Eternal Life: God’s Gift

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For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

At the end of every month, I draw a salary from my employer for work done. That salary is my wages. I have earned it because I worked for it. My employer is not doing me a favour by paying me a salary. My salary is my reward for my service.

However, should I not be an employee of an organisation or provided a service, yet, I draw a remuneration from that organisation, it ceases to be something I deserve. It simply becomes a favour or a gift.

Nobody deserves a gift. It is given solely by the discretion of the giver.

There is, as we have seen, a clear distinction between wages and a gift. Scripture tells us death is the wages we receive for sin. It means that we deserve death. It is our wages. It is what is due us for sinning. We don’t die simply because we are human beings. Death was introduced into the human race because of sin. In the garden of Eden, our first parents disobeyed God and brought death, the consequences of their disobedience, upon the human race.

What this means is that every human being that walks the surface of the earth is a sinner deserving to die. We sin everyday reaping the wages for sin—death; not only physical death—but spiritual death separating sinners from God now and eternally.

But in contrast to what we deserve, that is, death, God extended a gift towards us. A gift which we don’t deserve and have not worked for. Instead of death, God has extended life to us freely. He sent Christ to come and die to reverse the effect of separation between sinners and God. Christ’s death was a gift to the world to be reconciled to God now and eternally. In Christ Jesus, God has made a way of escape from the death we deserve.

God has offered us a gift of salvation through Christ which if we receive in faith, reconciles us to Himself and gives us eternal life.

Flee From False Teachers

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I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel (Galatians 1:6).

Apostolic Astonishment! Paul is astonished the gospel was being messed with and people buying into the mess. Today, we must express this same astonishment. But no. The masses lack discernment. Anything cladded in Christian jargon gets their attention. They revere false teachers and their false gospels. They are their favourite.

Just as in Paul’s day, many today are walking away from the grace of God to establish their own righteousness by their works.

The gospel is simple: Christ “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age” (Galatians 1:4). In our day, people are offended to be told they are sinners. “Life is already hard. Don’t complicate it by telling people they are sinners. No one wants to hear such discouraging words” we are told. So in the stead of this basic fact of human existence and Christian doctrine, all manner of self-help, humanistic thoughts are passing for gospel. Paul will further say, “even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:9) .

Admirably, Paul places himself under the same scrutiny he expects the Galatians to have towards teachers. Even if he himself preaches under gospel, he stands accursed—throw him out. There are many so called gospels out there which are no gospels at all. Paul was clear on that: “not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7).

Anyone who doesn’t preach the true gospel or distorts it is troubling you. They are jeopardizing your soul. From such flee.

A Christian WhatsApp Group Conversation On Wealth Part Two

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Yesterday, I began a series, A Christian WhatsApp Group Conversation On Wealth, where I shared a group conversation on wealth. You can read the first part here. The conversation was primarily on whether God has a covenant of wealth with Christians.

I ended the previous article by mentioning Rich’s (not his real name) posting of Matthew 6:33 as a proof text for evidence of a covenant of wealth. To this I responded: Read Matthew 6 again. If what you see there is wealth and riches, you are not reading well. The message in Matthew 6:33 is not wealth and riches. It is contentment. It is teaching against anxiety: “Therefore I tell you, _do not be anxious_ about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. _Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?_ Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:25-26).

I further told Rich to read v33 together with v34: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. You see, the theme that runs through the text is a command against anxiety.

After these, I asked Rich to kindly point out to me where  he sees wealth and riches in Matthew 6:33. To this he responded: “We need the wealth to buy our drinks, raiment, what we will eat etc (all other things)”. That answer stunned me. “If wealth is for food, clothing and shelter, then your idea of wealth is really shallow”, I responded to him.

A number of conversations followed afterwards.

But, for the sake of brevity, I want to state that the reason for sharing these conversations is to point out the many erroneous teachings  being propagated as Christian gospel. The gospel is simply the death and resurrection of Christ for the salvation of sinners. When we lose focus of this, all other things doesn’t matter.

