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Category Archives: Christology (The study of Jesus Christ)

The word “Christology” comes from the two Greek words: Christos – meaning “anointed one,” and logos – meaning “study.” Christology is essentially the study of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.

354 Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

“Behold, I have come: in the volume of the scroll it is written of me” (Psalm 40:7).

“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).

“…all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Jesus Christ, Luke 24:44).

“For if you believed Moses, you would have believed me: for he wrote of me.” (Jesus Christ, John 5:46).

“To Him give all the prophets witness” (Acts 10:43).

Scripture/ Prophecy/ Fulfillment

1. Gen. 3:15 – Seed of a woman (virgin birth)-  Gal. 4:4-5, Matt. 1:18

2. Gen. 3:15 – He will bruise Satan’s head – Heb. 2:14, 1 Jn 3:8

3. Gen. 3:15 – Christ’s heel would be bruised with nails on the cross – Matt. 27:35, Lk 24:39-40

4. Gen. 5:24 – The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated – Mark 16:19

5. Gen. 9:26, 27 – The God of Shem will be the Son of Shem – Luke 3:36

6. Gen. 12:3 – Seed of Abraham will bless all nations – Gal. 3:8, Acts 3:25, 26

7. Gen. 12:7 – The Promise made to Abraham’s Seed – Galatians 3:16

8. Gen. 14:18 – A priest after the order of Melchizedek – Hebrews 6:20

9. Gen. 14:18 – King of Peace and Righteousness – Hebrews 7:2

10. Gen. 14:18 – The Last Supper foreshadowed – Matthew 26:26-29

11. Gen. 17:19 – Seed of Isaac (Gen. 21:12) – Romans 9:7

12. Gen. 22:8 – The Lamb of God promised – John 1:29

13. Gen. 22:18 – As Isaac’s seed, will bless all nations – Galatians 3:16

14. Gen. 26:2-5 – The Seed of Isaac promised as the Redeemer – Hebrews 11:18

15. Gen. 28:12 –  The Bridge to heaven – John 1:51

16. Gen. 28:14 – The Seed of Jacob – Luke 3:34

17. Gen. 49:10 – The time of His coming – Luke 2:1-7; Galatians 4:4

18. Gen. 49:10 – The Seed of Judah – Luke 3:33

19. Gen. 49:10 – Called Shiloh or One Sent – John 17:3

20. Gen. 49:10 – Messiah to come before Judah lost identity – John 11:47-52

21. Gen. 49:10 – Unto Him shall the obedience of the people be – John 10:16

22. Ex. 3:13-15 – The Great “I AM” – John 4:26, 8:58

23. Ex. 12:3-6 – The Lamb presented to Israel 4 days before Passover – Mark 11:7-11

24. Ex. 12:5 – A Lamb without blemish – Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19

25. Ex. 12:13 – The blood of the Lamb saves from wrath – Romans 5:8

26. Ex. 12:21-27 – Christ is our Passover – 1 Corinthians 5:7

27. Ex. 12:46 – Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken – John 19:31-36

28. Ex. 15:2 – His exaltation predicted as Yeshua – Acts 7:55, 56

29. Ex. 15:11 – His Character-Holiness – Luke 1:35; Acts 4:27

30. Ex. 17:6 – The Spiritual Rock of Israel – 1 Corinthians 10:4

31. Ex. 33:19 – His Character-Merciful – Luke 1:72

32. Lev. 1:2-9 – His sacrifice a sweet smelling savor unto God – Eph. 5:2

33. Lev. 14:11 – The leper cleansed-Sign to priesthood – Luke 5:12-14; Acts 6:7

34. Lev. 16:15-17 – Prefigures Christ’s once-for-all death – Hebrews 9:7-14

35. Lev. 16:27 – Suffering outside the Camp – Matthew 27:33; Heb. 13:11, 12

36. Lev. 17:11 – The Blood-the life of the flesh – Matthew 26:28; Mark 10:45

37. Lev. 17:11 – It is the blood that makes atonement – Rom. 3:23-24; 1John 1:7

38. Lev. 23:36-37 – The Drink-offering: “If any man thirst”-  John 7:37

39. Num. 9:12 – Not a bone of Him broken – John 19:31-36

40. Num. 21:9 – The serpent on a pole-Christ lifted up – John 3:14-18, 12:32

41. Num. 24:17 –  Time: “I shall see him, but not now.”-  John 1:14; Galatians 4:4

42. Deut. 18:15 – “This is of a truth that prophet.” – John 6:14

43. Deut. 18:15-16 – “Had ye believed Moses, ye would believe me.” – John 5:45-47

44. Deut. 18:18 – Sent by the Father to speak His word – John 8:28, 29

45. Deut. 18:19 – Whoever will not hear must bear his sin – Acts 3:22-23

46. Deut. 21:23 – Cursed is he that hangs on a tree – Galatians 3:10-13

47. Joshua 5:14-15 – The Captain of our salvation – Hebrews 2:10

48. Ruth 4:4-10 – Christ, our kinsman, has redeemed us – Ephesians 1:3-7

49. 1 Sam. 2:35 – A Faithful Priest – Heb. 2:17, 3:1-3, 6, 7:24-25

50. 1 Sam. 2:10 – Shall be an anointed King to the Lord – Mt. 28:18, John 12:15

51. 2 Sam. 7:12 – David’s Seed – Matthew 1:1

52. 2 Sam. 7:13 – His Kingdom is everlasting – 2 Peter 1:11

53. 2 Sam. 7:14a – The Son of God – Luke 1:32, Romans 1:3-4

54. 2 Sam. 7:16 –  David’s house established forever – Luke 3:31; Rev. 22:16

55. 2 Ki. 2:11 – The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated – Luke 24:51

