The Importance of our Testimony
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?
Currently, there is a great deal of focus upon the church's responsibility to engage the broader community in addressing our country's social problems. Certainty, the Scripture has a great deal to say about these issues, and the church should speak to them to provide Biblical clarity to complex issues. While these issues are essential, we can never lose our focus that the most important task we have to perform is to point people to the gospel. The most significant problem facing the world is not race, economics, or social-political justice. The most significant problem confronting people is the problem of their sin and their separation from God.
In Romans 10, Paul brings us to the practical application of the message he has been proclaiming throughout the book of Romans. After setting forth the plight of humanity caught in the destructive web of sin (chapters 1-3) and the subsequent response of God in bringing the hope of salvation through the redemptive work of Christ (chapters 4-8), Paul now points to our responsibility to get the message of Christ to a dying world. In 10:1, Paul expresses his intense desire to see his people realize their need for the salvation Christ offers. The Jews were zealous for their religious practices and rituals, but it was not based upon truth. Zeal and passion for any religion, including Christianity, is not enough if it is not grounded in the reality of the gospel. Religious fervor is only beneficial if it is an outgrowth of one's acceptance of the person and work of Christ. Only Christ and his salvation is the answer to humanity's need.
However, for a person to accept Christ, they must hear about the message, and that requires someone to communicate the gospel to them. This is why it is critical that we recognize the importance of sharing our faith and why the gospel is to be the driving passion of our life. The answer to the problems of society, the moral confusion of our day, and the issues people are facing in their life is not found in politics or even in social justice movements. The ultimate answer is found only in Christ. While the gospel certainly should move us to be concerned and engaged in the current issues confronting society, we cannot become so focused upon them that we lose sight of the gospel. Only when people come to a saving knowledge of Christ will they discover the hope that elevates them above the problems they face in daily life.
With all the division in our culture over race and social justice, we must remember that it is the gospel, not a political agenda or party, that unites us and gives answers we desperately need. We have a message of hope to give to the world, and that message is the person of Christ. If we do not share that message, they will never discover the goodness and hope of the gospel. Tragically, we have become more focused upon proclaiming our political party or ideology than upon the proclamation of the gospel. As you discuss all the issues confronting people, point people to Christ, for he is the only one who can truly bring them answers in life.