BC is an abbreviation for Before Christ, the significance of that phrase is, I hope, patently obvious. AD is an abbreviation for Anno Domini this is a Latin phrase that may be translated into English as ‘in the year of our Lord’. The dating system that is marked by these two abbreviations has marked our calendars with the constant reminder of the reality of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why modern secular scholarship has replaced them with BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era). It is their goal, I assume, to erase the connection between our dating system and our Lord Jesus Christ.
If there were such a thing as a detached observer, that observer would see a form of high irony that attempt, because in the attempt to distance themselves from the memory of Christ, they have only called attention to the reality of the person and events that our years are numbered around. Whatever the label, the dates still center on the same time in history.
It is ironic, but it is also a reason to mourn…and be comforted. It is a reason to mourn because the secular academy is symbolically cutting themselves off from what is truly the central reality of history. They are ignoring, to their own detriment, the hinge of history. It is one of reality’s deepest truths that Jesus changed everything. It is the kind of truth that brings clarity to everything else by its light. It is a reason to be comforted because it is the controlling narrative of the faith that we embrace, and it gives light in a dark time in a dark world. To highlight some of those changes, here is an excerpt from a sermon coming to a pulpit near you:
Before Jesus, citizenship in the coming Kingdom of Heaven was marked by obedience to the law written on tablets of stone, by bloodline, and by animal sacrifices. After Jesus, citizenship in the Kingdom that has come is marked by obedience to the law written on a new heart, and by a line of blood from the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus Christ.
The Kingdom of Heaven is not attained by my obedience, your obedience, nor our corporate obedience. The Kingdom of Heaven is attained by the obedience of Jesus Christ. Therefore, entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven is accompanied by a heart marked inscribed with the Law of God from the outside by the Spirit of God.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: 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. (Jer. 31:33)
Said another way, entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven is accompanied by the Spirit of The King that comes to dwell within the servants of the King. The change is initiated from without, happens within, and was initiated on the cross by the King of Kings.
“And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezek. 36:27)
Brothers and sisters, remember and never forget that you are not a Christian because you decide to become a Christian. You are a Christian because the Eternal God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has chosen you from before the foundation of the world to belong to him forever. You are a Christian because Jesus Christ the eternally begotten Son of God has come and perfectly obeyed The Father on your behalf, and he has taken the just wrath of God against you because of your sin. You are a Christian because the Holy Spirit of God has applied that perfect atoning sacrifice made on your behalf to you personally. He has written the Law on your heart. He has come to dwell with you and fill you with himself in increasing measure forever, and that filling implies that he will cause you to walk in his statutes. That writing implies that you will be careful to obey Jesus Christ the King forever.
This good news calls you to walk in that forgiveness. It calls you and motivates you to live according to that law. At the same time, it promises that He will bring that transformation to completion in you on the Day of Jesus Christ.
In Christ Alone,