Making Assertions of Christ

In line with this, we must take the closest look at how we make assertions about Christ and the Gospel. Let’s once again take a look at what Paul says about assertions and how he went about it:

What I have just said I repeat–if anyone is preaching to you a Good News other than that which you originally received, let him be accursed. For is it man’s favor or God’s that I aspire to? Or am I seeking to please men? If I were still a man-pleaser, I should not be Christ’s bondservant. For I must tell you, brethren, that the Good News which was proclaimed by me is not such as man approves of. For, in fact, it was not from man that I received or learnt it, but by a revelation from Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my early career in Judaism–how I furiously persecuted the Church of God, and made havoc of it; and how in devotion to Judaism I outstripped many men of my own age among my people, being far more zealous than they on behalf of the traditions of my forefathers. But when He who set me apart even from my birth, and called me by His grace, saw fit to reveal His Son within me in order that I might tell among the Gentiles the Good News concerning Him, at once I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were my seniors in the Apostleship, but I went away into Arabia, and afterwards came back to Damascus. Then, three years later, I went up to Jerusalem to inquire for Peter, and I spent a fortnight with him. I saw none of the other Apostles, except James, the Lord’s brother. In making these assertions I am speaking the truth, as in the sight of God. (Galatians 1:9-20)


There’s something interesting about the way Paul asserted these things – “as in the sight of the Lord.” In the previous passage, he said something about the way Christian teachers spoke and asserted of Christ while not being in line with the actual word of Christ. Now, he dares say that he makes these assertions as in the sight of the Lord, who would surely know what is true and what is not. This is Paul, who understood that Christians at the time were subject to stoning and flogging and imprisonment, as he so experienced himself. He testifies these things as if he could not lie about them, and he really says that he speaks these things in truth.

Here lies the tension in whether we are as confident that our assertions about Christ are actually what is really truth. Would we be willing to be subjected to the amount of physical, emotional, psychological, and social torture that Paul had to


face in fighting for what he asserts to be true? Can we testify that such is the truth of Christ not just in our lives but even in the lives of other people?


Christ himself had to make assertions about himself, and in this passage we get to see what it means to really be certain of an assertion:

22 Then came the Feast of Hanukkah at Jerusalem. It was winter. 23 Jesus was in the temple courtyard walking in Solomon’s Porch. 24 The Jews who were gathered there around Jesus spoke to him. They said, “How long will you keep us waiting? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you. But you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name are a witness for me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never die. No one will steal them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than anyone. No one can steal them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

31 Again the Jews who had challenged him picked up stones to kill him. 32 But Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. Which good work are you throwing stones at me for?”

33 “We are not throwing stones at you for any good work,” they replied. “We are stoning you for saying a very evil thing. You are only a man. But you claim to

be God.”

34 Jesus answered them, “Didn’t God say in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? 35 We know that Scripture is always true. God spoke to some people and called them ‘gods.’ 36 If that is true, what about the one the Father set apart as his very own? What about this one the Father sent into the world? Why do you charge me with saying a very evil thing? Is it because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Don’t believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But what if I do them? Even if you don’t believe me, believe these works. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to arrest him. But he escaped from them. (John 10:22-38)


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