2016 – Top 10 Posts

Thank you, everyone, for a wonderful year.  Interestingly, the top three links were associated with my denomination.

10. Worshipping Christ at Christmas

9. Colossians 1:9-22, Part 2, Bible study

8. Fishing Family

7. Colossians 1:1-6, Bible study

6. A burden for change.

5. Holding on for change.

4. Church Health

3.  A pre-history of the Christian Baptist

2. What is Christian Baptist?

1. Cardinal Principles of the Christian Baptist

Jesus: Lord

One of the strongest statements about Jesus was given by one of the disciple’s known for his doubt.

John 20:28

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Thomas doubted the other disciples and the women who testified of Jesus’ resurrection.  After a personal visitation by Christ, Thomas emphasized his allegiance to Christ by calling Him Lord.  Lord, in the Greek, kýrios (κύριος) denotes the ownership or supremacy of a person.  Lord is also translated as “master” in other scriptures (such 12391073_10208315089822751_5444210511251186915_nas Matthew 6:24).  While other people acknowledged the Lordship of Jesus, Thomas seemed to take his time.  We must all come to the place where we acknowledge the sovereignty of Jesus over our lives.

This particular title points to the obedience that believers give to Christ.

2 John 1:6

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

As followers of Christ, we must continually examine our walk before the Lord.  Are we serving ourselves, the world, or Christ?  That is, are we serving the Lord by living in His love.  Love as the Lord defines it and not as the world.

Jesus: Son of Man

One of the titles that Jesus applied to Himself is “Son of Man.”  It is found in the Old Testament and New Testament.  It signifies the humanity that Christ added to deity through the incarnation.  The Gospel writer, Luke, emphasizes this title.  This association with Christ is not by coincidence with Luke being a doctor and his book sharing the greatest details of Jesus’ birth and crucifixion.

Luke 19:10

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Son of Man, however, not only tells of that Christ was fully man (and fully God). It makes us aware of the humiliation of Christ.

Hebrews 2:17-18

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Jesus’ humiliation began with the incarnation when the Word was made flesh.  It ends with the burial of Christ.  When Christ was placed in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit, we are immediately grasped by the thoughts of all that He had to give up.  All the tapestries and fixings of heavens for the sinfulness of our broken world.  The humiliation reached its fullest point at Christ’s crucifixion.  It was at this where he bore the full weight of humanities sin when He tasted death.

The humiliation of Christ ends with the beginning of the resurrection.  This event starts something called the exaltation that will go throughout eternity.  It proceeded from the resurrection to the ascension.  Christ ascended and even now sits on the throne.  One day, Jesus will return to make all things right and make all things news

Philippians 2:5-11

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ isLord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus: Son of God

If you were to ask someone who Jesus is, you would probably hear someone say that He is the “Son of God.”  What does this mean?  Especially, in light of Scripture that tells us that we are the children, sons, or daughters of God (Matthew 5:9; John 1:12; Romans 8:14-19; Galatians 3:26; 1 John 3:1).  Is the Sonship of Jesus different than our sonship and daughterhood of God?  Yes, for Jesus is the “only-begotten” of the Father.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

2016-12-21-18-26-20False teachers have taken the phrase “only begotten” and twisted its meaning to imply that Jesus is created.  That is a mistake a person can make when they do not look at the Greek wording here.  Only-begotten is monogenḗs (μονογενής) in the Greek, and it means “unique,” “one of a kind,” or “special relationship.”  This is easy to understand when it is used to refer to Isaac and Abraham in Hebrews 11:7.  Abraham had more than one son, but only Isaac was through his wife Sara and the only son of the covenant.

Jesus is the unique Son of God.  His relationship with the Father is a special, one of a kind relationship.  The title, Son of God, does not refer to an order of creation.  Instead, it relates to the Trinitarian relationship that Jesus eternally holds with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  He is the second Person of the Trinity.  He is the One True God just as the Father is, and just as the Holy Spirit is God.

Son of God emphasizes the deity of Jesus and is a key theme of John’s writings.  It is also why we can say that Jesus was the complete image of the invisible God.  Jesus is God.  John 14:9 reads, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (cf. John 6:46; 8:19; 12:45; Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 5:20).

Jesus’ relationship to the Father is the original pattern for all families.  He is the expression of His Father.  Have you ever heard the phrase “a chip off the old block,” or “the apple doesn’t fall far from the try.”  This begins to make sense after our study of Jesus’ title as the Word of God (Click here).  Words are vehicles.  If I were to describe to you about a table and tell you that it was oak that had been stained dark red and that it stood on one large center leg, you would begin to get a picture of what I was thinking about.  Words carry meaning and convey thoughts.  Jesus is the Word of God, the vehicle in which God brings His full meaning to us in a visible way.  The Son is like the Father, which is why we are able to come to the Father through the Son.

