In Christ all the richest treasures of divine wisdom (insight into God’s ways and purposes) are stored up and safely kept. Jesus is the key who opens all the riches of spiritual knowledge and enlightenment. (Colossians 2:3, my expanded paraphrase)
Introduction. I providentially stumbled onto the song, “Christ Is Everything; I Need Him.” I don’t know the author, but if you do, please tell me. I heard the song first at a Korean church in Philadelphia. Here is the chorus and first stanza:
Christ is everything, I need Him. He is everything you need, believe Him.
Life is a Person, receive Him, Open up your heart and sing.
Open yourself to Jesus’ new creation. Open your eyes to the joy of change.
Life is the fruit of God’s creation. Every new birth is a soul regained.
Christ is everything and everything is going to be alright (ultimately) if we trust and obey Jesus. The song echoes our opening Scripture, Colossians 2:3. All we need to know of our loving God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is wrapped up in Jesus. The Lord wants us to have His righteousness, joy, and peace as we focus on Christ, God’s great Mystery Solver. I remind myself and all of us of this truth so that we don’t run on “wild-goose chases,” seeking some other secret to life with meaning, which is really a dead end.1
An Illustration. Pastor John MacArthur admits that he’s not a handyman. But his wife asked him to replace a switch in the dining room, a rheostat to make the lights adjustable. The rheostat lets you dim the light when you want a romantic dinner, or turn up the full light when you need to work. MacArthur says that many Christians have their light switch “barely on,” when it comes to learning of Jesus. They don’t realize the overwhelmingly beautiful light of Christ and the power He has to bless us in this life and in the life to come. MacArthur reminds us not to live with the rheostat low, missing all the goodness that is available to us in Jesus.
Christ’s Self-Revealing Names. Jesus heaps up His names throughout the whole Bible to teach and remind us of all His excellencies, all the ways He blesses His followers. Christ’s names encourage us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. So that we praise and thank Him more and more. Christ is fully God, fully man in one person, so we are learning about Jesus the real live Person, as the song says. And the learning equips us to live for Christ. Eternal life comes from knowing the only true God, through Jesus who the Father sent.2 And knowing the Lord is for being His chosen people, saved by grace through faith. And for doing what pleases the Lord, not ourselves.3 Bible doctrine about Christ is not meant to be head knowledge only, but it must lead us to devotion to Jesus, a life of discipleship (following Him), and practicing our Christian duties with cheerfulness. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said: I spend half my time telling Christians to study doctrine and the other half telling them that doctrine is not enough.
The evangelist Billy Sunday (1862-1935) claimed that the Bible contains 256 names for Christ the Lord because Jesus is infinitely beyond all that any one name can express. I have not tried to count Christ’s names myself, but here is sample of them, using various translations. Read them aloud and punctuate your reading with adoration and prayer to the Lord. Don’t rush. Let our meditation be sweet and pleasing to God, as we rejoice and are glad in Christ.4
Some of Christ’s Names. Jesus is the last Adam5 who comes from Heaven to crush the serpent’s head, to reverse the curse, and to give us everlasting life. He is our righteous Advocate (defense attorney) who defends believers when we sin,6 forgives us, and purifies us from all unrighteousness.7 He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last;8 who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. Jesus holds the keys of death. Christ is our all in all,9 the Ancient of Days,10 God’s Anointed Son,11 the Apostle and High Priest we confess.12 He is the Arm of the Lord,13 the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Let’s keep our eyes on Him all our life, until we reach our heavenly home.14
Jesus, the Last Adam. This name is found in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15. Remember that the whole human race belongs either to the first Adam’s family or to the Last Adam’s family. There’s no middle ground. We are all born into the first Adam’s family and need to be born again and brought into the Last Adam’s family by the Holy Spirit’s work.
|First Adam’s Family
|Jesus Christ’s Family
|Unsaved sinners, unbelievers
|Sinners saved by God’s grace, believers
|Unholy, unwashed, unrenewed, orphans
|Holy, washed, renewed, adopted by God
|Followers of Satan, the world, and self
|Followers and imitators of Christ
|Their destiny is eternal separation from God in Hell
|Their destiny is eternal fellowship with God in Heaven
Because of all Jesus is to us and has done, is doing, and will do for us, Christ’s followers say: We give joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.15
Notice that Jesus came to do for us what the first Adam failed to do. The first Adam yielded to temptation in Eden and Christ refused to yield to Satan in the wilderness. Jesus was obeying God for us, in our place, from the moment He came to earth. He came to suffer the punishment we deserve on the cross and also to obey God for us, to clothe us in His perfect righteousness. I love it! Right away in Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve fell into sin, dragging us with them, God promised that Mary’s virgin born Son will crush the serpent’s head.
Remember that Christ Defeats Satan in Four Stages:
- All during the Old Testament, the Lord delivered His people and won victories over the devil.
- At Jesus’ 1st coming, He accomplished our mighty salvation and decisively defeated Satan at Calvary.16
- Between Christ’s 1st and 2nd comings, He rescues more people and wins victories over the devil every day.
- At Jesus’ return, He will consummate our salvation and permanently destroy Satan.
Praise God (the Father, Son, and Spirit). He has a plan. From the very beginning of time, He moved history forward toward the Cross where Jesus would rescue and restore sinful humans and bring us into rich fellowship with God forever.
You came from heaven to earth / To show the way.
From the earth to the cross / My debt to pay.
From the cross to the grave / From the grave to the sky
Lord I lift Your name on high.17
To be continued. You can read Christ Is Everything: Resurrection Reality
Notes (various translations): 1 See The Message paraphrase on Col 2:2-4. 2 John 17:3. 3 Heb 13:21. 4 Psalm 104:34. 5 1 Cor 15:45-49. 6 1 John 2:1-2. 7 1 John 1:9. 8 Rev 1:8,18, 21:6, 22:13. 9 Col 3:11. 10 Dan 7:9-11, with Rev 1:13-16. 11 Psalm 2. 12 Heb 3:1. 13 Is 53:1. 14 Heb 12:2. 15 Col 1:12-14. 16 John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11. 17 Song by Rick Doyle Founds.