Welcome to Calvary Albuquerque.
We pursue the God who is passionately pursuing a lost world. We do this with one another through worship, by the word, to the world.
My name is Brian Nixon. I'm one of the staff pastors here at Calvary Albuquerque and it's a blessing to be with you.
A few years ago, a woman by the name of Jennifer Teege made a startling discovery. As Jennifer was reading a biography about her family in a library in Hamburg, Germany, she came upon the horrific truth that her grandfather, Amon Goth, was a Nazi war criminal, helping the Plaszow concentration camp in German occupied Poland.
We know about this camp through the famous movie Schindler's List, and Jennifer's grandfather was known as the butcher of Plaszow. And though Jennifer herself was adopted at the age of seven and didn't know her maternal family, imagine what she must have felt like uncovering the truth about her family heritage in the biography she was reading.
She wonders, as half an African woman, if her grandfather would have killed her. It must have been a moment of shock and sadness with the realization that one man, a family member for that, killed so many Jews.
Well tonight I want to look at another biography. One that uncovers a similar story in that it has both shock and sadness wrapped up in it. It's a biography dealing with a murder, but in this case, one Jew. The shock comes from the fact that the biography we'll be looking at points to the fact that this was no ordinary person, and the sadness comes from the fact of what humanity did to this individual.
Of course I'm talking about Jesus of Nazareth, and tonight we're going to learn about his divine biography, showing that he was both human and God, and to do so we're going to unravel or unpack a scripture text that will help capture this truth, and hopefully provide you with some thoughtful analogies to help you apprehend this very important doctrine.
And as a side note, we're in the Easter season, ladies and gentlemen. You know that. And hopefully you're going to have some conversations with nonbelievers, or maybe Jews and Muslims, or maybe even some Christian cults, like Jehovah Witness. And what you're going to be learning tonight will help you in those conversations.
It will help you not only show biblically that Jesus was divine, but I'm going to give you those practical analogies, really helpful things that you could grasp and hold onto. So I do encourage you to take notes.
To help us navigate this truth, we're going to look at five C's and three S's, the particulars of the passage, and then practical application. The five C's are Christ, Creation, Consist, Control, and content. And you'll see those on the screen as we go through, but once again, Christ, Creation, Consist, Control, and Content. And the three S's, the practical application, is Salvation, Supremacy, and Stewardship.
So to read about this personified profile, this biography tonight, please turn in your Bible to the book of Colossians Chapter 1, and we're going to be reading verses 15 through 20. That's Colossians Chapter 1, verses 15 through 20. But before we begin, let's pray.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for this opportunity to gather here this evening. We ask, Lord, that you would be with us as we begin to unpack and study and dig deep into your word. But more than just reading about it, Lord, let the truths that we learn about enter our hearts and then go to our hands so we can tell others about the beautiful biography of your son, Jesus Christ, and it's in his name we pray, amen.
So first Colossians 15 through 20 reads, "he that is Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over creation. For by him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things consist, and he is the head of the body the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead. And in him all things he may have preeminence, for pleas the Father that in him all the fullness should dwell, and by him to reconcile all things to himself, by him whether things on Earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of his cross."
Amen. The apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Colossian church, and some commentators have speculated that the verses 15 through 20, the very verses that we just read, may have been an early Christian poem that Paul incorporated into his letter. We don't really have any evidence of that, but it rings, it rings of things that were murmuring in the early church.
But what we do find in these verses are some of Paul's clearest declarations of Christ divine nature. Paul puts before your and my eyes Jesus' eternality within the Godhead, and this is very important for us to grasp and comprehend.
So let's begin our study by looking at the first C, Christ. We find this in verse 15. I'll read it again. "He that is Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."
To help us understand this verse, we're going to be looking at three words, image, invisible, and firstborn. The word that you see in your Bible their, image, is the Greek word icon. It means resemblance or likeness. It means that Christ at his very essence, his being, is the same as the father's.
Albert Barnes, a great Bible commentary states that this, "the being and perfections of God are accurately and fully represented by Christ." Here it is in a nutshell. Paul is saying that Jesus is the perfect image of God. Jesus is god in human form.
