The Person of Christ 2

Christ is God!

The 39 Articles of Faith of the Anglican Church claims that, and I quote, “The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father…whereof is one Christ, very God, and very Man.” Thus Christ is in every essence God Almighty, the Creator of the universe. This has become a hard truth for many contemporary Christians because it sounds totally absurd and ridiculous that a monotheistic religion like Christianity seem to believe in multiple gods. It seems difficult to reconcile the monotheistic nature of the Christian faith and existence of three persons in one Godhead. Because it is a difficult truth to accept, many modern churches today have chosen to compromise with this fundamental Christian theology about Christ.

I am not here to defend this belief that Jesus is in every essence God and God is in every substance Christ the Lord! If Christ is not God, then he cannot be anybody else. The Islamic faith believe that Christ is a prophet to the Jews and he is inferior to Prophet Muhammad, who is the greatest prophet the god of the Koran had ever sent. The Mormons believe Christ was a created being like any others. They believe that Christ is the brother of Michael, the Archangel and like him, Christ is also an Archangel. These Archangels are said to be brothers and special children of God. The Jehovah Witnesses believe in something like this as well. They reject the divinity of Christ and embrace him like a prophet or a servant of the Most High. The fact is, if Christ is not God, then he is not anything else. We cannot accept a Christ that is anything lesser than God. There is enough biblical evidences that suggest that Christ is God, Yahweh, Elohim.

The most explicit declaration of Christ as God can be found in the Book of Revelation Chapter 1 verse 8 and I quote, “I am the Alpha and Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

The Jews of Jesus’ days knew the true implication of Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God. As a matter of fact, in John 5:18, the Pharisees wanted to kill Him, not only because He broke the Sabbath but He also claimed to be the Son of God, making Himself equal with God. Thus, the Jews understood that by claiming to be the Son of God, Jesus was making Himself equal with God. In Luke 22:70, Jesus did not reject the claim that He is the Son of God when He was asked. He said that the claim was right and He is indeed God’s only begotten Son. In John 10:30, Jesus claimed that He is equal with God and that both are one. The Greek word for the “Son” is huios. The word refers to a son who derives his very nature and essence from the father and this not through ordinary means. It denotes a direct offspring of a father. In other words, Christ is directly from the Father and that He derives His very nature from the heavenly Father, thus sharing the same nature and essence from God Himself.

Christ divinity is undeniably true and indisputable. The Lord Jesus is God and He is God became flesh and dwelt among us for three years and more so that men can know God and be reconcile with Him.

Why is the divinity of God important to us. It is important because it concerns the very foundation of God’s love for humanity. If Christ is not God, then there is no “Word became flesh”. When there is no “Word became flesh” then the entire gospel of salvation cannot stand. The sacrificial lamb must be spotless and undefiled. In other words, it has to be clean, pure and without abnormality. Translating this into the salvation framework, Christ must be spotless and without blemish. He must be sinless and totally righteous. And we have a problem here. If Christ is not God and just merely a human or a created being, then Christ cannot be unblemished and cannot be spotless. Thus, He must be God for only God is totally and entirely righteous and holy. Therefore the divinity of Christ has a strong implication on the entire framework of salvation. The framework will not stand if Christ is not God. He must be God.

I am so glad that He is God…that He is Elohim and that He is Yahweh. He is God and is worthy of our worship and our praise. He is God and He is answer to our prayers. He is God and He is sovereign. I may not be able to fully understand the fullness of His divinity and the mystery of the holy Trinity, but I know for very sure that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He is in every essence God, the same God who created the heavens and the earth.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, You are God! You are the Lord of the Universe. You are the Lord of this nation. There is no one like You! I can use the whole of eternity to search and still I cannot find one who is equal with You. Because You are God, You are constant and unchangeable. In a world, that is full of uncertainty and chaos, You are the only constant. I thank You that I can rely on You and I can put my faith in You. Lord Jesus, as I embark on this journey to know You more, reveal Yourself to me. Give me a fresh new revelation of who You are. In knowing You more, I want o serve You better and I want to worship You better!

 

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Introduction to the Person of Christ

Why Christ?

I have decided to embark on a new spiritual journey to explore the person of Christ. He is the center of Christianity as a world religion and the hope of the whole world. And yet, He is so often being misunderstood by the people of the world and those of whom who claimed to be His own. This is depressing because the Bible has spelled out the person of Jesus Christ so clearly to us and yet many have misunderstood Him. This is indeed what John, the gospel writer, wrote in John 1, that He came for His own but His own did not understand Him. This is not just talking about the Jews of that time, but it is relevant for us today. His image is often marred by the many things in the world and as result, we are not able to have a clear and lucid picture of Christ in our theology.

