Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do You Know Christ?

THE PERSON OF CHRIST

Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man in one person, and will be so forever.
He is called God in the Scriptures (John 1:1; Rom 9:5;
• Because the attributes of God are ascribed to Him: eternity - John 8:58; Omniscience – John 21:17; Omnipresence matt 18:20: divine power – Heb 1:3;
• Because the honour and worship which is due only to God belong to Him as well – e.g. faith in Him (John16:1); Baptized in His Name (Matt.28:19); call on His Name (1Cor.1:2)
• Because if the Son was were not God, He could not have been fit to be a perfect Mediator between God and man (1Tim 2:5; Heb. 12:24)


A. THE HUMANITY OF CHRIST

1. The virgin birth

The Scripture is very clear that Jesus was conceived in the womb of His mother Mary, a virgin, by a miraculous power and work of the Holy Spirit without a human father (Matt. 1:18,20, 24-25; Luke1:35;3;23). This affirms to us that salvation is of God according to His Promise (Gen3:15) and can never come through human efforts (Gal.4:4-5). Virgin birth made it possible the uniting of full deity and full humanity in one Person. Virgin birth also makes Christ’s true humanity possible without the inherited sin. The fact that Jesus did not have a human father means that the line of descent from Adam was partially interrupted. Cf. Luke 1:35

2. Human weaknesses and limitations
a) Jesus had a human body
• He was born and grew just like any other any other child (Luke2;7,40,52)
• He became weary (John4:6; Luke23:26); thirsted (John19:28); was hungry (Matt.4:2); slept (Matt. 8:24)
• He died and was buried
b) Jesus had a human mind - He increased in wisdom (Luke 2;52). Did not know everything humanly speaking (13:32)
c) Jesus Had a human soul and emotions. He said he had a soul (John 12:27; 13:21; Matt.26:38. He also had a full range of emotions. He marveled at the faith of the centurion (Matt 8:10. He wept with sorrow for Lazarus (John 11:35)
d) People near Him saw Him as only a man. Cf. Matt. 13:53-58; Mark 6:3; John 7:5)

3. Sinlessness
Though Jesus was fully human, yet He was found without sin for He never committed any sin during His lifetime. Satan was unable to tempt Him to sin. Note it is not abnormal for Jesus, as fully human to fail to have committed sin but that it is abnormal for people who were created in the image of God to be sinning. He is therefore the holy One (Acts2:27;3;14; 4:30; 7;52; 13;35). Though God sent Him in the likeness of the sinful flesh (Rom8:3) we are told that He “…knew no sin” (2Cor 5;21; Heb4:15; 7:26; 1Pet.1:19; 2:22; 3:18:1John2:1; 3:5). Could Jesus have sinned? Or was it possible for Christ to have sinned? Some talk of the impeccability of Christ meaning “not able to sin”. Others say that if He was not able to sin, His temptations could not have been real, for how can a temptation be real if the person being tempted is not able to sin anyway? The Bible clearly says that Christ never actually sinned. It nevertheless says that Jesus was tempted, and these were real temptations (Luke 4:2; Heb.4:15). We must affirm with the Bible that “God cannot be tempted with evil” (James1:13). We cannot go farther than this.

4. Why was Jesus full humanity necessary?

i. For representative obedience. Jesus fully obeyed for where Adam failed and disobeyed.(Rom.5:18-19)
ii. To be a substitute sacrifice. If Jesus had not been a man, He could not have died in our place and paid the penalty that was due to us (Heb. 2:14,16-17). If God was concerned about saving the angels then He could have come as one but he was concerned about saving men.
iii. To be the Mediator between God and men. Because we were alienated from God by sin, we needed someone to come between God and ourselves and bring us back to Him (1Tim2:5).
iv. To fulfill God’s original purpose for man to rule over creation. God put man on the creation to subdue it and rule over it as God’s representatives. But man did not fulfill that purpose he instead fell into sin. When Jesus came as a man He was able to fully obey God and thereby have the right to rule over creation as a man fulfilling God’s purpose. He is now at the highest place of authority over the universe, crowned with glory and honor (Heb 2:9) cf. Matt.28:18; Eph11;22; Rev. 3:21; Luke 19:17,19; 1Cor6:3)
v. To be our example and pattern in life. “He who says abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked (1John2:6)
vi. To be the pattern for our redeemed bodies. When He rose from the dead He had a glorified body (1Cor15:42-44)
vii. To sympathize as High Priest (Heb2:18;4:15-16)
5. Jesus will be man forever.
He did not give up His human nature after His death and resurrection, for He appeared to His disciples as a man after the resurrection, even with the scars of the nail prints in His hands (John20:25-27). If Jesus had not been a man, He would not have been able t know by experience what we go through in our temptations and struggles in this life. He resurrected with a human body albeit glorified. He was taken up to heaven in this body and the two angels promised that He will return in the same way (Acts1:11). Cf. Acts7:5; 6:9:5; 1Cor.9:1:15:8; Rev 1:13-17. Jesus did not become a man temporarily but that His divine nature was permanently united to his human nature, and He lives forever not just as the eternal Son of God but also as Jesus, the man who was born of Mary and as Christ, the Messiah – the Saviour of His people.

