The white saviour false teaching is one that has spread across Africa for decades and has distorted the true person of Christ. But who is the real Jesus?
Why Should I Believe In A White Saviour?
Why should you believe in a white saviour? Well, the answer is simple, you shouldn’t. He doesn’t exist, he never existed, and he will never exist.
Do not dismiss God on the basis of people’s narrow understanding or skewed understanding of who he is. Read him as you meet him. Do that for yourself as you earnestly open up his word and meet him as he’s described himself for you in his word. I plead with you today do not believe in other people’s representations of who God is.
Topics & Timestamps
0:00 – God’s story and our stories
3:21 – Why believe in a white saviour?
6:38 – How did we end up here?
8:28 – The problem of the start
12:34 – Jesus was not white
19:08 – The problem of the art
24:41 – Give people the real Jesus
28:25 – The problem of the heart
32:11 – Judge Jesus correctly
38:58 – The white saviour vs. the true saviour
Top Quotes: Why Believe In A White Saviour?
“Why should you believe in a white saviour? Well, the answer is simple, you shouldn’t. He doesn’t exist, he never existed, and he will never exist.”
“What we know of the reformation was actually influenced by writings of the church Fathers that came from Africa”
“If you’re a Christian I would urge you to give people the correct representation of who Jesus is. Just give them the scriptures.”
Other Content On This Topic
Text: Romans 5:6-11
Date Preached: 27 June 2021
Location: Christ Church Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
God’s Story And Our Stories
Good morning church. Okay there’s 50… Good morning church. You have to shout for the empty seats. Good morning church. That’s better. My name is Blaque and I am the young adult’s pastor here at Christ Church. If you are joining us for the very first time it’s a pleasure to have you with us as you join us as we look at people’s stories and how our stories really have no meaning, have no purpose outside of God story – the one ultimate true story. And that’s what we want to be looking at this morning as God word is opened for us. I’m going to read our main passage for this morning. It’s not going to be on the screen because I changed it at the last minute. So if you have your bibles and if you are watching at home please turn to Philippians 2:5-11, Philippians 2:5-11. If you there say, “I am there brother.” If you’re not say, “Wait for me brother.”
Philippians 2:5-11 and it reads as follows, “Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus who though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself by taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. This is God word.
Let me pray for us. Father thank you for the reading of your word thank you that you have not left us to our own devices. That you have not left us without your story but Lord you have given us your story clearly revealed for us in the scriptures Lord. And I pray that for some of us this morning who are still trying to write our own stories just like Vicky just told us that she used to do that Lord that you would bring us to the end of ourselves and that Lord our stories from today may find purpose and meaning in your story. Teach us, rebuke us, train us and heal our hearts. We ask all of these things in your wonderful name Jesus amen.
Why Believe In A White Saviour?
Lonwabo asked a question that as a young black man why should he believe in a white saviour? And that is a very deep question, a heavy question that will need a couple of sessions for us to really get to the bottom of it. But we have to acknowledge at the same time that behind that question are even more personal questions. Questions of pain, questions of hurt, questions that are wrapped up in years of hatred and anger, questions of genuine confusion. In one sense Lonwabo’s story represents the opinions and concerns of real South Africans like us in this room and watching at home. And so with that said, I want to invite all of us into the sermon this morning.
I want to start off with my Indian, Coloured, Asian brothers and sisters that every time Jesus’s ethnicity or the question of his race is brought to the table, I know it normally feels like you’ve been invited to a braai next door and suddenly when you get there you realise it’s a family meeting. And you have to sit throughout that whole thing hungry wondering to yourself, “What am I doing here?” And so I want to say to you this morning this is not a black or white sermon this is a human sermon. And ultimately this is a sermon about God. To my white brothers and sisters I want to apologise if you’re cringing already. Assuming that you are I do not blame you because if we consider the current climate of our culture and race relations, every time the question of race is brought on the table everything inside of you dies. And so I want to encourage you this morning to say that today we are opening up God word. This is not a political talk but when God word is opened up it serves as a mirror for all of us. And to my black brothers and sisters I want to say to us this morning this is not a moment for us to prove them wrong. But this is a moment for all of us as Christians, as South Africans to be real about our pain, about our hurts. But even more important to be real and honest about where true hope is found for this life. And so with that said I ask you this morning, why should you believe in a white saviour? Well, the answer is simple, you shouldn’t for three reasons: he doesn’t exist, he never existed, and he will never exist.
