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The Jesus of Biblical Christianity
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The Biblical Portrait of Jesus Christ
January 23, 2009
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Who is Jesus? Is He just a man? Is He just a Great Teacher? Is He just a Great Prophet, another in several sent by God over the centuries? The Biblical answer to these questions is found below.
Some may believe that only the narrow-minded would not be ready to accept a universal Jesus; One popular with and accepted by all non-Christian religions. However this is not what the Bible teaches. True Belief in Christ allows room for none other. Let's look at the Scriptures and find out what the Biblical portrait of Jesus is. We learn Who Jesus is, not by the opinions of men, but by the Holy Word of God, the Holy Bible.
Reigning Master of the Universe - Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB)
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus makes it very plain that He now rules the Earth and the entire Universe. This is no prophet, this is no teacher, this is no ordinary man; this is the True Master of the Universe, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Here He initiates the Great Commission and promises His perpetual presence to all Christians:
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All
authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the End of the Age."
Much More Than a Prophet - Matthew 16:13-17 (KJV)
Jesus kept His true identity shrouded in mystery to those who did not want to believe and sought only to trap Him. However, He wanted to make sure His disciples clearly understood Who He really was. Peter's insightful statement of Faith was by the Grace of God, not by human reasoning:
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples,
saying, "Whom do men say that I the Son of Man
14 And they said, "Some say that Thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias (Elijah); and others, Jeremias (Jeremiah), or one of the prophets."
15 He saith unto them, "But Whom say ye that I am?"
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona (Peter): for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in Heaven."
Foretold by the Prophets - Isaiah 53:3-7 (NASB)
God sent several prophets to the Nation of Israel. All foretold of His Redemption in Christ Jesus:
He was despised and forsaken of men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like One from Whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a Lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a Sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
Denial of His Deity = Unbelief - Colossians 2:9 (NASB)
The Deity of the Godhead was revealed to the world in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul's letter to the Church at Colossae makes this important statement succinctly:
9 For in Him [Jesus] all the Fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form ...
Denial of His Messianic Purpose = Unbelief - 1st John 2:20-23 (NASB)
Though this need not be a permanent state of being, the Apostle John teaches that anyone denying that Jesus is the Messiah of God, is of the spirit of the Antichrist. Since the Antichrist is the first one thrown into the Eternal Lake of Fire at the climax of the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:19-20), this is not good company to keep. An unbeliever may become a believer, but only after acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God. John writes the Truth to those who have already received it:
But you have an Anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.
21 I have not written to you because you do not know the Truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the Truth.
22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
Denial of His Incarnation = False Teaching - 2nd John 7 (NASB)
The false prophet and the false teacher are easy to recognize. The Disciple John admonishes the Christian to know the false prophets from the true disciples of Christ. The litmus test is foolproof:
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the Deceiver and the Antichrist.
King of All Creation - Colossians 1:15-16 (NASB)
Jesus is not an angel, He is not an alien, He is not a philosopher, and He is not a prophet. He is as much God as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Everything in the universe that can be seen with the human eye down to subatomic particles are all a result of His creative powers and purpose:
... He [Jesus] is the
image of the invisible God [the Father],
the First-Born of all creation.
16 For by Him [Jesus] all things were created, both in the Heavens and on Earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created by Him [Jesus] and for Him [Jesus] (pronouns in brackets mine).
The Only Path to Salvation - John 14:6 (NASB)
This is where the Real Savior is differentiated from the deceivers. No matter what their teachings, no matter what their works, no matter what their historical accomplishments, there is only One Messiah from God and His Name is Jesus Christ:
6 Jesus said to him, "I am The Way, and The Truth, and The Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
The Free Savior of Humanity - John 3:17-18 (NASB)
Jesus offers Free Salvation to those who believe in Him. Those who do not believe in Jesus are not Saved and are subject to the Judgment of God. However, by simply receiving Christ as Savior, an unbeliever may cross over into Eternal Life in Christ. Instantaneous Salvation is Free for the asking:
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the
world might be Saved through Him.
18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the Only Begotten Son of God.
Believe Him and Receive Him - Romans 10:8-10 (NASB)
No church owns Salvation and no priest or preacher owns Salvation. Salvation is a personal matter between each individual person and God, but only available through His Chosen Messiah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth:
... THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, in your mouth and in your heart -- that is, the Word
of Faith which we are preaching,
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be Saved;
10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in Salvation.
Confession of Jesus is Mandatory - Matthew 10:32-33 (NASB)
Christians aren't "Jesus Freaks" just for fun. Those that have been born-again are required by Christ Himself to proclaim Him as Lord and Savior. These instructions came from Christ Himself:
Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him
before My Father Who is in Heaven.
33 But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father Who is in Heaven.
Confessed Messiah of God - John 4:25-26 (NASB)
The Samaritan woman at the well acknowledged Messiah was coming. To her surprise, He had already arrived:
The woman said to Him, "I
know that Messiah is coming (He Who is called Christ); when that One comes, He
will declare all things to us."
