Tag Archive | Jesus

Did the Early Christians Believe Jesus is God?

Kenneth Samples, God Among Sages:

But just what did the earliest Christians believe about the nature and person of Jesus Christ? A major textual breakthrough over the last couple of decades has al1owed scholars to see more dearly what the earliest Christians believed about Jesus Christ, particularly as expressed in their church services.

Biblical scholarship (in this case, a type of form criticism) has discovered primitive Jewish-Christian creeds, confessions, and hymns woven into Scripture. The early Christians in their worship services used these compact confessions of faith long before the New Testament was written. As New Testament scholar Ralph Martin explains, “The church of the New Testament is already a believing, preaching, and confessing community of men and women. This implies the existence and influence of a body of authoritative doctrine … which was the given and shared possession of those who formed the nascent Christian communities in the world of the Roman Empire.”1

1. Samples, Kenneth Richard. God Among Sages: Why Jesus Is Not Just Another Religious Leader. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2017. 71. Print.

Source: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2017/03/jesus-didnt-become-god-earliest.html

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The True and Living Faith

Martin Luther on John 16:3:

The true knowledge of God and of Christ has often been defined. It is not an idle, empty thought or dream, as reason is able to think of God and Christ on the basis of hearsay, and as it pictures Him and acts toward Him according to such thoughts of its own. No, it is the true and living faith, which understands the words of the Gospel and, in accordance with those words, knows Him and the Father’s will and heart. It knows that the Father sent Christ, His Son, to deliver the world from sin, God’s wrath, and eternal death through His blood and death. It tells man that Christ accomplished all this, gained forgiveness of sin and eternal life, and surely bestows this on all who believe in Him. Thus the knowledge of God and of Christ are bound together and are one knowledge. As has been repeatedly said, the Father is known solely in Christ and will not and cannot be attained and met or worshiped and called upon apart from this Mediator.

Therefore all depends on this article about Christ, and he who has this article has everything. In order to be able to abide by it, the Christians must be engaged in the most strenuous warfare and must fight constantly. Therefore Christ and the apostles have good reason to insist on it everywhere. Although the other doctrines are also based on Scripture – for example, Christ’s birth from a pure virgin – it does not stress them as much as it does this one. When St. Paul champions this doctrine of Christ’s birth, he does not even call the mother by name; nor does he mention the honor of the virgin; he states simply (Gal. 4:4) “born of woman.” But when he informs us that we receive grace and salvation, not by works and the Law but only through this Mediator, Christ, then he speaks exhaustively.​

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/the-true-knowledge-of-god.91137/, Comment 1

The Connection Between Christ and Believers

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 240:

There is that connection between Christ and believers, that wonderful communication between them, that Christ did nothing, was nothing, and had nothing done to him, but what he did, and was, and suffered, personating them, and all the benefit and advantage redounds to them. He would not be considered of as a person by himself, but would rather be still taken in with the children. As for love, he came down and took flesh to be like them, and did take their sin and misery off them, and so was content to be looked upon by God as in the place of sinners, as the chief sinner; so he is content and desirous that we should look on him as in the place of sinners, as dying, as rising for us, as having no excellency or privilege incommunicable to us.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/the-connection-between-christ-and-believers.89341/

You Shall Be More Surely Kept Than Before

Duerers Paradiesschlange 1507Hugh Binning, Works, pp. 114-115:

For as many as have the inward dreadful apprehension of this wrath to come, and know not what to do, know that to you is Jesus Christ preached, the second Adam, a quickening spirit; and in that consideration, better than the first, – not only a living soul himself, but a spirit to quicken you who are dead in sins, – one who hath undertaken for you, and will hold you fast. Adam, who should have kept us, lost himself; Christ in a manner lost himself to save us. And as by Adam’s disobedience all this sin and misery hath abounded on man, know, that the second Adam’s obedience and righteousness are of greater virtue and efficacy to save, and instead of sin to restore righteousness, and instead of death to give life. Therefore you may come to him, and you shall be more surely kept than before.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/89019-The-second-Adam-better-than-the-first, Comment #1

Related:

John Calvin, commenting on Romans 5:17:

He had before declared, that the power of grace had surpassed that of sin: and by this he consoles and strengthens the faithful, and, at the same time, stimulates and encourages them to meditate on the benignity of God. Indeed the design of so studious a repetition was, — that the grace of God might be worthily set forth, that men might be led from self-confidence to trust in Christ, that having obtained his grace they might enjoy full assurance; and hence at length arises gratitude. The sum of the whole is this — that Christ surpasses Adam; the sin of one is overcome by the righteousness of the other; the curse of one is effaced by the grace of the other; from one, death has proceeded, which is absorbed by the life which the other bestows.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/89546-Christ-surpasses-Adam, Comment #1

Are You Ready?