Why should you believe in a white saviour? Well, the answer is simple, you shouldn’t. He doesn’t exist, he never existed, and he will never exist.
How Did We End Up Here?
So how did we end up with this misconception of Jesus being perceived as a white man? Well, the three problems I might present to us this morning. Firstly it might be a problem of the start. God started the world with a white Adam and Eve and then started his plan of salvation with a white Israelite nation. And then from that nation came a white saviour who chose 12 white disciples who wrote a white bible to start a white religion. Is it a problem of the start? Well, secondly it might be a problem of the art. That you sitting here believing that Jesus was a white man because of all the paintings that you’ve seen of him or representations of him in films throughout the years that you’ve lived. Thirdly it might be a problem of the heart. As we get to the end of the sermon and as i’ve clearly stated that Jesus was not white, even if he was pink green or orange, you still would not believe him because you are holding on to the thing that he wants to take and that is his throne rightfully in your heart. And so the question around his ethnicity or race is just an excuse that you’re using so that you do not bow down the knee and confess with your tongue that he is the one and only true God. Or maybe that might be a harsh diagnosis for you and you’ve genuinely just experienced racism at the hands of people who profess to be Christians. And I pray that God would heal you today. I pray that as you meet the God of the scriptures, as you meet Jesus, as he describes himself to you from his word that you would heal or at least begin the process of healing today.
The Problem Of The Start
So with that said let’s jump straight into our first point: the problem of the start. We’re going to be jumping around the bible this morning so please just exercise your fingers as we get ready. Genesis 1:26-28, a problem of the start. And this passage reads as follows, “Then God said let us make man in our image after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. And God blessed him and God said to them be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” So as we read this passage it’s very hard for us to find clues that suggest that God created Adam and Eve as white people. In fact a beautiful thing that emerges from this text is this doctrine of the imago dei, the image of God. The truth that God gives all of us his image. Black, White, Indian, Coloured or Asian all of us are image bearers. All of us are representatives of God in this world.
God hears, we can hear. God sees, we can see. God loves, we can love. God hates, we can hate. God is creative, we are creative. In fact in the mandate that God gives Adam and Eve in verses 28 he tells them that they need to order the chaos in this world, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with other representatives of God. And we’ve done that in our various cultures in our various races. So there’s no clue here that God created Adam and Eve as white people. In fact Daniel Hays, the author of a book titled From Every People and Nation, A Biblical Theology On Race helps us understand what is happening in these passages and clarifies the question for us. I quote, listen to what he says, “The bible does not begin with the creation of a special race of people. When the first human is introduced into the story he is simply called Adam and that means humankind. As mentioned in chapter 2 of this book Adam and Eve are not Hebrews or Egyptians or Canaanites. it is incorrect for the white church to perceive them as white it is incorrect for the black church to perceive them as black. Their race is not identifiable they are neither negroid nor caucasian nor even semitic. They become the mother and father of all people. The division of humankind into peoples and races is not even mentioned until Genesis 10. Adam and Eve as well as Noah are non-ethnic non-national they represent all people not just some people.” End of quote. Adam and Eve are not white then the natural question after that becomes were the Israelites white? Daniel Hays helps us here again and I quote, listen to what he says in that very same book. “What did the ancient Israelites actually look like? Most probably they looked very similar to other semitic speaking people of the area in and around Canaan. T he best estimation of the actual appearance of the ancient Israelites would perhaps combine the look of the current inhabitants of the Middle East with the representation of the Israelites and other Asiatic peoples in the paintings and mountain carvings of the Egyptians and Assyrians.” End of quote. And so what he’s saying there is that the Israelites were surrounded by people who were not white. If you think of the Cushites who looked as black as I look, if you think of the Egyptians or the Assyrians and they probably resembled the people that live around them.
Jesus Was Not White
And so what Hays is telling us and what we can deduce is as we read Genesis 1:26-28 is that the Israelites were not white like Vicky. They were not black like Rapha. And as I look around the room and I think of the general demographics of our church they probably did not look like most of us sitting in this room. Adam and Eve, not white. Israelites, not white. And we know that the Israelites stayed in the same area for a thousand of years and we know that there’s a prophecy in the scriptures that tell us that Jesus will come from the line of David who’s a king and he’s an Israelite. And so we can then conclude just from those things that Jesus himself was not white. In fact one of my favourite Christian rappers has a song titled White Jesus in which he addresses this very question. And in that song he says you have a better chance of finding Bigfoot riding a unicorn jumping over a rainbow than finding a first century Palestine Jesus who was white.
