Calvary Road Baptist Church

“THE SUFFICIENCY OF CHRIST”

Colossians 2.10

 

This morning I stumbled through a message devoted to exalting the Word of God as our sufficient and essential source of truth about life, about eternity, and about all things pertaining to God and the salvation of sinners from our sins. My goal in preparing and presenting that message was to show that if you had access to no other source of information other than God’s Word, the Bible; you would not be harmed in any way. In short, I assert that not only is God’s Word the sufficient and essential source of truth communicated from God to man, it is the only objective source of truth communicated from God to man.

That said, you would also remember me referring to John 5.39, where Jesus corrected His Bible studying adversaries who thought He was in violation of scripture by healing a man on the Sabbath. “Search the scriptures,” He said to them, “for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”[1] Thus, while the holy scriptures are sufficient to the accomplishing of their divine purpose, be ever mindful that the Word of God’s message, thrust, direction, grand topic, and communiqué, is none other than the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, as the Bible is sufficient to the purpose for which God sent it to us, so the grand theme of God’s Book, His blessed Son, Jesus Christ, is also sufficient.

In yet another survey-type message, my plan for this evening is to bring to your attention four aspects of Christ’s sufficiency:

 

First, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS SUFFICIENT AS CREATOR

 

Most of you are familiar enough with the Bible to know how it begins, in Genesis 1.1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Those of us who believe the Bible, and you cannot be a Christian if you to not accept the Bible as your only infallible rule of faith and practice, believe that God created this universe and all that herein is in six, literal, 24-hour days, just as Genesis 1 and 2 says He did. Furthermore, notice what pronouncement God made upon His creative activity when His creative work was completed. Genesis 1.31 reads, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” To state the matter another way, God, in His own inestimable wisdom, and in concurrence with His own unsurpassed judgment, pronounced His creation “very good.” Thus, God judged Himself a sufficient Creator.

But wait! Turn to John 1.1-3, where we see the Apostle John’s inspired description of the Lord Jesus Christ:

 

1      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2      The same was in the beginning with God.

3      All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

 

Knowing from John 1.14 that this passage certainly refers to the Lord Jesus Christ, we are left with the inescapable conclusion from the Apostle John that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things, that “without him was not any thing made that was made.” What an astounding assertion.

That is not all. Turn, now, to Colossians 1.16, where we see the Apostle Paul’s comments in this regard: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” Thus, we see that Paul, too, asserted that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things.

If that is not enough for anyone, we also have Hebrews 1.2, where the writer to the Hebrews declares, “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” Here, too, we see that the Lord Jesus is the Creator.

Therefore, God’s Word teaches that God created the universe and all that herein is in six literal days, and that what He created was very good. Thus, God is a sufficient Creator. However, the Apostle John, the Apostle Paul, and the inspired writer of the epistle to the Hebrews, declare that the distinguished Person of the Godhead who actually performed the creative acts was none other than Jesus, the eternal Son of the living God. Thus, I pronounce, and I challenge anyone to dispute my considered conclusion, that scripture very clearly shows Jesus Christ to be the sufficient Creator of all things.

 

Next, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS SUFFICIENT AS SUSTAINER

 

To create something is to bring it into existence, as when God in the person of His Son Jesus Christ created all that exists in the time-space-matter continuum we refer to as the universe. However, there are two kinds of creation: It is one thing to form something from preexisting material, such as when an artist creates a statue from preexisting granite or marble, or when a scientist fabricates plastic from preexisting chemicals found in nature. However, it is quite another thing to create something from nothing, as the Lord Jesus Christ did when He spoke the universe into existence. That is called ex nihilo creation, from the Latin phrase that means “from nothing.”

Once something has been created, which is an astounding miracle, another demonstration of wisdom and power is required to sustain what has been created, to prevent it from coming apart and disintegrating. There are two New Testament passages that speak to Christ’s role as the sustainer of what He has created, Colossians 1.17 and Second Peter 3.7. Colossians 1.17 is very straightforward and easy to comprehend. In that verse, the Apostle Paul writes, “by him [that is, by Christ] all things consist.” What keeps atoms from flying apart in a nuclear fission reaction? The Apostle Paul tells us the Lord Jesus Christ holds together what He previously created. Note also Second Peter 3.7: “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” Though a bit tougher to interpret, this verse tells us that until Christ’s program of judgment upon unbelievers begins, by means of the Word of God the heavens and the earth are kept in store, are kept intact. In other words, Jesus sustains what He has created until His end time judgment begins.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves a question at this point. Are things inexplicably blowing up and flying apart at present? Do we find spontaneous disintegrations and explosions occurring for no apparent reason here and there? No. Therefore, this creation is being sustained, is it not?

 

Third, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS SUFFICIENT AS SAVIOR

 

The angel told Joseph that Mary’s son was to be named “JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins,” Matthew 1.21. Therefore, we must understand that, contrary to the prosperity theology preachers you find on television these days, Jesus was not sent by His Father to make sure we all have lots of money. As well, let us also understand that, contrary to television preacher John Hagee’s claim (after having had a quadruple by-pass last October himself) that Jesus guarantees physical healing of all diseases, He did not leave heaven’s glory and suffer the death of the cross to assure physical health during the course of our lives here on this earth. To evaluate the Lord Jesus Christ as savior by examining the prosperity of His people, or by examining the physical health of His people, could only result in the conclusion that He is not sufficient as a savior.

