Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Shattering "Jesus" idols

2 Cor. 11:1-4 (ESV)
I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! [2] I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. [3] But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. [4] For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

We have been betrothed to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who died for our sins and rose for our salvation. This is the Jesus, the only one who matters, the one who constantly forgives our many sins. This is the Jesus we Christians want to listen to. It is to be with Him that we go to church on Sunday morning, listen to His gospel, and eat at His table. But Paul is perplexed because the Corinthians do not hold fast to the one gospel he gave to them, they do not hold to the Jesus he proclaimed. Rather they followed along with every fad that came their way. A man would say “Jesus” and people would follow, though the man did not forgive in the name of Jesus. They carried around an idol and called him Jesus. We do that at times. Our conception of Jesus is often created in our image, this is an idol that must be shattered and torn down from the temple of our thoughts. This is only done through the word of God, and the work of the Holy Spirit. The more time we spend in the word of God, and hearing that Gospel that Paul gave to the Corinthians, the forgiveness of sins, the more this idol we named Jesus is destroyed. As we grow in our faith, as we grow through the work of the Holy Spirit in our knowledge of Christ, the idol we created in our image is shattered, and destroyed. In return Jesus recreates us in His image. He does this when he forgives our sins, washes us clean, feeds us His Body and His Blood, that is with his life (Leviticus 17:10-14). And with these our hearts are made good, our consciences clean, and the image of God, the image of Jesus is precisely that, a good heart and a clean conscience.

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