You Asked:

“Why Do You Put Such an Emphasis
on Who Christ Is Right Now—Today?”
4 Answers to Reset Your Life

 

[Editor’s Note: Every day, ChristNowOnline receives lots of excellent feedback from our readers. Often this comes in the form of stimulating questions. From time to time, David Bryant addresses some of the most popular questions through one of his blog posts. Here he does so again.

One recent concern shared with us, but expressed by others, was based on the meaning of the verse in Hebrews 13:8 that says (emphasis added):

“Jesus Christ is the SAME
yesterday, today and forever.”

Our friend’s challenge to us goes like this:

David, you’ve written a new book called Christ Is NOW! Your outreach into the digital world calls itself “ChristNowOnline.” Your website ChristNow.com claims:

“This is the only address on the Web for free, life-changing resources focused on who Christ is today.”

Are you suggesting that the person Jesus was yesterday is not the same person he is at this moment? Has Jesus changed somehow over time? Is there more to him today than we see of him during his earthly ministry? What about Hebrews 13:8 that says he is “the same” now and forever?

So glad you asked! David has answers—FOUR of them, to be exact. Let us know what  you think.]

 

4 Answers to Your Question That Can
Revitalize Your Daily Walk With Christ

 

 

The fact is that shortly after I became a Christian when I was a freshman in college, as I got into the Scriptures for the first time in my life, it wasn’t long before I stumbled onto Hebrews 13:8 as well.

I remember the evening I found it quite by accident, during a break from homework. It had such an impact on me that I decided then and there to make it my “life verse.”

For many years after that, anytime I gave someone my autograph, I always added after my signature the reference “Hebrews 13:8.” Even to this day, it remains one of my all-time favorite verses in the Bible.

So, you can be sure I totally embrace the truth it teaches.

Let me also be clear that I’m not saying that Jesus’ incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension are of lesser importance than his reign today. Of course not! All that he has done in the past is crucial, requisite, foundational to all he is doing now and will do in the future.

And yet, I also believe that one of the predominant indications of what I call the “crisis of Christology” prevalent in so many churches today is that very few believers think of God’s Son in terms of the “today” part of that verse—in the present tense.

Over the years as I’ve interacted with every stream of the Body of Christ, if there has been one consistent response from those who have attended my teachings, such as The Christ Institutes seminar, it goes something like this:

I never thought much about who Christ is today. I never imagined him physically occupying Heaven’s throne this very hour, actively ruling and working among the nations. To think of him as the Great King intensely focused on building up his kingdom work among his people in every part of the earth, while also sovereignly at work in each believer’s life to directly transform us day by day—it really never hit me before.

I guess my vision of Jesus has been shaped more by who he was—the way we see him in the Gospels; or by who he will be when he comes back in victory.

But when it comes to right now, I have to admit I conceive of him more like some spirit being floating somewhere in a heavenly realm outside of the universe—in the wing of the stage, so to speak, waiting for his cue to come back to earth someday.

I’ve even had fellow Christians tell me that before I showed them how much the scriptures tell us about the fuller implications of the physical resurrection of Jesus for the present time, they never even regarded Jesus as having an actual body at the moment, one way or another! But there IS a glorified, human body—bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh—residing in heaven right now. Jesus! Just imagine that!

That’s why over the years I’ve begun to make a great deal more about Christ in the present tense. Sometimes I put it like this:

“The wow-ness of Jesus is based on the now-ness of Jesus.”

So, in this blog post let me answer your question in FOUR ways that I hope will satisfy any concern about how I see Hebrews 13:8. However, at the same time, let me do so in a way that can set you off on a whole new adventure of “living in Jesus” day by day.

 

Answer 1

Yes, in one sense, in regard to his actual PERSON, Jesus is definitely the SAME today as he has always been or ever will be.

