Who is Jesus Christ?
God, the Son, is the second person of the Godhead, created by the Father ages ago. He is the word and likeness of the Father - through him and for him God created all things. It was sent from the Father as Jesus Christ, God, revealed in the flesh to enable us to attain salvation. He was received by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary - he was all God and all human, united two natures in one person. He, the Son of God and Lord of Everything, is worthy of honor and worship. As the prophesied savior of mankind, he died for our sins, was raised from the body and went up to heaven, where he acts as a mediator between man and God. He will come back in glory to rule over all nations in the kingdom of God as king of kings (John 1,1.10.14; Colossians 1,15-16; Hebrews 1,3; John 3,16; Titus 2,13; Matthew 1,20; Acts 10,36; 1 Corinthians 15,3-4; Hebrews 1,8; Revelation 19,16).
Christianity is about Christ
“At its core, Christianity is not a beautiful, complex system like Buddhism, an all-encompassing moral code like Islam, or a fine set of rituals as some churches have shown. The crucial starting point for any discussion on this topic is the fact that 'Christianity' - as the word suggests - is entirely about one person, Jesus Christ (Dickson 1999: 11).
Christianity, although originally considered a Jewish sect, was different from Judaism. The Jews believed in God, but most do not accept Jesus as the Christ. Another group referred to in the New Testament, the pagan "god fears" to which Kornelius belonged (Acts 10,2) also had faith in God, but again, not all accepted Jesus as the Messiah.
«The person of Jesus Christ is of central importance for Christian theology. While one could define 'theology' as 'talking about God', 'Christian theology' gives Christ's role a central role » (McGrath 1997: 322).
«Christianity is not a set of self-sufficient or free-standing ideas; it provides an ongoing answer to the questions raised by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christianity is a historical religion that arose in response to a specific series of events focused on Jesus Christ ».
There is no Christianity without Jesus Christ. Who was this jesus What was so special about him that Satan wanted to destroy him and suppress the story of his birth (Revelation 12,4: 5-2,1; Matthew 18)? What was it about him that made his disciples so bold that they were accused of turning the world upside down?
God comes to us through Christ
The last study ended by stressing that we can only know God through Jesus Christ (Matthew 11,27), which is the true reflection of God's inner being (Hebrews 1,3). Only through Jesus can we know what God is like, because only Jesus is the revealed image of the Father (Colossians 1,15).
The Gospels explain that God entered the human dimension through the person of Jesus Christ. The apostle John wrote: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word" (John 1,1). The Word was identified as Jesus who "became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1,14).
Jesus, the Word, is the second person of the deity, in whom "the fullness of the deity lives incarnately" (Colossians 2,9). Jesus was both human and God, Son of Man and Son of God. «Because God has pleased that all abundance should dwell in him» (Colossians 1,19), «and from its fullness we have all taken grace for grace» (John 1,16).
"Christ Jesus, who was in a divine form, did not consider it a robbery to be equal to God, but humiliated himself and assumed the form of a servant, was recognized as human and apparently recognized as a human being" (Philippians 2,5-7). This section explains that Jesus released himself from the privileges of divinity and became one of us so that "those who believe in his name have the right to become children of God" (John 1,12). We ourselves believe that we are personally, historically and eschatologically confronted with the Godhead of God in the humanity of this particular person, Jesus of Nazareth (Jinkins 2001: 98).
When we meet Jesus, we meet God. Jesus says: "If you knew me, you also knew the Father" (John 8,19).
Jesus Christ is the creator and sustainer of all things
Regarding “the Word”, John explains to us that “in the beginning it was with God. All things are made by the same, and without the same, nothing that is made is made » (John 1,2: 3).
Paul continues this idea: "... it is all created by and for him" (Colossians 1,16). The letter to the Hebrews also speaks about “Jesus who was a little lower than the angels” (ie he became human) "for whom all things are and through which all things are" (Hebrews 2,9: 10). Jesus Christ "is above all and there is everything in him" (Colossians 1,17). He "carries all things with his strong word" (Hebrews 1,3).
The Jewish leaders did not understand his divine nature. Jesus told them: "I started from God" and "before Abraham became I am" (John 8,42.58). The "I AM" referred to the name that God used for himself when he spoke to Moses (Exodus 2:3,14), and as a result the Pharisees and lawyers sought to stone him for blasphemy because he claimed to be divine (John 8,59).
