Hervey Bay Presbyterian Church

Advent: The Long Road to Bethlehem (4)

Scripture Readings

  • Hebrews 2:10-18;
  • Judges 16:1-7, 23-31

Introduction

Han van Meegeren painted a work in the style of the great Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer and titled it “The Supper at Emmaus”, fooling the critics who thought it was a lost masterpiece of Johannes Vermeer. The painting was sold for millions of dollars, and displayed in the Boijmans Gallery in Rotterdam.

Van Meegeren painted more, raking in millions more dollars.  After WWII, a receipt led two investigators from the Allied Art Commission to the studio of Van Meegeren, who wanted to know from whom he had bought the artwork. Unwilling to divulge the truth, Van Meegeren was arrested on charges of treason and faced the death penalty. Van Meegeren then confessed, but no-one believed him. Even experts testified that his work was without question was originals of Vermeer, which it was not. The only way to prove his innocence was to produce another fake!

Van Meegeren later wrote that he was sure about one thing: if he died in jail, people would forget the details of his fraudulent paintings. Because “I produced them not for money but for art’s sake.”

What about Samson, was he a fake deliverer, or just a con artist?  Must we remember him for his sins, for his achievements, or for his failures? More importantly, was Samson the leading actor in the drama of Judges 13-16? Why is his life recorded in the Scriptures?

Wrecking victory 

What stands out like a sore finger in the ministry of Samson is that his work was a one-man-show.  His methods and strategies did not appeal to his fellow-countrymen.  Did they regard him as a fraudulent, self-appointed freak?  Not many people want to be associated with a seemingly out-of-the-box person who claims to be the liberator of the people. So, Samson went solo.  All along, he subdued the enemy, even if they only observed from a distance.

Did those who divided the Bible into chapters and verses do a good job in dividing chapter 15 and 16?  Maybe not.  A careful reading of chapter 16:1-3 would instead add these verses to the end of chapter 15.  Why?  Chapter 15 tells of Samson’s victories, explicitly stating in verse 20, “Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines.

Chapter 16:1-3 takes us to another significant victory.  Reading some commentaries, and drawing from superficial observations, this episode in Samson’s life is lumped together with his bad choices of women.  Verses 4-21 is without a doubt about his arrogant fall into sin with Delilah.  More about that later.

Judges 16:1-3 happened in Gaza, miles away from his meeting with Delilah?  So, what was Samson’s business in Gaza?

All of this is significant with the light of another episode in the Bible.  When Israel took possession of the Promised Land under Joshua, they destroyed the Anakites who lived in the hill country to the Mediterranean Sea (Joshua 11:21).  This is roughly where Samson and his parents settled in the towns of Zora and Eshtaol. 

Who were the Anakites?  This takes us back to the report of those whom Moses had sent to check out the land.  They also visited the Sorek Valley with all the vineyards (where Samson killed the lion? [Judges 14:4]), and even took a cluster of grapes back, so big that they carried it on a pole between them (Numbers 13:23). Some came back with this report: 

“There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33, NKJV)

After the forty years of wandering in the desert because of their unbelief (Numbers 14:11, 21-23), Joshua led the people into the Promised Land.  The occupation of years later under Joshua was not complete.  We read, 

None of the Anakim was left in the land of the children of Israel; they remained only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod. (Joshua 11:22, NKJV)

And now we find Samson in Gaza!  

With the fearlessness of someone who understood something of delivering his people from Philistine oppression, Samson went to their own fortified capital. Gaza was the most powerful border-city of the Philistines.

Too quickly may we jump to conclusions about Samson spending the night with a prostitute.  Why was he in that house?  It was custom that the houses of prostitutes stood open to all, including strangers who had no friends in the city to take them in.  Do you remember the spies who visited Jericho and stayed the night with Rahab, the prostitute? (Joshua 2)  

Samson did not go to Gaza to visit a brothel.  Because he wished to remain there some time, there was no option for him but to check in with the prostitute. Who else would have taken him in?

