Christianity is not mere fire insurance or a “get out of hell” free card. It’s not a free pass into heaven or an extra activity to add to one’s life. No! Becoming a Christian means surrender and death. Surrender to Christ’s lordship and death to the old ways of life. We often struggle with these two points, but as Christians, we should become more and more surrendered to Christ and dead to sin.
But what about those times when sin rears its ugly head, and we give in to its temptations and allures? The Holy Spirit is quick to point out the error of our way and convict us of our transgression. Why? Because Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. He is not weak in our lives but is powerful and willing and able to bring discipline when we need it. As Paul wrote the Corinthians who were dealing with sin in the church:
“I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them—since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.”
~II Corinthians 13:2-4a
I believe that we are often guilty of not viewing Jesus in the correct light. We see His gentle face in Sunday school class rooms and read verses like Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” While this is true, I believe we often lose sight of and forget the power, majesty, and authority of Jesus. We think of Him as a gentle Savior—which is true—yet forget that He is also a conquering hero. While He is the Lamb of God, He is also the Lion of Judah. And He reigns with power.
This is what Paul was trying to remind the Corinthians. Jesus is not just a passive, “I only want to love you” type of Lord. He is jealous for His own and is powerful among us. He will not let sin go undisciplined because He paid a heavy price for our salvation. Therefore, Jesus will discipline us and try to bring us back. Why? Because He loves us.
Therefore, the next time you’re tempted to think of Jesus as just the humble rabbi who walked the streets of Jerusalem, remember that He is risen, He conquered death, and He defeated Satan. He reigns with power as Paul wrote the Philippians:
“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
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