26 Jesus said to her, "I Who speak to you AM He."
Eternal Messiah of God - John 1:1-5 (NASB)
During His conversation with the Samaritan woman Jesus said "I ... AM". "He" is "italicized" in the King James Bible because the pronoun "He" is not found in the Greek texts. "He" was added by the King James Bible scholars when they rendered the Greek verse into English. Jesus' statement of "I AM" is a manifestation of His Deity paralleling God's statement to Moses in Exodus 3:14. The Apostle John reaffirms the Deity of Jesus Christ, His perpetual existence, His creative powers and His Earthly Incarnation:
IN the beginning was the Word [Jesus],
and the Word [Jesus]
was with God, and the Word [Jesus]
2 He [Jesus] was in the beginning with God.
3 All things came into being through Him [Jesus], and apart from Him [Jesus] nothing came into being that has come into being.
4 In Him [Jesus] was life, and the life was the Light of men.
5 The Light [Jesus] shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it (pronouns in brackets mine).
Purposeful Messiah of God - 1st John 3:8 (KJV)
Christ came to Earth to redeem "whosoever will" from all of us who have followed after Satan's rebellion:
8 ... For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil.
Complete Messiah of God - 1st Timothy 3:16 (NASB)
The Apostle Paul makes a long story short. Here is Paul's brief assessment of Jesus' Earthly ministry:
16 By common confession, great is the Mystery of Godliness: He who was Revealed in the Flesh, Was Vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by Angels, Proclaimed among the Nations, Believed on in the World, Taken up in Glory.
Free Messiah of God - Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
The Salvation Christ offers is not because of our good works, but the Kindness of God reaching down:
For by Grace are ye Saved through Faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
Gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Humble Messiah of God - Matthew 11:27-30 (KJV)
True Knowledge of God comes only through His Son Jesus. The unpretentious Messiah beckons:
All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but
the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to
whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.
28 Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
Healing Messiah of God - Matthew 8:16-17 (NASB)
The healing power of the Messiah was foretold in Isaiah 53:4. He simply spoke the Word and all were healed:
evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out
the spirits with a Word, and healed all who were ill.
17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: "HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.''
Unchanging Messiah of God - Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)
Resurrected the Third Day after His Crucifixion, the Messiah of God changes not, throughout eternity:
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Sanctifying Messiah of God - 1st John 2:1-2 (NIV)
Though Christians fail from time to time, the Sanctifying Blood of Jesus keeps them righteous with God. This is not a license to sin, but demonstrates the 100% atoning payment made by Christ at Calvary. Jesus paid the sin bill for "whosoever will" throughout all eternity. One need only accept God's Free Gift:
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody
does sin, we have One Who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the
2 He is the Atoning Sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Resurrected Messiah of God - 1st Corinthians 15:3-8 (NASB)
500+ people testified to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus first appeared to the Apostle Peter, then all 12 of His Disciples and then to over 500 people at one time. Lastly He appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road. Saul became the Apostle Paul who wrote 13 of the 27 New Testament books:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ
died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the Third Day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve (Disciples).
6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
7 then He appeared to James, then to all the Apostles;
8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
Anointed Messiah of God - Hebrews 9:24-26, 28 (NIV)
The Jewish High Priest entered the Temple of God each year to atone for the sins of the people. This was but a foreshadowing of the True High Priest of God, Jesus Christ. The Jewish High Priest performed sacrifices each year; Jesus only had to do it once. His atoning work has been completed:
For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the True
One; He entered Heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence.
25 Nor did He enter Heaven to offer Himself again and again, the way the High Priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.
26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the End of the Ages to do away with sin by the Sacrifice of Himself.
28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring Salvation to those who are waiting for Him.
Appointed Messiah of God - Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)
The Eternal Reign and Rule of Christ is described in Paul's Epistle to the Philippians. The King of the Universe shares His throne with no other "religious" leader. His Divine Appointment is of God the Father:
Therefore God exalted Him to the Highest Place and
gave Him the Name that is above every name,
10 that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in Heaven and on Earth and under the Earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Returning Messiah of God - Revelation 19:10-16 (NASB)
Despite the doubts of many, one Day, unknown to man, Jesus is returning to Earth to Reign as King forever and forever. Many disregard the study of Bible Prophecy, yet Revelation 19:10 demonstrates that Bible Prophecy and the testimony of Christ are inseparable. This is a future event foretold:
... worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the
Spirit of Prophecy.
11 And I saw Heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a Name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.
13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which are in Heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.
15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a Rod of Iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Second Coming Preceded by Imposters - Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 23, 26-27, 30 (NASB)
Just prior to Jesus' Second Coming, the Earth will experience counterfeit "Christs" and False Prophets. At the end of the Tribulation Period, His Second Coming will be seen by all on the Earth:
And Jesus answered and said to them,
See to it that no one misleads you.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.
11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.
23 Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him.
26 So if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them.
27 For just as the lightning comes from the East and flashes even to the West, so will the Coming of the Son of Man be.
30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the Earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.
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