JESUS CHRIST

     In the web page dealing with God, we took up the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of  God and the second person of  the Trinity.  In this web page we consider The Person and work of  the Lord Jesus in greater detail.  The proper understanding of  His Person  and work is fundamental to the gospel and to Christianity as a whole.
          This study centers around the incarnate Christ.  The first study is of  the preincarnation of Christ.  This is followed by a study of  His life.  We then consider the very important topic of  His death followed by an examination of  His resurrection.  No study of  the Lord Jesus Christ would be complete without a pondering of  His present ministry.  Finally, the matter of  His second coming will be presented.  If  you wish, you may click on the particular topic.  

THE PREINCARNATION OF  CHRIST

     The first aspect of  the preincarnation of  Christ concerns the Deity of  Christ.  There were those (and probably still are) who accept the pre-existence of  Christ but denied that He is equal with God.  John 5:23 states that "all men should  honour the Son, even as they  honour the Father."  It is thus dishonoring to both the Father and the Son to make Christ something less than God.

1. The divine names.  Several names are applied to the Lord Jesus Christ in the Bible.  Some have definite reference to His humanity; others clearly show His Deity.
     a. Names of  eternal relationship. There are at least four names that speak of  Christ's eternal relationship.
          1) The term "Word".  The term Word (Logos) certainly set forth the Deity of  Jesus Christ.  This is clearly set forth in John 1:1:  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and the Word was God."  There is no justification  in the Greek for the rendering of the last part of this verse as "the Word was a God."  That this verse refers to Jesus Christ is evident from John 1:14 (Cf. also 1:18).  This was not a mere abiding of  the Person of  God in Christ.  Notice it clearly says "the Word was God."  "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of  the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9).  Thus, everything that God is, Jesus Christ is.
         2) The word "Only Begotten".  The phrase Only Begotten likewise sets forth the uniqueness of  Jesus Christ as God. He is eternally the Only Begotten.  He is not just God and not a Son which leads to tritheism; nor is He the Son and not God which leads to Arianism (and the more modern  form found  in the sect, Jehovah Witnesses).  This unique title appears  in John 1:14, 18 and again is used by Jesus in 3:16-18.
          3) The word "image".  Another important word is image.  This term is used in Colossians 1:15 where He is declared to be the "image of  the invisible God."  In a real sense when we have seen Jesus (now by faith; then by sight), we have seen God the Father.  Jesus said as  much in  John 14:9.  A related term is  expressed image (exact imprint) set forth in Hebrews 1:3.  Thus, again every thing the Father is, Jesus Christ is.
          4) The phrase "First-Begotten.  The final phrase First-Begotten,  sometimes  rendered  "First-Born",  is used in three different connections.  He is the "First-Begotten" of  all creation. This does not mean He is the first created being.  Rather it sets forth precedence and cause of  all beings. (Cf. Colossians 1:16)  This idea is set forth in Romans  8:29 and Colossians 1:15 and speaks of  His self- existence eternally.   It is used as the "firstborn" of  Mary shown in Matthew 1:25 and Luke 2:7 in contrast to His eternal sonship.  Hebrews 1:6 may be a bridge between the two concepts.  Lastly, the phrase is used as being the first to be raised from the dead to eternal physical life (The others resurrected before Him all died physically).  This truth is set forth in Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 1:5 and is suggested by Romans 8:29.
     b. Names of  Deity.  The word God, with a very few exceptions, refers to the true God, Jehovah (or Yahweh, if  you prefer).
          1) Two passages in Isaiah.  Isaiah (40 :3) is referred to in regard to John the Baptist's ministry and evidently applied to Jesus Christ.  Isaiah 7:14 sets forth Emmanuel (God with us) and definitely applied to Jesus at His birth (Matthew 1:23).
          2) Thomas's confession.  Jesus did not rebuke Thomas who declared when he saw the resurrected Jesus, "My Lord and My God" (John 20:28).  Instead He commended Thomas for believing this fact.
         3) Some New Testament passages.   Titus 2:13 declares Jesus Christ to "the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ."  To try to separate the phrase "the great God" from Jesus Christ is a gross misinterpretation.  The verse declares the "glorious  appearing [bold type for emphasis] of  the great God and our Savior"; it is the appearance of  the Lord Jesus Christ that is in view here.  In Acts 20:28, Paul speaks of  "the church of  God" and then proceeds to state "which He purchased with His own blood. [bold type for emphasis]"  By all rules of  grammar the antecedent of  these pronouns is the word "God."   Hebrews 1:8 applies Psalm 45:6 to the Son and thus, obviously, to Jesus Christ.
          4) The word "Jehovah".  The name Jehovah (or Yaweh) is uniquely the name for God.  The New Testament equivalent (whether a person wants to admit it or not) is Lord.  One needs  to compare Isaiah 8:13, 14 with 1 Peter 2:7, 8.
               In Isaiah the stone of  stumbling is the "LORD of  hosts";  in Peter, it is referred to the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the full name of  Jesus is the LORD Jesus Christ.
               The Septuigent  (LXX)  repeatedly  used the Greek word  Kurios  as the rendering of  "Jehovah."  This Greek word is everywhere rendered "Lord" in the New Testament.  The phrase "The First and the Last" occurs at least three times in Isaiah (41:4, 44:6, and 48:12) applied to the Jehovah God; it is applied to Jesus Christ in Revelation 1:11, 17; 2:8; and 22:13.   

