The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World
(by Voddie Baucham)
(Voddie Baucham is dean of the seminary at African Christian University and previously served as Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, TX. He has authored numerous books, academic journals, and magazine articles. He is married to Bridget and they have nine children. They currently live in Lusaka, Zambia.)
This message appears as a chapter in The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World.
Friends…this will be a 9 Part series. Please, please, take the time to work through this series. dh
How Can What Is Wrong Be Made Right?
How can what is wrong be made right? Look at the last part of the text,. The little word yet is one of the most beautiful words in the whole Bible. Can you imagine what life would be like if statements in the Scriptures such as we find in this passage weren’t followed by yet, nevertheless, or but?
Yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach — if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. ()
How can what is wrong be made right? We see two things in that last set of statements. First, we see that what is wrong can be made right by the penal, substitutionary, atoning death of Christ. And second, by that if statement (verse 23), we see that it cannot be made right by any other means — the supremacy of Christ in truth and redemption is found in his exclusivity. There is no other means by which man can be justified. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (). “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” ( ). “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned — every one — to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” ( ESV).
How can what is wrong be made right? If you’ll pardon the inevitable oversimplification, we can say that every other religion in the world basically boils down to this: “You need to have a religious experience, and from that moment on you need to do more good things than bad and then hope for the best when you die.” They may differ in what that experience needs to be or how “good” should be defined, but ultimately, every other world religion is based on the necessity of doing more good than bad, without any certainty or security of an eternal destination.
“The problem with the world is me.”
I wrestled with that as a young freshman in college. I didn’t grow up around Christians or around Christianity. My mother was a practicing Buddhist. I never heard the gospel until I got to college. Here’s what I struggled with: I had been told that I’m supposed to have a religious experience, then do more good than bad, and hope for the best when I die. But I found at least three problems with this perspective.
My first problem: I can’t be good. I tried. I can’t do it. I’m incapable of it. I am totally, radically depraved, as the Reformers would say. Beyond a shadow of any doubt, I can’t be good. Even when I do things that look to be good, I do them with wrong motives and destroy any good that was in them to begin with. I can’t be good. (Part 9, Conclusion, con’t tomorrow)