Sunday, October 03, 2010

"Jesus Christ is God's Word.

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Reading from Genesis Chapter one, the first three verses:

1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters.

3. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

The Word translated "God" in verse one in Hebrew is Elohim - the plural form - meaning more than one person. The verb is singular, thus showing the united work of the Trinity. God the Father the source and planner of the whole universe. In verse 2 we see the Spirit of God working. In verse 3 we have The Word of God speaking - "Let there be light: and there was light."

From creation throughout the Old Testament we see the Lord speaking to men, the Word of God unto His prophets. And they spoke with authority, "Thus saith the Lord."

As we turn to the New Testament, the Gospel of John chapter one we are told exactly who the Word of God is: verses 1-5 and 10-14.

1. 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 no anything made that was made.

4. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

10. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.

11. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.

12 But as many as received Him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name:

13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The opening words of the Bible are repeated here 'In the beginning' and then the personal title of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. He was with the Father from the beginning. His word brought into existence all of creation. In Him are life and light. He came into a world of death and darkness. The very world He created, the very creatures which He had formed, but they knew Him not. They had turned from God. Those who received Him, received the adoption of joint-heirs of Christ, sons of God. Verse 14. 'And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The eternal Son, creator and maintainer of the universe, came to us as a human baby 'born of a woman' and placed in a donkey's feedbox. What unfathomable love is this!

This is the fulfillment of the promise made to Eve in Genesis 3:15 that her seed would bruise the serpent's head. The rest of the Old Testament in many forms, types, symbols, and prophecies, point to this birth. The Old Testament is the long story of preparation by God of a people to believe and await and obey His Promise of a coming Saviour.

A nation through whom all the nations of the world would be blessed.

A Messiah descended from Abraham, from the tribe of Judah, in the line of David, a prophet like unto Moses, a suffering servant, the coming King.

John's message to us is "Jesus has come!" Are we beginning to see it? The Plan of the Ages worked out among men and recorded by the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Bible.

In spirit and in truth, the written Word of God reveals the Living Word.

The Holy Scriptures make known to us the Living Christ who is Jesus our Lord.

Above all other ways that God has made Himself known, whether through the created universe or providence, He has exalted His written Word. Why? Because it reveals and magnifies His Son. And truly the greatest ministry that God has appointed to the Holy Spirit is to reveal Christ to us through the written Word.

It is Christ's promise in John 16:14 -

'He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you!'

Sometimes today we get depressed, things go wrong, sickness, frustrations try to take us over. And yet we don't even get near the heart-sick lost and confused feelings of the two disciples who had lost all hope. Their faith was shattered when Christ had died and they were on their way home on the road to Emmaus. They had believed that Jesus was the Promised Saviour. They had heard the report of the women and the others that had gone and seen the empty tomb - yet this only confused them more. Jesus walked with them and could not understand why they had not believed the Scriptures which revealed what the Messiah must go through. In Luke 24:25-27 -

25. Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?

27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.

If they had but known the Scriptures, they would have believed the promises of God in His Word. They witnessed to what had happened to them in verse 32:

32. And they said to one another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures.

Psalm 22.

"1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.

10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.

11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him:
your heart shall live for ever.

27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

28 For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.

29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this."

Later the same day, after the two rushed back to Jerusalem in much excitement to the brethren Jesus appeared again, now to the disciples - and He reminded them - Luke 24:44-49.

44. And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

46. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem.

48. And ye are witnesses of these things,

49. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high.

Christ is showing that all of the Scriptures of the Old Testament spoke of Him.

The logos of the Old Testament, the spoken or written word of God makes plain, points to and portrays the invisible thoughts of God.

The Logos of the New Testament, the Living Word of God which is Jesus Christ reveals the Heavenly Father, the invisible God.

