Colossians 1:15-17 (New International Reader's Version)
15 Christ is the exact likeness of God, who can't be seen. He is first, and he is over all of creation. 16 All things were created by him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can't be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. Everything was created by him and for him. 17 Before anything was created, he was already there. He holds everything together.
Have you ever been asked to explain why you believe in Jesus Christ? Have you been put to the test by others as to who Jesus is, and whether or not he is really God? There are many cults that exist today that call that fact into question. Some call themselves Christian, yet they deny the fundamental fact that Jesus is not just a mere human but God himself. Then there are other religions that say that Jesus is nothing more than a good moral teacher, attempting to place Christianity on the same level as any other religion. So, how can you know in whom you have placed your faith?
These questions and opinions about Jesus are not a new. In fact these same controversies have been alive and well since the beginning. One of the fiercest critics and persecutors of Christians actually pursued believers in the 1st Century, imprisoning and even killing some of them. He felt that Christians were perverting the Jewish faith and following after a false Jewish Messiah that had long since died. He was so fierce in his persecution that he had gained a reputation as a zealot for the Jewish faith, and he was so relentless that the young Christian community feared him.
Yet, this high-ranking Jewish official was confronted by the living Jesus Christ, and was so changed by his conversion that he became the author responsible for much of the writing of the New Testament of the Bible. In fact he became even more zealous for the cause of Christ than he ever was for the Jewish faith. You know this man as Saul of Tarsus, who after his conversion became Paul. How was Paul so profoundly changed? It is because through his encounter with Jesus, he realized who Jesus really was. In Paul's letter to the church in Colossi, the Book of Colossians, we catch a glimpse of who Jesus Christ really is.
If you are unsure of what you believe about Jesus, be sure that you study each and every word in the passage above. It presents a characterization of Jesus Christ that is so profound, that you either believe it or you don't. You either believe that He is God or you don't. Just be sure you know and are able to defend what you believe.
Photo from the movie Jesus of Nazareth, 1977