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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

I referred to a question a few days ago that Mark Driscoll asked in his book, Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions, ultimately everybody answers the question of who Jesus is and responds in kind.

There is so much conjecture and opinion.  SocietyVS – a regular visitor to this blog said:

I see Jesus as the Christ – Messiah – at the right hand of God in His court – but not God.

A new friend, Steve, responded:

So what do you do with Isaiah?

He said some interesting things about the Messiah:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

And what do you do with John?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14)

If the Bible is any good at all, the conclusion is inescapable.

What does Jesus have to say about Himself.  A walk through the Gospels we can see that Jesus claims to be God in numerous ways.  Driscoll mentions ten.  I am going to list the first five in this post.

1.  Jesus said He came down from Heaven.

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me, (John 6:38, ESV).

If you read John 6:41-66 you will see that this comment got Him into trouble with the Pharisees, and confounded his own disciples.

2.  Jesus said He was more than just a good man.

A lot of people will say that Jesus is a good teacher and that He (they wouldn’t capitalize he) was a good man.  They tried saying this back in His day as well.

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone, (Mark 10:17-18, ESV).

Jesus healed on the Sabbath and that really infuriated the Pharisees.  He also called God his Father and that also put Him on their “bad” list.

This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God, (John 5:18, ESV).

3. Jesus said He is the Son of Man.

Jesus uses this title around 80 times in all four Gospels.  This is a title that we see in the book of Daniel.

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed, (Daniel 7:13-14, NIV).

This passage indicates that he isn’t human.  He is given messianic dominion and authority.  This person is worshiped.  David speaks of this person is Psalm 110.

The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”

The Lord sends forth from Zion
your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your enemies!
Your people will offer themselves freely
on the day of your power,
in holy garments;
from the womb of the morning,
the dew of your youth will be yours.
The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.”

The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs
over the wide earth.
He will drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.

4.  Jesus performed miracles.

Driscoll states, “Jesus was a great leader and teacher, but his ministry also included the miraculous – one line of evidence that he was in fact God and more than just another spiritually enlightened person,” (pg. 20).  Jesus says to those challenging Him to view these miracles as evidence.

Do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”  Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands, (John 10:36-39, ESV).

Nearly forty specific miracles are mentioned in the New Testament and nearly a third of the Gospel of Mark deals with His miracles.

5.  Jesus said He is God.

Many cults wrongly deny Jesus’ divinity.  But Scripture clearly illustrate how Jesus said he is God.  His hearers understood his claim.

But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”  And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”  And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need?  You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death, (Mark 14:61-64, ESV).

Also we see in John 8.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”  So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple, (John 8:58-59, ESV).

When Jesus names himself “I am,” he was declaring himself to be the same God who revealed himself by the title “I AM”.  In John 10 we see that the Pharisees wanted to stone him for blasphemy.  Why?  Because they understood Jesus was saying that He was God.

So before we make up our minds and say that Jesus isn’t God we really have to closely examine what He said about Himself.  I hope that you will do just that and check out the next post.

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I know there are people from a variety of backgrounds who read this blog.  I just started reading Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears.  In it Mark, in the opening chapter, asks some great questions that every single person on the globe must answer for themselves.

Who exactly is Jesus?  Is he a good man or God, the half-brother of Lucifer or a prophet, liar or truth-teller, therapist or communist, stand-up comic or just my uber-fly, holy homeboy?

What say you?  Please leave a comment.

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HT: Lance Gargus

Lyrics to the original “Amazing Grace” by John Newton whose life was transformed from a former slave ship captain to a servant of Jesus Christ.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…. I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught…my heart to fear.  And Grace, my fears relieved.  How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares we have already come.  T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me… His word my hope secures.  He will my shield and portion be…as long as life endures.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years… bright shining as the sun.  We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise… than when we first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…  I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now, I see.

For twenty years of my life I was chasing after other things that I deemed important.  I was missing out on what truly gives life.  This song means so much to me because when I placed my faith in Christ I was saved.  I was found.  I could see where I was spiritually blind before.  My fears were relieved!  I was (and am) delivered from being enslaved by a fear of death, (Hebrews 2:15).  Because of His grace I will persevere!  For that and so much more will I praise Him!

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, (Colossians 1:15-22, ESV).

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1.  More problems with the Episcopal Church – a leading Episcopal conservative is urging the denomination to halt the process of disciplining Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh because of his movement toward disaffiliation.

