Category Archives: Christology

Jesus, the messiah

Who is Jesus?

John 4:25-26  The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

For many years, God’s people waited for a promised Messiah, the Chosen One who God would send to save them and redeem them.  They waited eagerly, expectantly.  But when the Messiah arrived, when He was right in front of them – they didn’t recognize Him.

For the Jews, the Messiah was going to be a powerful conqueror who would crash the scene and free them from their oppressors.  Then he would establish his kingdom and they’d all live happily ever after.  But things didn’t happen that way.  Jesus didn’t come riding on a stallion, shooting fireballs at the Romans.  No, He first came as a baby born in a stable, then He was a carpenter, then a travelling rabbi with no place to call home – a servant to those around Him.

He didn’t come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45).  No wonder they couldn’t recognize Him as the Messiah!  But He did come to free His people – not only them but also any who would follow after Him, Jews or otherwise.  He didn’t just free them from their earthly oppressors but from spiritual strongholds, from sin, from condemnation.

Whether they saw it or not, Jesus was the Messiah God had promised long ago.  He conquered sin and death and His kingdom knows no end.

Jesus, the King

Who is Jesus?

Ephesians 1:20-21 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

Long ago, God’s people asked Him for a king to rule over them (I Samuel 8).  Though they were warned against such a thing, they still demanded to be ruled by a king.  God granted their request, but the history of Israel is full of men who let them down, kings who couldn’t live up to the expectations placed on them.  Many of these men did not even follow God.  But that was under the old covenant.

Today, God’s people live under the new covenant of Christ.  Jesus was appointed our King and His reign will never end.  He will never disappoint because He is fully God.  He will never lead us astray because He knows all things and He is good.  He will never fail because all things have been placed under His dominion.  His kingdom will know no end.  At the very name of Jesus, every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).

He came to this earth, not to establish an earthly kingdom (though He could have), but to grant access to His heavenly kingdom – where nothing can destroy what He has created.  To what king do you pledge your allegiance?

Jesus, the Creator

Who is Jesus?

John 1:3  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Jesus, the Savior of the world, the One who was sent to redeem mankind, is the Creator of mankind.  How so?  If there is only one God and He exists as three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and He has existed from eternity…then how is Jesus not the Creator?

The apostle John comes right out of the gates with his theology.   No lineages, no birth story in a manger in Bethlehem – right to the point – Jesus is God.  “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus, the logos), and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (emphasis and parenthetical point mine) Wait, it gets even more clear:  “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Don’t believe John?  How about Paul?  “For by Him (Jesus), all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…” (Colossians 1:15).

How does it change your view of God to think about how the God who created us is the very same God who came to save us?  Our Creator is our Redeemer.  The One who holds all things together is the One who gave His life that we might be with Him.  How’s that for love?  Does it change how you see Jesus?  He’s not just some baby we celebrate on Christmas or just some guy with a beard who taught good moral lessons.  It all began with Him.  And it all ends with Him.

Jesus, the Son

Who is Jesus?

Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

God exists eternally in the form of three equal, but distinct persons: The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit.  Often when we talk about “God” we’re referring to God the Father.  But how can God, who is spirit, and exists outside of time, be a father?  And how can three be one?  The answer to these types of questions are not easy to explain, but the Bible does help us understand.

All three persons of the Trinity have existed since before time (John 1).  No one gave birth to the Son, He’s always existed.  Not until He came to dwell on the earth as a man was He birthed of a woman, and even then by choice.  Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit are all equal, of the same substance (John 10:30).  His place as Son is not lesser than the Father, so verses like John 14:28 speak to purpose and not to rank.  Jesus’ purpose is to glorify the Father, just as the Spirit is to bring glory to Jesus.

Further, His place as Son gives us a picture of just how God wants us to be.  God sent His only Son with the purpose that we also might become His sons, and if sons then heirs to everything Christ is entitled to.  This word sons isn’t gender related and doesn’t exclude women, it does the opposite.  There’s power in using the word sons because traditionally sons have received a greater inheritance.  By including females as His “sons”, God has granted all the same rights to His riches.  By accepting Christ, we became sons of God.  And Jesus is the “firstborn” among us.

Redemption in Christ

Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace

If someone asked you what it means that we have redemption in Christ through His blood, how would you answer?  Dating back to the Old Testament, the understanding of a redeemer was one who ransomed someone else, freed them from slavery or captivity.  God was the Redeemer of Israel when He led them out of captivity in Egypt.

You and  I have been redeemed too.  When we accepted Christ we were freed from the slavery and bondage of sin.  We’re no longer guilty.  Christ’s finished work of atonement on the cross through His shed blood ransomed us from sin and we are no longer under its control.

Sometimes we still sin, but it’s not because we’re under the bondage of sin.  We’ve been redeemed, we’re bought and paid for with a price.  We belong to Christ.  His blood paid our ransom.

Chosen for holiness

Ephesians 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

What am I here for?  What is this life all about?  The longer we live, the more we seek meaning in life, the more we may be caught asking these questions.  So did God create us with some intent?  Did He make each of us with our own purpose?  Yes and yes.

