A few years ago, my wife and I took our son to a Build-a-Bear Workshop, where we helped him create his own stuffed animal. He loved it! We got to pick out which animal we wanted, which clothes we wanted the bear to wear, and what accessories we wanted the bear to have.
This process made me ask the question,how many people treat Christianity like a Build-a-Bear workshop? How many people pick and choose which aspects of Jesus that they want to believe, while leaving the other parts behind?
As soon as we pick and choose which aspects of God we like, and disregard the ones we don’t like, we’ve just created our own god (with a lower case ‘g’). You see, Christianity works when we accept God on His terms. As we’ve already seen in previous readings, Christ did not die on a cross and rise again so that He could experience us, but so that we could experience Him. Jesus proclaims in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We can’t believe in the way and the life, but not believe that He is the truth.Christianity doesn’t work like that. As soon as we make ourselves the authority, we have just made ourselves god.
Let’s say, for example, that I make the claim to you that the country of China does not exist. You would think I am foolish, however, my argument would be that I have never been to China, and therefore, China does not exist. While my argument for the non-existence of China is clearly flawed, isn’t it the same argument that many use to defend why they don’t believe in Christianity (I’ve never seen God, so therefore, He doesn’t exist)? Whether you believe in Christianity or not, we must deal with God on God’s terms. If we don’t believe in the Jesus Christ of the Bible, then we don’t truly believe in Jesus Christ.
So What Does The Bible Say About Christ?
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Here is a quick list of some of the characteristics of Christ from this passage:
- Image of the invisible God – We have not seen God, but if you’ve seen Christ, you have seen God.
- Firstborn over all creation – The term ‘firstborn’ refers to rank and position and authority. It does not refer to being created, as we’ll see in the next few statements.
- In Him all things were created – Christ was there at the beginning.
- All things were created by Him and for Him – We’ve been created ultimately to display the glory of God.
- He is before all things – Christ is a part of the triune God. Again, Christ has authority.
- In Him all things hold together – Not only did Christ create the world, but He currently sustains our existence. This verse can be comforting when we battle illnesses and such because we know that Christ is holding us together right now, and we can take comfort in His control.
- God’s fullness dwells in Christ – Christ is fully God, not just God’s Son.
- Christ reconciles all things to Himself – Christ provides for our salvation, which He can do because He is God.