The Person and Purpose of Jesus Christ February 23, 2014Posted by regan222 in Religion.
The Person and Purpose of Jesus Christ
I. The Person of Christ
A. Just as much God as though never Man.
1. Prior to the Virgin Birth: Jesus existed from infinity before the present.
I choose to establish the deity of Christ first. His humanity is not questioned. Jesus, as a historical figure, existed. We know this from accounts outside scripture. Josephus and others mention him in their writings and those writings still exist today. However, his divinity is constantly under scrutiny. The world is more than ready to declare Jesus a good man, a great teacher, a saint, a martyr, a wonderful example. All this platitude and praise eliminates the necessity of worshiping him as God and relieves the responsibility of making a choice.
To establish the divinity of Christ, there is no better place to start than the beginning:
John 1:1a – In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…
John tells us that Christ, as the word of God, was with God, and so, must be separate and that Christ is the creative force of God.
John 1:3 – All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
If we look at this in concert with Genesis we can see that Christ, as the Word of God, played an important part in creation.
Genesis 1:1 – In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.
God the Father is the architect of all that is. Jesus Christ, as His word, is the creative force that brought God’s plan to fruition. This has always been his purpose.
Genesis 1:3 – And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis 1:6 – And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Genesis 1:9 – And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
We have established that Jesus was a separate entity from the father, and yet he was as much God as the father was.
John 1:1b -…and the Word WAS God.
Finally, John also tells us that Christ is acknowledged as God. Separate but equal, apart and yet the same.
The Deity of Christ is constantly challenged both within the Church and without. Yet the Bible declares his nature and position directly.
Philippians 2:6 – Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Christ as a personality, existed prior to the Virgin Birth. Also prior to his birth, Christ’s form was the same as that of God. Christ was a spirit being even as God the Father is declared a spirit.
John 4:24 – God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
So Christ was in the form of God, and God is established as a spirit. At this point in the existence of Christ, he is NOT as we are. He is as God is. This is a very important point. It helps to establish that Christ and God are unique in and apart from all of creation as personalities without origin.
Christ, himself, declared his divinity as well as his equality with the Father on more than one occasion.
John 8:58 – Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
John 8:24 – I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins
Who is it that can offer salvation? That is the domain of God alone. Only He can offer us mercy.
Psalms 68:20 – He that is our God is the God of salvation
If we look at the original Greek we find that the word “he” is implied but not present. The original text uses the words “ego eimi” that are often translated “I am”. This statement is most often considered by scholars to be the same declaration of identity that God gave to Moses in Exodus.
Exodus 3:14 – And God said unto Moses: I AM that I AM…
Though each statement was recorded in a different language, their meanings are taken as the same declaration.
John chronicles Christ’s declaration on 7 separate occasions. John 4:26, 6:20, 8:24, 8:28, 8:58, 13:19, 18:5. These are often grouped as John’s “I am” statements and are a major part of the divinity of Christ doctrine.
In the book of Hebrews, God, Himself, settles the issue of the divinity of Christ.
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 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;
3 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:
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
6 And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
In verse 1 we establish that God has spoken and continues to speak to us. In verse 8, God is speaking to the Son, Jesus, and calls him God, with a capitol “G”.
Even the enemies of Christ knew exactly what he meant when he spoke of his position…
John 10: 29 – 33 – My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30 I and my Father are one.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
On multiple occasions the Sanhedrin accused Jesus of declaring himself equal to God. In this instance their accusations were correct. Jesus was, however, justified in doing so.
Given the preponderance of evidence, any honest reader will come to the same conclusion. If the scripture is true then Christ is divine. Separate and apart from, and yet equal to in every respect, God.
B. Just as much Man as though never God.
1. The whole of salvation hinges upon Jesus being as we are.
In the Garden of Eden mankind was eternally separated from God. Prior to the fall, man, the innocent, walked in fellowship with God. In his rebellion, man made it impossible for human flesh to exist in the presence of God. Innocence and righteousness can walk with God. Sin is destroyed by merely being in His presence.
Exodus 15: 18 – 20 18 And he (Moses) said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
Because all men are sinful we cannot go into the presence of God and yet He loves us. Our destiny is to be in fellowship with Him. In order for God’s plan to be carried out, Jesus, as the creative force, needed to act again to bring the plan to fruition.
The Law of God is perfect in its righteousness because its author, God, is equally perfect. His nature demands that things around Him be perfect as well. The law declares us guilty. Because we are genetically tied to Adam, we were, in a real sense, present with him when he sinned and fell. Because of this, we are all, equally unfit to stand in God’s presence. Add to this the fact that each day, in every one of our lives, we experience, over and over again, our own little garden moments and each day, we fail.
While it may seem unfair to lump us all into Adam’s sin, it is not only fair but necessary for us.
Romans 5:19 – For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
One man’s disobedience led us to our sorry state and so it can be one man’s obedience that will lead us out. Provided that one man pays the price for our sin. The existing debt must still be paid and it must be paid by a MAN. A God would not satisfy the law. An angel or a spirit being of some kind is not subject to the same challenges as a man, and so, would not satisfy justice. By man the wound was opened and only by a man can healing and reconciliation take place and yet a sinful man could not satisfy the law.
There are some unique challenges accompanying this requirement. A man of the world would be unable to fulfil the requirements because no one of Adam’s line is capable of fulfilling the law. A new line had to be formed with absolutely no genetic connection to Adam’s race and yet the line must be human. Jesus is called the second Adam because he was the beginning of a new line. There is no sharing of genetic material between Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. The Bible tells us that God prepared a body specifically for the purpose and placed it within Mary’s womb. Her sinful genes were never involved. The parental relationship, while legal, between Mary and Joseph, and their son was strictly one of adoption.
Hebrews 10: 3- 5 -But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
God built a body for His son to use with its very own genetic code, never tainted by Adam’s sin. Mary was essentially an incubator for a being already formed. God took the spirit being of his son and permanently and forever merged it with a human body. This made Christ a part of us forever. He remains human for all time.
John tells us this in his gospel.
John 1:14 – And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
Not only among us with respect to location but also positionally. He became us. Jesus fulfilled all the requirements for humanity. He was born.
Luke 2:11 – For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
He grew to manhood acquiring wisdom and strength along the way.
Luke 2:49 – And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
He had physical needs like food and rest.
John 4:6 – Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
Finally, Jesus displayed that most common of all mortal characteristics…He died.
John 19:30 – When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
The preincarnate Christ could not have been sacrificed for our sins. He could not have been nailed to the cross because, as we have established, he was a spirit being like God. Only when the word was made flesh was it suitable as a sacrifice. As God he could not die because he was immortal and eternal and so to fulfill the law and satisfy justice he had to be made mortal. He perfectly fulfilled God’s plan of salvation just as he perfectly fulfilled God’s plan for creation. He was adopted into Adam’s line so that we might be adopted into his.
1 Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Christ stands ready as our defense attorney. He knows what it means to be human and as a man, he can speak for us to the Father. He will speak for you if you will let him.