3. BASIC BIBLE DOCTRINES – THE STUDY OF CHRIST (Part 2)

HIS LIFE

There is no complete biography to be found of His life, only a selection of activities and dialogues are found in the Gospels.

His birth and childhood are recorded by two of the Gospels , and from His infancy to approximately thirty of age there is only one reference showing His obedience to His parents and His interest in things pertaining to God His Father . The rest of the Gospel accounts concentrate on His public ministry, death and resurrection. His baptism, at approximately thirty years of age, is recorded ; and it must be understood that although John the Baptist, who officiated Christ’s baptism, required that the people who wished to be baptized should first confess their sins, Jesus had no sins to confess!  Jesus was baptized so as to identify with sinful mankind who needed to confess, and with the godly Israelites who had been baptized by John. God’s response to this was to state “This is my Son…with him I am well pleased”. The Gospels also record His temptation where He proved to the devil, and all others, that He could not sin because He did not inherit the sin nature . Therefore it is wrong to insinuate that Christ could have sinned because He was a man, which suggests that He had two natures or personalities; the Lord Jesus Christ was (and is) faultless! Scripture teaches that this is so in every area of His life. The Gospels also record His miracles performed in the power of the Holy Spirit. These were proof that He was God so the unbelievers had no excuse . His teaching is also preserved in the Gospels, where we find what He taught about God His Father, the kingdom of heaven, His death, resurrection, and His return to this earth to judge the wicked and to set up His eternal kingdom. His parables speak to the deeper truths about His kingdom and the future events.

 

HIS DEATH (Historical aspects)

Jesus, during His first advent, came in humility and service to suffer and to die for sinners as distinct to His second advent when He will come to reign in glory as King. In His trial before the Sanhedrin (the supreme privy council of the Jews), they condemned Him to death because He professed to be Christ, the Son of God. Since they had no authority to execute the death penalty they brought Him before the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate who could find no reason to put Him to death, but in order to appease the people and secure his position as governor, he condemned Jesus to death by crucifixion. Forsaken by all his followers and finally by God, His cry from the cross “It is finished” signaled His death, not that His life was taken from Him but that He expelled His own spirit, He was forsaken by God because He took upon Himself the sins of mankind in becoming our sin sacrifice to God, and God accepted this sacrifice by raising Him from the dead .

HIS RESURRECTION

“The bodily resurrection of Christ is the best documented fact of ancient history” (quote-Basic Bible Doctrines; Emmaus Correspondence School). Despite the guards placed by Pilate and the Jews at Christ’s tomb, when the women and His disciples arrived on the Sunday morning following His crucifixion, the tomb was found open and empty, He had risen from the dead. He appeared to Mary Magdalene, Peter, two disciples on the road to Emmaus, the nine disciples at Jerusalem, then Thomas and the other nine again at Jerusalem, over five hundred on another occasion, seven disciples at Galilee, and finally to Saul on the road to Damascus . His resurrected body was the same as it was before His death, the wounds of the crucifixion were visible; the difference was in the fact that He could become invisible and was not restricted by walls or doors; powers that He never used before as a human being. The resurrection is the foundation of our faith!

HIS ASCENSION AND CURRENT ACTIVITY

After His resurrection and His appearances to His disciples on various occasions, He ascended into heaven in bodily form; He returned to His Father from where He originally came . After humbling Himself in taking on human likeness He was exalted by God and sat down at God’s right hand in heaven having completing His work of salvation. There is, however, the fact that He is still active today on behalf of all who have believed in Him and accepted His salvation, and some of these activities in which He serves are described in the New Testament.

Mediator: mankind has always required someone to “stand between” or mediate before God; and since Christ knows what it is to be human, He is able to plead with God on our behalf . We do not need any other mediator! Just as the Law was put in place through a mediator, Moses; so Christ is our mediator of a better covenant (decree) . He is also Priest, or to be  more correct our High Priest; and fulfills all the functions of the old Aaronic priesthood of the Old Testament. As such He directs our worship and praise to God making it acceptable, and is our intercessor before God . He is also our Advocate (Defender) in that He preserves believers in their sanctification by restoring us to fellowship with God; “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 Righteous One” . This is also true of the Holy Spirit . He is our Overseer or Bishop of individual believers and churches, knowledgeable of all our activities, requires our devoted service , and desires our repentance or He will remove our Lamp Stand (witness). He is also our Shepherdand the Great Shepherd

Such are His offices as He awaits the command from God to return to earth to reward His followers and to set up His kingdom.

HIS SECOND COMING AND GLORY (in brief)

The indispensable part of God’s propose is that Christ be acknowledged in this world where He was rejected. It should be noted, however, that there are two distinct titles given to Him in regards to His second coming. In regards to the Church He is the Bridegroom, He and His bride will celebrate the wedding supper in heaven , and in regards to Israel he is King, as in His second advent He returns to earth as the triumphant King . After the millennium reign and the final judgment the New Jerusalem will be established.

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