56. 1 Chr. 17:11 – David’s Seed – Matthew 1:1, 9:27

57. 1 Chr. 17:12-13 – To reign on David’s throne forever – Luke 1:32, 33

58. 1 Chr. 17:13 – “I will be His Father, He…my Son.” – Hebrews 1:5

59. Job 9:32-33 – Mediator between man and God – 1 Timothy 2:5

60. Job 19:23-27 – The Resurrection predicted – John 5:24-29

61. Psa. 2:1-3 – The enmity of kings foreordained – Acts 4:25-28

62. Psa. 2:2 – To own the title, Anointed (Christ) – Jn. 1:41, Acts 2:36

63. Psa. 2:6 – His Character-Holiness – John 8:46; Revelation 3:7

64. Psa. 2:6 – To own the title King – Matthew 2:2

65. Psa. 2:7 – Declared the Beloved Son – Matthew 3:17, Romans 1:4

66. Psa. 2:7, 8 The Crucifixion and Resurrection intimated Acts 13:29-33

67. Psa. 2:8, 9 – Rule the nations with a rod of iron – Rev. 2:27, 12:5, 19:15

68. Psa. 2:12 – Life comes through faith in Him – John 20:31

69. Psa. 8:2 – The mouths of babes perfect His praise – Matthew 21:16

70. Psa. 8:5, 6 – His humiliation and exaltation – Hebrews 2:5-9

71. Psa. 9:7-10 – Judge the world in righteousness – Acts 17:31

72. Psa. 16:10 – Was not to see corruption – Acts 2:31, 13:35

73. Psa. 16:9-11 – Was to arise from the dead – John 20:9

74. Psa. 17:15 – The resurrection predicted – Luke 24:6

75. Psa. 18:2-3 – The horn of salvation – Luke 1:69-71

76. Psa. 22:1 – Forsaken because of sins of others – 2 Corinthians 5:21

77. Psa. 22:1 – “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” – Matthew 27:46

78. Psa. 22:2 – Darkness upon Calvary for three hours – Matthew 27:45

79. Psa. 22:7 – They shoot out the lip and shake the head – Matthew 27:39-44

80. Psa. 22:8 – “He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him” – Matthew 27:43

81. Psa. 22:9-10 – Born the Savior – Luke 2:7

82. Psa. 22:12-13 – They seek His death – John 19:6

83. Psa. 22:14 – His blood poured out when they pierced His side – John 19:34

84. Psa. 22:14, 15 – Suffered agony on Calvary – Mark 15:34-37

85. Psa. 22:15 – He thirsted – John 19:28

86. Psa. 22:16 – They pierced His hands and His feet – John 19:34, 37; 20:27

87. Psa. 22:17, 18 – Stripped Him before the stares of men – Luke 23:34, 35

88. Psa. 22:18 – They parted His garments – John 19:23, 24

89. Psa. 22:20, 21 – He committed Himself to God – Luke 23:46

90. Psa. 22:20, 21 – Satanic power bruising the Redeemer’s heel – Hebrews 2:14

91. Psa. 22:22 – His Resurrection declared – John 20:17

92. Psa. 22:27-28 – He shall be the governor of the nations – Col. 1:16

93. Psa. 22:31 – “It is finished” – John 19:30, Heb. 10:10, 12, 14, 18

94. Psa. 23:1 – “I am the Good Shepherd” – John 10:11, 1 Peter 2:25

95. Psa. 24:3 – His exaltation predicted – Acts 1:11; Philippians 2:9

96. Psa. 30:3 – His resurrection predicted – Acts 2:32

97. Psa. 31:5 – “Into thy hands I commit my spirit” – Luke 23:46

98. Psa. 31:11 – His acquaintances fled from Him – Mark 14:50

99. Psa. 31:13 – They took counsel to put Him to death – Mt. 27:1, John 11:53

100. Psa. 31:14, 15 – “He trusted in God, let Him deliver him” – Matthew 27:43

101. Psa. 34:20 – Not a bone of Him broken – John 19:31-36

102. Psa. 35:11 – False witnesses rose up against Him – Matthew 26:59

103. Psa. 35:19 – He was hated without a cause – John 15:25

104. Psa. 38:11 – His friends stood afar off – Luke 23:49

105. Psa. 38:12 – Enemies try to entangle Him by craft – Mark 14:1, Mt. 22:15

106. Psa. 38:12-13 – Silent before His accusers – Matthew 27:12-14

107. Psa. 38:20 – He went about doing good – Acts 10:38

108. Psa. 40:2-5 – The joy of His resurrection predicted – John 20:20

109. Psa. 40:6-8 – His delight-the will of the Father – John 4:34, Heb. 10:5-10

110. Psa. 40:9 – He was to preach the Righteousness in Israel – Matt. 4:17

111. Psa. 40:14 – Confronted by adversaries in the Garden – John 18:4-6

112. Psa. 41:9 – Betrayed by a familiar friend – John 13:18

113. Psa. 45:2 – Words of Grace come from His lips – John 1:17, Luke 4:22

114. Psa. 45:6 – To own the title, God or Elohim – Hebrews 1:8

115. Psa. 45:7 – A special anointing by the Holy Spirit – Mt. 3:16; Heb. 1:9

116. Psa. 45:7, 8 – Called the Christ (Messiah or Anointed) – Luke 2:11

117. Psa. 45:17 – His name remembered forever – Eph. 1:20-21, Heb. 1:8

118. Psa. 55:12-14 – Betrayed by a friend, not an enemy – John 13:18

119. Psa. 55:15 – Unrepentant death of the Betrayer – Matt. 27:3-5; Acts 1:16-19

120. Psa. 68:18 – To give gifts to men – Ephesians 4:7-16

121. Psa. 68:18 – Ascended into Heaven – Luke 24:51

122. Psa. 69:4 – Hated without a cause – John 15:25

123. Psa. 69:8 – A stranger to own brethren – John 1:11, 7:5

124. Psa. 69:9 – Zealous for the Lord’s House – John 2:17

125. Psa. 69:14-20 – Messiah’s anguish of soul before crucifixion -Matthew 26:36-45

126. Psa. 69:20 – “My soul is exceeding sorrowful.” – Matthew 26:38

127. Psa. 69:21 – Given vinegar in thirst – Matthew 27:34

128. Psa. 69:26 – The Savior given and smitten by God – John 17:4; 18:11

129. Psa. 72:10, 11 – Great persons were to visit Him – Matthew 2:1-11

130. Psa. 72:16 -The corn of wheat to fall into the Ground –  John 12:24-25

131. Psa. 72:17 – Belief on His name will produce offspring – John 1:12, 13

132. Psa. 72:17 – All nations shall be blessed by Him – Galatians 3:8

133. Psa. 72:17 – All nations shall call Him blessed – John 12:13, Rev. 5:8-12

134. Psa. 78:1-2 – He would teach in parables – Matthew 13:34-35

135. Psa. 78:2b – To speak the Wisdom of God with authority – Matt. 7:29

136. Psa. 80:17 – The Man of God’s right hand – Mark 14:61-62

137. Psa. 88 – The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary – Matthew 27:26-50

138. Psa. 88:8 – They stood afar off and watched – Luke 23:49

139. Psa. 89:27 – Firstborn – Colossians 1:15, 18

140. Psa. 89:27 – Emmanuel to be higher than earthly kings – Luke 1:32, 33

141. Psa. 89:35-37 – David’s Seed, throne, kingdom endure forever – Luke 1:32, 33

142. Psa. 89:36-37 – His character-Faithfulness – Revelation 1:5, 19:11

143. Psa. 90:2 – He is from everlasting – (Micah 5:2) John 1:1

144. Psa. 91:11, 12 – Identified as Messianic; used to tempt Christ – Luke 4:10, 11

145. Psa. 97:9 – His exaltation predicted – Acts 1:11; Ephesians 1:20

146. Psa. 100:5 – His character-Goodness – Matthew 19:16, 17

147. Psa. 102:1-11 – The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary – John 19:16-30

148. Psa. 102:25-27 – Messiah is the Preexistent Son – Hebrews 1:10-12

149. Psa. 109:25 – Ridiculed – Matthew 27:39

150. Psa. 110:1 – Son of David – Matthew 22:42-43

151. Psa. 110:1 – To ascend to the right-hand of the Father – Mark 16:19

152. Psa. 110:1 – David’s son called Lord – Matthew 22:44, 45

153. Psa. 110:4 – A priest after Melchizedek’s order – Hebrews 6:20

154. Psa. 112:4 – His character-Compassionate, Gracious, et al – Matt. 9:36

155. Psa. 118:17, 18 – Messiah’s Resurrection assured – Luke 24:5-7; 1Cor. 15:20

156. Psa. 118:22, 23 – The rejected stone is Head of the corner – Matt. 21:42, 43

157. Psa. 118:26a – The Blessed One presented to Israel – Matthew 21:9

158. Psa. 118:26b – To come while Temple standing – Matthew 21:12-15

159. Psa. 132:11 – The Seed of David (the fruit of His Body) – Luke 1:32, Act 2:30

160. Psa. 129:3 – He was scourged – Matthew 27:26

161. Psa. 138:1-6 – The supremacy of David’s Seed amazes kings – Matt. 2:2-6

162. Psa. 147:3, 6 – The earthly ministry of Christ described – Luke 4:18

163. Prov. 1:23 – He will send the Spirit of God – John 16:7

164. Prov. 8:23 – Foreordained from everlasting – Rev. 13:8, 1Peter 1:19-20

165. Song. 5:16 – The altogether lovely One – John 1:17

166. Isa. 2:3 – He shall teach all nations – John 4:25

167. Isa. 2:4 – He shall judge among the nations – John 5:22

168. Isa. 6:1 – When Isaiah saw His glory – John 12:40-41

169. Isa. 6:8 – The One Sent by God – John 12:38-45

170. Isa. 6:9-10 – Parables fall on deaf ears – Matthew 13:13-15

171. Isa. 6:9-12 – Blinded to Christ and deaf to His words – Acts 28:23-29

172. Isa. 7:14 – To be born of a virgin – Luke 1:35

173. Isa. 7:14 – To be Emmanuel-God with us – Matthew 1:18-23, 1Tim. 3:16

174. Isa. 8:8 – Called Emmanuel – Matthew 28:20

175. Isa. 8:14 – A stone of stumbling, a Rock of offense – 1 Peter 2:8

176. Isa. 9:1, 2 – His ministry to begin in Galilee – Matthew 4:12-17

177. Isa. 9:6 – A child born-Humanity – Luke 1:31

178. Isa. 9:6 – A Son given-Deity – Luke 1:32, John 1:14, 1Tim. 3:16

179. Isa. 9:6 – Declared to be the Son of God with power – Romans 1:3, 4

180. Isa. 9:6 – The Wonderful One, Peleh – Luke 4:22

181. Isa. 9:6 – The Counsellor, Yaatz – Matthew 13:54

182. Isa. 9:6 – The Mighty God, El Gibor – 1 Cor. 1:24, Titus 2:3

183. Isa. 9:6 – The Everlasting Father, Avi Adth – John 8:58, 10:30

184. Isa. 9:6 – The Prince of Peace, Sar Shalom – John 16:33

185. Isa. 9:7 – To establish an everlasting kingdom – Luke 1:32-33

186. Isa. 9:7 – His Character-Just – John 5:30

187. Isa. 9:7 – No end to his Government, Throne, and Peace – Luke 1:32-33

188. Isa. 11:1 – Called a Nazarene-the Branch, Netzer – Matthew 2:23

189. Isa. 11:1 – A rod out of Jesse-Son of Jesse – Luke 3:23, 32

190. Isa. 11:2 – Anointed One by the Spirit – Matthew 3:16, 17, Acts 10:38

191. Isa. 11:2 – His Character-Wisdom, Knowledge, et al – Colossians 2:3

192. Isa. 11:3 – He would know their thoughts – Luke 6:8, John 2:25

193. Isa. 11:4 – Judge in righteousness – Acts 17:31

194. Isa. 11:4 – Judges with the sword of His mouth – Rev. 2:16, 19:11, 15

195. Isa. 11:5 – Character: Righteous & Faithful – Rev. 19:11

196. Isa. 11:10 – The Gentiles seek Him – John 12:18-21

197. Isa. 12:2 – Called Jesus-Yeshua – Matthew 1:21

198. Isa. 22:22 – The One given all authority to govern – Revelation 3:7

199. Isa. 25:8 – The Resurrection predicted – 1 Corinthians 15:54

200. Isa. 26:19 – His power of Resurrection predicted – Matthew 27:50-54

201. Isa. 28:16 – The Messiah is the precious corner stone – Acts 4:11, 12

202. Isa. 28:16 – The Sure Foundation – 1 Corinthians 3:11, Mt. 16:18

203. Isa. 29:13 – He indicated hypocritical obedience to His Word – Matt. 15:7-9

204. Isa. 29:14 – The wise are confounded by the Word – 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

205. Isa. 32:2 – A Refuge-A man shall be a hiding place – Matthew 23:37

206. Isa. 35:4 – He will come and save you  -Matthew 1:21

207. Isa. 35:5-6 – To have a ministry of miracles – Matthew 11:2-6

208. Isa. 40:3, 4 – Preceded by forerunner – John 1:23

209. Isa. 40:9 – “Behold your God.” – John 1:36; 19:14

210. Isa. 40:10 – He will come to reward – Revelation 22:12

211. Isa. 40:11 – A shepherd-compassionate life-giver – John 10:10-18

