Blog by: Peter Crowder
They say perception is reality; a statement that is clearly untrue in absolute terms. What we perceive by means of our senses and our cognitive ability is not necessarily reality, it is not necessarily true. We can get it wrong. For example if you look on the passenger side mirror of your car or truck you will see the warning “objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”
The message of the cross – that Jesus Christ, God the Son in the flesh, died on the cross to pay for our sins – is something for which our perception affects reality. Paul writes that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).
That the message of the cross is foolishness is a perception but it is not a reality – it is not true. For the one who perceives the message of the cross in that way, and he or she does not trust in Jesus Christ to save, that one’s perception of the message of the cross has affected his or her reality. One day, that person will stand before God and answer for all that he or she has done. He or she will be punished for sin – we are all guilty of sinning – of not meeting God’s standard of perfection (Romans 3:23).
That the message of the cross is the power of God is a perception that is reflective of reality. The one who perceives the message of the cross in that way has trusted in Jesus Christ to save from the punishment that all mankind deserves for sin. Through faith that one is standing in God’s grace (grace is favor – Romans 5:1-2). Christ’s death on the cross as payment for sin means that the person who trusts in Him is forgiven and given a right standing before God (justified). He or she has been reconciled to God and will not be punished for sin, only rewarded for his or her works that endure (1 Corinthians 3:12-17).
The work of evangelism is in being used by God to shift perceptions and therefore change the reality of an individual’s eternal destiny.
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)
Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net