November 18, 2018

Is the Jesus you believe in…the God of the Bible?

IS THE JESUS YOU BELIEVE IN…THE GOD OF THE BIBLE?

Why is the deity of Jesus Christ important? Are you believing in the Jesus Christ of the Bible, or another Jesus and another gospel? What is so miraculous about the good news or “gospel” of Jesus Christ? What makes it such “good news?” Is the “gospel” you believe in really “good news” or not?

John 1: 1-5 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

John wrote here “the Word was God”…the apostle John, who both walked and talked with Jesus before and after His crucifixion, clearly identified Jesus as God. Jesus spoke these words recorded in John 4: 24God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” He said in John 14: 6 I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

If God is Spirit, then how did He manifest Himself to us? Through Jesus Christ. Isaiah spoke these words to King Ahaz over seven hundred years before Christ was born: “…Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7: 13-14) Matthew later wrote of the birth of Jesus Christ being the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” (Matt. 1: 22-23)

So, if all things were made through Him, what is so incredible about this “gospel?” Think about this, after God created light, heaven, water, the earth, the seas, vegetation, the sun, moon, and stars, living creatures in the water the sky and on the land, He then created man and a garden for him to live in, with one commandment to obey with a penalty attached to it. God then created woman. He then instituted marriage between one man and one woman. The commandment to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was broken, and the penalty of death and separation from God went into effect. However, the coming redemption of mankind was then spoken of in Gen. 3: 15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” “Her Seed,” here is referring to the only person ever born without the seed of a man, but instead by the Holy Spirit of God, Jesus Christ.

All throughout the Old Testament, there were prophecies given of a coming Redeemer. God had created everything. His greatest creation – man and woman became subjected to death and separation from Him because of their disobedience. However, God being spirit, in order to eternally redeem mankind back to Himself, to pay the price Himself for their disobedience, at the appointed time, came Himself veiled in flesh, lived under the law He had given to Moses and then fulfilled the law by offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice, the lamb without spot or blemish, the only One worthy to once and for all provide redemption for all mankind by submissively shedding His blood and dying on the cross.   

Paul taught the Colossians important truths about Jesus Christ. He wrote in Col. 1: 15-19He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell.”

We read further in these passages what God did. Speaking of Jesus Christ in Col. 1: 20-22and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.”

So, Jesus Christ is the God of the Bible come down to man “veiled in flesh” to redeem man back to God. The eternal God suffered death in the flesh, so that we would not have to suffer eternal separation from Him if we trust and believe what He has done for us.

He not only gave Himself for us, He provided a way that we could be born of His Spirit, after we open our hearts to Him. His Spirit takes up residence in our hearts. We literally become a temple of God. God literally gives us a new nature. He renews our minds as we learn and study His word, found in the Bible. Through His Spirit He gives us the strength to obey and follow Him.

2 Cor. 5: 17-21 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

There is no other religion that proclaims a God of such incredible grace or “unmerited favor.” If you study other religions of our world, you will find much “merited” favor, rather than “unmerited” favor. Islam teaches that Muhammad was God’s final revelation. Mormonism teaches another gospel, one of rituals and works introduced by Joseph Smith. I proclaim that Jesus Christ was God’s final revelation, He was God in flesh. His life, death, and miraculous resurrection is the good news. Islam, Mormonism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses all take away the deity of Jesus Christ. As a believing Mormon, I did not realize it but I had raised Joseph Smith and his gospel above the gospel of the Bible. Doing this kept me under the bondage of rituals and laws. I found myself in the same dilemma spoken of in Romans 10: 2-4For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

Only Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible, offers the good news that our salvation, our sufficiency, our eternal hope and eternal life are in Him, and in Him alone – and not in any way dependent on any favor we ourselves can merit.

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