There’s really nothing more glorious than to know that Christ reigns over my life, he reigns over this world, he reigns over the cosmos, over every creature and over every power in creation. So much of the Christian life is rediscovering and re-savoring the fundamental truth that everything hangs on Jesus. In his conference message, “Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, Part 2”, delivered on September 26, 2004, Pastor John reiterates this point with the proper rhetorical flair. Here’s a clip of what he said.
No Other God
My prayer is that you will press on to know the supremacy of Christ, the supremacy of his deity — equal with God the Father in all of his attributes, the radiance of his glory, and the exact image of his nature — the supremacy of his eternality that makes the mind want to explode with the imponderable thought that Jesus Christ never had a beginning. He is simply there — absolute reality with which we reckon. We must rise to the supremacy of his eternality while all the universe, including this building and your body and this earth and all the galaxies, is fragile, contingent, like a shadow in comparison to the substance of Jesus Christ.
No Sage Wiser
We must know the supremacy of his never-changing constancy. Oh, to have virtues that never change, a character whose commitment is constant yesterday, today, and forever. Let us know the supremacy of his constancy and let us know the supremacy of his knowledge that makes the Library of Congress look like a matchbox and makes all the information on the Internet look like a 1940s Farmer’s Almanac and makes all of quantum physics and everything that Stephen Hawking has ever dreamed look like a first-grade reader.
We must know the supremacy of the knowledge of our Lord.
We must know the supremacy of his wisdom that has never been perplexed by any problem whatsoever nor can he be counseled by any person or any being in the universe.
No King Stronger
We must know the supremacy of his authority. “All authority is mine in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Matthew 28:18; see Philippians 2:10). No change. All authority. Changing times and seasons, removing kings, setting up kings, doing according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can stay his hand or say to him, what have you done? (see Daniel 2:21–22; 4:35).
We must know the supremacy of his providence, without which not a single bird in the extended reaches of the Amazon forest has ever fallen off any limb and without which not one hair turns white or black.
“There is not one square inch on planet earth over which the risen Christ does not say, ‘Mine and I rule it. I am supreme over it.’”
We must know the providence of Jesus.
We must know the supremacy of his word which “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3) — all the galaxies, molecules, atoms, and subatomic reality nobody has yet dreamed of, down there where no one has yet looked.
We must know the supremacy of his power to walk on water and cleanse lepers and heal the lame and open the eyes of the blind and open the ears of the deaf and cause storms to cease and with two words to raise the dead: “Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43), or with one word to raise the dead: “I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’” (Ezekiel 16:6).
We must know the supremacy of his power.
No Judge Purer
We must know the supremacy of his purity. He never sinned. He never sinned. He never had one millisecond of a bad attitude or a sinful lust.
We must know the supremacy of his trustworthiness. He never breaks a promise. He always keeps his word, absolutely, without fail.
We must know the supremacy of his justice. He will render all accounts settled in the end in the universe either on the cross or in hell. No injustice will remain when Christ is finished with this supreme justice.
We must know the supremacy of his patience. He has endured you and me for decades. He has endured this city and he brings the sun out to shine on it. Can you imagine why the sun rose on this city this morning, this wicked city, this world so full of us-type sinners? And he makes paradise rise in the sky in Minneapolis. What kind of patience are we dealing with here?
No Servant More Obedient, No Ruler More Merciful
We must know the supremacy of his servant-like sovereign obedience. He kept every one of his Father’s commands absolutely and in the end, he embraced the cross with total willingness.
We must know the supremacy of his meekness and lowliness and tenderness. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering flax (Isaiah 42:3).
No God More Wrathful or Gracious
We must know the supremacy of his wrath. One day it will explode on this world from heaven such that all who have rejected him will call for rocks to crush their brain lest they have to face the wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:16).
We must know this. When I look at the beheadings and I hear someone ask, “Where is your supreme Christ?” My answer is really easy: “He is in heaven storing up almighty wrath in fury to pour out on all those who commit such sins.” That is where he is. And you better get right with him and repent or you will all likewise perish. It is not a hard question to answer biblically. We must know the supremacy of his grace which gives life to spiritually dead rebels like us. It awakens faith in hellbound haters of God and justifies the ungodly with his own righteousness.
We must know the supremacy of his love, which dies for us while we are yet sinners (Romans 5:8) and gives to the absolutely undeserving the ability of ever-increasing joy in making much of him.
No Trinity More Joyful
And we must know the supremacy of his gladness in the fellowship of the Trinity — infinite power, infinite energy, infinite joy rising and spilling over in the creation of a universe and becoming an inheritance one day for every struggling saint.
Know This Christ
We must know that this is what we were made for. “Press on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:3). When you said last night, Al, if you are not reading substantial theology, how do you think you are fighting lust? Get the connection. We are made to know Christ. We are not made to do little diddly things. We are made to know this massive Christ. This world is a little, two-second slice, and then with him, or not, forever. It is what we are created to know and do and be about.
And when we know him in those ways, we have begun to know the outskirts of his supremacy, for time would fail to speak of his supreme severity and invincibility and dignity and simplicity and complexity and resoluteness and calmness and depth and courage. If there is anything admirable, if there is anything worthy of praise in all the universe, it is summed up in Jesus Christ.
Jesus Reigns Over All
He is always infinitely admirable in everything and over everything supreme, over all galaxies and endless reaches of space, over the earth from the top of Mount Everest 29,000 feet up to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, 36,000 feet down in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific rim. He is sovereign and supreme over all plants and animals, from the peaceful blue whale to the microscopic killer viruses. He is supreme over all weather and all movements of the earth, hurricanes, tornadoes, monsoons, earthquakes, avalanches, floods, snow, rain, sleet. He is supreme over all chemical processes that heal or destroy — cancer, AIDS, malaria, flu — and all the amazing grace of antibiotics and a thousand healing drugs that we do not deserve.
He is supreme over all countries and governments and armies. He is supreme over Al-Qaeda and the terrorists and the kidnappings and the suicide bombings and the beheadings. He is supreme over bin Laden and Al Zarqawi. He is supreme over all nuclear threats from Iran and Russia and North Korea. He is supreme over politics and elections and debates on Thursday. He is supreme over media and news and entertainment and sports and leisure. He is supreme over all education in universities no matter what they teach, and he is supreme over all scholarship and science and research. He is supreme over all business and finance and industry and manufacturing and transportation, and he is supreme over the Internet and all informational systems.
As Abraham Kuyper famously said — and many of you know — “There is not one square inch on planet earth over which the risen Christ does not say, ‘Mine and I rule it. I am supreme over it.’”