A Christian WhatsApp Group Coversation On wealth

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I administer a whatsapp group called Total Life..This afternoon, one group member–I will call Diana (not her real name)  posted some thoughts generating some discussions. She wrote:

God will make you so wealthy this year to confirm His Covenant. His name and intergrity is at stake concerning you this year…Wealth is available for you in every Land. Receive the POWER to take your portion of the Wealth of the Nations….Wealth must produce Health. Eat good food, drink good water, wear good clothes, drive a good car and rest on a good bed…Wealth is a blessing from God. Ask God for Wealth and by His power bring every satanic resistence to your wealth…Any habit or character repelling wealth is broken over your life right now in Jesus name. Amen and Amen…This year any witch, wizard, occult or wicked man or woman that must die for Wealth manifestation dies now in Jesus name. Amen and Amen…From the North, South, West and East Wealth would flow to you now in Jesus name. Amen and Amen

If you know anything about Charismatic and Word of Faith teachings, they believe included in the Christian message is a covenant of wealth, riches and health. And that is clearly seen in the first line of the words aforementioned: “God will make you so wealthy this year to confirm His covenant”. This is what some actually believe as Christianity.  I (Enoch) responded to that message by saying:

“One doesn’t need to be a Christian to be wealthy. The main reason Christ came to die is to save us from sin and eternal punishment. He has no covenant of wealth with anybody. It is a covenant of grace where sinners are made rigtheous through faith and delivered from the bondage of sin to show forth his praise through holy living. If God has a covenant of wealth with us, then all believers who are not wealthy may be doing something wrong. God bestows his common grace on all people. He makes the rain fall on both the rigtheous and wicked. There are principles out there which if both Christian and non-Christian apply, they may have wealth”

In agreement, another group member (I will call John (not his real name) added: Christ did not come to redeem us from financial burdens but procure our salvation from sin. Wealth creation/possession are based on principles and not faith in/through Christ. 

Diana retorted: “Wealth and riches is part of the kingdom … Kingdom riches for kingdom impact. He has the hidden treasures and He give it to His children. Seek Him first and all other things shall be added., Riches inclusive …. We preach Jesus to the hungry when he needs food to concentrate in the first place and you still want to rule out wealth….. Christianity is not poverty my Brothers. I recieve wealth and pass on to my generations to come. In JESUS name. They will dominate in the pyhsical and in the supernatural. Kingdom riches for kingdom impact”

These are some of the well rehearsed cliches of Charismatism and Word of Faith movement. They always claim they want wealth to make impact for the kingdom.

I responded to her last statement saying,”Wealth and riches is what all of us want. It is our natural conditioning. That is why it appeals to us when we attach Christianity to that natural innate desire to make it in life. I want to make a living so if you tell me Christianity will give me money, it will appeal to my natural desires. But does Christianity promise us wealth and riches? If wealth and riches is a Christian message, then the apostles were the most miserable or they didn’t understand the gospel. The Bible actually condemns this attachment of wealth and riches to Christianity. Many of us have not really given thoughtful biblical consideration to this prosperity preaching all around. The Bible describes those who think wealth and riches is Christianity as “…depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain” (1Timothy 6:5)

Clearly, the desire for wealth and riches mimics a love for money which many people will argue. But that is the truth. If you want to be rich so much, you love money. Paul continues: “those who desire to be rich fall into temptation , into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1Timothy 6:9-10)”.

I got a counter response from Diana: “Our God understand Beauty,Wealth ,Riches and as His child I will not be different. Heaven is a display of Riches. Gold. Diamond. Infact we should be rich. Having allowed our position to be taken by the world does not mean it’s the Norm. There are clear principle governing wealth for any believer to part take. Ruling out riches is a trick of the enemy. It’s time we wake up… Our desire is not money. Our desire is the Lord God Almighty..Riches is a bonus we are entitled to

Other group members joined in the conversation with a number of follow up questions. Paul (not his real name) asked;”can a christian be poor?” I must admit I knew the answer which will be given: “it is a choice” but I waited for the question to be answered. I was not wrong when the reply came from Diana. She responded: “Ecc 10: 5-7… It’s a choice and an error…” Seth responded : “That’s a wrong approach to scripture. Which of the Apostles were rich pls?