Keep in mind, this was supposed to be the territory given to Judah (Judges 1:18), but they were nowhere near now?  They were hiding in the clefts, caves and strongholds (Judges 6:2) out of fear.  But Samson marched into the lion’s mouth.  The enemy had one desire:  kill him!

When they were keeping guard through the night around the city to prevent him from escaping, they fell asleep.  At midnight Samson “took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.” (Judges 16:3, NKJV).  To take possession of an enemy’s gate is to have a complete victory over them.  When Samson pulled out the gate of Gaza, he inflicted national humiliation of the Philistines before Israel, as if Israel, in the person of its representative, took their capital by storm.  

What did he do with the gates?  He planted them on the hill the faced Hebron.  Is it of importance?  Sure!  Hebron was the city Joshua gave to Caleb (Joshua 15:13).  Hebron had been occupied by the giants, the Anakites, but Caleb was one of the spies who reported back to Moses in Numbers 14 with these words:  

Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them. (Numbers 14:8–9, [24], NKJV)

And, of course, Hebron was the country of David, the king who would later totally destroyed the Philistines.  And not far from Hebron, in Bethlehem (the city of David) the Christ would be born, who single-handedly destroyed the enemy of enemies and enlarged the territory of God’s people into all the world.  To Him was given all power in heaven and on earth.  In His Name, we are marching on into final victory when He will crush all resistance and treads all enemy under his feet  (Psalm 2 and 110).

Samson was a man of faith, just as the Bible teaches in Hebrews 11.  Single-handedly, he made a spectacle of the oppressors.  He connected the Promised Land back to the former days, but his ministry also linked to future deliverance.  

He became a wrecking victory. 

Victorious wreck

The next and final episode in Samson’s life is a picture of failure.  In more than one sense Samson’s life became a symbol of the experience of his adulterous people, who traded her privilege as God’s treasured possession to become a spectacle of shame.

Samson toyed with his victories, took his eyes off his mission and, in arrogance and pride, squandered his God-given abilities.  

His power did not lie in his hair; his hair was merely a symbol of God’s presence with him.  In the lap of the adulterous women, now not deep in Philistine territory, but actually not far from home—and maybe because he felt safe in these environments—probably knowing that his hair had nothing to do with his strength, thought nothing of it to disregard God’s claim on him as a Nazirite.  He had Delilah snip off his hair. It was precisely because this careless attitude which dug the hole of his defeat. 

But God did not leave him at once.  Samson stretched the grace of God.  It was after the fifth time that he was not the deliverer of Israel anymore; what was left was just mortal Samson of Eshtaol. He became powerless and ended up blind, helpless, humiliated, labouring like an animal as a slave of the very people he was to destroy.

This was the story of Israel.  This was the story of the other judges.  A human deliverer would always fail.  God’s people would always fail.  They needed a Perfect Deliverer, a sinless one, a Saviour who could finally satisfy God’s wrath on sin, a Saviour who would finally destroy the enemy to set his people free.  

This Saviour was the One born in Bethlehem and who went on to destroy death and sin and hell and Satan on Calvary’s Hill.

Who knows what went through Samson’s mind as he, with eyes cut out, in the darkness of the mill floor reflected on his life.  What went through his mind when they came to get him to entertain them as they were gathered in the temple of Dagon, jeering: 

“Our god has delivered into our hands Samson our enemy!” (Judges 16:23, NKJV)

Dagon’s temple was most probably in Ashdod north of Gaza  (1Samuel 5:1).  

Wesley penned down this poem:  

Into their hands by sin betrayed,
(The sin I cherished in my breast)
Low in the deepest dungeon laid, 
Fettered in brass, by guilt oppressed;
A slave to Satan I remain,
And bite, but cannot burst my chain.

Now to their idol’s temple brought, 
A sport I am to fiends and men, 
They set my helplessness at nought,
They triumph in my toil and pain: 
Th’ uncircumcised lift up their voice, 
And Dagon’s worshippers rejoice.

He shuffled in, chains around his ankles.  He was stripped of all dignity and pride.  Around him, there was just darkness.  

All the rulers of the Philistine were there, and the galleries were packed with 3,000 Philistines.  Guided by another servant he asked to put between the pillars supporting the roof.  

