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                                          (Last reviewed and updated in September, 2017)  
      The Person of Christ
    On this page we will look at what the  Bible  tells us about Jesus Christ

First: Who is this man Jesus and why is he important to us?
and
Second: What has Jesus told us about life through his teachings and his parables?  

In Part 1 we will look at what the Bible tells us about the "Person of Jesus Christ". Who is he? Is Jesus really God?  Was Jesus really Virgin born? Why did He come here, and why did he have to die? and Why is it important that we believe in him?

In Part 2 we will look at the "Parables and teachings of Christ". Why did Jesus teach in parables, and what do the mean for us today?

Part 1:The Person of Christ

Who is this man Jesus and is he really God?  Some people say Jesus was a good man who lived and died 2000 years ago. Some say he was a con man, a charlatan and a fraud. The record shows he performed miracles, healed the sick, even raised the dead, and no one has ever come forth to deny any of these miracles. What does the Bible say?  The Bible declares that Jesus Christ is both fully man and fully God. It is very difficult for us to understand how this could be, yet it MUST be so in order that Jesus fulfill his mission, which, simply put, is to rescue us from the penalty we deserve as a result of our sin against God.  Yes, it is true that any sin we commit is an affront to, and against the very holiness of God. The Bible tells us "We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23) and further that the penalty for that sin is death, eternal death in hell, the lake of fire. (Rom 8:23)Who can save us? Who can pay this penalty for us and take away our sin? No one but God's son. No mortal man could ever save us from this penalty, for all mortal men have already sinned and come short of God's glory and holiness. (Rom 3:23) Any man who would attempt to pay this sin penalty for another could not, because he would be  paying this penalty for his own sin.  It is essential to understand that God alone could not pay this penalty for man, man alone must pay the penalty for his own sin. ***UNLESS***Someone pays this death penalty for him, and only a perfect sinless man could do that. So Jesus Christ, the only perfect, sinlees man volunteered to pay this death penalty for us*** And, because he is also God, that death penalty is sufficient for ALL men!!!

Therefore to set us free from the penalty of sin, Jesus had to be both fully God AND fully man.

***And he is***  

UNLESS a sinless man, a man who owed no penalty for sin, would step up and offer to pay the debt he did not owe for those of us who owe a debt we can not pay.

Because God loves us so, Jesus, God's only begotten son came to earth, took upon himself the body of a man and paid this death penalty for us. "For whosoever shall believe in their heart and confess with their mouth, that Jesus came, suffered and died for their sin, shall have eternal life, shall not come into condemnation but shall have passed form death unto life." (John 5:24, Romans 10:9)

So, Jesus  became a man.  Like any human baby he was born of an earthly woman.  But  Jesus was also God.  He was not born of a man.  Joseph was not the father of Jesus.  Yet Jesus was fully man. As a man he displayed all the human characteristics. He was born of a woman. He was tired. He wept. He was hungry, and thirsty. To provid for our complete salvation Jesus was both fully man AND fully God. Jesus was born of God the Holy Spirit.(Matthew 1:18-23)  Yes, it is the Christmas story, and the Christmas present has been given to all to us from God. As man, born of a woman, Jesus could pay the ultimate penalty for each of us, because he is one of us. As God, born of God's Holy Spirit, this payment could redeem us, because as God, Jesus was sinless and did not himself owe any penalty for sin. 

Yes, I owed a debt I could not pay, and Jesus paid a debt he did not owe! By my acceptance of the fact that  "Christ died for me",  God the Father can accept me into heaven. My sin debt has been marked "Paid in full". 

