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#1--The Mocking of Christ_Otto Lange_advent_feed

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. – (Colossians 2: 9-12, NIV)

The Bible teaches that Jesus is fully God and fully man. Our God is one in essence but three individual persons. All three person equally divine make up the one true God. They form a perfect community of love and relationship in eternity past and for the eternal future. These three are know as the Godhead (Deity) in the old King James version of the Bible. God the Father was pleased to make all of the fullness of the Godhead to be known in his son Jesus. The Holy Spirit was given to mankind to reveal Jesus Christ and to empower his church. The incarnation of the Son of God clearly shows God’s compassion for his creation. He sent his Son to rescue us from sin and to live life among us, so that he could experience the pain of mankind while living a sinless life. Jesus was anointed (empowered) by the Holy Spirit to carry out the Fathers plan to redeem mankind from this fallen, sin-sick world. And to bring us back into the family of God. All humans are image bearers of God. But after the fall of mankind, through the sin of Adam and Eve, we became separated from God. The New Testament is clear that trusting in Jesus is the only way back into a right relationship with God. We see the Trinitarian God at work in the following verse:

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – “the Son of God. – Luke 1:35

Jesus is God’s only Son, born of a virgin, impregnated by the Holy Spirit. The verse above clearly shows Jesus as both human and Divine. Most of the time when the word for God (Theos) is used in the New Testament, it refers to God the Father. But, it is also used for Jesus Christ. John 1:1;1:18; Romans 9:5; Titus 2;13; Hebrews 1:8; 2 Peter 1:1.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:1,14

“No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” – John 1:18

“Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” – John 20:27-28

“To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 9:5

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” – Phil. 2:5-7

“….waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” – Titus 2:13

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and h the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” – Heb. 1:3-4

” But of the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

And,

“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands” – Heb. 1:8,10

“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained a a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” – 2 Pet.1:1

The Apostles clearly presents Jesus as “our God and Savior.”

“Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet’?

If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. – Matt. 22:41 – 46

Jesus clearly proclaimed his Deity to the Pharisees in the verses above.  Wayne Grudem explains,” Jesus also identifies himself as the sovereign Lord of the Old Testament when he ask the Pharisees about Psalm 110:1, “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet” (Matt. 22:44). The force of this statement is that “God the Father said to God the Son [David’s Lord], ‘Sit at my right hand….” The Pharisees know he is talking about himself and identifying himself as one worthy of the Old Testament title kyrios, “Lord.” (1)

“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.” – Heb. 1:10-12

Wayne Grudem says, “Here Christ is explicitly spoken of as the eternal Lord of heaven and earth who created all things and will remain the same forever. Such strong usage of the term “Lord” to refer to Christ culminates in Revelation 19:16, where we see Christ returning as conquering King, and “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords.” (2)

The Pharisees said to Jesus:

“Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, a I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. – John 8:53 – 59

Occasionally I talk with people who attend Church or are of another religion who don’t believe that Jesus is God. Jesus clearly claimed to be God. The Jews killed him because of his claim of Deity. The bottom line is that we have no Christianity if Jesus is not fully God and fully man. You can’t say Jesus is just a good man, prophet or great teacher: He’s either God or a liar. I believe he’s God.

I like the following description of Jesus from Richard Bauckham:

“Jesus of Nazareth, or Jesus Christ (as Christians call him), is undoubtedly the best known and influential human person in world history. Two billion people today identify themselves as Christians, with the implication that Jesus is the focus of their relationship to God and of their way of living in the world. Such followers of Jesus are now more numerous and make up a greater proportion of the world’s population than ever before. It is estimated that they are increasing by some 70,000 persons every day. This growth of Christianity is talking place despite its decline in the West, especially in Western Europe, and those who think the figure of Jesus Christ is of fading significance need to reckon with the astonishingly rapid increase in numbers of Christian believers in other parts of the world, such as Africa and (who would have expected it?) China. Jesus is plainly no longer an icon purely of Western culture, but in fact he never was. He lived in the Middle East, and in the first few centuries of Christianity the faith spread in all directions – not only to Greece and Rome, France and Spain, but also Egypt, North Africa, and Ethiopia, to Turkey and Armenia, to Iraq, Persia, and India. Christianity was a world religion long before it was a European one.” (3)

Sources:

(1) Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, page 545.)
(2) ibid.
(3) Richard Bauckham, Jesus A Very Short Introduction, Page 1

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