Matthew 2:13-23 we are told of an angel visiting Joseph and he tells Joseph that when he wakes up he must take Jesus and Mary and they run off to Egypt because king Herod had issued out a decree of killing jewish baby boys. And the bible doesn’t tell us how long they stayed in Egypt but scholars speculate that it was between two or three years. And so now you think to yourself if Jesus looked as white as Roydon and he was told to go hide among brown people, that was not a very constructive strategy. If you’re being polite, it’s not clever. And if i’m being blunt it’s just stupid, dawg. I mean God forbid right we suddenly hear that there’s a persecution of tall Afrikaans men in Midrand and all of us turn around and look at Eddie out of share concern. And we say, “Eddie we think you need to go hide. And the best place that you need to go hide is in the middle of Tembisa for two to three years. Good luck Eddie.” So just from these simple facts of reading through the scriptures we can see that Jesus was not white.
And there’s a lot to say about the early church Fathers but i’m going to skip over that and if you’re interested in that history please come chat to me after the sermon. But the one thing I want to highlight there that’s been repeated over and over and over the years, The Gospel Coalition Africa in fact has countless, countless articles about the fact that in the third century the centre of Christianity was in Africa. What we know of the reformation was actually influenced by writings of the church Fathers that come from Africa and any other movement of Christianity over the past 2000 years was influenced by African Christianity.
What we know of the reformation was actually influenced by writings of the church Fathers that came from Africa
But something happened in the 4th century that kind of adds to the backdrop of asking this question of Jesus being a white saviour. in the 4th century Constantine was the emperor of the Roman empire at that point converted to Christianity and listen to what the African Study Bible says of Constantine.” Constantine attempted to have the church leaders agree on how to understand the deity of christ as a result making theological orthodoxy become identified with political loyalty, causing splits that would mark the church for centuries.” End of quote. And so what that quote tells us is that Constantine basically married Roman culture or Romaness to Christianity and for the first time in Christian history in the 4th century if you would identify yourself as a Christian it essentially meant that you were Roman. And if you would say that you were not Roman that means that you were not Christian.
Dr. Vince Bantu who is an associate professor at Fuller Seminary says that for the first time in Constantine’s reign non-Roman Christian citizens were considered sellouts by their own culture. They were already considered suspect just because they were Christian. But there’s a lot of history that shows us of how these Christians actually influenced their cultures and their cultures benefited and were enhanced by their Christian faith because the Christian faith redeemed what was good about their culture and shunned what was bad about their culture. But for the first time in the history of Christianity in the 4th century they were considered sellouts because to be a Christian it meant that you were Roman therefore you are no longer Persian or you’re no longer Egyptian. Fast forward that to our time today if you’re a Christian, you go back to the township of the village, you’ve had people accuse you of being a sellout. And once you converted to Christianity you became more European than you were Zulu or Tswana or even Indian. And again it’s the legacy that Constantine left for many years. A legacy that inspired many europeans, not all, but many to use the bible and the Christian faith for a political tool for their own advancement of their interests
And so it’s not a problem of the start we could not pin this on God but this is what happens when we put our politics above our faith. When we start having allegiance to other ideologies except the bible when we start identifying ourselves by what we sign in the ballot box and not by our faith, when we start treating other people based on what our politics tell us as opposed to treating them based on what God says in his word. So it’s not a problem of a start it’s the problem of politicising our faith.
The Problem Of The Art
Our second point for this morning, is it a problem of the art? I told you we’re going to be doing some bible gymnastics so let’s jump over to Exodus 20:3-6 as we answer this question. Is it a problem of the art? Exodus 20:3-6 says, “You shall have no other Gods before me, you shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in earth beneath or that is in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow before them or serve them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the Fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me. But showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” And so what I want to do here is really just dial down on two things. This general cultural interpretation of Jesus that all of us suffer from.
