“For the grace of God has appeared, …training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions…” Tutus 2:11-12
The word “culture” is not in the Bible. That’s because culture is a concept that only recently has gained meaning and power in our lives. But that concept describes something real which is foundational to our human experience. Scripture reveals culture by connecting truth to our lives.
In my previous post, Can Christians Change Culture?, I mentioned Romans 12:2. This verse tells us to resist being conformed the world, but doesn’t tell us how we can shape that world.
To answer that question, there’s something else we need to see. The word that is translated “world” is actually a representation of time, not place. Everywhere else that word is used in the New Testament, it’s translated as “age” (See 1 Cor. 3:18, Eph. 1:21, 1 Tim. 6:17, Tutus 2:12 for example).
Tutus 2:12 is of special interest. It says: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” Tutus 2:11-12
The phrase “in the present age” uses the same word as Romans 12:2. This fits better with of our current idea of culture.
Moreover, this passage tells us what can overcome culture; God’s salvation through grace, which changes our desires. This is the same process that Romans 12:2 describes as being “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Scripture does not tell us to change culture. But it does describe something like culture that is part of how God changes us.
God is infinitely greater than us. To relate to him, we must be able to find meaning across the various pieces of our lives. Culture helps us do that.
Culture helps us fit the pieces of our lives together in a meaningful way.
Scripture describes our existence and condition as human beings. We are created in the image of God. As such, we have a particular responsibility before God. But we have fallen into sin and need to be redeemed (Read more at RedemptiveLeader.com).
The ultimate meaning in life is found in the Gospel, the good news that Christ died for our sins. That simple message affects every part of us. But we have to see how the pieces of our lives connect for that truth to change all of us.
Scripture reveals culture when it makes that connection, even when we don’t know its culture that’s at work
God has a purpose that includes all of who we are, and culture helps us see that.