Discovering The Real Gospel
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven." - Colossians 1:15-20 NASB My wife and I spent the last month or so teaching our girls Christmas hymns during family devotion time. Each day choosing one song that we'd all sing together at the outset of each meal. Whoever was present at that meal would join together in both song and prayer. One of the favorites to emerge was Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Side Note: Hymns are often far richer in theological depth than their contemporary counterparts and Christmas hymns are no exception. You'll understand my interjection here in a second. After singing these songs over and over and Hark the Herald even more than all the rest, our second youngest daughter Jo (2 years old) would only sing one line. Truth be told it wasn't even a complete line from the song. Half was, and half was of her own making. She would say, "Jesus Christ, newborn King." Over and over Jo repeated this line, sometimes while singing and sometimes in random conversations but this is the line that emerged. As I've reflected on it and parsed through all the other theological points Jo could have gleed from such rich hymns, I realized Jo actually found what was most important. You see Jo cut through all the great and many verses we sang in order to internalize and declare the most important message of all; the Gospel. At its core the Gospel message is that Jesus Christ is Lord, that Jesus Christ is King! Everything else will be affected by this truth but that Jesus Christ is King is what changed and continues to change our world. As Paul writes here (in Colossians 1) some of the most beautiful and theologically deep lines in the scripture they all still boil down to the grandeur and supremacy of Jesus as King over all. In verses 15 through 17 we see the life of Jesus proclaimed, while in verses 18 through 20 His death, resurrection and finally His Lordship. All of these points are echo's of the Gospel Paul declared to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15.
At the heart of this magnificent passage is the Gospel, and that message is (as my 2 year old daughter declares) Jesus Christ newborn King! Questions to consider: What is your view of the gospel? Is it: A. a mere means to an end; that via Jesus you get to go to heaven. Or B. Jesus Himself is the gospel and through Him everything changes both now and in eternity. Have you ever overcomplicated or oversimplified the Gospel? If so what has been the result?