And with this, Paul is teaching that Christ has two natures, human and divine. Later, early biblical statements of faith stated as such, the two natures of Christ as inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, and inseparately. The emphasis in all of this is this, Christ is one person but in two natures. One person in two natures.
So a lot of you are going, wow, this-- how can that be? How can someone be both human and divine? Well, part of what I want to do tonight is explain to you or give you some mental tools to help you understand and comprehend it and apprehend this truth.
But first let me say something about doctrine. Let me say this clearly about doctrine. In order for a doctrine-- a teaching from the Bible, it has to follow three criteria-- it has to be biblically integris, or has to have biblical integrity, meaning it has to be taught in the Bible.
Secondly, it has to have theological integrity, meaning it has to have a coherence from Genesis to Revelation. You just don't pull one verse out and make a doctrine. Jesus wept. Well, we're the weeping people, so all what we're going to do is weep all the time. Well, that's not a consistent teaching throughout scripture. So it has to have theological integrity.
But here's the third one, folks. It has to have logical integrity. It has to make sense. Why? Because God embodies truth. He is truth and if something is not truthful, we can kind of scratch our head and go, hmm, this isn't something the Bible is teaching. But there are times that something transcends logic and that's where it enters in the realm of a mystery and though we're talking about the two natures of Christ, there is a mystery component to it. It is not illogical.
And let me tell you why this is important, folks, because here in the city of Albuquerque not too long ago there were signs placed throughout the city that says, we believe in Jesus, too. You would think, wow that's cool, a Christian organization. No, it was put out by the Muslims. But they don't believe in the divinity of Christ. They don't believe Christ rose from the dead. So what I'm going to be teaching you tonight is so vitally important, particular in the day and age in which we live.
So the analogies we're going to be honing in on are hopefully helpful tools for you to explain that the two natures of Christ-- other things are not illogical. We're learning that they're biblical, but we need to know that they're not illogical. And by the way, all analogies do fall short but they're great tools to help you.
So when you walked in, you got a piece of paper. Everyone hold this piece of paper up. Let me make sure you all got one. So this is one of your strongest teaching tools to talk about the two natures of Christ. Let me explain what I'm saying here, folks. What do I have in my hand? One piece of paper. One piece of paper but you'll notice that this piece of paper has two sides-- two sides to it. One piece of paper with two sides or you could also say one piece of paper with two ends. Still one object with two aspects about it.
You go, OK, that kind of makes sense. It's one piece of paper with two sides but it's still one but how does the eternality come into all of this? Well, this is where it gets pretty interesting. You could simply fold this piece of paper as such and you could say, they're connected in such a way. But even better yet, now watch this. You take the piece of paper and you do half a turn and you do what's called a Mobius loop. And the Mobius loop is the interexchange between the two notions. The two natures. Two sides exchanging within one.
And what I like about the Mobius loop is you notice that there's kind of a dip down here. So in explaining this two natures to a Muslim or a Jewish individual, you could say not only is there two sides with one object, but they're interconnected and this dip is almost like the incarnation-- Christ coming down to earth, but he's one object with two natures. He's human and he's divine.
So what Paul is telling us clearly in this section with this word image, this word icon, is he is the exact representation of God. He's human and divine.
Back to our Bible. The second word that Paul uses is the word invisible. And this Greek word for invisible means unseen or concealed. What Paul is indicating is that Jesus is the seeing reality of the unseen God. Again, this is kind of hard for us to understand. How can something be seen that's not seen and seen that's not. We kind of start scratching our head. Ultimately, it is a mystery but it's not illogical because we find things in nature that correspond to this.
This analogy of light. We look around the sanctuary and we see light. It's making something visible that we can't see. What is it making visible? Particles and waves. Our eyes don't see the particles and waves necessarily but we see the light. Quantum scientists tell us that light-- now follow this because this is crazy cool-- quantum scientists tell us that light acts as both a particle and a wave. Generally, in most science in the physical world, particles cannot be waves and waves can't be particle, yet light functions at both, sometimes a wave and sometimes a particle.
Likewise, Jesus is both human and divine. He is the image of the unseen God. He is-- what did he say he is? He is the light of the world. He is what we're seeing of what God is like. We look at Jesus and we see God. Jesus is God in human form. He's not 100-- he is 100% man and 100% God. He's not 50% man or 50% God, he's 100% God and 100% man.