212. Isa. 42:1-4 – The Servant-as a faithful, patient redeemer – Matthew 12:18-21

213. Isa. 42:2 – Meek and lowly – Matthew 11:28-30

214. Isa. 42:3 – He brings hope for the hopeless – John 4

215. Isa. 42:4 – The nations shall wait on His teachings – John 12:20-26

216. Isa. 42:6 – The Light (salvation) of the Gentiles -Luke 2:32

217. Isa. 42:1, 6 – His is a worldwide compassion – Matthew 28:19, 20

218. Isa. 42:7 – Blind eyes opened -John 9:25-38

219. Isa. 43:11 – He is the only Savior – Acts 4:12

220. Isa. 44:3 – He will send the Spirit of God – John 16:7, 13

221. Isa. 45:21-25 – He is Lord and Saviour – Philippians 3:20, Titus 2:13

222. Isa. 45:23 – He will be the Judge – John 5:22; Romans 14:11

223. Isa. 46:9, 10 – Declares things not yet done – John 13:19

224. Isa. 48:12 – The First and the Last John 1:30, – Revelation 1:8, 17

225. Isa. 48:16, 17 – He came as a Teacher – John 3:2

226. Isa. 49:1 – Called from the womb-His humanity – Matthew 1:18

227. Isa. 49:5 – A Servant from the womb – Luke 1:31, Philippians 2:7

228. Isa. 49:6 – He will restore Israel – Acts 3:19-21, 15:16-17

229. Isa. 49:6 – He is Salvation for Israel – Luke 2:29-32

230. Isa. 49:6 – He is the Light of the Gentiles – John 8:12, Acts 13:47

231. Isa. 49:6 – He is Salvation unto the ends of the earth – Acts 15:7-18

232. Isa. 49:7 – He is despised of the Nation – John 1:11, 8:48-49, 19:14-15

233. Isa. 50:3 – Heaven is clothed in black at His humiliation – Luke 23:44, 45

234. Isa. 50:4 – He is a learned counselor for the weary – Matthew 7:29, 11:28, 29

235. Isa. 50:5 – The Servant bound willingly to obedience – Matthew 26:39

236. Isa. 50:6a – “I gave my back to the smiters.” – Matthew 27:26

237. Isa. 50:6b – He was smitten on the cheeks – Matthew 26:67

238. Isa. 50:6c – He was spat upon – Matthew 27:30

239. Isa. 52:7 – Published good tidings upon mountains  – Matt. 5:12,15:29, 28:16

240. Isa. 52:13 The Servant exalted Acts 1:8-11; Eph. 1:19-22, Php. 2:5-9

241. Isa. 52:14 The Servant shockingly abused Luke 18:31-34; Mt. 26:67, 68

242. Isa. 52:15n – Nations startled by message of the Servant – LK 18:31-34; Mt. 26:68

243. Isa. 52:15 – His blood shed sprinkles nations – Hebrews 9:13-14, Rev. 1:5

244. Isa. 53:1 – His people would not believe Him – John 12:37-38

245. Isa. 53:2 – Appearance of an ordinary man – Philippians 2:6-8

246. Isa. 53:3a – Despised – Luke 4:28-29

247. Isa. 53:3b – Rejected – Matthew 27:21-23

248. Isa. 53:3c – Great sorrow and grief – Matt. 26:37-38, Luke 19:41, Heb. 4:15

249. Isa. 53:3d – Men hide from being associated with Him – Mark 14:50-52

250. Isa. 53:4a – He would have a healing ministry – Matthew 8:16-17

251. Isa. 53:4b – Thought to be cursed by God – Matthew 26:66, 27:41-43

252. Isa. 53:5a – Bears penalty for mankind’s iniquities – 2 Cor. 5:21, Heb. 2:9

253. Isa. 53:5b – His sacrifice provides peace between man and God – Col. 1:20

254. Isa. 53:5c – His sacrifice would heal man of sin – 1 Peter 2:24

255. Isa. 53:6a – He would be the sin-bearer for all mankind – 1 John 2:2, 4:10

256. Isa. 53:6b – God’s will that He bear sin for all mankind – Galatians 1:4

257. Isa. 53:7a – Oppressed and afflicted – Matthew 27:27-31

258. Isa. 53:7b – Silent before his accusers – Matthew 27:12-14

259. Isa. 53:7c – Sacrificial lamb – John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:18-19

260. Isa. 53:8a – Confined and persecuted – Matthew 26:47-27:31

261. Isa. 53:8b – He would be judged – John 18:13-22

262. Isa. 53:8c – Killed – Matthew 27:35

263. Isa. 53:8d – Dies for the sins of the world – 1 John 2:2

264. Isa. 53:9a – Buried in a rich man’s grave – Matthew 27:57

265. Isa. 53:9b – Innocent and had done no violence – Luke 23:41, John 18:38

266. Isa. 53:9c – No deceit in his mouth – 1 Peter 2:22

267. Isa. 53:10a – God’s will that He die for mankind – John 18:11

268. Isa. 53:10b – An offering for sin – Matthew 20:28, Galatians 3:13

269. Isa. 53:10c – Resurrected and live forever – Romans 6:9

270. Isa. 53:10d – He would prosper – John 17:1-5

271. Isa. 53:11a – God fully satisfied with His suffering – John 12:27

272. Isa. 53:11b – God’s servant would justify man – Romans 5:8-9, 18-19

273. Isa. 53:11c – The sin-bearer for all mankind – Hebrews 9:28

274. Isa. 53:12a – Exalted by God because of his sacrifice – Matthew 28:18

275. Isa. 53:12b – He would give up his life to save mankind – Luke 23:46

276. Isa. 53:12c – Numbered with the transgressors – Mark 15:27-28

277. Isa. 53:12d – Sin-bearer for all mankind – 1 Peter 2:24

278. Isa. 53:12e – Intercede to God in behalf of mankind – Luke 23:34, Rom. 8:34

279. Isa. 55:3 – Resurrected by God – Acts 13:34

280. Isa. 55:4a – A witness – John 18:37

281. Isa. 55:4b – He is a leader and commander – Hebrews 2:10

282. Isa. 55:5 – God would glorify Him – Acts 3:13

283. Isa. 59:16a – Intercessor between man and God – Matthew 10:32

284. Isa. 59:16b – He would come to provide salvation – John 6:40

285. Isa. 59:20 – He would come to Zion as their Redeemer – Luke 2:38

286. Isa. 60:1-3 – He would be a light to the Gentiles – Acts 26:23

287. Isa. 61:1a – The Spirit of God upon him – Matthew 3:16-17

288. Isa. 61:1b – The Messiah would preach the good news – Luke 4:16-21

289. Isa. 61:1c – Provide freedom from the bondage of sin – John 8:31-36

290. Isa. 61:1-2a – Proclaim a period of grace – Galatians 4:4-5

291. Jer. 23:5-6 – Descendant of David – Luke 3:23-31

292. Jer. 23:5-6 – The Messiah would be both God and Man – Jn 13:13, 1 Ti 3:16

293. Jer. 31:22 – Born of a virgin – Matthew 1:18-20

294. Jer. 31:31 – The Messiah would be the new covenant – Matthew 26:28

295. Jer. 33:14-15 – Descendant of David – Luke 3:23-31

296. Eze.34:23-24 – Descendant of David – Matthew 1:1

297. Eze.37:24-25 – Descendant of David – Luke 1:31-33

298. Dan. 2:44-45 – The Stone that shall break the kingdoms – Matthew 21:44

299. Dan. 7:13-14a – He would ascend into heaven -Acts 1:9-11

300. Dan. 7:13-14b – Highly exalted – Ephesians 1:20-22

301. Dan. 7:13-14c – His dominion would be everlasting – Luke 1:31-33

302. Dan. 9:24a – To make an end to sins – Galatians 1:3-5

303. Dan. 9:24a – To make reconciliation for iniquity – Rom. 5:10, 2 Cor. 5:18-21

304. Dan. 9:24b – He would be holy – Luke 1:35

305. Dan. 9:25 – His announcement-  John 12:12-13

306. Dan. 9:26a – Cut off -Matthew 16:21, 21:38-39

307. Dan. 9:26b – Die for the sins of the world -Hebrews 2:9

308. Dan. 9:26c – Killed before the destruction of the temple – Matthew 27:50-51

309. Dan. 10:5-6 – Messiah in a glorified state – Revelation 1:13-16

310. Hos. 11:1 – He would be called out of Egypt – Matthew 2:15

311. Hos. 13:14 – He would defeat death – 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

312. Joel 2:32 – Offer salvation to all mankind – Romans 10:9-13

313. Jonah 1:17 – Death and resurrection of Christ – Matthew 12:40, 16:4

314. Mic. 5:2a – Born in Bethlehem – Matthew 2:1-6

315. Mic. 5:2b – Ruler in Israel – Luke 1:33

316. Mic. 5:2c – From everlasting – John 8:58

317. Hag. 2:6-9 – He would visit the second Temple – Luke 2:27-32

318. Hag. 2:23 – Descendant of Zerubbabel – Luke 2:27-32

319. Zech. 3:8 – God’s servant – John 17:4

320. Zech. 6:12-13 – Priest and King – Hebrews 8:1

321. Zech. 9:9a – Greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem – Matthew 21:8-10

322. Zech. 9:9b – Beheld as King – John 12:12-13

323. Zech. 9:9c -The Messiah would be just – John 5:30

324. Zech. 9:9d – The Messiah would bring salvation – Luke 19:10

325. Zech. 9:9e – The Messiah would be humble – Matthew 11:29

326. Zech. 9:9f – Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey – Matthew 21:6-9

327. Zech. 10:4 – The cornerstone – Ephesians 2:20

328. Zech. 11:4-6a – At His coming, Israel to have unfit leaders – Matthew 23:1-4

329. Zech. 11:4-6b – Rejection causes God to remove His protection – Luke 19:41-44

330. Zech. 11:4-6c – Rejected in favor of another king – John 19:13-15

331. Zech. 11:7 – Ministry to “poor,” the believing remnant – Matthew 9:35-36

332. Zech. 11:8a – Unbelief forces Messiah to reject them – Matthew 23:33

333. Zech. 11:8b – Despised – Matthew 27:20

334. Zech. 11:9 – Stops ministering to those who rejected Him – Matthew 13:10-11

335. Zech. 11:10-11a – Rejection causes God to remove protection – Luke 19:41-44

336. Zech. 11:10-11b – The Messiah would be God – John 14:7

337. Zech. 11:12-13a – Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver – Matthew 26:14-15

338. Zech. 11:12-13b – Rejected – Matthew 26:14-15

339. Zech. 11:12-13c – Thirty pieces of silver cast in the house of the Lord – Matt. 27:3-5

340. Zech. 11:12-13d – The Messiah would be God  – John 12:45

341. Zech. 12:10a – The Messiah’s body would be pierced – John 19:34-37

342. Zech. 12:10b – The Messiah would be both God and man – John 10:30

343. Zech. 12:10c – The Messiah would be rejected  – John 1:11

344. Zech. 13:7a  – God’s will He die for mankind – John 18:11

345. Zech. 13:7b – A violent death – Mark 14:27

346. Zech. 13:7c – Both God and man – John 14:9

347. Zech. 13:7d – Israel scattered as a result of rejecting Him – Matthew 26:31-56

348. Zech. 14:4  – He would return to the Mt. of Olives  – Acts 1:11-12

349. Mal. 3:1a- Messenger to prepare the way for Messiah – Mark 1:1-8

350. Mal. 3:1b – Sudden appearance at the temple – Mark 11:15-16

351. Mal. 3:1c – Messenger of the new covenant – Luke 4:43

352. Mal. 3:6 – The God who changes not – Hebrews 13:8

353. Mal. 4:5 – Forerunner in spirit of Elijah – Mt. 3:1-3, 11:10-14, 17:11-13

354. Mal. 4:6 – Forerunner would turn many to righteousness – Luke 1:16-17

 

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Christianity is About a Relationship with Jesus

Receiving The Resurrected Redeemer

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Every single person who has ever lived on Planet Earth will be resurrected—some to eternal life and some to eternal torment. In the Lord’s own words, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28-29). Everyone reading these words is in one of these two categories.

Relationship

The distinction between religion and relationship makes all the difference in the world. Religion is merely man’s attempt to reach up and become acceptable to God through his own efforts—living a good life, attempting to obey the Ten Commandments, or following the golden rule. Some religions even teach that this cannot be accomplished in one lifetime. Thus, you are reincarnated over and over again until you become one with nirvana or one with the universe.