B. THE DEITY OF CHRIST


1. Direct Scriptural claims

The Word God (Theos) is used of Christ. Cf. John 1:1; 1:18; 20:28; Rom 9:5; Titus 2:13 Heb 1:8; 2Pet1:1)
The word Lord (Kyrios) is used of Christ. This not just the usual master or sir as in Matt.13:27; 21:30 27:63; John4:11, but the strong YHWH translated “the LORD” or Jehovah the Creator and the sustainer of heaven and earth, the Omnipotent God. This is as the angels referred to Him while announcing His birth to the shepherds (Luke2:18). Compare Isa.40:3 with Matt.3:3; Psalm 110:1 with Matt. 22:44; Psa.102 with Heb.1:10-12. Cf. explicit passages such as 1Cor.8:6; 12:3;
Others claims to deity: John 8:57-59; John1:1; Acts 7:56;

2. Evidence that Jesus possessed attributes of deity
Jesus demonstrated His omnipotence when He stilled the storm with just a word of His mouth (Matt:8:26), multiplied the loaves and fish (Matt.14:19) changed water to wine (John2:1-11).
Jesus asserts His eternity when He says before Abraham was , I AM (John 8:58) or I am the Alpha and Omega (Rev22:13)
The omniscience of Jesus is seen in his knowledge of people’s thoughts even seeing thewm when they are far away (Mark2:8; John 1:48;6:64; 21:17).
Omnipresence - His own claim in Matt18:20. Sovereignty in forgiveness of sins (Mark 2:5). Immortality in His inability to remain in the grave. Was worshipped (Phil 2:9-11Heb1:6; Rev. 5:12; 19:10)
3. Did Jesus give up some of His divine attributes while on earth? Read Phil 2:5-7. What Jesus did was not to “empty himself” but that He humbled himself and took a lowly position. He did not give up His divine attributes but changed the role and status not essential attributes or nature – He never ceased to be God. Therefore Christ was and remains fully divine (Col 1:19; 2:9) and so He was given the Name Immanuel (Matt:1:23)

4. The necessity of His deity
i. Only someone who is infinite God could bear the full penalty for all the sins of all those who would believe in Him – only finite creature would have been incapable of bearing that penalty.
ii. Salvation is from the Lord (Jonah 2:9) and the whole gospel message is designed to show and prove that no human being, no creature could ever save man – only God himself could.
iii. Only someone who was truly and fully God could be the one mediator between God and man(1Tim. 2:5) both to bring us back to God and also to reveal God most fully to us (John 14:9)
If Jesus is not fully God, we have no salvation and ultimately no Christianity. Those who denied the deity of Jesus throughout history have also given up their faith e.g. the Unitarianism because “no one denies the Son has the Father” (1John2:23; 2John9)

C. Deity and humanity in one person
Christ is fully God fully God and so we should not think that we can examine or ignore Him in worship. He is worthy of all worship by all the creatures in heaven and on earth(Rev.5:113).he is the only Savior of sinners and so we should seek to make Him known. He is the only Mediator and so we should seek Him with the sincerity of heart.

DO you know this Christ as your Lord and Saviour? HAve you gone to Him coonfessing to Him ? Have you gone to Him in repentance? Please go to Him trusting that He is able and willing to forgive you.
Do not wait for tommorrow.
Do not wait for anyone to pray for you - Pray by yourself and tell Him honestly that in the past you have trusted in yourself.
Tell God to blot out your sins on the account of what Christ has done on the cross. Tell God to be merciful to you a sinner.
I assure you that if you go now He will gladly forgive you. Do it now!

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