Does the Great Commission imply a need for Christian nationalism? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you, and you can call us right now with your question at 833-The Core.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you can always email us at questions at corechristianity.com. First up today, here's a voicemail from one of our listeners.
Hey, Pastor Adriel, thank you for the show. My question regards federal headship. One, how is it that mankind is sinful now? And then two, is it unfair for God to make commands of humanity given the effects of sin? So yeah, just kind of curious to hear a deeper explanation on federal headship.
Thank you. Okay, so I think I'm going to have to define that phrase that you used, federal headship. So you're talking about the fact that Adam, as the first created man, is the representative or was the representative of humanity, the federal covenant head, we might say, of humanity. And that when he sinned, we sinned in him. This is where we get the doctrine of original sin.
And this is something that we see in the Old Testament, obviously, you know, in the fall. You also see Paul, I think, talking about this in Romans chapter five, where Adam's one sin affected all of us, Romans chapter five, verse 12, therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned, and then he's going to go on and continue talking about that sort of relationship that humanity has with Adam, and then the relationship that humanity has with Jesus Christ, the second Adam. And so, with regard to what that sin looks like, what does it mean when we say that humanity's sinned in Adam? Well, we inherit the guilt of Adam's first sin, that want of original righteousness, the corruption of our whole nature. This is sometimes what we refer to as total depravity, it doesn't mean that we're as bad as we can be, but that every part of us has been affected by sin, our minds, our bodies, our souls, and all the actual sins that we also commit just as a result of that corruption in our day-to-day lives.
And so, this is very much a part of our existence, making it so that we can't save ourselves. The gospel, the message of salvation is not pull yourself up by the bootstraps, try harder, do better, obey so that God will love you, that's what we fall short of. We fall short of the commandments that God has given to us in His Word. And so the second part of your question, which was, you know, is it fair for God to call us to repentance and faith, to call us to follow Him when we've been so affected by sin?
Well, it is, because God is just and right and good. And here's the good news, He gives even that which He commands. This is the great hope that we have, is that it isn't in our own strength, we're not saved by our inherent righteousness, we're incapable of following the Lord apart from the grace of the Holy Spirit. And so we come to Him humbly and say, Lord, give that which You command, help me to follow You, to obey You, open my eyes to see the beauty of Christ through the preaching of the gospel.
And that's precisely what He does. And so that's the good news. And then we're no longer, you know, through Christ, and once we embrace the gospel, we're no longer dead in Adam, he's no longer our representative, if you will. We have Jesus Christ, the second Adam, through whom we have a free gift. And that's what Paul goes on to say in Romans chapter 5, verse 15, the free gift is not like the trespass, speaking of the trespass of Adam. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for many. It's good news, it's the gospel. So thank you so much for that question, and pray the Lord blesses you.
And I am so thankful it's a free gift, not something that I need to earn because there's no way I could earn it. What a great explanation of the gospel. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you name it.
Here's the number, 833-The-Core, that's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Cindy calling in from Missouri. Cindy, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hello? Hi, Cindy.
I'm calling to ask a question that seems that nobody can answer for me, or has the answer to. Okay, I hope I can help you. Okay, do you have to, I know the scripture says, love your neighbor as you love yourself. Okay, and you're supposed to give the gospel out to one each other that you do love or that you see, but do you have to love somebody in order to like them, or do you have to like somebody in order to love them? Okay, so we are called to love our neighbors. Does that mean I also have to like my neighbor is your question.
Wow, okay. Well, here's, I think, the first thing that I would say is, well, how do we define love? What does it mean to love someone? There's a lot of confusion about that in our society today. Many people think loving others just means affirming everything that they want to do.
You never speak against what somebody does or what somebody thinks or what somebody believes. That's not the biblical definition of love. Biblical love so often is exhibited in sacrificial self-giving. Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of that kind of love, and that's what God calls us to for each other, especially within the body of Christ.
