I find today that there are so many obstacles that interrupt our lives. There are so many opportunities to become involved in so many different things. In this age information is always at our disposal whether we want it or not. When I check my e-mail I have to decide what to read and what to leave for another time. There are always annoying pop-ups and unsolicited messages when I am trying to surf the net or doing some quick research. The same is true when it comes to issues of faith.
I was charged with teaching the doctrine of the Trinity during one of our Wednesday night Bible study series. It was an absolute joy to do so. I love the dialogue, the questions and the testimonies of the saints (hearing the declarations of the senior saints was especially uplifting). The more I am able to share and listen as instructor and pupil alike grow and journey together I become more encouraged.
When I see and contemplate all of the news and information about the world and our communities I am perplexed and often grieved to the point of tears, we all are, but ARE WE GRIEVED TO ACTION? When will the members of the Body of Christ be grieved enough to engage the culture? The following scripture takes place as Jesus is speaking to his disciples and I believe is preparation for the future they must face:
Matthew 16:13-20 (NIV)
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" 14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
Why are these important questions? I think they are important because Jesus always knew that the reason for which He had come to the earth was to go to the cross for our sins, be resurrected and then to return to the Father. Jesus in the face of and spite of the dismal realities knew that He was not going to be with His disciples always (in human form). He also knew that they were the messengers who would be responsible for the spreading of the message of salvation. They had to know what others said to refute the wrong thinking with the truth. Most of all they had to know with all certainty who Jesus was. They could not be effective if they did not. It is imperative that we know and fully acknowledge and embrace Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, fully God and yet human. It is also just as important that we understand, not just who Jesus is but who Jesus is not. I happen to believe there is no other way to the Father and no god or entity, good or bad by any other name it’s by faith in Christ. If Jesus was married with children living in the south of France we can all go home. If Jesus’ bones were found we should just all give up right now. Now while those things are extreme to many, our knowing what others say about who Jesus is has importance in our efforts to share with those who may be seeking answers in our families or on our jobs who have been approached by persons of other faiths or have been affected by tragedy and are trying to make sense of it all.
Who do others around you and in your community say that Jesus is? Who do you say that Jesus is? You and I have the keys to the kingdom; the power and truth of work of Christ and all of its benefits and blessings. Now that we know will we respond as the disciples so we have the reputation of turning the world upside-down or will we secretly make our proclamation in the perceived safety of our homes and the congregation?
With all of the differing opinions and the various religions let us not forget to know that we know that we know and tell someone else. Let the scriptures speak for themselves:
John 1:1 The beginning
Matthew 1:18 Begotten of the Father
Mark 16:19 All authority and with the Father
Luke 24:6-7 He is risen!
Romans 3:25 Atonement/ Propitiation
John 3:16 Savior through Sacrifice
Romans 3:24 Redemption
Hebrews 2:14 Human and divine