In verse 48, Jesus tells them that they have actually witnessed the fulfillment of the prophecies - with their own eyes they have seen them unfold. And the great commission is given - salvation from sin in Jesus must be preached to every nation - The Word became flesh and had dwelt among men and the world knew him not. But they had to wait until the Holy Spirit came to minister to men by revealing Jesus through the preaching of the Word which is Christ.

That we are here today is evidence that they carried out this command. They told what they had seen and heard with the power of the Holy Spirit and authority of the Scriptures and the command of Jesus Himself.

We have inherited their ministry in the New Testament Scriptures - the Gospels reveal how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament Prophecies:

In His perfect life He fulfilled all the demands of God's Law, which no man had done or ever could do.

In His death on the cross only the Sinless One, the pure and innocent Lamb of God could be our substitute and take our punishment for sin - which is death. God's judgment against us has been met, with His precious life blood.

In His resurrection He became the first fruits of them that slept - God's great sign of approval of the Finished work of the Cross. Christ was glorified and took His place at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty.

In John the beloved's first Epistle, he opens his letter with words so thrilling that we today can scarcely take it in: verse 1-

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

John again reminds us of Christ's eternal existence. This is the very close friend of Our Lord's who reminds us that he was with Jesus for 3 years - seeing Him, watching Him teach and heal and pour out His love upon all in need, and pour out His life on the Cross. Then words almost impossible for us to grasp - He touched and placed his hands upon the Saviour - the Word of life.

Are we like Thomas - that we need to see and touch our Saviour before we believe?

Jesus knew of us. He knew that we would believe through he Ministry of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of His Word - the Gospel, yet to be written.

In John chapter 17, verse 20, Jesus is praying for His disciples shortly before the trial.

20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.

We have their word. It is indeed another great miracle of the providence of God to read about the lives of those who suffered and died that we might hold in our hands an accurate copy of what the apostles wrote over 1900 years ago. This is made even more remarkable by the fact that no other book or writings of Greek or Roman authors of that age can come anywhere near this continued accuracy.

But the question for us is - What are we to do with this Book. Jesus speaks plainly on this in John's Gospel.

Chapter 14, verse 23: If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.

Christ promises life-union with anyone who keeps His words by the Spirit of love which unites the Father and the Son.

Chapter 15, verse 3: Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Chapter 15 verses 7-12: If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

9. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

10. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my life; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in His love.

11. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

12. This is my commandment, that yet love one another, as I have loved you.

If we would know our Blessed Saviour we must seek Him in His Word. The Holy Spirit is our guide and interpreter and will reveal unto us the Living Christ, the Living Word of God. We must abide in His word. We must obey His Word - not if we feel like it or only when convenient with those we choose. God's love for us was an active decision of His will - while we were completely unlovable. While we were yet sinners - so must we love one another - by an act of our will in Christ - we must look at others through the redeeming work of Christ. He died for them too - those who are yet sinners and unlovely. Our message to them and for them is the love that Jesus showed in doing for their sins too. Is not the greatest joy to share the message of Jesus Christ with another?

We who know the Living Word of God which is Christ Jesus must continue to seek Him in His Written Word, that we might abide in His love, that we might grow in the knowledge of His grace, that we might grow in grace, in holiness, that we might know God as our Father that we must learn to trust in His promises, and we must obey His commandments, to live in the hope of His soon coming, that we may be with Him and be like Him, and see Him as He is, and be with Him where He is.

In Revelation chapter 19, verses 11-13 we have a picture of His coming -

11. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

12. His eyes were as a flame of fire and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called the Word of God.

Let us Pray
Oh God, righteous and holy, we stand in awe of your mercy - that you sent your only begotten Son to suffer and die the death of a criminal on a cross, for us.

We see in Your Holy Word the depths of your love. We see the love of Christ for His disciples, and for us.

We know Him so little and spend to little time with Him in Your Word. Father continue to reveal Him to us by your Spirit, that we may ever remember His precious gift that even our sins are forgiven by His spilled blood. Dear Lord keep us unto the day of Your Coming ever abiding in the Word of God, Which Is Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen.

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