Jesus and His Purpose

I thought I would share the notes to a lesson I taught on the Person of Jesus. All too often Christians lack understanding in our Saviour so it is my hope that some will be stretched a bit by these notes.

 

 

Jesus and His Purpose

 

 

 

 

For

 

 

 

 

Springs of Refreshing Fellowship Church

1932 Gwynn Oak Ave

Woodlawn, MD 21207

 

 

 

 

Prepared by:

 

Elder William James Carter, The 1st

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 April 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© The Christian Perspective

 

Jesus and His Purpose

 

The Deity of Jesus

 

          Many of those that claim to be Christians today have very little knowledge of who Christ is and His purpose. It is for this reason this lesson will delve into the deity of Christ and His purpose. John 1:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

     The first thing that should be noted in this verse is the term “in the beginning.” It is similar term that was used in Genesis 1:1. The term does not refer to the starting point of time rather is refers to the beginning of recorded time. The idea here is that the text is pointing to the eternality of Jesus. It shows that Jesus existed before time was recorded by man. Even more importantly not only did Jesus exist before recorded time but He enjoys a status of pre-existence.

     The pre-existence of Christ lend considerable credibility to His Deity. Jesus removes a little of His veil in John 8:58 with the words:

          “Before Abraham was I am.”

This interesting choice of words shows that Jesus not only existed before Abraham but that He remains eternal. At no point does His existence or deity cease to be. The fact that the Jesus remains before Abraham is testament that He continues to exist in eternity past. Only deity can exist in such a fashion as to be in the past and present simultaneously.

     The next aspect to be examined is the term “Word.” One partial definition of “Word is: “the ultimate revelation of Jesus Christ in the incarnate Word of God”.[1] By this Jesus is personified as being the very image of God. This is what makes the term “Immanuel” significant. Immanuel means “God with us” and the Word being presents the very picture of an ever-present God becomes clear.

     Verse one continues by showing that the Word was with God. This is a clear indication of two distinct personalities. Jesus, the Word, existed and continues to exist with God the Father. The term with is not simply positional rather it is relational. It shows an unbreaking union in the Godhead. Additionally this union is not just a strong relationship but that the Godhead is in full agreement insofar as all is concerned. There is no disagreement between the members of the Godhead.

     The ending of verse one points not only to the Deity of Jesus but also to the very fact that Jesus is God. He is just as much as God as the Father is. This fact is NOT a form of polytheism rather is shows the multifaceted God mentioned in Genesis 1:1. While we may lack understanding how one God can be present in three Persons we must understand that clarity to the matter will be part of a victorious end to this life.

     The incarnation of Jesus is not a coincidental or happenstance matter. God planned this from the time of the fall of man in the Garden. As such many prophecies concerning the virgin birth of Jesus were made throughout the Old Testament. One prominent prophecy is found in Isaiah 7:14:

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

This prophecy came to pass as Mary gave birth to the Messiah (Luke 2:6-7). It is important to note that Jesus was conceived while Mary remained a virgin. This is significant because Jesus did not come from the seed and blood of man. Remember that it is the father’s blood that is in offspring. Because Jesus is the Son of God he could not be tainted with the blood of man. This is the reason He had to come through a pure vessel not tainted by man’s sinful blood.

     Because of His incarnation many see Jesus as being man only. However that is far from true. However Jesus could not come to earth in the fullness of His glory. He had to lay aside some of His attributes in order to accomplish His task. Philippians 2:7 points to this fact:

“But stripped Himself [of all privileges and [a]rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being” (Amplified Bible).

     The term for this action is called “kenosis” which means that Jesus “surrendered no attribute of His Deity, but that He did voluntarily restrict their independent use in keeping with His purpose of living among men and their limitations.”[2]  He did not stop being God but emptied Himself by:

  1. Veiling His divine glory – no man could look on God in the fullness of His glory and live
  2. Subjecting Himself to human limitations – Jesus was fully man in that He lived in the shell of a man having to be limited as man is.
  3. Giving up independent use of comparative attributes – Jesus willing laid aside His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipresence. These attributes were still available to Him but He chose to surrender the use of these attributes so that He could identify with man.

     Even with this pouring out Jesus remained Devine even though He lived as a man. With this Jesus was one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man. It is for this reason that Christ has been called the God- Man. It is the union of God and man which is called the hypostatic union. At no time was Jesus less God nor did He ever become less man. He was “Immanuel” or God with us. There are a number of reasons this union is significant but for the sake of this lesson only three will be discussed. Those reasons are that:

  1. The union is evidence of the eternal priesthood of Christ – Hebrews 9:11
  2. The prophetic office of Christ is evidenced in the union – Matthew 21:11
  3. The kingly office of Christ requires both the Divine and human – Revelation 15:3

     Because Jesus was and remains one hundred percent God, while incarnate, He had within Him no ability to sin. Multiple texts point to the sinless life of the God-man. Among them are:

  1. Hebrews 4:14 -15:  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
  2. I Peter 2:21-22:  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
  3.  I John 3:5: And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

 

 

His Purpose

     While Jesus performed many works prior to His crucifixion is task at large was really simple. That task was to perform the will of His Father. John 5:30:

“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

     This statement by Jesus is indicative of the obedience Jesus. It shows His complete and total submission to the Father. Jesus did not come to do anything apart from the Father. Remember that He and the Father are one and as such it is impossible for One to operate without the absolute consent of the Other. But what is the will of the Father? In order to fully understand the will of God there must be an understanding of the nature of man before sin corrupted him. The first man initially:

  1. Was sinless because he was created without sin.
  2. Communed regularly with God.’
  3. Had an intimate relationship with God.

