Who is Jesus? The God-Man

Who is Jesus? The God-Man

Jesus Christ is the most famous historical figure in the world. He has been simultaneously admired, hated, obeyed, feared, loved, ignored, mocked, worshiped, and discussed by countless people throughout the ages. And while everyone has heard about Jesus, few today seem to know who He really is.

At the outset, it can be said without a doubt that Jesus is the Lord of lords and King of kings over the whole universe. Everything that has breath owes its very life to Him. This is absolutely true, and we heartedly affirm it. However, there is still much more to say when answering the question: Who is Jesus?

In the Bible, the author of Hebrews instructs us to diligently “consider Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1). This series is designed to do just that. We hope to walk you through some of the most central teachings of the Christian faith regarding Jesus.

Our aim in this first article is to give you some handles on understanding the Lord Jesus Christ as both God and man. Christians have grappled for centuries to comprehend the Biblical teaching that God became human, just like us, in the person of Jesus Christ without giving up any aspect of His divinity. Often called the “incarnation,” this teaching is beautiful and mysterious and should be contemplated rigorously for the rest of our lives. So, count this as merely the beginning of our considering Jesus.

Jesus is God.

When we say Jesus is God, this implies that we know a little bit about who God is. God is the creator and sustainer of all things, including you. This means Jesus is the creator and sustainer of all things, including you.

That might be slightly confusing, but Scripture teaches that “we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity,” (Athanasian Creed). Or, put another way, our God is three persons in one essence. “For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit … yet they are not three eternals but one eternal” (Athanasian Creed).

Okay, this is more than slightly confusing, and much ink has been spilled on what is called the doctrine of the Trinity, i.e., God is three and one. For more detailed explanations on the meaning of the Trinity, check out this resource. But for our purposes, it is important to understand that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity—the Son—and truly God in His being.

Scripture also refers to Jesus as the Word of the Father, co-equal in wisdom and power, both unchanging and eternal. This Word is active in creation from beginning to end. As the Word, Jesus was not created by God because He is God. Through Him all things were made (John 1). He is timeless and above all things. Jesus Christ is “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made.” (Nicene Creed).

Jesus is human.

This second person of the Trinity, the Son, the eternal Word of the Father, entered time and became human (John 1:14). While still being God, He took on man’s nature as his own. We must be careful here. Jesus did not merely put on human flesh as some sort of space suit enabling Him to walk among other humans, while still being God. No! He was actually born of a woman (a virgin named Mary) by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus actually entered into the world in time as a human, just like any one of us.

This means that Jesus, being fully God, had a normal human body and human soul. He grew up like a normal boy (Luke 2:52). And he was able to feel normal human emotions, hunger pangs, and exhaustion (Matthew 8:23; Mark 11:12; John 11:35). Again, we must be careful. While having all the essential properties of a human and all the common weakness of any human, the Scriptures teach that Jesus was without sin.

Jesus is the God-man.

Jesus, then, has two natures, divine and human. He is the God-man. Each nature is full and complete. He is both fully God and fully man. However, each nature is distinct. His humanity is not part of his deity, and his deity is not part of his humanity. As we said earlier, the Trinity is three persons with one essence. Jesus, on the other hand, is one person with two essences.

The Westminster Confession is helpful here, it says, “So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man,” (WCF 8.2).

His two natures exist in one person, so that God and man can be united. Theologians often call this the “hypostatic union.” This term sounds complicated, but it just means “personal union.” In the hypostatic union, divine and human natures are united in one person. Jesus really is God, and He really is man without diminishing any aspect of either nature. The man Jesus is God in the flesh. Jesus is God united with human nature.

You may think this is hard to understand. Indeed, Christians have been trying to figure out ways to rationalize this for ages. But Scripture tells us that this is the “great mystery of godliness,” that God was made manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). Sometimes this means we must trust the Bible is true before we understand it. But there is also plenty of Reformed teaching on the incarnation to help you start wrapping your mind around it.

Why does this matter?

