The Planks of the Faith: Remembering for Re-Membering, Part 16
The Righteousness of Faith… imbues us with all we need to be victorious in Christ!
If there’s one thing that we’re seeing more and more of in many realms of our society today, it is the most despicable form of monopolizing on the disadvantaged of any society: “the power of victimization”.
“The mistake that grew out of America’s desire to fix the racial problem was that it inadvertently made victimization itself a kind of currency of power. Victimization now brings certain benefits, preferences, and entitlements. By rewarding victimization, we encouraged people to think of themselves as victims.” (Shelby Steele, The Content of His Character, Hoover Institute, 1996)
For me, this quote is as insightful as any, and staggering in the breadth and depth of its seen and unseen impact on the world.
Since 1996… this issue has worsened, and gotten so entrenched in the culture that leadership (and the followers who enable them) in most every realm of society (but especially politics—and what isn’t political?—and the federal government) has twisted virtually every plea to better any realm of society into the cause, or injustice, or right, or entitlement, or whatever… of a victim, or a group of victims!
This isn’t simply an unproductive way to solve life’s problems it’s a lie from the very pit of hell.
I’ve written on another spin of this same issue in a pervious Training Table by comparing “the will to power” and “empowerment at will”: Life is either about amassing power, or prudently giving it away, to empower others… period.
[In my opinion there is no better example of the “will to power” combined with “the power of victimization” (politicizing all things in order to encourage people to think of themselves as victims in order to amass more and more power) than our current President (and administration) and the ever-expanding power and role of government that he is… and does. But that’s another story… And the voting populace firmed placed him in power, power, and power.]
Oh geez! I completely forgot to not discuss religion and politics in polite company! Please forgive me.
Christian, The Righteousness of Faith… imbues us with all we need to be victorious in Christ! And the light and salt of His victory… to a dark and fast-decaying world.
“God’s people are not victims in a broken world but victors walking and Christ triumph. Christ followers are over comers, not the overwhelmed. Informed by God’s inerrant word, they see life in from a biblical perspective, making decisions with clarity, confidence, and courage.
Searching God’s Word and surrendering to God’s Spirit enables Christians to understand and respond to the circumstances of life in a broken world. Doubt is banished by confidence, confusion is replaced by clarity, and fear gives way to encourage as we anticipate the its expansion of God’s kingdom in this world, and the glory of the King in the world to come.” (Dr. Harry L. Beecher, Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, AL)
The Planks of the Faith, Article 22: The Righteousness of Faith
“We believe that for us to acquire the true knowledge of this great mystery (The Atonement, Article 12), the Holy Spirit kindles in our hearts a true faith that embraces Jesus Christ, with all his merits, and makes Him its own, and no longer looks for anything apart from Him.
For it must necessarily follow that either all that is required for our salvation is not in Christ or, if all is in Him, then He who has Christ by faith has His salvation entirely.
Therefore, to say that Christ is not enough but that something else is needed as well is a most enormous blasphemy against God—for it then would follow that Jesus Christ is only half a Savior. And therefore we justly say with Paul that we are justified “by faith alone” or by faith “apart from works.” (Romans 3:28)
However, we do not mean, properly speaking, that it is faith itself that justifies us—for faith is only the instrument by which we embrace Christ, our righteousness.
But Jesus Christ is our righteousness in making available to us all His merits and all the holy works He has done for us and in our place. And faith is the instrument that keeps us in communion with Him and with all His benefits.
When those benefits are made ours they are more than enough to absolve us of our sins.” (Article 22, The Belgic Confession of Faith, 1561—emphasis added)
When those benefits are made ours, they are more than enough to absolve us of our sins—and make us VICTORS not VICTIMS for the glory of God, the blessings of His people, and the redemption of this world… on earth as it is in heaven!
Choose this day: Victory in Christ? Or being surrendered to victimization?
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:3-10).
Victory in Christ promotes unity. Defeat in victimization promotes disunity in every realm—seen and unseen.