All cultures have been guilty of violating the second commandment. All of us have created Jesus in our own likeness. Whether it’s in art, whether it’s in film, whether it’s in how we communicate with other people and telling them who Jesus, is all of us are guilty of violating the second commandment. In fact The Washington Post has a brilliant quote on this it’s quite long but please bear with me as I read it for us listen to what it says. “Charles Ndege of Tanzania, Frank Wesley of India, and Andre Kamba of Zaire for example depicted Jesus as part of their own ethnic cultures. Naturally the same kind of cultural assimilation of Jesus’ iconography had taken place in Europe itself throughout the centuries resulting in the traditional portrayal of Jesus as a Northern European. in the process Christian hostility towards Jews ensured that the physiognomy of Jesus was uniformly devoid of semitic features: Shoulder-length hair beard became the defining features even though the earliest images of Jesus from late antiquity depicted him again in accordance with cultural patterns as clean-shaven. At the end of the 20th century perhaps reflecting increasing cultural globalisation the National Catholic Reporter and news magazine in America sponsored a Jesus 2000 competition for a new image of Jesus. in the winning painting, Jeanette Mckenzie’s ‘Jesus of the People’ Jesus is dark skinned thick lip and feminine.” End of quote. All of us. All of us are guilty of painting Jesus, portraying Jesus from our own cultural experience.
And what that does is that at best it narrows people’s understanding of who God is. At best it just completely bends it out of shape. We’re already sinful, we already have a very low view of who God is, and if we portray him in ways that don’t reflect who he is, it just does not help people. I’ll give you an example, i’m Zulu by birth. Say the gospel came to us first, I mean it probably did we’re named after the heavens, but say it came to us first and then we painted Jesus as King Shaka: Short spear long arrow because we read the scriptures and we saw a king and we wanted to depict how a king looks like and the only picture we have is of Shaka. And there we go to the Tswanas to evangelise them and tell them about Jesus. Whatever ideas or feelings that they have of King Shaka, the Tswanas will import on Jesus. It will narrow their understanding of who the true God is at best. At worse it will completely bend it out of shape and they will have a wrong representation of who God is. Church, at a cultural level we do this. At a personal level we also have God in our mind that we created from our own imagination.
Any idol or concept of God that gives a false representation of him violates the second commandment at a personal level, at a cultural level, all of us have this insatiable desire of wanting to describe God in our own terms because we want to hold him hostage. God we created you in our likeness. We made you look like us therefore you represent us and our desires and no one else’s. But verse 3 of exodus 20 clearly tells us God response, “You shall have no other Gods before me,” what that means is that in order for us to understand who God is, in order for this misconception of a white saviour to really be obliterated from our minds, is for us to submit ourselves under God word as he describes himself to us not the other way around.
Give People The Real Jesus
I would plead with you today if you believe in a white saviour give yourself the real Jesus. Meet him as you read him. If you’re a Christian here I would urge you to give people the correct representation of who Jesus is. Just give them the scriptures. God has already done the work of telling his story for us you don’t have to be a clever director, just give the story as it is. Turn to your neighbour and say, “Give people the real Jesus.” You weren’t expecting that one. Give people the real Jesus.
If you’re a Christian I would urge you to give people the correct representation of who Jesus is. Just give them the scriptures.
Secondly there’s a famous painting that warms people’s hearts when they see it. It just gives you that feeling of being in your grandmother’s house again. Ryan I don’t know if you can put that up. The New York Times says this is the best known American artwork of the 20th century painted by a man named Warner Sallman. It’s called The Head Of Christ. The original has five oil paintings, three are in various institutions currently and two are privately owned. But here’s the crazy thing. 500 million, 500 million, not even the lotto got into those numbers but 500 million of these paintings copies, household copies, have been sold throughout the world. And if you think that’s a lot the University of California, The Washington Post and The New York times have said 500 more of these images have been printed and sold throughout the world through t-shirts on cups and cards and puzzles.
Listen to what one minister says about this very image. And I quote, “The image was quickly spread and printed on prayer cards and circulated by organisations, missionaries, and a wide range of churches. Catholic, protestant, evangelical, mainline, white, and black. For years Sallman’s Jesus represented the image of God.
I mean those words just send shivers down your spine. That represented the image of God. Somebody somewhere in the world gave their lives to Jesus, but that one. Somewhere somebody in the world right now authentically truthfully from the bottom of their hearts believe that is who Jesus is. American culture has certainly been dominant in this century and they consider that the image of God and they put that in film and everything else that we see.
And so I plead with you this morning do not dismiss God on the basis of people’s narrow understanding or skewed understanding of who he is. Read him as you meet him. Do that for yourself as you earnestly open up his word and meet him as he’s described himself for you in his word. I plead with you today do not believe in other people’s representations of who God is.
The Problem Of The Heart
As we get to our third point and just if you slow down and recap where we are, that we said that the problem is not with the start. It’s a problem of politicising our faith. And if the problem is not with the art necessarily it’s just a matter of culturally capturing our faith. What is common between those two things? Well, it’s the problem of the heart.
