For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. — Galatians 1:10
In this era of Social Media, public displays of virtual signaling and moral posturing, we must be careful to remember that we cannot serve two masters. As Christians, we live for an audience of One.
The doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture states that the Bible comprises everything necessary for people to live a life that is fully pleasing to God. That is, everything we need to know to live the way God asks us to live is in the Bible. The Bible takes away our blind spots. Jesus said, “If you love me you will obey my commandments” (Jn 14:15). When we obey his word out of love we gain the wonderful assurance of living a life that honors, glorifies, and pleases God.
I find this tremendously comforting in times like these when so many voices of our culture are calling for—and at times even demanding—our obedience. Because we have the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit, we do not have to labor or even wonder over how to respond, what to say, or how to feel and act when facing what seems to be impossible situations. The Scriptures give us guidance.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Jesus also reminds us that when we’re persecuted for our loyalty to him, he will give us the words. Matthew 10:19 says, “When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.” We can paraphrase this as, “When they come at you for refusing to capitulate to their agenda, don’t worry, I’ll tell you what to say and do!”
When we’re persecuted for not compromising our life in Christ, we’re in good company. Jesus made his own share of enemies. If Jesus ended up executed on a cross as a result of his faithful obedience (Phil 2:8), then can we really expect anything different? He does tell us, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:10).
Let us put aside any and all anxiety and fear over what to say in situations that we don’t fully understand. We have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to guide us in perfect obedience. As we’re living in a time where the wrath of the crowd is particularly vicious an intolerant of competing world-views and systems of belief, we can find comfort and assurance in the fact that the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit afford us all we need to be righteous in the sight of the One that matters.
Consider these words from the Scriptures:
But the high priests stirred up the crowd to get him to release Barabbas for them instead. So Pilate asked them again, “Then what should I do with the man you call ‘the King of the Jews’?” “Crucify him!” they shouted back. “Why?” Pilate asked them. “What has he done wrong?” But they shouted even louder, “Crucify him!” So Pilate, wanting to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them, but he had Jesus whipped and handed over to be crucified.Mark 15:11–15