By Durrell Brown
Good morning brethren.
Last year I challenged us to make 2008 the year when we discover or rediscover the centrality of Christ. As you know, many of us elders have been conducting services every Sunday afternoon for a Senior’s Center in San Dimas and it's sermons like this that have bound our mixed audience of Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodist and even one Jewish lady together.
John 5:23 says that without the Son we do not have access to the Father and one place to start with the absolute centrality of Jesus Christ to the plan of salvation is John 4. There Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well. The Samaritans were big on tradition. They knew the Jacob, the ancestor of the Israelites had worshipped there (John 4:1-2). Jesus bluntly told her that God was no longer the God of places or mountains – God was Spirit, and the true worshippers worship him in spirit and truth, not in Samaria or Jerusalem as such.
This follows up on John’s beginning where he states in poetical language that Jesus was the pre-existent Word alive from all eternity and has become incarnate in the man from Nazareth. The whole New Testament unfolds this majestic theme. The true church is made up of those Christians who give testimony to the centrality of Christ. Without that secure hold on the faith we are lost.
Just a few verses reinforce this point across all of Scripture.
– Hebrews 1 shows Jesus is superior to all the great men and women of the past, exalted above the angels and indeed He bears the “express image of God” (Hebrew 1:3). Some sects and movements have not always agreed with this and it has led to problems.
– Hebrews 8:1 says the Law was but a shadow pointing to the true reality, Jesus Christ.
– Colossians 1:19 says of Jesus that in Him “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” ALL the fullness – what more can you say. Even as a human being Jesus showed forth the works of God (Acts 4:10; Luke 24).
Christians have always known this: God lived and dwelt in Jesus who was Himself God in the flesh or as a theologian of the Middle Ages declared him to be, the God-man.
God sent the Son to be the propititating sacrifice for our sins with the full counsel and assent of the Holy Spirit who indwelt Jesus even more powerfully at his baptism (Hebrews 9:14; Matthew 3:13-176). Note that at his baptism in Matthew 3: 17 all three members of the Godhead are present. Our church has come to understand and expound this wonderful truth of the threefold work of God in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, into which name all of us here have been baptized.
Let us keep studying the implications of this wonderful truth.
Durrell Brown has been involved with the ministry of the WCG since 1969.