Right now I am rather preoccupied with preparing for a surprise new one in August. I posted this study some years back and thought it slipped through the cracks. Anyway, here’s part 1. Part 2 to follow soon.
For the Christian, without the Lord Jesus Christ life means nothing. Whatever other people say; however the non-Christian tries to answer the question of meaning, the Christian sees no answer to the big questions of life; no remedy for the plight of man, without Jesus Christ.
In the Lord Jesus is truly the explanation for the way that life was originally, the way that it is now as a fallen creation, and the way that it’s going to be in the future. Everything resolves itself around the Him. Indeed, Christianity without the work and person of the Jesus is unthinkable. With Christianity, if you take out the Lord Jesus Christ then you are left with nothing. You are left with just a man-made morality and with nothing else. You are left with no transcendent point by which the world; ourselves included, can be understood. In fact, what you are left with, as the unbelieving philosopher Feuerbach said, is mere anthropology; man musing upon himself – just using the metaphors of deity. So, Christianity truly, as W.H. Griffith Thomas put it,” is Christ.”
Christ is the one who has been “set forth,” as Paul puts it in the Book of Colossians, “by the Fatherfor mankind.” We have to view things through Jesus Christ in order to get them in the right balance and perspective.
When we study about Jesus the first thing that we have to realize is that it is a personal study. Further, from a believing viewpoint, it is personal, both for ourselves as Christians, and also on the side of the Lord! He wants us to represent Him correctly. He wants us to have correct thoughts and feelings about Him, and He wants these thoughts and feelings to be reflected in our worship and in our daily lives. How sad it is that we can be such hypocrites in our representation of our Lord! While hypocrisy does not logically destroy a truth-claim, it does nothing to endear that truth-claim to onlookers either. Truth must be served both with fidelity in content and in practice.
I’ve already said that Christianity is Christ; without Jesus Christ there is simply no Christian faith at all. I want to underline that point in the rest of this lecture.
Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist…
This is telling us that the Father is the source of all things and we have been created by Him and for His glory.
… and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. I Corinthians 8:6
This means that Jesus Christ is the ‘Instrument’ of all creation. It is through Him that everything was made.
In the first part of the verse Paul says the creation is made for the Father, and that is certainly true. But there are other passages which will claim that this world was also made for the Son.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and forhim. And he is before all things, [that is prior to all things] and in him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:16, 17
Colossians is all about the preeminence of Jesus Christ. And here we are told quite clearly that byChrist everything was created. (This can also be translated ‘through him’ but usually the preposition there is translated ‘by’).
So, everything that has been created, whether they are visible things or invisible things – because of course the Christian worldview includes invisible entities like angels, as well as visible things, – that these things in their respective hierarchies were created by Christ. But, not only were they created by Christ or through Christ, but they were also created for Christ. The preposition eis there, meaning “towards,” or “for,” or “unto” Christ. Hence, the Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom all things were created, and also the One for Whom they were created. (more…)