So, Jesus is the God-man? What does that even mean for us? Again, the Westminster Confession is helpful, “The Lord Jesus in His human nature thus united to the divine, to the end that being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, He might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a mediator,” (WCF 8.3). The second person of the Trinity became Jesus the God-man for us. He did this not only to secure our salvation by dying in our place on the cross, but also to be a continual mediator between us and God.

It was important for Jesus to have both divine and human natures because only God can face the wrath of God and survive, and only a man could take the punishment for the sins of mankind. In Jesus, God unites Himself with humanity in the most intimate way possible. In Jesus, God has pledged himself to remain the God-man forever, as after His death and resurrection, Jesus as both God and man ascended to heaven and continually works for our salvation.

As one of the earliest Christian Theologians, Athanasius, wrote, “He became what we are that we might become what He is,” (The Incarnation of the Word by Athanasius). Saved by Jesus the God-man, we are cleansed from our sins and can be in relationship with the Triune God.

Philippians 2:5-8 says:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Jesus, as the second person of the Trinity, had everything and yet humbled himself. He humbled himself to share in our humanity, so that we may share in eternal life with Him. This makes the truth of the incarnation central to the Gospel message.

Conclusion

It should never stop overwhelming us that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us for our sakes. The Word who could dissolve the world that sinned against Him in an instant instead was willing to become frail like one of us, to live like one of us, to die like one of us, so that we could live in Him. In the Nicene Creed, Christians around the world confess:

“For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.”

For us, Jesus became the God-man. And for us he continues to be the God-man so that we may know God and live lives capable of goodness, righteousness, and truth. The truth of the incarnation demands all of us to bow before the God-man in humble worship and trust.

Who is Jesus? The Great I AM

Who is Jesus? The Great I AM

Did Jesus really ever claim to be divine? Was He God? Or was He just a wise man from History who taught people to be kind to one another? These are questions that continue to plague the modern mind. And while Jesus was a man that lived in History and actually did teach kindness, it is impossible to know who He truly is without recognizing that He is also the God who governs all things and the Messiah who saves sinners.

Others have pointed out that if we believe that Jesus was just a wise and kind man but not God, then we also have to claim that He was either a liar or a psychopath. This is because Jesus himself repeatedly claims to be God. So, those claims have to be either delusional, deceptive, or true. Jesus can’t be wise and kind while also being deceptive or delusional. We must either believe He is who says He is, i.e., God, or chuck out everything else He ever said—including His commands for kindness.

We believe that Jesus’s claims are true, and as we have discussed elsewhere on this site, all Reformed Theology hangs on the final authority of the Scriptures. The Bible is the standard needed to test the claim that Jesus is God, and without a doubt the Bible teaches that Jesus is divine. We have already talked a little bit about what it means for Jesus to be the God-Man[LS1] , but we wanted to take a moment to explore the divinity of Jesus with a little more depth and consideration of the claims found in Scripture.

Jesus is the source of everything.

Genesis, the very first book of the Bible, tells us that God existed before time and created everything that is in existence (Genesis 1:1). The opening chapter goes on to explain the way in which God created all things: He spoke them into existence (Genesis 1:3). In the New Testament, John explains in his gospel account of Jesus’s life on earth, that this creative life-bringing Word is actually Jesus Himself. John describes Jesus as God, present before time, and the creator of all existence (John 1:1-5).

In the book of Acts, Paul proclaims that the God described in Genesis is the Lord of heaven and earth and the maker of all things (Acts 17:25). He says that in this God all people live, and move, and have their being (Acts 17:28). This might seem confusing, but Paul is merely stating the obvious. Our breath belongs to God. We only exist because He exists.

Later, in one of his letters, Paul confirms that the man Jesus is one and the same as the Lord and maker of heaven and earth that he spoke of before. Paul uses similar language to his statement in Acts, saying that Jesus is before all things and in Him all things are held together (Colossians 1:17). He argues, that Jesus, being God, is the source of all existence.

Jesus has life in Himself.

Jesus also extends the argument that He is the source of all things by claiming that just like the Father, He has life within Himself (John 5:26). Because everything that exists can only exist because of God, God is the only thing in existence that has life within Himself.