2. The Divine attributes.  The attributes of  God are ascribed in various ways to Jesus Christ.
     a. Eternity.  Micah speaking of Christ says His "goings forth have been from of  old, from everlasting."  John  (1:1) uses the phrase "In the beginning" in reference to the Word.  That this might refer to Genesis 1:1 may well be true, but John is straining at language here to present the eternal existence of  the Word.  He states, "In the beginning was the Word."  The tense of the verb (both in English and Greek) speaks of a past prior to the word "beginning."  Colossians 1:17 states that "He is before all things."  Furthermore, all things consist or hold together by Him.
     b. Immutability.  Immutability has to do with the changelessness of  God.  Malachi 3:6 states, "I am the Lord, I change not."  Hebrews 13:8 restates this truth in regard to Jesus Christ. (Cf. Hebrews 1:11, 12).
     c. Omnipotence.  Almighty, or all powerful, is something that is true of  Deity only.  Besides displaying His power in healing, calming the seas, etc.  Philippians 3:21 states that He is "able even to subdue all things unto Himself."  1 Corinthians 15:28 shows "all things shall be subdued unto Him."
     d. Omniscience.  Being all-knowing is again an attribute that only pertains to God. Jeremiah 17:10 shows that God knows our very being.  Likewise, Christ is said  to know the thoughts of  men.  This same idea is presented in Revelation 2:23.  Matthew 11:27 shows the mutual knowledge of  Jesus Christ and God the Father (Cf. John 10:15).
     e. Omnipresence.  Psalm 139:7ff. shows this truth concerning God.  John 14:23 shows that God the Father and Jesus Christ would make their abode with the believer.  In the great commission (Matthew 28:20) Jesus promised to be with us "unto the end of  the world."

3. The Divine works.  The works of  Jesus Christ sets forth His deity.  Here this writer is concerned with those works that are preincarnate.
     a. Creation.  It is obvious that creative work is the providence of  Deity.  John 1:3 plainly states, "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made." (Also see John 1:10).  Again, Colossians 1:16 states, "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth,  . . .; all things were created by Him, and for Him."  Hebrews 1:3 states concerning the Son, "by Whom also He made the worlds."  Of  course, the He in this verse refers to the Father, but it was the Son Who did the creating.  Hebrews 1:10 again states this truth.
     b. Preservation.  God preserves His creation.  This is again the work of  the Son, Jesus Christ.  Colossians 1:17 so declares, "By Him all things consist [or hold together]."  Jesus Christ is the power that holds the atom together notwithstanding the splitting of  the atom.  Hebrews 1:3 likewise expresses this thought.
     c. Forgiveness of  sin.  In spite of  what certain religionists say today, no man has the power to forgive sins.  The scribes were right when they said, "Who can forgive sins but God only?"  The same passage (v. 10) shows that Jesus had that power as God.  Acts 5:31 shows to also to be the case.  Colossians 3:13 (and also Ephesians 4:32) states, "even as Christ has forgiven you."
     d. The resurrection of  the dead.   It is true that others were given the power from God to raise people from the dead (Peter with Dorcas for example); only Jesus Christ is said to be the resurrection and the life.  It is upon His voice that the dead rise (Cf. John 5:25ff.).  1 Corinthians 15:21 shows that resurrection is by Jesus Christ.
     e. All judgment.  That God is the final Judge of  all men is certainly clear from a perusal of  the Bible (Cf. Psalm 9:7, 8). John 5:22 clearly declares, "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son."  Acts 17:11 also presents this truth.  Although the One sitting on the great white throne (Revelation 20:12ff.) is not specified, it is evident that it must be Jesus Christ since all judgment is committed unto Him.