Jesus: The Word

Jesus said the Pharisees, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).  Scripture makes clear that Jesus existed before creation.  Scripture is also clear that Jesus was not a part of creation but the cause of it.  John beautifully describes the pre-incarnate nature of Jesus:

John 1:1-3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

We know that this Word is an introductory statement about Jesus.  John goes on to write in verse 14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  Word is another title for Jesus.  John uses a particular Greek word here, “logos,” and although it is translated as “word” here, implies a deeper meaning.  Logos is sometimes used to refer to the written scripture but another Greek word, “rhema,” also relates to the written scriptures specf25fe-img_0167ifically.  Logos, on the other hand, implies the expression of thought or an idea.  Jesus is the full expression of God.  We see this presented in scripture as well.

Colossians 1:15-17

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Hebrews 1:1-3

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

The Word, as the Second person of the Trinity, is the full revelation of God.  Even Jewish readers of John’s Gospel would recognize what was implied.  The Word in the Old Testament was associated with God’s will and power being revealed to the people of God.  They knew about God because of the Word.  As Hebrews stated, this Word came many times by prophecy and at times by miracles.  Now, we Christians today have the full revelation of God through Jesus Christ.  In the Old Testament, God was asking, “can you hear me now?”  In the New Testament, the Word was made flesh and made the message clear.

 

Jesus: The Christ

After writing my previous post (Jesus: Name above all Names), I received an e-mail asking what is the meaning of Christ and whether it was Jesus’ last name.  I gave them a little bit of the sense and told them that the name, “Christ,” was my next post in the series.

Matthew 16:16

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

What does the title mean, “the Christ?”  It means “the anointed one.”  Christ (Χριστός, Christós) is the Greek translation of the Hebrew term “Messiah” (מָשִׁיחַ, mâshîyach).  Messiah and it base word are used 39 times in the Old Testament, translated only two times in Daniel 9:25-26 as Messiah.  The remaining applications are translated as “anointed.”  Jesus describes Himself as the anointed by God.

Luke 4:18-19

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Christ received an anointing straight from God, an individual appointment, to be the savior of the world.  Still, what is the connection with the Old Testament?  The name Jesus reminds us of Joshua and his victories as a servant of God.  Does Christ/Messiah direct our attention anywhere?  Yes, through specific offices that each received an anointing.  Three Old Testament roles were each preceded by being anointed: the prophet, the priest, and the king.

Jesus was anointed as our Prophet, as Luke 4:18-19 points out, to preach.  He proclaimed the Kingdom of God.  Deuteronomy 18:15 and Acts 3:22 are records that God would raise a prophet from the people who would again be like Moses.  Leading a great deliverance of those in the bondage of sin too great freedom in the Lord.

Jesus was also anointed as our Priest.  Psalm 110:4 and Hebrew 7:17 direct our attention that Jesus was a priest after the order of Melchizedek.  One that existed before the law and not under the Levitical sacrificial system.  Other scriptures note Christ as our Great High Priest.  Through the perfect priesthood of the Christ, our sins were once and for all forgiven in His sacrifice.

Finally, anointed as King, Jesus reigns forever on the throne of God as the pioneer of our salvation.  Zechariah 9:9 and Matthew 21:5, and Luke 1:33 as tell us about the eternal kingdom of Jesus.  He rules righteousness and justice.  The Gospels are the pronouncement that a new King has come.  His name is Jesus, the Christ.

 

Jesus: Name Above All Names

Jesus is the central theme of Holy Scriptures.  We find the likeness of Him in every book of the Bible.  The Old Testament foretells of His first advent.  2016-12-19-14-34-12The New Testament testifies of His life incarnate, His continuing work and second coming.  Without Christ, we do not have hope.  In the days to come, I am writing a series of post about the different title’s that Scripture gives to Christ.  Starting with the name of Jesus, the name given to Him at the pronouncement of the incarnation.

Matthew 1:21

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Jesus was a common first-century name.  Why was it special?  What did it symbolize that the people wanted to associate with so much?  Matthew gives a basic interpretation of the salvation – salvation.  More specifically, Jesus (Greek: Ἰησοῦς, Iēsoûs), is defined as, “The LORD is salvation” or “a savior.”  It means the same in the Hebrew translation, Joshua (יְהוֹשׁוּעַ, Yᵉhôwshûwaʻ).  It was a reminder of the Joshua who led Israel into the promised land after Moses died.

So, what is the difference between this Jesus and the others who share the same name at this time?  He is God’s Son.  Jesus alone could atone for sins, and He alone could defeat death by death.  His name was more than a memorial to a paragon of Judaism.  His name foretold what He would do because of who He is.

After the death and resurrection of Christ, the Holy Father exalted Him and placed Him decreed Him as Lord of all.  The Lord of our Salvation.  Philippians 2:9-11 declares this pictures,

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

It is this Jesus, the Lord of our salvation that Peter preached in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Jesus, there is something about that name.  No matter how it is pronounced, refers to the one who was able, and still able, to save.  Call out on the LORD of our salvation.  Repent and turn from your sins.  Be saved today.

Romans 10:9-13

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.