That’s a good question isn’t it? This idea of Christianity and wealth is so alien to Biblical Christianity  you wonder how people believe it. In answering to the question about the Apostles, Diana laughed—“Hahahahahahahaa. My King is rich. I cant be poor…” Rich (not his real name) showed up with a text—Matthew 6:33 in support of Diana. That triggered a whole line of discussion I will post as Part 2 of this.

 

 

Bible Reading Plans For 2017

Many Christians take the beginning of a new year to evaluate their Bible reading habits, and then change or begin a Bible reading plan.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you to choose from. Maybe in 2017 you will read more of the Bible each day. Perhaps you’ll slow down your reading and instead spend more time considering what you read. Whatever it is you’re looking for in a reading plan, you should find it below:

5 Day Bible Reading Program

Read through the Bible in a year, with readings five days a week.

Duration: One Year | Download:PDF


52 Week Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in a year, with each day of the week dedicated to a different genre: Epistles, The Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, and Gospels.

Duration: One year | Download:PDF


5x5x5 Bible Reading Plan

Read through the New Testament in a year, reading Monday to Friday. Weekends are set aside for reflection and other reading. Especially beneficial if you’re new to a daily discipline of Bible reading.

Duration: One year | Download:PDF


A Bible Reading Chart

Read through the Bible at your own pace. Use this minimalistic, yet beautifully designed, chart to track your reading throughout the year.

Duration: Flexible | Download:PDF


Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Read through the Bible in the order the events occurred chronologically.

Duration: One year | Download:PDF


The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

Four daily readings beginning in Genesis, Psalms, Matthew and Acts.

Duration: One year | Download:PDF


ESV Daily Bible Reading Plan

Four daily readings taken from four lists: Psalms and Wisdom Literature, Pentateuch and History of Israel, Chronicles and Prophets, and Gospels and Epistles.

Duration: One year | Download:PDF


Every Word in the Bible

Read through the Bible one chapter at a time. Readings alternate between the Old and New Testaments.

Duration: Three years | Download: PDF


Historical Bible Reading Plan

The Old Testament readings are similar to Israel’s Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament readings are an attempt to follow the order in which the books were authored.

Duration: One year | Download:PDF


An In Depth Study of Matthew

A year long study in the Gospel of Matthew from Tabletalk magazine and R.C. Sproul.

Duration: One year | App:Accessible on YouVersion. Download the app.


Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System

Reading ten chapters a day, in the course of a year you’ll read the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters four to five times, the Old Testament wisdom literature six times, the Psalms at least twice, Proverbs and Acts a dozen times, and the OT History and Prophetic books about one and a half times.

Duration: Ongoing | Download:PDF


Robert Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan

Read the New Testament and Psalms twice and the Old Testament once.

Duration: One or two years | Download: Website


Straight Through the Bible Reading Plan

Read straight through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

Duration: One year | Download:PDF


Tabletalk Bible Reading Plan

Two readings each day; one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.

Duration: One year | Download:PDF

App: Accessible in the Ligonier App (iPhone / iPadAndroid, Kindle Fire& Windows Phone) and YouVersion.


The Legacy Reading Plan

This plan does not have set readings for each day. Instead, it has set books for each month, and set number of Proverbs and Psalms to read each week. It aims to give you more flexibility, while grounding you in specific books of the Bible each month.

Duration: One year | Download:PDF


Two-Year Bible Reading Plan

Read the Old and New Testaments once, and Psalms & Proverbs four times.

Duration: Two years | Download:PDF


Have you struggled to read through the entire Bible? R.C. Sproul’s basic overview of the Bible may help you.

In addition to your daily Bible reading, consider reading Tabletalkmagazine for daily Bible studies to help you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living. Sign up for a free 3-month trial.

4 Christian Principles For Making New Year’s Resolutions

 

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It seems that every new year, we are caught up in a whirlwind of well-intentioned resolutions. With premeditated bursts of enthusiasm, those closest to us begin to take part in peculiar, and sometimes public activities that even cause neighborhood children to look puzzled. We find ourselves bearing witness to surprising edicts and seemingly self-conscious new year’s manifestos whereupon we are summoned to behold what sweeping changes may come—resolutions for impending dispositions, impossible diets, and impenetrable fortresses of discipline.

