The Blurring of the Father and Son Begins in the Book of Acts

During the time of the four gospels, the apostles had no problem distinguishing Jesus from God.  Jesus was a man, God was God, and that was that.

Once Jesus was resurrected, and particularly once He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God, things changed.  If they had a question of Jesus, they could no longer just wait until He was finished with the crowds or until He woke up.  No longer could they look Him in the eyes, ask their question, and wait for the answer to come out of His mouth.  No, they would have to communicate with Him as they had been used to communicating with God – by faith.

When asking God a question, the apostles had to look to heaven in faith and trust that God was hearing their words.  Now they would have to do the same with their Teacher.  This was the blurring of the Father and the Son.  Clearly distinguishable while Jesus was on earth, the two became less distinguishable once Jesus went to heaven.

Was this to be a temporary state of affairs until Jesus could return to the earth and begin walking around and dealing with people one-on-one again?  Hardly.  The Second Coming was a spiritual event in which Jesus was revealed as God (see the biblical case for this, which is a book titled Whatever Became of Jesus Christ?).  Thus the blurring of the Father and the Son was the transition Jesus was giving to teach His people to come to Him in faith.

Before His coming to earth, Jesus (who was God) had always wanted people to come to Him in faith.  But in the plan of Christ, He created a way that they might first relate to Him in the flesh – and seeing His nature firsthand – might have more confidence to relate to Him in the spirit.  Thus God became Jesus of Nazareth.  We may now worship Him as God.  The blurring of Father and Son is over – they have become one in our minds because we now know that the Father became the Son only long enough that He might become Father to us all.

See also:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Those Who Wrote the Old Testament Foresaw Jesus

Jesus said in John 5:46, “Moses wrote of Me.”

Jesus said in John 8:56, “Abraham saw My day…and was glad.”

John 12:41 says, “Isaiah…saw His glory and spoke of Him.”

Acts 2:25-31 says that David spoke of Him when writing Psalm 16.

Acts 3:22-26 says “Samuel, and all the prophets who followed, spoke of Him.”

In Matthew 11:11 Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest of all the prophets, and John the Baptist certainly spoke of Him.  (Though John wrote no documents he was the last in that long line of Israel’s prophets who did.)

There can be no denying that the Old Testament was written about Jesus Christ.

There is much, much more we need to learn from the Old Testament about Jesus Christ.  If you have not already started this process, see The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ – His Suffering and Glory.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Seed

God designed creation with redemption in mind.  Thus He did not plan the resurrection of Christ with seed-time and harvest in mind.  Rather, He planned seed-time and harvest with the resurrection in mind.  That is, He wanted all of creation to speak of His plans and help us understand those plans.

God intended to plant Himself as a seed in the creation and to spring to new life – which would be shared with all of us.  He knew we would sin at the beginning of creation and therefore His redemption was planned to overcome that sin.

As Jesus said in John 12:24 unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”  God did not want to remain by Himself alone.  Therefore, He gave up His own life that He might have a new life with us.  Thus, when Jesus went on to say in John 12:25 “He who loves His life shall lose it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal” He was talking first and foremost about Himself.  He hated His life without us.  He gave up His royal existence that He might have a new royal existence through us.  Thus He created the identity of Christ that He might take on that identity and rule a new creation – one that has power over sin and death.

We live in that new creation.  He is the spreading tree in who branches we rest.  But remember that He had first been a seed in order to become that tree.

See also:

The Mustard Seed

Jesus Is the Seed of the Parables

Jesus Christ Was the Holy Seed in the Stump of Ancient Israel

Jesus Is the Long-Promised Seed

Jesus Christ Is God

To see the difference between Christ and the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Our Lamb

Jesus is our Passover.  This means, among other things, that He is our Passover lamb.  But even the first Passover was not the first time that this lamb of God was mentioned.

In Genesis 22 when Isaac, on the way to be sacrificed, asked his father Abraham, “Where is the lamb for the offering?”  Abraham answered, “God will provide the lamb.”  This, of course, foreshadowed Christ.  And the Passover lamb, described generations later by Moses, was but an elaborate embellishment of that foreshadowing.  (Is Christ worth all this foreshadowing?  Absolutely!)

Isaiah also  spoke of this lamb – our lamb – in Isaiah 53 when he wrote, “Like a lamb that is led to slaughter…” in anticipation of Jesus’ approach to the cross on which He would die.

John the Baptist also saw this lamb when he said, “Behold, the lamb of God” who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, 36).

And in the final book of the Bible – Revelation – this Lamb of God is mentioned 30 times!