The problem with the answer provided by religion is that the Bible says that if we are ever to become acceptable to God, we must be absolutely perfect! As Jesus put it in His Sermon on the Mount—one of the most famous literary masterpieces in the history of humanity—“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Obviously no one is perfect; therefore, if we are ever going to know the resurrected Redeemer here and now, as well as rule and reign with Him throughout the eons of time, there has to be another way. And that way is found in a relationship.

Relationship is what the Christian faith is all about. It is not primarily a set of dos and don’ts. It’s a personal relationship with God. That relationship does not depend on our ability to reach up and touch God through our own good works, but rather on God’s willingness to reach down and touch us through His love.

By way of illustration, if I wanted to have a relationship with an ant, the only way I could do so is to become one. Obviously I can’t become an ant, but God did become a man. The Bible says that God in the person of Jesus Christ “became flesh” and lived for a while “among us” (John 1:14). He came into time and space to restore a relationship with man that was severed by sin.

It is crucial that you understand the problem of sin. If you do not recognize that you are a sinner, you will also not realize your need for a Savior.

Sin

Sin is not just murder, rape, or robbery. Sin is failing to do the things we should and doing those things we should not. In short, sin is a word that describes anything that fails to meet God’s standard of perfection.

Thus, sin is the barrier between you and a satisfying relationship with God. As Scripture puts it, “Your iniquities [sins] have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2).

Just as light and dark cannot exist together, neither can God and sin. And each day we are further separated from God as we are further separated from God as we add to the account of our sin. But that’s not the only problem. Sin also separates us from others. You need only read the newspaper or listen to a news report to see how true this really is. Locally, we read of murder, robbery, and fraud. Nationally, we hear of corruption in politics, racial tension, and an escalating rate of suicide. Internationally, we constantly see wars and hear rumors of war. We live in a time when terrorism abounds and when the world as we know it can be instantly obliterated by nuclear aggression.

All of these things are symbolic of sin. The Bible says that we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). There are no accept ions to the rule. The problem is further compounded when we begin to understand who God is. Virtually every heresy begins with a misconception of the nature of God.

God

On one hand, God is the perfect Father. We all have had earthly fathers, but no matter how good—or bad, as the case may be—none are perfect. God, however, is the perfect Father. And as the perfect Father, he desires an intimate relationship with us. In His Word, God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Yet the same Bible that tells us that God loves us and wants a relationship with us as our heavenly Father also tells us that He is the perfect Judge. As the perfect Judge, God is absolutely just, righteous, and holy. The Bible says of God, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; You cannot tolerate wrong” (Habakkuk 1:13).

Herein lies the dilemma. On the one hand, we see that God is the perfect Father. He loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with us. On the other hand, He is the perfect Judge, whose very nature is too pure to tolerate our sin. The dilemma is brought into sharper focus by a story I heard many years ago.

A young man was caught driving under the influence of alcohol after having committed several crimes. He was brought before a judge nicknamed the “hanging judge.” Although the judge’s integrity was beyond question, he always handed out the stiffest penalty allowable by law (to wit the nickname, “hanging judge”). It turns out that the judge was the young man’s father. As you can imagine, everyone in there courthouse that day waited with bated breath to see how the judge would treat his own son. Would he show him favoritism as a father, or would he, as always, hand out the stiffest penalty allowable by law?

As the spellbound courtroom full of spectators looked on, the judge, without hesitation, issued the maximum financial penalty allowable by law. Then he took off his judicial robes, walked over to where his son stood, and paid the penalty his son could not pay. In that one act, he satisfied the justice of the law and yet demonstrated extraordinary love.

That, however, is but a faint glimpse of what God the Father did for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. You see, Jesus Christ—God Himself—came to earth to be our Savior and to be our Lord.

Through His resurrection, Jesus demonstrated that He does not stand in a line of peers with Buddha, Mohammed, or any other founders of world religions. They died and are still dead, but Christ had the power to lay down His life and take it up again.

Jesus Christ

As our Savior, Jesus lived the perfect life we cannot live. Earlier I pointed out that Scripture says in order to be acceptable to God we need to be perfect. Well, Jesus Christ came into time and space to be perfection for us. As the Bible puts it, “God made Him [Jesus Christ] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).

This is the great exchange over which all of the Bible was written. God took our sins and placed them on Jesus Christ, who suffered and died to pay the debt we could not pay. Then, wonder of wonders, He gave us the perfect life of Jesus Christ. He took our sins and gave us His perfection as an absolutely free gift. We cannot earn it or deserve it; we can only live a life of gratitude for this gift that God freely offers us. But that’s not all. Jesus not only died to be our Savior; He also lives to be our Lord.

As our Lord, Jesus Christ gives our lives meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. This is a particularly exciting thought when you stop to realize that the one who wants to be your Lord is the very one who spoke and the universe leaped into existence. He not only made this universe and everything in it, but He made you. He knows all about you, He loves you, and He wants you to have a satisfying life here and now and an eternity of joy with Him in heaven forever.

The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). The resurrection of Jesus is an undeniable fact of history. Through the immutable fact of the resurrection, God the Father vindicated Christ’s claims to deity, thus demonstrating that Jesus was God in human flesh. To receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, one need only take two steps. The one step is repent, the other is receive.

Two Steps

The first step involves repentance. Repentance is an old English word that describes a willingness to turn from sin toward Jesus Christ. It literally means a complete U-turn on the road of life—a change of heart and a change of mind. It means a willingness to follow Jesus Christ and receive Him as Savior and Lord. In the words of Christ, “The time has come…The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15).

The second step is to receive. To demonstrate true belief means to be willing to receive God’s free gift. To truly receive God’s gift is to trust in and depend on Jesus Christ alone to be the Lord of our lives here and now and our Savior for all eternity.

Receiving God’s free gift takes more than knowledge. (The devil knows about Jesus and trembles.) It takes more than agreeing that the knowledge is accurate. (The devil knows that Jesus is Lord.) True saving faith entails not only knowledge and agreement, but trust. By way of illustration, when you are sick you can know a particular medicine can cure you. You can even agree that it’s cured thousands of others. But until you trust it enough to take it, it cannot cure you. It like manner, you can know about Jesus Christ, and you can agree that He has saved others, but until you personally place your trust in Him, you will not be saved.

The requirements for eternal life are nit based on what you can do but on what Jesus Christ has done. He stands ready to exchange His perfection for your imperfection.

To those who have never received Him as Savior and Lord, Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in” (Revelation 3:20). Jesus knocks on the door of the human heart, and the question He asks is, Are you ready now to receive me as Savior and Lord?

According to Jesus Christ, those who repent and receive Him as Savior and Lord are “born again” (John 3:3)—not physically, but spiritually. And with this birth must come spiritual growth.

Growth

First, no relationship can flourish without constant, heartfelt communication. This is true not only in human relationships, but also in our relationship with God. If we are to nurture a strong relationship with our Savior, we must be in constant communication with Him. The way to do that is through prayer.

Prayer is the way we talk to God. You do not need a special vocabulary to pray. You can simply speak to God as you would to your best friend. The more time you spend with God in prayer, the more intimate your relationship will be. And remember, there is no problem great or small that God cannot handle. If it’s important to you, it’s important to Him.

Furthermore, in addition to prayer, it is crucial that new believers spend time reading God’s written revelation of Himself—the Bible. The Bible not only forms the foundation of an effective prayer life, but it is foundational to every other aspect of Christian living. While prayer is our primary way of communicating with God, the Bible is God’s primary way of communicating with us. Nothing should take precedence over getting into the Word and getting the Word into us.

If we fail to eat well-balanced meals on a regular basis, we will eventually suffer the physical consequences. What is true of the outer man is also true of the inner man. If we do not regularly feed on the Word of God, we will starve spiritually.

I generally recommend that new believers by reading one chapter from the Gospel of John each day. As you do, you will experience the joy of having God speak to you directly through His Word. As Jesus put it, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

Finally, it is crucial for new believers to become active participants in a healthy, weal-balanced church. In Scripture, the church is referred to as the body of Christ. Just as our body is one and yet has many parts, so the body of Christ is one but is composed of many members. Those who receive Christ as the Savior and Lord of their lives are already a part of the church universal. It is crucial, however, that all Christians become vital, reproducing members of a local body of believers as well.

Scripture exhorts us not to neglect the gathering of ourselves together, as is the custom of some (see Hebrews 10:25). It is is the local church where God is worshiped through prayer, praise, and proclamation; where believers experience fellowship with one another; and where they are equipped to reach others through the testimony of their love, their lips, and their lives.

Application

I began by pointing out that Christianity is not merely a religion; rather, it is a relationship with the resurrected Redeemer. You can know of Him through historical evidences, but you can know Him only by the Spirit of God. Even now, if God’s Spirit is moving upon your heart, you can receive the resurrected Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. Simply pray thus prayer—and remember, there is no magic in the words; God is looking at the intent of your heart.

Prayer to Pray

Heavenly Father, I thank You that You have provided a way for me to have a relationship with You; I realize that I am a sinner; I thank You that You are my perfect Father; I thank You for sending Jesus to be my Savior and Lord; I repent and receive His perfection in exchange for my sin; In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Assurance

The assurance of eternal life is found in these words from the resurrected Redeemer: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

Adapted from Hank Hanegraaff (Appendix A) – Resurrection The Capstone in the Arch of Christianity. Thomas Nelson: Nashville, 2000.

 

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Preaching Christ From the Ten Commandments

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By Dr. John Frame

If all Scripture testifies of Christ, the law of God surely cannot be an exception. As we study the law in a seminary context, then, nothing can be more important than to study its witness to Christ. Ministers of the gospel need to learn how to preach Christ from the law.

In fact, the law bears witness to Christ in a number of ways, some of which I shall discuss in the following points.

1. The Decalogue presents the righteousness of Christ. When we say that Christ was the perfect lamb of God and the perfect example for the Christian life, we are saying that he perfectly obeyed God’s law. He never put any god before his Father. He never worshipped idols or took God’s name in vain. The Pharisees arguments to the contrary notwithstanding, he never violated the Sabbath command. So, the Decalogue tells us what Jesus was like. It shows us his perfect character.

2. The Decalogue shows our need of Christ. God’s law convicts us of sin and drives us to Jesus. It shows us who we are apart from Christ. We are idolaters, blasphemers, Sabbath-breakers, and so on.

3. The Decalogue shows the righteousness of Christ imputed to us. In him we are holy. God sees us, in Christ, as law-keepers.

