Reformed Reflections

 To Know the Living Christ 

Christianity is not just a set of carefully formulated doctrines to be known and believed. It is infinitely more. In Christianity a PERSON is present, active and upholding and supporting us all. 

When you read the New Testament you receive immediately the impression that these early Christians had a radiant relation to a Person." The Lord, "they called Him tenderly and reverently. They knew that Jesus was very man and very God, that He entered this world in a miraculous way, and had died on the cross, and had ascended to heaven. They accepted His claim to be invested with all authority in heaven and on earth.

These early Christians had a high and lofty view of Christ. They believed Him to be Lord over all, the One who holds the key to history and to the meaning of life. He would come again to restore the world. They were eagerly looking forward to His glorious return. It never occurred to them to invite people to come to Jesus to receive "peace of mind" or "peace of soul" 

They had not heard of an appeal to come to a faith that only includes personal security, excluding the cross and the deep concern for the welfare of a world broken through sin, and thus in great physical and spiritual need. This was their message. The seekers must accept Him as Lord, Saviour, and King, the Triumphant One, not just as a meek and mild Jesus, the sweet and lowly Lover of souls. 

Today, Bible believing Christians hold the same views, but the emphasis is not similar. The note of triumph is missing. Many suffer from spiritual depression. Dr. Marlyn Lloyd Jones suggests that spiritual depression "seems in many ways to be the peculiar trouble with many of God's people and the special problem troubling them at this present time."

A large number of Christians give the impression of being uncertain and unhappy. You can give a psychological analysis of the situation. You can blame the frustrations and the pressures of our times. You can name a host of reasons for this problem. But I think that our main difficulty lies with our view of Christ.

 We believe in the Christ, but have dethroned Him and made Him a gentle and sweet saint, powerless when we need Him in our moments of crisis and trouble. We get jittery when the daily news is rather bad and when the world powers threaten one another in the name of peace. 

The Lord who gives peace to the soul does not seem then to be able to sustain the anxious heart. What do we resort to overcome our drooping spirits? 

We have an answer to this low spiritual state if we but have the faith to turn to it. the answer is so wonderfully simple. Christ is Lord over all. This is what the early church believed and this holds true today. God has supplied us with every provision to overcome spiritual depression and defeat.

 The Lord has risen. He has overcome death. We serve a living and all powerful Lord. He is in complete control and in full command. Nothing escapes His attention. And within the broad framework of His plans for this world and the world to come He tolerates for a time the wild and woolly actions of sinful man, but being in control, He can at will call the nations to judgment.

 The victory is ours. "We are more than conquerors through him that loved us." This is not the time to look at the weakness of the world's might, but to consider the greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Let troubles rise, and terrors frown,
And days of darkness fall;
Through Him all dangers we'll defy,
And more than conquer all.


Johan D. Tangelder
April, 1973