This is our Lamb.  He is important.  There is no one more important.  Let us follow this Lamb.  Let us imitate Him.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Our Passover

Jesus is our Passover.  So says the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:7.

Of course, when Paul wrote these words (“our Passover”) he was not quoting from any New Testament document.  Rather, he was referring to Exodus 12 in which Moses gives the instructions to Israel for the first Passover – and all the subsequent annual Passovers to be celebrated, until the One to whom all this ritual pointed would appear: the Messiah.

As Paul pointed out in Colossians 2:16-17, it’s not just the Passover that points to Messiah – it’s all the rituals and festivals of the Old Testament.  They are there to point to, and explain, Messiah.

The lamb to be sacrificed for the Passover meal was to be unblemished.  In 1 Peter 1:19 the apostle makes clear that this unblemished lamb was the sinless Christ whom Peter and the rest had served.

Let us indeed celebrate the Passover, as Paul exhorted in 1 Corinthians 5:7.  Let us celebrate Christ our Lord.  And let us celebrate Him by trusting and obeying all that He says.

Understand that the Old Testament speaks about Christ in many and varied ways (1 Peter 1:10-12).  If this concept is new to you, see The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ – His Suffering and Glory.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Our Pearl of Great Price

Matthew 13 relates a string of parables Jesus told.  Among them was a very short one about a pearl merchant who found one particular pearl so valuable that he sold all that he had in order to buy it (Matthew 13:45-46).

To whom can this pearl refer other than to our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ, for whom we should sell all that we have in order to gain Him?  Paul thought so and thus wrote the words of Philippians 3:1-11, in which he declared that he had given up all in exchange for Christ.  To trade everything for Christ is also what Jesus advised the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17-27 – that is, Jesus said to him, “Go, sell all that you have and come, follow Me.”

Jesus is indeed the pearl of great price.  He is precious – and everything else is worthless in comparison to Him (Jeremiah 15:19).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Extract the Precious from the Worthless

In Jeremiah 15:19, God tells the prophet to “extract the precious from the worthless.”

The most important way that we do this where the Bible is concerned is to see all the ways that the Old Testament speaks of Christ instead of dwelling on what it meant for Jews living in the Ancient Near East (ANE).  (In this regard, see The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ – His Suffering and Glory.)

God gave Moses a law for ancient Israel.  That law distinguished Israel from all other cultures in the ANE.  Nevertheless, it was a law for its times and therefore it was partially shaped by those times.  That is, it was a law appropriate to that age – that is, it was not so radically different from all other laws that no one living at that time would know how to follow it.  When Israel did follow it, they distinguished themselves from all the neighboring nations.  When they did not follow it, they sank to the basest behavior of which an ANE culture was capable.

That law, however, found its greatest purpose as a vessel for the eternal information it carried about Jesus Christ.  That law was thus “a tutor to lead to Christ” (Galatians 3:24).   Enoch represented Christ.  Noah represented Christ.  Job represented Christ.  Solomon represented Christ.  And on and on.  Over and over through its pages the story of Messiah was being told in a way that few recognized at the time.

Christ is “the precious” from the Old Testament.  He is “the pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:45-46).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Creation – God = the World

The world equals creation minus God.

This is how the Bible uses the term “world” in verses such as James 4:4 and 1 John 2:15-17.  That is, worldly thinking is to look around and perceive life as if God is not present.  The world’s defining characteristic is its cold shoulder toward God.  Or more like its back is toward God.

So, “the world” means life without God.  Or you could say life without faith.  It’s therefore more accurate to call it “existence” than to call it “life.”

Even Christians, while professing a faith in God, often live as if God were absent from creation (see Professing Christian, Practicing Atheist).

We are to be “in the world and not of it.”  (This expression is not found in the Bible, but it is trustworthy.)

The world is subject to the kingdom of God which is in our midst (Revelation 11:15).  Thus when we trust and obey Christ we are obeying a higher power while living in the midst of the world.

Let us therefore turn from the dominion of the world (that is, the dominion of Satan) and turn to the dominion of Christ: Acts 26:15-18.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

An Apparent Contradiction in Scripture Is Never an Actual Contradiction

Some apparent contradictions in Scripture are a result of the vagaries of assembling scores of texts written by dozens of authors, few of whom had contact with each other, and whose original manuscripts were copied and transmitted by many hands over the course of millennia.  That we might find some discrepancies on minor matters is to be expected.  I believe were we to know all the details involved, however, we could reconcile even such details.  But these are not the apparent biblical contradictions about which I want to speak.

