Where would we be without Jesus?
During the next few days, I’d like to share a brief look at the life of Christ. It won’t be too deep. I do hope it will prompt us all to think again about WHO Jesus is and WHY we have decided to follow him. Indeed, where would we be without Jesus? The Apostle Paul shed inspired insight into this inquiry when he reminded the Gentiles in the Ephesian letter of their status before they came to know Jesus. Here he writes:
…you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
Think about it…
If you take away the name of Buddha from Buddhism and remove the personal revealer entirely from his system; if you take away the personality of Muhammad from Muhammadanism, or the personality of Zoroaster from the religion of the Parsees, the entire doctrine of these religions would still be left intact. Their practical value, such as it is, would not be imperiled or lessened. But take away from Christianity the name and person of Jesus Christ and what have you left? Nothing! The whole substance and strength of the Christian faith centers in Jesus Christ. Without Him there is absolutely nothing. —Sinclair Patterson.
Nothing matters more!
Even for a Jewish man named Saul, whose notable pedigree and stellar personal accomplishments left him without peer amongst his Jewish brethren, there was a point in his life that he came to realize nothing mattered more than knowing Jesus. Concerning this determination he wrote:
…If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:4b-11 NIV)
Paul and Graham Kendrick agree!
Knowing You Jesus
All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.
Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.
Now my heart’s desire is to know You more,
To be found in You and know as Yours,
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All surpassing gift of righteousness
Oh to know the power of Your risen life,
And to know You in Your sufferings;
To become like You in Your death, my Lord,
So with You to live and never die.
A Personal Invitation
So, I invite you to stop in at the Spiritual Oasis over the next couple of weeks to take a brief look at the life of Christ. Together, we will spend a few minutes looking at…
— The Prophecies Regarding the Christ
— The Person of the Lord Jesus Christ
— The Preaching of the Lord Jesus Christ
— The Power of the Lord Jesus Christ
— The Promises of the Lord Jesus Christ
© Bill Williams
October 1, 2007