“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” Colossians 1:28
It is not hard to figure out from the context of Colossians that when Paul wrote, “Him we proclaim”, he was talking about Jesus Christ. But the question is, who is Christ? Which Jesus did Paul proclaim and write about?
Over time, historical figures become different people in our minds. Even Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) has changed in the teaching of many churches and in how he is presented by churches to the world.
We proclaim “Him”, but what “Him” do we proclaim?
We proclaim Jesus Christ who is revealed to us by God. When Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus said that God, not humans, revealed that truth to Peter (Matthew 16: 16-17). God the Father revealed to the apostles the nature of Jesus Christ and the significance of his work. The apostles have made known this revelation to us, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in Scripture. The Christ we proclaim is the one in the Bible, not the one of our imagination. This is important because if we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ, we have to know him accurately and in truth. We cannot separate Jesus Christ as a person from the doctrine of Christ in the Bible. Jesus Christ is the one in history, who lived, died, and rose again. We proclaim and believe in him.
We proclaim Jesus Christ who is to be responded to by faith. Christ is personal to us. To say that we proclaim Christ based on biblical doctrine does not mean he is impersonal. Our personal relationship with Jesus Christ is by faith in him as he really is. Faith unites us to him. By faith we enter into the kind of relationship with Christ in which his death and resurrection are ours. In Christ we have died to sin and have been raised to life. By faith we follow him. He walks with us and talks with us. He is our friend. The Christ of history, revelation and biblical doctrine lives in our hearts and shares meals with us (Revelation 3:20). Open your heart and let him in.
We proclaim Jesus Christ who is revealed to us by God and is to be responded to by faith. Let’s keep the revelation of God and the response of faith together. Let’s not proclaim Christ as a distant doctrine with no personal devotion. Let’s not proclaim devotion to Christ divorced from doctrinal content. Let’s receive him from the pages of Scripture and into our hearts by faith.
This Sunday at Grace we will proclaim Christ, and sing and pray to him, too. This weekend, read Colossians 1 and pray for our church.
I know you are praying for the families and friends impacted by the high school shooting that occurred in Florida this week. Whenever this sort of thing happens, I am grateful that there are church youth groups around the country that reach out to young people with the hope of Christ and the opportunity to be helped. Please pray for our youth Disciple Now weekend (February 23-24). Ask the Lord to work his grace in the lives of the 150 students who will attend. Pray for Josh Hussung and the youth leadership team.