The fall of man caused a divide that God was not desirous of. From that time He put into action a plan to restore man to his rightful relationship. Part of that plan is put in to play by redemption.

 

Redemption – To redeem mean to buy back. When man sinned the process of death began. The death was not merely physical death rather the death was separation from God. With this meant that man no longer belonged to God but that God had to pay a price in order to restore man back to his pre-sin state.

I Corinthians 7:23:

          “Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.”

Before redemption man is a servant to not only other men but also to sin. Those who are not redeemed are basically owned by sin because of their service to sin.

Romans 6:6:

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Hebrews 9:12

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

I Peter 1:18-19:

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Reconcile – To reconcile a thing is to restore it to a former state. Formally God enjoyed an unhindered relationship with man. There was nothing that could cause a divide other than disobedience. From the time of the fall the Godhead sought to restore that relationship.

II Corinthians 5:18-19:

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”

Ephesians 2:15-16:

“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby”

Salvation- Salvation is deliverance from the power of sin. It was sin that caused the divide between man and God and the eradication of the power of sin presents the ability for a restored relationship.

John 3:16-18:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Acts 4:12:

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Titus 3:3-6:

“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour”

 

 


[1] Townes, Elmer Theology for Today

[2] Townes, 192

No Time for God

     Considering the fact that Genesis 1:1 begins the creation narrative all too often the fact of the term “beginning” is elusive to many. It should be noted that this term is not indicative of the start of time at large rather it is noting the beginning of recorded time. Said a bit differently time did not begin with Genesis 1:1 but that time, like God, is eternal. Moreover God does not operate within the confines of time simply because time is His idea. Now, this may sound like a bunch of senseless rhetoric but it is significant that God, the One not influenced by time stepped inside of time in order to redeem mankind.

     Fast forwarding to John 1:1 the same term “beginning” is found and its implications are the same as those found in Genesis. This time two members of the Godhead are specifically identified as “Word” and “God.” Creationism is addressed in little further in the Johannine text but then John moves on to discuss the reason Christ, the Word, came. John 3:16 clearly shows that the incarnate Christ came that eternal life would be made available to mankind. That is the Second Person of the Godhead laid down some of His attributes, stepped outside of eternity in order to bring sinful man back in right relationship with the Godhead.

     But His work went way further than simply becoming incarnate. He took time to mature as a human inside the womb of a woman and humbled Himself to the extent that He obeyed His earthly parents. He took time to grow in His earthly body and took time to learn how to live as a mere man. The God of time took the time to walk with man as man walked with Him. In this walking Immanuel took time to learn how to use His hands as a carpenter among other things that men do. Even more this Christ took time to minister to all that had need of healing whether it was physical, emotional or spiritual. Even at this Christ was not done.

     After His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane Christ stood in time to be falsely accused of crimes He could not have committed.  After conviction the innocent Christ remained in time to be beaten, mocked, whipped, have his beard pulled out and so much more. Yet this Christ, this Immanuel, refused to pull from the limits of man as He was paraded down the Via Dolorosa en route to Golgotha. He took time to hang on that old tree with hands and feet nailed firmly in place. At the right time the crucified Saviour took time to give up the ghost and found himself confronting our enemy. He left the confrontation victorious in that Christ took from Satan the keys, or the authority, of death, hell and the grave. Even after this Immanuel took time to rise from the dead and walk on earth for forty days and minister to others.

     And He is still not done. Christ now sits on the right hand of the Father making intercession for us all. He is taking time to present us spotless to the father countering the accusations of the enemy. Yet many have no time for God. There are things far too important than to take time out for the Saviour of mankind. You see there is no way some will go to church on Sunday and the car is dirty. It will take at least three hours to properly clean the car so there is really no time for God. But after the cleaning of the car the all important ballgame will be on. This game must be watched so God will just have to wait. The game is far too important and so God will simply have to understand.

     Wait a minute! Perhaps the issue could be resolved by reading just a few versus of Scripture before getting started with the day. No, no, there is no time for that. Breakfast has to be made and eaten, the kids have to get off to school, the job is waiting and to others those talk shows and soap operas have to be taken in. No, there is truly time for God in this busy world. Besides dinner has to be cooked and that party has to be prepared for. Who has time for God with all this going on? Besides those college studies are extremely important so God will just have to wait. There is simply no time for God.

     What if God had no time for us? What if He stopped taking time to love man even in his sinful state? What would happen of God stopped time and allowed man to be swallowed in the abyss of his sin? What if God did not take time to care? Undoubtedly those who have no time for God now would suddenly find time for Him. Unfortunately that may well be too late because time is winding up and Christ will take time to step off His throne to receive the Church unto Himself. At this point time will not matter to those who chose not to take time for Him.

     If there is anyone who has no time for God you might be well advised to take time to consider your ways before time runs out. Yes, there is a reason to make time for God.