Jesus knew he was both God and man! In John 8:58 Jesus claimed he was God when he referred to himself as the "I AM".  This is the name which God gave to himself in the Old Testament (Ex 3:14). Every Jew in Christ's time knew that Jesus was saying he was God, which is why they immediately took up stones to kill him for blasphemy (John 8:59).  Jesus declared to the apostles that he is God (Lk 22:70). We read in John 5:17 that Jesus called God Almighty his father and again the Jews took that as blasphemy (Jn 5:18).  Jesus said no one could ever see God the Father unless they first went by the way of Jesus the Son (Jn 14:6).  Jesus claimed he is God, yet, throughout his life on earth, with the exception of the apostles and a few other desciples, the people did not believe him. The religious leaders saw Jesus' declaration that he is God as blasphemy and it was for his blasphemy they killed him.  But, as it turns out, Jesus is who he says he is, and to prove that Jesus is his son, God the Father reached down from heaven and raised  Jesus from the dead.  Do you believe it? then Happy Easter!!

Why did Jesus have to die? The Bible says "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God", and "The wages (that is the penalty) of this sin is death." (Rom 6:23) We each have sinned against God,  for all sin is against God, and the penalty for that sin is death, not just physical death but eternal death in the lake of fire. Either we must each pay our own penalty of eternal death, or perhaps, some one who does not owe any penalty will step forward and volunteer to pay this penalty for us. There is such a one and his name is Jesus Christ. The old hymn goes, "I owed a debt I could not pay. He paid a debt he did not owe." This truth from God goes all the way back to Genesis 2:17, and continues through every book in the Old Testament until Jesus comes to us in the very first chapter of the very first book of the "New Testament"! 

God providing a sinless substitute to save man is not just a New Testament issue. This is the theme of all the Old Testament. All of the sacrifices offered in the temple in the Old Testament were offered for sin, and were a picture of Christ to come. The innocent Ox or Lamb was slain and offered as a symbolic sacrifice for the sin of the people. The old testament substitute had to be perfectly clean-without spot or wrinkle. The sacrifice was always the very best animal in the flock. The blood of sheep and oxen could never atone for the sins of the people (Heb 10:4), but covered the sin guilt for those who believed this offering  represented the perfect sacrifice from God which was promised to come. The Old Testament believers were then justified for their faith when, in the fulness of time, Jesus did come to die for them also.   

Christians worship Jesus because they love him for who he is and what he has done for them personally.  We worship Jesus because we believe he is God, and that he died to pay our sin debt for us.

So, now the questions become, "Why did Jesus Christ have to die for anyone?", "Why is it a good thing for all of us, that Christ did die?", and "How do Christians know he died for them?" These questions form the cornerstone of Christianity, and to answer them we have to go back to the beginning.  ( To be continued)

Why is it important we know the truth about Jesus??? The Bible says that it is given man once to live, once to die and then the Judgment (Heb 9:27). We believe the bible and so we believe after this life and our death, there will come the judgment. The Great White Throne judgment that God speaks of in the Bible (Rev. 20:11) is the judgment for sin. By our own life and in our own heart we know we have sinned.  We are already  guilty of disobeying God, and our appearance before the Judge wil not to determine guilt, but to hand down the sentence of our eternal punishment.  Not all of us will be there. Only those who have chosen to pay the penalty for sin themselves. Either you will have pay the penalty yourself, or if you have believed God and trusted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, he has ALREADY paid your penalty of sin for you. And, your debt has been marked "Paid in Full"!!!!  The only question God is asking us is "What have you done with my Son?"

The Bible tells us that,  "God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son to suffer and die for our sins, so that whosoever believes in him shall not have eternal punishment, but shall, have instead, eternal life." (John 3:16)  So, it is important to know the truth about Jesus, who he is, why he came to this earth and what he did for you and for me. Each of us must answer God's question now, while we still have life. After we die it will be too late! Have you ever thought about God's question and the consequences of your answer.

What think ye of Jesus???  

Now if you don't believe the bible, we suppose you believe something else.  If so, ask yourself if what you believe is true?  Does God recognize it?  What does it have to say about your sin, your death, ------- and the day after???

