A presupposition is that which is assumed to be true at the beginning of a line of argumentation or course of action. The most important thing about a presupposition is whether or not it is verifiably true. Certainly, when we are talking about matters involving the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3), we see dramatic differences in regard to what professing believers presuppose to be true about God and the gospel going in.
As is the case for anyone, I have presuppositions that I bring to my writing regarding the Christian faith, so I will discuss those here. The primary focus of this site is to explore the various aspects of faith and the Christian’s walk with the Lord here on the earth. There is obviously a disconnect that exists within the professing church when it comes to defining the primary aim of the Christian faith. How do we answer the question, “Who is God and what does He require of us?” The answer to this question will ultimately depend upon the presuppositions one holds to be true and whether or not they are.
The subheading of the site is “Life as a New Creation in Christ”. In my walk with the Lord, this has been my primary focus, so I have been devoting myself to learning and understanding what it means to be a new creation in Christ since around 2010. The Lord has used my personal time of Bible study, what I’ve read from other believers as the fruit of what they’ve learned from the Word of God, what I have listened to, as well as personal relationships He has brought into my life to shape my understanding of this topic.
This post is just going to skim the surface, but what I have learned and come to understand to this point is that the life of the new creation in Christ is markedly different in regard to what one desires. The one who has been born again (John 3:1-8) is going to be altogether different from one who has not been born again. I used to teach high school science, and we would devote a unit of the course to studying the characteristics of matter for classification purposes. There are certain physical properties and chemical properties that can be obtained and measured to discern the identity of some unknown sample of matter. For example, let’s say we find a yellow rock in the back yard and we want to know if we’ve found gold. Gold has defined properties, so we can take the yellow rock and, through the collection of data, determine the properties of this unknown sample and then compare it to what is known about gold to see if we have a match. My position is that the one who has been born of the Spirit, and is therefore a new creation in Christ, is defined by new desires that can be observed as the outworking of faith. These definitional desires are summed up in the title of this site: Truth. Love. Mission.
Of course there is a lot of depth to each one of those and, if the Lord agrees, I plan to use this site to explore the depths of what it means to live as a new creation in Christ (Galatians 2:20). Note that the focus here is on the desires of the new creation. There are certain moments in the life of the believer in which their conduct looks like that of an unbeliever. This is due to the fact that every new creation in Christ has a lifetime of practiced ungodliness and sinful habits to unlearn through the process of sanctification as well as indwelling sin waging war within that provides opposition for us in terms of living a life which matches the overall desires of our new life in Christ (Galatians 5:17). Even though there are moments in which the believer lives faithlessly, he is accepted by the Father through union with Christ who is the propitiation for sin and our mediator who advocates for us before the Father on the basis of His finished work and sacrifice on our behalf (1 John 2:1-2).
The one who has been born again has a new relationship with the truth. When we were in Adam, we believed the lie of self-rulership and we loved the darkness—hating the light of truth—because our deeds were evil (John 3:19). But now, our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). All who are in Christ have a desire—an affinity—for truth as the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer is the Spirit of truth (John 14:15-18) and He leads and guides those who have been born again in the matters of truth (John 16:13). Those who are in Christ see the Word of God as the governing standard over behavior and so he desires to store up truth in his heart so that he might not sin against the Lord (Psalm 119:11). The new creation in Christ loves the truth and longs to live in the light of it. In our love of the truth, we must desire to know it as God has given it to us. So, we must let the Word speak truth without polluting it with our experience, our emotion and our errant presuppositions that have been accepted without critical thought throughout our lifetime. The problem with truth in today’s culture is that people have accepted the notion that there is no such thing as absolute truth. This post-modern thinking has infected society and has become an obstacle to the truth of God’s Word.
The second defining desire that marks the new creation in Christ is a desire to love others in obedience to the truth. The truth is what informs love. Similar to the societal obstacle that exists for divinely-given truth, there is a towering obstacle that exists for this desire of the new creation as well. The definition of the word for love that is used in the culture today is not the same definition for love that we see in Scripture. There is a lot to get into with this that goes beyond the purpose of this post, but the genuine article of biblical love is inseparably linked to what is true (1 Corinthians 13:6). Since the two go hand in hand, the culture that rejects truth will also have a perverted understanding of love.
There is an obvious disconnect in terms of definition when you can have people (proclaiming themselves to be born again) encouraging the acceptance and even the encouragement of behaviors that are declared sinful by God with Scripture references being used to support what God has put outside the light of His boundary of truth. Biblical love is a divine love. To love in this specific way requires divine empowerment, so it’s no wonder that those who are in Christ and those who are in Adam would be missing one another in communication due to differences in definition. The world is not able to love in this way, so they’ve redefined it to match that which they desire to do—satisfy their own fleshly desires. In contrast, the distinguishing characteristic of divine love is that it is self-sacrificial—rather than promoting self through the satisfaction of selfish desires divorced from the truth of God’s Word. The individual is giving of self (even hurting themselves) in order to do for the other according to what they most need. Of course, the greatest demonstration of this type of love was that the Father sent the beloved Son to the earth for the purpose of pouring His wrath upon the Righteous One so that all who are in the Son should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
The third and final definitional desire of the new creation in Christ is that they desire to be about the mission of Christ’s Kingdom rather than building their own worldly kingdom. When Jesus was 12 years old, He was left behind in Jerusalem by mistake. When His parents realized that He wasn’t with the caravan, they went back to find Him. They found Him in the temple listening to the teachers and asking them questions. When questioned by His parents in regard to why He wasn’t with them, He answered them, “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:41-52) The mission of Jesus was to always do the will of the Father (John 6:38), and we who are in union with Christ have the same mission. This mission is two-fold: the proclamation of truth to those who are perishing with the knowledge that God desires to save all types of people as well as to edify the saints of God through self sacrificial service for the building up of the body in unity and peace.
This is the nutshell version of the Christian faith. All men are fallen in Adam and are separated from God on the basis of sin. Having no righteousness of his own in order to approach God, man must be born again into a saving union with Christ through faith, and it is only through this union with the Son that mankind is reconciled to God and one another in restored fellowship. Being a new creation in Christ means that one is altogether new and has been given a new heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26) which has new—holy—desires, and has been sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). The life of the new creation in Christ is built upon the foundation of truth which informs love and—in turn—motivates the mission.