The Authentic Jesus

Have you tried to move around in the dark and found yourself stumbling or bumping into things? Even when we are in a room that we are quite familiar with, not being able to see things clearly makes it difficult to find our way. In the same way, our spiritual vision affects the way we live our lives. As theologian John Stott puts it, “Nothing is more important for Christian discipleship than a fresh, clear, true vision of.”

Colossians 1:15-20 contains one of the greatest exaltations of Christ in the Bible. Due to false teachings spreading within the Colossian church, Paul wrote to them and exalted Christ in his letter, asserting Christ’s identity because he knew that the best safeguard against heresies was a proper appreciation of who Christ was.

While the nature of the heretical teaching is unknown, it appears that the teaching influenced believers into thinking that additional ascetic practices were required to appreciate the fullness of God, thereby undermining the gospel and devaluing Christ.

In response, Paul affirmed Christ as the creator of all creation. Everything owes its very existence to Him, and they remain in existence only because He continues to sustain them. It is also only through Christ that man can be reconciled to God. Without Christ, no man can even approach God.

From creation to redemption, Christ is central to all things, and in our lives, He should have first place too. While this may be an indisputable truth, making Him the sole object of worship in our lives may be a struggle.

We segment our lives and withhold certain areas from coming under submission to Christ. Perhaps we fear what we may lose when we relinquish control over to Christ. At times, we may find the shine of certain possessions too alluring to give up. Or perhaps certain things or people seemingly meet our needs faster than waiting on Jesus. Whatever the reason, Christ takes second place when something else begins to matter more. These may even be spiritual things such as words of prophecy, moving praise and worship sessions, or charismatic speakers.

If you struggle to put Christ first, perhaps you need to renew your vision of Christ. Who is Christ, and who is he to you? Is there an area of your life that God is prompting you to make him Lord?

Prayer Points

  • As we pray for revival, let us pray for a renewal of our vision of Christ. Let us ask the Lord to help us see Christ as who He really is, not who we want Him to be.
  • Are there areas in our lives that are not under the Lordship of Jesus yet? If you are unsure, ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart to reveal it to you.
  • Let us pray for the courage to submit and surrender everything to the Lord Jesus. And as we surrender, may the peace of the Lord fill our hearts greatly, the kind of peace that the world does not know and experience.

In other words, Paul attributes all of creation to Jesus,

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

COL. 1:15–17)

Jesus Paid it All

Paul makes it clear to his readers that Jesus was not only the agent who created all that exists, but he is also the agent of our salvation: For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. (Col. 1:19–20)

In sum, Jesus made it all and then Jesus paid it all so that we can have a relationship with the living God.

Today’s Action: Think about the promises God has made in his word. In light of what you know about his purposes and his plans, ask him to move and work in your life.

  • Today’s Prayer: Spirit of God, live in us so that we may live with confidence and boldness and grow in faith. Help us to pray for others so that they too may experience full life in you. Amen.

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