IS JESUS EQUAL WITH GOD ?

FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER

First Begotten Son is God Part 3

THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

IS JESUS EQUAL WITH GOD ? Part 1

 

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”. John 1:1

In our last 3 posts we looked at the first of three questions asked to see if Jesus is the “Saviour” and “liberator” of mankind; we took a look at the question IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? we looked at Jesus as the Son of (M)man and also Jesus as the Son of God where we looked at the essence or reality of His nature – the essential nature or reality of Jesus Christ, in which the divine and the human are believed to be combined – How it is possible for Him to be God and man at the same time.

We will in this post continue our look at the first in our classifications of who Jesus Christ is with regards to His Nature, His Pre-Existence and how He fits into the eternal purpose of the Master Planner. We will be having a look at the question –  IS JESUS EQUAL WITH GOD?

 IS JESUS EQUAL WITH GOD ?

“A virgin would conceive and bear a son whose name is Immanuel—God with us (Isaiah 7:14).

“A child would be born whose name would be called the mighty God, the everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).

“Let this MIND be in you, which was also in CHRIST JESUS: Who, being in the FORM OF GOD, thought it not robbery to be EQUAL WITH GOD: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 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.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

“Let this MIND be in you, which was also in CHRIST JESUS”

Before we go on to look at the question of Jesus being “equal with God” Let us see what led Apostle Paul to give the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when admonishing the Philippians on the need for unity. There had been disagreements or opposition that led to open conflict among the Philippians; this disagreements, being the product of the vainglory and selfish ambition that existed in some amongst them highlights the fact that though there was the regeneration of the spirit amongst them there was to a lesser extent the regeneration of the mind (will, intellect and emotions). The fullness of this regeneration of the mind as characterised in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:

“Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Philippians 2:2-4).

These same strife and vainglory can be seen to have been exhibited in religious folks of His (Jesus‘) time; one of these instances is seen when on the Sabbath, He healed the invalid man who had been lying at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years. For this (working on the Sabbath) the Jews challenged and when he replied them saying how “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (The Father and Son still working on man’s redemption and building), their ‘jungle justice’ instincts kicked in and they sought to kill Him:

“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18).

Jesus then had to spend so much time explaining the basis of His claim of equality with God (His Father (and ours too) to them:

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel….That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him……For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man……I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth….But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not….I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” John 5:19-44

Jesus here is showing the result of His training with the Father before His incarnation (becoming human from being God). Just as in any good family, the parents would do everything to empower their children so that they will turn out to be ideally greater than they are; they do not do this thinking that it would lead to their children having greater authority than them or that the children would then turn against them because they feel they are equal to their parents; this a natural instinct to preserve their lineage, make their name greater and even more so to have their won greatness displayed through their children:

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ“ (2 Corinthians 4:6).

We can see from what Jesus had to say in John 5 that, this natural instinct in parents is a Godly inheritance and the reaction of the child is to realise the importance of his/her parents irrespective of how successful he’she may be. We need to follow Jesus’ example. Charles Spurgeon observed in THE GLORY OF GOD IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST:

With no other preface than this we shall ask your attention this morning, first, TO THE SUBJECT OF THAT KNOWLEDGE in which Paul delighted so much. What was this knowledge which, to his mind, was the chief of all and the most worthy to be spread? It was the knowledge of God—truly a most necessary and proper knowledge for all God’s creatures! For a man not to know his Maker and Ruler is deplorable ignorance, indeed! The proper study of mankind is God. Paul not only knew that there is a God, for he had known that before his conversion—none could have more surely believed in the Godhead than did Paul as a Jew.

Nor does he merely intend that he had learned somewhat of the Character of God, for that, also, he had known from the Old Testament Scriptures before he was met with on the way to Damascus. Now he had come to know God in a closer, clearer and surer way, for he had seen Him, Incarnate, in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle had also received the knowledge of “the Glory of God.” Never had the God of Abraham appeared so glorious as now! God in Christ Jesus had won the adoring wonder of the Apostle’s instructed mind. He had known Jehovah’s Glory as the One and only God. He had seen that Glory in creation, declared by the heavens and displayed upon the earth. He had beheld that Glory in the Law which blazed from Sinai and shed its insufferable light upon the face of Moses.

But now, beyond all else, he had come to perceive the Glory of God in the face, or Person, of Jesus Christ and this had won his soul! This special knowledge had been communicated to him at his conversion when Jesus spoke to him out of Heaven. In this knowledge he had made great advances by experience and by new Revelations—but he had not yet learned it to the fullest, for he was still seeking to know it perfectly by the teaching of the Divine Spirit and we find him

saying, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”

Paul knew not merely God, but God in Christ Jesus! Not merely “the Glory of God,” but “the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” The knowledge dealt with God, but it was Christward knowledge! He pined not for a Christless Theism, but for God in Christ! This, Beloved, is the one thing which you and I should aim to know. There are parts of the Divine Glory which will never be seen by us in this life, speculate as we may. Mysticism would desire to pry into the unknowable—you and I may leave dreamers and their dreams—and follow the clear light which shines from the face of Jesus. What of God it is necessary and beneficial for us to know, He has revealed in Christ! And whatever is not there, we may rest assured it is unfit and unnecessary for us to know.

The Apostle Paul, exhorts us in Philippians 2:5-11:

“Let this MIND be in you, which was also in CHRIST JESUS: Who, being in the FORM OF GOD, thought it not robbery to be EQUAL WITH GOD: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 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.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

It would be fair to say that;, for Jesus to be equal with God He should have God’s distinctive character, , basic structure, appearance, behaviour or manners, mould or frame, mode of expression: The dictionary gives the meaning of EQUAL as:

Identical in size, quantity, value, or standard: Having the same privileges, rights, status, and opportunities as others: evenly balanced between opposing sides: equipped with the necessary qualities or means to accomplish something: having the same effect, application, or meaning as somebody or something else: somebody or something equal in quality to another.

And FORM as;

A type of something that has various different types: the particular way that something is or appears to be: the shape or structure of a thing that gives it its distinctive character, considered apart from its content, colour, texture, or composition: the shape or appearance of a thing that makes it identifiable: a shape like a person or other living thing that cannot be clearly made out: a mould, frame, or model within which or around which something can be shaped: a model of a human body or torso, used for fitting or displaying clothes.

Now, as we mentioned earlier every parent want his/her qualities (preferably the good ones) to be shown in their children, the father especially wants his children to look exactly like him, very much intrinsically; and would give such children freedom to be themselves within the family which then is shown when they are in the wider society; there is a danger that this freedom can be misconstrued by that child as a passport to live a reckless and disobedient life – challenging every decision of the parents. Jesus did not take this option but instead:

“CHRIST JESUS: Who, being in the FORM OF GOD, thought it not robbery to be EQUAL WITH GOD: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. ”

Watchman Nee in SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY explains this further:

The Word of God tells us that the Lord Jesus and the Father are one. In the beginning was the Word, just as in the beginning there was God. The Word was God, and this Word created the heavens and earth. With God in the beginning there was glory. It was an inapproachable glory, the glory of the Son. The Father and the Son are equal, equipotent, coexisting, and existing simultaneously. But there is a difference in person between the Father and the Son. It is not a distinction in intrinsic nature but in arrangement in the Godhead. The Bible says that the Lord did not consider being equal with God a treasure to be grasped (Phil 2:6). To be grasped means to take by force. The Lord’s equality with God is not something that He assumed by force. It is not an assertion or a usurpation because the Lord had the image of God in the first place.