Colorful 2017 sticker sign

Are You Ready?

by J. C. Ryle

“Be also ready.” Matthew 24:44

Reader, I ask you a plain question at the beginning of a New Year. Are you ready? It is a solemn thing to part company with the old year. It is a still more solemn thing to begin a new one. It is like entering a dark passage. We know not what the may meet before the end. All before us is uncertain. We know not what a day may bring forth, much less what may happen in a year. Reader, are you ready? Are you ready for sickness? You cannot expect to be always well. You have a body fearfully and wonderfully made. It is awful to think how many diseases may assail it. “Strange that a harp of thousand strings should keep in tune so long!” Pain and weakness are a hard trial. They can bow down the strong man, and make him like a child. They can weary the temper and exhaust the patience, and make men cry in the morning, “Would God it were evening, and in the evening, would God it were morning.” All this may come to pass this very year. Your reason may be shattered. Your senses may be weakened. Your nerves may be unstrung. The very grasshopper may become a burden. Reader, if sickness comes upon you, are you ready? “Man,” says the Scripture, “is born to sorrow.” This witness is true. Your property may be taken from you. Your riches may make themselves wings and flee away. Your friends may fail you. Your children may disappoint you. Your servants may deceive you. Your character may be assailed. Your conduct may be misrepresented. Troubles, annoyances, vexations, anxieties, may surround you on every side like a host of armed men. Wave upon wave may burst over your head. You may feel worn, and worried, and crushed to the dust. Reader, if affliction comes upon you, are you ready?

Are you ready for bereavements? No doubt there are those in the world whom you love. There are those whose names are engraved on your heart, and round whom your affections are entwined. There are those who are the light of your eyes, and the very sunshine of your existence. But they are all mortal. Any one of them may die this year. Before the daisies blossom again, any one of them may be lying in the tomb. Your Rachel may be buried. Your Joseph may betaken from you. Your dearest idol may be broken. Bitter tears and deep mourning may be your portion. Before December you may feel terribly alone. Reader, if bereavement comes upon you, are you ready?

Are you ready for death? It must come some day. It may come this year. You cannot live always. This very year may be your last. You have no freehold in this world. You have not so much as a lease. You are nothing better than a tenant at God’s will. Your last sickness may come upon you and give you notice to exit. The doctor may visit you and exhaust his skill over your case. Your friends map sit by your bed-side, and look graver and graver every day. You may feel you own strength gradually wasting, and find something saying within, “I shall not come down from this bed, but I shall die.” You may see the world slipping from beneath your feet, and all your schemes and plans suddenly stopped short. You may feel yourself drawing near to the coffin, and the grave, and the worm, and an unseen world, and eternity, and God. Reader, if death should come upon you, are you ready?

Are you ready for the second coming of Christ? He will come again to this world one day. As surely as He came the first time, 1800 years ago, so surely will He come the second time. He will come to reward all His saints who have believed in Him and confessed Him on earth. He will come; to judge all His enemies, the careless, the ungodly, the impenitent, and the unbelieving. He will come very suddenly, at an hour when no man thinks, as a thief in the night. He will come in terrible majesty, in the glory of His, Father, with the holy angels. A flaming fire shall burn before Him. The dead shall be raised. The judgment shall be set. The books shall be opened. Some shall be exalted into heaven. Many, very many, shall be cast down to hell. The time for repentance shall be past. Many shall cry, “Lord, Lord, open to us,” but find the door of mercy shut forever. After this there will be no change. Reader, if Christ should come the second time this year, are you ready? Oh! reader, these are solemn questions. They ought to make you examine yourself. They ought to make you think. It would be a terrible thing to be taken by surprise. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But shall I leave you here? I will not do so. Shall I raise searchings of heart, and not set before you the way of life? I will not do so. Hear me for a few moments, while I try to show you THE MAN THAT IS READY. He that is ready has a ready Savior. He has Jesus ever ready to help him. He lives the life of faith in the Son of God. He has found out his own sinfulness, and fled to Christ for peace. He has committed his soul, and all its concerns, to Christ’s keeping. If he has bitter cups of affliction to drink, he knows they are mixed by the hand that was nailed to the cross for his sins. If he is called to die, he knows that the grave is the place where the Lord lay. If those whom he loves are taken away, he remembers that Jesus is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and a husband who never dies. If the Lord should come again, he knows that he has nothing to fear. The Judge of all will be that very Jesus who has washed his sins away. Happy is that man who can say with Hezekiah, “The Lord is ready to save me!” (Isaiah xxxviii. 20.)