Wesley’s poem continues: 

Remember me, O Lord, my God, 
If ever I could call thee mine;
Though now I perish in my blood,
And all my hopes of heaven resign,
Yet listen to my latest call, 
Nor suffer me alone to fall.

O cast not out my dying prayer, 
Strengthen me with thy Spirit’s might
This only once: I pray thee, hear, 
Avenge me for my loss of sight,
Avenge it on mine enemies,
For they have put out both mine eyes.

Was his prayer sincere?  Calvin helps us to understand:  

“…even though there was some righteous zeal mixed in, still a burning and hence vicious longing for vengeance was in control. God granted the petition. From this, it seems, we may infer that, although prayers are not framed to the rule of the Word, they obtain their effect.”

God gave him the strength to push the supporting pillars over, killing the rulers and the people—and most importantly, making a spectacle of the god of the Philistines. Yet, it was the end of Samson, killing “at his death were more than he had killed in his life.” (Judges 16:30)

Another deliverer failed.  Samson died a victorious wreck.

Conclusion

The scene shifted to Bethlehem where Christ was born.  Our reading from Hebrews states: 

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14–15)

If your Christmas only takes you the stable, and not to the cross, you miss the message of Scripture.  If you do not worship Christ as the One who destroyed death and Satan, you will find yourself with Samson in the lap of sin, and with him, you will die with the enemy.  

I plead with you, fall down and worship Him as Lord and Saviour.

Amen.

Sermon preached by Rev D. Rudi Schwartz on Sunday 16 December 2018

 

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Ignoring the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Scripture readings

  • Deuteronomy 4:1-14
  • Hebrews 2:1-4

Introduction

A group of children are on the playgrounds during recess.  Out of the blue one starts screaming at another.

“What you are saying about me is not true!” The other said. “Someone else is telling lies about me.”

“No, I believe them.  You are a little gossip, and need to be taught a lesson.”

Without warning this student stepped forward and gave the other a good sleep in the face.  The other students moved closer, too eager to see the fight.

The one who got the slap, reeled back, trying to protect his face from the next blow.  “Stop doing this! You are hurting me.”

“You deserve it, and I will show you to respect me as leader on this playground.”

Suddenly the onlookers stepped back.  Why?  The teacher on duty appeared on the scene.

“What is going on here?  Who started this?”, the teacher demanded.

“She did. Not only is she a gossip, she is also mean, always looking for a fight!”

With a stern face the teacher looked at the student who got the slap.  “So, you’re a troublemaker.  I want to see you in the principal’s office.  Go!”

There was a dead silence for a moment, but as soon as the teacher disappeared around the corner, student No 1 yelled out, “That will teach her who’s got the say around here!”

With a bouncing heart the other student entered the principal’s office.

“So, I was told you started a brawl on the playground.  What do you have to say for yourself?”, the principal demanded.

“I did not start it. I did not even do a thing. It was the other girl—she accused me and slapped my face.” She replied with a shivering voice.

“Well it’s your word against her’s.  Who shall I believe?”, the principal asked.

There was a knock on the door.  “Yes come in!”, the principal shouted, clearly not impressed with what is happening.

Three other students entered the office. They walked up to the principals desk, clearly uneasy, staring down.

“I’m actually busy at the moment, trying to teach this girl something about respect for others.  Why are you here?”

“Sir, we were right there when all of this happened.  We are witnesses for the truth, because we saw it all.  This student did not do a thing, it was the other student who just wanted to start it all.  We don’t make up this story, we are here because we want you to know the truth.”

There was silence again.  The accused student looked up to the others.  She did not really know them.  Why would they do it?

“Sir, believe us.  Not only do we want to show respect for our school, its rules, your discipline and the wellbeing of all students, we also know the truth.”

“Well”, the principal said looking at the accused student, “you can count yourself fortunate that you have witnesses.  They were there, they know the truth, and I accept their word for it.  You are free to go.  Please ask the duty teacher to send the other student in.  I don’t delight having liars and bully on my playgrounds.”