Philippians 2:5-7 form one section, while verses 8-11 form another section. The first section is on Christ emptying Himself. The second section is on Christ humbling Himself. The Lord lowered Himself twice, first in emptying Himself in His deity, and then in humbling Himself in His humanity. When the Lord came down to earth, He emptied Himself of the glory, power, position, and image in His deity. As a result of His emptying, those without revelation did not recognize Him and would not acknowledge Him as God, considering Him merely as an ordinary man. In the Godhead the Lord voluntarily chose to be the Son, submitting Himself to the authority of the Father. Hence, He said that the Father was greater than He (John 14:28). The Son’s position was a voluntary choice of our Lord. In the Godhead there is full harmony. In the Godhead there is equality, yet it is happily arranged that the Father should be the Head and that the Son should submit. The Father became the representation of authority, and the Son became the representation of submission.

He went on to say:

Concerning His deity, the Lord was equal with God. But His being the Lord was something given to Him by God. Being made the Lord is something that happened after He emptied Himself in His deity. The deity of the Lord Jesus is something that is based on what He is. Being God is His original position. But His attainment of the position of Lord is based on what He has done. When He laid aside His divine form to fully maintain the principle of submission and subsequently ascended to the heavens, God accorded to Him the position of Lord.

Based on Himself, He is God. Based on His attainment, He is Lord. This lordship was not originally present in the Godhead. This portion in Philippians 2 is very difficult to explain and very controversial. But it is also a most divine passage. Today we have to come to this passage with our shoes off, standing on holy ground. It seems as if there was a conference in the Godhead in the beginning in which a plan was made to create the universe. In this plan the divine persons of the Godhead agreed with each other and came to the understanding that the Father would be the representation of authority. But if there was only authority without submission, authority could not be established, because authority is not something isolated. Hence, there must be submission in the universe.

Two kinds of creatures were created in the universe. The first kind was the angels—spirits. The second kind was man—souls. God’s foreknowledge foresaw the rebellion of the angels and the failure of man. God’s authority cannot be built upon the angels or upon the descendants of Adam. In the Godhead there was a harmonious decision that authority would be established first within the Godhead. From that time on, there was a distinction in operation of the Father and the Son. One day the Son willingly emptied Himself to become a created man as the representation of submission to authority. It was the creature that had rebelled. Therefore, only the submission of a creature could establish God’s authority. It was man who sinned and rebelled. Therefore, only through the submission of a man could God’s authority be established. This is why the Lord had to come to the earth to become a man and to be the same as a creature in every way.

The birth of the Lord is the coming forth of God. He did not retain His authority by being God. Rather, He took up human restrictions by becoming a man, even the restriction of a slave. This was a very risky matter for the Lord. Once the Lord stepped out from the form of God, there was a possibility that He could not return as a man. If He had not been submissive, He could have reclaimed the divine form of His deity only in His position as the Son. However, the principle of submission would have been broken forever. When the Lord stepped out, there were only two ways for Him to return. One was to be a proper man, absolutely and unreservedly submitting with no trace of rebellion, being obedient step by step, and letting God bring Him back and set Him up as Lord. If being a slave had been too difficult for Him, if weakness and the limitations of the flesh had been too much for Him, and if submission had been beyond Him, the only other way to return would have been for Him to force His way back by using the authority and glory of His deity. But our Lord rejected this way, a way which He was not meant to take. He set His heart to subject Himself to the way of submission even unto death.

Since He emptied Himself, He could no longer refill Himself. He did not vacillate in His mind. Since He emptied Himself of all divine glory and authority and stepped forth as a slave, He did not want to go back by any other way than the way of submission. Before He returned, He completed His course of being obedient unto death in the position of a man. He was able to return because He accomplished a perfect and pure submission.

Suffering upon suffering was piled on Him, but He remained absolutely submissive. There was not the slightest reaction or rebellion. Therefore, God exalted Him and ushered Him back as Lord in the Godhead. This was not just a refilling of what had been emptied, but the ushering of a MAN into the Godhead by the Father. The Son became Jesus (the Man), and was received back into the Godhead. Now we know the preciousness of the name of Jesus. In the whole universe there is no one like Him. When the Lord declared, “It is done” on the cross, He did not mean that just salvation had been secured, but that everything that He said had been done. For this He obtained a name that is above every name. At the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue should openly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. From that time forward, He was not only God, but Lord as well. His lordship speaks of His relationship with God. It speaks of what He attained before God. His being the Christ speaks of His relationship with the church.

In short, when the Lord came forth from God, He did not intend to return by His deity. Rather, He intended to return through His exaltation as a man. This is how God maintains His principle of submission. It is wrong for us to have even a trace of rebellion. We should submit to authority completely. This is a great matter. The Lord Jesus’ return to heaven was through His being a man and being submissive in the form of a man. As a result He was exalted by God. We must come face-to-face with this matter. In the whole Bible there is hardly any passage as mysterious as this one. The Lord bade farewell to His divine form. He did not return in just His divine form, because He had put on the flesh.

In Him there was no trace of disobedience; consequently, He was exalted by God in His humanity. He stepped forth to give up His glory. He returned to reclaim His glory. All of this was accomplished by God. We need to have the mind in us which was in Christ Jesus. All of us should take the way of our Lord, taking His principle of submission as our principle unto submission and learning submission from one another. Whoever knows this principle will realize that no sin is uglier than rebellion and that nothing is more important than submission. Only when we see the principle of submission can we serve God. God’s principle can be maintained only by submitting in the way that the Lord submitted. Once there is rebellion, we are in the principle of Satan.

We will stop here for now and in our next post we will be looking at how the Father rewarded his Son for His obedience even unto death. meanwhile

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, You who said, let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as to beam forth the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of Your majesty and glory as it is manifest in the person and is revealed in the face of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Messiah. We ask that the Holy Spirit may apply these words to the practical situations of our lives and show us how defective the Christian’s life is, where obedience does not rule all; how that life can be exchanged for one of full surrender to absolute obedience; and how sure it is that You our Father in Christ Jesus will enable us to live it out.

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.

IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? (Part 3) The Son of God

FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER

First Begotten Son is God Part 3

THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? Part III

The Son of God

 

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”. .(John 1:1)

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

In our last post we started our look at the second part of the first of three questions asked to see if Jesus is the “Saviour” and “liberator” of mankind; we looked at Jesus as the Son of (M)man: We have seen in previous posts how the term, Son of Man is used in the Bible to express different points (generally with reference to the weakness of humanity); some of these include; the ordinariness; the inherent physical, spiritual and moral weaknesses in humanity that lead to difficulty in resisting temptation or avoiding wrongdoing (character flaws).

It is also used in the old testament to uniquely show characteristics of Jesus Christ as the Saviour Son in capital “S” and in the new to illustrate His genealogy (as a man); as we have also seen that The Son of God has no genealogy (John 1:1). But as the Son of man Christ does have a genealogy (Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38).

In this post we shall be looking at the core of the hypostasis – or the essence or reality of the nature of Jesus Christ – the essential nature or reality of Jesus Christ, in which the divine and the human are believed to be combined in other words, we will take a look at common questions like; if He called Himself Son of man, how is He then able liberate man from sin? Or if God is Spirit, how can He have a Son? How is it possible for Him to be God and man at the same time? Is He the Son of God?

Son of God

“And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass” (Revelation 2:18).

In the days of the old testament God spoke through the prophets, who were men born through His Spirit (as seen in 2 Peter 1:21).

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 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; 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; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they“ Hebrews 1:1-4

In the new testament He spoke through the Son; in the person of the Son. God had made the Son, God himself expressed:

“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“ (Hebrews 1:8)

“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Psalms 45:6-7).

