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Christ Against the Powers

January 12, 2009

Christ against the what? Yeah, the powers. That’s what the Bible says: “He is the head of all rule and powers” (Col 2:10, 15). What are the powers and how is Jesus against them? Before you check out on this post thinking it’s a tirade against our evil culture, consider a few things first:

  • Real or perceived, powers exert considerable influence in our world.
  • We are all subject to some power, the question is whether or not it is true and good.
  • No one is truly his own master. We all serve somebody.

Christ claims to be the power over the powers, the one true Lord of all. If that is true, it should affect everything from work to watching movies. The problem, however, is that many of us are caught up honoring “little powers”—the powers of materialism, consumerism, patriotism, atheism, and so on. If Jesus is Lord then life will be radically different. In fact, Jesus takes his power makes God our debtor. The all-powerful God harnesses his power for the good of those who hope in him. St. Augustine wrote:

Excessive payments are made to you, so that you may be our debtor…You pay debts, although you owe no man anything; you cancel debts, and lose nothing. What have we said, my God, my life, my holy delight? Who will give me help, so that I may rest in you? Who will help me, so that you will come into my heart and inebriate it, to the end that I may forget my evils and embrace you, my one good? (Confessions I.4-5)

God has become our power, even our debtor, to make good on his promises of salvation, peace, and joy. Christ has paid our debts and offers us infinite credit in his promises. He made us new that we may forget our evils and embrace him as our chief good, our holy delight. For more on this topic see Sunday’s message and manuscript.

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