A riddle is an apparent contradiction.  And the Bible’s prophecies of messiah are often given in riddle-like fashion.  For example, Psalm 118:22 says that the rejected stone will be the chief cornerstone.  This, of course, does not make sense.  But rather than being a nonsensical statement, it’s a riddle which awaits explanation.  Or, as the New Testament writers would put it, a mystery which awaits revelation.  Jesus was, of course, the stone that was rejected…and who became the chief cornerstone.  He was rejected in the flesh…and glorified in the spirit.  See  Matthew 21:33-46 where Jesus addresses Psalm 118:22…and confounds the Pharisees, who were rejecting Him.

Another example of such an apparent contradiction is Psalm 110:1 in which David’s descendant is called his heir.  How can one’s child be considered one’s superior (or elder)?  Again, the answer was Jesus: the Messiah of Israel.  He was David’s descendant according to the flesh (that is, by human birth) but David’s superior according to the spirit through His resurrection from the dead.  See Matthew 22:41-46 where Jesus points out this riddle and stumps the Pharisees with it.

Apparent contradictions are at the heart of messianic prophecy because the unifying theme of that prophecy is the suffering and glory of Messiah.  Suffering and glory, of course, are not naturally compatible.  We don’t usually think of them at the same time.  And indeed that’s the resolution of the tension – the suffering and the glory do not occur at the same time.  Messiah’s sufferings precede His glories.  His sufferings come when He’s on earth, in the flesh, before He dies.  His glories come when He’s in heaven, in the spirit, after He’s raised from the dead.

God cannot lie.  This means He cannot contradict Himself.  He can’t say that something is true and not true at the same time and in the same way.

Therefore, recognize that when you see an apparent contradiction in the Bible, know it’s not actual.  And when you see it, recognize that it’s a promise of revelation.  That is,  as Jesus said, “nothing is hidden except to be revealed; nothing has been kept secret except that it might come to light.”

For more on biblical riddles see to the right under Categories “Riddles.”

For more on Messiah’s sufferings and glories see to the right under Categories “Suffering and Glory” – especially the post The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ – His Suffering and Glory.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Leftover Baskets of Bread and Fish Remind Us of the New Testament

After Jesus had miraculously fed five thousand people with five barley loaves and two fish, He ordered His disciples to “gather up all the leftover fragments that nothing might be lost.”  This is analogous to how the New Testament came to be.

The first-century movement of Jews who bore witness to Jesus Christ died off – much of this hastened by the fierce persecution they faced.  After they had passed, succeeding generations gathered up the documents they had written.  Of course, the documents had been inspired by God Himself and so were the word of God – manna from heaven.  To this day, there is nothing outside of the New Testament that has been determined to have come from the apostles, and, of course, those early succeeding generations only put into the New Testament what they deemed to have come from the apostles.  Thus we have the leftover fragments of the manna God used to feed that generation He had called out of slavery to sin and into the glorious freedom of the kingdom of God.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Bible Is a Call to Repentance

If you read the Bible in the sight of God, in the fear of God, you recognize that it is calling us to repentance.  Its authors – whether the prophets in the Old Testament or the apostles in the New Testament – are calling us to forsake our selfish and sinful ways in order to turn to the living God who is holy and loving.

Whenever anyone reads the Bible as if it is a dry text, an artifact of academics, then the Bible is not read in the spirit in which it was written.

Only a hardened heart does not hear the call to repent in every page of the Bible.  Let us therefore repent and read and repent and read and…

That is, let us conform our lives to the Christ about whom the Bible speaks.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Death of Christ Was the End; the Resurrection of Christ Was the Beginning

The death of Christ marked the end of the old creation – the old heavens and earth.

The resurrection of Christ marked the beginning of the new creation – the new heavens and earth.

Because Christ came (Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again), we walk on the new earth He had in mind.  And when we die, we go to the new heaven.  Let us therefore prepare ourselves.  See Judgment Is Upon Us and We Must Repent!

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Today’s Pharisees and Sadducees

If the kingdom of God is reigning today (and it is: see The Kingdom of God Is Here and Now), who are the modern-day equivalents to the Pharisees and Sadducees we read about in the four gospels?

The Pharisees are best represented by churches and Christians, while the Sadducees are best represented by synagogues and Jews.  Of course, there were some truly God-fearing Pharisees and Sadducees, but, as communities, both acted in their own interests and not in the interests of God.  Similarly, churches and synagogues are man-made institutions which typically engage in more self-seeking than kingdom-seeking.

The Pharisees believed more of the Scriptures than did the Sadducees.  Similarly, the Pharisees believed more in the active working of God in creation than the Pharisees did.  Most notably, the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead which the Sadducees did not.  And today, of course, Christians typically ascribe more activity to God than do Jews.