God the Father is hidden; God the Son is expressed. No one has ever seen God; the Son, as the Word of God (John1:1; Rev. 19:13) and the speaking of God has declared Him with the full expression, explanation and definition of Him:

“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18)

The Son is the centre of the eternal purpose of God. He is the essence or the brightness radiating from the Father’s Glory and the impress of The Father’s substance. John explains this further when He said:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:15)

In creation, He is the means through which the universe is made; the power that upholds and bears all things; the heir appointed to inherit all things; in redemption He accomplished the purification of man’s sins and He is now sitting on the right side of God in the Heavens. Someone out there would ask – how is that possible? From God to man and then back to God? God and man at the same time? Why didn’t He stay as God to do all He wanted to do if He was really God? What was the need for all these? These is answered in what is called the “hypostatic union” because God in His infinite mercy decided to become man so as to save man.

GOTQUESTIONS.ORG describes the hypostatic union as:

“The hypostatic union is the term used to describe how God the Son, Jesus Christ, took on a human nature, yet remained fully God at the same time. Jesus always had been God (John 8:58, 10:30), but at the incarnation Jesus became a human being (John 1:14). The addition of the human nature to the divine nature is Jesus, the God-man. This is the hypostatic union, Jesus Christ, one Person, fully God and fully man.Jesus’ two natures, human and divine, are inseparable. Jesus will forever be the God-man, fully God and fully human, two distinct natures in one Person. Jesus’ humanity and divinity are not mixed, but are united without loss of separate identity. Jesus sometimes operated with the limitations of humanity (John 4:6, 19:28) and other times in the power of His deity (John 11:43; Matthew 14:18-21). In both, Jesus’ actions were from His one Person. Jesus had two natures, but only one personality.

The doctrine of the hypostatic union is an attempt to explain how Jesus could be both God and man at the same time. It is ultimately, though, a doctrine we are incapable of fully understanding. It is impossible for us to fully understand how God works. We, as human beings with finite minds, should not expect to totally comprehend an infinite God. Jesus is God’s Son in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). But that does not mean Jesus did not exist before He was conceived. Jesus has always existed (John 8:58, 10:30). When Jesus was conceived, He became a human being in addition to being God (John 1:1, 14).

Jesus is both God and man. Jesus has always been God, but He did not become a human being until He was conceived in Mary. Jesus became a human being in order to identify with us in our struggles (Hebrews 2:17) and, more importantly, so that He could die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Philippians 2:5-11). In summary, the hypostatic union teaches that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine, that there is no mixture or dilution of either nature, and that He is one united Person, forever.”

“To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?” (Isaiah 40:18)“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18).“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Colossians 1:15).

“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” (I Timothy 6:16).

“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39).

Now, to “Save” or “liberate” mankind, being the reason for this hypostatic union there has to be a connection between the spirit of man and God. In the old testament (and even today in our 21st century, as man tries to help himself in every other way apart from God), the type of propitiation was (and is) only able to cover sins; but the Son took away the sin (John 1:29) and accomplished the purification of sins once for all. So He sat down for ever (Hebrews 10:10,12)

Propitiation – This is Jesus meeting the demands of the Father, to appease His wrath, so that humanity could be redeemed to God (Man being reconciled to God). Thankfully, Jesus paid the price for our sins. Eternal life is a free gift, paid for by Christ’s own physical blood. This gift can only be received by faith alone in Christ. All you have to do is admit to God that you’re a guilty sinner and believe upon the name of Jesus for forgiveness.

“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).So, as:“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

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Man is made up of BODY, SOUL, and SPIRIT; these three elements of man each have their own distinct level of supremacy; The spirit is highest in supremacy and the body is lowest, in other words, our SPIRIT, God-consciousness (as represented by the functions of our conscience, intuition and communion) This reconciliation with God actually takes place through empowerment from God that takes place through The curtain (see Ex. 26:31-33; Mark 15:38; Heb. 9:8-14; 10:19-20).

The curtain of the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. The tearing of the curtain (like the Lord’s physical body) when the Son of God was crucified at Calvary indicated that Christ, The Son of God had entered heaven itself for us so that we too may now enter God’s very presence. (See Eph. 1:20-23; 2: 4-7; 13-16; Col. 2:13-15; Rev. 1:18; Heb. 1:4; 2:9-10; 4:14 –16; 9:24). These curtain is the connection from God to the spirit of man.

SPIRIT OF MAN

The principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul; Excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigour, courage, firmness of intent, etc.; mettle: That’s the spirit; The incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body. Our spirit comprises of our:

Conscience:
The inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience: The complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual: An inhibiting sense of what is prudent: I’d eat another piece of pie but my conscience would bother me: Knowledge shows what is right or wrong, but it is the conscience that approves of what is right and disapproves of what is contrary to it.
Compare with: Deut. 2:30; Psa. 34:18; Psa. 51:10; John 13:21; Acts 17:16; Rom. 8:16; 1 Cor. 5:3; 2 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:7

Intuition:
Direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension: A fact, truth, etc., perceived in this way: A keen and quick insight: The quality or ability of having such direct perception or quick insight: An immediate cognition of an object not inferred or determined by a previous cognition of the same object; any object or truth so discerned; pure, untaught, non-inferential knowledge: The ability of the native speaker to make linguistic judgments, as of the grammaticality, ambiguity, equivalence, or non-equivalence of sentences, deriving from the speaker’s native-language competence.

Compare with: Matt. 26:41; Mark 2:8; Mark 8:12; John 11:33; Acts 18:5; Acts 18:25; Acts 20:22; 1 Cor. 2:11; I Cor. 16:18; 2 Cor. 7:13

Communion:
Interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication: communion with nature: The act of sharing, or holding in common; participation: Worship

Compare with: Luke 1:47; John 4:23; Rom. 1:9; Rom. 7:6; Rom. 8:15; Rom. 8:16; I Cor. 6:17; 1 Cor. 14:15; I Cor. 14:16; Rev. 21:10.

It is this curtain that connects man to God through His Son the Vine. We will be looking at this comprehensively in another post.

In the scheme of things regarding the “the eternal purpose of the Master planner” our almighty, all powerful God, His Son Jesus Christ have been and will be the centre of focus. In the Gospels of Christ who lived on the earth and on the cross for the accomplishment of redemption. Witness Lee, in his new testament commentaries outlines this focus for us:

In the acts of the Apostles is the resurrected and ascended Son of God propagated and ministered to the world. In Romans as we are now doing, is the Son of God, who is our righteousness for justification and our life for sanctification, transformation, glorification and building up. In Galatians is the Son of God who enables us to live a life that is versus the law, religions, traditions and forms. In Philippians is the Son of God who live out of His members. I Ephesians and Colossians is the Son of God who is the life, the content and the Head of the Body, the Church. In 1 and 2 Corinthians is the Son of God, who is everything in the practical Church life. In 1 and 2 Thessalonians is the Son of God, who is our holiness for His coming back. In 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus is the Son of God who is God’s economy, enabling us to know how to conduct ourselves in the house of God.

In Hebrews, He is the Son of God , the present Christ, who is now in the heavens as our Minister and our High Priest, ministering to us the heavenly life, grace, authority, power; and sustaining us to live a heavenly life on earth. He is the Son of God, Christ now, the Christ today, and the Christ on the throne in the heavens, who is our daily salvation and moment-by moment supply. In the Epistles of Peter is the Son of God, who enables us to take God’s governmental dealings administered through sufferings. In the Epistles of John is the Son of God who is the life and the fellowship of the children of God in God’s family. In Revelation is the Son of God, who is walking amongst the Churches in this age, ruling over the world in the coming age and expressing God in full glory in the new heaven and new earth for eternity.

Jesus during His ministry here on earth made statements that suggested and confirmed who He is; statements that pointed to Him as The Son of God, Some of these are:

“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30).

“Believest thou not that I am IN THE FATHER, and the FATHER IN ME.? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:10-11).

“Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11).

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be ONE; as THOU, FATHER, ART IN ME, and I IN THEE, that they also may be ONE IN US: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be ONE, even as WE ARE ONE” (John 17:20-22).