But for all people, you think of the parable that Jesus gave of the Good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10 verses 25 through 37, where he talked about what it means to love our neighbor and who is our neighbor? It's the person who may not look like me or think like me or even believe the same things as I do. And oftentimes, you know, we're drawn to people who are very similar to us, you know, that's who we like spending time with. But Jesus calls us to get outside of ourselves and to pursue in love the people that we're different from.
The people who reject the gospel, the people that we're tempted to not like, frankly. And so I think that you can pursue someone in love even if you struggle to like them and to agree with them in a number of ways. But I think as you do that, as you pursue them in love, one of the things that you might find as you get to know another person more and more, that you realize there are things that you do really love and like and appreciate about them. And so I think that's something that we want to grow in. Our attitude shouldn't be, well, I just have to love this person, gosh, can't stand you, but I, you know, Jesus calls me to love you.
That sort of thing. No, I think we ought to seek to love people sacrificially and in the process to know them and to value that which is good and true and beautiful and to be respectful and so on and so forth. So I would say, right, you may not always like the people initially that God calls you to love, but we should cultivate in our own hearts care, compassion and an interest in those people.
And I think that comes with time. Cindy, thank you for your question. You know, I'm just thinking about Jesus and his interaction with Zacchaeus, the tax collector, and then coming, you know, come to my house or I'll go to your house and we'll dine together. And just what an amazing example for us of here's a guy that everybody really hated as the local tax collector. What does Jesus do?
He says, I'm going to come to your house and then loves him, loves on him. What a great example. Yeah, absolutely. And again, we just don't want to have the approach of I just have to love these people.
You know, I just think that that comes off so negative. You really want to take an interest in our neighbors, in their needs, in, you know, how God has created them in his own image. And so, you know, we want to respect them, but we want to do all of those things with the mind of serving them so that the gospel might go forth preaching the truth of God's word to the people around us so that they might have communion with God as well. That's what God calls us to. And I think that's the kind of heart that we want to cultivate for ourselves in our pursuit of others that God calls us to. Good words.
Thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We do receive a lot of questions here at the Core about spiritual gifts and speaking in tongues.
And today we want to offer you a free resource on that topic. Yeah, the free resource is called Six Things You Should Know About Spiritual Gifts. One of the questions we oftentimes get on this broadcast has to do with spiritual gifts. What about those miraculous sign gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Are they still around for today? Should I be praying for the gift of tongues and for the gift of prophecy? And speaking of that, you know, how do I find out what my spiritual gift is? It's so important for us to understand these things, especially as we think about contributing to the life of the body of Christ, for the edification of the whole body, as Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 12.
We want to encourage you in your own walk with the Lord and in understanding what it is that God has called you to and the gifts that he's given to you. And so get this resource. It's a free resource over at CoreChristianity.com called Six Things You Should Know About Spiritual Gifts.
Again, no charge. We'd love to get that to you. Just go to CoreChristianity.com forward slash offers and look for six things you should know about spiritual gifts. We think you'll find it really helpful. Well, we do receive emails here at Core Christianity. You can email us anytime with your question.
Here is the email address. It's questions at CoreChristianity.com. Here's one from one of our listeners named Caleb. He says, I've seen a lot of pastors and Christians talk about the idea of Christian nationalism. They say things like the Great Commission requires us to disciple nations, not just people. And therefore, Christian nationalism should be a part of the church's mission in spreading the gospel.
I was just curious what you would say about these things. It's such an important discussion, I think, that's happening right now in the church and in so many places. I think one positive that has come out of this whole discussion about Christian nationalism is just people thinking about Christians, thinking about the relationship of the church to broader society.
What is the relationship with the church to the common, you know, civil institutions of this world? How should we seek to influence them? Is that our job?
Is that our mission? And that gets to the heart of this question specifically. When Jesus gave us the Great Commission, and he said in Matthew chapter 28, verse 19, go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, what exactly did he mean? And at least the argument is I've heard it is that, well, Christian nationalism is just a part of the Great Commission because we are called to disciple and baptize the nations. And the idea there is that the nation isn't just referring to people from all these nations, it's referring to these institutions in one sense, Christianizing them so that they reflect the law of God. Now, one thing we do want to say is that all governments are subject to God's law.
