Jesus is God-sized – God is Jesus-shaped

Preached on John 1:1-2 this morning (audio here).

My last two points were this:

Jesus is God-sized

and

God is Jesus-shaped

 

I wonder whether much of our evangelism is aimed at persuading people of point number one.  And I wonder whether that emphasis, if divorced from the second point, is quite dangerous.

Here’s what I mean – when we tell an unbeliever that Jesus is God, this is what they hear:  “You know the god of the pub discussion – the distant, arm-chair deity, uninvolved and uncaring?  That god is who Jesus is!”

“Oh” says the unbeliever.  “Because Jesus looks quite different to that.”

“Yeah, I know” we say.  “But you need to look past all that stuff.  Whatever you see in Jesus that doesn’t look like ‘the god you’ve always believed in’ – that’s just Jesus’ human nature.  No, that’s dispensible.  What you really need to know is that Jesus is God.”

And what’s the result?  Well how many Christian testimonies run something like this…

“I have always believed in some kind of god.  And then I met Jesus.  And the preacher told me that Jesus is the god-I-always-believed-in.”

Do you see what’s happened here?  Some supposed natural knowledge of God is determining a person’s view of Christ and determining it from the outset.

It should be the other way around.  Knowledge of Jesus should revolutionize our view of God. We should tell people not only that Jesus is God-sized, we should tell them that God is entirely Jesus-shaped.

As Archbishop Michael Ramsey once said (riffing on 1 John 1:5): “God is Christlike, and in Him there is no unchristlikeness at all.”

.

 

Posted on by Glen in christology, evangelism, gospel, preaching, theological method

About Glen

I'm a preacher in Eastbourne, married to Emma.

10 Responses to Jesus is God-sized – God is Jesus-shaped

  1. david

    Hi, that’s spot on! These last few years have seen the old “natural” god exorcised from my theology, replaced by a God i could never have imagine naturally.

  2. timothycairns

    amen

  3. Glen

    Hey David – I’m preparing a talk on Mark 8 for tomorrow. Just struck again by verses 31-33 – the things of men are just the natural desire to have a theology of glory (avoiding the cross) and Jesus calls it satanic. i.e. humanity is naturally satanic, and its satanism consists simply in avoiding the way of the cross. What does Jesus think are the ‘things of God’? Christ dying for demons like Peter. Our natural god is satan. The living God is crucified.

    !

    Hey Tim!

  4. Bird Brain

    This was the most awesome sermon ever!
    I’m a bit ashamed of the answer that popped into my head after your 1st question :-/ but I was SO cheered by at the end I was cheered up all day!

    Praise Christ for His posture to us.

  5. Glen

    Hey Tilly,

    Yeah, I think I said that the answer that popped into my head was: “nothing”! Isn’t that awful? I asked myself the question, I knew the right I answer I was looking at and *still* I proved to myself that naturally I’m an atheist! Oh well – Christ’s posture towards atheists is still arms-outstretched! That’s a truth we can rest in – doubts and all.

    :D

  6. peacecrusader

    20100210.1200

    Would you like to read what I wrote about Jesus being God using the book of Revelation? Its address is http://peacecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/is-jesus-christ-true-man-and-true-man/.

    With love, your brother in Jesus,
    Aristeo Canlas Fernando, Peace Crusader and Echo of the Holy Spirit
    Motto: pro aris et focis (for the sake of, or defense of, religion and home)
    http://aristean.org/ and http://peacecrusader.wordpress.com/
    “The Internet is mightier than the sword.”

  7. peacecrusader

    20100211.1430

    Sorry. My error in the link I cited. It should be http://peacecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/is-jesus-christ-true-god-and-true-man/.

    Aristeo Canlas Fernando, Peace Crusader and Echo of the Holy Spirit

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