Jesus is the Son of God
John wrote about Jesus: "We saw His glory, a glory as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1,14). Jesus was the one and only son of the father.
When Jesus was baptized, God called to him: "You are my dear son, I am pleased with you" (Mark 1,11:3,22; Luke).
When Peter and John received a vision of the Kingdom of God, Peter considered Jesus to be on the same level as Moses and Elijah. He did not realize that Jesus was "worth more honor than Moses" (Hebrews 3,3), and that someone larger than the prophets stood in their midst. Again a voice came from heaven and exclaimed: «This is my dear son, whom I enjoy; you should hear it! » (Matthew 17,5). Because Jesus is the Son of God, we should also hear what He has to say.
This was the central passage in the apostles' proclamation as they spread the good news of salvation in Christ. Note Acts 9,20, where Saul says before becoming known as Paul: "And he immediately preached in the synagogues of Jesus that he was the Son of God." According to the Holy Spirit who sanctifies, Jesus was appointed as the Son of God with power through the resurrection of the dead (Romans 1,4).
The sacrifice of the Son of God enables believers to be saved. «Because God loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that all who believe in him are not lost, but have eternal life» (John 3,16). "The Father Sent the Son as the Savior of the World" (1 John 4,14).
Jesus is Lord and King
At the birth of Christ the angel proclaimed the following message to the shepherds: «For the Savior was born to you today, who is Christ the Lord in the city of David» (Luke 2,11).
The assignment to John the Baptist was to "prepare the way of the Lord" (Mark 1,1-4; John 3,1-6).
In his introductory remarks in various letters, Paul, James, Peter and John referred to “the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1,2: 3-2; 2,2 Corinthians 1,2: 1,1; Ephesians 1: 1,3; James 2: 3; Peter; John; etc.)
The term Lord indicates sovereignty over all aspects of the believer's faith and spiritual life. Revelation 19,16 reminds us that the word of God, Jesus Christ,
«King of Kings and Lord of Lords»
In his book Invitation to Theology (Invitation to theology) the modern theologian Michael Jinkins puts it this way: «His claim to us is absolute and comprehensive. We belong completely, body and soul, in life and in death to the Lord Jesus Christ » (2001: 122).
Jesus is the prophesied Messiah, the Savior
In Daniel 9,25 God declares that the Messiah the Prince will come to deliver his people. Messiah means "the anointed one" in Hebrew. Andrew, an early follower of Jesus, realized that he and the other disciples had "found the Messiah" in Jesus, which translates from Greek to "the Christ" (the anointed) is reproduced (John 1,41).
Many Old Testament prophecies spoke of the coming of the Savior. In his account of the birth of Christ, Matthew frequently reports in detail how these prophecies about the Messiah were fulfilled in the life and work of the Son of God, who was miraculously received by the Holy Spirit in a virgin named Mary and called Jesus when he became man became what savior means. "But all this happened so that what the Lord had said through the Prophet would be fulfilled (Matthew 1,22).
Luke wrote: «Everything that is written by me must be fulfilled in the law of Moses, in the prophets and in the psalms» (Luke 24,44). He had to meet the messianic predictions. The other evangelists testify that Jesus is the Christ (Mark 8,29; Luke 2,11; 4,41; 9,20; John 6,69; 20,31).
The first Christians taught that "Christ must suffer and be the first to rise from the dead and proclaim the light to his people and to the Gentiles" (Acts 26,23). In other words, that Jesus is "truly the Savior of the world" (John 4,42).
Jesus returns in compassion and judgment
For the Christian, the whole story leads and flows away from the events of the life of Christ. The story of his life is central to our faith.
But this story is not over. It continues from the time of the New Testament to eternity. The Bible explains that Jesus leads his life in us, and how he does so will be discussed in a following lesson.
Jesus will come back too (John 14,1: 3-1,11; Acts 2:4,13; 18 Thessalonians 2: 3,10-13; Peter, etc.). He returns not to deal with sin (He has already done this through his sacrifice) but for salvation (Heb. 9,28). On his "throne of grace" (Hebrews 4,16) "he will judge the world with righteousness" (Acts 17,31). «But our civil rights are in heaven; wherever we expect the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ » (Philippians 3,20).
The Scriptures reveal Jesus as the Word made flesh, the Son of God, the Lord, the King, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, who will come a second time to show mercy and judgment. He is central to the Christian faith because there is no Christianity without Christ. We have to hear what he has to say.
by James Henderson