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Why Christ above other gods?

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Scripture Reading

We will be looking at several parts of scripture through the sermon this evening but our primary reference will be Romans 1:18-32 and Colossians 1:15-20. In Romans we will see the condition of man that precipitates the question we are answering this day – Why Christ above other gods? It is the condition of sin.

Romans 1:18-32

Colossians 1:15-20 

Prayer

Father, we are before you this evening as your children. We have come to learn from you, to be taught by you. To be rebuked, to be corrected, to be encouraged and to challenged. Dear Father, thank you for the gift of you Son Jesus Christ to us. It is this gift of your Son that is the subject of our lesson tonight. Father, illuminate our hearts through the Holy Spirit as you continue even this very evening to mold and make us into the image of your Son Jesus Christ. In Whose name we pray, Amen

Lesson

THE CONDITION

We are still in the season of party primary elections in Kenya. If you observed last week, you must have noticed the prevalence of blatant evil and sin in our society: From contestants dishing out bribes to the reward of well known corrupt individuals with nomination victories. People the world we are living in is twisted, very twisted. I don’t want to even go on to the Bishop who is currently in court after spending some time in jail for election malpractice. . . heartbreaking!

Romans chapter 1:18-32 is the Biblical description of what is ailing us, as individuals, as a society and country and humanity at large – Sin, rebellion against God, rejection of God’s supremacy!

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; 21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.

I know for a fact that this university is not an exemption to the ongoing craze of atheism. Some people have no idea what exactly being an atheist is all about but you will hear them proudly branding themselves as atheists.

The Bible is very clear, no one has an excuse; God has revealed Himself to all without exception – that covers the pigmies in the Congo forest and all the native tribes in the Amazon! BUT man has chosen a different path – they have chosen not to honor God, but rather any created thing especially SELF.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

Therefore God has given them up! Let me repeat that again – therefore God has given them up.

When I was young, delinquents would be sent to the chief’s office or even the nearest police station for punishment by their parents: to teach them an unforgettable lesson. This was always a horrendous experience for the young son or daughter; most never went wayward again. I am speaking from personal experience by the way ???

Now forget earthly parents; God here gives up his creation, human beings who have decided to honor everything and everyone else except Him to themselves. What follows is destruction upon destruction. WHY? because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

Dishonorable passion is one of the hallmarks of the downward spiral the rebellion of humanity is on. Homosexuality is on the rise; even in Kenya and Africa as a continent where such a practice was unheard of – young men and women, old men and women are ‘coming out of the closet’ and telling all and sundry that they are gay!

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. 29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.

Evil and wickedness in levels hitherto unimagined and unseen permeates our screens every day. Who would have thought that a government can unleash a chemical weapon on its own citizens? Who? As children connive to kill parents so as to inherit wealth: parents killing children for business mileage: wives killing husbands for going wayward: mothers introducing their children to prostitution at a tender age: – I could go on and on. But we can all agree – evil and wickedness is on the rise in our nation, our continent and the world at large. And the rise is unrelenting! How do I know this?

32 Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.

They approve both vocally and through silence. There is a growing community of sinners in our nation and the world. This community is growing strong by the day; they not only sin but defend those who sin.

You want to know how? Just try and engage with any diverse group of people on the subject of homosexuality. You will be amazed, I am assuming am talking to believers who standing on God’s Word condemn homosexuality.

Don’t want to go extreme? Have an open discussion about bribery and corruption with an diverse group of people. You will be shocked at the levels of lawlessness and comrades in lawlessness – sin.

So we have clearly seen our condition, our damning condition of sin: rebellion against God and rejection of His Supremacy.

WHAT IS THE ANTIDOTE?

The world has offered us so many options:

  • Yoga/Transcendental meditation
  • Self help books
  • Motivational talks
  • Psychology
  • Religion and on and on and on

But this evening allow me to present to you the ONLY Way, the ONLY Truth, the ONLY Life – Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. Through His sacrifice on the cross, He forgave everyone who will believe in Him and allowed them access to the Father with a sure promise of eternal life! Hallelujah

JESUS THE CHRIST

The banking industry around the world  is one that is daily faced with the challenge of fake currency. To equip their staff to differentiate between fake and real currency they undertake to train their staff on the real currency. They know something that is applicable in very day life and specifically as it comes to Christ above all gods: fake is always evolving but the truth never changes, so if you know truth it doesn’t matter what camouflage, shape or size fake takes you will always be able to detect it ikiwa huuuko mlolongo!

