Is Jesus Enough?

All of us have convictions and values in our lives that cement the belief systems to which we cling. In other words, all of us are pretty convinced we are right about certain areas. I know that I am. From Day 1 I have been a fan of Wake Forest University and am convinced that there is no greater college in the free world (and I wish WFU was free because it's freakin' expensive!). I base my belief on my experience not just a fan of the school but also as a graduate. My experiences have shaped my conviction and values about Wake Forest.

Most of the people that I encounter on a daily basis don't share my belief about Wake Forest. I lovingly refer to those people as infidels and heretics. They believe that some other lesser school, such as UNC or Duke, is a better college, although their beliefs are based almost solely on those schools' athletic programs. When I beat my chest about Wake Forest, I never fail to mention how our debate team brought the national title home in the 1990's. Booyah!

I probably wouldn't have much success convincing you that my favorite college team is better than yours. Maybe you love UNC because your parents went there, their t-shirts are cheap at Walmart, or you were raised watching their basketball games, which is technically a subtle form of child abuse. But I digress. Either way, you have specific reasons why you are a fan and while I can playfully pick at you over your choice of teams, I won't sway your love of UNC or Duke just because I can give you reasons why I don't think they are better than my team. Which they aren't. And one day you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. There I go again.

Yet there are other beliefs that we hold dear that go well beyond which sports team we will cheer for. Issues of faith are perhaps the deepest and most polarizing of all the beliefs that we can have. What you believe about God vs. science, life vs. death, supernatural vs. natural occurrences, etc., will be constantly challenged and will more often than not divide rather than unite you with others. Why do we believe so strongly what we believe?

There are several reasons why we believe what we believe. Perhaps we encounter compelling physical evidence that convinces us or we hear an eloquent speech that pushes us in a certain direction. Maybe we see how a belief has changed the life of someone else and so we hold to it anticipating that this belief will change us too. What our parents believe is a strong indicator of what we will adhere to as well. And some of us don't know why we believe what we do - we just simply do.

In the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians, Paul addresses what his faith in Jesus - and in turn what our faith - is based upon. Clever arguments are great and a silver tongued speaker can be convincing, but words are not enough. We can reason with each other and share philosophical ideas, yet this approach is subjective and we can be easily persuaded with the careful use of words. Simply put: Our faith in Jesus Christ is grounded solely in His crucifixion and resurrection.

This means that when it comes to our faith in Jesus, He is enough. Great speakers can manipulate our emotions and we can experience mountain top moments that give us a rush of warm fuzzies, but no plea or ploy will be enough to sustain us. Only Jesus can do that.

I often hear people say, "I need to get back to church," to which I reply, "No, you need to turn back to Jesus." He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. No amount of works that we do or church attendance records that we break, no bad habit that we kick or spiritual discipline that we embrace can satisfy the heart of God. Only Jesus can do that.

What Paul wrote about almost 2,000 years ago is the same issue that Christianity is facing today. We are fragmented and segmented, lacking any real unity because we tend to lose focus on who is most important, and that is Jesus. Is your church better than my church? Maybe. Does your denomination have a bigger heart for missions than mine? It's possible. Can your pastor out-preach my pastor any day of the week? I'm sure he could try. But my Jesus is that same as your Jesus and He could care less about all of that because He is enough.

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