The Most Important Thing About You

The Most Important Thing  Anyone Needs to Know About You!

[Editor’s Note:  When people meet you for the first time, what do you want them to know about you?  When you look in the mirror, who do you see looking back and what do you think about that person?   Colossians 3 tells believers that “Christ is your life,” that for Christians “Christ is all and in us all.”  In this blog post, David Bryant explores how Christ himself defines the absolutely most important insight into who you really are.]

Without question, Karl Barth was one of the 20th century’s most influential theologians. Consider, therefore, the challenge this Swiss professor often placed before his students:

Show me your Christology and I’ll tell you who you are.

Here’s my paraphrase of Dr. Barth’s insight:

What you think about God’s Son
may be the single most important thing
anyone could ever know about you.

Both statements make the same point:

In a profound sense, your identity as a Jesus follower—the real you—can never be separated from your personal vision of, passion for, and life in God’s Son, the one who is the heart and soul of our Christ-ianity. As Paul says clearly in 2 Corinthians 5 (PHILLIPS, emphasis added):

This means that our knowledge of men can no longer be based on their outward lives …
For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new. (2 Cor. 5:17, PHILLIPS, emphasis added)

So, based on this premise let me ask you directly: What do you think about God’s Son?

Answering that simple question may prove to be more challenging than you think.

To help you get a handle on how you might respond, join me in this playful scenario at your local radio station.

The Mike Is All Yours. Begin!

You’ve just been invited to take the microphone during a national radio talk show. You’ve been given one simple assignment: For the next three minutes share with millions of listeners your response to one basic question:

Who is Jesus Christ right now?

Does this query sound familiar to you? Of course it does. It echoes the real-life interview Peter was forced to undergo in Matthew 16. As they walked dusty roads in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus probed his disciples in a very straightforward way:

Who do you say that I am?

All I’m proposing for the broadcast is that we borrow the same question.

So then, you take your seat at the console. You lean into the mike. Suddenly the light turns red and you’re on the air. What happens next? How will you start off? What will you say to fill three minutes with reflections on who Jesus is right now as the Christ of God?

Mind you, your goal is not to tell your listeners about who Jesus was or what he did in the past during his earthly ministry; nor is it to tell them about who he will be or what he will do one day when he returns in glory (both of which are important discussions, for sure).

No. Rather, your assignment is to stick to the present, to describe vital aspects of who the individual we call Jesus our Lord actually is and what he is doing at this very moment.

Note further: No one is asking you for a testimony about what he has done for you personally since you gave your life to him, as inspiring as that story might be.

Because, you see, first of all this experiment isn’t about you.

It does, though, concern you in the end—because (as I said at the beginning) this is where you find out who you really are.

But first and foremost, this is about another Person—a very special Person.

Behind the mike you have the opportunity to talk expressly, exclusively, about the person of God’s Son. You get to tell curious listeners from coast to coast all you know about who he is, just himself, alive and active and adored right now, day after day, in heaven and earth—regardless, in a sense, of whether you or I exist at all.

What might you share for the next three minutes? Do you feel adequately prepared to tackle this assignment? Prepared to expand on qualities of his nature? Or on the splendors of his character? Or on the breadths of his current activities?

What fascinating features about his reign can you highlight for those tuned in? Can you tell us where he is or what he is doing? Is your grasp of the dynamics of his dominion, displayed today among his churches and throughout the nations, sufficient enough to introduce others to him as the preeminent personality for the entire universe?

Or . . . do you need a little more coaching before you take on this challenge? Does three minutes seem a bit too long to you?

How many other believers do you think could face this challenge with any degree of confidence?

And out of those who might dare to do so, how many do you think would succeed?

I ask because I’ve facilitated this experiment with dozens of Christian groups, asking individuals to turn to one to another and take three minutes apiece to try to meet the goal. Guess what? I’ve discovered around 95% of us can’t fill even three minutes talking about who Jesus is today.