And recently, they've had this picture up and he'll put it back up, scientists were actually able to capture an image of light acting as both a wave and a particle. And I think it's just a fabulous analogy that Jesus is like these particles of light-- these waves of light. Something that we normally can't see, he has made visible. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. So so far, he's the image. He's the image of the invisible God but then Paul doesn't stop there.
Still in the same verse, Paul says he's the firstborn. The Greek word for firstborn means first begotten but I want you to erase from your mind the idea of birth. This is not how Paul is using the word. Paul is using the word not in regards to birth but in regard to rank and inheritance. Paul is saying, in effect, that as God incarnate, Jesus, is ranked number one in all things, a bequest or an honor given by the Father.
So why is Jesus number one? Why is Jesus number one? Why is he ranked number one? Well, you're going to have to put your thinking cap on for this one and stay with me. It's not really that hard. Paul's thought process goes something like this-- if Jesus is God-- if Jesus is God, then God can't be created. He is who he is. He himself said, "I am that I am" so it's self-evident to Paul that Jesus was not created.
As the coeternal equal with the Father, He is supreme. He's ranked number one. Do you guys get that? As He's the number one human. He's ranked because He's God because God the Father is number one. He has all authority and that's what Paul is arguing here. In short, Jesus is one with the Father.
And by the way, what do we call the oneness with the Father and the Holy Spirit? Go ahead, what do we call it? The Trinity. You're exactly right. The Trinity-- the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit and though this word Trinity is not used in the Bible, the concept or principles are taught throughout from Genesis to Revelation. The triunity of God is taught.
And I'm going to give you some analogies to help you understand the Trinity in a moment. But let me just even give you the Greek word and theology we use. It's called pericohesis. Pericohesis. And what it means is that mutual exchange of love and will among the Godhead. They're a community. And if you were to look at the word community, C-O-M-M-U-N-I-T-Y-- community. It's a community of persons. One God, but three persons.
So how would you explain that this is not illogical to a Muslim or a Jew? Because one of the number one things Muslims, Jews, and Jehovah's Witnesses will point at the Christian is you guys believe in three Gods, one your Father, plus two, your Son, plus three, the Holy Spirit equals three. Anyone knows math can see this, you Christian, and we believe in the one true God. So how do we respond to that?
We just look at them and say, you're doing the wrong math. It's not 1 plus 1 plus 1, it's 1 divided by 1 divided by 1 equals 1. Why? Because division is splitting into equal parts or groups. We're not talking about three separate entities in the sense that they're separate in themselves from one, the unity, but they're three persons in one. It's not 1 plus 1 plus 1, it's 1 divided by 1 divided by 1.
And if that's not easy enough, think of this cylinder. This cylinder here that I'm holding up is a three-dimensional object. It has length, width, and height, yet it's still one object. So it's not illogical to say that Christians, you believe in some illogical, mundane thing like three Gods. No, we believe one object having three-- in our case-- persons or this has three dimensions, length, width, height. If I were to flatten this into a triangle-- you guys know what a triangle looks like-- but if I were to flatten this, there would be three points but one object.
Or we could go back to the Mobius but this time turn it into a triangle. Look at the Mobius triangle up there. It has three elements interconnected-- eternally interconnected. Folks, that is what we mean by the Trinity. So when the Jew or the Muslim or the Christian cult comes to you, simply have a piece of paper, a triangle, or to the best of your ability just say, it's 1 divided by 1 divided by 1. It's not illogical, folks. So why is knowing this about Christ so important?
Let me give you the answer. Because a proper understanding of Christ provides us with a proper understanding of everything else in the Bible. If we don't have a biblical view of Jesus, then our interpretation of the Bible is skewed. Just ask a Jehovah Witness. Well, they won't give you the real answer but they'll come in. They don't believe in the divinity of Christ. Or ask a Jew or a Muslim-- they have skewed understandings of who Jesus is so it's essential that we have a proper understanding of Jesus.
And because Jesus is the God man, he can create which leads us to the second C, creation. Verse 16 reads-- "For by him all things were created that are in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created through him and for him." We'll just look at two words in this text-- the words create and all things.