His reaction to those who see Him as blaspheming by making these claims:

“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” (John 10:35-37; see also John 11:4)

There were those who (like is prevalent today) Challenged His claim of being the Son of God:

“And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:62-64; see also Matth. 27:40,43; Luke 22:70; John 19:7)

Even before He came into this world as a man (His incarnation), Prophet Daniel saw this:

“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire“ (Daniel 3:24-26).

The devil also acknowledged this in His bid to tempt Jesus before the start of His ministry:

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matthew 4:1-3, 6; see also Luke 4:3,9)

God the Father also confirmed these statements:

“Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid” (Matthew 17:4-6; see also Mark 9:6-8; Luke 9:34-36; 2 Peter 1:16-18).

Angel Gabriel confirmed to Jesus’ mother that her son would be the Son of God:

“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren” (Luke 1:34-36).

Even the unclean spirits know that He is the Son of God:

“And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding” (Matthew 8:28-30; see also Mark 3:11; Luke 8:28).

The testimonies of those who were close to Him confirmed it:

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Mark 1:1-3; see also John 1:34, 49; 1 John 5:20).

The testimonies of those who came in contact with the power inherent in His being the Son of God:

“And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret” (Matthew 14:32-34; see also Luke 4:41; john 11:27).

Even at His death on the cross at Calvary, the centurion confirmed it:

“And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him” (Matthew 27:53-55; see also Mark 15:39).

The consequences of not believing in Him:

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:17-19; see also 1 John 5:10,12).

Gains for believing in Him:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:24-26).

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30-31; see also Romans 1:4; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 4:14; 1 John 3:8; 4:15; 5:5,13).

Consequences of Knowing Him and then Falling away (Backsliding):

“And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God” (Hebrews 6:5-7; see also 10:28-30)

If you believe; what next?

“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him” (Acts 8:36-38; see also 2 Corinthians 1:19; Ephesians 4:12-14).

In our next post we shall be looking at the Question –   IS JESUS EQUAL WITH GOD ? meanwhile:

Prayer:

Our Father, we pray as we bow before this blessed One, Your blessed son, that the eyes of our understanding may be opened, that we may realise that here is One who stands supreme in the midst of those thousands and tens of thousands in Revelation who cry, “Worthy is the Lamb to be praised, to receive honour and glory and blessing. Worthy is this One who is slain and is dead, and is alive, and lives forevermore.” “Your Son, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass” We thank you for this revelation, and pray that our hearts may echo these words, “Lord, here am l; I am nothing but a human being, nothing but a man, a woman, a boy, a girl, but Lord, here I am. Take me. Send me. Use me.” In Jesus name, Amen.

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.

IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? (Part 2) The Son of man

FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER

First Begotten Son is God Part 3

THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? Part II

The Son of man

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”. .In our last post we concluded that If Melchizedek who is “but made like unto the Son of God;” is “Without father, without mother, without descent,” (human father and mother are inferred here) Being eternal, The Son of God has no genealogy (John 1:1). But as the Son of man Christ does have a genealogy (Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38). In this post we shall be looking at the second part this first of three questions asked to see if Jesus is the “Saviour” and “liberator” of mankind – in other words take a look at common questions like; if He called Himself Son of man, how is He then able liberate man from sin? Or if God is Spirit, how can He have a Son?

Son of Man

GENEALOGY OF JESUS CHRIST (Human)

“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:1-18).

The term, Son of Man is used in the Bible to express different points (generally with reference to the weakness of humanity); some of these are:

The ordinariness; the inherent physical, spiritual and moral weaknesses in humanity that leads to difficulty in resisting temptation or avoiding wrongdoing (character flaws).

“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalms 8:4).

“Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God.” (Psalms 146:3-5; see also Job 25:6; Psalm144:3; Isaiah 51:12 etc)

It is used 93 times in the old testament probably to remind prophet Ezekiel of his own frailties.

“And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand“ (Ezekiel 3:16-18).

The phrase Son of Man is used in the old testament to uniquely show characteristics of Jesus Christ as the Saviour Son in capial “S”:

“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.“ (Daniel 7:13-14; see also Psalm 80:17).

In the new testament, The phrase Son of Man is used 43 times and uniquely show the characteristics of Jesus Christ as the Saviour.

Firstly the use of this phrase in the new testament concerning lord Jesus illustrates His humanity and God’s infinite wisdom with regards His (Jesus’) incarnation in the project that is to deliver, save or liberate man from sin.

Incarnation is the manifestation of God or a god’s or spirit’s appearance in human form.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage“ (Hebrews 2:14, 15).

To further illustrate these two perspectives of Jesus as “Son if man; It is recorded that even after His death and resurrection, Jesus showed Himself to the people around him

“And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet” (Luke 24:33-40).

It is for this reason that John commanded that we should test every spirit and the one test suggested is:

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:1-3).

Another instance of the phrase Son of man being used in the Bible was when He was called the Son of David:

The Messiah being the “Saviour“ or “Liberator“ “the Anointed One”.
King David like other kings, prophets and priests of his days, (see 1 Samuel 10:1; Exodus 40:15; Leviticus 21:10; 2 Kings 19:16) was anointed to be the saviour of the Children of Israel. And:

David testifies of Jesus being “Anointed”

“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Psalms:45:6,7; see also Hebrews 1:8-10).

As prophet Isaiah puts it, Jesus like David in the office of the office of the Prophet:

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3; see also Luke 4:18)

David also testifies of the superiority of Jesus as a priest – “the original, superior Priest”

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalms 110:1-4).

At this point I would like to make one or two statements about our modern day evangelistic crusades; it is now a common phenomenon that a lot of these crusades are preceded by high power expensive advertising (and sometimes heavy marketing) and who do we see on these bill boards, postal or TV and radio adverts? The preacher (or in most cases these days, the motivational speaker). Wouldn’t it be better to have (instead of the preacher), the image of JESUS on this postal and advertisements, so that the people are prepared for who they are going there to meet when they come to these crusades.

Now, in our introduction to THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST We touched on the fact that:

one would have thought that the public debate in Israel during the days of Jesus Christ on earth (may be their “Question Time” as we have it here in England) would have been focused on most of the verses of the Torah that touched on the prophecies about the coming messiah; as there was so much agitation for the messiah that would save them from Roman oppression. While they waited in anticipation for this “emperor-like” fellow to show up, they must have neglected the faithfulness of the God of their Father Abraham, in bringing to pass some of these prophecies while Jesus was among them. If they had marked the fulfilment of each prophecy as it came to pass, they would have been led to thank and praise God for being true to His word, hence this colossal unbelief (that marvelled even Jesus Christ Himself) wouldn’t have set in.
“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them”
One could be led to think that these few sick folks that got healed could have believed but still have some doubts, because the passage tells us that unbelief was the cause of Him not doing mighty works in their midst. Not to forget that this was as I said earlier, a time that the Jews were going through oppression from the Romans and were eagerly anticipating the arrival of this ‘messiah’. These religious leaders, in instigating the people against Him, instead of actually pointing the people to what the Torah says about the coming messiah and leaving the people to make their own judgements with regards to who He really is; have a share in the blame for the people’s unbelief . As unbelief is a sin, they should have heeded Jesus’ warning:
“AND [Jesus] said to His disciples, Temptations (snares, traps set to entice to sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come! It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare to one of these little ones [[a]lowly in rank or influence]”. Luke 17:1-2 (Amp)
Then something happened in the next chapter of Luke’s Gospel:“And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God“ (Luke 18:35-43).Mark actually tells us the name of this blind man:

“And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging” (Mark 10:46).

