Meditation Monday: Jesus + ? =


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Meditation Monday is where I share my ramblings and reflections from Sunday’s sermons from Watson Chapel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, AR, Pastor Todd Howard. We are currently going through Colossians, our passage this week is in Colossians 2:16-23.

When Paul penned the letter to the Ephesian church, he made a declaration of truth so simple, I don’t know how much simpler he could have put it. Paul explains,

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:4-9 (HCSB)

Salvation comes to us by grace through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Nothing we do can save us, we do not bring anything to the table when it comes to salvation, it is all God. God, who is rich in mercy, replaces our lifeless heart with a heart which beats for HIm. Our identity is no longer found in a son of Adam, a son of sin. Our identity is now in Christ, a son of God, we are raised with Him and seated with Him. God  works in this manner so that His glory and His immeasurable riches of grace will be put on display for all to see.

Rejoice, you are saved by grace.

Grace is the awesome work of God in the lives of believers across the world, and yet, why are we tempted to add our own flavor to the Gospel? Why is it that when a new fad comes along that says you need Jesus +, we are so tempted to buy into it? The Barna Research Group draws our attention to something I find interesting concerning what Americans believe about Jesus,

Among adults who have made a personal commitment to Jesus, most also believe that Jesus is the way to heaven. When given several beliefs about the afterlife to choose from, nearly two-thirds of those who have made a personal commitment to Jesus say they believe that after they die they will go to heaven because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior (63%).

The research points out 63% of Americans believe Jesus is sufficient for salvation. On the other hand it also tells us 37% of people who call themselves Christians believe in Jesus + something else will get them to heaven. Jesus + being good, Jesus + following the law, Jesus + you fill in the blank. The funny thing is, the Jesus +  gospel is nothing new, the church in Colosse was dealing with people coming along saying they needed Jesus +  the law, Jesus + visions and angels, Jesus + asceticism.

Paul’s message to them and to us is simple Jesus is enough,

For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:9-10 (HCSB)

Before Paul began dealing with all the false teachings which were floating around Colosse, he told them Christ is enough because Christ is God and every believer is filled by Him. Christ is sufficient to save you, sustain you, to supply for every situation which may arise in your life.  Jesus + anything else is a pseudo gospel, a false hope. Pastor Todd pointed out in his sermon,

If you are filled with Christ, who is God, what else is there room for? Jesus is enough!

Until next time

Soli Deo Gloria`

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