This is true. We should uphold what we refer to as the moral law, that which is just and right. But the question is, are nations, these institutions, government institutions, the object of God's redemptive grace, are they to be baptized? Well, of course, in the New Testament, you have people being baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And that is the focus of Matthew, chapter 28, verse 19. All the nations, nations there is just the Greek word often used for Gentiles. It's used that way throughout the Gospel of Matthew from the very first time it's used actually in Matthew, chapter four, a clear reference to the Gentiles. And here specifically, I think with the Great Commission, you have Jesus extending that call to his disciples to preach, not just to the Hebrew nation, if you will, the Israelites, but to all nations, that is all people, the Gentiles. You see the great contrast between this, what we have here in Matthew, chapter 28, and then what Jesus said earlier in Matthew, chapter 10, verse five. Let me turn there really quickly, Matthew, chapter 10, verse five.
These 12, Jesus sent out instructing them, go nowhere among the Gentiles, uses the same word there, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. There again, speaking of people, the lost sheep of the house of Israel, we'll hear now in Matthew 28, verse 19, the disciples are commanded to go to the nations. And we see how that unfolded in the book of Acts, as the gospel spread from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, the uttermost parts of the earth.
And so people, we're talking about people here, embracing the truth of the gospel through the proclamation of the gospel, faithful proclamation of the gospel. Now those people who embrace the gospel do have an impact on broader society, but I think it's a category error to say that we're Christianizing these institutions or baptizing these institutions. No, we're going out to preach the gospel to people who experience God's redemptive grace, and then should, we should have an impact and influence on the world around us.
In what sense? Well, just in the sense that we are being shaped, our consciences are being shaped by the word of God. We're thinking about the world and our lives in the world through that lens, through the work of the Holy Spirit in our own lives.
But again, the governments of this world, civil governments are common institutions that are legitimate, just on the basis of God's holy word. We're not called to transform them per se, we're called to preach the gospel so that people might be transformed and then impact the broader society that they're in. And so one of my concerns with this discussion around Christian nationalism is the concern of mission creep.
Now what is mission creep? It's losing sight of our primary objective as the church and being derailed by another focus. Nothing wrong, I think, with wanting to see, and we should want to see, just laws in society and the good of our neighbor and so on and so forth engaging in civil society as citizens of the kingdom of heaven, but also citizens of the kingdoms of this world. But first and foremost, the Great Commission is not about transforming governments so that they have more Christian values and begin to implement just laws, maybe let's re-implement the Mosaic law in today's governments and institutions. That's not the focus of the Great Commission. The focus of the Great Commission isn't establishing new laws, just laws over sinners. It's preaching the gospel to sinners so that they repent, so that they voluntarily come under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
That's what God calls His church to. And especially with all of the tension in our society today, political tension, fights about how to engage the culture and boy, so many people think that it's just sort of slipping away from us. We really need to retain, conserve, fight. My fear is that in our fear, in our concern, we'll lose sight of our primary mission as a church, which is to reach the nation's people with the gospel, to share that gospel with the people around us so that they might come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and of course, that relationship does transform and change them and impact the way in which they relate to broader society.
But that has to be the focus. We can't lose sight of that Great Commission, the preaching of the gospel to all people. Just one more thing that I'll say, John, when he sees the fulfillment of the Great Commission, if you will, in Revelation 5, all the nations gathered together before the Lord, I think this helps us to interpret the words of Jesus there in Matthew, chapter 28, verse 19. In Revelation, chapter 5, John has a vision of heaven and he sees the saints in heaven singing, worthy are you. This is Revelation, chapter 5, verse 9, to take the scroll, speaking to Jesus, and open its seals, for you were slain and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. That is, Christ has redeemed out of all of the nations of the world a people for himself, his own holy nation that he's created and you have made them, verse 10, a kingdom and priests to our God and they shall reign on the earth. That's what it looks like. That's the unfolding of the Great Commission.