The word for create there in your Bible is ktizo It's a manufacturing term used for fabrication. It essentially holds the meaning of someone creating something. In this case, God, the Father, in Christ, created everything that is is both seen and unseen. To put it in fancy terminology, God in Christ created everything ex nihilo-- out of nothing.
And by the way, this is a great thing to ask your atheist friends. You know, I don't believe in that God stuff. It's unintellectual. Simply ask this-- how does nothing create something? I've got an explanation for that. See, in the beginning, there were atoms. And those atoms can combine together and a large explosion. But you go, but you're describing atoms. Atoms are something. I'm asking you how nothing-- zero-- nothing in the universe-- created something. Well, that's because there was lightning and all of a sudden the lightning coalesced with these other things and there was a big explosion. No, folks. Nothing. You've explained something every single point of time.
Fias Christians have the proper answer. We're not saying nothing created something. We're saying someone created something. But of course, the atheist will reply, what? Well, then who created God? That's usually what they'll say. Well, who created God?
Well, the answer is no one did. Why? Because God is pure actuality. He had no possibility not to exist. He encompasses eternity. Well, I don't believe in eternity. You don't? You don't believe in eternity? Do you know how to count? Of course you believe in eternity. What do you mean, do I know how to count? What's one? Well, one. What comes after one? Well, two. What comes after two? Well, three. Now you keep going until you can't stop and tell me you don't believe in eternity. You could always add one.
And by the way, why I use math a lot and science a lot is because mathematics is the closest approximation outside of scripture to truth. We can explain things more succinctly and specifically with math. That's why I love to use math because, you know, when you throw a 1 divided by 1 divided by 1, they just, oh, I don't know what to do with that. Or when you're talking about eternity. But the point is God is the necessary being. He is the uncaused cause and what Paul is making the point is that through Christ, he created everything.
So what did God create in Christ? The Bible tells us here-- all things. These include all things that are in heaven and all things that are on earth. God in Christ created both the physical and metaphysical world.
I like what Paul does here with this list. Notice some of the words such as throne. Throne has both a earthly explanation and a heavenly explanation. Well, guess what? God in Christ created them. Paul also mentions dominions and principalities. There are spiritual dominions and there are earthly dominions. There are spiritual principalities and earthly principalities. Both metaphysical and physical. Well, guess what? God in Christ created them all.
And here's Paul's point-- that in Christ God made and fashioned everything that is seen and unseen. The bottom line for Paul is that Jesus Christ is co-creator with the Father and the Spirit and he's overall. He is the great artist and architect. All things were created by Him and for Him. So thus far in this biography, we've looked at Christ and created.
Now let's move to the third C, consist. Verse 17 says, "And he is before all things and in him all things consist." Again, I'm going to focus in on two words. The two key words I want to hone on are before and consist. That word that you see there in your Bible for before means in front of or prior. So before all these things, listen to what Paul is saying-- before all these things, Christ was.
Paul is saying a very similar thing to what John said in the Gospel of John, Chapter 1. "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God." Christ was before all these things. Before there was anything in existence, Jesus was. Jesus was part of the community of God we just talked about.
Paul is bending over backwards to make the point that Christ is divine. And so if anyone comes knocking at your door, well, you have a misunderstanding of what the Bible teaches. Let me tell you really what the Bible teaches and they pull out their New World Translation and they call themselves Jehovah Witnesses and they try to explain to you that Jesus wasn't divine. Bring them to this passage and say Paul is very clear. He's made this point several times in a few verses. He's bending over backwards that we catch what he's throwing our way or pick up what he's thrown down.
And by the way, what Paul was saying was radical for a first century Jew. You and I kind of-- particularly if we've been in the faith for a while, we know this. This is kind of like, oh, yeah, yeah, I know this, but you have to understand when Paul was saying this, those were fighting words. That's why he was persecuted-- almost killed-- because they understood clearly what he was saying but he was only reiterating what who was saying-- Jesus. Jesus said, "I and the Father are one." Paul's just reiterating what Jesus was saying and it got them both in a lot of trouble. But Paul, as you know, inspired by the Holy Spirit, spent some time in the desert studying the scriptures and he came to realize that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was more than just a man. He was the God man who had a preexistence before his birth.