4. The Decalogue shows us how God wants us to give thanks for Christ. In the Decalogue, obedience follows redemption. God tells his people that he has brought them out of Egypt. The law is not something they must keep to merit redemption. God has> redeemed them. Keeping the law is the way they thank God for salvation freely given. So the Heidelberg Confession expounds the law under the category of gratefulness.

5. Christ is the substance of the law. This point is related to the first, but it is not quite the same. Here I wish to say that Jesus is not only a perfect law-keeper (according to his humanity), but that according to his deity he is the one we honor and worship when we keep the law:

(a) The first commandment teaches us to worship Jesus as the one and only Lord, Savior, and mediator (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5).

(b) In the second commandment, Jesus is the one perfect image of God (Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3). Our devotion to him precludes worship of any other image.

(c) In the third commandment, Jesus is the name of God, that name to which every knee shall bow (Phil. 2:10-11; cf. Is. 45:23).

(d) In the fourth commandment, Jesus is our Sabbath rest. In his presence, we cease our daily duties and hear his voice (Luke 10:38-42).

(e) In the fifth commandment, we honor Jesus who has brought us as his “sons” (Heb. 2:10) to glory.

(f) In the sixth commandment, we honor him as the life (John 10:10; 14:6; Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:4), Lord of life (Acts 3:15), the one who gave his life that we might live (Mk. 10:45).

(g) In the seventh commandment, we honor him as our bridegroom who gave himself to cleanse us, to make us his pure, spotless bride (Eph. 5:22-33). We love him as no other.

(h) In the eighth commandment, we honor Jesus as our inheritance (Eph. 1:11) and as the one who provides all the needs for his people in this world and beyond.

(i) In the ninth commandment, we honor him as God’s truth (John 1:17; 14:6), in whom all the promises of God are Yea and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20).

(j) In the tenth commandment, we honor him as our complete sufficiency (2 Cor. 3:5; 12:9) to meet both our external needs and the renewed desires of our hearts.

 

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Practical Wisdom On Reading The Bible in 2015

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What’s Christmas REALLY all About?

Why God Became Man

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By Dr. Lehman Strauss

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ

The word incarnation does not occur in the Bible. It is derived from the Latin in and caro (flesh), meaning clothed in flesh, the act of assuming flesh. Its only use in theology is in reference to that gracious, voluntary act of the Son of God in which He assumed a human body. In Christian doctrine the Incarnation, briefly stated, is that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became a man. It is one of the greatest events to occur in the history of the universe. It is without parallel.

The Apostle Paul wrote, ”And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh . . . “ (I Timothy 3:16). Confessedly, by common consent the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is outside the range of human natural comprehension and apprehension. It can be made known only by Divine revelation in the Holy Scriptures, and to those only who are illumined by the Holy Spirit. It is a truth of the greatest magnitude that God in the Person of His Son should identify Himself completely with the human race. And yet He did, for reasons He set forth clearly in His Word.

Before we examine those reasons, it would be well at the outset to distinguish between the Incarnation and the Virgin Birth of our Lord, two truths sometimes confused by students of Scripture. The Incarnation of the Son of God is the fact of God becoming Man; the Virgin Birth is the method by which God the Son became Man.

These two truths, while distinct and different, are closely related to each other and stand in support of each other. If Jesus Christ was not virgin born, then He was not God in the flesh and was therefore only a man possessing the same sinful nature that every fallen child of Adam possesses. The fact of the Incarnation lies in the ever-existing One putting aside His eternal glory to become a man. The method of the Incarnation is the manner by which He chose to come, namely, the miraculous conception in the womb of a virgin.

A noteworthy passage pertinent to the Divine purpose in the Incarnation is recorded in the Gospel according to John– ”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 :14).

Cerinthus, a representative of the system which arose in the early church under the name of Docetism, claimed that our Lord had only an apparent human body. But the statement, ”the Word became flesh,” indicates that He had a real body.

John 1:14 cannot be fully appreciated apart from verse one: ”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . And the Word became flesh.” He who was one with the Father from all eternity became Man, taking upon Him a human body. He ”was with God” (vs. 1); He ”became flesh (vs. 14). He “was with God”’ (vs. 1); He ”dwelt among us” (vs. 14). From the infinite position of eternal Godhood to the finite limitations of manhood! Unthinkable but true!

Paul gives another significant passage on the Incarnation in his Galatian Epistle: ”But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4, 5). In these verses Paul establishes the fact of the Incarnation– “God sent forth His Son, made of a woman.”

God sending His Son presupposes that God had a Son. Christ was the Son in His eternal relationship with the Father, not because He was born of Mary. Since a son shares the nature of his father, so our Lord shares the Godhead coequally with His Father. Yes, “God sent forth His Son,” from His throne on high, from His position of heavenly glory. God did not send one forth who, in His birth, became His Son, but He sent One who, through all eternity, was His Son. Centuries before Christ was born, the Prophet Isaiah wrote of Him, ”For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given . . . ” (Isaiah 9:6). The Son was given in eternity past before we knew Him. His human birth was merely the method of coming to us.

Again, Paul records the following noteworthy statement in the Epistle to the Philippians: ”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).

Before His Incarnation Jesus Christ was ‘in the form of God” (vs. 6). From the beginning He had the nature of God, He existed (or subsisted) as God, and that essential Deity which He once was could never cease to be. If He seems Divine, it is only because He is Divine. He is God.

He ”thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (vs. 6). The eternal Son did not consider it a thing to be seized unlawfully to be equal with the Father. Equality with God was not something He retained by force or by farce. He possessed it in eternity past and no power could take it from Him. But in the Incarnation He laid aside, not His possession of Deity, but His position in and expression of the heavenly glory.

One of the purposes of the Philippian epistle was to check the rising tide of dissension and strife growing out of Christians thinking more highly of themselves than they ought to think. Being a general letter, it exposes no false doctrines but does enunciate our Lord Jesus Christ as the believer’s pattern in humiliation, self-denial, and loving service for others. This is evident in the seven downward steps of the Saviour’s renunciation of Himself.

(1) ”He made Himself of no reputation.” God emptied Himself! He did not lose His Deity when He became Man, for God is immutable and therefore cannot cease to be God. He always was God the Son; He continued to be God the Son in His earthly sojourn as Man; He is God the Son in heaven today as He will remain throughout eternity. He is ”Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

(2) ”He took upon Him the form of a servant.” His was a voluntary act of amazing grace, the almighty Sovereign stooping to become earth’s lowly Servant. Instead of expressing Himself as one deserving to be served, He revealed Himself as one desiring to serve others. He did not boast His eternal glory and right to be ministered to, but instead evinced His humility and desire to minister. ”The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

(3) “He was made in the likeness of men.” This phrase expresses the full reality of His humanity. He participated in the same flesh and blood as man (Hebrews 2:14). Although He entered into a new state of being, His becoming Man did not exclude His possession of Deity, for He was and is today a Person who is both God and Man, Divine and human, perfect in His Deity and perfect in His humanity.

(4) ”And being found in fashion as a man.” When He came into the world, Christ associated with His contemporaries and did not hold Himself aloof. Thus He manifested to all that He was a real Man. One obvious distinction marked our Lord’s humanity; His perfection and sinlessness. As a Man He was made under the law, yet He never violated the law. As a Man He was tempted in all three points in which we are tempted (I John 2:16), yet His temptation was apart from any thought, word, or act of sin.

(5) “He humbled Himself.” The world has never witnessed a more genuine act of self-humbling. So completely did our Lord humble Himself that He surrendered His will to the will of His Father in heaven. His desire was to do the will of the Father, therefore He could testify, “I do always those things that please Him” (John 8:29). It was humiliation for the eternal Son of God to become flesh in a stable, and then to dwell in a humble home in subjection to a human parent. God was ”sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin” (Romans 8:30). Only eternity will reveal the depth of meaning for Him and for us found in those words, “He humbled Himself.”

(6) “He became obedient unto death.” Remarkable indeed! Here the God-man dies. Did He die as God, or did He die as Man? He died as the God-Man. The first Adam’s obedience would have been unto life, but because he disobeyed unto death, the last Adam must now obey unto death in order that He might deliver the first Adam’s posterity ”out of death into life” (John 5:24R.V.). ”For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). To subject Himself to the cruel death of a criminal on the cross was a necessary part of God’s plan of salvation for men, and to such a death our Lord voluntarily submitted. Implicit obedience!

(7) ” . . . even the death of the cross.” Our Lord died as no other person died or ever will die. Other men had died on crosses, but this Man, the eternal Son of God, voluntarily and willingly died the kind of death meted out to criminals, even the death upon a cross. His own countrymen considered crucifixion the worst kind of disgrace. In their law it was written, “For he that is hanged is accursed of God” (Deuteronomy 21:23; cf. Galatians 3:13). Not only did our Lord die, but He died bearing the burden of the worst of criminals and the guiltiest of sinners. Down He came from heaven’s glory to earth’s sin and shame through His Incarnation.

The purposes underlying this phenomenal occurrence can be summed up in seven points.

(1) HE CAME TO REVEAL GOD TO MAN

The Incarnation of the Son of God unites earth to heaven. God’s greatest revelation of Himself to man is in Jesus Christ. Revelation is the disclosure of truth previously unknown. Before the coming of the Son of God to earth many varied forms of revelation existed. Belief in the existence of God is innate. Since man is a rational, moral being, his very nature provides him with intuitive knowledge. As the mind of a child begins to unfold, it instinctively and intuitively recognizes a Being above and beyond the world that he experiences.

Man is so constituted that he recognizes the fact and the power of God by the things that are made. Many of the ancient philosophers marveled at the starry heavens above them and the moral law about them. We live in a world of order and harmony conducive to our happiness and well being, and we, too, recognize a revelation of God in nature.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19, 20). Men may hinder or suppress the truth by their unrighteous living, but there is that which may be known of God which ”is manifest in them.” The existence and power of God are discernible to us all by the things we observe in the external world. Those only who have abnormal, distorted, or biased minds can possibly deny God’s existence.

Job realized that the nature of God in its different characteristics and qualities was not all revealed to man, yet he knew, as all men know, that the omnipotence and unchangeableness of God are exhibited in creation (Job 6:10; 23:12). The savage and the scientist can know two things about God; He is a Being and He is supreme. These are the two things God has been pleased to reveal about Himself.

Do not plead innocence for the man who does not possess a copy of God’s Word. All men have a Bible bound with the covers of the day and the night whose print is the stars and the planets. What is knowable about God has been displayed openly, and any man who suppresses the truth does it “without excuse.” Nature reveals the supernatural, and creation reveals the Creator. Read Psalm 19:1-6 and you will see that the heavens are personified to proclaim the glory of their Creator. Day and night pass on their testimonies giving clear evidence of the existence of the One who made them.

