Monday, April 27, 2015

Including Jesus

Monday, April 27, 2015
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.  He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.  He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.  Everything was created through him and for him.  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.  Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body.  He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead.  So he is first in everything.  Colossians 1:15-18 (NLT)
It's just as important to the Christian faith to know why you believe, as it is to know what you believe.  The evangelist George Whitfield was witnessing to a man, and asked him, What do you believe? 
The man replied, I believe what my church believes. 
And what does your church believe? asked Whitfield.  What I believe, replied the man.  Undaunted, the evangelist tried one more time. 
And what do you both believe? 
Why, we both believe the same thing! 
We study a letter like Colossians because we must continually guard against all the ways our sharpness as witnesses of the faith can be dulled and pointless.
Paul wrote this letter while being held captive in a Roman prison.  If you've read the book of Philemon, you would be aware that both letters were written at the same time, and sent back to Colossae.  The letter to the Ephesians may have also been in the same mail bag. 
The occasion of this note is the danger that they were being led astray by some false teaching.  They were being told to tone down their view of Jesus.  It was okay to include Him in...just don't get too fanatical about it! 
Paul didn't spend a lot of words attacking the false teaching; he simply held up Jesus. 
Banks take the same approach about counterfeit money.  They will train tellers to recognize false currency without ever showing them a counterfeit bill.  They simply start them out with large stacks of real bills and say, "Count it!" 
After counting thousands of real bills, you know a fake instantly!
The Colossian church was being led to believe that Jesus was less than Lord of all.  This is not Christianity; it is the kind of syncretism that says Jesus is OK - we'll put him up on the shelf next to Mary, and Buddha, and money, and career, and the Daytona 500.
Beloved, your Christology (what you believe about Jesus) determines your Christianity.  As the old saying has it, If He's not Lord of all, He's not [your] Lord at all! 

For You Today

As you go to work, school, or the mall, or wherever else – in all your conversations and decisions of life, remember that you are the servant of the preeminent One; Jesus is Lord, and you are His servant!

Think about that on the Rocky Road today; and have a great day!

[1] By smz (originally posted to Flickr as Indian Idols), via Wikimedia Commons

No comments:

Post a Comment