In Genesis 3 we’ve heard that story over and over again how Adam and Eve have turned their backs against God when God had given them the world, defined what was good what was evil told them how to live and rule in this world and they turned their back against God and said that they want to do it on their own terms. They fell along with the rest of creation and all of us are born in that state and continue doing that with our thoughts with our deeds with our words. We reject God we turn away from God we want to define what relationships look like for ourselves, we want to define what work looks like for ourselves, we’re want to define how to spend money on our own terms, we want to define what sex is in our own terms, and we continue destroying the world. God had ordered Adam and Eve to be cultural architects, to shape the world, to shape the chaos in this world. And that’s what we read earlier on in Genesis 1:26-28. But instead they did all of that for their glory instead of God glory. You and I continue to do that. We continue to do exactly that. And in Genesis 1:26-28 nowhere did God say that they should have dominion over people. They should have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and everything that creeps on the ground but not on people. And that’s what happens when we turn our backs against God, we want to be God. dehumanisedThat’s how we end up with racism, sexism, tribalism, every other ism that’s ever existed because we want to be Gods.
But at the same time I do acknowledge as a black man living in South Africa, I do acknowledge that you might be asking this question, Lonwabo, from a place of real hurt. You might be asking this question because you’ve been in a church where the dominant culture really did not treat you well. You’ve been in that church for 10 years and people are still butchering your name. Or worse you’ve just been dehumanised in horrible ways and people who profess to be Christians have just been have been racist towards you. And so you conclude that, that can only happen if God looks like them. Or even deeper still your life has just been hard. It’s just been hard. Just never had an easy, easy time. You’re just nowhere. And so you conclude that if Jesus maybe looked like you, if Jesus understood what it is that you’re going through, if Jesus grew up where you grew up, he probably would help you. He probably would then leave wherever he is come to where you are and help you.
Judge Jesus Correctly
And so with that in mind I want to, as we come to the end of our time together, just show you who Jesus is. And that, that Jesus will speak into your situation. That, that Jesus will be who you’re actually looking for and today you’ll meet him. Philippians 2:5-11. Verses 5 Paul says, “Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in christ Jesus.” What mind? Well, it’s the mind of christ. What Paul is going to show us now in the next couple of verses is who Jesus is: his personality, the pulse of his, heart his true character.
Most of us remember Martin Luther King jr.’s famous statement, “I judge not people by their colour of their skin.” Because if you do that and as we’ve seen, you really misrepresent who people are. Not all black people are the same, not all white people are the same not all coloured people are the same. So judge not people by the colour of their skin but judge them by the contents of their character. And that’s what Paul wants you to do this morning, judge Jesus by the contents of his character. Judge him as he presents himself before you. Analyse him, scrutinise him, and say to him, “Who are you truly? Who are you in your essence?” Because that’s what Jesus wants to do for you this morning, he wants to get very personal with you.
And so as we look at the rest of Philippians we will see who Jesus is. And how do we know that that’s what Jesus is calling us to? How do we know that that’s what Paul is saying? Well, listen Jesus wants to be personal because in verses 6 and 7 we are told that he emptied himself for you. Listen to what it says, “Who though, speaking of Jesus, he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself by taking a form of a servant being born in the likeness of man.” He was born like you and i. He wants to be personal. He comes low so that you can understand who he is. There’s something fascinating though the key word there is this idea of being emptied. In the ancient world, This idea was strange of subjecting yourself of humbling yourself or emptying yourself. And when Jesus comes and says what he says it is strange because you’re humbled rather by people you are emptied by people and so Jesus comes and he says that he empties himself he humbles himself.
And so it’s a strange thing and it is a strange thing as well in our context today because when you think about it who of us in this room want to empty ourselves? Who wants to empty their house? Who wants to empty their pockets? Who wants to empty their status? Nobody wants to do that in our culture. Instead we want more stuff, we want more money, we want more glory. And here comes Jesus the one who has glory, the one who has splendour, the one who has beauty, the one who has majesty, the one who has everything, and yet he says, “I’ll empty myself. I’ll leave all of that so that I can come down be like you so that I could relate to you. You can know me at a personal level” So at no point we cannot sit in this auditorium or watching at home and accuse Jesus of not understanding our plight.