The second word Paul uses in this verse is consist. And consist here means set together or it could mean to stand together or be compacted together, to cohere. In essence, Paul is saying that Christ is holding all things together. He sustains them. So follow this-- Christ not only created all things but he's the power that maintains and preserves all things. Put another way, Christ's position warrants his power to hold all things together. Again, this is another difficult concept for us to understand so I'm going to use a different analogy-- another one from the natural world.
There are four known forces in nature and you see them up there. You have the electromagnetic, the weak force, the strong force, and the gravitational force. The nucleus of every atom-- that's really the base of what we're made of-- is held together by these weak and strong forces. The electromagnetic force, that force off to the left, is what binds atoms together. Gravity, as far as we know, binds the universe together. And in each case, there is an active force imposed on the universe which actively holds every atom of the material world together, moment by moment, day by day, century by century. These things are holding things together.
And the forces of nature analogy demonstrates that there is a force that is holding all things together. Now don't get me wrong here-- I'm not saying that God is gravity. I'm not saying that he's that weak and strong electromagnetic force. He's not. He's not creation. He's the creator. But what I am saying is that Christ is the power behind the physics.
And if you really wanted to get into some strange science, just look at contemporary quantum physics. If you dig deeper into this, there are things known as exotic matter. And exotic matter has muans, charm quarks, and strange quarks, and these are extreme particles that we only get senses of in different circumstances in the physical world. But guess what? Christ is the power behind those, as well. Christ is that which holds all things together, according to Paul, in this scripture text.
And before I leave this, let me just say one thing about science because you guys, wow, you're using a lot of science. I was a science teacher, so it's OK. And let me say something to all of you guys. Don't be afraid of science. Don't be afraid of science. It's OK for the scientists to ask why because when they ask why, they dig deeper, they develop hypothesis, and then they develop theories, and they're testing those theories. Some of the theories are wrong, as we know. Some of the theories proved to be OK theories and then they develop working solutions based upon these theories. But we don't need to be afraid of science. Why? Because every time someone asks why, we know standing behind the why is a who. Behind every why, according to Paul, there is a who and that who is Jesus Christ. So Paul is clearly saying that Jesus is the coherence. That all things consist.
Now onto verse 18 where we find the fourth C word, control. The text reads, "And he is the head of the body, the Church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things, he may have preeminence." You're going, where is the word, control? Well, that word Paul uses there for preeminence is a type of control. It's a type of authority, of rank. Preeminence just means that rank and influence or control. It carries, interestingly enough, a similar meaning to Paul's other word he used, firstborn.
But here's what I want you to get from this verse-- and folks, this is crucial. If there's anything you walk away with tonight, the science is cool but walk away with this-- Paul's whole argument in all of this is why do we know that Christ has control? Why do we know that He was preexistent? Why do we know He's God? Well, Paul makes the case for Christ right here. For Paul, the proof of everything he just laid out in verses 15 through 17 is found in this phrase-- "the firstborn from the dead." Put in familiar terms, Jesus rose again.
The Resurrection is the cornerstone of what Paul is basing all of this on. The fact that Jesus beat death and the stone was rolled away is what Paul is basing all of this authority on. God proved that Jesus was the Messiah with the Messiah's Resurrection. For Paul, the Resurrection holds all these truths together.
Folks, the Resurrection is reality revealed. It shows that Jesus indeed does have preeminence over all things. He's in control. And just so you know, people in the first century didn't think people rose from the dead all the time. You know, you hear a lot of people today but I'm really smart and you know they were all superstitious back then. No, they weren't. They knew people didn't rise from the dead. But something extraordinary happened.
Think about that word, extraordinary. Extra ordinary. Something beyond normal occurred. Something that they couldn't explain. A man rose from the dead and their lives were transformed. They went from mere fisherman to proclaimers of truth. And most of them gave up their lives for this truth. Something extraordinary happened. And what Paul is saying here is that extraordinary thing that we call the Resurrection is the proof in the pudding. It's how we know all these things about Jesus Christ.
So let's go on to our final C-- and here's how we learn that the Father sees Christ's position. And we learned the fifth C was the Father was content or pleased with the Father. Verses 19 through 20 says, "For it pleased the Father that in him all the fullness should dwell and by him to reconcile all things to himself by him, whether things on Earth or things in heaven having been made peace through the blood on the cross." That word in your Bible there, pleased, means to think well of or approve.