Between sure trouble and walking away free, stood witnesses who told the truth.  In the same way can we go free form God’s judgement:  the witnesses about Jesus Christ are telling the truth. We’ll hear more about those witnesses today.

What is the Gospel about Jesus Christ?

We heard the Word last week from the first chapter of Hebrews.  It proclaims the greatness of the Second Person of the Godhead, Jesus Christ the Son of God.  He is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God being.  Through Him God created everything which was created.  Everything God created holds together in Jesus Christ.  Christ is God’s way of speaking to us.

What God has to say—and once again we have to think of God’s creating, or rebirth of sinners, and the calling of a new nation, a new people over which He will reign as overhang King—God says through and by Jesus Christ who is the Beginner, the foundation of the new house of God, the Perfecter of the act of the salvation of lost sinners.

Christ is above the angels who worship Him. His throne will last forever, and He will make his enemies his footstool.

Chapter 2 introduces us in more things Christ did.  When God saw the helplessness of sinful mankind, who fell from its glorious role of caretaker of God’s creation after the fall, He did not turn his back on them; rather, He was mindful of them.  What did He do?  You know this by heart.

For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NIV)

Jesus, who was reigning with the Father in absolute glory and majesty, had everything subject to Him.  He willingly became lower than the angels, came into this world to suffer death. (2:9)

In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what He suffered. (Hebrews 2:10, NIV)

Holy and perfect Jesus, God from all eternity, by taking mankind’s sin upon Him calls us “brothers”, and He is not ashamed to say so (2:11-12).  He trusted that God’s plan of salvation in Him will stand (2:13).  He therefore stands before the throne of God and says, “Here am I, and the children God has given Me.” (2:13)

He shared in our humanity be taking on flesh and blood.  When He died, He died like us will die:  his heart stoped beating, he entered death and they buried Him. But He rose again, destroying death.  Listen:

… by his death He broke the power of Him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14–15, NIV)

He did so, because He was the faithful, merciful High Priest who made atonement of the people. Further:

Because He himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:18, NIV)

This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  God’s Son left his throne of glory, sided with sinners, died from them, rose for them, and now calls them his brothers.  Do you want to hear God’s good news:  listen to Jesus!

Is the Gospel about Jesus Christ the truth?

You do not need to believe my word regarding the Gospel.  In the end, like the student before the principal, who can vouch for the truth?

2:2 takes us to the angels as God’s messengers.  Although God wrote the Ten Commandments, the Bible teaches that they mediated the commandments to the people of God.  God set up his Covenant with his people by giving the angels to confirm the verity of it.  If was binding, and as we read in Deuteronomy 4 this morning, not believing it and not living by it, invoked God’s wrath and led to death.

Concerning Jesus the angels were once again God’s messenger in announcing his birth, as well as the night He was born.  What they said was the truth.

More than that.  The Lord God Himself announced the Lordship of Christ.  “This is my Son, listen to Him?”  The voice of God directly from heaven is recoded in the Gospels:  at his birth (Lk 2:9), at the beginning of his earthly ministry (Mk 1:11, Mt 3:16-17), and and the end of his public ministry (John 12:28).

More than that.  The disciples heard the voice of God from heaven, they heard to Lord Jesus talking to them and teaching them, they saw Him, they witnessed his works of salvation, they saw Him being crucified, they saw the open grave, they once again sat at his feet for forty days before He ascended into heaven.  What they heard and saw, they recorded.  This is what we have as the New Testament.  About this Peter writes:

For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:16-18, 20–21, NIV)

Add to this then the testimony of the Holy Spirit. God gave signs and wonders and miracles which was confirmed by the Holy Spirit.  The men who were made apostles to be the witnesses of Jesus Christ for the truth about his Gospel, could only do so because they were driven by the Holy Sprit.  The Bible is given by the Holy Spirit, and it testifies about Jesus Christ.

The angels, God speaking from heaven, apostles been gifted and driven by the Holy Spirit, the apostles who performed signs and miracles in the name of Christ—they are the true witnesses about Christ.  The Gospel is the truth.  That why Peter writes:

We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:19, NIV)

If it is the truth, can we ignore it?