How can Jesus save me? The Bible tells us that after we die we go into the presence of God almighty for judgment.(Heb 9-27) Each of us will face one of two judgments. The unsaved, those who have rejected the salvation offered by God through the sacrafice of Jesus Christ, will be judged by God before his Great White Throne. (Rev 20:11-15) The saved will NOT be there!!! We will receive our rewards for Christian service from Jesus Christ at his Beama seat judgment.(To be continued)

How do I know that God the Father, Almighty God, has accepted the sacrifice of Christ as "payment in full" for my sin debt? Because on that Easter Sunday more that 2000 years ago, God reached down from heaven and raised Jesus Christ from the dead, gave unto him an eternal body, and 40 days later lifted him to heaven to be forever with God the Father Almighty. And we can be there too!!! "For if it were not true, I would have told you." Jesus Christ  (John 14:2)  There were many people throughout history, great and small, who have claimed to speak for God. They are now dead. Christ only has risen from the dead and is alive forevermore!!!! His is the only death penalty God has accepted to pay our debt for sin.

                 On Christmas we celebrate that Jesus was born. On Easter we celebrate that we can now be born again.     

Where is Jesus today? Jesus today sits in heaven at the right hand of God the Father answering the prayers and standing up for those who believe and trust in him (Acts: 2-25,33,34, 5-31, 7-55,56, Eph: 1-2, Hebrews: 12-2, 1Peter:3-22).  (To be continued)  

When will Jesus return?  Does the Bible say He will return soon? The Bible does not say that Jesus will return soon.  It says He will return "quickly". (Rev 3:11)Some people have preached that he will return soon, but the Bible does not say that.  It is true that all the requirements for Jesus' return have already been fulfilled, and in fact, he could return soon, but this Biblical criteria has been met for over 2000 years and still he has not yet returned.  So, what does the Bible say about Christ's return?  The Bible tells us that Jesus will return to earth two more times. We will look at what scripture has to say about Jesus and the future. (To be continued) 

Was Jesus really born of a virgin?  The Bible says that Jesus was born of a virgin(Isa 7:14, Lk 1:26-34).  If you don't believe that he was then it seems you do not believe that the Bible is the word of an all powerful, always truthful, God. A God who can not lie(Num 23:19, Titus 1:2).  It follows then that anyone who does not believe in the virgin birth also does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. And, that is a BIG problem, because if Jesus is not God then Jesus does not have the power to save us, and we are still condemned  by sin.  If Jesus was not born the Son of God, then he must have been born the son of someone else. That brings us to Joseph. If Jesus was born the son of Joseph, he can not save us!!! If Jesus was born of Joseph, then Jesus would have been born with his own sin and sin nature, which even the best of us can not overcome. He could not save anyone, he would have had to pay his own penalty for his own sin.  Paul said, if Jesus is not God then "We as Christians should above all be pitied." (1 Cor 15:14-17)We would be lost in our own sin and be so deluded as not to know we are lost. But, if Jesus is the Son of God, then trust in him can save us from eternal punishment.  Born of a virgin?  Impossible you say. Under normal circumstances I would have to agree, but when God decides to save a man (or woman) the circumstances are anything but normal. The Bible says many things are not possible for man, but "with God all things are possible". (Luke 18:47) If it needs to be done, God can do it!

Why is Easter the most important day on the Christian calendar"When Jesus died on the cross he said "It is finished" (John 19:30).  For Jesus, the work for him to do on earth was finished, but for us, it was not finished until Easter morning! (To be continued)

For whom did Christ die?  Christ died for you! He died for every single human being ever born on this earth.  Does this mean that all those born, for whom Christ died, are automatically saved and will enjoy eternity in heaven with God? The answer is  NO!  The sacrifice of Christ is sufficient to save us all, but his death only brings salvation to those who recognize they have sinned against a Holy God, admit they will be eternally lost unless someone comes to save them, and then trust the word of God and believe that Christ died for them personally. His death is sufficient to pay the sin debt for all of mankind  BUT it can be applied to only those who take God at his word and ask him to cover their sin with the blood of Christ.  We are not able to pay our sin debt on our own. "By faith in God and trust in Jesus Christ we are saved, and not on our own lest any of should be able to boast"(Eph 2:8-9)

"I owed a debt I could not pay.  He paid a debt he did not owe."

And now, because of Christ, I am heaven bound! 

