C. S. Lewis was right. Jesus cannot be just a good, moral teacher. He said so many audacious, outlandish things that he must either be a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. Jesus was not just one of many pointers; he was the point. Not just a prophet, but the fulfillment of all prophesy. Not just a lord, but the Lord of lords. Not just a godly man, but the God-man.

Our world suggests that there are any number of saviors, and they are not all religious or “spiritual.” The world says, “Here’s what will give you purpose. Here’s what will give you meaning. Here’s what will help you feel like a better person. Here’s what will deal with the guilt you have in your life. Here’s what will give you satisfaction.” The list of saviors is ever expanding: technology, art, diets, sex, entertainment, education, morality, humanitarianism, sincerity, hard work, patriotism, politics. But according to God’s Word, they do not save.

This has always been the offense of Christianity: that we are guilty of sin; we are all in need of a Savior; and the only Savior who can truly save is Jesus Christ the Lord.

This was the message that is proclaimed over and over again in the early church. It didn’t matter if the Apostles were talking to Jews or Gentiles, servants or masters, ordinary people or religious people or the highest ranking official in the Romans Empire. The message was the same. Still is. Repent. Believe. Look to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin. Submit yourself to him. Open your heart to him. Trust in him. Look to him for the hope, the healing, the new life that only he can give.

The scandal of Christianity is that there is only one way. The good news is that despite all of our selfishness and all of our stubbornness and all of our sin, there is still a way.

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6 thoughts on “The Offense of Christ”

  1. Jeanie S says:

    Great post and I might add repent, believe, repeat. Gospel 24/7

  2. I was just reading through Gresham Machen’s “Christianity and Liberalism” and he pounds this point home. I actually wrote about one of the main responses he has to people who just want us to go back to “Sermon the Mount” and focus on his ethical teaching. One of the problems with that is that Jesus is the guy who quotes himself. http://derekzrishmawy.com/2012/12/17/the-jesus-who-quotes-himself/

  3. Marcy says:

    My words exactly! “A great post”! Thank you, Kevin.

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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