In a 1983 Gallup poll Americans were asked “who do you think Jesus is.” 70% of those interviewed said Jesus was not just another man. 42% stated Jesus was God among men. 27% felt Jesus was only human but divinely called. 9% states Jesus was divine because he embodied the best of humanity. Also, 81% of Americans consider themselves to be Christians.
I hear a lot of people who speak of believing in God, but when it comes to Christ they cannot bring themselves to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, or that Jesus is God. The Apostle Paul writes to the churches in the region of Colossae and hammers the truth of who Jesus is and why accepting Him is the beginning of true life and power. As we see in Colossians 1:15-16 15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,[e] 16 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. Christ is the all in all and His honor and standing is of course, unparalleled by any other being. Jesus IS God and Jesus is to be Lord in ALL we do, say, and think. For Jesus to come to earth as a man and live here among us is incredible and we cannot ever minimize the significance of this act of love. We must also realize the power of the grace Jesus has given to us through His sacrifice on the cross. In verses 19-20 Paul says For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. Everything we are is riding on who Jesus is and what He has done for us. EVERYTHING!! When we use the name of Jesus it must always be done with honor and praise and total realization of who He is. We might slide easily on some truths as we are constantly given false information by the knowledge of this world, but one thing must never be compromised. Jesus is God and He is all powerful and His name if to be honored.
Many times I will have the events of a particular day overwhelm me and bring me to tears, so I lift up my hands to the heavens and say, “Oh Jesus please strengthen my heart and mind and work a great work of peace in me. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Only Jesus can satisfy the desire we have for the hope that so easily escapes us on a daily basis. You can call me weak and I will agree with you and add, “I am weak and nothing without the power of Jesus.” if you have trouble understanding my stance on all of this just read this 2 Corinthians 12:9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
The power of Jesus does work best among weakness and I will tell you ” I am truly weak!” So I sit back and watch as the power of God shows up at just the right time to do and be something I could never do or be on my own power. To me, anything different from that is PRIDE!! When pride kicks in we minimize Jesus and that is a dangerous position to live in.
With all of that said we look at another part of this great scripture in verses 17-18 and see the effect this is to have on the church. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. 18 Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead.[f] So he is first in everything. The church is the working and ministering body of Jesus and His grace is best seen in the individuals changed lives all serving together as a unified group of people. Within the context of a group of people who are discovering more and more about Jesus every day we see His grace doing a strong work of life change in all. We as the church must elevate Jesus in everything we say and do and make sure we glorify Him above all things. Anything less is powerless and that seems to be the problem of the modern day church. When John the Baptist of the coming Christ John said, “He must increase and I must decrease.” I fear we have been dyslexic in this truth and we have increased the church and decrease Jesus and that will never work. A thriving church can never be just an institution but a group of believers lifting up the name of Jesus.
The Pilgrimage continues….