- - Sunday, December 25, 2011

Culture Challenge of the Week: Knowing Christ

Who is this Jesus who was celebrated the world over yesterday? A prophet? A “good man”? Or, is he the God incarnate as he claimed?

Answering this for ourselves is the single greatest question we will ever face.

If Christ was only a prophet or just a man - merely good, or otherwise - then all of the Bible is a lie, and he is reduced to the worst of all liars. It is impossible for Him to be a “good man” if he was lying about his identity and his purpose for coming to Earth.

Society would have us avoid having to grapple with the obvious conundrum that accompanies the conclusion that Christ was good, but not God. In fact, society doesn’t want us to think about him at all.

But in choosing to ignore his words and his claims - deciding not to think about him and to not make a personal decision about his identity - is a decision in and of itself. No decision is a decision.

Where are you in the process? And how are you helping your children grapple with the question of Christ?

Are you so busy filling their lives with activities and noise that you are failing to help them address what is really important in life? If so, make it your top priority to make faith the foundation of your family life.

How to save your family from avoiding the greatest question

It is every parent’s responsibility to not only share their faith with their children, but also to help their children in facing the big question of life, too.

The space allotted for this column is much too short to cover all the great theological questions, but allow me to provide a starting point:

Read the book of Romans as a family. Paul’s central purpose in writing the book is to explain how God has made a way for us to become His children - forgiven and accepted through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ.

The Discover God Study Bible, published by Tyndale, is a great Bible that explains the context of each book of the Bible. In its introduction of Romans, it explains: “Paul writes this letter to lay out the essentials of the Good News that is found in Jesus the Messiah, who fulfilled all of God’s previous plans and promises. Specifically, Paul explains how God can make broken, sinful people holy, changing them by faith, through grace, so that they are in right standing with Him. Simply put, Paul’s letter to the Romans is a guidebook to salvation.”

The Discover God Study Bible features the New Living Translation, which consists of an easy-to-understand “language” that is at the same time, true to the meaning of the original texts. Here are two powerful examples:

The first is found in Romans 8, starting in verse 3:

” … God did what the law could not do. He sent His own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.”

The second example is Romans 8:15-19:

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, ‘Abba Father.’ For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.”

Yes, the Gospel really is the Good News - in fact, the best news the world will ever hear.

Make it a point to listen, and to help your children listen, too.

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at rebecca@howtosaveyourfamily.com.

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