We who read the Bible must constantly be on guard that we do not take on the hypocritical tendencies that can so easily attach themselves to those who become known for their relationship to God.

Remember: God doesn’t care whether we are called Christian, Jew, atheist, agnostic, or whatever.  He cares about what’s in our hearts and about how we behave.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Scriptures Are About Christ

The Scriptures are focused on one theme throughout:  the Lord Jesus Christ (i.e. the Messiah of Israel).  Consider the first and last words of Paul’s great letter to the Romans:

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, – Romans 1:1-4

Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen. – Romans 16:25-27

Could Paul have made any more clear the centrality of Christ to the Bible?

And remember that when Paul wrote these words, there was no New Testament.  Oh, some of its documents may have been written by then, but when Paul writes about “the Scriptures” everyone knew he was talking about what we call the Old Testament (or the Hebrew Bible).  Thus the Old Testament is implicitly about Christ while the New Testament is explicitly about Him.  For more on this great theme of the Bible see: The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Terminal Generation of Ancient Jews

The end of the world from the point of view of Israel’s prophets was the end of Israel.  That is, there would be a final generation of Jews whose glory would be greater than all the glory of all the Jewish generations before it (Haggai 2:9).  Greater than the glory of Moses leading Israel out of Egypt, greater than the glory of Joshua taking Israel into the promised land, greater than the glory of David capturing Jerusalem and uniting Israel, greater than the glory of Solomon’s temple.

This greatest glory of all was the glory of the apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ that we see chronicled in the 27 books of the New Testament.  They were the people who made a name for the Lord which will last through out all eternity.  For this reason we rightly consider them the greatest generation of humanity and the people of God par excellence.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Last Generation of Ancient Israel

The last generation of ancient Israel was that one we read about in the New Testament.  That generation had a twofold purpose:

  1. Bear witness to Messiah (that is, confess Him before the entire world).
  2. Announce, and prepare to enter, the kingdom of God which Messiah was about to bring in.

To these two purposes that generation was faithful (though many of its members failed, enough succeeded in holding fast the word of truth).  Because of their faithfulness, we today have the New Testament which conveys that truth to us.  Thus we can consider them truly the greatest generation.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Bible is the Testimony of the Ancients

The Bible (Old and New Testaments) is “the testimony of the ancients.”  Do we only want to hear what is modern?  God forbid.

“Thus says the LORD,
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls.”

– Jeremiah 6:16 NASB (underlining added)

Truth works in all ages – both modern and ancient.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

As from Suffering to Glory, so from Flesh to Spirit

Note the paradigm present in Romans 1:1-4:  Jesus was the son of David according to the flesh, and the Son of God according to the Spirit.

Thus also Christ suffered in the flesh, and was glorified in the spirit.

Messiah walked on earth…and suffered for it.  He then walked in heaven…and was glorified through it.

See the master post The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ – His Suffering and Glory.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Sufferings of Christ Came from Us, the Glories Came from God

The glory (i.e. exaltation) of Christ (or Messiah) consisted of that which God would do by His hand.  Therefore, it was prophesied by promise (as in “Thus saith the Lord, I will…”).

The sufferings consisted of what we would do to Messiah, for this is the way mankind treats God.  Therefore, to prophesy, God simply had to state what man would continue to do to Him.  That is, humanity would do to the one God would send (i.e. Messiah) what it had been, and was, doing to God.

The sufferings took place on earth because that was where men could get their hands on God’s Messiah.  The glories took place – and forever take place – in heaven where sinful man cannot reach.

See also the key post The Old Testament (that is, the Hebrew Bible) Is About Jesus Christ – His Suffering and Glory, which provides an overview a context for studying Messiah’s sufferings and glories as well as links to other posts on this all-important subject.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Jesus Lived the Life of a Prophet

Jesus’ earthly life paralleled in so many ways the lives of Israel’s prophets who had come before Him.  So great was the similarity that even when Jesus was crucified and His disciples thereby lost faith that He was God’s messiah, they maintained faith that He had been a prophet of God.  See Luke 24:13ff, esp. verse 19.

Of course, that Messiah would live like a prophet during the days of His flesh had been prophesied profusely.  So great was the corpus of messianic prophecy, however, and so dull are our hearts, that we did not discern that this earthly life was only part of what God was promising for Messiah.  The sufferings of Messiah would come on earth; the glories would come in heaven.

The sufferings and glories of Messiah are a great theme – if not the great theme – of Scripture.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

How Could the Messiah Have Been a Prophet and Not Be Treated as the Prophets Were Treated?