The skeptical observer may inquire: “Is all this fervor really necessary?” Moreover, the cynical reader may ask: “Is it even appropriate to make resolutions? After all, shouldn’t we at all times and all seasons seek to live wisely, obediently, and biblically?”

Some may even go so far as to argue that resolutions themselves are not biblical based on the fact that the Word of God itself provides us with a complete and authoritative compilation of God’s resolutions for His people. To manufacture our own list of resolutions, they would argue, is superfluous at best.

These are the sorts of questions I have always considered when it comes to this whole business of making resolutions, and I have a hunch that many of my fellow biblically-informed skeptics also ponder such questions. Nevertheless, the Word of God gives us not only permission to make resolutions, it gives us good reasons for doing so. Various biblical passages seem to provide us with reasons for resolutions and examples of men of God who resolved to live for Him in a particular manner for a particular reason (Dan. 1:8Matt. 1:19Acts 19:211 Cor. 10:14–32Col. 3:12–172 Thess. 1:11). As such, in considering how to glorify God in all that we do in our particular circumstances and callings, we would be wise to resolve to make particular resolutions to assist us in our sanctification. This we do by the power of the Holy Spirit, resting assured that we have been declared righteous by the Father because of the completed righteousness of the Son.

The nineteen-year-old Jonathan Edwards knew his weaknesses and was aware of the destructive nature of his sin, so he resolved to make and keep certain resolutions in his effort to live for God’s glory. He helped pave the way for us all as he prefaced his seventy resolutions with these words:

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.

These simple, introductory words of Edwards not only provide us with a glimpse into the mind of one of history’s greatest minds, they provide us with a glorious insight into the heart of a young man whose heart had been humbled and mastered by the Lord God Almighty. We would therefore do well to consider Edwards’ prefatory remarks as we seek to glorify God and enjoy Him forever in our churches, our homes, and our hearts.

Resolving Sensibly

Being sensible,” Edwards begins his preface—we must be sensible, reasonable, in making resolutions. If we set ourselves about the business of hastily making resolutions as the result of our grand illusions of sinless perfection, it is likely that we will not merely fail in our attempt to keep such resolutions, we will likely be less inclined to make any further resolutions for similar desired ends. We must go about making resolutions with genuine prayer and thorough study of God’s Word. Our resolutions must be in accord with the Word of God; therefore, any resolution we make must necessarily allow us to fulfill all our particular callings in life. We must consider all the implications of our resolutions and be careful to make resolutions with others in mind, even if it means implementing new resolutions incrementally over time.

Resolving Dependently

I am unable to do anything without God’s help,” Edwards admits. We must be sensible in grasping the simple truth that every resolution must be made in dependence on God. And while every Christian would respond by saying, “Well, of course we must depend on God for all things,” most Christians have been sold the world’s bill of goods. They think that once they become dependent on God, then they will have immediate strength. They mimic the world’s mantra: “Whatever doesn’t kill me will make me stronger.” While the principle is generally true, such thinking can foster an attitude of proud independence. We must understand that in being able to do all things through Christ who strengthens us means that we must depend on His strength continuously in order to do all things and to keep all our resolutions (Eph. 3:16Col. 1:11). In truth, whatever doesn’t kill us, by God’s conforming grace, makes us weak so that in our weakness we will rely continuously on the strength of our Lord (2 Cor. 12:7–10).

Resolving Humbly

I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these resolutions.” In making resolutions for the glory of God and before the face of God, we must not come into His presence pounding our chests in triumphal arrogance as if God must now love and bless us more because we have made certain resolutions to follow Him more. In reality, the Lord in His providence may choose to allow even more trials to enter our lives; in His unchanging fatherly love for us, He may decide to discipline us even more in order that we might more so detest our sin and delight in Him. We should approach Him in humble reliance on His grace as we seek not merely the blessings but the one who blesses.