You were created. We were created. The Earth was created. All living things were created. God was not created. God simply is, and by claiming that He has life within Himself, Jesus is telling us that He simply is as well. In more philosophical terms, as God, Jesus exists outside of time and space, is completely independent from any other being, and sustains His own life.

Jesus substantiates this further by saying that he and the Father are one (John 10:30). This statement caused a flurry among His hearers who were ready to stone Him for His supposed blasphemy. They knew He was claiming to be God.

Jesus is the Great I AM.

In Exodus, God reveals His name to His prophet Moses, saying, “I AM THAT I AM,” (Exodus 3:14). This “I am” formulation invokes God’s eternal existence and being, but it’s original Hebrew rendering Yahweh יהוה is also the personal name of God that was to be passed down throughout the ages. Indeed, over and over in the book of Psalms, praises are written exclaiming that Yahweh (I AM) is salvation. In modern bibles, the name Yahweh is usually rendered by capitalizing all the letters in the word LORD. Whenever you see LORD, think I AM.

In the gospel of John, Jesus declares that He is this I AM. During a debate over His identity with the Jews of His day, Jesus tells them that their forefather, Abraham, rejoiced at His coming. They unsurprisingly find this assertion to be incredulous. Abraham lived centuries before Jesus. How then could he possibly have rejoiced at His coming? In one of the most stunning and clear declarations recorded in Scripture, Jesus replies, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).

Not “I was,” but “I am.”

Jesus is claiming the very name God revealed to Moses thousands of years before His birth for Himself. The next verse in the passage tells us that His hearers knew that Jesus was making a bold claim of divinity, as again they wanted to stone Him for blasphemy (John 8:59).

Throughout John’s gospel, Jesus makes more “I am” statements confirming that He is not only God but also the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament Scriptures. I am the bread of life (John 6:35). I am the light of the world (John 8:12). I am the gate (John 10:9). I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18). I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). I am the true vine (John 15:5).

Jesus is Salvation

It is clear that Jesus identifies Himself as the great “I AM,” but even His own personal name given on Earth provides us with a clue of who He is. The name Jesus revealed in the New Testament is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Yahushua, meaning “Yahweh is Salvation.” Jesus is the promised salvation spoken of throughout the Psalms.

Jesus has always been the salvation of God’s people. Remember back in Exodus when God revealed His name to Moses, He also said, “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you,” (Exodus 3:14). Here God connected His self-revelation of who He is with His personal plan of salvation for His people.

The Bible continues on to tell the story of the I AM leading His people out of slavery (Exodus 20:1) and guiding them through the wilderness into the promised land (Exodus 17, Numbers 20). Paul clearly states that this God that preserved them in Egypt and in the wilderness is Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4b). The I AM that sent His prophet to save His people from slavery is the I AM that spoke the world into existence and is the same I AM that died on the cross for our salvation.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

The book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus always was and will never change (Hebrews 13:8). This is good news. Because Jesus does not change, we can fully depend on Him for all of our needs. Because Jesus does not change, we can be free.

In that same debate over His identity, Jesus said, “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” (John 8:32). Jesus also claimed to be the truth. If we know Jesus, we know the I am. We know the I am that is the truth, and we know that the truth will set us free. Free from sin and death, free from the struggles of this world, and free from ourselves.

When we see who Jesus is more clearly, we can see who we really are: a people in need of a Shepherd, in need of the bread of life, in need of a savior.

Cling to Jesus

In that same discussion, Jesus assures us that anyone who follows Him will never see death (John 8:51). Jesus having declared Himself to be the author of life and death, the source of all things, the great I Am, can and will secure our salvation. In Him, do we live, and move, and have our being. So, cling to Him, the great I AM that secures the salvation of His people. “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD,” (Exodus 14:13).

Who is Jesus? Prophet, Priest, King

Who is Jesus? Prophet, Priest, King

Jesus is the Christ foretold in the Old Testament. As the Christ, He is the one mediator between God and man. This means that He is the only way we can access God and be assured of our salvation. Jesus Christ is the only one that can save people from sin and death. And He continually does this primarily in three ways: as prophet, as priest, and as king.