First-century Jews knew that the Messiah would be a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15; John 1:21).  But they seem to have forgotten how prophets were usually treated (Acts 7:52; Luke 13:33).  Thus we can better understand why Jesus was puzzled at how His followers could not have discerned that He would have to suffer before He was glorified (Luke 24:25-27).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Taking His Name Means Taking Greater Responsibility

We can’t use Christ’s name and live any old way (Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11; 2 Timothy 2:19).  We have to behave in ways that are worthy of that name.

We do not have to be perfect, but we do need to show progress (1 Timothy 4:15-16).

To tell someone else what the Lord says ought to be a fearful step for us to take (James 3:1), and yet woe to us if we do not take that step when it’s appropriate to do so (Hebrews 5:12-14).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

David Did Not Keep Using the Slingshot

David felled Goliath with a slingshot (1 Samuel 17).  However, David did not continue to rely on a slingshot throughout his military career.  On the contrary, it was immediately after his well-aimed stone knocked down Goliath that David learned how to use the sword (1 Samuel 17:50-51).  And David used a sword thereafter in his many battles.

David’s trust was in the Lord, not in that slingshot.  We needn’t make talismans of the instruments God uses for our deliverance.

As David put down his slingshot, and as Paul put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11), so we should put away the church and take up the kingdom of God.

See Seeking the Kingdom of God Instead of Church and Reading the New Testament in a Spirit of Grace

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Heavens and Earth Are Christ’s Garments

The Lord Christ wears creation as a garment.  He is clothed in all that we can see with our physical eyes.  (See Hebrews 1:8-13.)

In Christ we now live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

We would not present ourselves to the world without being properly clothed.  Even so, our Lord is properly clothed.  Give the splendor of creation, we could rightly say He is gloriously clothed.

Recognize that the Lord always is behind the scenes.

Practice the truth of His presence.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

By Moses a Teacher, by David a King, by Isaiah a Prophet

By Moses’ life, Messiah was foreshadowed as a teacher.  Moses was a teacher; Jesus is an even greater teacher.

By David’s life, Messiah was foreshadowed as a king.  David was a king; Jesus is an even greater king.

By Isaiah’s life, Messiah was foreshadowed as a prophet.  Isaiah was a prophet; Jesus is an even greater prophet.

Each of these lives foreshadowed the one great magnificent life that Jesus would live – a life He would live without end.

Other lives in Scripture also typify Christ – lives such as Enoch, Abraham, Noah, Nehemiah, and others.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Messianic Idea Ripened…Until It Was Picked

The messianic idea developed over time.  The promises regarding Messiah took greater form with each new generation of prophecies.

We knew from Moses’ time, among other things, that the Messiah would be a leader (Genesis 49:10) and a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15).  We learned in David’s time, among other things, that Messiah would be a king (Psalm 2:6) and a Lord (Psalm 110:1).  We learned in Isaiah’s time, among other things, that Messiah would be a servant (Isaiah 53:11) and a prince (Isaiah 9:6).  With each successive layer, Israel learned  more about the great one who was to come.

When the idea had fully ripened – that is, in the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10) – the fruit of all messianic prophecy was picked.  That is, Jesus came to fulfill all that had been promised in the previous generations.

How like our Creator to start with a seed, let it grow, wait for the fruit to ripen…and then pick it to enjoy!

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Jesus Teaches the School of Life

Jesus is a teacher (Matthew 23:8; John 13:13).

We are His disciples (John 8:30-32)

The curriculum is life – how to live it.

Thus the School of Life is that in which we have enrolled.

Are we paying sufficient attention in class…or are we daydreaming?

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Are You a Student of the Scriptures…or a Student of the Lord?

In studying the Scriptures to learn of Christ we must never forget our goal.  Our goal is to know Him, not to know a book.

The book is the means to know Him.  Therefore the book is the means to an end.  He is the end.  He is the goal.

The Bible is sometimes with us…but Christ is always with us.

And even when the Bible is with us, it is not testifying of itself – it is testifying of Him!

See John 5:39-40.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Prophet’s Manual

The Bible is a prophet’s manual.  Beginning with the Law of Moses, Israel’s prophets looked to the Scriptures to guide their thoughts, words, and deeds.

The apostles who spoke in the name of the Lord in New Testament times were following in the steps of those prophets.  They were prophets by another name.

Even Jesus Himself was a prophet.  Being a prophet was an essentially aspect of His messianic mission.  That is, He couldn’t be the Messiah without being a prophet as well (Deuteronomy 18:15).

The life of a prophet is instructive for those who would be a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Consider that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus began by saying to those who came to Him as disciples:

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs in the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.  Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  – Matthew 5:10-12 NASB (underlining added)

Therefore, let the one who proposes to learn about Jesus and follow Him take heed.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.