Summary: I talk about the importance of having a correct understanding of Jesus and other important truths about him.
THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS
July 13, 2003 A.M. Service
A mother told her little boy to go wash his hands. He said, germs and Jesus, germs and Jesus, that’s all I ever hear about around here. I have never seen either one of them. (Paul Powell)
A minister delievering the children’s sermon in church asked, "Boys and girls, what lives in a tree, eats nuts and has a long bushy tail?" One little boy responded, "Preacher I know the answer is Jesus, but it sure sounds like a squirrel to me." (Paul Powell)
Jesus. The very name stirs up a variety of emotions and reactions. For some the very name is confrontational. In some places you can not even use his name. You can pray to God but you better not use Jesus’ name! I often wonder why that is. A conclusion I came up with his because Jesus personified God. You see Jesus was God in the flesh. He brought personality to God. I think some people just want God to remain a mystery.
Other people love to use Jesus’ name but not in a respectful sense. A month ago I pulled over a man driving a car for running a red light. When he saw that I was writing a ticket he said under his breath, “Jesus Christ.” Without hesitation I immediately replied, “is Lord.” I was glad to be able to finish his sentence for him. He didn’t like that very much.
When you ask people what they think about Jesus you will get a variety of reactions and perspectives. For some, he was a good man. Others, he was a prophet like Moses and Elijah. Many more say that Jesus was a religious figure sort of like Buddha and Ghandi.
Folks, you can’t read the New Testament and come up with those conclusions. Those answers may be true to a point (Jesus was indeed good) but there is so much more to the person of Jesus Christ. Even if one does not believe in Christ, if you read his word you will find some distinctiveness not found in any other religious figure. (I hesitate calling Jesus a religious figure because that’s not what he wanted to be known for).
During Jesus’ day there was confusion about who Christ was. Years following Jesus’ ascension into heaven other kinds of confusion surfaced in the churches. The early church did not have a Bible. They didn’t have sharp volumes of theological information about Christ. So, God used Paul to address some of the issues that began to surface in individual churches to set their Christology straight. Certain heresies came up in churches. Paul confronted them. What is heresy? It is a contradiction of dogma. For example, if I said that your dog is divine and to be worshipped—that would be a heresy. The church has always had heresy. And if we want to keep away from heresy in the church we better have a proper view/understanding of Christ.
So Paul confronted these churches. In the book of Colossians he is addressing some heresy that has come up in that church that was robbing Christ of his central role in the Christian faith. It was causing people to think less of and even deny the uniqueness of Christ. There was an emphasis in angel worship. There was a philosophy called “Gnosticism” which basically meant you can receive salvation from knowledge. It taught of a God who was not near but very far off. This was the situation that Paul was addressing.
Why was it so important that Paul address that? Why is it so important that we make sure that the proper view of Christ is being presented in our church?
Read with me Colossians 1:28-29. (NLT) “So everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ. We warn them and teach them with all wisdom God has given us, for we want to present them to God perfect in their relationship to Christ. I work very hard at this, as I depend on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.”
**Your maturity in the Lord depends on your understanding of Christ. Paul went everywhere telling everyone about Christ. He did this by warning them and teaching them with all wisdom (in a way they would understand). The goal was to present the everyone to God perfect (complete) in their relationship to Christ. Some people believe that when they became a follower of Jesus that that is all they need to do. John Piper said, “Salvation is not mainly forgiveness of sins it is mainly a fellowship with Jesus.” Walking with Christ is more than just praying a simple prayer. You begin a journey with a person—not a religion, not a denomination, but with a person. Not to an ideology but to our Creator!