However, when the sufficiency of Jesus Christ is considered in light of His mission to save His people from their sins, He can only be praised for His accomplishments, past, present, and future. Hebrews 7.25 speaks to our Lord Jesus Christ’s ability to save: “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” The Lord Jesus Christ saves sinners from the penalty of their sins. This occurs when the sinner’s faith in Christ results in peace with God resulting from Christ’s payment for our sins, Romans 5.1: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Lord Jesus Christ also saves from the power of sins through the course of the Christian’s life, Romans 6.6: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Then, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ will someday save His own from the presence of sins when He takes us to heaven. Romans 5.9 promises that glorious future deliverance: “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

If Jesus saves to the uttermost those who come to God by Him, if He saves from the penalty of sins, if He saves from the power of sin in the Christian’s present life, and if He someday saves from the very presence of sin by taking us out of here, might He qualify as a sufficient savior? No wonder the sweet psalmist of Israel, the shepherd king, David the son of Jesse, was inspired to pen the wonderful 23rd Psalm as a fit description of our savior, one thousand years before His arrival to this earth and His atoning sacrifice on Calvary’s cross:

 

1      The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2      He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3      He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4      Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5      Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6      Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

 

Finally, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS SUFFICIENT AS SOVEREIGN

 

If the 23rd Psalm describes the Lord Jesus Christ as the Restorer of my soul, the 24th Psalm describes Him as the King of glory. Turn there and read along with me:

 

1      The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

2      For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

3      Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4      He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

5      He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

6      This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

7      Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

8      Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

9      Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10     Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

 

Keep in mind that the wise men from the east who came to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem asked, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” As well, remember Pilate’s question to our Lord: “Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.” What did Pilate then conclude?

We know what Pilate concluded about the Lord Jesus Christ; because the inscription he ordered posted atop the cross, our Lord was crucified on read, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews,” in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. We also know the Jewish hierarchy greatly objected to what he wrote, but he responded to their complaints by saying, “What I have written I have written.”[2]

Therefore, we know the Lord Jesus Christ was predicted to be the King. Being a descendant of King David through His mother Mary, and through His stepfather Joseph, He had both the legal and genealogical claim to be Israel’s king. He was recognized as king by the wise men from the east, as well as by His own disciples and the Roman governor, Pilate.

However, the question before us is whether He is sufficient as King. To answer that question, of course, we turn to Revelation 19.11-21, where we read the Apostle John’s vision of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, in power and in great glory:

 

11     And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

12     His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

13     And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

14     And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

15     And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

16     And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

17     And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

18     That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

19     And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

20     And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

21     And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

 

How does one evaluate the sufficiency of a king? Do you evaluate the sufficiency of a king by the strength of his might, by the reach of his authority, by the justness of his rule, by his standing among other kings, by the happiness of his righteous subjects and the punishment of his wicked subjects? How about his majesty and glory? How about his relationship with God?

Do you realize that, by whatever appropriate consideration of sufficiency you may use to evaluate my Lord Jesus Christ, He will be found, He must be found sufficient? He rules justly with a rod of iron. The reach of His authority is without limit. His majesty and glory are unparalleled. He is not only king, He is King of Kings.

 

Go outside and look around. Take in the beauty and wonder of what we see all around us, by the light of day and also in the moonlight and starlit sky. Do you have any complaints? Is anything you observe in what we call nature somehow not to your liking, appearing to be the product of inferior craftsmanship? If not, it would be fair to say that the Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient as the Creator, would it not? Along with that, do you have any complaints about the instability of the world we live in? I speak not of the political and economic instability, for which you and your fellow human beings are responsible, but the stability of matter, the reliability of the sun, the predictability of the phases of the moon and the twinkling of the stars, as well as the faithfulness of the seasons. Would you give as good a mark to the Lord Jesus Christ as Sustainer of the universe as you gave to Him as the Creator of the universe? Good. I would, as well. Then there is the sufficiency of Jesus Christ as savior. Of course, not being a Christian, you are in no position to evaluate His sufficiency as the Savior, except to take the word of others, to ponder the testimony of scripture, and to meditate upon the certainty that if He is not a sufficient savior there is no salvation, since He is the only savior of sinful men’s souls. However, the Word of God, which has not yet been shown to be inaccurate, except by those who do not study it honestly, asserts that “. . . he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Based upon that testimony, I think we are safe in judging my Lord Jesus Christ to be a sufficient savior. Then there is the sufficiency of Christ as sovereign, as King of kings and LORD of Lords. To be sure, at this point in human history we are dealing with prophecy, since Jesus Christ has not yet returned to earth in power and great glory. However, He will. You can be sure that He will. Moreover, when He does, there will be no doubt concerning His sufficiency.

It may have been consideration of these very things I have set before you this evening that prompted the Apostle Paul to claim, in Colossians 2.10, “Ye are complete in him.” I know that is what runs through my mind when I sing that little chorus, “Christ is all I need, Christ is all I need, Christ is all I need.” I can sing that little chorus from time to time because of the sufficiency of Christ.

One final thought before we conclude: In light of Christ’s sufficiency, as Creator and Sustainer, as Savior and as Sovereign, why does He not seem to be good enough for your consideration? Why do you yet reject Him, refuse Him, and distract yourself with petty feuds with your parents or others, so that you can pretend to justify your unwillingness to come to Him?

If Jesus Christ is sufficient, and I honestly think I have shown you that He is just that, how do you plan to explain yourself to Him on judgment day, in those few moments you stand before Him prior to being cast forever into the lake of fire? That line of thinking is something I would suggest for those of you who are not saved from your sins.



[1] John 5.39

[2] John 19.22



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pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org