God or Jesus
My Pastor shared a challenging thought today which made me search my own motivations and insecurities sharing the Christian message. It was to do with the way we express our faith in the community and how it influences the responses we get. This applies to non-Christians especially.
Being defensively inclusive.
When we say that “we believe in God, or “follow God” or “have faith in God”, we are by implication saying that we believe in the truths of who God is to us as Christians: the triune God of The Bible including the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. More specifically we are addressing Jesus Christ whom God the Father has directed us to worship and through whom we gain our access to God the Father. I don’t want to get bogged down in theological arguments about whether we can or can’t also pray to the Holy Spirit or directly to God, but it is more to highlight the fact that we often (perhaps as a means of defence or to stop offence) use the inclusive phrase of “God” when it might be more appropriate to say Jesus or Our Lord Jesus.
It is less threatening or convicting to say in conversation “…yes , I believe in God and I go to church…”, many secular people believe in God or Gods and those Gods come in many forms and have many attributes. It gets even more confusing with Christians as many Churches today have embraced such a liberal view of Christianity that they have reduced Christ to a mere man and see little need to exalt and glorify His name.
If I am honest I know that I feel more comfortable saying that I am a Christian than getting specific and saying I follow Jesus. This may seem insignificant to Christians but many non-Christians equate Christianity with a just a belief in God (to them any number of possible interpretations of God) whereas Jesus Christ removes all ambiguity and forces us to either believe in His radical claims and equally radical instructions on how to follow and act on them or to realise that we have not reached a point where we can truely say we trust Him. I pray as I get more grounded in my faith and draw closer to Christ I will receive His confidence and purpose to their fullest extent.
Christ’s Position in the Godhead.
Jesus Christ should be central to the worship, meditation and celebration of our Christian faith. Our heavenly Father repeatedly directs and instructs us to acknowledge His Son as the Lord of All Creation, One and Only Son, Only way of Salvation, Conqueror over Death, Saviour of Man.
When we loose site of Christ’s centrality to our faith we loose site of the Father as well as our only way into His presence is through the pre-eminence of Our Lord Jesus. Col 1:15-22.