Do Christians worship one God or three?    The Bible teaches that God is a plural being. The God of the Bible is not a singular, unity God, but a plural God.  The Bible goes on to show that this plurality is manifested in the three persons of the triune God.  God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) , and God the Holy Spirit.  How do we know the God of the Bible is a plural God and not a just a singular unity God? 

Let's look at Deuteronomy 6:4, called the 'Shema' after the first word in the verse.  "Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord". When read in English, this verse seems to say that God is a singular, unity God, but the original Hebrew does not say that. It is far different.  The Hebrew word used in this verse for one is 'echod', meaning a composite one, as in one 'echod' cluster of grapes. This same word for one is found again in Gen 2:24.  God, speaking of marriage, says "and they (being two, the husband and wife) shall become one 'echod' flesh".  Had Moses intended to mean 'one' as in absolute unity, he would have used the word 'yachid' which means absolute unity. So, the Bible teaches that God is not a singular God, but a plural God who is all in one. The revelation of plurality in unity in the bible is probably the most difficult attribute of God for us humans to understand, it confounds even the best of us. But how does plurality of the Godhead lead us to belive that God is a trinity of three persons in one God? (To be continued)

Part 2: The Parables and Teachings of Christ

(This part was last reviewed/updated in October 2017) 

Why did Jesus teach in Parables, and do they mean anything for us today?  A parable is a simple story, easily understood, using everyday familiar things, that on the surface presents an amusing little story but with more thoughtful consideration teaches a truth, often considered very profound. Jesus taught in Parables so that the everyday folks who were following him could understand his teaching while his self-righteous critics would shrug his words off as meaningless, and below their intellectual dignity.  Jesus was even asked by his disciples why he was teaching in parables rather than in some more academic or pontifical manner (Matt 13:10). He told them in Matthew 13:11, "It is given unto you (my followers, those who love and trust me) to know the mysteries of the kingdom, but to them (my accusers, those who would trap me and kill me) it is not given." Eight separate times in the Book of Revelation Jesus said, "He that hath an ear, let him hear" (Rev 13:9).  He who will  open his ear and his heart to listen, will understand the lessons that God is sharing.

 
What illustrations and figures of speech did Christ use and what did He mean by them?

I am the "door" (John 10:9)  Be careful to see that Jesus did not say that He was the "Doorway" which is an opening in a wall that allows access from one side to the other. Instead, Jesus said He the "door". Jesus was not using this term by accident. He said what he meant, and he meant what he said. We know that a door is an object hinged in a doorway that opens to allow passage through and closes to deny entry. There is a doorway to heaven. Jesus said he stands in that doorway. He opens to allow his followers through and closes to shut those people out who would deny that "Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (I Pet 1:7) 

I am the "gate to the sheep" In biblical times shepherds would gather their sheep together at night for safety and mutual protection. They would put their flocks together in a pen made of stacks of stones and rocks called a "sheep fold". There was usually only one access to the sheep fold, and thus to the sheep. Access was by an an opening in the rock wall that went around the sheepfold. To protect the sheep at night from thieves, and robbers and wolves, one of the shepherds would sleep the night in this opening, this doorway to the sheep fold. The shepherd keep out thieves and robbers and protected the sheep. He was in fact protecting the door to the sheepfold.

In the morning the shepherds would come to this pen of sheep, now all mixed up together. The shepherd would call out to the sheep, and those that belonged to him recognized his voice and came out of the sheep fold (pen) and followed him to the pasture. 

Jesus spoke both of the 'Kingdom of Heaven' and the 'Kingdom of God', and people are sometimes confused by these two terms. We should understand Jesus' use of these terms to fully appreciate what He is teaching us through His parables. 

"The Kingdom of Heaven"

The term "Kingdom of Heaven" refers to all of God's creation "under the heavens".  Today the kingdom of heaven includes all of God's earthly creations, all creatures great and small, and all men and women, both those who are saved (those who believe God's word and have trusted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for payment of their own personal sin debt), and those who are unsaved (those who have not believed God's word and have chosen to pay their own penalty for their sin).  The Parables given by God's own son Jesus Christ reveal the future disposition of the folks in each of these two groups. The Parables given by Christ give us God's view of today's world "under heaven".  In them we learn about God, and what the future holds for both the saved, the unsaved, and how the Lord Jesus Christ will deal with each group when He returns.  As you read  what happens to the folks in each of these groups, decide which of these two groups is for you.  Before you decide, however,  you might want to consider Paul's admonition found in Hebrews 10:31, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God".

