Is Your Jesus God Enough?
Ding dong! I open the door and before me are James and Jane, a well-dressed pair handing out booklets, keen to speak to me about their faith.¹They are Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose publishing arms include the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and the International Bible Students Association. They begin by talking about a renewed Earth where peace will reign, but soon I start to ask them about Jesus, and what strikes me is their picture of him. You see, the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus may be powerful but he is less than God, not equal to the Father.
The Bible translation made by Jehovah’s Witness scholars is called the New World Translation, and to support their claims about Jesus, parts of the NWT differ significantly from accepted Bible translations. For example, in John 1:1, the NWT reads²
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.
The lowercase ‘g’ is used to signify that Jesus may be some kind of divine being but he’s not equal to God. Though this differs from all other English translations, some of you must be thinking, yeah right, but why does this matter?³ Surely it’s okay, as long as they also believe in Jesus?
Jesus, fully and truly God!
As part of our Monday potential leaders’ training we have been studying the book of Colossians. A few weeks back we looked at Colossians 1:15-23. In this passage, Paul makes four mind-blowing statements about Jesus:
- He is the image of the invisible God (v15).
- He is the firstborn over all creation (v15)
- He is the head of the body, the church (v18)
- He is the firstborn from the dead (v18).
You see, Jesus is supreme in everything – in relation to God, creation, the church and the new resurrected humanity. Because Jesus is supreme in everything, God is pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (v18-19). So Jesus is fully and truly God. Because all of God dwells in Jesus.
This truth is so important for us because if Jesus is any less, God cannot fully dwell in Jesus, and Jesus would not have the power to reconcile us to God. We would still be enemies with God, because a lesser being could not adequately take the punishment for sin. In other words, the very issue of salvation hangs on a Jesus who is both man enough and God enough to save us. This we see not just in Colossians. Two weeks back I led a KCPPS devotion from 2 Corinthians 5:21. This verse speaks of a great exchange taking place.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Jesus who is without sin, exchanges places with us sinners so we can now be right with God. But how is one person, Jesus, able to exchange places with all of humanity? The answer is in verse 19. Because God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Once again, as in Colossians 1, Jesus being fully God is crucial for our salvation. If Jesus is not fully God, we would still be sinners facing God’s righteous anger. But he IS God!!
Sometimes I think we forget or take for granted that the most powerful and awesome person in the universe has rescued us. Is your Jesus bigger than your fears? If you are currently undergoing times of struggle, testing or spiritual dryness, I hope you will be encouraged that your identity does not lie in worldly standards or achievements but as a child of the Almighty God, and that your salvation is secure when you hope in him. Be assured that our Jesus is big enough, for today, tomorrow and always. Indeed Colossians 2:6-8 tells us that we start, continue and never move on from him.
Our ministry of reconciliation
This truth about Jesus is not just essential for our salvation but it is also the basis for ministry. Because God has reconciled us through the work of Jesus, Paul and his fellow workers, and by extension all of us, have a ministry of reconciliation. We have been given the task of sharing the good news of Jesus so that people can be reconciled to God (v20). The gospel of Jesus is to be brought to the ends of the earth.
We don’t even have to travel that far — KCPPS is just at our doorstep. I hope you were encouraged Last Sunday during our Partnership Sunday, by the video painstakingly put together by Jonathan and Jazlyn, that gave us a glimpse of what God is doing through LPPC as we proclaim the gospel: each and every person interviewed was a life saved and transformed because someone shared the gospel. And in turn, so many of us have blessed others and commended our faith down the generations that pass through KCPPS.
If you are wondering how to contribute, we can all make a start by:
- Praying for our school ministry. Pray in particular for Carol, our chaplain together with our chaplaincy team – that they will proclaim the gospel clearly and boldly during their devotions, chapel and one-to-one interactions with our KCPPS children. Pray through the school ministry prayer items published every fourth Sunday of the month.
- Volunteering to serve with our school ministry team in our BB and GB ministries.
As Elder Ho Yew Kee, our School Management Committee chairman reminded us, we should also look beyond our school. Within a 2-km range of our school live almost 30,000 Bishan residents, many of whom do not know Jesus. There’s also our workplaces, our schools and the whole of Singapore!
Jesus indeed is fully God — man enough and God enough for any time and place! So, wherever God has placed us, in whatever season of life, as we seek to reach our relatives, co-workers or classmates, why not invite them to LPPC using our CHOPE tissues, to hear and be part of the gospel proclaimed and lived out?
Your brother, pastor and friend,
¹ Not their real names
³So for example the NIV 2011 says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.