4. The Old Testament Messiah.  That the Messiah of  the Old Testament is the same as the Christ of  the New is evident by the meaning of  the words themselves.  The fact remains that Messiah is often  set forth  to be  Jehovah.  Psalm 2:2 sets forth Jehovah and the "Anointed" (Messiah in the Hebrew) as two distinct Persons.  Yet Messiah is spoken of  as Jehovah.      a. The examination of  passages.  This writer now considers some of  the primary passages dealing with Messiah.
          1) Deuteronomy 30:3.  Deuteronomy 30:3 sets forth the truth that Jehovah Elohim will be the one who will return which is not possible if  He has not been here.  Only the Messiah (Christ) can fit this description and here declared to be the Lord God.
          2) Jeremiah 33:14-17.   Likewise,  Jeremiah 33:14-17  suggests that the Messiah,  described  as the  Branch of righteousness and yet of  David, is set forth as "the Lord our righteousness."  That this applies to Jesus Christ is evident by the angel's announcement to Mary (Cf. Luke 1:31-35).
         3) Isaiah 9:6, 7.  Similarly,  Isaiah 9:6, 7 speaks of  the child born and son given as "The mighty God, The  everlasting Father."  Both humanity--"a child is born", and Deity--"a son is given", are combined in one Person.  This Person is in turn described as "The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of  peace."
         4) Zechariah 9:9.  Zechariah 9:9 sets forth the triumphal entry of  Christ (Messiah) into Jerusalem "having salvation."  Yet verse 16 declares that it is "Jehovah their God" that saves them.  The Old Testament knows of  only one King who will  sit on the one throne of  His  father David.  Those who deny an earthly reign of  Jesus Christ must allegorize such passages.  He is King of  kings and Lord of  lords as Revelation 19:16 declares.
          5) Isaiah 40:1-3.   Isaiah 40:1-3  sets forth comfort  to Israel  and concludes,  "The voice  of  him  that crieth  in  the wilderness,  Prepare ye the way of  the Lord [Jehovah], make straight in the desert a  highway for our God."  John the Baptist declared that he was that voice.  Each of  the four Gospels  declare  this fact.  That John was speaking of  Jesus Christ as the one for Whom he was preparing is evident.
          6) Jeremiah 23:5, 6.   Jeremiah 23:5, 6  ties it  all together,  for,  he speaks of  a  righteous Branch  being  raised unto David and a King who will save.  The name of  this One is THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  That Jeremiah is speaking of  the Messiah is clear, indeed.
     b. The Angel of  Jehovah.  The preexistence of Christ is clearly set forth in the Angel of  Jehovah.  The manifestation of  God in a visible and bodily form prior to the incarnation is called a theophany.  The most common theophany is that of the Angel of  Jehovah.
          1) Identified as Jehovah.   The Angel  of  Jehovah  is set  forth  as Jehovah.   Genesis 16:7-13  shows  this  same identification.  When Isaac was to be sacrificed by Abraham (Genesis 22:11-18), the Angel of  Jehovah is shown to be Jehovah.  Some other passages are Genesis 31:11-13; 48:15, 16; Exodus 3:1ff; Exodus 13:21; 14:19; Judges 6:11-13; and 13:9-20.
          2) Separate from Jehovah.  Yet the Angel of  Jehovah is set forth as a Person distinct from Jehovah.  Such passages as Genesis  24:7,  40 and Numbers 20:16 show this distinction.  Zechariah 1:12, 13 has the Angel of  Jehovah speaking to Jehovah.  Other passages seem also to make this distinction such as Exodus 23:20; 32:34; 1 Chronicles 21:15-18; Isaiah 63:9; and Daniel 3:25-28.  Judges 2:1-5 (see also 2 Kings 19:35) sets forth the deity of  the Angel of  Jehovah without clear identification  with Jehovah.  It can be proved  that the Angel of  Jehovah is the Second Person of  the Trinity.  The argument is too long to include in this web site.  This writer refers you to  Chafer's Systematic Theology, V:32, 33.