I bring this out very clearly in the chapter titled “Who Christ TO Us Today” in my new book, Christ Is NOW!” There I concentrate solely on his “personhood,” the essence of who he IS as the Son of God, from eternity to eternity.

For example, consider these major subheadings in that nearly 70-page section:

•  The Supremacy of His Deity
•  His Intimacy With the Trinity
•  The Perfection of Revelation
•  The Picture of Scripture
•  The Claims of His Names
•  Our Identity and Destiny
•  The Father’s Passion and Ours

There are many glorious truths from God’s Word that I share under each of these descriptions. I’m sorry there’s not space here to do so.

Please know this: Nothing about any of those core realities of Jesus as a PERSON has ever been modified, supplemented, improved, or abandoned. And nothing about who he is in himself will ever change in all ages to come. His intimacy with the Trinity, for example—his place as one of the Three-in-One, in the bonds of divine nature and divine love—is precisely today as it was before anything was created.

Remember: This is the same Jesus who rules among us at this hour—in whom you live and move and have your being every day, with whom you are in intimate union every passing hour. He remains today all of this and no less!

“The wow-ness of Jesus is based on the now-ness of Jesus.”

 

Answer 2

However, there are six additional dimensions that make up what I call the “spectacular supremacy” of God’s Son that must change the way we see Jesus today and relate to him.

In Christ Is NOW!, six additional chapters discuss these equally profound truths about Jesus, most of which were NOT true of our Savior “yesterday,” during the days of his earthly ministry. Here is the basic outline of how the book presents them—who Christ is FOR us, OVER us, BEFORE us, WITHIN us, THROUGH us, and UPON us today:

•  Who Christ Is FOR Us Today

o   By the invasion of his incarnation
o   By the mission of his crucifixion
o   By the re-creation of his resurrection
o   By the coronation of his ascension

•  Who Christ Is OVER Us Today

o   His reign over the workings of creation
o   His reign over the unfolding of world history
o   His reign over the designs of global leaders
o   His reign over the destiny of earth’s peoples
o   His reign over the rebellion of dark powers
o   His reign over the building of his church

•  Who Christ Is BEFORE Us Today

o   Onward in the future to bring it back to us
o   Upward into the heavens to bring us into it
o   Inward into the promises to make them ours too
o   Outward into the world to open for us a way to serve

•  Who Christ Is WITHIN Us Today

o   Individual expressions of his presence
o   Corporate expressions of his presence
o   We are his temple, his body, his bride
o   He is the basis of true unity
o   The Holy Spirit’s primary role in all of this
o   Living in “the fear of the Lord” as a way of life

•  Who Christ is THROUGH Us Today

o   His is a reign you can’t contain
o   His reign is the extension of the Ascension
o   There are no limits to how fully Jesus can use us
o   His ministry through us individually
o   His ministry through us corporately

•  Who Christ Is UPON Us Today

o   With Christ, there will always be so much more
o   Soon he will bring about the consummation of all things
o   Today he gives us “approximations of the consummation”
o   He comes upon us to deepen, intensify, accelerate, and expand
o   We need to embrace a “life of anticipation”

Well, that gives you a taste of whole new ways to think about who Christ is today—so many facets of his supremacy and majesty that most Christians rarely think about, if at all.

The outline alone shows that Jesus “brings more to the table” in this hour than before he did before the night over 2000 years ago when he was “born in the fullness of times” (Galatians 4).

These seven prepositions—who Jesus is to us, for us, over us, before us, within us, through us and upon us today—simply “add” grander dimensions; they magnify his glory more. All of this added to who he is “to us” is how we will see him and experience him, both now and for all the ages to come.

Wrapping our lives in Christ around these magnificent truths is why our emphasis on Christ NOW is so important and so transformative.

“The wow-ness of Jesus is based on the now-ness of Jesus.”

 

Answer 3

This emphasis on Jesus in the present time is a summons to believers to recognize and join in on how active he is moment by moment.