Blind Bartimaeus must have been one exception to these doubting believers. In this gathering around Jesus on this day (just like at any crusade we could have today) would be people who had different reasons to be there ; The Pharisees and Sadducees would be there (with their stones in their pockets) in case the opportunity arises for them to stone Him (Jesus) to death for blasphemy; the party guys would be there in case He declares an endless buffet like He had done with the fish and bread, you know – the guy who fed five thousand people in the desert (prosperity hunters); His disciples whom He had only just rebuked for inordinate concern with position and respectability; those who have heard of His profile as “just the son of Joseph the carpenter” and have come “just” to curiously see “how He does it“; and also there were people like blind Bartimaeus, who although is blind may not have seen (the equivalent in their days) of TV adverts; the poor, may not be able to afford (the equivalent in their days) of a radio – generally cut off from the mainstream of the society but in one way or the other must have heard, gotten hold of and continuously meditated on some verses of the torah like:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6,7).

He might also have been meditating on:

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3; see also Luke 4:18; see also).

And who is in the best position to make this claim of restoration in Zion?

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalms 110:1-4).

JESUS

While He (Blind Bartimaeus) must have listened to many of preachers or teachers in his days and this time out of Curiosity,

“And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by“.

It must be said that this crowd that were around Him (Jesus) must known Him for His human name which is attached to His works, be it compassion (Matthew 9:36); great teachings (Matthews chapters 5-7) etc which gave them great relieve from the tyranny of the Pharisees and Sadducees (who were at the beck and call of the Roman oppressors); But blind Bartimaeus, must have seen with the eyes of his heart beyond the human name “Jesus” into the eternal weight that name carries – he must have seen Him (Jesus) as David saw Him in Psalms 110:1-4 and also as prophet Isaiah did:

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:1-12).

Then he was able with the deepest convictions to see Jesus as the:

“Saviour“ or “Liberator“ and “the Anointed One” – The Son of David

The crowd especially the ones that had told Him to shut up would have been so astonished at Jesus reaction to their silencing of Blind Bartimaeus; because just has they have failed to see beyond Jesus the man (human), they have also failed to see the deep spirituality that motivated Blind Bartimaeus to express Jesus as the Son of David, thus holding Him in the position of the Messiah.

So, just as today, so many know Jesus of Nazareth as the miracle worker, great preacher but have been denied or are denying themselves the opportunity of that life-saving faith that comes from seeing Him as “Christ Crucified” How rewarding can it be if we can live  our lives:

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God“ (Hebrews 12:2)In our next post we will be looking at the last part of IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? The Son of God. meanwhilePrayer:

Our Father, we thank you for the truth in this mighty declaration that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, that you have exalted him and give him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. We pray that any who have never come to know this One as Lord may now open their life and cry out to him as these men and women in His time did: “What shall we do?” and hear this delivering word to repent and to believe, and thus receive the promised Spirit, who is available to all. We thank you in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer by Ray Stedman

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.

IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? (Part 1)

FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER

First Begotten Son is God Part 3

THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

 IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? (Part 1)

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”.

In our last post we saw what the dictionary describes a “messiah” to be; that being a “saviour or liberator” : somebody regarded as or claiming to be a saviour or liberator of a country, people, or the world.

We saw that to be a “Saviour” is: To rescue somebody or something from harm or danger: To conserve something or avoid wasting something or using something unnecessarily; protect or keep back, set aside something for later: To collect items for later: to collect anything usually in order to do something with them later: To spare somebody from something or from a situation or activity: To preserve or treat something carefully or stop using it in order to keep it from being used up or worn out: To redeem or free somebody from the consequences of sin. (John 1:28-29; John 15:12-13; Romans 5:8). And

To be a “Liberator” is: To set free or release a person, group, population, or country from political or military control or from severe physical (also spiritual) constraint: To set free or release a person, group, population, or country from traditional socially (also spiritual) imposed constraints such as those arising from stereotyping by race, sex, economic status, age etc. ( Isaiah 53:12; Jeremiah 31:31; Hebrews 8:6-10)

We also observed that for Jesus to be man’s “saviour or liberator” we needed to have some answers to the following questions:

a) IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN?
b) IS JESUS EQUAL WITH GOD ?
c) IS JESUS EXISTING AS GOD ?

In this post we will be looking at the first of the qualifications of Jesus to be the “saviour or liberator” of man that being:

IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN?

To save or liberate mankind He (Jesus) has to be at least greater in strength than man and the power that holds man in bondage, (bondage to the gods of our age, ages past and ages to come if He tarries) and, at least be equal to the power that created man in the first place. So many in our world today, even some professing “Christians” still inhabit doubts about the claim by Jesus and His disciples in the early Church and modern day disciples that He (Jesus) fits this bill of “Saviour or Liberator”.

Jesus during His ministry here on earth made statements to this effect, statements that pointed to Him as God thus greater than man, Some of these are:

“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30).

“Believest thou not that I am IN THE FATHER, and the FATHER IN ME.? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:10-11).

“Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11).

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be ONE; as THOU, FATHER, ART IN ME, and I IN THEE, that they also may be ONE IN US: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be ONE, even as WE ARE ONE” (John 17:20-22).

These claims have been refuted in ages past, is vehemently in so our age and that will be the case until the end comes. C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes the following:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”

There really is no half way in-between; either believe he is the Son of God or not.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:1-4)

 

“The Word” – LogosThe dictionary tells us that “The Word” means:

Divine reason: in Christian theology, the divine rational principle as epitomized by Jesus Christ

Christian holy scriptures: in Christianity, the Bible or Scriptures, considered as revealing divine truth

Dictionary definitions for “Logos” (Greek, “word,””reason,””ratio”):
Jesus Christ as divine wisdom: Jesus Christ, so named in St John’s Gospel, as the word of God, the personification of the wisdom of God, and divine wisdom as the means for human salvation
Word of God: the divine wisdom of the word of God

The reason why Apostle John used the phrase “The Word” to illustrate his point in this Gospel is the fact that God declares His eternal divine wisdom, intensions and purpose through His Word.

Right from the beginning of creation of the earth where the first utterance was – “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3); the psalmist said of this act of God -“For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” (Psalms 33:9):

God’s Word is sometimes spoken of metaphorically – “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” (Psa. 107:20) ( see also Psa. 147:15, 18):

God’s Word is active, dynamic, achieving its intended results “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” (Isa. 50:10-11):

His Wisdom God is personified in His Word, Wisdom tells us of His work in creation – “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.” (Proverb:8:22): The Angel of the Lord  is sometimes spoken of as God, sometimes as distinct – “And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.” (Judges 2:1):

His Name is sometimes spoken of metaphorically – “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.” (Ex. 23:20-22).

The Word is the definition, explanation and expression of God; it is God defined, explained and expressed. The Word is not separate from God; this is not a situation or condition where the “Word is the Word” and “God is God” meaning that the are separate from each other . Rather, the two are one, as can be seen in John1:1, after the statement “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God“ the phrase that follows is “and the Word was God”.

In one of our previous posts, He alone is God; And He is God alone. Parts 1 & 2: In which we looked at the attributes of God, we saw that God is Love – God’s love for us is just as and backed up by His attribute of being immutable (and His other numerous attributes) and cannot be wholly comprehended by man except through His Son Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. If God’s love cannot be comprehended by man except through Jesus then there is a capacity in Jesus that is greater than man. A.W. Tozer in “I talk back to the devil” in describing to us, the connection between God’s love and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, gives a pointer to this capacity in Jesus that is greater than man when he said:

“Brethren, it is well for us to remember that as human beings we can never know all of the Godhead. If we were capable of knowing all of the Godhead perfectly, we would be equal to the Godhead. For illustration, we know that we cannot pour an entire quart of water into a vessel which has a capacity of less than a quart. So you could never pour all of the Godhead into the experience of any being who is less than God Himself.

