First Things First

Followers of Jesus must counter the anger and confusion of our times with God’s love and truth as we pursue personal holiness and demonstrate practical love for people. In part 1 of Deciphering the Cultural Zeitgeist, Pastor Dan Cox reads from James 1:19-27.

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Study Notes

We are living in an age of intellectual, emotional, political and spiritual upheaval.  The zeitgeist – the spirit of the age – speaks persistently to people both inside and outside of the church and influences their thinking, feelings, values and choices.  Our age is characterized by a revolutionary fervor that seeks to overthrow traditional values and fundamental institutions and replace them with a progressive vision, elements of which can be characterized as Utopian.  These waves of rethinking can be seen in our culture’s attitudes and beliefs regarding such things as human sexuality, marriage, gender, economics and race.  As followers of Jesus, we must seek to better understand these beliefs and then lovingly counter the modern, ever-shifting “truth” proclaimed by the spirit of the age with the ancient, unchanging truth revealed by the Spirit of God.

Zeitgeist: Literally, “time ghost/ spirit”: the spirit of the age

It is the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.

The Zeitgeist and…

  • Human Sexuality
  • Marriage
  • Gender Identity/Transgenderism
  • Socialism/Marxism/Cultural Marxism
  • Critical Race Theory/Intersectionality


Three Promises….

  1. I will not seek to deliberately offend people. (Nevertheless, some people will be very upset by some things I say).
  2. I will endeavor to speak the truth in love. (Nevertheless, some people who are not upset by much of what I say, may get upset by some of what I say).
  3. While I will do my best to understand and explain complex issues with respect and sensitivity, I will never compromise or deviate from the simple, revealed truth of the Word of God.

Some Context First…

Let us resolve to…

  • be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger (1:19-20)
  • put our own spiritual house in order (1:21-25)
  • care for the needy in all holiness (1:26-27)


Applying the Text

  • Repent of unrighteous anger and all wickedness
  • Look into and persevere in the Word of God
  • By the power of God, love and care for people