Ready for week two of “Your life in Christ”?!
Last week we explored 4 truths that tell us how God cares for us.
He created us, He is present and knows us, He loves us and He has adopted us into His family.
This week it’s all about Jesus!
How we view Christ is how we view and approach Discipleship.
The poorer our vision of Christ, the poorer our discipleship will be.
The richer our vision of Christ, the richer our discipleship will be.
We look to the world and find many visions of Jesus.
We have the capitalist and socialist Jesus.
The Republican and Democrat Jesus.
Jesus the vegan and Jesus the glutton.
How can we forget the musical Jesus’ - Jesus the clown in Godspell or Jesus Christ Superstar.
New age Jesus and so much more!
We can find so many versions of Jesus, however they are all counterfeit.
The only true vision of Jesus can be found in Scripture.
John Stott, in His latest book titled “The Radical Disciple” says this:
“Nothing is more important for mature Christian discipleship than a fresh , clear true vision of the authentic Jesus.”
In order for us to understand Jesus, it’s completely necessary to explore His deity and humanity.
Many religions and false teachings have and still exist from how people interpret Christ’s deity.
So, today we will look at what God’s Word says regarding this truth, and hopefully all walk away more confident in who Jesus was and is, and in our faith.
The incarnation of Jesus is the central of history and our faith!
There are often those with a lot of faith and just trust God’s Word and don’t need much explaining.
I admire those people!
Then there are those who question, research, fact check and double check all sources for the truth.
I fall into that category, and so some questions that often arose for me about our topic today were:
How has Jesus always existed, and what was He doing before He came to earth?
Why was it necessary for Him to come to earth, and would it have made a difference to us either way?
How was Christ, on earth living out His humanity and deity at the same time?
Did He have His own will or two wills?
Or no will?
I’ve heard Christ was a prophet and a great teacher but by what basis?
And He’s a priest?
And a King?
And when Christ came to earth did He truly give up His deity altogether?
And that’s just before I’ve had coffee.
Ask Alisha, I think way too much before bed at night and before coffee in the morning.
Let’s first look at what Christ was doing before He came to earth.
The important fact we must know is that Christ was preexisting before He was born in Bethlehem.
If Christ came into existence at the time of His birth through Mary then there would be no eternal trinity.
And if Christ was not preexistent then He could not be God because God is eternal.
Lastly, if Christ was not preexistent then He would be a flat out liar.
We need to know that Christ first came from heaven...
Christ also was involved in creation so we must know that He existed before creation.
Christ also claimed in John 10:30 that He and the Father are one.
In John 17:5 Jesus claims that He has equal glory with the Father.
We see here in Colossians that Christ contains the fullness of deity.
So, from these passages we can see the evidence for His preexistence.
We see He came from heaven.
He was involved at creation.
We see His equality with God which leads to His fullness of Deity.
In addition to His preexistence we need to understand more about His eternality.
Because as we heard before if He was not eternal then there would be no eternal Trinity, no Deity and He would’ve been a liar.
His relationship with God and that He was there at creation speaks volumes of His eternality but wait… there’s more!
In addition to creation His role looked a bit different than you might expect.
Christ was also referred to many times as the angel of the Lord or angel of Yahweh.
The angel of Yahweh in Scripture speaks as God, identifies Himself with God and claims to carry out the same agenda as God.
First we see the angel of the Lord appear to Hagar in the wilderness in Genesis 16:7-14, later we see the angel of the Lord appear to Abraham in Genesis 22.
God commanded Abraham to sacrifice His oldest son and led Him up to the place He wanted it done, as Abraham was about to do it- it was the angel o the Lord that stopped Him, on behalf of God.
Later the angel of the Lord appears to Jacob and then to Moses in the form of a burning bush.
Throughout other passages in the Old Testament Christ appears as the angel of the Lord.
The distinction between God and the angel of the Lord is clear as Scripture mentions that the angel of the Lord was sent by God.
One example of this is in Genesis 24:7 when Abraham mentioned that the promises the Lord made to Him would be carried out by the angel of the Lord.
As the angel of the Lord, Christ, often acted as a messenger, He guided and protected Israel, He was an instrument of judgement and an agent of refreshment as in the case with Elijah in 1 Kings 19:5-7.
Christ was very involved before His incarnation, and played many roles, but His most personal miracles to us was at His incarnation.
1 Corinthians 10 further reveals who the angel of the Lord was during the Old Testament times.
Now that we have opened pandora’s box and are diving into the depths of Christ, we mine as well keep going and look into the actual incarnation of Christ...
INCARNATION OF CHRIST
The word incarnation does not actually appear anywhere in Scripture but we get the concept from these passages, among others:
An important aspect to the incarnation is that there was a prediction of it in Isaiah 9:6
Immanuel means “God with us” and that is the whole concept of His incarnation.
That Christ came dow to us from heaven, literally in the flesh.
The virgin birth was the means for His incarnation.
He wasn’t born into the world like… well you know… that night when your mom and dad… well never mind...
The Holy Spirit put a seed into Mary and she was the surrogate, no part of her or Joseph other than the importance of their genealogies.
In the book of Matthew He lists the family line on Joseph’s side, and in Luke He gives Mary’s side.
Matthew traces Jesus back to Abraham and Luke traces Jesus back to Adam.
Next week we will talk more about the purpose of the incarnation as we look at the specific work of Christ.
DEITY OF CHRIST
As we look back at Christ’s claim to containing full Deity it is important to realize that there are several evidences to support this.
He possesses attributes that only God has
His eternal nature as we discussed before.
His omnipresence- He claimed to be everywhere
His omniscience- He displayed knowledge of things that would show He knows all.
John 4:29 (The Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well.)
His omnipotence- He contained power that was not of the world.
John 11:38-44 when Jesus raised His friend Lazarus from the dead
Or in Mark 4:35-41 where there is a storm and He is on a boat with some of His disciples and He commands that the wind and the waves calm down and they did.
There are so many other stories we can read in the New Testament of Jesus’ omnipotence, His power.
In addition to Him containing attributes that only God would have, he also performs works that only could could do (We will get into more of that next week)
Christ also was given names and titles of Deity.
Have the congregation name some.
Son of God
Lord and God (He is called Yahweh in the New Testament which spoke of His preexistence and authority .