In Revelation 1, Jesus is described as the “faithful witness” (prophet), the “first begotten of the dead” (priest), and “prince of the kings of the earth” (king). Theologians sometimes point to this formulation, calling it Christ’s “threefold office.” These are more than just titles of adoration. They are the roles and means by which God secures our salvation. It is only by this threefold office that we can be saved.

Jesus takes on this threefold office both duringHis time here on Earth, i.e., His earthly ministry, and after His resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father. He continues to do carry out the work of each office until, as Christians still confess throughout the world, “he will come to judge the living and the dead,” (The Apostles’ Creed).

Old Testament Types and Shadows

The three distinct offices of prophet, priest, and king are all found repeatedly in the Old Testament Scriptures. Every person in the Old Testament that held one of these roles was anointed with oil and commissioned by God. Every person that held one of these roles was also a shadow and a type of the one to come.

This just means that their place in the Scripture is a signal to us of the coming of Jesus. In their good moments, they were a picture of the goodness of Jesus Christ in that role—think of King David defeating Goliath to protect the Israelites. In their bad moments, they showed the need for the faithful and perfect prophet, priest, and king to come save us all—think of evil King Ahab or the wicked priests in the book of Judges that caused the people to commit idolatry.

The Old Testament is full of these roles because as a whole it points to the coming of Jesus as the true fulfillment of them. The Old Testament prophets look forward to Christ, speaking on His behalf and proclaiming His coming as the final anointed one, that is, the Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Micah 5:2; Isaiah 53). The Old Testament priesthood was a picture of the work of Christ, cleansing and healing the people and leading them in all righteousness (Leviticus 8-10, 14; Malachi 2). Likewise the Old Testament kings were a picture of Christ’s rule on the Earth, advancing God’s justice, law, and wisdom to all the nations (Deuteronomy 17; Isaiah 2; Psalm 127).

Jesus in every way fulfills each of these distinct roles perfectly and without any failure.

How is Christ a prophet?

As a prophet, Christ reveals to the Church throughout the ages the entire will of God concerning their edification and salvation (WLC 43). This seems a bit complex. But, simply put, Jesus is God’s final and ultimate revelation of Himself to mankind.

The Bible tells us that throughout history God spoke to us through various means and messengers usually called prophets (Hebrews 1:1). These Old Testament prophets spoke God’s own words directly to the people. They were agents of revelation. God would tell them exactly what to say and they would relay His messages word for word. Usually, the prophet would warn the people, urging them to repent and believe in God. The prophet would also comfort the people and recall God’s loving kindness and faithfulness to His people. These words were often written down and they make up a sizable portion of our Bibles today.

When Jesus lived on Earth, He was like one of these prophets. Throughout His ministry, He spoke the very words of God to the people around Him. He clarified that He spoke not on His own authority, but on the authority of the Father (John 12:49). But remember, that Jesus is also the Word of God incarnate[LS1] . Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, as the Word become flesh, was the last prophet. The Scriptures remind us that in the past God spoke to us by the prophets but now He speaks to us directly through His son (Hebrews 1:1).

Jesus is thus the final word. And now that He has ascended to heaven, He still prophetically guides His Church by the Holy Spirit speaking through the Scriptures in such a way that when you read your Bible you can confidently say that Jesus, the ultimate prophet, is speaking directly to you.

How is Christ a priest?

The Old Testament priests spoke to God on behalf of the people, urging God to remember His promises to save His people. They would also offer sacrifices for the cleansing of sin. These sacrifices had to be repeated often, as they could not free people from the consequences of sin in the long term.

Jesus takes on the job as priest by offering Himself on the cross as the final and lasting sacrifice for sins and by making continual petitions before the Father on our behalf. His sacrifice is once and for all, but that does not mean that He ever stops working for our sakes (Hebrews 10:12-13).

This has a twofold meaning. First, we know that we are truly cleansed and forgiven once and for all because Christ’s sacrifice paid for all our sins (Hebrews 10:18; Colossians 2:14). We never have to doubt our salvation or second guess if we are good enough. We are not good enough, but Jesus in love has covered us in His righteous blood, making our salvation secure.

