Christ: Christ Is All #1

“Jesus is Lord”

The earliest Christian statement of faith was, “Jesus is Lord.” Paul’s words, “Chris is all” are another way of saying the same thing No matter how the first Christians said it, it was a radical affirmation, announcing the belief that Jesus was Yahweh incarnate, and that Caesar was not Lord, as he claimed to be. Three words reset the religious and cultural world. They also ignited intense persecution against Christians (Hebrews 11).

But there was more going on. John Wesley pointed to it in his notes on the Old Testament, showing that the ‘jah’ in Yahweh was the ‘jao’ in Taoism and other Eastern religions. [1] In other words, the first Christians affirmed Christ in the broadest way possible.

Paul’s words are a three-word synonym, with the same comprehensiveness. Today, we might put it this way, “Christ is reality.” This is not triumphalism, it’s testimony. This is the cosmic Christ, of whom nothing fuller can be said. [2]

[1] John Wesley’s comment is found at Psalm 68:4 in his ‘Notes on the Bible,’ still available in multiple formats.

[2] Matthew Fox, ‘The Coming of the Cosmic Christ’ (Harper & Row, 1988).

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 43 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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