A similar kind of illustration was used long ago by ancient fathers in the church as they argued for the trinity of the Godhead. They pointed out that God the eternal Father is an infinite God, and He is love. The very nature of love is to give itself but the Father could not give His love fully to anyone not fully equal to Himself. Thus we have the revelation of the Son Who is equal to the Father and of the eternal Father pouring out His love into the son, who could contain it, because the Son is equal with the Father. Further, these ancient wise men reasoned, if the Father were to pour out His love into the Son, a medium of communication equal to both the Father and the Son would be required, and this was the Holy Ghost. So we have their concept of the Trinity –the ancient Father in the fullness of His love pouring Himself through the Holy Ghost who is in being equal to Him, into the Son who is in being equal to the Spirit and the Father”

We can see that the “Word is God” implies that God in His person is not made up of or having only one part or element, He is triune. Not God the Son only but a Triune God. There might be a man named John. And John might be with the man named Kennedy, and John might also be Kennedy because John is the son of Kennedy, and Kennedy is the family name. Yet they are two separate persons.

“The same was in the beginning with God“.

“In the beginning”, that is, from eternity past, the Word was with God. Contrary to what is supposed by some, it is not that Christ was not with God and was not God from eternity past, and that at a certain time Christ became God and was with God. Jesus Christ’ deity is eternal and absolute. From eternity past to eternity future. He is with God and He is God.

Speaking of Melchizedek, who Abraham met and who blessed (Genesis 14:17-24), Apostle Paul gives another clue to the immortality and eternal existence of Jesus Christ when he described Melchizedek as:

“Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually“.(Hebrews 7:3).

“but made like unto the Son of God;” If Melchizedek who is “but made like unto the Son of God;” is “Without father, without mother, without descent,” (human father and mother are inferred here) Being eternal, The Son of God has no genealogy (John 1:1). But as the Son of man Christ does have a genealogy (Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38).

Genealogy

A study of history of families and the line of descent from their ancestors. It shows a pedigree or line of descent that can be traced directly from an ancestor or earlier form, especially that of a specific person or family: it can be in the shape of a chart or table that shows the line of descent from an ancestor or earlier form, especially that of a specific person or family.

“having neither beginning of days, nor end of life;” – Then Jesus Christ being a point of reference for Melchizedek’s immortality ( to elevate a  person certain to die eventually to the state of divinity or bestow eternal life on him/her) and eternal existence; must have existed and will exist eternally.

In our next post we shall be looking at the second part of this first of three questions asked to see if Jesus is the “Saviour” and “liberator” of mankind – IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN? Meanwhile:

Prayer:

Our Father, you know the many idols in this our ever increasingly self centred world that loom before us each day – the gods of pleasure, selfishness, self-centredness, We pray that You deliver us from these gods, these false gods that will rob us of our faith, of our love for humanity. Make us fall more truly in love with the Lord Jesus who alone is the only true God, who has come to give us an understanding of ourselves and the world around us, and has come to teach us righteousness and how to love with a heart that is self-giving instead of self-serving. These things we ask, Lord, in this 21st century hour, knowing that we are exposed to the same dangers that they were in the first century, and so desperately needing your power. We ask it in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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.

 

THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER

First Begotten Son is God Part 3

THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

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.

I will first of all thank our Father in Heaven and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for restoring unto me, the unction to carry on with this work. We will in this post have a look at the first in our classifications of who Jesus Christ is with regards to His Nature, His Pre-Existence and how He fits into the eternal purpose of the Master Planner.

THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST

In looking at the nature of Christ, we will be looking later on at what our society in this 21st century is saying about Him and obviously, but firstly in the past from when he lived here on earth. One of the joys of reading through the Gospels  is the theatrics (comical in a sense) they present, most especially when Jesus Christ is perceived to be blasphemous whenever He makes statements that point to His nature and His pre-existence; one would not be wrong to guess that some of the Pharisees and Sadducees of His time actually left their house to the synagogues with stones in their pockets with the strong anticipation that there would surely be an opportunity for them to use the stones when (to them) Jesus “blasphemes” by claiming that He is God.

There were concerted efforts by the authorities of His days and even more astonishingly, the religious leaders of His people to quash His significance; some of these instances were before He died on the cross (example in John chapter 9) and just after He died when the fruits of His death at the cross of Calvary began to be manifested in His disciples:

“And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it”. Act 4:5-14

The religious leaders, in their hypocrisy decided that the trend must be stopped:

“But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done”. Act 4:15-21

Jesus Christ, during His life here on earth had to constantly tell and remind the people who He was despite all the signs and wonders that He did at the time. One would have taught that while He did all the miracles and preached the powerful word of God all over the provinces around His home town, His own people would have realised who He was but they seemed to have more doubt about Him than the outsiders:

“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief”. (Matt. 13:54-58)

“And they were offended in him” how did they become offended in Him? Matthew Henry commented:

Another thing they upbraided him with, was, the meanness of his relations; “He is the son of Mary; his brethren and sisters are here with us; we know his family and kindred;” and therefore, though they were astonished at his doctrine (v. 2), yet they were offended at his person (v. 3), were prejudiced against him, and looked upon him with contempt; and for that reason would not receive his doctrine, though ever so well recommended. May we think that if they had not known his pedigree, but he had dropped among them from the clouds, without father, without mother, and without descent, they would have entertained him with any more respect? Truly, no; for in Judea, where this was not know, that was made an objection against him (Jn. 9:29); As for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. Obstinate unbelief will never want excuses.

Mark describes how He felt about the same incidence

“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching”. Mark 6:5-6

Insomuch that they were astonished, and said, “Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?” Though astonished, they doubted His source; they doubted His source because they did not realise what the prophets had foretold them with regards to what the life of the coming Messiah would be like. If the ordinary people were not learned enough to realise this, the religious leaders definitely did as they must have seen it in the following passages of the Torah (old testament of the bible):

Genesis 3:15; Genesis 12:3; Genesis 17:19; Numbers 24:17; Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 11:10; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Ezekiel 37:24; Isaiah 9:7; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 102:25-27; Micah 5:2; Daniel 9:25; Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 72:9; 72:10, 15; Isaiah 60:3; Jeremiah 31:15; Hosea 11:1; Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1; ;Malachi 4:5-6; Psalm 2:7; Proverbs 30:4; Isaiah 9:1-2; Psalm 78:2-4; Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11; Psalm 69:9; Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah 29:18; Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 42:2-3; Isaiah 53:7; Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 49:1; Isaiah 61:1-2; Isaiah 53:12; Isaiah 59:16; Isaiah 63:14; Jeremiah 6:16; Isaiah 53:3; Isaiah 8:14; Isaiah 28:16; Psalm 118:22; Psalm 110:4; Zechariah 9:9; Malachi 3:1; Psalm 8:2; Isaiah 53:1; Zechariah 13:7; Psalm 41:9; Psalm 55:12-13; Zechariah 13:6; Zechariah 11:12; Zechariah 11:13; Psalm 35:11; Isaiah 53:7; Isaiah 50:6; Isaiah 53:5; Psalm 35:19; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 53:12; Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 22:16; Psalm 22:7-8;Psalm 69:9;Psalm 109:25; Psalm 69:21; Psalm 109:4; Isaiah 53:12; Psalm 22:17-18; Psalm 22:1; Psalm 31:5; Psalm 38:11; Psalm 34:20; Zechariah 12:10; Amos 8:9; Isaiah 53:9; Psalm 16:10; Psalm 30:3; Psalm 49:15; Psalm 118:17l; Isaiah 44:3l Joel 2:28; Isaiah 55:3-4; Jeremiah 31:31; Psalm 68:18; Psalm 110:1; Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 65:1
Please see Prophecies of Jesus Christ as Messiah for A comprehensive write-up on these prophecies and their fulfilment.One would have thought that the public debate in Israel during the days of Jesus Christ on earth (may be their “Question Time” as we have it here in England) would have been focused on most of these verses of the Torah that touched on the prophecies about the coming messiah; as there was so much agitation for the messiah that would save them from Roman oppression. While they waited in anticipation for this “emperor-like” fellow to show up, they must have neglected the faithfulness of the God of their Father Abraham, in bringing to pass some of these prophecies while Jesus was among them. If they had marked the fulfilment of each prophecy as it came to pass, they would have been led to thank and praise God for being true to His word, hence this colossal unbelief (that marvelled even Jesus Christ Himself) wouldn’t have set in.