Second, this means that when we still sin today, we have an advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). We will never have to make another animal sacrifice to be at peace with God. We simply call on our great high priest, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16), and He advocates for us, cleanses us, heals us, and frees us.

How is Christ a king?

This role might be the most obvious one. Jesus Christ is the ruling king over all the earth (1 Timothy 6:15). In the Old Testament, the kings of Israel were supposed to be God’s righteous rulers mediating His justice and mercy on Earth. Not many of them fulfilled that job description perfectly. Few of them even came close. Jesus, however, has fulfilled it perfectly from the moment He became man and continues to be the perfect and righteous ruler promised in the Scriptures (Psalm 2, Zechariah 9:9).

Jesus Christ fulfills the role of a king by drawing a people to Himself from all over the world to worship and adore Him. He also visibly rules over us through the officers and governments that are already in place (Romans 13:1-7). Additionally, Jesus is always actively protecting His people and ordering everything for their good and His own glory. This includes both disciplining those He loves and conquering His enemies. Indeed, as the Apostle Paul reminds us, “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet,” (1 Corinthians 15:25).

Jesus Christ rules the Earth now through His Church and will continue to rule, expanding the Kingdom of God from shore to shore until He comes back to Earth again (Psalm 72:8). He is the fulfillment of Psalm 110, the greater King David, and the loving and righteous ruler of the nations (Isaiah 9:6; Revelation 19:16).

Conclusion

Jesus Christ is the Prophet that made God’s Word live in us. He is the Priest that shed His blood for us. He is the King that rules over us with justice and peace. On our own we are ignorant of the truth, guilty of sin, and rebellious to authority. But with Christ as our prophet, priest, and king we are made new.

Having been freed from sin and death by Christ through his threefold office, we are given a new life. In Him, we become each of the roles. Together, we are now the prophets, priests, and kings of the world (1 Peter 2:9). We are to bring His truth, His love, and His justice to a broken and confused world. Christ has washed us from our sins in His own blood and is interceding for us even now that we may do this work for Him and do it well. For He has, “made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen,” (Revelation 1:5-6). May His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, as we learn to continually submit to our King until he comes.

Who is Jesus? The Risen and Reigning Lord

Who is Jesus? The Risen and Reigning Lord

Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead. And, as Christians confess all around the world, He ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty (The Apostle’s Creed). Jesus is risen and reigning as Lord over the whole universe at this very moment. That should rock your world.

The resurrection of Jesus and His established authority as the reigning Lord is essential to the Christian hope. The Christian hope is not a beefed-up model of moralism; it is not a baptized version of a New York Times self-help column. It is not even the hope of going to Heaven when you die. The Christian hope is nothing less than world transforming: Jesus Christ is alive and He is King.

There are tens of thousands of self-help books, social media influencers, philosophers, news reporters, politicians, celebrities, and thinkers, old and new, peddling a better way to live. We are told, that if we just follow the correct philosophical equation for life, then we will find meaning. The Christian hope comes against this idea sharply. We don’t need more moralistic rules for life whether they come from Plato or Instagram. What we need is for our world to be transformed by the risen and reigning Lord who knows our deepest needs, desires, and fears.

We know that there is an abundance of incredible extra-biblical evidence for the historical reality of the resurrection. And while these are profitable to examine, as good Reformers we will focus this article on what the Scripture teaches about the resurrection and its meaning.

The Resurrection is the great hope for the World.

In the first letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul points out two important facets of the resurrection.

Jesus was resurrected as the first fruits (1 Corinthians 15:20). This means that we will also be resurrected with Him. We will not be left to die in our sin. His resurrection from the dead shows that He has power over sin and death and that His sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to atone for our sins once and for all. This means that all who believe in Jesus can have the assurance of salvation and eternal life with God. In the same way that the Old Testament offering of the first fruits affirmed a future harvest (Leviticus 23:9-14), the resurrection of Jesus confirms the resurrection of all the dead.

