Perspectives Column - Christ Is All

Christ is All

Colossians 3.11


The message of God can be summed in three words found in Colossians 3, "Christ is all."  It is by this truth that all religions may be judged.  To whatever degree they follow that principle they are correct, and to whatever degree they fall short of that principle they fall short of the truth.  It is against this truth that every heresy stands, and it is only the denial of this truth that should be labeled as a damning heresy.


What do we mean by, "Christ is all" or, more importantly, what does God mean by "Christ is all"?  In the context of Paul's words, this phrase means that, in the salvation of sinners, nothing about the sinner means anything at all – that his ancestry is of no consequence, his intelligence and cultural sophistication is utterly irrelevant, and his social status is inconsequential.   If we add to that the context of the entire Bible, we learn that, "Christ is all," means that Christ is all our blessing and He is also all our right to claim that blessing.  He is what we get in salvation, and He is the reason we get it.  He is our righteousness which gives us the rightful claim to God's blessings; He is our holiness which sets us apart from those who are disregarded by God, and He is our redemption which pays our indebtedness to God and sets us free from the sentence pronounced upon us for our sin.


Christ is all means we are nothing.  "Christ is all" says that I am nothing and, moreover, I am not called on to be or produce anything.  It even goes so far as to say that if I do try to produce any of my own righteousness, holiness, or redemption, then Christ becomes nothing at all to me.


If one preaches such a doctrine, then it is certain that someone will say, "You must be careful not to take that too far.  If you preach that, people are going to go too far with it and think that it does not matter how they conduct their lives."  Indeed, there are some who hear the message "Christ is all" and use it as an excuse to gratify their flesh and to shield themselves from any rebuke for their conduct.  But that does not arise from taking "Christ is all" too far.  No, it is exactly the opposite; they have not taken "Christ is all" far enough!  They rightly acknowledge that Christ is all to God, but they stop short of "Christ is all to me."    They are not enamored of Him.  They are not amazed at the grace and mercy contained in those words.  While they claim that Christ is all to God in the scheme of salvation, their conduct reveals that He is very little to them in their thoughts and affections.  He is 10% of their money, 1/7th of their week, a few minutes of their day.  To them, He is like a fire extinguisher hung on the wall to be grasped and used only when a need arises, then hung back up and ignored until the next blaze.  He is not, as Paul also says in Colossians 3.4 "their life."


With an uncaring heart, they pursue the things of this world, needlessly offend with their liberties, speak abusively to those who disagree with them, indulge in blatantly sinful entertainment, and even brag about their so-called freedom to do so.  They look with contempt upon those who do not agree with every point of doctrine they hold and often require that everyone express those beliefs with the exact same words they use.  They laugh at sin saying that sin is of no consequence since "Christ is all" forgetting what horrible consequence fell upon Christ because of the sin of His people.  They seem to love the doctrine of Christ but their conduct and their attitude toward their sin indicate they have little affection for Christ, Himself.


You cannot take, "Christ is all" too far; but all of us fail to take it far enough.  Oh, may our knowledge that Christ is all to God work in us an overwhelming love for Him so that He is, in truth and not just in word, all to us!  May His great sufficiency work in us a hatred of that sin of ours that nailed Him to the cross.  May we never seek to supplement His righteousness with our own yet may our knowledge that His righteousness is all our righteousness before God work in us the longing to be like Him in every way.


Yes, may we take that glorious truth, "Christ is all" and run to the very end of what it means in our thoughts, our faith, and our conduct.


Christ is, indeed, ALL!