There are other evidences of primeval revelations of God to man, such as to Adam (Genesis 3:8) and to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 26:3-5). The writer to the Hebrews quotes the Son speaking to the Father, in which reference is made to an early primitive and temporary revelation through a book which God allowed to pass out of existence (Hebrews 10:5-7). Doubtless there were other books which likewise have passed out of existence, as the Book of Enoch of which Jude made mention (Jude 14).

We know, further, that God often revealed Himself in dreams as when He spoke to Jacob (Genesis 28), to the patriarch Joseph (Genesis 37), to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2-4), to Joseph (Matthew 1:20), and to others. Through Moses and the prophets God revealed Himself (Exodus 3:4 and chapter 20). Over thirty-five authors, writing over a period of fifteen hundred years, wrote consistently and coherently, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, of one historically accurate plan of salvation. The Bible in its entirety is a progressive revelation of God.

But of all the amazing revelations of almighty God, none was set forth more clearly and fully than God’s final revelation of Himself in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Since God is an infinite Being, no man could understand Him fully save the Son who is One in equality with the Father. Jesus said, ”. . . neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27). Here, then, is one reason for the Incarnation—to reveal God to man. The fact of God’s existence may be seen through test tubes and laboratory experiments, detected through microscope and telescope, and stated in the discussions of the seminar. But the glorious attributes of a loving God manifested in behalf of sinners can be found in no place or person apart from Jesus Christ.

Philip said to the Lord Jesus, ‘‘Lord, shew us the Father . . . ” and our Lord answered, ”. . . He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father . . . “ (John 14:8, 9). When the Word became flesh He brought to man an adequate revelation of God. Whatever the ancient seers and saints knew about God before Jesus came, we have a more adequate revelation. Since God remains an abstraction until we see Him in terms of personality, so the Son became Incarnate that we might see and know God. ‘‘No man hath seen God at anytime; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him’‘ (John 1:1,8,9).

The dictionary definition of the word ”light” means nothing to a blind man, but one glimpse of a glowworm would be worth more for the understanding of light than all the definitions in the world. One glimpse of Jesus Christ will bring God closer to the human mind and heart than all the theological definitions of Him. No man could perceive the grace of God until the almighty Sovereign of the universe stooped to the level of His own creatures, suffering cruel treatment and dying the death of shame for them. No man understood fully the patience and longsuffering of the Father until Jesus Christ who, when He was reviled, reviled not again, and when He suffered, threatened not (I Peter 2:23). No man can comprehend just how perfect and holy God is until He comes face to face with the sinless Son of God. God has revealed Himself anew to the intelligence of man through the Incarnation.

(2) HE CAME TO REVEAL MAN TO HIMSELF

Through His Incarnation Jesus Christ reveals man to himself. He shows us what we are and what we may become. As we study the purposes of God in Christ, the fact impresses us that man is grossly ignorant of his real self, and that the mission of the Son’s coming included a plan that would enable man to see and know himself as God sees and knows him. We are not the least bit impressed with man’s vain philosophical views of himself, but rather with the accurate historical account of man as it is recorded in the Bible.

The primary fact that man needs to know about himself is his origin. Men are divided in their theories concerning this. We are not strangers to the evolutionary idea which attempts to explain man’s place in the earth. In 1871 Darwin published his book, The Descent of Man, but he said very little that had not been said before. The idea of evolution might be here to stay, but not because Darwin said so. Evolution was taught by Roman and Greek philosophers and even by ancient Egyptians. But the evolutionary idea that man must swallow his pride and be content with the fact that he has oozed from the slime along with the snails is contrary to the revelation in Scripture.

The Bible teaches clearly that the human race had its origin by the immediate creation of God (Genesis 1:26, 27) and that man is the grand consummation of all creation. We are forced to accept this view as against the theory of evolution because of the immeasurable gulf which separates man, even in his barest savage condition, from the nearest order of creation below him. Moreover, history corroborates Scripture in that man was destined to rule over all other animal life. God took special care in the creation of man, for “God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them” (Genesis 1:27). Actually it was not the body of man that was created, for the body was merely ”formed” of those elements necessary for man’s body and which were created long before man (Genesis 1:1). What was new in man’s creation was a form of life which only God and man possess (Genesis 2:7). Created in the image and likeness of God, man differs from every other form of animal. Man, in his lowest estate, seeks an object of worship and has been known to bow before gods that he cannot see, but animals never!

However, man did not retain God’s image and likeness. When God placed our first parents in Eden He set before them one simple restriction, namely, not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for, said God, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Genesis 3 is a record of the fall of man. He disobeyed God and immediately the life-cord was severed. Adam died both physically and spiritually. Physical death began to do its work, and the grave for Adam was but a matter of time. Then, too, his spirit was separated from God, so that he was dead spiritually while alive physically.

Now all men, from Adam down, are born into this world spiritually dead in sin, possessing a sin-nature capable of every trespass against God (Ephesians 2:1). The sin-nature of Adam and the guilt of his sin were imputed to the whole human race, so that Adam’s corrupted nature is of necessity a part of all his posterity. The highest self in man is altogether unprofitable to God. All men are not equally corrupt in word and deed, but all are equally dead, and unless the function of death is brought to a halt, it will destroy not only the body but also the soul in hell. Because of the solidarity of the human race, sin and death have passed upon all men (Romans 5:12). When Adam defaced the Divine image and lost the Divine likeness, he begat sons ”in his own likeness, after his image” (Genesis 5:3). Yes, “by man came death” and ”in Adam all die” (I Corinthians 15:21, 22).

While all of this is clearly stated in the Bible, man still thinks of himself more highly than he ought to think. There were many who had no Scriptures at all in Christ’s day, and they needed this revelation. In order that man should see himself, not in the light of his own goodness, but beside the perfect standard of God’s holy Son, the Son of God became Incarnate. Our Lord said, ”If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin” (John 15:22).

Responsibility increases with knowledge, and so Christ’s coming showed man how far short he came of God’s standard of a righteous man. The Lord Jesus said, “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin . . . “ (John 15:24). Our Lord did not mean by this statement that man would have been without sin if He had not come. There had been sin all along, as God’s dealings with the human race through its four thousand years of earlier history prove. But the coming of Christ to the earth revealed the heart of man in cruel hatred for Divine holiness. The Son of God Incarnate was sinless in every respect, yet man, Jew and Gentile alike, crucified Him. Alongside Christ’s perfect life and works, man can see the sin and guilt of his own heart.

When man sinned against the Son of God, he sinned against the clearest possible light, “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). He came unto His own and His own received Him not (John 1:11), and then Gentiles joined hands with ”His own” to put Him to death. How sinful is the heart of man? Look at that spectacle on Calvary’s hill and you will see human hearts and hands at their worst.

Time has not improved human nature. Today men still trample under food the precious blood of Christ, and if our blessed Lord were to appear in person today as He did nineteen centuries ago, the world would crucify him again. The world, having seen the light, has turned from the light, for “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Romans 1:18 to 3:20 enunciates the most searching and conclusive arraignment of the human race found anywhere, and the birth and death of Jesus Christ attest to the truth of this awful indictment.

(3) He Came to Redeem Man

The Apostle Paul states clearly the purpose of the Incarnation in the following words– ”But when the fulness of the was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law” (Galatians 4:4, 5). The Old Testament contains the accurate record of some four thousand years of sin, human failure, and consequent Divine judgment. The one bright hope was the coming of the promised Seed, the Redeemer (Genesis 3:15). With each succeeding revelation from God, the promise grew clearer and the hope brighter. The prophets spoke of the Messiah who would come to deliver the people from their sins. Perhaps the classic prophecy is Isaiah 53. Since the people needed a deliverer from the guilt and penalty of sin, the intent of the Incarnation was to provide that Deliverer. Moreover, all of history and prophecy moved toward that goal even as all subsequent movements have proceeded from it.

Jesus Christ is man’s Redeemer, his Saviour. This truth is implied in His name. Said the angel, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS (meaning Saviour), for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). At His birth the angel testified again, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Even the Lord Jesus Himself voiced emphatically the purpose of His Incarnation when He said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

The awful state of the world of mankind necessitated the coming of the Redeemer since there could be no hope of deliverance apart from Him. The character of God, which is righteousness, absolute and uncompromising, demands that every sin be dealt with. While God is merciful, gracious, and slow to anger, forgiving iniquities and transgressions, ”that will by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:7)., While God is love, God is also holy and righteous, so holy that He is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and [canst] not look on iniquity” (Habakkuk 1:13). His righteousness demands that every sin must be dealt with impartially. In order to be true to Himself, God had to deal with the problem of sin. In order to deal justly and, at the same time, mercifully, someone had to suffer the death penalty for the sin of the world.

In the Person of Jesus Christ God solved the problem of the eternal well-being of the sinner. He sent His Son to die as the sinner’s perfect Substitute, and thereby redeemed the sinner. Man was lost to God and heaven, and God’s purpose in redemption could be realized only through the Incarnate Son of God, for the Son of God Incarnate is the connecting link bringing together God and sinful man. The sinner’s relation to Jesus Christ is vital. Christ became a man “that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9). The Word, who is the eternal Son of God, became flesh and was obliged to be made in the likeness of man in order to redeem him.

Christ defined the purpose of His Incarnation and earthly ministry when He said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). There is no implication in these words that there is a sinful class of men who need repentance and another righteous class who do not. Nor is there a suggestion that there are “righteous ones,” for in Romans 3:10 it is said, “There is none righteous, no, not one.”

Consider the conditions under which Christ stated this purpose. Scribes and Pharisees were upbraiding Him because He had gone into the house of Levi to eat with publicans and sinners (Mark 2:14-16). His critics exalted themselves above sinners, priding themselves in an unpossessed righteousness which thereby excluded them from any realization or acknowledgement of their own sin.

In Levi’s house, however, there were those who recognized their sinful state. It was for this reason that the Lord Jesus went to that group, namely, to bring salvation to them. Physicians go into sick rooms, not because of the pleasantness of disease and suffering, but because of a desire to relieve and cure the sick. So sinners are the special objects of the Saviour’s love and power. He came into the world to save sinners.

Although all men are unrighteous, those scribes and Pharisees called themselves ”righteous,” for they were possessed of self-righteousness that is as “filthy rags” in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). Therefore, as they went about seeking to establish their own righteousness, they failed to see the purpose of His coming. Hence they never heeded the Saviour’s call to salvation. Their kind seldom do!