He that is ready has a ready heart. He has been born again, and renewed in the spirit of his mind. The Holy Spirit has shown him the true value of all here below, and taught him to set his affections on things above. The Holy Spirit has shown him his own deserts, and made him feel that he ought to be thankful for everything, and satisfied with any condition. If affliction comes upon him, his heart whispers, “there must be a needs-be. I deserve correction. It is meant to teach me some useful lesson.” If bereavement comes upon him, his heart reminds him that the Lord gave and the Lord must take away, whenever he sees fit. If death draws near, his heart says, “My times are in your hand; do as you will, when you will, and where you will.” If the Lord should come, his heart would cry, “This is the day I have long prayed for- the kingdom of God is come at last.” Blessed is he who has a ready heart!

He who is ready, has a home ready for him in heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ has told him that He is gone “to prepare a place” for him. A house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, awaits him. He is not yet come to his full inheritance. His best things are yet to come. He can bear sickness, for yet a little time he shall have a glorious body. He can bear losses and crosses, for his choicest treasures are far beyond the reach of harm. He can bear disappointments, for the springs of his greatest happiness can never be made dry. He can think calmly of death. It will open a door for him from the lower house to the upper chamber, even the presence of the King. He is immortal until his work is done. He can look forward to the coming of the Lord without alarm. He knows that they who are ready will enter in with Him to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Happy is that man whose lodging is prepared for him in the kingdom of Christ! Reader, do you know anything of the things I have just spoken of? Do you know anything of a ready Savior, a ready heart, and a ready home in heaven? Examine yourself honestly. How does the matter stand? Oh! be merciful to your own soul. Have compassion on that immortal part of you. Do not neglect its interests for the sake of mere worldly objects. Business, pleasure, money, politics, will soon be done with forever. Do not refuse to consider the question I ask you. ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY?

Reader, if you are not ready, I beseech you to make ready without delay. I tell you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that all things are ready on God’s part for your salvation. The Father is ready to receive you. The Lord Jesus is ready to wash your sins away. The Spirit is ready to renew and sanctify you. Angels are ready to rejoice over you. Saints are ready to hold out the right hand to you. Oh! why not make ready this very year? Reader, if you have reason to hope you are ready, I advise you to make sure. Walk more closely with God. Get nearer to Christ. Seek to exchange hope for assurance. Seek to feel the witness of the Spirit more clearly and distinctly every year. Lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets you. Press towards the mark more earnestly. Fight a better fight, and war a better warfare every year you live. Pray more. Read more. Mortify self more. Love the brethren more. Oh! that you may endeavor so to grow in grace every year, that your last things may be far more than your first, and the end of your Christian course be better than the beginning.

Source: http://www.gracegems.org/23/Ryle_ready.htm

Lay Living Jesus Upon Your Dead Hearts

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 149:

Indian Girl in White Blanket by Robert Henri, 1917 - Corcoran Gallery of Art - DSC01186I beseech you, know the original of your miseries, doubts, barrenness, and darkness. Here it is, – you are still puzzling yourselves about grace and duties, how to fill your eyes with these, and ye neglect Christ as your righteousness, as one dead and risen again, and now sitting at God’s right hand for us. You must first close with him, as ungodly men. Though you were godly, you must shut your eyes on any such thing, and lay living Jesus upon your dead and benumbed hearts. Answer all your challenges with his absolution, and stand before God in his clothing. Put his garment immediately on your nakedness and vileness, and we may persuade you it shall yield you abundant consolation and life. Because he lives, ye shall live, and walk.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/89149-Lay-living-Jesus-upon-your-dead-hearts, Comment 1

No Believer Shall Ever Be Locked Up In Them

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works 1:101-102:

Steingaden Unterengen1 Getreidekasten 002Death and the grave are strong and cruel, Song 8:6. They have taken, or will take all mankind prisoners, and are able to keep them; only they took one prisoner, Jesus Christ, who was too hard, too strong, for them. Death had dominion over him but for a little while, and by his own consent, Rom. 6:9; but it hath no more dominion over him. But he hath dominion over it: I have the keys of hell and of death, Rev. 1:18. Courage, believers in, and heart-lovers of Jesus Christ! Death and hell are indeed dreadful jails; but as long as Christ keeps the keys (and that will be till he cast them both into the lake of fire, Rev. 20:14), no believer shall ever be locked up in them. If hell were searched never so narrowly, amongst all the condemned prisoners there, no man or woman could be found in it, in whose heart there was ever one spark of true faith in, or love to the Lord Jesus.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/90762-Dreadful-jails-but-Christ-keeps-the-keys, Comment #1