Summary: Jesus Christ is: 1. God 2. One of us 3. Lord of all
A recent Newsweek poll found that “84 percent of American adults consider themselves Christians, and 82 percent see Jesus as God or the son of God. Seventy-nine percent say they believe in the virgin birth, and 67 percent think the Christmas story — from the angels’ appearance to the Star of Bethlehem — is historically accurate.” These are amazing statistics, and at first blush they may seem encouraging, but it is one thing to believe those things and quite another to integrate them into life. Many people believe the right things, but keep these beliefs separate from large sections of their every day lives.
John Howard Yoder talks about the person of Christ and his lordship over all our lives when he writes: “Christians begin to deny their Lord when they admit that there are certain realms of life in which it would be inappropriate to bring Christ’s rule to bear. Of course, non-Christians will insist that we should keep our religion out of the way of their politics. But the reason for that is not that Jesus has nothing to do with the public realm, it is that they want nothing to do with Jesus as Lord. . . . What we believe about Christ must apply to all our behavior, no matter how many of our neighbors remain unconvinced.”
This is an important statement, because we have for too long bifurcated life into the sacred and secular, and failed to recognize that Jesus Christ is Lord of all — he must reign over every area of our personal lives and every area of the public arena as well. If this is true, it changes everything. Whether anyone wants to recognize it or not, he is the One who created the heavens and the earth. This world belongs to God. It was built on his laws, and the world continues to exist only because it is ordered by those laws, which we call the “laws of nature.” There are also moral laws which are built into the universe which are every bit as much a part of the structure and design of life as the law of gravity. Jesus Christ is the author of those laws, and we are all accountable to him and called to obey those laws — whether we like them, or agree with them, or not.
Jesus Christ was the agent of creation. The Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4). Paul wrote: “Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:6). Elsewhere, Paul says, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). The writer of Hebrews says, “In these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:2).
Too often the world merely sees Jesus as a spiritual leader and confine him to the religious arena of life, believing they can take him off the shelf when they wish, and keep him on the shelf when they so desire. They believe Jesus exists in the spiritual realm and the other realms of life are ours to do with as we please. We have made him out to be a religious spinner of tales, and failed to acknowledge that he is the Lord of all of life. All the world was created by him, and all the world is accountable to him. In the end he will judge the whole earth, for in speaking of Christ, the Bible says, “He is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42). Paul tells us: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Who is this awesome being whom we call Jesus Christ? He is the Creator and Designer of the universe. He is the Judge of all the earth. He is the Savior and Lord of all mankind. He is Lord of all. In particular, I want us to look at three areas of his being which reveal who he is. The first is: Jesus Christ is God. There are many who do not understand this. They believe that Jesus is the founder of Christianity, but not that he is, in fact, divine — the God of the universe. But as Christians we talk about the “incarnation,” which means that God came “in the flesh.” The book of John says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). In Christ, God came to earth in human form. This is why we use the name Immanuel — God with us. This is why we talk about the Trinity, that is, God the three in One — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The book of Colossians says, “He is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).