Cracking good sermon at CCE this morning.
You should soon be able to listen to it or read it on the CCE Website.
Colin started out with what could be some slightly controversial stuff. I’m not going to give an opinion on it because I haven’t quite formed one yet but let me give you the gist:
We, as a community are bible-rooted, not bible-centred. We can’t live just as they did in the bible in non-biblical times but we interpret scripture for our time. Evangelicals have often described the bible as their anchor but our anchor should be Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are his servant and the Spirit his interpretor. We are centred on Christ.
Huge questions going on there, fun stuff to wrestle with but let me get to the really wonderfully important bit.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
(Colossians 1:15-23 ESV)
Jesus is the centre of who we are and what we do.
This Jesus is not an ethic, a doctrine or a memory. He is a living person whom we enter into relationship with. He is God with us, the embodiment of the Trinity. He calls us to follow his very self. Just being in his presence can transform us.
It’s not enough to imitate him. It’s not enough to move in his general direction. You have to know him. And I mean know him; an intimate, espoused love (Philippians 3:10).
We love to talk about kingdom but we can’t have a kingdom without a King. And our King has direct rule: no more devolution or intermediaries but a King amongst his people. And when we pray for his Kingship we’re not praying for a system, we’re praying for more of the God-man himself.
Without him we don’t have access to the Father and the Holy Spirit cannot be sent. We can’t understand the Father’s love or the Spirit’s power without Jesus to model it for us. We need a God with skin on.
Our lives aren’t about church or doctrine or programmes or systems. It’s not ethics or lifestyle or scripture or philosophy. Its not even the Father or the Holy Spirit. It’s JESUS.
It’s about knowing, loving, following, trusting, obsessing over and being consumed by Jesus. His name should continually be on our lips. His words ringing in our ears. His Spirit beating in our hearts.