Paul is saying that God took pleasure. He is favoring Christ's position and what Christ accomplished through the cross and Resurrection. Put another way, God is content. He's satisfied with the finished work of Jesus. So we have to ask ourselves, what exactly pleased the Father? Well, Paul tells us that the fullness should dwell.
That word dwell there in your Bible, it means to be filled up as a container. It's like filling it to the brim. Again, Paul making-- reiterating that Jesus was God. The fullness of the Godhead should dwell in him. It's a word that carries a complete and entire indwelling. There's no room for any more. Jesus is 100% God, He's 100% man. So God is pleased with this divine human nature of Jesus. But he was also pleased with what Christ did on the cross.
Christ set out to do something. He set out to save those that would believe. Christ was the propitiation, the final sacrifice for our sins, and it pleased the Father that Christ did that. Through Christ, God is reconciling people to him. Peace has been made. The bridge has been built. God's final word was spoken in Jesus Christ. There is now reconciliation with the Father through the Son.
So folks, this is the biography of Jesus, the God man. The personified portrait. He's Christ. The human and divine. He created all things, both seen and unseen. He holds all things together. They consist in Him. He has control over all things, proven by the Resurrection, and the Father is content with Christ and what He accomplished.
But here is where the sadness of the story comes in. This picture Paul painted comes into more focus. Humanity, you and me. Every living person in past, present and the future put Christ on the cross. Our sin, our rebellion, nailed the King of the Universe to wooden beams.
Folks in a way, we are like the butcher of Plaszow. Maybe we weren't involved in killing hundreds of thousands of Jews, but we did help put one Jew on the cross. Our sin, our rebellion, but this is what Christ came for. He came to be that sacrifice so we might live.
And unlike Jennifer Teege, who was shocked at finding that her grandfather was a murderer, our Father in Heaven wasn't shocked. He knew Christ would be crucified. It was God's will that he did. But his will was rooted in love. John 3:16-- "For God so loved the world that He" what?
He gave us Jesus.
You got it. It was God's will but it was a will rooted in love for who? For us! That's how profound this thing is called the cross. And this person of Jesus of Nazareth. There's a prophetic announcement in Isaiah 53 that Pastor Skip, by the way, taught on this past weekend. We learned that it was the Lord's will to crush him-- that is to crush Jesus. Why?
Well, Hebrews 9:22 gives us the answer. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. Christ came as a sacrifice for us providing the perfect Atonement that we couldn't procure. We couldn't do on our own.
You see, humanity did have that sin problem but God the Father sent God the Son to be the salve to save us. To be the perfect sacrifice. Because of Jesus' Resurrection, we are rescued. Because of Jesus' Resurrection, there is hope for renewal and through the Resurrection, God initiated a renovation. The building of his kingdom. You and I, one life at a time, building this edifice, the Church, until he returns for us. I don't know about you, folks, but this is good news.
It is. So now let's conclude by just briefly looking at some practical applications. The three S's-- and I'll go over these briefly. First is salvation. Follow me here. If God-- if Jesus is God, as the Bible clearly teaches, then we can take Jesus' words seriously. God doesn't lie. God doesn't lie. And if Jesus is God, we can take his words seriously. And what did Jesus say about every human being on planet Earth? You must be born again to enter into God's kingdom.
So the deeper question for all of us here tonight is are we in fellowship with God? Have we been born again? Have we received the salvation that has been provided for us? First, as salvation, second death, supremacy, because Christ is God incarnate, the firstborn in creation, preeminent in authority and control. The question is, does he have control of your life? And this is for Christian and un-Christian alike.
Does he have control of your life? Every room of your life, every portion of your body, your mind, your heart, your soul, your will, does he have control of it? Is he reigning supreme? Oh, no, Lord, you can have my heart. I'll gladly give you my heart. But I want my mind. I want to do what I want to do with my body. No. Does he have everything? Is he supreme over all aspects of your life? That's the question. He's God. He should and we should gladly give it all over to Him. Why? Because in Christ is all sufficiency. The fact that He is supreme, you can't get any greater than that and in Him, you will find that peace. So supremacy.