Jesus gets it. He understands every nook and cranny of your struggle better than you even understand your own struggle. You might be asking this question because there’s real deep hurt behind that and Jesus gets it. He understands it, he knows it firsthand as we’ll see as we read the rest of this passage. But he gets it and he wants to be personal with you and he understands it. I mean contrast Jesus with Adam and eve. In the garden of eden the serpent comes to Eve and says to Eve if you eat of this tree that God told them not to eat, what is the temptation? You’ll be like God. You’ll be equal to God. And what do they do they grasp for equality with God like you and I do every single day. We want to be God. Grasping for equality with God trying to define the world for ourselves. And here is Jesus who is God, does not grasp for equality with God to use as an advantage, to Lord it over you. But instead he leaves all of that. You are God, Jesus. But he doesn’t use that as an advantage, he comes as a human to know you because he made you in his likeness.
And we know that Jesus emptied himself because of verses eight. Paul tells us, “And being found in human form he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” So Jesus comes to obey every single thing that God had commanded Adam and eve, the Israelites, and you and I, in which Adam and eve, the Israelites, and you and I, continue to fail to obey even as we sit here in this auditorium today. And Jesus obeyed all of that perfectly to the point where he took on death a death that you and I so rightfully deserved for all our failures in God eyes. And Jesus takes that death upon himself he becomes the sacrifice. Takes on the punishment that you and I deserve, takes on the wrath of God that you and I so rightfully deserve, for turning our backs against God. And he takes it on himself. But it’s not just any death, it’s a death on a cross. The most humiliating death, the most painful death, the most dehumanising, the most shameful death. If Jesus does not count any equality with God, uses that as an advantage to get to know you, lowers himself by emptying himself he even lowers himself lower by dying and even lower the death of a criminal.
The White Saviour vs. The True Saviour
So it doesn’t matter where you are, Jesus understands all of it. From the highest in our society to the lowest of the low, Jesus has been there and he gets it and he’s with you and he’s calling you to be personal with him today. He is calling you to know him at that level. And so you have a choice this morning, you have a choice to say that you’re not going to allow the culture and even worse Satan to use the tactic of a white saviour to blind you from the true saviour. The white saviour has come with much hurt but when we look at it objectively it is a tactic to blind you from who the true Jesus is. See him. The one who lowered himself, the one who emptied himself, the one who became like you to relate to you to draw you to himself. The one who died for you, the one who gave with his life for you. And because of that verses 9 till 11 Paul tells us that God then exalted him to the highest. Gave him the name that’s above every other name. That echoes what we’ve been learning in Exodus in the past couple of weeks. The name that’s above all other names is the name of God the great I AM, there’s no other name above that name. And Jesus is given the name that’s above all other names and at that name every knee shall bow in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue will confess. And so the choice is yours this morning are you going to willingly bow to him now while he’s expressed himself in these terms as the one who’s lowly. As the one who’s given himself to you. As the one who was really sacrificial so that he can draw himself closer to you and draw you, in fact, to him. Are you going to willingly submit to him? Or you’re going to allow a narrow understanding of who he is as our messiah be the reason that you suffer in this life and suffer in the next?
I would plead with you trust the Jesus of the bible. Forget the white saviour, he never existed, he doesn’t exist. Trust the Jesus of the bible. Trust the Jesus who hung on the cross. Trust the Jesus who is calling you by name today and is giving purpose to your story as he grafts your story into his, the ultimate story.
I want to pray for us and then shortly after that we’re going to pray The Prayer Of Confession together. So won’t we bow our heads and I’ll lead us in a time of prayer.
Lord Jesus I pray Father for those in our midst, watching at home who have really struggled with understanding who you are, how you work in this world. Especially if people who profess to be your followers have treated them in ways that are just inhumane. Father I pray for them I pray that today that you’d really soften their hearts to see you for who you are, our beautiful saviour ,God of the bible, Jesus of the cross. I pray holy spirit that you would do what you’ve been doing. That is to change hearts and change those hearts particularly today. Lord help us as Christians help us to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to. Help us to not represent you in a way that is not accurate to who you are and who you’ve shown yourself to be in the scriptures. Father we’re sinners and so we ask that you do forgive us and empower us Lord to get into your word more so that when we go out into the world. We would give them Jesus and not just our thoughts. So Lord I pray for all of these things in your wonderful and precious name, amen.
Church won’t be pray the Prayer Of Confession together as we draw our time together to a close. It’s going to be in the screen.
Almighty God heavenly Father we confess that we have failed you in our thoughts and words and deeds. Because we are sinners by nature we have strayed from your ways and not only have we done wrong but we have failed to do right. Lord you alone can forgive sin. Have mercy on us, pardon our sins and help us to serve you not only with our lips but with our lives through Jesus christ our Lord. Amen, amen amen.