When we talk about changing the society, what are we talking about?
We don’t mean primarily changing the society to be more developed in infrastructure or education or in technology… rather we mean, changing the society to be conformed to the image of their Creator, so that they live for the chief end for which God created them – to glorify and to enjoy Him forever. Or transforming the people so that the moral fabric is in accord to what God meant it to be – each one is in God’s image in knowledge, righteousness and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.
I will need to answer this question by asking four more questions:
1. What does the society need more than anything else?
Is it good leaders or God? Surely it is God – the Creator and Sustainer of all the His Creation. We must first acknowledge that God sovereignly institutes authorities and appoints leaders as His own agent to execute His decrees (Rom. 13:1 – “…. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God).
Therefore, the gospel is more potent to change the society to God’s moral standards, working within the heart while civil or political leaders are His agents to either reward those who conform (those who do good) or punish those who do evil (Rom. 13:4) and this is only externally.
External conformity is not acceptable before God – it is the internal change of the heart that God is looking for. This is why in the new covenant God promises in Jeremiah 31:31-24, “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God and they shall be my people” and then in Ezek. 36:26, He promises in the new covenant to give a new heart and a new spirit and remove the stony heart (see also 11:19,20; Jer. 31:33; 32:29; Acts 4:32). No human being can work such internal work in another man – only God the Creator has such power.
2. What is the means that God has sovereignly appointed to transform all humanity? –
Jesus Christ (The gospel of free salvation through faith in Jesus Christ). This is what God Himself has said in this regard, Rom. 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” This passage says expressly that the gospel is the power of God for salvation!
The problem of man is not sickness and poverty due to poor leadership and poor policies. You may have the best leadership in place, and legislate the best laws and government policies (and these is what we must require of the government) but we must not be deceived that this will change our society to be conformed to the image of God so that we live to glorify and enjoy God. The gospel brings the good news of free salvation in Christ.
This salvation extends from now to eternity. It is a package that comes with being regenerated by the Spirit of God so that a sinner is justified by God because of His grace in Christ, this leads to being adopted into the family of God so that you become heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ for all eternity in glory. What policy or civil or political leader can bring such permanent, eternal and glorious blessing? This are great wonderful promises in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
3. What do men need to do to obtain Jesus Christ to work out this great transformation in their lives?
Nothing! …just faith in Christ, whereby helpless sinners put their trust and confidence in another one – Jesus Christ. You realize that politics come with a great cost. The taxpayers have to being such a high burden to put leadership in place with hopes that they will serve them. So much work is done to make sure that the process is not flawed.
If the Chinese government had offered to put the bill for Kenya by paying the IIEBC, – do you think Kenyans would accept? No they will think that they have some interest in it so that they may put in a leadership that will favor business with them!
Yet this is the great mystery of the gospel that this salvation is too expensive for any man to pay and so we have to go back to God and request of His mercy, grace and love. This is what He did – He sent forth His Son on earth because of His love for sinners so that we may not perish in our sins (John 3:16).
This is what He did by sending Christ, in the fullness of time, to be born of a woman, under the law to redeem us who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons (Gal. 4:4). If you attempt to so something in order to secure your own salvation then you lose it – “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” Gal 2:16, See also Rom. 3:20)
SALVATION IS TOO EXPENSIVE FOR YOU TO AFFORD IT; SO CHRIST HAS PAID IT ALL FOR YOU AND YOU BETTER TRUST HIM AND THEN YOU’LL OBTAIN IT ABSOULUTELY FREE!
4. What transformation do men get in Christ?
Eternal life – life without end. What is eternal life? Jesus in His high-priestly prayer says, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3). To know God and Jesus Christ, is not to have a factual head knowledge of who God is. Rather it is to have exceptional relationship with Him now and forever.
This is what you get when you take your sins to Christ in repentance and trust Him not only to forgive you but also to give you His righteousness so that you are reconciled to God, made His child, and heir of eternal inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1Peter 1:4,5)