baby...

Tony, the faithful blogger. Thank you for not quitting! It has been an encouragement to me. Yes, it is amazing but true....I am blogging today! No excuses, so let's just get to it.

I love the post on the idea of "fun", and what is acceptable to the Lord. Interestingly enough, the idea that has been rolling around in my head has been something that has been related. I recently heard a song that hit me the wrong way. No surprise, really, since our culture is filled with songs that are worldly and reflect a wrong view of God and His holiness. But the song that I heard was not out in the world, per se. It was during a Bible study.

Before I get too far into this, let me clarify that I am not making a judgment on the heart of the person that wrote the song. And from what I heard, there was only one word that caused my consternation. So the rest of the song was fine, and actually extolled the truth that Christ shed His blood as a perfect atonement for our sin; a good thing! Here is how the chorus went:

It's the blood of Jesus
It's the blood of Jesus, baby
It's the blood of Jesus that sets us free

Again, I love the overall message that is conveyed. But I have a problem with the insertion of the word "baby" when talking about the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior. The one who was sinless, perfect, holy and fully Divine. The Word which became flesh (John 1:14). The one who became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21). At the risk of sounding harsh, this is a flippant chorus as set against such a great and holy truth. I do believe that we have to be very careful when we examine how we approach our Bible study's and worship services.

Recently I went on a bit or a rant during the College/Career Sunday school study when talking about this issue. I use the word "rant" because I mentioned some things that were a personal conviction of mine, and did not clarify fully that these were not legalistic rules that I was looking to impose on everyone else. I was discussing the glorious truth of the holiness of God, and that we have the privilege to come into His presence to worship the Creator! I warned the class to be careful not to approach this time with carelessness. And I think I myself can approach the corporate worship service with too lax of an attitude.

- coming in late
- leaving early (to get the kids from the nursery, etc)
- standing during the time of singing while holding a cup of coffee
- getting up during the service for any reason that is not a dire matter of health or safety!
- not opening our Bibles during the sermon
- closing our Bible's and bags during the ending prayer
- or even worse, not having our Bible at all!

I could probably keep going. And the risk of stating concerns like this is that people may think that the above "standards" are a demarcation of true spirituality and devotion. But this leads us quickly to legalism. The things above are only indicators of where we are at. They are not catalysts for spiritual growth. In other words, do not set out on a quest to make the things above a "checklist" to begin your spiritual growth because it won't work. At the risk of being redundant, they are only indicators. Not tools for growth.

So when I heard the song above, it hit me that we are sometimes too casual with our declaration of the great things of God and His word. I would expect us to say things like "Man, that was a great jump shot, baby!" (~insert sound of high five here~) or "Oh baby, that steak looks good!" or "Do you want to go jet skiing today?"...."Yeah, baby!". But the last thing I would expect would be to use slang when talking about the shed blood of Christ.

We were bought with a price. We are His children, true, but remember that Paul considered himself a slave of Christ (Rom 6:18, Eph 6:6). He is our friend, but also our Master (Eph 6:9, Col 1:4). Let us boldly approach His throne of grace (Heb 4:16) but never forget that it is only because of His grace that we can come at all.


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