From our scripture reading this evening we get a vivid description of who Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God is. Let’s look at this portion of scripture line by line, verse by verse

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; 

Jesus Christ some 2000 years ago entered the realm of humanity clothed in a human body; He became one of us. It is recorded and proven by historians that Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem by a Virgin Mary betrothed to one Joseph. He lived amongst the people of the time for a cool thirty three years! That’s enough time to prove whether he was really human.

Because He was born like us, becoming one of us; yet never once did not stop being God He is to us the visible image of the invisible God. And I am not talking about the Hollywood characters that play Jesus in the numerous movies created about the Son of God. Which makes me wonder sometimes, if they have images of Ceasar who reigned at the time of Jesus, why ahs no one come up with a true reflective image of exactly how Jesus looked like? That’s your homework J

John 1:1-3 we learn that :

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 

Jesus is the first born of all creation. He existed with the Father before time, space and matter was.

16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 

As the first born of creation, in him was everything made: everything means everything! Not only was everything made through him it was made for him!

Pause and think about that for a minute> Not only was everything made through him it was made for him!

Everything includes you and I. Is it a wonder then that John 3:16 plainly tells us that:

 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

We were created through him and for him; therefore God in His love reconciled us to Himself through His Son.

17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 

As part of his first of creation status, being before all things it follows that everything else that follows holds ONLY in Him.

I know some humans somewhere maybe even in our midst think they exist for themselves and by themselves and they are in charge of their destiny and they hold their lives together J J but nothing could be far away from the truth! He supplies us all, the evil, the wicked, the Isis, the President of Syria, Donald Trump J, you and I with free oxygen from birth to death and I could go on and on about God’s free gifts to us all both sinners and saints.

In Christ, all things hold together > ALL THINGS

18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. 

Now we move from inclusive to exclusive.

Jesus is the head of the Church, the leader the bridegroom of the church. Those who believe in Him; those whom He purchased with His very own life!

He is also the first born from the dead, for the sole purpose that in EVERYTHING He might be pre-eminent.

His position as first is not up for grabs, its not up for competition! He is first in everything and that’s final = this in turn gives Him pre-eminence.

Let’s back track to Jesus being first from the dead for a minute shall we? It is written in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19:

12 Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied

Resurrection is such a fundamental column in the Christian faith that without it Paul clearly states, ‘we are of all men most to be pitied’. Resurrection is one of the key factors of differentiating between the Truth and all the fakes. Of all the gods ever made, ever invented human, animal or object NONE has risen from the dead! NONE

No wonder the early church fathers included belief in the resurrection from the dead as one of the lines in the Apostles creed. If there is no resurrection from the dead, then there is no life after death, then our faith is in vain! Eternity with God for which Christ died the most humiliating death on the cross becomes nullified. And that in effect wipes out the place of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. Because the same power that conquered the grave, is the same power that lives within every believer. The Holy Spirit who enables us to say no to sin and to live a righteous life; who works within us to make us into the image of Jesus Christ. If God could not raise Christ from the dead, how can He transform mere mortals into an army of righteousness??

But Christ is risen, therefore our hope is not vanquished. Hallelujah!

19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 

God in more than one occasion put His rubber stamp on Jesus Christ. This God did through public declaration.

During the Baptism of Jesus – Matthew 3:17-18

16 And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; 17 and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

            During the transfiguration of Jesus – Matthew 17: 5-6

He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe.

It was not just through God declaring Jesus as His Son that we know the fullness of God dwelt in Him but numerous times through the miracles He performed. They were a testament for all and sundry that God was with Him and that He was Divine – Jesus was and is God, has been and will always be!

I have in mind the calming of the sea, even His own disciples asked: “Who is this that even the waves and sea obey His command?” – He is the Son of God, He is God

20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

The Bible is very clear:

Jesus said in John 14:6

I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.

Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to the Father, the reconciler of God and man.

Turning to the blood of Jesus on the cross; it is written in Hebrews 9:11- 14

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking] not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

The blood of Jesus is greater than that of bulls and goats; it speaks better things than the blood of Abel. The blood of Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament covenant and practice; it was shed once and for all! Hallelujah

Peace and reconciliation with God is achieved by the finished work of Christ on the cross; through His obedience (Philippians 2:1-11).

CONCLUSION

Brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen; Let me bring this to a close. I have presented the fallen world and its nature to you, I have also presented Jesus the Son of the living God He alone who is the ONLY antidote for sin once and for all.

 

PRAYER:

Our Father and Our God, thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ. The gift that enable us to come boldly to you and commune with you in prayer. Thank you for reconciling us to yourself through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Thank you for speaking to us this evening. Father, we are grateful to be loved by you and to be called children of God. In Jesus Name we pray Amen!

 

Image Source: Piniterest

 

PS: This sermon was first preached on 28th April 2017 at Chiromo Campus Christian Union

 

 

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