WDJD

The WWJD acronym took Christian marketing by storm, had it’s 15 minutes of fame and still lingers and reappears at times. In my experience, most of the time when “WWJD” is brought up it’s in the context of being kinder, gentler and nicer to those around us. Or to a certain situation currently being dealt with. It’s not necessarily a bad question to ask, but is it the right one? The title “WDJD” isn’t a misprint, but a new acronym for “What did Jesus do?”

Why the new question? I believe it’s needed because that is what Scripture is focused on. So many times today we continue to hear a focus on you. What are you going to do for Jesus? What are you going to give Him? I just heard a sermon this morning that spoke said that if Jesus performed miracles right in front of the unbelievers in the audience that they still wouldn’t believe because they would need to make their hearts receptive like the wise men. The focus was on what man has to do with very limited focus on what God has all ready done or God’s work in peoples’ hearts.

WWJD? Well, what would He do in a given situation? If people are to continue using this catch phrase then let’s ask for a little more consistency. Love God and love people, yes. Love and pray for your enemies and treat people well, but don’t stop there. Rebuke, correct and call for repentance as Jesus might do in your situation. Modern evangelicalism doesn’t like that approach much though. Whatever evangelicalism is today as Phil Johnson has rightly assessed. So if you’re going to use “WWJD” then use all of it and instead of “HNWJB” or “How nice would Jesus be?”

WDJD? This is a weightier matter that I believe Scripture bears out. For some reason, I don’t seem to hear this much when I hear exhortations toward living the Christian live. Instead, this is where the “do better” and “give back to Jesus” talk comes in. So what am I talking about? I’m talking about the cross. About what Jesus did as a substitutionary atonement by taking the punishment for sinners that those believing will be saved from their sins. Free from bondage to sin in this life that we may love Him because He first loved us. That is what Jesus did! That is what we look to in our failings, shortcomings and exhortations of other believers.

How do we do that? Well, how does Scripture read? So much preaching I hear just doesn’t speak as the Bible speaks. Sure, it can be hard and challenging, but isn’t life? Shouldn’t we seek to grow and know God just as we seek to grow in all areas of life? Let’s look at some examples quoting from the NASB.

Romans 6:8-12 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts

1 Corinthians 6:14-15 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

1 Peter 2:24-25 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

I’m not saying we don’t have a responsibility to live for the Lord and to “do better” in our walk. I am saying that the only way we can even do this is because of what Christ has done for us and this is often missed. It must be realized that our witness in the world for Christ is not about how we can do better or give back, but about how He given and paid everything for us. Our short comings can’t add to perfection so we look to Him as our strength. Scripture says this so why can’t we?

We are not called to live by trying to, in a sense, pay God back that which we could never afford. We are called to live by faith relying on His grace for our strength.

Mark

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in Church Issues,Culture,Southern Baptist,theology

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Nathan White December 13, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Mark,

Good post. I’ve always responded to this (now almost forgotten) fad by saying, WDJS: What Did Jesus Say? It is His word, of course, which we are to subject ourselves to, not our subjective interpretations of what we like in His actions.

However…

You said: So if you’re going to use “WWJD” then use all of it and instead of “HNWJB” or “How nice would Jesus be?”

I know what you mean here, and I agree, but I am saddened by how many of our ‘reformed’ brothers use this as an excuse to be a jerk. Love is, after all, the fulfillment of the law; we just need to love without compromising. Defending the truth in arrogance is an oxymoron that will do more harm than if we’d simply kept our mouth shut.

.

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