As we live today, the "Kingdom of Heaven" refers to God's sovereignty over this earth.  It is a physical kingdom  made up of both those who are saved and those who are not. The parables of Christ teach what will happen to theses two classes of people when the Lord returns.  

"Kingdom of God"

As Jesus taught in John 3:3-5, the "Kingdom of God" is not, at this time, a physical kingdom but a spiritual kingdom made up of only those people on this earth who have been "Born Again".  The Kingdom of God is the kingdom of people who acknowledge the power and position of God Almighty and voluntarily submit to his authority as their personal King. 

What happens to these two kingdoms in the future?????

Revelation 21:1-5 teaches us that after the Great Tribulation has run it's course, the "Kingdom of God", the spiritual  kingdom now in heaven and in the hearts of those who trust in Christ, will become a physical kingdom. It will descend from heaven to take over the physical kingdom presently here on earth, "under heaven", and become  God's physical kingdom here on earth.  In Rev 21:6 God tells John "it is done". This old earth is replaced by a new earth and becomes "The Kingdom of God" here on earth.  All things are made new, just as God had originally designed them. This future physical "Kingdom of God" will be inhabited by those who have trusted Christ and who love God.  This kingdom will last forever.

What do these Parables of Christ mean for us today? Although obscured from those "too sophisticated" to need a lowly carpenter to save them out of eternal punishment and save them into eternal glory, the parables of Jesus should have significant meaning to us.  It is not enough for us just to know the correct interpretation of Jesus' parables. but to know what God is saying to us personally. In sharing with us God's wisdom, Christ prefaces most of his parables with the introduction "the kingdom of heaven is like".  Remembering that "the kingdom of heaven" represents all the world's people, both the saved and the unsaved (under the heavens), we can understand that Jesus is revealing to us that, as we live our life for God, that there are those around us who, because they do not know and honor God, live their life differently. Through these parables we can understand why these people do the things they do, and why God does not punish them in the swift and timely manner we think he should. We are better able to understand life and appreciate the many blessings our God has given to those who have put their trust in him. God wants to share his wisdom with us and have us to put on "the whole armor of God" so we may enjoy this wonderful life he has given us while we look forward to the even more wonderful eternal life Christ died for us to have.

 

The Sower (Matt 13:3-8 & 18-23) In this parable the sower is our Lord.  The seed is the word of God as given to us today in our Bible.  The ground represents this world, all those who have been given God's "Good News".  However, Jesus is revealing to us that not all who hear the Gospel receive the salvation and eternal life offered by God.  Some who hear God's word reject the Gospel outright, as "not being for them".  Their hearts are like the ground by the wayside. Some who hear, enjoy the pleasantness of God's word, but won't let their heart fully commit to Christ. Their hearts are like the stoney places. They soon turn away to other things.   Others who hear the call of the Gospel, take up God's word and follow Christ as they would some rock star, but are drawn away by the next new and flashy personallity. Their hearts are filled with thorny briers. Still others, when they receive God's word into their heart, they become broken. They realize what God has done for them.  They are so transformed that they become a new person, old things are passed away and, behold, all things have become new (2 Chor 5:17).  These are those who grow in grace and the knowledge of God (2 Peter 3:18). They begin to produce the fruit of God's Spirit in their lives; love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance and faith (Gal 5:22-23).  When you next hear God's word, consider your own reaction to it, and you will know how Christ's words apply to you.