“In brief, I would urge TEC (The Episcopal Church) and other Anglican bishops to pray for and take action so that this process pauses indefinitely,” the Rev. Ephraim Radner said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Episcopal Church’s three senior bishops stopped short of banning Duncan from his religious duties last week when the presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, sought to inhibit him. Duncan was, however, certified as having “abandoned the Communion of this Church” and Episcopal bishops are expected to vote on a final decision later this year.

The charge essentially means that the bishop has effectively left the church.

Duncan has been leading his Pittsburgh diocese toward a split with The Episcopal Church over its liberal direction on Scripture and homosexuality. The Pittsburgh bishop has expressed little hope that the national church would get back in line with Anglican tradition and is currently planning to form a separate orthodox Anglican body in the United States with other conservative bishops.

(Read the rest – source Christian Post)

2.  (To the left) Mints or crack-cocaine – which is which?

3.  Not only are dogs a man’s best friend, but evidently they are tasty as well.

4. This is macabre.  Should families have a right to body parts removed during autopsies?

5.  Pat Nolan of Justice Fellowship (part of Prison Fellowship) wrote an article called “How Should We Deal With Sex Offenders?” since the law is becoming increasingly broad and has unduly penalized people who have committed minor offenses (17-year-olds convicted of statutory rape) with those who have committed serious offenses.  No easy answers, but this article is worth a read.

6.  Researchers are one step away from creating life…. bacteria.  Why? 

7.  Mexican men behaving badly brings about women-only buses.

8.  Evangelicals are surprising some by demonstrating that they are conservative on social issues, but more liberal with other issues.  It doesn’t surprise me, I just don’t want to see life issues pushed aside.  I’ve said before that not all conservative/GOP positions are biblical.

9.  Using American Idol to promote abstinence.

10.  Premarital sex makes you stupid… here’s the proof.

11.  Powerful video

12.  I guess there was another GOP debate last night.

13.  Washington Post – “A Youthful Thong Marches Against Abortion

14.  Teenagers baffle you?  Jake Bouma has some suggestions on how to learn more about them in only eight hours.  How cool is that?

15.  Joe Carter on Limited Government – read Part I and Part 2.

16.  Scott Klusendorf of Stand to Reason on Focus on the Family regarding abortion.  You can listen here.  HT: Melinda @ STR

17.  The AP on Mormon Key Tenants… Sharon Lindbloom of the Mormon Research Ministry provides commentary.

18.  Jill Stanek calls the latest Guttmacher report on abortions inaccurate.

19.  More on the GOP debate – Mike Huckabee’s answer on the economy.

HT: Hot Air’s Bryan Preston

Bryan Preston goes on to say:

Mike Huckabee makes some sense on the economic stimulus. He says, essentially, if we’re going to borrow $150 billion from China to finance the stimulus package, why not use it to do something useful instead of just handing it over to be spent on goods imported from China?

That’s not crazy. Chances are, people will spend their rebates on TVs and other consumables that’s imported. That’ll help American retailers and importers but not manufacturers. While it would be better just to cut taxes and cut spending and the government as far from all our wallets and lives as possible, if you’re going to borrow and spend, let’s at least widen I-95, put Americans to work on it and get some long-term benefits from the project.

HT: Joel Harris

20.  A cartoon’s perspective of the GOP presidential race… it made me laugh out loud so I had to share it.

Cartoon from Politico.

HT: El Nuko’s

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This is one of Mark Driscoll’s earlier quotes.  To give you a proper context – what follows is not the only way he views Jesus, but providing a contrast with the theological left wing of the emerging church movement (Emergent Village).

There is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. Some emergent types want to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair, who drank decaf and made pithy Zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a prize fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone BLEED. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up. I fear some are becoming more cultural than Christian, and without a big Jesus who has authority and hates sin as revealed in the Bible, we will have less and less Christians and more and more confused, spiritually self-righteous blogger critics of Christianity.

What do you think?  Accurate?  Fightin’ words?  Spot on?  Is he drinking kool aid?

HT: Steve Laughlin

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An objection that I hear often from those who are outside the faith is “you are being intolerant when you claim that Jesus Christ is the only way to God

R.C. Sproul in his book Reasons to Believe said something very insightful.

Moses could meditate on the law; Muhammad could brandish a sword; Buddha could give personal counsel; Confucius could offer wise sayings; but none of these men was qualified to offer an atonement for the sins of the world…. Christ alone is worthy of unlimited devotion and service.

That may not be popular in today’s culture, but truth is not about a popularity contest.  Besides when it comes to the exclusiveness of Christianity (and by the way, Christianity is not the only religion that is exclusive) Jesus himself said He was the only way.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” (John 14:6, ESV).

I guess perhaps Jesus was being intolerant too.

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