The Deity of Christ

John-Kimball2x3JOHN KIMBALL, DIRECTOR OF CHURCH DEVELOPMENT

When it comes to the deity of Christ, stated beliefs and practices do not always send the same message. In our CCCC family, all of our congregations affirm our Faith statement:

“We believe in the deity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.”

Yet, when it comes to ministry and revitalization, we often attempt to do the work using human means.

While I was a young man in seminary, I was assigned a research topic on the Chalcedon Definition, a statement by the Church in 451AD that affirms the dual nature of Christ – both fully God and fully man. I grew up reciting the Nicean Creed, but it had become something I did on autopilot. While writing that paper, the truth of Christ’s divinity finally hit me. If Jesus is truly divine, then several things are true: he knows everything, including things about myself I do not even know. Like the Father, he is all powerful; he is everywhere present at the same time; and he rules over everything; hence we call him Lord. There are more attributes to be sure, but any of the above are already game-changers in the way we do church.

When a church’s ministry appears to be waning, the first response frequently is to find some new program (or perhaps a new pastor) to fix the problem, i.e., a human solution. But if Jesus is truly divine, what should be the first step? If Jesus is all-knowing, then he certainly knows best how to address our need. If Jesus is everywhere present, He will certainly be with us as we walk through the changes needed to focus again on the kingdom. If Jesus is all-powerful, He certainly has the ability to make the instructions (new vision) come to pass. And if Jesus really does rule over all things, then we (as a body) will submit to him and follow his instruction.
If Jesus is all-knowing, all-powerful, present everywhere and has full dominion, how might that change the way we pray in our churches? Concerted and consistent prayer by the whole body, seeking Jesus’ divine wisdom and instructions, until at least the majority sense they have heard (in unity) the same word from God, is what a congregation that actually lives out what they say they believe about the deity of Christ looks like.

If Jesus is divine, then we will follow Him and do what He tells us to do. And when we do, his local congregations will be fruitful, will grow and will accomplish what he intends.
Jesus’ divinity is either more than just a faith statement or it’s not real at all.

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