I had a wonderful time at the Pepperdine Lectureship this year. It truly is an amazing experience. There was beautiful scenery, Christ-filled people, uplifting praise, and Spirit-gifted preachers and teachers sharing God’s word. The theme was based in the letter to the Colossians. Let me give you a snippet of the messages I heard.
Monte Cox and Rick Atchley shared very powerful messages that can be summed up in two very similar looking phrases: 1) Jesus is the only way, and 2) Jesus only is the way. They look similar but are very different.
Monte Cox warned that in a culture as pluralistic as Colossae’s (and our own culture today) the message of the gospel is, “Jesus is the only way!” We need to preach it simply, yet powerfully. There are not many ways, but only one way – Jesus! He also shared with us the encouraging message that “you can never be more saved than you are right now.” I wish more of our churches could grasp this message. This encouragement fit nicely with Rick Atchley’s sermon.
Rick Atchley dove headfirst into the legalism that seemed prevalent in Colossae. Christians in Colossae were starting to judge each other according to what they ate or drank and what holidays they observed. There were a lot of rules being thrown around – “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” Legalism conveys the message that Jesus alone is not enough, but we need “Jesus and…” While Monte’s message was about Jesus being the only way, Rick’s message was, “Jesus only is the way.” Christ is enough! He closed by asking, “Are you a ‘Christ only’ follower, or a ‘Christ and’ follower?”
Another powerful reminder came from Rich Little, a preacher not too far from here. His message was about Christ being in us. This is a message that Paul emphatically teaches. Rich’s reminder was that because Christ is in us we are the 67th book of the Bible, which is probably the most read book of the Bible.
There was so much more that I took away from Pepperdine. It was a great experience, and I highly recommend you make at least one trip to their lectureship. You will not regret it.