And then the third is stewardship. Because God in Christ is the creator of all things, upon whom all things consist. Then it follows we are called to be good stewards of his created order. Christians, you and I, we're ambassadors for Christ in this world, in deed and in word. Our conduct and character matter. What we do, what we say, how we treat other people matters. Why? Because we represent the creator of this world. We represent Christ. And part of our role as ambassadors is to embody Jesus in everything we do.
You've heard this said before, we are his hands and his feet now. So represent him well. Be a good steward of what he has given you. Teach others about God's beauty. Tell others about God's truth. Live a life of goodness. Seek justice. Seek the things that the Lord would have you to seek. Why? Because that's part of our stewardship as God's children.
So my question is, are you using the things God has given you for His glory? Are you using your finances, your time, your passion points for him? Are you being a good steward with God's stuff? Ask yourself that.
I don't know about you-- and I don't wish this upon anyone-- but I've had to bury a child-- my son, Riley. He had Potter's Syndrome. And I remember when the nurse walked in to the hospital room that I was sitting with my wife, Melanie, and they made the decision that there was nothing they could do so they had to unplug Riley. And she looked at me in the eye-- she said, I'm going to bring you your child. So I took Riley in my arms and I looked at him and I just stared at him for a long time and I watched as his breath got shallower and shallower, his color started to turn, and I knew it was at that moment, he was about to die. I couldn't take it. I was bawling. I was crying. It's beyond my comprehension that this child of mine is dying. I handed Riley back to the nurse.
My pain was so immense, so deep. Unless you've buried a child or lost a loved one, it is hard to comprehend what you go through. Because as I looked at Riley, a part of me was leaving. My DNA, my hopes and dreams, everything I had invested for the future for this child, was about to leave this earth.
But think of what our Heavenly Father was feeling as his Son fully invested, fully divine, was hanging on the cross about ready to leave this earth. You talk about immense pain. You talk about a heart so broken. But unlike me, because of my pain, I gave Riley away.
The Father had greater plans. He had a bigger picture in mind that his Son was going to be the propitiation-- that sacrifice for you and me, that even though the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Christ, God's bigger picture was to build a bigger family. Through one man, a family has grown. Just look around. This is a small portion of it. Slave talked about watching God's work there. God is working amazing things.
So maybe you're here tonight, you're like Jennifer Teege, trying to discover who your family is-- searching through a biography to find a profile for your life. Here's the good news you need to hear. Your spiritual family is found in Jesus Christ, the God-man. He died and rose so you can live in reality. And the profile of this God-man is full of grace, mercy, truth, and love. This personified profile we looked at tonight can become a personal reality in your life.
If you're not a Christian tonight, tonight's the night for you to find your true home, allowing Christ to dwell in you as the fullness of the Father dwelt in Christ. So I invite you in your own life, in the quietness of this moment, to let Christ have the supremacy so you can be a good steward of what he's given with you.
So I'm going to close with some prayer. Anyone who's not a Christian, tonight-- I'm not going to do an altar call. I'm not going to call you up. We don't have time but in the quietness of your heart, just simply pray this prayer and for those of you who are believers, think about those three things, salvation, supremacy, and stewardship. Allow the Lord to speak to your heart. Lord, do You have supremacy in my life? Am I a good steward of what you have given me?
Let's pray. Heavenly Father, I begin this prayer for those unbelievers out here. If you are an unbeliever, just simply pray this prayer after me. Lord, I know I'm a sinner. I know I've fallen short. I've missed the mark. And I ask, Lord, that You would come into my life. That You would save me. That I would receive the God-man. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. That I would turn from the sin and begin to follow Him. And Lord, with Your saving grace, I pray that You would have supremacy over my life. That You would take every room. I give you my life right now, oh Lord. In Jesus' name.
And for those out there, Lord, who need to turn over a room of their life so You could be supreme, I pray for them. For those, Lord, who need to learn better stewardship of what You've given them, I pray for them, Lord. But most of all, we thank You and give You glory that You are who You are, the God-man who came to save. Who came to deliver. Who came to die on the cross and shed His blood so we may live. And it's to You we give all glory, all power, and all honor through Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
What binds us together is devotion to worshipping our Heavenly Father, dedication to studying His work, and determination to proclaim our eternal hope in Jesus Christ.
For more teachings from Calvary Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig, visit calvaryabq.org.