Salvation Issues

Who Is Jesus?

 

Perhaps you are one of the many people who are curious about who Jesus is. 

Is he the son of God? Is he eternal?  Is He alive today?

Jesus is described in various ways in the Bible and He is called by many wonderful names:

 

The last of these titles is found at the beginning of John’s gospel, and it is this title that we will take a closer look at.

 

John begins with these words: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life and the life was the light of men” (verses 1-4). 

John’s Gospel commences at break neck speed, as we are instantly given essential information. We learn that Jesus is “the Word,” or in the original Greek, the “Logos.”  This brings us to the main theme of the book – The Word becoming flesh. 

This introduction is very significant, because it takes us back into eternity, before time began, and it is here that we are introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ - the Word, or Logos, that existed before the creation of the heavens and the earth, indeed from all eternity.

The Word was and is part of the Trinity, as it is so succinctly put: “these three [that is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost] are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory although distinguished by their personal properties.” 

As John wrote under the inspiration of God, he wanted the reader to grasp that ‘the Word’ that is Jesus, is eternal – and eternally God the Son!  This may seem like a hard starting point, but John realises the importance of understanding exactly who Jesus is!  He tells us that, “the Word was with God and the Word was God.”  John draws a very large and important line in the sand, declaring that Jesus is God!

Many people do not care about this as a fact.

Others treat it with hostility and great antagonism, and would dearly love to rub this line out! 

Perhaps you’ve never enquired about who Jesus is until now.  You fear that friends or loved ones will laugh at you, if they knew you were contemplating such a subject.  Or you don’t ask these questions because your mind is already made up.  Or you don’t ask because you know deep within your conscience, that Jesus is exactly who John tell us He is - The Word who became flesh.

From the other gospels we learn about how Jesus was conceived Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem their unsuccessful quest to find a room at the inn and how Jesus was born in a stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. We also hear of the shepherds who left their flocks, and the wise men who travelled from afar to worship Him.  We have before us an idyllic scene containing cute animals standing around in a spotless stable. It is a sentimental view suited for Christmas cards. But it does not make us stop and consider what actually took place.

 

John tells us that, “... the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us …” (verse 14).

“[The Lord Jesus] Christ the Son of God became man...taking to Himself a true body, and a reasonable soul [that is one that has power to think or reason], being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance, and born of her, yet without sin” [WCF L.C. Answer 37].

“... The eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever” [WCF Shorter Catechism: Answer 21].

Jesus came to this earth with an express purpose, to die on the cross of Calvary. There He gave His life a ransom or payment for sin.

Another name of Jesus is found in Acts 10:42. There we are told that He is, “the Judge of quick and dead.”

How will you stand before God – with your sin dealt with? Or still unrepentant of your sin?

What Is The Gospel?

A word you hear over and over again in church circles is the word, “gospel.”  We hear about gospel tracts or pamphlets, gospel services, gospel missions, gospel ministers etc! 

When we turn to the Bible we are told to, “repent ... and believe the gospel” and the Apostle Paul was “separated unto the gospel” and he was not “ashamed of the gospel of Christ.”

There are also some very descriptive terms used in the Bible to illustrate the nature of the gospel. There is: 

 

The word gospel therefore is very much part of the Christian vocabulary. And it is also a word you may have heard – perhaps through a preacher or friend talking to you. 

So what does it mean? And why is it so important?

In the New Testament the Greek word means “good news” or “glad tidings.” So we know instantly that this is a extremely positive word! 

The Apostle Paul, writing to a group of believers in Corinth said, “I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you ... .”  It is interesting to note that the word “preached” here means to have “declared good news.” By this double usage, Paul is at pains to emphasise the importance of the good news that the people are to hear.  You see, the gospel is a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion.

The events that make up the gospel really happened, but of course they are also accompanied with vitally important spiritual application.

If we continue on with what was said to these believers in Corinth, we can see what the gospel consisted of: in Paul’s first letter to these believers in Corinth, chapter 15 verse 3 we learn, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures ... He was buried, and ... He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” 

So Jesus died and He rose again. These are not matters of interpretation, rather they are matters of fact – accompanied with tremendous implications.

 

Paul goes on to tell us that after Jesus’ resurrection He, “was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, He was seen of James then of all the apostles.” 

Paul is at pains to reinforce to the church that what they believe is true and not some fabrication. This was important because those who believed in Jesus were being told that what they did believe was false!

If we take Paul’s phrase “... Christ died for our sins ...,” we can begin to understand the purpose behind it.

This means that Jesus did not die as some kind of martyr, but He died on account of our sins. 

Remember that, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” But Jesus who is “holy, harmless, undefiled” was the only One who could satisfy God’s divine justice and His offering was acceptable in God’s sight as payment for sin because He only was perfectly sinless.  His sacrifice was complete and did not need to be repeated. 

He rose again from the dead, and even now is seated in heaven at the right hand of the Father, “making intercession” [or praying] for those who have asked Him to forgive their sins.  His rising again shows that God the Father was satisfied that the penalty of sin had been paid.  This teaching was foundational not only for those believers in this specific place at that specific time – but for all people in every place and age!

Can you now appreciate why the word “gospel” is so important?  Do you know the gospel – not only in an intellectual way?

But have you accepted the meaning of this message?  You must confess your sins to God and ask Him to forgive you.  The glad tidings and the good news of the gospel tell us, “him that cometh to Me [that is the Lord Jesus Christ], I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

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