I am grateful when I am reminded of the urgent need to preach Christ for pardon and power–for justification and sanctification–and to continually look to Him for grace and mercy. It is far too easy to be moved away from Him into some sphere of self-reliance or self-renovation. When we do we inevitable fall into the trap of failure and condemnation or pride and self-righteousness.
The goal of the Christian life is not mere head knowledge. The apostle Paul explained that “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him” (Col. 2:3.) Because He is the Creator and Redeemer we are not to be “deceived through philosophy or empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the course of the world and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).
Nor is the Christian life to be found in mere moral reform. We are not to make for ourselves rules and regulations, saying “‘Do not taste! Do not touch! Do not handle!’ “which all concern things which perish with the usingâ€”according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh” (Col. 2:21-23). We have “died with Christ from the basic principles of the world” (Col. 2:20) and are therefore free from the enslaving bondage of self-renovation.
No, the heart cry of the apostle Paul was, “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified!” We are to be “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith” (Col. 2:7).
Edward Donnelly’s sermon on John 12: 12-26,”We Wish to See Jesus,” is a sweet reminder of the need for Jesus Christ to be the source of our life and the central focus of our endeavors. I have listened to this message many times in the past, and plan to do so many times in the future. May God give us grace to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of our faith.