Without Christ I Am Nothing: Gary Frost’s Christ Awakening
[Editor’s Note: How important is the Ascension to the life of Christ? In this blog post, Gary Frost explains how in the midst of Christian ministry, he came to the conclusion that he could fulfill his purpose only by embracing the Ascension.]
That word covers a lot of territory when applied to our relationship to Christ.
In John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine. You’re the branches. He that abides in me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without me, you can do nothing” (emphasis added).
Nothing means nothing. The dictionary defines it as “something that does not exist” or “something that has no hope of any progress”!
There was a time when, in the midst of Christian ministry, finally I came to understand that my life’s purpose was fulfilled only as I would abide and live and stay and dwell in Jesus Christ. I realized that Jesus Christ is the very source of my success in serving him—in fact, the only source. I had to admit that without him I had nothing, could do nothing, and was nothing—as far as eternity is concerned.
The teaching of the ascension of Christ is what really brought this home to me. The full extent of his “everything” exalted on high showed me the utter completeness of my nothingness.
I’ve come to see that the great evangelical doctrine of the Ascension is absolutely critical to our knowledge of who Christ is now and how we relate to him today.
The Importance of the Ascension
So often we focus upon the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ—and we do need to focus on those passages that support that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead.
But let’s not overlook how much the ascension of Christ was equally essential to the fulfillment of his purpose. Jesus Christ not only rose from the dead, but also ascended to the right hand of the Father to assume full sway over all things, and right now he reigns and rules in every square inch of his universe.
Right now, Jesus Christ displays all authority in heaven and earth as our Great High Priest. Just as Psalm 110 predicted, he has taken charge after “the order of Melchizedek,” referring to a person in Genesis who was both a king and a priest at the same time.
Often we think of Christ coming back as King of kings and Lord of lords, but right now he’s fully functioning as the ruler of the universe.
It’s so comforting to know in these chaotic times in which we live that on the throne of heaven sits a man who also is God—one who understands and engages our world’s infirmities, battles, pains, and fears; one in whose name I can pray to the Father confidently knowing that his Son has everything under total control, including every aspect of my own little world.
Romans 8 tells me God is working in all things for my good and for Jesus’ glory.
That means there is nothing about who I am that doesn’t provide an arena for Christ’s reign to break through.
That means quite obviously, therefore, that as his follower there’s nothing I can do (or even want to attempt to do) without his full supply and full involvement.
There’s another passage of Scripture God used several years ago to bring me into a new awareness of who the ascended, reigning Lord Jesus Christ is right now and why I can do nothing without him. It is the prayer Paul recorded in Ephesians 1, which reads in part:
I keep asking that the God of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better . . . the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you . . . that power . . . that raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church . . .
In other words, Paul was praying that the spiritual eyes of these believers would be open to a fuller knowledge of who Christ is today in his ascended and active role as Lord of all, as head of the Church and as the hope of all creation.
A New Pair of Eyes
One day several years ago I began praying that prayer over my own life. In doing so it seemed as if I received a new pair of eyes (what Paul asks for) so that the Bible began to open up to me in amazing new ways. On nearly every page I began to see Jesus revealed in various dimensions of his supremacy.
The truths of passages came alive for me all through Scripture. For example, in Colossians 1 I discovered the reality that:
For by him were all things created that are in Heaven and in Earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers—all things were created by him and for him and he is before all things and by him everything consists . . . he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him . . .
Notice, Christ not only started the universe, and sustains the universe, and saves the universe, but he is forever supreme in the universe.
Jesus Christ is more than just a savior. Jesus Christ is the King of kings; he is Lord of lords. He’s the ruler of the universe.
In other words, now and forever the universe itself can do nothing without him!
How much more is it true, therefore, that tiny, weak, mortal, sinful Gary Frost can do nothing without him!
Like all creation, I too find in him my start, my sustenance, my salvation, my sovereign.
Well, that’s a little bit about my journey into a Christ Awakening. That’s how I began to gain a fuller appreciation of who Christ is today.
Now, I would like to invite you to join me in that same Christ Awakening adventure by making use of the splendid resources found in this one-of-a-kind website, ChristNow.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gary Frost
Gary is the National Facilitator of Prayer and Compassion Initiatives for Mission America Coalition. Before that, Gary served as Executive Director of the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association as well as President of Concerts of Prayer Greater New York. In addition to five sons and a daughter, Gary and his wife Lynette have fostered more than 40 children.