First Begotten Son is God Part 2

FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER

First Begotten Son is God Part 2

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:1-7)

  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. John1:1.
  In the next few posts we will be looking at who our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is; is he just a guru? Just a prophet? Great teacher? etc.
  The name Jesus has caused more debate, confrontation and disagreement that any other name in the history of mankind. In a world that seldom wants that name of Jesus mentioned, even now in some “Christian” circles, it is very important that we touch on the reason for such hostility to a Name. Is the hostility and “political incorrectness” because of perceived blasphemy on His behalf or is it that the Name just jolts some raw nerves in people when it is mentioned:
  “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”. (Phil. 2:9-11)
Why has the name “Jesus Christ” caused more debate, confrontation and disagreement than any other name in history? Some now even argue that He did not mention anything about Himself being God in the Bible; and those who think He did just “disapprove” of this claim outrightly.
  When God appeared to Moses in the land of Midian, for his assignment regarding the freedom of the children of Israel from Pharaoh in Egypt, as described in Exodus 3:2,3
 “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt”. (See Deuteronomy 4:24; 9:3; Hebrews 12:29).
O Lord, even when we go through the fire, just like the bush in Midian; may we come out intact and may the only thing consumed be the works of the enemy in our lives – Amen
  “And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God”. (Exodus 3:6)
God calmed Moses down at this point and gave him instructions on what He (God) wanted after which Moses reluctantly agreed:
  “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations”. (Exodus 3:13-15)
 I won’t dwell too much on this story in this post, but what I want to draw out from it is the identity of that “Angel of the LORD” in verse 2 of the chapter. This same divine manifestation of the “Angel of the LORD” who appeared to different people in the old testament (Genesis 16:7-12; 21:17-18; 22:11-18; Exodus 3:2; Judges 2:1-4; 5:23; 6:11-24; 13:3-22; 2 Samuel 24:16; Zechariah 1:12; 3:1; 12:8) and these instances were described as situations where the people involved had “seen the Lord”.
 Can it be said that Jesus is this “Angel of the LORD”? As bible records show that the manifestation of angels ceased after Jesus’ assumption of human form or nature.
 We can also see from His claim of “being before Abraham” (who is meant to be his human ancestral forefather) and the Jews where of course very quick to challenge this (this funny confrontaion of the Jews reminds me of “The Speakers Corner” in Hyde Park Central London) –
 “Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am”. (John 8:57-58).
 What the Jews did not realise was their neglect of the prophesies they had been given about the credentials of the Messiah to come, for example, that given by Micah:
 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2)  We will have a detailed look at this in our next post.
 This claim as well as those He made to John after His resurrection,
 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty“. (Rev. 1:8. See also Rev. 1:17; 21:6; 22:13).
 When He appeared to John in the book of Revelation:
“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne”. (Rev. 1:4)
  Apostle Paul also adds:
  “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen”. (1Tm. 6:14-16).
  Compare this verse to:
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Tim. 1:17).
  These claims here point to Jesus’ immutability like other eternal attributes of God as we discussed in earlier posts He alone is God; And He is God alone. Parts 1&2 are claims that form the backbone of the Christian believe; where these attributes cannot be substantiated then it will be impossible to answer the questions being ask today like the Jews asked Jesus when He was alive:
Is Jesus Christ a man, or is he God?
If Jesus is God, how could he die?
If Jesus died on the cross, then how can he be alive today?
Is Jesus Christ’s character consistent with his high claims?
How do we know that Christ really rose from the dead?
How do we know that Jesus was the Messiah?
What messianic prophecies did Christ fulfill?
Could Christ have sinned?
How can one God be three persons?
  Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians observed:
“Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”. 1Cor. 15:11-19
  Like I said in our last post, being brought up as a Muslim, which as oxymoronic as it may sound, is an advantage because it gave me the opportunity to “question what I say I believe” (as a Christian); so many confessing Christians have taken this for granted and in the process might have given up the opportunity of experiencing that special touch of the Lord, His special presence that accompanies the moment of realisation of what Apostle Paul described above in 1Cor. 15:11-19. This is not say that we only seek to know him intellectually (as some do) but it also makes us have an experiential knowledge of Him (as a large number of Christians today tend to only concentrate on); we should try to balance these two aspects of our fellowship with Him..
John W. Peterson in the hymn Heaven Came Down, wrote:
  Heaven came down and glory filled my soul
When at the cross my Saviour made me whole
My sins were washed away
And my night was turned to day
When heaven came down and glory filled my soul
  O, what a wonderful, wonderful day
Day I will never forget
When I was wandering in darkness away
Jesus my Saviour I met
O, what a tender compassionate Friend
He met the need of my heart
Shadows dispelling with joy I am telling
He made all the darkness depart
  O, what a wonderful, wonderful day, Yeah, today
And O, what a glorious, glorious day
The day You came, came to save me
O, what a wonderful, wonderful day
The day You came and You saved me
I still remember that day at the Golf course in Hanwell, London when after so much searching (I had been to Church and tried other religions) I cheekily asked the question “You this Jesus, If you are real; and really rose up from the dead, show me” there and then on that bench “Heaven came down and glory filled my soul” that moment was like what the Jesus described in Matthew 13:44:
  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field”.
It was that moment and the fellowship I had with the Lord in the weeks after (as I played over and over again, the Don Moen tape I was given by sister until the sound from the tape faded) that convinced me that “this Jesus stuff is worth pursuing” and that grace of readiness to give up all if need be to follow Him was and is still being supplied. I am not here trying to say that this a doctrine and should cast iron, be the experience of all Christians, but in today’s Christianity of “name it and claim it” as if God is some fruit machine where you put in a coin and then it vomits a “Jackpot of coins”; it is possible to go through the motions, speak the “christianeeze” language and never get to know the One whom it is all about.
  Now, these claims about who Christ really is has been a bone of contention even when He was here on earth and definitely more than 2000 years after. These claims, He Himself made during His time on earth and at such instances the Jews were very much ready to lynch Him. Some of such occasions are highlighted in these verses:
 “I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 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. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto `whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him (John 10:30-38).
“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:13-17).
“But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death” (Mark 14:61-64).
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him” (John 14:6-7).
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 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 (Colossians 1:14 -17).
“John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me” (John 1:15, 30).
  How is it even possible that Jesus Christ, who was born some six months AFTER John could yet be BEFORE John? These highlighted phrases point out some answers to claims by Christianity about Jesus. To understand some of these questions that accompany these biblical claims we will consider who Jesus is with regards to:
His Nature
His Pre-Existence
How He fit into the eternal purpose of the Master Planner
In our Next post we will have a closer look at His Nature meanwhile:
Heavenly Father we pray that You will multiply your glorious riches in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ unto us and fill us with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; so that we be able to step back and meditate on this words of Apostle Paul:
“Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”. 1Cor. 15:11-19

Meanwhile, seek to be set free from God’s wrath today and seek the righteousness that really counts:

Most Importantly!!!!!

 You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about?” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You could pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

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