The writer go Hebrews asks this rhetorical question:

How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? (Hebrews 2:3, NIV)

One can escape out of something dangerous, or once can escape into safety.  This text refers to the first:  escaping from danger.  What is the danger?  Verse 2 gives the answer:  disobedience calls for punishment.  What punishment and who is the one who brings punishment?  The writer of Hebrews answers later in his book:

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26-29, 31, NIV)

Do you remember the parable of the Lord, inviting people to the banquet?  Some ignored it, they treated it with indifference.  They Greek word describes the opposite of a word meaning taking care or showing concern.  To ignore is the opposite:  it is to show no concern.  It is to say, “Who cares?”

Conclusion

The Gospel of Christ is God’s way of speaking to us, telling us that He cared for us and loved us by seeing his son to pay the penalty for our sins, to taste death on our behalf, to destroy the power of Satan, and to stand at God’s throne calling us his brothers.

This Gospel is the truth.  God the Father announced it, the angels proclaimed it, the apostles saw and heard it, the Holy Spirit had it written down in the Bible.

Will you neglect it?  If so, how will you escape God’s wrath for trampling underfoot the blood of Christ?

Sermon preached by Rev D. Rudi Schwartz on Sunday 5 March 2018

 

Who is the saviour, Jesus Christ?

Bible Readings

  • Psalm 110
  • Hebrews 1

Introduction

My dear friends in the Lord Jesus Christ,

The topic of this sermon is “Who is the saviour, called Jesus Christ?”  Who is Jesus Christ?

Is it possible that we live in a time of unparalleled Biblical illiteracy?  We have unprecedented access to Bible translations, Bible programs, studies and information.  About everyone has an electronic device in his or her pocket with at least one translation of the Scriptures on it.  Yet, careful examination of the state of the church, more so in the western world, paints a shocking picture. Little wonder then that someone thought Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife!  Most church-goers today do not know the Ten Commandments.  And this is just basic Bible knowledge; it says nothing about true commitment to Christ in Christian living and service to his Kingdom.

Who is Jesus Christ?

How would you answer the question, Who is Jesus Christ?

A common answer in church circles to the question, Who is Jesus Christ?, goes like this, “He died for me on the cross.”

There are enormous problems with this response, not because of what is said, but because of what is not included in this answer.

First of all, this answer puts the focus on me—He died for me.  He came to give me a hand.  So, when I need Him for health, wealth, success, and getting out of trouble, He will help me.  He came into my world for me; nothing about his Kingdom and Kingship and how He should be worshipped is even heard of in this response.  Furthermore, because it is about me—individual me—we hear nothing about the rest of the people of Christ as his church of which all of us are members as one family.

To only state “He died for me on the cross” when you give an answer about who Jesus is, has gaping holes in it, and might expose the temperature of your spiritual life, and the level of your understanding of the gospel.

Secondly, Christ did not only come to die, He came to conquer everything which separates us from God—this includes sin, Satan, death and hell. It is therefore more accurate to say He come to die and conquer death through his sacrifice on the Cross and his resurrection.

But there’s more to it:  He is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He is the King of all kings.  He is indeed God!

So, let’s get the Biblical answer on who Jesus Christ is.  I trust that God will help all of us to know who his Son, Jesus Christ, is, so we can worship Him as Lord and King.

Let’s look to heaven through the lens of the Bible

To answer the question Who is Jesus Christ? We need to understand the Bible as the Word of God which is given to us to give us and understanding of who God is.

Go with me to Hebrews 1.

Jesus Christ is God’s word

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son … (Hebrews 1:1–2, ESV)

In the days before Jesus took on flesh and was born as a human being God communicated with his people—He made his will clear—in different ways.  Unless God revealed Himself none would know who He is, what He is, and what his will is.

