Summary: Christ is our only sure foundation
Centered on Christ
November 13, 2011
What does our church need?
[Answer: A higher view of God!]
If you’ve come here this morning hoping to hear about Jesus and to see Him lifted up, you’ve come to the right place. We love Him. We realize there’s no crown we can put on His head that He doesn’t deserve, and we know there’s no praise we can give Him that’s too high. He’s wasn’t just a good man or just another prophet. He doesn’t just give good advice, and He doesn’t just try His best.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the God who became a sinless Man, and the sovereign Lord of all creation. He’s the one who commands the lightning and it obeys (Job 38:35). He’s the one who tells the oceans, “This far and no further” (Job 38:11). He’s the Lamb who sits on the throne and is found worthy to break the seven seals (Rev. 5:2-5). He is God and nothing less. Everything that’s ever existed owes its existence to Him.
And so we’ve met to worship Him here this morning.
If you’re here to worship Jesus, you’re in the right place.
Specifically today we’re going to talk about Him as the foundation of everything we know. When we say we love doctrine around here, what we mean is that we love God and we love talking about Him. We love the truth He’s shown us, and the standard for any doctrine we hold is this: is it centered on Christ?
I want you to write that down at the top of your notes: is what I believe centered on Christ?
Let’s look at Colossians 2:6 as we think more about what this means:
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Here’s the point I want you to see:
The foundation of our hope is that we are established by Christ (:6-7)
We’ve received Christ Jesus the Lord, so we walk “in Him.” Notice that it doesn’t say we walk “like Him” (even though it could say that and still be correct). But here it says we walk in Him. The reason we can even walk like Him is because we are in Him.
We’re “rooted” in Him and “built up” in Him. Like a giant oak tree, our roots are what support us. Christ causes us to be thoroughly grounded so that we don’t fall over. I think of the old hymn that says, “If my feet would go astray, they cannot, for I know, that Jesus guides my faltering steps as joyfully I go.” Will I stay on this path I’ve started by my own power? How can I? I can’t stand up under the power of my flesh and against the forces of darkness. But I don’t have to worry about that because it’s Christ who supports me and builds me up. With such a firm foundation there really is a security for the believer.
This is why it’s so important to have all our doctrine centered squarely on Christ. How many Christians think God loves and accepts them based on the way they’ve acted? How many Christians strive and fight in their own power to be pleasing rather than just walking in Him?
I’m not the root. I don’t do the building. God works in me, and He establishes me in the faith. It says that we shall all be taught of God (Jn. 6:45). All my convictions about Christ, all my doctrines and religion, (if their correct) they’re centered on Him.
Now notice that God’s work bears fruit: we abound with thanksgiving. Don’t misunderstand me—I’m not saying that there’s no change. Actually I’m saying just the opposite! A man that isn’t rooted in Christ might cover up his true nature with white washed walls, but inside he’s still full of dead man’s bones (Mt. 23:37).
But a true believer who’s received Christ Jesus is rooted and built up! He’s established in the faith and taught true righteousness so that his good works aren’t a cover-up, but rather they’re evidence! They’re evidence that his doctrine is centered on Christ Jesus who alone is Lord.
No man can establish himself in these things. Think about all the people in Matthew 7:22 who cry out “Lord, Lord.” They appeal to all the good things they’ve done: they had prophesied in His name, cast out devils, and done many good works in His name. But He says “I never knew you: depart from Me, you workers of iniquity.”
When the man calls Jesus a good teacher, Jesus replies, “Why do you call me good? None is good save God alone” (Lk. 18:19).