ST. CHARLES – Michael Byrd, in an energetic message, asked Missouri Baptist Convention annual meeting attendees if they knew Jesus.
Preaching from Colossians 1:13-23, Faith Community Bible Church Pastor Byrd challenged the people to understand Jesus is more than a name.
“Genuinely converted, blood-bought believers know Jesus accomplished the goals God put before Him. The blood-bought believers are those who have given their heart to Jesus,” Byrd said.
In his text, Byrd noted that Jesus is savior (verses 13-14), creator (verses 15-17), head of the church (verse 18) and the reconciler (verses 19-23).
“You must ask yourself, Who or what is really on the throne of your heart? Anything else you put first is an idol.”
None other deserve first place in our lives, apart from Jesus, who “lived a perfect life, and died for your sins, and on the third day was raised from the dead,” Byrd said.
“We take our eyes off Christ, and it starts to show,” he said. “The church has now become a laughing stock to the country when we should be the leaders of the country. We make Christians who don’t want to profess Jesus…
“Many value theology or Christology but they devalue practice,” Byrd added. “The church of today is like the church at Colossae. We don’t deny the importance or existence of Christ…. We simply dethrone him. We give him prominence, but we don’t give him pre-eminence.
“Jesus does not give his life so our brain would change, but he gave his life so our heart will change. The world has too many Jesus fans and not enough Jesus followers. We have churches full of people but empty on conversion.”
“Jesus is savior in the sense of deliverance, but also of preservation. Savior means ‘preservation.’ He is our savior continually, abundantly.
On the point of ‘creator,’, Byrd noted that verse 15 says Jesus was present prior to creation, and verse 17 adds that all things were created by and for Jesus.
“Because He is creator, He doesn’t need your permission to do what he wants to do.”
Of Jesus as head of the church, Byrd noted that too many people think either the pastor or a deacon board is head of the church. “That’s a huge problem, culturally.”
“When a person trusts Christ as savior, he is immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body. We don’t know we need Christ until we already have him. Baptism of Holy Spirit is not a post-conversion experience.”
Byrd also said that Jesus is the one who brings reconciliation between God and all people who believe in Him.
“We’ve shifted from the hope of the gospel to the hope of self,” he added. “If Jesus is our reconciler, we can’t get comfortable in our abode, but find comfort in Christ. Reconcile means to be changed from hostility to harmony.”