Go ahead. Attempt to fill a mere 180 seconds with substantive, worthwhile, biblical insights that paint noble pictures of the Son of God as he is today. Pressed to do so, most of us will fail to put together even fifteen complete sentences that brag about the wonders and ways of God’s Son, describing how and why Jesus is the most magnificent figure now and for all time to come.

Who Do You Say JESUS Is Right Now?

Obviously, I’m teasing you with this broadcast role play.

But I can assure you that from decades of traveling every stream of the Church, my studied conclusion is that far too few Christians know enough about who Jesus is today to describe him at any level that begins to unpack Scripture’s amazing truths about the King of Glory. Far too many Christians remain woefully ill-informed about this astounding, astonishing Person—he who is risen and ruling, moving and ministering, unceasingly adored and served by saints and angels throughout creation.

Tragically, everywhere I go the majority of Jesus followers exhibit an undeniable sense of hesitation, awkwardness, and uneasiness when it comes to conversation about our Redeemer. Whether we’re sitting before a radio mike or meeting for coffee or talking doctrine in Sunday School, we struggle to describe with any measure of competency the “inexhaustible riches” (Ephesians 3—meaning there’s no limit to things to talk about!), found in the one who rightly claims the supremacy in everything, including our conversations (Colossians 1).

This is not inconsequential! It must not be ignored or discounted!

This pervasive spiritual disability, rampant among Christians in every stream of the Church, holds huge ramifications for any hope of corporate revival in the Body of Christ or for reenergizing God’s people for new advances of the mission of Christ.

Who Do You Say YOU Are Right Now?

But there’s more.

This disturbing disability also carries sobering implications on a personal level. It also is about how you see yourself. It’s about who you really are.

Let’s go back to the opening premise:

What you THINK about God’s Son
may be the single most important thing
anyone could ever know about you.

Now, here’s a further insight:

What you SAY about God’s Son
may be the second most important thing
anyone could ever know about you.

In other words, this spiritual blindness—this “Christological vacuum,” this serious shortfall in how we see, seek, savor, and speak about God’s Son—has everything to do with what’s true about you; with what’s going on in your relationship with your Master right now; with how he defines for you your own sense of ultimate identity and destiny.

However, there’s a way to turn this around.

Those who choose to explore and experience more of Christ, to dive into deeper dimensions of his spectacular supremacy today, never emerge the same as they were before they started.

When, for example, you try feasting on the vast array of resources at www.ChristNow.com—maybe by taking the free journey through The Christ Institutes Video Series—you will encounter amazing vistas of God’s Son that may rock you into awe. But at the same time, your understanding of who you are—who you are to Christ Jesus, in Christ Jesus, under Christ Jesus, through Christ Jesus, with Christ Jesus, for Christ Jesus—well, you may end up radically transformed, as well!

Knowing Jesus in whole new ways leads us to know ourselves in whole new ways. That’s the relevance of the fact that the phrase “in Christ” appears over 500 times in the New Testament. What you think about him, because you are alive in him, impinges directly on what you think about yourself!

Paul tells Roman believers that it comes down to this: “. . . put on the Lord Jesus Christ as if he were your clothing (NIRV). Stated another way, using the title of O. Henry’s famous short story: “Clothes make the man” (or woman).

That’s why decades after the first time he responded to Jesus’ key question (answering “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”—which was a considerable starting point!), Peter continued to urge every disciple, including our generation:

Grow [present tense: keep on growing] in grace and understanding of our Master
and Savior, Jesus Christ. Glory to the Master, now and forever! Yes! (2 Peter 3, The Message).

Likewise, I encourage you to move into greater intimacy with Jesus as Lord. Dig deeper into him. Delight more fully in him. ChristNow.com offers you amazing tools and resources to help you do that.

Become all you were meant to be in Christ. Become all you were meant to be for Christ—for the sake of a world that desperately needs Jesus.

About the Author

Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ-proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a pastor, minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI) and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, today David provides leadership to ChristNow.com and to Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to “foster and serve Christ-awakening movements.” Order his widely-read book at www.ChristIsAllBook.com[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row] Tags:

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