Cornerstone exists because of Jesus. We are a people who have been transformed by the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God has forgiven us and adopted us into his family. Now, we have a whole new life.
Through the gospel, God redeems us, forgives us, and adopts us into his family. The good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection makes each one of us a new creation and gives us a new identity: children of God. This is why we can never think of the church as an organization or a building. The church is actually a family—God’s family, filled with redeemed sinners that are now his children.
Through the gospel, God forgives us, adopts us into his family, and makes us his disciples. This means that the church is not just any family. We are a family formed by God—and sent out with a purpose.
The church is a family that ministers to one another, cares for one another, and builds one another up. Each member of the family is a child of God who is uniquely gifted to bless the family and to be a light in our city.
Just like a vine grows best with a good trellis, our church family grows best with good programs. Our programs and ministries are tailored to support the community and mission God has given us.
“Your soul, like your body, is happier when it’s healthier. Even when you’re not ‘out of control,’ your soul still feels lethargic or restless, a bit guilty or a bit self-righteous. And you know that walking on the edge of ‘out of control’ leads you to fall off more often than you’d think.”
Diabetes is an interesting disease. It masquerades as a “condition,” like a vitamin deficiency or low arches. Take a few pills, wear orthotics in your shoes, and the problem disappears. Diabetes presents the same way: take your insulin, don’t eat super sugary foods, and you’ll be fine.
But having lived with the disease for 25 years now, I’ve realized it’s more complicated. It turns out that everything besides meat, cheese, and celery has some amount of sugar in it. My body responds to insulin differently depending on the time of day, how active I’ve been, how stressed I am, and even how hot it is. If I take some insulin and avoid drinking big-gulps of mountain dew, I won’t go into a coma, but I won’t be healthy.
This is important because I'm happier when I’m healthier. At first glance, it seems like happiness would be putting in as little effort as possible. Eating whatever I want, so long as I don’t go too crazy (e.g. big gulps of regular soda) sounds better than paying close attention to my diet. But even when my blood sugars are not “out of control,” I still feel lethargic when they’re on the higher end of normal and restless when they’re on the lower end. What’s more, walking on the edge of “out of control” leads you to fall off more often than you’d think, which has severe consequences over time.
The good life for the diabetic is not found in ignoring as much as you can get away with. It’s found in navigating the complexities in between the extremes, looking for the most health you can find.
There are lessons here for us in the “gray areas” of the Christian life: entertainment, alcohol, food, social media, and more. They are complicated, murky, and hard to navigate without rigorous thought. At first glance, it seems like happiness would be putting in as little effort as possible. Watching, drinking, posting whatever we want, so long as we don’t go crazy (e.g. pornography, becoming an alcoholic, etc.).
And many of us go that route. We know that alcohol isn’t forbidden in Scripture, and we know we shouldn’t get drunk (though we are happy leaving the definition of “drunk” a little vague). So as long as we’re avoiding these extremes, let’s not think about it too much. We know that entertainment isn’t forbidden in Scripture, and we know that we shouldn’t be watching pornography, among other things (though we’re happy leaving the definition of “pornography” a little vague). So as long as we’re avoiding these extremes, let’s not think about it too much.
But your soul, like your body, is happier when it’s healthier. Even when you’re not “out of control,” your soul still feels lethargic or restless, a bit guilty or a bit self-righteous. And you know that walking on the edge of “out of control” leads you to fall off more often than you’d think.
The good life for the Christian is not found in ignoring as much as you can get away with. It’s found in navigating the complexities in between the extremes, looking for the most health (and holiness) you can find.
What is your relationship with entertainment? What is your relationship with alcohol? What about food, or social media, or any other gray areas in the Christian life?
These are questions you shouldn’t avoid. You’ll be holier, and healthier, and happier, when you engage those questions with an open Bible and a prayerful heart.
Click here to listen to audio from our Gray Areas conference, where we navigated just a few of these complexities together with regard to social media, entertainment, food, and alcohol.
Brian serves the church by overseeing preaching and Sunday morning services at Cornerstone.
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