5. The Biblical Statements.  There are numerous passages in the New Testament that assert the pre-existence of  Christ.  Some are implied statements and a few are positive ones.
     a. Indirect statements.  The indirect statements are primarily found in John's Gospel. These are merely mentioned here. They include John 1:14 where it is stated "The Word became flesh"; John 1:15, 18, and 30 suggest His pre-incarnation; John 3:16, 17, 31 set forth the idea that God sent His Son into the world; John 6:33, 44, 50, 51, 57, 58 all imply  from Jesus' lips that He is pre-existed; John 7:29; John 8:23, 42; John 9:39; and John 17:14, 18 show that He was not of  this world and was sent into the world.  Philippians 2:8 states that He was "found in fashion as a man."  Hebrews 2:14 tells us that He partook of (in the sense of  "becoming") flesh and blood.   Some of  these verses are in the direct passages to be considered, but here they were considered individually.  Though we have not analyzed these verses in detail, a cursory look will show the implication.
     b. Direct passages.  The New Testament is clear in presenting positive evidence of  the pre-existence of Christ.  These passages will be considered to some extent although a detailed exposition will not be given.
          1) John 1 passage.  John 1:1-4, 14  clearly sets forth this  truth.  In verses 1-4 the Word is set forth as being with God and being God from the beginning.  Then in verse 14 it is stated that "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, . . . ."  It is obvious that Jesus Christ is in view here.
          2) John 6 passage.  John 6:33, 38, 41, 50, 51, 58, 62  set forth a sevenfold declaration by God  that He came from heaven.  Verse 62 clearly states, "What and if  ye shall see the Son of  man ascend up where He was before?"  Although a question rather than a statement, it is a direct statement in question form.  It is only unbelief that rejects this plain statement or tries to allegorize it in some way.
          3) John 8 passage.  John 8:58, 59 clearly set forth His pre-existence.  Jesus said, "Before Abraham was I am."  The Jews took up stones to stone Him because they fully understood the clear meaning of  His words, namely, He was claiming pre-existence even claiming deity.  That they understood Him to be claiming this is clear from John 10:33 where they fully understood Him when they said, "Because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God."
          4) Jesus' prayer in John 17.  John 17:5 plainly states,  "And now,  O Father,  glorify Thou Me  with Thine  own Self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was."  What clearer passage do we need?   This verse shows that He pre-existed before the world was.  He is simply requesting that the glory He set aside when He came to earth be restored.  The details of  this verse have been explored by many others and need not be of concern here.
          5) Philippians 2:6-11.  One of  the  most important  and yet most  controversial  passages  concerning  this truth is Philippians 2:6-11.  In particular, verse 6 is in view:  "Who, being in the form of  God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God."  For a detailed exposition of  this verse and the one following, a number of good commentaries can be recommended.  It was discussed to some extent on the web page God the Son under the  heading of  "The emptying."  It is a terse statement that states His pre-existence and essential deity as well as the setting aside His glory to come to be mankind's Saviour.

     The arguments set forth here show without doubt (except for those who refuse to accept the testimony of  Scripture) the pre-existence of  Christ.  These are clearly applied to the Lord Jesus. We next consider the matter of  Christ Incarnate. There are really several parts to this covering His life from His birth to His death and resurrection, His death and resurrection  itself, His present ministry and finally His second coming.  The next subject is thus that of His incarnate life


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