Ephesians 4 reminds us that Christ ascended on high in order to FILL (present tense verb in the Greek) the universe—which is precisely what he is doing at this moment!

Take note: Jesus, seated on the throne, is saturating the whole creation with his presence, with his sovereignty, with his power, with his purposes, and with his activity.

His must be described as a “spectacular” supremacy because unceasingly he is unleashing the fullness of his saving reign in all kinds of ways—above all, among his people while at the same time among the nations.

Currently, he is sovereignly moving all of creation and all of history forward, especially with all of his followers, toward the grand, Christ-exalting Consummation of the ages.

Unfortunately, I’ve found many sincere believers over the decades who conceive of our Lord Jesus as more “static,” or fixed, or only as an immovable foundation (which he is, of course—but he is so much more).

Many, unwittingly, see him more like a celebrity on LinkedIn with a great résumé, or more like the subject of a “doctrinal statement” to confess (“Jesus is God” or “Jesus saves”).

But a multitude of scriptures invites us to relate to our Savior as a real, living, breathing, thinking, decisive, determined, proactive PERSON—someone who is carrying out an eternal plan, advancing it like a general. He is purposefully engaged with each one of us as believers—conquering us and blessing us and using us—while at the same time he goes about the vision of fulfilling his authority as “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1).

This is the high truth I long to convey to my fellow Christians when I teach about who Christ is over us, before us, within us, through us, and upon us. All these insights define how lovingly, yet unrelentingly, he intends to pursue us and get involved with every moment of our lives today, on every level. How personally involved he wants to be—caringly, directly, and consequentially.

“The wow-ness of Jesus is based on the now-ness of Jesus.”

 

Answer 4

What all of the above means is this: TODAY for all of us who belong to Jesus there is so much more of Jesus, so much more about Jesus, and so much more from Jesus.

There’s more to seek, to uncover, to receive, to celebrate, to enter into, to follow, to exalt—and more to share with others than any of us have experienced so far in our walk with him.

Moreover, we can be certain, whoever we are, that each day there is even still more in Christ to find—no matter how long we’ve walked with him.

The riches we have in Christ Jesus are there waiting for us to discover and enjoy—and they are defined as “inexhaustible” (Ephesians 3). They will never run dry; they will never be terminated.

Ephesians 3 goes on to say that out of the depths of his unsearchable love, Jesus wants to bless us “exceedingly above and beyond what we could ask or imagine.” All of God’s grace, including every one of his hundreds of promises in Scripture to the saints, is poured out on us through God’s Son right now—as they will continue to be for all ages to come (see Ephesians 2). No limits! No end!

The outreach of ChristNowOnline and ChristNow.com is working every day to stir up Christians online everywhere to rise up and refuse to settle for the status quo in their relationship with their Savior.

Our goal is to encourage God’s people to persistently “ask, seek, and knock” for more and more OF Christ, more ABOUT Christ and more FROM Christ.

For all believers, the constant cry of our hearts to Heaven ought to be: “Take me to more of Christ!”—as we invite the Spirit of God on this day to please introduce us to the full extent of the supremacy of Christ—the One who is our “all in all” (Colossians 3:11).

Through all of the social media platforms and web resources related to CHRIST NOW, we’re encouraging Jesus followers throughout the digital world to respond the way Paul urges all of us in Ephesians 5:14: Wake up! Rise up! Get with it! Come alive to Christ. Press on into more of Christ!

Don’t miss out on being a part of his kingdom initiatives. His kingdom is already forcefully advancing. Become a “person of force” who lays hold of it, who follows the King of Glory (Matthew 11:12). Move out with him in his victory procession, marching to the ends of the earth (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Embrace with your whole heart the spectacular supremacy of Christ. Embrace him for all he is worth. Heed the glorious privilege granted to all who are united to Christ.

So, if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective (The Message, emphasis added).

“The wow-ness of Jesus is based on the now-ness of 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 minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and to Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com.

0 Comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Similar Posts

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?