Had there been righteousness in the human heart, there would have been no need for the Incarnation of the Son of God. And only in the self-righteous heart of the religious, moral man, satisfied with himself, do we find the careless indifference to the Gospel of redemption. When a man assumes a righteousness all his own, he is outside the reach of the Great Physician. The man who excludes his own need of Christ misses the purpose of the Saviour’s coming and will not be saved. Each of us must say with the Apostle Paul, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (I Timothy 1:15).

(4) HE CAME TO RESTRAIN SATAN

The purpose of the Incarnation is further revealed in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Three verses, linked together, assert that the coming of Jesus Christ was to destroy the devil. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man . . . Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same [flesh and blood]; 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 2:9, 14,15).

In these three verses in Hebrews, we are reminded that the subject of death is dealt with in each of them, and the fact of the Incarnation is substantiated in the clause, “who was made a little lower than the angels.” Furthermore, the purpose of the Incarnation appears in the words, “that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” From this verse, as well as verse 14, it is evident that the eternal Son became flesh in order to die.

Christ’s crucifixion by wicked hands was “by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). Our Lord Jesus Christ testified, “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Jesus Christ willed to die, not a sudden and unexpected death but a lingering, anticipated death that He would taste every day of His earthly sojourn. He became man to suffer death.

But why should it be so? We considered the purpose of the Incarnation relative to the sin question. Referring to the matter of death, the Word affirms that the Son of God became incarnate that “through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Of all the works of Satan, among the worst is that of destroying life. Our Lord testified, “He was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). Satan is the spoiler of humanity, his malignant purpose being to bring both physical and spiritual death to mankind.

God placed our first parents in the Garden of Eden and surrounded them with every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. Two of these trees are mentioned; ”the tree of life . . . and the tree of knowledge of good and evil” Genesis 2:9). Eating the fruit of the latter tree would bring sin and death, for, said God, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Satan knew this, therefore we are not surprised when we read that it was of the fruit of this very tree of death that he enticed Eve to eat. He chose the tree of death because he is a murderer. He knew that the death sentence was already pronounced upon all who would eat of it. He delighted in the fall of Adam and Eve, for he knew that physical and spiritual death had struck.

But thanks be to God for the Incarnation of His Son. By the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, through His death and resurrection, He wrested from Satan the power of death. Death no more holds its lethal grip upon the believer. Although death has held sinners in bondage ever since the severing of the life-cord between God and man, the appearing of the Lord Jesus has broken its grip. “According to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began . . . the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel” (II Timothy 1:9-10).

Before sin was indulged in and death struck, the inclusive salvation plan provided death’s abolition. Since the death and resurrection of our Lord dealt comprehensively with sin, it of necessity affected death. The coming of the Saviour rendered death harmless, and the “sting” of it is gone (I Corinthians 15:55). Oh, the blessedness of an accomplished redemption! How wonderful to know Him who said, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18). Death once held man in the vise of hopeless doom, but now Satan is defeated.

The shadow of the cross hung over the manger in Bethlehem, assuring the world that the Seed of the woman would bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15). As Adam yielded himself to Satan, Satan held him in death; but by His dying, Christ entered into our death and wrested from Satan that power which he held over us. At Calvary Satan was brought to naught, and now “death is swallowed up in victory. . . Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:54, 57). “The prince of this world is judged” (John 16:1 1). The Seed of the woman traversed the realms of death but was not captured by the enemy. Instead, He conquered the enemy. Thank God the Saviour came.

(5) HE CAME TO RESCUE THE WHOLE CREATION

The Incarnation of the eternal Son is part of the divine plan. That plan comprehends a goal, and God assures the accomplishment of it. Though the salvation of man was God’s chief concern, His plan was never limited to the world of mankind. It is written of the eternal Son, who was with God and who is God, that “all things were made by Him” (John 1:3). Paul writes, ”For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth” (Colossians 1:28). Man was higher than all other created beings in the earth, and other creatures were subject to him. However, after the fall this condition changed. Now if man is to have dominion over the beasts, he must first capture them at the risk of his own life, and then imprison them until they are tamed. All of this resulted from the fall.

But the question is, Will God restore again to man the dominion which he lost through the fall? The prophet said, ”The wolf also shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cocatrice’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9). Indeed, it appears that the prophet here is looking beyond to a time of rescue and restoration of the earth and all of its creatures.

The cruelty of beasts was not the order before sin entered. Such discord among God’s creatures has sprung from the sinfulness of man and is a necessary part of the curse. To remove this curse and rescue God’s creation is one of the purposes of the Incarnation. When Christ comes back to reign and “the government shall be upon His shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6), then the sons of God will be manifested and will share with Him in a restored creation. If it were not so, then all of animated nature would remain spoiled by Satan. But God has said, “In that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground” (Hosea 2:18). Yes, God will “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him” (Ephesians 1:10). At that day our blessed Lord will “reconcile all things unto Himself’ (Colossians 1:20).

Many Christians fail to see that this redemptive work, wrought through the Incarnation of the Son of God, is wider than the salvation of human beings and that it affects the whole creation. The Apostle Paul writes, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:19-23). Here we are told that the deliverance of the whole creation will be revealed at the manifestation of the sons of God.

All creation lies in hope (expectancy) of a rescue from present corruption and of deliverance to that place God gave it in the beginning. Nature is now under the curse of sin, groaning and travailing in pain. It is not what it was at first. Nor is it now what it will be when the incarnate Son returns to “put all things in subjection under His feet” (see Hebrews 2:5-9). Before Adam sinned, no savage beasts, no desert wastes, no thorns and thistles existed; but when he fell, all creation fell with him. Now that the Son of God has come and purchased redemption by His death at Calvary, the whole creation must be rescued from the curse, and restored to its original state.

(6) HE CAME TO RESTORE ISRAEL

Any reader of the Old Testament cannot escape the clear teaching that the Messiah was promised to Israel. Of this the prophets spoke and wrote. The Jew had great advantages. “Unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Romans 3:2). Theirs was “the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises” (Romans 9:4). None can deny that from the call of Abraham (Genesis 12:1) to the Babylonian captivity under Nebuchadnezzar (606 B.C.), authority in the earth and divine representation was vested in the Jew. It is common information that since the overthrow of Jerusalem and the transfer of dominion in the earth to the Gentiles, Israel, as a nation, has not held authority in the earth.

When Jesus Christ, the Word, “was made flesh,” “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11, 14). ”His citizens hated Him, and sent a message after Him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14). In blind unbelief the children of Abraham, refusing to recognize or receive Him, drove Him from their midst and crucified Him. After His resurrection and ascension He revealed to the apostles this mystery. No longer did Israel have priority on the truth, but the message was to be spread abroad to every creature and, during the present dispensation of grace, God would visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name (Acts 15:14).

When Christ came the first time He traversed Palestine proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). He opened the door into the kingdom, but only the regenerated could enter. Were the people ready to receive the kingdom, the King would establish it. However, the offer of the kingdom met with an ever-increasing opposition, and our Lord withdrew the offer for that time. He said to the Jews, ”Therefore say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43). There was no mistaking what the Lord Jesus meant, for the chief priests and Pharisees “perceived that He spake of them” (vs. 45).

Israel is still set aside, but only temporarily. The Apostle Paul writes, ”I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid . . . God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew . . . For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Romans 11:1,2,25).

Anti-Semitism, raging throughout the world today, might lead one to question the future restoration of the Jew. Yet we know that both national restoration and national regeneration for the Jew are a definite part of the plan of God. Israel is not beyond recovery; she is not irretrievably lost. By her fall the whole world was blessed with the message of salvation. A national tragedy resulted in an international triumph. ”And so all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 10:26). The Jew lives in a dark present with a bright future before him. When our Lord said in Matthew 21:43, that “the kingdom shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof,” He was not referring to any Gentile nation but to regenerated Israel.

God gave Palestine to the Jews unconditionally as a possession and a dwelling place (Genesis 12: 1-3). He wants them there. That the Jews would be scattered is plainly taught in the Word of God, but coupled with such teaching are the assertions that they will also be regathered. Study Hosea 3:4,5 and see plainly the scattering and the gathering with the period between. (See also Ezekiel 36: 19,24). The Word became flesh and tabernacled among them once (John 1:14). That same holy One, the incarnate Christ, will come again to tabernacle with Israel. Study, for example, such passages as Isaiah 12:1-6Joel 2:26, 27Zephaniah 3:14-17Zechariah 8:3-8. Already modern inventions have revolutionized Palestine and its surrounding territory. This fact, coupled with the thought of the vast area granted by God to Abraham (Genesis 15: 18), will assure any interested person that there is ample room in the Holy Land to hold all Jews.

While the Jews continue to return to the Land, all signs point to the return of the incarnate Son, the One who is both human and Divine, and the One in whom God’s purposes for Israel are to be fulfilled. According to prophecy, the incarnate One, Immanuel, the virgin’s Son, is to occupy David’s throne. ”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, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of 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). Let us rejoice to see that day approaching.

(7) HE CAME TO REIGN

When the Incarnation had been announced, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:1,2). They were wise men indeed, for they were followers of the truth of God. When the Old Testament prophets wrote of Messiah’s offices, they included that of King. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation: lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zechariah 9:9). David wrote of Christ and His kingdom when he recorded the words of God, “Yet have I set My king upon My holy hill of Zion” (Psalm 2:6). Our Lord is not only Prophet, and Priest, but also Potentate.

In studying the purposes of the Incarnation we are forced to the scriptural observation that the eternal Son became Man in order that He might be King of the earth. Paul wrote that “God hath highly exalted Him” (Philippians 2:9). We dare not limit the exaltation of Christ as some try to do. We acquiesce with those who teach that the steps in Christ’s exaltation were His resurrection, ascension, and His sitting at the right hand of God. But such teaching does not go far enough. Study carefully Philippians 2:5-11, and you will see that the steps in our Lord’s humiliation were temporary steps leading to a permanent exaltation, culminating with the bowing of every knee and the confessing of every tongue in heaven and in earth, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The incarnate Son is to appear in His resurrection body and is to sit on the throne of His glory. Jesus Himself spoke of the day “when the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him; then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory” (Matthew 25:31). John writes, ”Every eye shall see Him” (Revelation 1:7). The prophetic utterance spoken by God to David in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 concerning David’s seed having an everlasting throne and kingdom, has a double fulfillment. Primarily it referred to Solomon’s temple. Ultimately and finally it speaks of Christ’s earthly reign as Zechariah 6:12 shows. The day must come when all things will be subjected unto Him (I Corinthians 15:28).

