I have a piece of paper on my wall and this is what it reads:
Application of truth > Relevance
There are two types of relevance. Worldly Relevance and Gospel Relevance.
This is more of a conformity than anything. It’s actually trying to be like people around you rather than sticking out from the crowd. It’s actually giving into the stereotypes people have placed upon you, or giving into the ‘norm’ of society. It can even be considered as a mask or something fake that we can all succumb to. We want people to like us, so that can change the way we dress, or how we speak or what we believe in cases (or even what we want people to think we believe). Worldly relevance is a killer when trying to show Jesus in our lives.
Can you imagine if Jesus woke up one day and just decided that he wanted to be like everyone else? He wouldn’t have been perfect for one, and he wouldn’t have been the saviour of mankind because he would have been hell-bent on becoming someone who he wasn’t.
Fact is, Jesus couldn’t give one about what people thought of him for who he was. He wanted people to follow him, yes, but he didn’t let it change his character or who he was in the core. Do you think he was thinking “I really hope I don’t upset anyone” when he flipped the tables in the temple? Or “I better wear my best garment today as I’m doing a preach” when going up on the mount. No, I can guarantee he didn’t.
This is something people would argue doesn’t exist. And I’ve mulled over this myself for the past few days; Is the gospel (the story of Jesus Christ) relevant to society and the modern world? My conclusion, yes. Of course it is.
Think about it, the Bible would have been called relevant 100 years ago. And the argument against that is that it isn’t relevant today because a lot has changed in 100 years. But, there was more change in 1900 years than in 100. Let me put it simply, if 100 years ago it was relevant 1900 years after it was created, then how can it not be relevant just a measly 100 years after that; today. Get it?
People say there is a decline in religion. Maybe there is, but I can tell you what there isn’t a decline of, People who have a very real, very tangible relationship with God, regardless of rules or religion or society of what worldly relevance is. I have seen God’s ways and witnessed things he has done in my life and those lives around me. I’m not saying there is a decline in religion, but there most certainly an increase in people who have a relationship with God. So if that is the case, those people who have a relationship with God look to the library that is the Bible, thus looking to the story of Jesus, the gospel.
The gospel is relevant. But it is only outworked in society (that says it isn’t) through us. We are the key to show people, our friends, our family, that person who is sitting next to you on the train, that God is real.
How do we show this?
We show this by reading what the Bible says and applying that truth to our lives, rather than being relevant in a worldly sense.
The Bible is counter cultural, therefore it cannot be relevant on its own without people. But, it is relevant in society if we outwork it and live it. If we, as an army for God, are all living what the gospel teaches us, then how can it not be relevant, because we are out there, part of the world, in the world, but of God; of the gospel.
Thanks for reading.