It's not transforming these common institutions. It's people from every tribe, tongue and nation being redeemed, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and brought into the kingdom of the true and the living God. That's what we need to be focused on as a church. Such a great explanation. Thank you for that, Adriel, appreciate it. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Just a reminder, we have that free resource available to you today. It's on the spiritual gifts and speaking in tongues, something that a lot of people are confused about, six things you should know about spiritual gifts. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers.
Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Well, we have a question from Charles who called in and it actually ties in a little bit what you were saying earlier. He says, people tell me that politics and religion shouldn't be talked about in church or in workplaces.
But these things do affect me, so why not talk about them? Yeah, somebody, I remember the first job I ever had doing yard work actually for a guy who lived down the street from me and I was a new Christian, I would try to talk to him about Jesus. And he told me that very same thing. He said, you know, you shouldn't talk about politics and religion so much. And of course, I was just trying to talk to him about Jesus, we weren't even getting into politics at all.
But I've heard this as well. Actually within the church, we should be talking about religion, pure and undefiled religion, the religion that God speaks about throughout his word. But what about politics? I guess my concern there, speaking again within the church, is that the church is God's embassy on earth, a manifestation of his kingdom, we might refer to it as a kingdom outpost. And so the pastor is an ambassador of that kingdom, a representative of Jesus Christ. As a minister of the gospel, I'm not first and foremost a representative or ambassador of the kingdoms of this world. And so I'm focused on, we should be within church focused on the new creation, the kingdom that God is bringing through the faithful proclamation of his word, through the faithful administration of the ordinances that Jesus gave to us. That doesn't mean we don't address the sins in broader society, the idols that exist in the world. We do, but our focus has to be the preaching of God's word. The church is not the place for political hobby horses.
The church is where King Jesus speaks to us from heaven about the kingdom that he is bringing once and for all. And so again, that doesn't mean that, I think in our own conversations with friends and family, we need to shy away from these things. I think it's good and can be good to have these kinds of discussions so long as they're had with charity and we're representing Christ well, whether we're talking about politics or religion. So we have to shy away from those things, but again, specifically thinking about what should be heard from the pulpit on a Sunday morning.
That's not the place for hobby horses, political hobby horses. That's the place for the pure preaching of God's word. And as ministers of the gospel, God is going to hold us accountable to that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.
We have time for one quick email before we go on a totally different topic, Adriel. This is from Cindy. She says, I have a friend who's been a Christian for years. She believes that a woman is to never cut her hair. She has never cut her hair, but she wears it up all the time.
Her daughters and granddaughters have also not cut their hair since birth. She asked me when I became a Christian, why do you cut your hair? She said that in 1 Corinthians 11, the Bible states women are not to cut their hair.
Can you please explain this to me since I do cut my hair quite often? Yeah, I think what the apostle Paul is speaking about in 1 Corinthians 11, you know, there specifically the topic is head coverings and authority and authority structure within the church. I think also, you know, 1 Corinthians 11 through 14, you have a focus on early Christian worship and what was happening in the context of the gathered assembly. And Paul is giving encouragements to the Corinthians to make sure that they're doing everything decently in an order and not causing offense, especially to the people around them.
And so that's the focus. I don't think that historically anyone in the church has really ever taken that verse or those verses to mean that a woman is never allowed to cut her hair even in the ancient church. And so it sounds to me like this individual is taking those verses and applying them in a way that they were never meant to be applied and saying, well, you know, if you're a Christian, if you're really a follower of Jesus, you're in, you're a woman, you're just never allowed to cut your hair. That's not how that text was ever understood.
I think in the history of the church, and certainly it's not what the apostle Paul is getting at for us and even for the Corinthians then. And so appreciate that question, Cindy. Hope you can have a good conversation with your friend and for the rest of you. If your hair is getting long, feel free to cut it.
There's nothing wrong with cutting or washing your hair. God bless. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at CoreChristianity.com and click on Offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-The-Core. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
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