The Psalmist spoke of His throne as an enduring throne (Psalm 89:4, 29, 36). God promises that this earthly throne and kingdom are to continue forever, and that the One to occupy it shall be David’s seed, his rightful Son (I Chronicles 17:11). The genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 will support the relationship of Jesus Christ to David. During our Lord’s earthly ministry, those who sought His help called Him “the son of David” (see Matthew 9:27Mark 10:47Luke 18:38).

Christ’s kingdom is literal, therefore it cannot be realized apart from the Incarnation. Such a kingdom men have been trying to establish for centuries, but nations are farther from realizing it today than ever before. A perfect kingdom demands a perfect King. At the end of the conflict of the ages, Jesus Christ, the God-Man will return to earth to establish His righteous kingdom which will never be destroyed. His kingdom of glory, and His throne in the midst, was God’s first promise through the mouth of the angel Gabriel to Mary, and it links together the Incarnation and reign of the Son of God, ”And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).

When the King comes, then will His perfect will be done in earth as it is in heaven. This is a blessed truth not without history or hope. The day will surely come when all men will see the revelation of the glory of holiness and joy in the earth. But His reign awaits His return to carry away His Bride, the Church. Everything has been deferred until He gathers her unto Himself. It may be at any moment that the last soul will be added to the Church, and then He will come.

This meditation in no wise exhausts the divine purposes of the Incarnation. Others have written at greater length and, doubtless, we could do likewise. But one thing more must be said. The supreme purpose in the eternal Son’s coming into the world was to glorify the Father. In His great intercessory prayer, Jesus said, “I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do” (John 17:4). God had been glorified in creation, in the remarkable deliverances of His people, and in the exercise of His power over His enemies, but at no time had He been glorified like this. God could never have been glorified if the Son would have failed in His earthly mission in the smallest degree. But the Lord Jesus could say, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.” Nothing was left undone, and in everything He did, the Son had the Father’s glory in view. He glorified the Father; His earthly mission was complete.

And now to all of us who have been redeemed by His precious blood, the Apostle Paul writes: “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:20).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Lehman Strauss taught Old Testament history for eight years at Philadelphia Bible Institute, and served as pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church, Bristol, Pennsylvania, from 1939 to 1957. He was pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church (Highland Park, Michigan) until the end of 1963 when he resigned to devote full time to an itinerant Bible conference and evangelistic ministry both in the States and abroad. Dr. Strauss was residing in Florida and writing his 19th book at age 86 when the Lord called him home in June 1997. His written materials are used by permission…article originally appeared @ https://bible.org/article/why-god-became-man

 

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John Piper on “What is The Christian Gospel?”

What Is the Christian Gospel?

Piper J famous quote

The gospel is not just a sequence of steps (say, the “Four Laws” of Campus Crusade or the “Six Biblical Truths” of Quest For Joy).Those are essential. But what makes the gospel “good news” is that it connects a person with the “unsearchable riches of Christ.”

There is nothing in itself that makes “forgiveness of sins” good news. Whether being forgiven is good news depends on what it leads to. You could walk out of a courtroom innocent of a crime and get killed on the street. Forgiveness may or may not lead to joy. Even escaping hell is not in itself the good news we long for – not if we find heaven to be massively boring.

Nor is justification in itself good news. Where does it lead? That is the question. Whether justification will be good news, depends on the award we receive because of our imputed righteousness. What do we receive because we are counted righteous in Christ? The answer is fellowship with Jesus.

Forgiveness of sins and justification are good news because they remove obstacles to the only lasting, all-satisfying source of joy: Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is not merely the means of our rescue from damnation; he is the goal of our salvation. If he is not satisfying to be with, there is no salvation. He is not merely the rope that pulls us from the threatening waves; he is the solid beach under our feet, and the air in our lungs, and the beat of our heart, and the warm sun on our skin, and the song in our ears, and the arms of our beloved.

This is why the New Testament often defines the gospel as, simply, Christ. The gospel is the “gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:191 Corinthians 9:122 Corinthians 2:129:1310:14Galatians 1:7Philippians 1:27; etc.). Or, more specifically, the gospel is “the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4). And even more wonderfully, perhaps, Paul says that the preaching of the gospel is the preaching of “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8).

Therefore to believe the gospel is not only to accept the awesome truths that 1) God is holy, 2) we are hopeless sinners, 3) Christ died and rose again for sinners, and 4) this great salvation is enjoyed by faith in Christ-but believing the gospel is also to treasure Jesus Christ as your unsearchable riches. What makes the gospel Gospel is that it brings a person into the everlasting and ever-increasing joy of Jesus Christ.

The words Jesus will speak when we come to heaven are: “Enter into the joy of your Master” (Matthew 25:21). The prayer he prayed for us ended on this note: “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory” (John 17:24). The glory he wants us to see is the “unsearchable riches of Christ.” It is “the immeasurable riches of [God’s] grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).

The superlatives “unsearchable” and “immeasurable” mean that there will be no end to our discovery and enjoyment. There will be no boredom. Every day will bring forth new and stunning things about Christ which will cause yesterday’s wonder to be seen in new light, so that not only will there be new sights of glory everyday, but the accumulated glory will become more glorious with every new revelation.

The gospel is the good news that the everlasting and ever-increasing joy of the never-boring, ever-satisfying Christ is ours freely and eternally by faith in the sin-forgiving death and hope-giving resurrection of Jesus Christ.

May God give you “strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19).

Savoring and waiting,

Pastor John

©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Used by Permission.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in physical form, in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For posting online, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. For videos, please embed from the original source. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

 

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Tim Keller on Christ Centered Exposition of the Scriptures

Moralism vs. Christ-Centered Exposition 

Tim Keller seated image

We have said that you must preach the gospel every week–to edify and grow Christians and to convert non-Christians. But if that is the case, you cannot simply ‘instruct in Biblical principles.’ You have to ‘get to Jesus’ every week.

For example, look at the story of David and Goliath. What is the meaning of that narrative for us? Without reference to Christ, the story may be (usually is!) preached as: “The bigger they come, the harder they’ll fall, if you just go into your battles with faith in the Lord. You may not be real big and powerful in yourself, but with God on your side, you can overcome giants.” But as soon as we ask: “how is David foreshadowing the work of his greater Son”? We begin to see the same features of the story in a different light. The story is telling us that the Israelites can not go up against Goliath. They can’t do it. They need a substitute. When David goes in on their behalf, he is not a full-grown man, but a vulnerable and weak figure, a mere boy. He goes virtually as a sacrificial lamb. But God uses his apparent weakness as the means to destroy the giant, and David becomes Israel’s champion-redeemer, so that his victory will be imputed to them. They get all the fruit of having fought the battle themselves.

This is a fundamentally different meaning than the one that arises from the non-Christocentric reading. There is, in the end, only two ways to read the Bible: is it basically about me or basically about Jesus? In other words, is it basically about what I must do, or basically about what he has done? If I read David and Goliath as basically giving me an example, then the story is really about me. I must summons up the faith and courage to fight the giants in my life. But if I read David and Goliath as basically showing me salvation through Jesus, then the story is really about him. Until I see that Jesus fought the real giants (sin, law, death) for me, I will never have the courage to be able to fight ordinary giants in life (suffering, disappointment, failure, criticism, hardship). For example how can I ever fight the “giant” of failure, unless I have a deep security that God will not abandon me? If I see David as my example, the story will never help me fight the failure/giant. But if I see David/Jesus as my substitute, whose victory is imputed to me, then I can stand before the failure/giant. As another example, how can I ever fight the “giant” of persecution or criticism? Unless I can see him forgiving me on the cross, I won’t be able to forgive others. Unless I see him as forgiving me for falling asleep on him (Matt.27:45) I won’t be able to stay awake for him.

In the Old Testament we are continually told that our good works are not enough, that God has made a provision. This provision is pointed to at every place in the Old Testament. We see it in the clothes God makes Adam and Eve in Genesis, to the promises made to Abraham and the patriarchs, to the Tabernacle and the whole sacrificial system, to the innumerable references to a Messiah, a suffering servant, and so on. Therefore, to say that the Bible is about Christ is to say that the main theme of the Bible is the gospel–Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9).

So reading the Old Testament Christocentrically is not just a “additional” dimension. It is not something you can just tack on – to the end of a study and sermon. (“Oh, and by the way, this also points us to Christ”.) Rather, the Christocentric reading provides a fundamentally different application and meaning to the text. Without relating it to Christ, the story of Abraham and Isaac means: “You must be willing to even kill your own son for him.” Without relating it to Christ, the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel means: “You have to wrestle with God, even when he is inexplicable-even when he is crippling you. You must never give up.” These ‘morals-of-the-story’ are crushing because they essentially are read as being about us and what we must do.

A BASIC OUTLINE FOR CHRIST-CENTERED, GOSPEL-MOTIVATED SERMONS
The following may actually be four points in a presentation, or they may be treated very quickly as the last point of a sermon. But more generally, this is a foundational outline for the basic moral reasoning and argument that lies at the heart of the application.

The Plot winds up: WHAT YOU MUST DO.
“This is what you have to do! Here is what the text/narrative tells us that we must do or what we must be.”

The Plot thickens: WHY YOU CAN’T DO IT.
“But you can’t do it! Here are all the reasons that you will never become like this just by trying very hard.”

The Plot resolves: HOW HE DID IT.
“But there’s One who did. Perfectly. Wholly. Jesus the—. He has done this for us, in our place.”

The Plot winds down: HOW, THROUGH HIM, YOU CAN DO IT.
“Our failure to do it is due to our functional rejection of what he did. Remembering him frees our heart so we can change like this…”

a) In every text of the Scripture there is somehow a moral principle. It may grow out of because of what it shows us about the character of God or Christ, or out of either the good or bad example of characters in the text, or because of explicit commands, promises, and warnings. This moral principle must be distilled clearly.

b) But then a crisis is created in the hearers as the preacher shows that his moral principle creates insurmountable problems. The sermon shows how this practical and moral obligation is impossible to meet. The hearers are led to a seemingly dead end.

c) Then a hidden door opens and light comes in. The sermon moves both into worship and into Christ-application when it shows how only Jesus Christ has fulfilled this. If the text is a narrative, you can show how Christ is the ultimate example of a particular character. If the text is didactic, you can show how Christ is the ultimate embodiment of the principle.

d) Finally, we show how our inability to live as we ought stems from our rejection of Christ as the Way, Truth, and Life (or whatever the theme is). The sermon points out how to repent and rejoice in Christ in such a way that we can live as we ought.

 

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