Resolving For Christ’s Sake

So far as they are agreeable to his will for Christ’s sake.” We cannot resolve to do anything with a presumptuous attitude before God. The whole matter of making resolutions is not just goal setting so that we might have happier lives. We are called by God to live according to His will, not our own—for Christ’s sake, not our own—for it is not unto us but unto Him that all glory belongs (Ps. 115:1)

Source: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/4-christian-principles-making-new-years-resolutions/

Who Is Jesus Christ?

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In a week away, we will be celebrating Christmas; a day Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus. Christians are divided on whether to celebrate Christmas or not. The debate ranges from whether He was born on 25th December and also of the pagan origins of Christmas. Inspite of these many disagreements , however, one point of agreement between believers is that Jesus did live as a historical figure–He was born. To answer the question who is Jesus Christ? we must admit there are a phletora of opinions about who Jesus is and those opinions can be right or wrong. R.C Sproul, in the The Ligonier Statement on Christology, opens with these words: “Nearly every adult person has formed some opinion of Jesus. These opinions may be superficial, uninformed, or downright heretical. The truth about Jesus, not mere opinion, matters…and it matters eternally”.

Who Is Jesus?

I will here turn to John Chapter One to address the person of Jesus. The book of John as a gospel differs in many ways from the synoptic gospel . John’s gospel relates to us the life, teachings and miracles of Jesus—and people’s response; just as the other gospels. However, John does this with theological depths the other gospels didn’t. As you read through John’s gospel, you continuously see themes of Jesus’ divinity scattered all over the pages of his gospel though at the same time, He was fully human. J.C. Ryle rightly commented:

The Gospel of John… is in many respects very unlike the other three Gospels. It contains many things which they omit. It omits many things which they contain… The things which are peculiar to his Gospel are among the most precious possessions of the Church of Christ. No one of the four Gospel-writers has given us such full statements about the divinity of Christ — about justification by faith — about the offices of Christ — about the work of the Holy Spirit — and about the privileges of believers, believers, as we read in the pages of John. On none of these great subjects, undoubtedly, have Matthew, Mark, and Luke been silent. But in John’s Gospel, they stand out prominently on the surface, so that he who runs may read” [1]

The Testimony Of John’s Gospel About Jesus

He Is God

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God (vv.1-2).

Jesus didn’t begin to exist at a certain period in history. Neither was He created. Christ is eternal. He transcends time and history. John designates Christ as the Word in his opening statements: “In the beginning was the Word…” (vv.1-2). This speaks of the pre-existence of Christ before Creation. “In the beginning [He] was….” Before creation, Christ existed: “…he is before all things…”(Colossians 1:17 see also John 8:56-57). Now, John doesn’t only tell us of the eternal and pre-existence of Christ. He also spoke of the divinity of Christ–Christ is God: “…the Word was God”(v.1). This clearly speaks of the divinity of Christ. He is God. In Christ the words  “Immanuel” (which means, God with us) (Matthew 1:23) is fulfilled. Again in John 8:57, Jesus used the title by which God revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush–I Am: “before Abraham was, I am.” “”Here Jesus declared Himself to be Yahweh, i.e., the Lord of the OT. [2]

He Is The Second Person Of The Trinity (Son of God).

…and the Word was with God (v.1a).

In John 1:1, we notice Jesus was not alone. The word was with ‘Somebody’ and that person we are told was God. Further, we are told Jesus shares attributes with that person, i.e., He Jesus was God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This is the heart of the great historic doctrine of the Trinity [3]. Scripture reveals God to us as One being in three persons; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit: “Within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”. [4] In Matthew 3:16-17, we see a full revelation of the Trinity when Jesus was baptised. We are told the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove with a Voice from heaven saying this is my beloved Son. Clearly, the eternal union of God the Father with God the Son is captured in the words: “He was in the beginning with God” (v.2). In John 17:5, Christ spoke of the glory He had with the Father before the world existed.

He Is The Creator

All things were made through him…(v.3a).