Even before time began, when all that existed was God, He thought of you.  The Creator chose you in Christ (that is, He chose you to belong to Him as His child) before He even made the earth where you would reside.  He made you to be uniquely you, with special talents and abilities – and purpose.

Our purpose on this earth is not to succeed financially and become rich, nor is it to make a name for ourselves and become famous (James 2:5).  God made us to be holy and blameless before Him (1 Thessalonians 4:7).  But how can we achieve this holiness?  We can’t be good enough to meet God’s standards.

The Lord planned all along that those He chose would be made holy “in Christ” (Colossians 1:22).  We are sanctified and redeemed by the Son of God, and He always intended it this way.  Those who are chosen in the Son of God become sons and heirs of God (Galatians 4:7).

In Christ alone

I Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.


Many and varied are the ways that man tries to get closer to God.  New religions spring up all the time, each seeking to find the right way to become whole.  Hundreds of self-help books are shelved at each book store, none quite adequately fulfilling our quest.  None quite bringing us into that place where we stand in right relationship with our Creator.

It’s sad that we spend so much time searching when the answer our souls seek has already been given.  We don’t attain enlightenment by searching within ourselves.  We don’t achieve entrance into heaven through doing enough good deeds.  There is one way to God and He is Christ Jesus.  He is our Savior, our King, our friend. From Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Romans 11:36) and not one thing was created that was not created by Him (John 1:3). He is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and only He qualifies to mediate between God and man (John 14:6).We can try to fix ourselves, try to gain knowledge, or try to work our way to righteousness, but in the end it’s all in vain.  Only Christ can save us.  Only He can set us free (John 8:32).

Blessed for His glory

Ephesians 1:8-10 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

God loves to bless His people.  We don’t have to do anything to earn His blessings, they’re a free gift – and that includes the gift of His Son.  Now lest you get the wrong impression that this is a prosperity gospel message, let’s point out that God loves to bless us for the purpose of His glory, not merely for our enjoyment.

He lavished His riches on us in His Son in wisdom – with insight.  He chose to reveal Himself to us in the form of Christ Jesus, making known the mystery of His will.  He planned this from eternity – it’s always been the plan. This revelation brings Him glory and fulfills His will.

It’s in Jesus that all things are united.  He’s the key.  He’s the deal.  In Him all things in heaven and on earth come together.  God’s plan in showering His blessings on us is to bring glory to Himself and to make Christ known to all. He gives us what we have that He might use us to shine His light.

The Rock

1 Corinthians 10:4  and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

Every bit of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, points us to Jesus.  The foreshadowing given, the pictures painted, all are for the glory of God and to teach us about His character. The Old Testament and the Law set up the coming Christ and His fulfillment of the Law.  Study of God’s Word can teach us lessons we never realized could be learned from these stories.

Paul shows us, in His letter to the church in Corinth, that the story of Moses in the wilderness with the children of Israel is more than just a story.  The rock that Moses struck (Exodus 17:6) was more than just a rock, and this was more than just God showing His power.  This, like so many other biblical illustrations, points us to Jesus, who is The Rock.  In Him we find living water, water better than that which flowed to the thirsty people of Israel.

But this is also an illustration of what happens when we corrupt what is of God and celebrate it as man’s own (Numbers 20:10-11). The story of Moses striking the rock when God told him only to speak to it is a look at how we can be so quick to disobey God and make an idol out of our own achievements.  Moses knew that once he had make water come from a rock by striking it with his stick, so when God told him to speak to the rock, Moses disobeyed and tried to repeat his previous feat.  Moses took what was good and corrupted it.  You know the rest of the story, he didn’t get to enter into the promised land with his people.  Even with a great man like Moses, God didn’t tolerate idolatry.

Jesus is the true Rock, He is the source of all things good.  Because we’ve experienced His goodness in the past, we can be too quick to assume that we had something to do with the blessings and try to get the same results in our own strength.  This is idolatry, making ourselves into our own gods.  There is only one Rock that has the water of life, and it’s Jesus.

 

Testimony Concerning the Son of God

1 John 5:6-12  This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Are you ever afraid to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with someone?  Are you ever timid to tell what you’ve seen and heard concerning the Son of God?  Don’t feel too bad, you’re not alone.  But we’re all called to share the Good News.  It’s our job to proclaim it to all the world.  But there’s more good news, the results don’t all rest on us.

The thing about being fearful when it comes to witnessing is that most of the work is actually done by the Holy Spirit, not by us.  There’s no reason to be shy about sharing when we realize that we’re just a vessel used by God to reach other people with His message.  He works in the heart of the person who hears the gospel and He works in you and me when we’re telling them.  The Spirit testifies and He does it in the hearer and through the teller.  Does that make you feel more at ease?

When you submitted your life to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit made His home inside you and you are a walking, talking testimony for Jesus.  The Spirit declares the Good News.  We just need to be available to make it happen.  There’s no need to be afraid.  It’s not all up to us how things turn out.  It’s just our job to speak up and let the world know that Jesus is the hope for all mankind.