In order for his people to know Him and to understand his Person and will, to know his plan of salvation after the fall of Adam and Eve, and to what all things lead and how all things will come to a final conclusion at the end of time, God used prophets and priests.  The prophets declared God’s will and the priests interceded on behalf of the people with sacrifices and prayers.  Some people saw visions, other dreamed dreams.  In some cases God used major signs and miracles—like when Israel was rescued out of Egypt; just think of the plagues, God’s provision for his people in the desert, and Him giving them a land.

There was the great Moses, Aaron the high priest with others who sacrificed millions of animals to atone for the sin of the people; there were Elijah, David, Isaiah, John the Baptist and all the others.  All pointed to someone better to come.  God spoke through them.

But then there was Jesus Christ:  God speaks through his Son.  He is greater than Moses, more important than Aaron, greater than any king who lived before Him.

What we need to know about God, about his rescue plan, about the unfolding of history and how it will come to an end—is said in Jesus Christ.  The Bible reveals God’s will in Jesus Christ.  If you want to know about it, read it carefully and you will find all God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ.  What does the future hold?  When Christ returns all will be made knew, and then He will take us to his Father’s home and we will see his glory.  He is the beginning and the last; He holds the keys of hell; He was dead, but now his lives.  Of his the angels sing with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12, ESV)

Let’s put it this way:  who is Jesus Christ?  He is God’s Word made flesh.

John writes in John 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  (John 1:1–2, ESV)

Jesus Christ is God’s appointed King

Our text says:

[God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things  (Hebrews 1:2–3, ESV)

Listen:  “all things”.  The Creator of the universe made Jesus his legal heir of all things which He created.  The language here has something of a king who authorises and appoints a successor.  It reflects the language of Psalm 110:  Your thrown will last forever because I am your Father.

Who is Jesus Christ?  He is eternal King!  Can you see how inadequate it is to just say “He died for me”?  The problem with Christians today is that they hardly understand anything about worshipping Christ as Lord and King.  What does it mean?  In essence nothing less that to love Him with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength.  He who does not fall before Christ as his Lord in worship, will never understand anything of the Gospel.

Jesus Christ is the One through whom God created the  universe

but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. (Hebrews 1:2–3, ESV)

 Paul writes in Colossians 1:

For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15–17, ESV)

It’s one thing to hear the invitation to receive Christ as Lord and Saviour, waking down the isle and say a sinner’s prayer; it’s a completely different thing to worship Christ as the Creator who holds everything together: the sun who rose today, the Other who provided your breakfast this morning, the One who understands our bodies and knows how everything works.

Did you know that the average adult have about 1000,000kms of blood vessels in his body?  Your heart beats about 115,000 times per day pumping about 6,500 litres, and on average 42,000,000 times per year.  If you passed eighty years of age your heart would have beaten 3.3 billion times, pumping 200 million litres of blood.   They say we could have 32.7 trillion cells in our bodies at anytime.  Things get really astonishing when you think about DNA and the information stored in DNA.  We have only spoken of one person.  There are 7 billion of us on earth!

Do you get the picture?  In Christ all things hold together – all 7 billion heartbeats.  He knows the beginning from the end.  Our text says He sustains all things.  How?  By his powerful word.  How is that possible?  Well, He is God!

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15, ESV) 

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.

All things were made through Him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3, ESV)

God spoke, and creation happened.  Christ was there.  He is God’s Word!

Do you worship Him?  Do you think perhaps you can use Him for your own agenda?  Think again!

Jesus Christ is God’ appointed Saviour

Now we may get to the point of salvation:

After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3, ESV)

Think about it:  God’s appointed Word, His appointed King, His appointed heir, the One who was with God when He created, the One in whom all things hold together—He walked in obedience to God to Calvary’s Hill, taking the scourge of sin upon Him, and died forsaken by his Father.  Why?  He loved righteousness and hated wickedness (verse 9).  He died in our place while we still his enemies.  His blood became the purchase price by which He set sinners free by becoming their righteousness.

Conclusion

If you say you know Jesus Christ as the one who died for you, you have to say you worship him as your King; you have to say He is your God; you have to say you life is in his hand; you have to say you love Him; you have to say you have left you old life behind and you follow Him only.

Who is Jesus Christ?  How do you know and worship Him as Lord?