The Audacious Exclusivity of the Gospel
This will probably sound weird, but I love to study chemistry. It was one of my favorite subjects in high school and one of my final courses in college. The college class was a tad challenging, but I loved observing how the atoms and elements of the universe point to an Omnisapient (all-wise) Designer.
This past summer, my focus of study was the book of Colossians. I've always loved this little book. It contains what I call the "template" for relationships. But I also love the main point and theme of the book:
Jesus is above all and is all—in—all! Jesus is the Supreme Ruler.
Paul sent this letter to the believers in Colossae to address a false mind-set that was taking hold. These new believers were being influenced by those who claimed to have "secret knowledge" or superior spiritual insight. The problem was that their "superior insight" didn't line up with scriptural truth. They were promoting the heresy that Jesus Christ was merely "one in a series" of emanations descending from God, that Jesus was inferior to God.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 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 (Col. 1:15–17).
The theme of Colossians is Jesus' rule and reign over creation. It is a declaration of His superiority over all things—whether in heaven or earth, visible and invisible. And "in him all things hold together."
I love that!
Did you ever have a high school chemistry teacher ask you the question of how the atom is held together? Why doesn't it fly apart? What is the glue that holds the electrons in orbit around the protons and neutrons?
Colossians supplies the answer to that question. They are held together by the power of their Designer. "In him all things hold together."
He is the all-wise, governing ruler and sustainer of the universe and of your life.
The Colossian believers were faced with the same empty philosophies that we hear promoted today. The belief that Jesus is just one of "many ways to God" and the idea that angels (or demonic beings) are superior and should be worshiped was prevalent.
Paul challenged the Colossians to recognize Jesus' position of authority. We can't have it multiple ways. Jesus requires that the "line in the sand" be drawn. Following Jesus requires turning away from all other gods or belief systems.
He made that clear:
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).
Talk about a politically "incorrect" statement! Jesus made those a lot.
What audacity to claim there is only one way to God!
Today we find ourselves living in much the same world as these Colossian believers. People reject Jesus' superior position; they want an "inclusive" god, one who offers the "freedom" of many ways to enlightenment. The modern "politically correct" view tolerates all ways to God except for the exclusive route through Jesus alone.
The cross is an exclusive and narrow road.
It is a broad invitation, but those who follow are few.
There is only one way to God and that is through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And that is what Colossians celebrates:
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross (Col. 1:19–20).
He created the atoms that He holds together in the palm of His hand. He is the author, designer, and ruler of the universe. And He is my all in all.
Have you recognized the superiority of Jesus Christ?
What false philosophies have you rejected in order to follow Him?
By Erin Davis
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