The Church’s Message is Jesus

What is the church’s message to the world? The church’s message, quite simply, is Jesus.

  • Jesus Christ, crucified, risen and exalted to the right hand of the Father.
  • Jesus Christ, friend of sinners, humble in birth and lowly in life.
  • Jesus Christ, powerful in word and deed.
  • Jesus Christ, bearer of the kingdom in this age and the next.
  • Jesus Christ, obedient to the point of death, for us and for our salvation.
  • Jesus Christ, victor over death and the devil, ruler of the kings of the earth.
  • Jesus Christ, the conquering Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
  • Jesus Christ, coming in majesty to judge the earth in righteousness and to reign forever in glory.
  • Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
  • Jesus Christ, before whom every creature in heaven and earth kneels in wonder, love and praise.
  • Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, Son of God incarnate, eternally begotten of the Father.
  • Jesus Christ, in the powerful witness of the Holy Spirit.
  • Jesus Christ, in every page of sacred scripture and the apex of its story.
  • Jesus Christ, the new Adam, the first fruits of the coming resurrection of the dead.
  • Jesus Christ, heir of God’s promises to Abraham, Moses, David and the prophets.
  • Jesus Christ, sage, prophet, priest and king.
  • Jesus Christ, Israel’s long-expected messiah and savior.
  • Jesus Christ, calling all people to repentance, faith and discipleship.
  • Jesus Christ, regenerating, justifying and sanctifying believers.
  • Jesus Christ, uniting Jew and Gentile in one people of God.
  • Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God, teaching the way of blessing and righteousness.
  • Jesus Christ, the living head of one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.
  • Jesus Christ, in the water of baptism and the bread of communion.
  • Jesus Christ, in the common creeds of the church’s confession.
  • Jesus Christ, in the prayers and praises of his people.
  • Jesus Christ, in the loving fellowship of the brethren and service in the world.

To say that we proclaim Jesus, then, is not as simple as it first appears. Each short affirmation is an essential part of the story. Each would take pages – perhaps volumes – even to begin to unpack. It is tempting to cut corners, ignore difficulties, speak in generalities or emphasize some aspects of Jesus’ identity at the expense of others. This the church cannot do.  The church proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ in its entirety and then echoes his call to repentance, faith and discipleship.

  • Recognize your need of him and turn to him.
  • Know him and put your confidence in his promises.
  • Learn from him and walk in his ways.
  • Open your life to him, receive him by faith and unite with him in baptism.
  • Honor and worship him in the assembly of the saints and the privacy of your own heart.
  • Commune with him in this age and look for his coming in the age to come.
  • Bring your sin, guilt and shame to him for forgiveness and healing.
  • Turn to him in every need and trust him in every circumstance.
  • Seek him, his kingdom and his righteousness above everything else.
  • Surrender all you are and all you have to him and to his purposes in the world.
  • Confess his name, tell his story and bear reproach for his sake.
  • Pray for the well-being, unity and faithfulness of his church.
  • Invite others to follow him in faith, baptism and obedience.
  • Serve him, as you are gifted by the Holy Spirit, in the church and in the world.

Jesus, in his fullness, is the object of the church’s worship, the subject of its theological affirmations and the foundation of its call to action. If he is not, we’ve lost the meaning of what it means to be his church.