“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them”

One could be led to think that these few sick folks that got healed could have believed but still have some doubts, because the passage tells us that unbelief was the cause of Him not doing mighty works in their midst. Not to forget that this was as I said earlier, a time that the Jews were going through oppression from the Romans and were eagerly anticipating the arrival of this ‘messiah’. These religious leaders, in instigating the people against Him, instead of actually pointing the people to what the Torah says about the coming messiah and leaving the people to make their own judgements with regards to who He really is; have a share in the blame for the people’s unbelief . As unbelief is a sin, they should have heeded Jesus’ warning:

“AND [Jesus] said to His disciples, Temptations (snares, traps set to entice to sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come! It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare to one of these little ones [[a]lowly in rank or influence]”. Luke 17:1-2 (Amp)

I want now, to go on to take a look at some of these pointers as to what the nature of the expected Messiah is and how Jesus is the Messiah. And to do this we will try to see if He fit into what a messiah should be.

The dictionary describes a “messiah” as “saviour or liberator” : somebody regarded as or claiming to be a saviour or liberator of a country, people, or the world.

“Saviour” (John 1:28-29; John 15:12-13; Romans 5:8).

To rescue somebody or something from harm or danger.

To conserve something or avoid wasting something or using something unnecessarily; protect or keep back, set aside something for later.

To collect items for later: to collect anything usually in order to do something with them later.

To spare somebody from something or from a situation or activity.

To preserve or treat something carefully or stop using it in order to keep it from being used up or worn out.

To redeem or free somebody from the consequences of sin.

“Liberator” ( Isaiah 53:12; Jeremiah 31:31; Hebrews 8:6-10)

To set free or release a person, group, population, or country from political or military control or from severe physical (also spiritual) constraint.

To set free or release a person, group, population, or country from traditional socially (also spiritual) imposed constraints such as those arising from stereotyping by race, sex, economic status, age etc.

So for Jesus to be the “saviour or liberator” of man we need to have some answers to the following questions:

a) IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN?
b) IS JESUS EQUAL WITH GOD ?
c) IS JESUS EXISTING AS GOD ?

In our next post we be looking to see the answer to the question – IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN?

Prayer:

We remember, Lord Jesus, how many times you said to your disciples, “O ye of little faith.” We hear these words again in our own hearts, Lord. Grant to us that we may have the courage to believe and to step out upon what we believe. Stir us up, Lord. Grant to us this ability to act on what we know. In Thy name, Amen.

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.

First Begotten Son is God Part 1

FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER

First Begotten Son is God Part 1

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)So far in this series of examining the book of Romans (early part of chapter 1), we have been looking at the eternal purpose of God – “The glory of God” (Romans 3:23); and “The glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). We have also looked at His plan for us and how we have (through Adam) “temporarily deviated” from the path of this plan. In our last post we looked at the consequences of Adam’s original sin (in Watchman Nee’s The Normal Christian Life).So, up to this point in our analogy of this eternal purpose, we have looked at PLAN A as described in Ephesians 1:3-6 (Please bare in mind that it was always Plan A from the beginning and so it will be for eternity); and the bridge to PLAN 1, We will now, in this post start taking a look at the “only Begotten Son” the “Tree of Life” through whom we have divine life. What a wonderful foresight the Master Planner has, to perceive that Adam’s choice could only count for disobedience and had a contingency:

eternal purpose Plan A1 fin

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PLAN A1 – The Gospel of Christ – “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself”. (Ephesians 1:7-9)

“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” (Romans 1:3-4)

Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws that govern our relationship with God. Man consists of 3 components: BODY (seat of our world-consciousness, and represents the functions of our senses – sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, pain, balance, thirst, and hunger etc: SOUL (seat of our self-consciousness and represents the functions of our will, intellect and emotions: Lastly SPIRIT (seat of our God-consciousness and represents the functions of our conscience, intuition and communion).

Now, in our last post Called to God’s Kingdom – Part 2 ALL HAVE SINNED, Watchman Nee in his book The Normal Christian Life touched on Adam’s Choice The Reason For The Cross, where he said:

Adam chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and thereby took up independent ground. In doing so he became (as man is now in his own eyes) a fully developed’ man. He could command a knowledge; he could decide for himself; he could go on or stop. From then on he was “wise” (Genesis 3:6). But the consequence for him was death rather than life, because the choice he had made involved complicity with Satan and brought him therefore under the judgment of God. That is why access to the tree of life had thereafter to be forbidden to him.

Complicity with Satan!! Someone would say!

Yes, complicity of soul and spirit, complicity that made his soul and it’s inherent power susceptible to manipulation by Satan; a complicity that set the soul at loggerheads with his spirit: In other words, a complicity that sets the functions of his will, intellect and emotions against the functions of his conscience, intuition and communion with God.

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”. (John 4:24)

The reason for this complicity Jessie Penn-Lewis articulates in chapter 7of  SOUL AND SPIRIT where she wrote:

Why can it be said that the world-conflict is becoming a question of “forces of psuche” (or soul) versus the “forces of pneuma” (or spirit). To get light on the causes underlying this, we must again go back to the Eden tragedy and see what the Fall of Adam meant, and the serpent’s objective, which is nearing its climax at the present hour. For we have not clearly understood how deep and tragic were the results of the Fall, nor what Adam carried with him into his fallen condition, nor realized that the God-given powers which Adam possessed in his sinless state lay open afterwards to the tempter.
The gilded bait held out to Eve in the temptation was “Ye shall be as God” (Genesis 3: 5). This was God’s very purpose for the sinless pair before they fell. It seems that the word ” likeness ” in Genesis 1:26 signifies to “become like”, indicating that the wonderful potentialities breathed into Adam constituting the image of God, were meant to be developed in a process which would ” end in man being like his Creator in dominion and rule over all things. How tragic, then, that God Who alone could rightly develop and guide the use of these powers, should be shut outside the wonderful being He had created, and more terrible still that the very potentialities inherent in Him should now lie open to the hand of His enemy.
Adam here (obviously not considering that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom Psalms 111:10) chose to align himself with God’s enemy by the decision he made to develop the functions of his will, intellect and emotions “APART FROM GOD” at the expense of developing the functions of his conscience, intuition and communion with God. Let us quickly look at what the dictionary tells us about these words compared with what the word of God says:

BODY

The physical structure and material substance of an animal or plant, living or dead: The trunk or main mass of a thing: the body of a tree: Anatomy, the physical structure of a human being or animal, not including the head, limbs, and tail; trunk; torso.

Flesh:
The body, esp. as distinguished from the spirit or soul: The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak: The physical or animal nature of humankind as distinguished from its moral or spiritual nature: the needs of the flesh: Humankind.

Compare with: Matt. 26:41; Luke 3:6; John 6:63; Acts 2:26; Rom. 6:19; Rom. 7:5; Rom. 7:18; Rom. 7:25; Rom. 8:1-5; 5-13; 8.23; Rom. 13:14; 1Cor. 1:29; 1Cor. 5:5; I Cor. 15.22, 23, 42-44, 51-56; 2Cor. 1:12; 2Cor. 3:3; 2Cor. 4:11; 2Cor. 7:1; 2Cor. 10:3; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3.20-21; Col:2:13; 1 Thess. 4.14-18; 1Pet. 4:2; John 2:16.