All of Creation owes its existence to Christ: “…without him was not anything made that was made (v. 3b)” He is the King of kings and Lord of Lord’s over all of life. Nothing exists outside of the creative work of Christ: “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). When we trace our path back to the beginning of the Bible, we are told “In the beginning God created…”. Looking at this in light of John’s words, we see Christ as the Creator.

He Is Life And Light Of The World

In him was life and the life was the light of men (v.4).

As the Creator, all lives take their source from Christ. Without Christ, no one has life. Paul says in Acts 17:28 that “In him we live and move and have our being”. This depicts Christ as the Sustainer of all lives. “He upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). Christ is both the natural source of life and the spiritual source. Spiritually, all human beings, without a saving knowledge of Christ are in darkness, that is, living in sin and separated from God. This interprets to mean they are dead without light. But Christ gives life which dispels darkness and brings light into the life of anyone who comes to Him in faith.

In v.10, we are told “He was in the the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him” (v.10). The question is, “Why”?  It is because the world is dead spiritually and separated from God. Paul says in 1Corinthians 2:14 that “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned”. To know Christ and receive Him requires a spiritual work. One has to be regenerated by the spirit to come in faith. When this happens, we are brought into God’s family by faith in Christ: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (vv.12-13).

He Is The God-Man

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 (v.14).

Core to Christian beliefs is the virgin birth of Christ. He “was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary” Perhaps, done of the most contested doctrine of Christianity is the nature of Christ —his divinity and humanity ‘fused’ together in One person called–hypostatic union (see also Historic Heresies Relating To The Nature of Jesus). Jesus is fully God and fully human. God took on human flesh in Jesus Christ. He became the God-man among His creation: He “dwelt among us”. He became man and lived among His own people (1John 1:1-2).

God walked among humanity in Christ and manifested His glory: “we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son” God’s glory—the radiance of His majesty and power was revealed through Christ. “The Son, the Word–who is eternally with the Father, face to face with him, gazing upon and enjoying the glory that emanates from him– has now become flesh in our fallen world”.[6]

When Jesus was born, we are told “an angel of the Lord appeared to [shepherds watching over their flocks by night], and the glory of the Lord shone around them” (Luke 2:9).

Jesus is superior over all others and the book of Hebrews describes Him as “…the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature”(Hebrews 1:3). In His glory, Christ reveals to us “grace and truth”. His coming to earth was to show us the grace of God towards humanity and lead us into the truth of God’s word.

He Is The Lamb Of God

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!(v.29).

Here is one of the most important truths to know about Christ. He is the Lamb of God. The Jewish reader will immediately understand what John The Baptist was saying when he described Christ as the Lamb of God. In Old Testament rituals, the Lamb without blemish was used to atone temporarily, for the sins of God’s people (Exodus 12:3, Leviticus 3:7). Now the rituals of the Old Testament pointed to a better sacrifice for sins because as the Hebrew writer will say: “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). The efficacy in the blood of bulls and goats was powerless to do away with sin once and for all. But Christ, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”(John 1:29) offered an acceptable sacrifice to God for the atonement of sin once for all (Hebrews 10:10). Christ is God’s acceptable sacrifice for sin.

He Baptises With The Holy Spirit

So far, our attention has been on the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. But all of God’s revelation of Himself is Trinitarian. So here in John 1, John doesn’t leave us without telling us of the Holy Spirit through the words of John the Baptist: “…He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit” ( John 1:33). Jesus baptises us with the Holy Spirit. This means, when we come to faith in Him, He gives us the gift promised by the Father. Without the Holy Spirit, no one can be a believer (Romans 8:9). And the Holy Spirit joins us in union with the Godhead.

These are not exhaustive statements about Christ. But I believe these are basic stepping stones to an in-depth study of Christology–the doctrine of Christ.

Notes:

  1. J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Kindle Edition).
  2. John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible. Notes on John 8:58 (Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2006, Kindle Edition).
  3. John Piper, In The Beginning Was The Word (online article Read here).
  4. James R. White, The Forgotten Trinity, (Bethany House Publishers, 2012, Kindle Edition).
  5. Sinclair B. Ferguson, Child In The Manger (Edinburgh, Banner of Truth, 2016) Pg.35