What I aim for this distinctive journey of mine is to

1. to know Christ and to make Him known

2. to enjoy Him to the fullest

3. to worship Him

To know Christ and to make Him known

This is an evangelical goal of this writing. At a personal level, my prayer and my desire is to know Christ more and more. Paul professes in 1 Corinthians 2:2, and I quote, “For I resolved to know nothing…except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” The word “resolved” in Greek is krino. The word krino is a legal term that refers to a very careful opinion after separating and considering the particulars of a case. It is to judge without discrimination and but with fairness and careful evaluation. So Saint Paul is saying that after a very careful consideration and examination, he only wants to know Christ and Him crucified. The second key word here, “know”, is translated in Greek oida. Oida is more than just head knowledge but to know to be aware with a great sense of adoration and admiration. This knowing comes with obedience. Thus, what Paul is really saying is that he, after a careful and detailed examination and consideration of everything, he now wants only to know, that is to know Him and to worship Him and to obey Him, and no others but Christ alone and Him crucified.

The immediate respond to such knowledge is to make Him known to others as well. In so doing, others may also glorify Him and enjoy His goodness and love. We all have been called to be witness and evidence of Christ’s love. 2 Corinthians 3:6 Paul says that, and I quote, “He has made as competent as ministers of a new covenant –  not of letter but of the Spirit.” We are all minister of this new covenant established by Christ with His blood and body. The Greek word for minister is diakonos which means someone who devote wholeheartedly and usually carries a note of affection and devotion. Thus to be a minister of the new covenant is to wholeheartedly give of oneself to the preaching and upholding of the Gospel of Christ, both in the Church and the in the marketplace.

To enjoy Him to the fullest

It sounds for a second very odious to say that we enjoy Christ. God has meant for us to enjoy Him and to enjoy Him to the fullest. In Ephesians 1:23, Paul says this about the fullness of Christ, and I quote, “the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” God meant for His fullness to reside in every aspect of His Church and His people. The Greek form of the word “fullness” is pleroma. The word has the meaning of putting and filling it to the brim. It means to fill it up so much so that there is no room to fill anything at all. Christ, wants all of His fullness to fill His Church and His people. We can only understand the fullness Christ through His Body coming together in unity and faith. Christianity is not a stand alone faith. The fullness of Christ is best understood in the whole community of the saints. Thus, to enjoy His fullness almost means to enjoy the Church and the fellowship of His saints in the Church.

The fullness of Christ, in summary consists of both His glory and His suffering. We cannot see ourselves only sharing in His glory but not His suffering. Some are called to share in His suffering more. But in whatever case, Christ’s fullness is God has intended for the Church and for all His people.

To worship Him

Finally, my aim is also to know Him and so that I can worship Him better. It sounds weird to worship God better. The truth of the matter is our worship will never be enough to fill the court room of heaven. God deserves our highest worship and praise. Revelation 5 records for us that, and I quote, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.” Again in the same chapter, John heard again from heaven the voice of million angels singing, “To Him who sits on the throne and the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!”

The knowledge of God leads us to basically three things:

A) Repentance

B) Evangelism

C) Adoration and Admiration

Thus, as I embark on this journey, it is my prayer that God will lead me to repentance, evangelism and adoration. I do not attempt to understand the fullness of Christ by just this study or just on my own. As mentioned, Christ’s fullness has to be understood and comprehended in light of His Church and the fellowship of His saints.

Prayer:

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,

We thank you for sending your only Son into the world and through him you revealed yourself to your Church and your people on earth. Lord, open my heart that I can see a more lucid vision of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, reveal the Lord Christ to me in such a way like never before. Holy Spirit, let that hunger to know Christ grow more and more each day. Let me not be satisfied just to know a little. Enlarge my tent so that I can contain more of Christ and surrender more of me to you. Lord, as I embark on this journey, let Christ be increased and I decreased. Take away all forms of disturbance and distraction.

the gatekeeper

Happy Lunar New Year

I am always very happy when it comes to Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year. I always feel more happy than the solar one. Maybe because I am a Chinese and I always feel that there’s more to look forward to than the solar new year. It is good to live in Asia for you celebrate both the solar and lunar new year. Thank God for that!

Every year, my wish and prayer for the new year is for everyone in the family to experience the peace of God and that my house will be filled with joy and laughter. What is more important than to have the whole family living harmoniously together. I thank God for everyone in the family and especially my two nieces. I used to have alot of negative thoughts about my family, especially when I don’t come from a perfect family. But as I grow older and more mature, I guess, I find that God has given me a much bigger heart to accept the things that I cannot change and the courage to face them.

Anyway, there’s lots of things in life that is beyond our control and we need to ask God to give us the grace to face them and the strength to overcome them. The Lord is always gracious and compassionate. May the Lord give me more grace…

 

the gatekeeper