Systems and concepts and Christ

Jesus Christ was a real person – a human being with feelings and actions who lived in and with a time, place and purpose in history. Largely, these are accepted facts.

Christ is also the real son of God, fully God, equal to God, the Word of God, the creator of all things, beings, wisdom and truth, judge of all men, and the resurrected, divine, still-living eternal savior of mankind who defeated death, forgave sin, and restored humanity’s relationship with God. The Bible tells us so, and the Holy Spirit, when given the chance, confirms it in our hearts.

Largely, these are facts that only faith will allow. For the majority of the world and more than a few Christians, the divine identity of Jesus becomes a collection of suppositional “facts” or conditional propositions because they are assertions reason cannot prove. A common intellectual response is, “That’s a nice story, but …”

“But” is man trying to grab the steering wheel.

Man often hesitates to accept the very best parts of Jesus Christ – joy for example –because man, in general, has a tough time accepting God on God’s terms. So man creates “systematic theology” and presents eloquent concepts of Christ, figuring – errantly – that man is smart enough to dictate terms and define God. It’s an easy mistake to make.

Mankind possesses an animated lucidity and mental creativeness that works against the spiritual acceptance of “how” and maybe more especially “why” that lucidity and creativeness came to be in the first place.

“How” is “God made it that way.” “Why” is “For God’s own glory.”

God didn’t create man to glorify man; God created man to glorify God.

Repackaging that truth in human terms of self-interest, egotism and arrogance, we fail to understand that our life’s purpose is far bigger than we can imagine. Most of us can imagine glorifying ourselves; but glorifying God is a job that quite understandably seems above any earthly pay grade. “God can’t possibly want me to do that.”

But yes, He does. Jesus’ mission is hard to figure because fallen man is geared toward avoiding fear and gathering power, while the fearsome all-powerful God has provided a savior who promises peace and calls for humble service to others. Words don’t adequately describe Christ’s mission; but the actions – and love – of Jesus do.

For nearly 2,000 years man has instituted systems of worship and concepts of Christ’s identity to animate and explain all this. But systems and concepts – falling short – are liturgies and dogmas, man-made procedures and human ideas.

Man’s reality – and real purpose – is relationship with God through faith in Christ.

 

Walters (rlwcom@aol.com) is saying belief in a concept is no substitute for knowing Jesus.