Who are pictured as the tares and the wheat? (Matt 13:24-30 &36-43)

What is the lesson of the mustard seed growth (Matt 13:31-32 Mark 4:31)

What is the mystery of the Leaven in the loaf? (Matt 13:33 Luke 13: 20 -21)

What is the Treasure Hidden in the Field? (Matt 13:44)

What is the "Pearl of Great Price"?  (Matthew 13:45-46) In one of the parables taught by Jesus he referred to the Pearl of Great price.  What was he referring to?  Many a sermon is preached that we should search out and get hold of the "Pearl of Great price" which is Jesus.  For Jesus himself taught that a man would give all that he had if only he could obtain this pearl.  Surely Jesus is of great value and worthy to be sought after.  But, is this the what Jesus was teaching by this parable?  The answer is no. The Pearl of Great price is not Jesus, it is the Church, that group of saved men and women in the world today. (To be continued)

What did Jesus mean when he said "I am the door"?(John 10:9) The popular understanding of Jesus' description of himself as the door, "I am the door",  is that Jesus is the door to heaven, and it is through him that we enter into heaven for our eternity.  This is true, however, when we think a little more about this description we can see that it is the "Doorway" (the frame around the door) through which we pass from one place to another, and it is "the door" that, when open, allows passage thru the doorway, but when closed denies passage.  Jesus is indeed the door. He opens to allow those who believe and trust in him to pass from earth to heaven, but it is this same Jesus, this same door, who will shut out and deny passage to those who have rejected his salvation sacrifice and have chosen to get to heaven by some other way.(Jn 10:1)  Jesus is the "way" into heaven, the only way.  Many think their right living,  their good works, the money and time they have given charity or any other good work or sacrifice on their part will allow them to pass thorough the "doorway" into heaven. They are those who attempt to enter heaven over the sheep wall, that is by "some other way".  Some other way than by way of Jesus. Jesus characterizes that man or that woman as "a thief and a robber".(Jn 10:1)  As "the door" Jesus will shut out and deny them entrance into heaven.

The Dragnet (Matt 13:47-50)

The Scribe & the Householder (Matt 13:52) Jesus addressed as "Scribes" those leaders knowledgable in both The Law and man's proper relationship to God. Remember, Jesus is the focal point of both the Old and the New Testaments, and there is valuable treasure in each both old and new.  As we live in this Kingdom under the Heavens with both believers and un-believers, we are commissoned by Jesus to share the treasure God has put in our heart with others; with unbelievers, praying they may become saved as brands plucked from the fire (Zech 3:2), and with fellow believers, building up youselves in your most holy faith (Jude 20).

The lost sheep (Matt 18:12-14 Luke 15:4-9)

The unmerciful servant (Matt 18:23-35)

The laborers in the vineyard (Matt 20:1-14)

The parable of the marriage feast (Matt 22:1-4, Mark 12:38-46, Luke 14:15-24)

 

What is the "Normal" Christian life? Watchman Nee, during his tireless ministry to China in the early 1900's, propsed that the "Normal Christian Life" is to live each day in peace and fellowship with our creator God. Mr. Nee proclaimed that the Bible is clear, we are all born separated from God by sin. (Rom 3:23, Isa 53:6) We are plagued by both the sins we have committed against this Holy God, and the sin nature we have inheirited from the sins of our forefathers. To be able to know God and fellowship with him, we need both our sins forgiven and our sin nature exchanged for a new nature that loves God and can enjoy fellowship with him, both now and for eternity future. Jesus Christ, by offering himself up in our place, satisfied God the father on both counts. 

The blood of Christ has been accepted by God as payment in full for our sins, and the death of Christ on the cross bought for us a new nature.

Mr. Nee encourages us to "reckon" this truth of reconciliation as a fact.  To live life and fellowship with God on the basis of this truth  should be our "Normal Christian Life."  This reconciliation and fellowship with God is not just a New Testament concept, but has been presented to us by God in every book of the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi. The mission of Christ is so important because it reconciled us back to God.  How this reconciliation is accomplished is the Good News of the Bible.

The Parable of the Fig Tree (Matthew24:32-33) 

The Parable of the 10 Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)

The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)

The Parable of the Pounds (Luke 19:12-26)

 

Coming Soon: More  Bible  Answers about:
 Jesus, His Teachings and the Parables He shared
QUESTIONS?????
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