2008-12-20 - None But Christ
Colossians 1:27, "To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
If you take a look at many of the large "popular" churches in America today, you will find in many, not all, but many of them a missing ingredient. You are likely to hear a lot of good advice on your marriage, use of money, time, and helpful ideas on how to live respectable "clean" lives, but you are not likely to hear much of Jesus Christ. Probably some reference(s) will be made in passing, but Christ, sin, hell, and even the use of the Bible may called outdated, or what the preacher of the largest church in America called, "What other people do." Christ, it is my fear, is not in much of what goes for Evangelicalism today, nor is He the hope of today's Evangelical Church, or it's glory. It is not right, and if Christ be not the center of your worship, the preaching you sit under, or your life, you have missed the mark.
The essence of the Christian faith is Christ Himself. Miss this and you have missed everything. Seek to build a church on anything but the foundation of Jesus Christ as He is revealed in the Bible alone, and your foundation is all of sand. There is no salvation from sin outside of Christ. There is no hope outside of Christ. There is no life, and we are still dead in our sins if we have not Christ. Christ is all the glory, all the all of our faith. If we seek to look like Christians without a vital, personal relationship with Christ, we may fool our friends, our church, our family, even our spouse, but we cannot fool Christ who knows His sheep. We may even fool ourselves for a time thinking that a surface faith of show and externals is the real thing, but we can never fool Christ because He knows our hearts. He will have them. He will have our hearts. He will be "Christ in you, the hope of glory," or He will not be a Messiah, a Savior to you.
Anything less than faith in Jesus Christ will leave us short of salvation. We have to come to Christ. No substitute will do. We cannot settle for a savior that is less than Christ and we must seek Him alone until we find Him. Your minister or priest cannot save you, an Angelic visitation will not suffice. We must have Christ, and Christ alone. We will settle for no other kind of preaching than that which is of Christ, and we can make do with no less a Savior than the One who is the Son of God, the second person of the trinity, who took upon Himself our nature, being conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, so that the two natures, Godhead and manhood, are joined together in one person without confusion. Christ is very God and very man, and yet one Christ, and the only mediator between God and man. Nothing else will suffice for us. Nothing else will satisfy us. Nothing else can save us from our sins. None but Christ!! May it be our battle-cry.
Many years ago there was a minister named Samuel Rutherford who cried out that his heart might be enlarged until it was as big as heaven so that it might hold all of Christ in it. Then he remembered that Heaven and the highest Heaven cannot contain Him (1 Kings 8:27) and so he cried out for a heart as large as seven Heavens so he might have even more of Christ. Such should be our desire. Less of us as we grow small, and more of Christ as He grows large in us.
Soli Deo Gloria,