We Proclaim Christ
By Rich Carmicheal
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son..." (John 3:16).
"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
At the center of God’s plan for the salvation of the world is His Son, Jesus Christ. He came to give His life so that we might receive forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. He also came to "render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14) and to destroy his works (1 John 3:8). Since the devil desires to deceive and destroy mankind (John 8:44; 1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:9), it is not surprising that he does all that he can to distort the truth about Christ to prevent mankind from knowing Christ and finding salvation in Him. As the Apostle Paul writes, "…the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Cor. 4:4).
The Apostle John also draws attention to the attack on the Person and work of Christ, and warns that the spirit of the antichrist is at work in the world (1 John 4:3). He describes the liar as "the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ" and the antichrist as "the one who denies the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22). He adds that "every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist…" (1 John 4:3). Also in the context of "the deceiver and the antichrist," John writes that "many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh" (2 John 1:7).
The Apostle Paul also warns of those who distort the gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:7), and he declares of anyone who preaches a different gospel, "let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:8-9). He expresses concern that some believers are receptive to those who preach another Jesus, and are therefore in danger of being deceived and led astray from sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:3-4). He reminds us that those who advocate a different doctrine not in line with the instruction of Christ are conceited and understand nothing (1 Tim. 6:3-4), and he warns us that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil 3:18). The Apostle Jude adds that godless men who deny Jesus Christ will even infiltrate the church (Jude 1:4).
Unfortunately, the assault against the truth about the Person and work of Christ is strong in our day. The major religions of the world may acknowledge Jesus to some extent, but they deny that He is God in the flesh, that He is the Son of God, that He died on the Cross and rose from the dead, that He is the only way to salvation, and that He is coming again as King of kings and Lord of lords. Various cults also claim Jesus Christ as part of their teaching, but their Jesus is not the same Jesus that the Scriptures proclaim. And, tragically, even within the church a growing number of people are preaching a different Jesus.
In light of all of this, it is paramount that we continue to proclaim the truth about Christ and walk in that truth. As the Apostle Paul declares, "…we proclaim Him [Christ], admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ" (Col. 1:28). With this in mind, we call your attention to the supremacy of Jesus Christ, and according to the Scriptures proclaim that…
…Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Matt. 16:16). He is God’s only begotten Son, sent by God into the world not to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:16-17). God testifies that eternal life is in His Son (1 John 5:10-11). Whoever has the Son has life, and whoever does not have the Son does not have life (1 John 5:12).
…Jesus Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being (Heb. 1:3). "He is the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15) and "in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form" (Col. 2:9). God gives us "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6). He is one with the Father (John 10:30).
…By Jesus "all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created by Him and for Him" (Col. 1:16). "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Col. 1:17). He "upholds all things by the word of His power" (Heb. 1:3).
…Jesus is the Word who "became flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). He shared in our humanity so that through death He might destroy the devil who holds the power of death (Heb. 2:14). Christ emptied Himself and took the form of a servant, and "being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:7-8). He "gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma" (Eph. 5:2). He is the Lamb of God who was slain, and with His blood He purchased men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation (Rev. 5:9).
…Jesus was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities (Isa. 53:5), and "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross" (1 Pet. 2:24). God "made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf" (2 Cor. 5:21) and "laid on Him the iniquity of us" (Isa. 53:6). Jesus endured the Cross, despising the shame (Heb. 12:2), and He "died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God" (1 Pet. 3:18). He saves us from our sins (Matt. 1:21) and "in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Eph. 1:7). His blood "cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7) and cleanses our conscience from dead works so that we may serve the living God (Heb. 9:14).
…Jesus is "the way, and the truth and the life," and no one can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). He is the one mediator between God and men (1 Tim. 2:5-6) and "there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Without Christ a person is without hope and without God (Eph. 2:12).
…Jesus was "crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God" (2 Cor. 13:4). God raised Him from the dead, "the first fruits of those who are asleep" (Acts 2:24; 1 Cor. 15:20). He has an indestructible life (Heb. 7:16) and it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him (Acts 2:24). He is the Living One; He was dead, and behold He is alive forevermore, and He has the keys of death and Hades (Rev. 1:17-18). He "abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light" (2 Tim. 1:10-11). He is the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Him will live even if he dies (John 11:25).
…He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9) and is seated at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms, "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come" (Eph. 1:20-21). God has "highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:9-11).
…Jesus is our blessed hope (Titus 2:13) and He will appear a second time to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him (Heb. 9:28). He "will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God" (1 Thes. 4:16). He is our Savior who is coming from heaven, and by His power He will transform "our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body" (Phil. 3:20-21).
…He is "coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him" (Rev. 1:7). He "shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus" (2 Thes. 1:7-8). Only He is able to deliver us from the wrath to come (1 Thes. 1:10).
…He is the One "appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead" (Acts 10:42) and when He comes, will "bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts" (1 Cor. 4:5). "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ" (2 Cor. 5:10).
…Jesus is "the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (Rev. 22:13), the author of our salvation (Heb. 2:10) and the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). He is the Shepherd of our souls (1 Pet. 2:25) who loves us and "laid down His life for us" (Rev. 1:5; John 10:15; 1 John 3:16). To Him belongs "blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever" (Rev. 5:13). Amen.