Eps 1719: The Bible and Jesus
— The too lazy to register an account podcast
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There is that which God intended to say, which was passed down to Jesus Christ, which was passed down through the Spirit of truth, which was completed in the Apostles. Jesus Christ has also made clear that, upon his Ascension to Heaven, He will send the Holy Ghost--the Spirit of Truth--who will take what was given by Jesus and deliver it to the disciples, that they may complete Gods revelation.
He is God in the flesh, so if we are looking for any guide to how to approach Scripture, we should look no further than Him. The true test of how anyone feels about Jesus should revolve around who He claims to be, and what he accomplished in his short tenure on our planet. A Christ who allows his followers to posit him as a judge of Scripture, someone by whose authority it has to be confirmed before being binding, and by whose unfavorable verdicts it is overturned, is a Christ of the human imagination, made in the theologians own image, a Christ whose relationship with the Bible is antithetical to the Christ of history.
More, given the present edification of Scripture by the Spirit, we must, along with Heinrich Bullingers, affirm that the God God spoke to the Fathers, Prophets, Apostles, and is still speaking to us, through the Scriptures, of Jesus. In addition to these perspectives, we also should view Gods son as appearing in the Hebrew Bible. In other words, Jesus is present throughout the Torah, as well as in both major and minor books of the Prophets of the Old Testament.
Almost every New Testament book makes a statement, given in various ways, using various words, that Jesus is God. I am not suggesting that each one of these examples proves Jesus is God, just that, taken all together, there is obviously one main thrust of the teachings in the New Testament which is intended to communicate this fact to the reader. This is but one example of how throughout the New Testament, epistle authors have indicated that the Old Testament is a trove of doctrines .
There are many, many other examples throughout the New Testament, but notice that Christian belief in Jesus as God is not just the mere interpretation of two or three passages, or is not based on just one or two obscure passages. Since Matthew wrote mostly to persuade Jews that Jesus of Nazareth was their promised Messiah, it follows that his gospel is saturated with His Scripture. The faith of the Fathers during the Old Testament age, and the faith we have in the New Testament, is the same faith in Christ Jesus.
Even when Paul is teaching us about the pattern of the Old Testament Gospel, he is careful to emphasize that Jesus is more than just the pattern--he is promised to the Old Testament believers, as well as presented. Jesus Christ therefore opened his disciples minds to understanding Scripture, saying to them, This is how it was written, that the Christ should suffer and rise on the third day from the dead, and that repentance should be announced to the whole world in His name, beginning with Jerusalem. The basic difference between the Christian message and all others is that we believe Jesus Christ is Lord by virtue of His just life, redeemed death, resurrection that overcame death, the Ascension, Pentecost, and someday by His return, and that the works of Christ are applicable to believers.
There has always been, and will always be, one mind, one impression, one faith concerning Jesus among true believers, whether they live in times past, present, or future. Christians generally consider the miracles as real historical events, and that His miraculous works are a significant part of the life of Jesus, testifying to the divinity and Hypostatic Union of Jesus, namely, the twofold nature of Christs humanity and divinity within a single Hypostasis.
Keep in mind, although it is a radical idea for any human being to declare himself God, Jesus is the only world religious leader who made this declaration -- let alone sustained it. If you proclaim, Jesus is Lord, with your mouth, and you believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, then you are saved. Believe the wonder, so you can know and understand that God is in Jesus, and that I am in the Father.
The law and prophets were written so that they could perfectly depict both the magnitude of our problems and Gods grace in Christ . Christ, beginning with beginning, and ending, points out different divine patterns which disclose the limitations of the past, and point us wonderfully toward Jesus as the fulfillment of Gods dealings with Israel through Moses and the law-covenant. Christ From Beginning to End answers these questions, helping Christians to better understand how to read Scripture as history, seeing how each piece of Scripture fits together to reveal the glory of Jesus--from Genesis to Malachi, from Matthew to Revelation.