Summary: In Christ alone
In Christ Alone
May 15, 2011
One of my friends once told me that he went to a church and the pastor started the service off by saying, “Today we’re going to talk about Jesus.” My friend said, “I knew right then that I was in the right place!”
Well, “today we’re going to talk about Jesus,” and if you know Him then you know you’re in the right place.
There are so many false religions and heretical doctrines in our time that it’s often hard to tell truth from error. But the disciple, John, gives us a fairly straightforward and simple criterion for discernment:
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son (I Jn. 2:22).
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist (II Jn. 1:7).
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world (I Jn. 4:1-3).
The heart of every heresy and every demonic doctrine is a denial of Christ. They say that He didn’t come in the flesh or that He is not the Christ; His life and death did not purchase our salvation.
That’s why this morning I’m preaching a message to you called, In Christ Alone. If the denial of Christ is the heart of every heresy, then the confession of Him is the heart of every pure truth:
In Philippians 3 Paul recounts all of his religious “accomplishments”: He was circumcised, an Israelite by blood, a Benjamite, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and he was a Pharisee. If anyone had reason to boast about his works in the flesh it was Paul.
As for zeal, he even went so far to serve his God that he persecuted the people he thought were heretics. He observed all the holidays and offered all the sacrifices. He kept the laws as well as anyone can—he was among the religious elite!
And look at what he now says about those accomplishments:
I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith (Phil. 3:8-9).
All of his accomplishments are cast aside as dung in favor of simply knowing Christ! All the strivings and offerings of man are considered utterly worthless (even reproachable) compared to the righteousness and faith of Christ.