Christianese -Written by Louis Liss

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2

I adore intellectualism. I lavish wading in the waters of hyper-cognitive conversations and am filled with a bolt of adrenaline at the opportunity to debate any given topic that pops up in daily dialogue. So when the Holy Spirit illuminated the Great Commission for me in high school as being imperative for my life, I felt uniquely equipped to stand in the middle of the courtyard and watch as my words brought down tongues of fire onto the campus. You can imagine how stunned I was when my incredible oratory and prowess in verbal sparring bore no fruit and sowed a lot of dissension towards not only myself but God in general. For some bizarre reason my puffed up pride did not convey the gospel of Jesus Christ. Beyond my arrogance, the greatest barrier to Jesus was the language I was using, which to me was clear and deeply significant. To my post-modern classmates the words, “Justification by grace through faith,” not only had no meaningful impact, but had no meaning at all. Though I had a comprehensive command of the theological principles of the road to salvation this did not impress my classmates enough to give their lives over to Jesus nor did they appreciate being dragged brain first across the threshold of salvation. So I stumbled through constant clumsy evangelism into college. It was there at our InterVarsity campus ministry that we played a game where we had to make a list of words that meant nothing or something completely different to our non-Christian neighbors. We made a long list of words including, for example, atonement, sanctification, and blood. Then we were asked to flip over the page and answer the following question without using any of those aforementioned words: What is the significance of the cross in your life? Jesus’ death on the cross was and is the most important manifestation of Christ in my life and so I feverishly began to write with growing fervor. I soon found that I was doing far more erasing than I was writing. I realized that I had become fully dependent on explaining my deep and passionate love for Jesus in a way that only I and those select few fluent in Christianese could understand. I then received a far deeper revelation from the Holy Spirit. I had been clinging to these insider terms during evangelism because I had placed my identity in my intelligence and not in Christ. I thought that it was more important that people were impressed by my knowledge of God than by God, and to bring the illumination to its completion the Holy Spirit finally told me that my amazing oration had drawn many people to myself but very few were then drawn to Him. So I began to take a John 15 set of shears to my language. I started to systematically reevaluate all of my beliefs about God and if it included any of the post-modern taboo words that I had listed then I moved it from the evangelism part of my brain to the discipleship section. I began to realize how deeply difficult this truly was. I found my post-modern friends were in no way interested with whether or not Jesus was true in what He said, but they were intently fascinated by whether or not these truths worked practically in my life. With my high church armor stripped I found myself exposed. These words had protected me from having to engage about my own struggles and failures. I now stood bare before the world with nothing but Jesus and my personal stories of his daily actions in my life. I sat one day in my hockey locker room surrounded by several guys I have known for well over 15 years. They would frequently recount the debaucherous exploits of our youth. After several months of stories a newer player who knew that I had been present for all of the depicted events asked me how it was possible that I could be a character in these stories from the past and now be a pastor and missionary who continued to consort with my former teammates. The characters in these tales were comprised of heroin addicts, a multiple rehab attender, a drug dealer whose family had to flee the state because of death threats, a prisoner for illegal pornography, adulterers, drunkards, three lifetime ban holders, and a rap sheet full of assaults to round out the tales that come to mind. Even as I began to speak I looked at my teammates through a haze of pot smoke. “How did you end up like you did after spending your life with these guys?” he asked. “I was lost, running in darkness and filling my life with anything that could make me not think about the pit I was in. I tried to pull myself out so many times and never could shake the darkness. Then I was invited to come to a youth retreat where Jesus met me and broke in with such amazing light that all of the darkness in me fled and all the venom in me was drained out. I was a new person with Jesus in my heart, and as for these guys. There’s no place that Jesus would rather hang out than in a hockey locker room. We all need that light in our lives.” The locker room that usually sounded like, well, a locker room was silent. One of my old friends leaned over and said, “Thanks Lou we need someone like you in around us.” Everyone agreed and as we were going out to play the game the new guy approached me and asked if we could talk more at the bar after the game. Of course I agreed and we had weeks of amazing conversations about Jesus and His light. While I am amongst someone who hasn’t yet taken that unfathomable leap into the arms of Jesus I now confess to know nothing but Christ and him crucified. It has transformed my life, my ministry, and truly proven to me that God was right when He spoke about all we need in Revelation 12:11, “They overcame [the accuser] by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.” Amen and Ahmeen

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Psalm 6

There are some great comments that have been posted, so don’t miss out on the discussion. Go back and take a look at what others are seeing in the pages of Scripture.

Overview

Again we find that the Psalmist/David is struggling. He is torn apart emotionally, but knows that God has heard his crying and weeping. He knows that God will bring righteous judgment on his enemies. (An aside here, I have not been writing David because I do not have a commentary with much information about what was happening with David during these. Some of you may have that information or be interested in knowing what David may have been referring to directly in his Psalms. I wanted to read through them focusing on what Jesus has to do with the Psalms, so I am only using this commentary. But that is a good part of it being a public study, that many of you can comment with more information on how these relate to the life of David. Much of David’s life is recapitulated in Jesus.)

Characters

David, the Lord, my soul, those in Sheol, my foes and enemies, workers of evil

Key Verse

Verse 8 “Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.”

Cross Reference

Psalm 119:115 “Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God.”

Psalm 139:19 “Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me!”

Matthew 7:23 “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”

Matthew 25:41 “”Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Luke 13:27 “But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!'”

Psalm 94:4 “They pour out their arrogant words; all the evildoers boast.”

Psalm 3:4 “I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

Conclusion

    The most important thing is to know the Lord. Once I have a relationship with Him, I have nothing to fear. God will provide for me. Those who deny Him and turn from Him, will be judged.

I pray that all of my actions would provide a light to those who are my foes and enemies so that they can join the family of God and learn to know God and walk in His truth and righteousness. I pray also that I will continue in His righteousness so that I am never considered an enemy to anyone else.

Jesus in the Psalm

    At the beginning of the Psalm, David doesn’t know whether his suffering is coming from God or his enemies. However, he does not plead innocence, he seeks God’s grace. We know from Scripture that “God’s essential nature is to be merciful.”*

Exodus 34:6-7 “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.”

Romans 9:15 “For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”

“When it resembles the Messiah’s suffering and enhances faith, suffering can actually prove that a person belongs to God.”*

1 Peter 1:6-12 “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.” (P.S. I love this book, 1 Peter, read it sometime it is a great encouragement to my heart and soul.)

The struggles and grief David is going through in these Psalms draws him closer to God instead of sending him away from God. Paul calls this “godly grief”:

2 Corinthians 7:10 “For godly grief produces repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”

“David thus provides the follower of Christ an inspired vocabulary to express his or her frustration with God’s painful providence. David also leaves a legacy of faith by demonstrating that, when we flee to God alone for mercy, our conscience finds lasting relief from the trouble of our sins.”*

Hebrews 10:12-14 “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

The conclusion of the commentary for this Psalm is, “We lean ultimately on God’s “steadfast love” (Ps. 6:4)—love that is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.”*

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases of the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

Tomorrow: Psalm 7

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