SOUL

The principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.

Will:
The faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; the power of control the mind has over its own actions: The freedom of the will: Power of choosing one’s own actions: The act or process of using or asserting one’s choice: Wish or desire: Purpose or determination, often hearty or stubborn determination; wilfulness: Volition.

Compare with: Ps.27:12; Psa. 41:2; Ezek.16:27; Deut. 21:14; Psa. 35:25; Num. 30:2; I Chron. 22:19; Jer. 44:14; Job 6:7; Job 7:15.Intellect:
The power or faculty of the mind by which one knows or understands, as distinguished from that by which one feels and that by which one wills; The understanding: The faculty of thinking and acquiring knowledge: Capacity for thinking and acquiring knowledge, esp. of a high or complex order: Mental capacity: A particular mind or intelligence, esp. of a high order: A person possessing a great capacity for thought and knowledge: Minds collectively, as of a number of persons or the persons themselves.
Compare with: Ezek. 24:25; Prov. 19:2; Psa. 13:2; Psa. 139:14; Lam. 3:20; Prov. 2:10; Prov. 3:21-22; Prov. 24:14.Emotion: 
An affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness: Any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, etc: Any strong agitation of the feelings actuated by experiencing love, hate, fear, etc., and usually accompanied by certain physiological changes, as increased heartbeat or respiration, and often overt manifestation, as crying or shaking: An instance of this: Something that causes such a reaction: the powerful emotion of a great symphony.
Compare with:
Affection- Song 1:7; Luke 1:46; Job 33:20; 2 Sam. 5:8; Zech. 11:8; Deut. 6:5; Job 10:1; Psa. 107:18.
Desire – Deut. 14:26; 1 Sam. 20:4; Psa. 84:2; Psa. 42:1; Is. 26:9.
Feeling & Sensing- Luke 2:35; I Sam. 30:6; 2 Kings 4:27; Judges 10:16; Job 19:2; Is. 61:10; Psa. 86:4; Psa. 107:5; Psa. 116:7; Psa. 119:20; Prov. 16:24; Is. 55:2; Jonah 2:7; Matt, 26:38; John 12:27; 2 Peter 2:8.

SPIRIT

The principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul; Excellent disposition or attitude in terms of vigour, courage, firmness of intent, etc.; mettle: That’s the spirit; The incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body.

Conscience:
The inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience: The complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual: An inhibiting sense of what is prudent: I’d eat another piece of pie but my conscience would bother me: Knowledge shows what is right or wrong, but it is the conscience that approves of what is right and disapproves of what is contrary to it.

Compare with: Deut. 2:30; Psa. 34:18; Psa. 51:10; John 13:21; Acts 17:16; Rom. 8:16; 1 Cor. 5:3; 2 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:7Intuition:
Direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension: A fact, truth, etc., perceived in this way: A keen and quick insight: The quality or ability of having such direct perception or quick insight: An immediate cognition of an object not inferred or determined by a previous cognition of the same object; any object or truth so discerned; pure, untaught, noninferential knowledge: The ability of the native speaker to make linguistic judgments, as of the grammaticality, ambiguity, equivalence, or nonequivalence of sentences, deriving from the speaker’s native-language competence.
Compare with: Matt. 26:41; Mark 2:8; Mark 8:12; John 11:33; Acts 18:5; Acts 18:25; Acts 20:22; 1 Cor. 2:11; I Cor. 16:18; 2 Cor. 7:13Communion:
Interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication: communion with nature: The act of sharing, or holding in common; participation: Worship
Compare with: Luke 1:47; John 4:23; Rom. 1:9; Rom. 7:6; Rom. 8:15; Rom. 8:16; I Cor. 6:17; 1 Cor. 14:15; I Cor. 14:16; Rev. 21:10.

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These three elements of man each have their own distinct level of supremacy; The spirit is highest in supremacy and the body is lowest, in other words, our SPIRIT, God-consciousness (as represented by the functions of our conscience, intuition and communion) should at all times, have supremacy over our BODY, world-consciousness (as represented by the functions of our senses – sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, pain, balance, thirst, and hunger etc): and the balance between these two is facilitated by our SOUL, self-consciousness (as represented by the functions of our will, intellect and emotions)

Now at any point in time, the spirit being most supreme should also have control over the soul which acts more or less as the middleman between it (spirit) and body; it is the communicator of authority from the Holy Spirit from man’s spirit to His body.

So if at any point in time the soul is compromised, as in complicity that made Adams soul and it’s inherent power susceptible to manipulation by Satan; then the result is the abnormality of the soul being totally subjected to and being at ease with the dictates of the flesh (body).

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”. (Galatians 5:16-25)

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting”. (Galatians 6:8).

After the fall, Adam only had the capacity to sow to the flesh, the functions of his will, intellect and emotions became totally subjected to and at the “beck and call” of his flesh – world-consciousness (as represented by the functions of his senses – sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, pain, balance, thirst, and hunger etc) and this definitely meant he then has to “of the flesh reap corruption”; because he failed to heed the waning given to him by God in Genesis 2:17:

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”

The death spoken of here by God is not physical death, but death of the spirit; it refers to a spirit separated from God; a spirit in darkness that needs the light of God to be regenerated, to come alive again – less than an empty battery that needs to be recharged to be of any use but one that needs to be born afresh. It refers to a spirit that needs fresh Life from above breathed into it. King David gave us a clue in Psalms 36:9 about the source of this fresh Light and Life:

“For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light”.

John also points us in the same direction:

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”. (John 1:9-12)

Yes!! Because, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. (John 3:6) “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (born not of the intensions of the first Adam with ulterior motives characterised by the irregularity of the functions of his will, intellect and emotions; totally subjected to and at the “beck and call” of his flesh) but –

“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth”. (John 1:13-14).

That’s right! “Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” Jesus, The Only Begotten Son of God came in the form of man to right the wrongs of Adam’s choice. Now this is the crux; there is always that lingering thought in the inner recess of the mind that questions this idea of Jesus being The Son of God.

Being brought up as a Muslim, this was one of the hurdles I had to cross; a great number of professing “Christians” have also passively bypassed their own personal opinions on the matter. Charles Spurgeon in GOD’S WORD NOT TO BE REFUSED touched on this:

But there are some who do hear, and have a very intelligent idea of what they hear, but who actually refuse to believe it. For divers reasons best known to themselves they reject the testimony of the incarnate God. They hear that God the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and he hath borne testimony that whosoever believeth in him is not condemned. They know but they will not believe in him. They will give you first one excuse, and then another, but all the excuses put together will never mitigate the fact that they do not believe the testimony of God concerning his Son, Jesus Christ, and so they “refuse him that speaketh.” How many, how many here are by their unbelief refusing the Christ that speaks out of heaven?
Some are even offended at the gospel, as in Christ’s day. When he came to a tender point in his preaching they went back and walked no more with him. Such there are to be found in our assemblies. The gospel galls them; there is some point that touches their prejudices, something that touches their favourite sin, and they are vexed and irritable. They ought to be angry–angry with their sin–but they are angry with Christ instead. They ought to denounce themselves, and patiently seek mercy, but this is not palatable to them; they would rather denounce the preacher, or denounce the preacher’s Master.
In our next post, we will continue our deliberation on this subject of Jesus being the only begotten Son of God.

Meanwhile:
Heavenly Father, in the light of Your countenance is life; and You favour is like the cloud of the latter rain (Prov. 16:15); we pray that You will let this rain of Your unadulterated Word and The Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; of grace and mercy through Him and Salvation by Him countinue to fall bountifully and mightily upon our world: And daily bring Holy spirit inspired conviction and repentance upon our heart – Amen
 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.

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.