Paul also notes that Jesus was resurrected as a man. He writes, “since by man camedeath, by man came also the resurrection of the dead,” (1 Corinthians 15:21). This is a physical resurrection. The man-ness of our risen Lord tells us what our resurrection will look like. We will not be some wispy, ethereal, ghostly, floating beings, rather we will be physical and embodied. In the beginning, God created the material world as a good gift given to humanity in order to glorify and worship Him. These purposes are restored as our risen Lord resurrects the whole of the world, including the material parts of it.

Our sin has made a mess of God’s world. We don’t have to scroll through the headlines to understand that left to itself humanity has created a bigger mess than any one of us can comprehend. But God did not leave us in our darkness (Isaiah 9:2; John 1:5). Instead, He provided a light more glorious than we could have ever dreamed. He gave the only solution to the world’s problem: the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His reign in Heaven and on Earth. Jesus is not a director of a philosophy department. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).

Behold your king is coming to you.

This solution was planned by God from the beginning (Genesis 3:15). A cursory look over the Old Testament will show you that God’s people were always looking for the coming of a perfect and eternal King and Lord. This Lord would come from the royal line of David as promised (2 Samuel 7; Psalm 2, 110). All through the Old Testament, the people were looking towards their kings to be the fulfillment of these promises. The monarchs ranged from faithful but imperfect to completely idolatrous. And eventually, it got so bad that God took away all their kings and sent them into exile (2 Kings 24–25).

Despite the temporary end of the Davidic Throne, those who understood God’s promises like Mary, Zechariah, Simeon, and Anna, knew that there would be a new king from the line of David who would sit at God’s right hand. They all pointed to Jesus as this king (Luke 1-2). Indeed, the New Testament specifically describes Jesus as the resurrected king who took His rightful place on the throne of David (Acts 2). Jesus’s life on Earth also confirmed this when He directly fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies about the coming king. Take, for example, Zechariah 9:9:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;

shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:

behold, thy King cometh unto thee:

he is just, and having salvation;

lowly, and riding upon a donkey.

As the Gospel of John records, Jesus entered Jerusalem a week before His death to shouts of rejoicing. People even declared Him the King of Israel as He walked before them seated on a donkey (John 12:13-15).

The gospel of the kingdom is here.

All throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus told his followers that the kingdom of God was at hand (Mark 1). As He came into the world, he preached the gospel of the kingdom and demonstrated its arrival. He taught His disciples how to enter this kingdom and how it would result in a new life for the world.

The restoring and transforming power of the kingdom was demonstrated visually, and physically, through His life, teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection. After His resurrection, Jesus declared that all authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18-20). This is present and ongoing, not a future reality to be hoped for. Our Lord reigns now.

This reign begins with Jesus’s resurrection. Christ had to conquer death in order to take his place on David’s throne as the final king. And now as the final king, He is reigning until all His enemies are conquered (1 Corinthians 15:25). The Scripture also says that Jesus will have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the Earth; His reign promises peace to people and righteousness to roll down all the hills of the world (Psalm 72).

The Resurrection is the only hope for the world.

Going back to 1 Corinthians 15, Paul tells us that if Jesus had not been resurrected, our faith is meaningless. If Christ had not been raised, we would worship a dead God. If Christ had not been raised we all would still be locked in sin and death and misery. Paul says that without the resurrection, life on Earth has no value.

But, as verse 20 so gloriously reminds us, Christ has been raised. He has been raised to reign over the whole cosmos. Jesus is alive and is Lord over you, whether you know it or not.

This is good news. As the risen and reigning Lord, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and has all authority in Heaven and on Earth. This means that He is able to intercede for us and protect us from harm and that He is able to work through us to bring about His will on Earth. As believers, we can trust in Jesus to guide and direct our lives and to use us to further His kingdom.

In addition, the resurrection and reign of Jesus give us hope for the future. Because Jesus has conquered sin and death, because He is the first fruits, we can have confidence that He will establish His kingdom fully and completely. This means that we can look forward to a future in which all things will be made right, and in which we will be able to fully experience the fullness of God’s love and presence. We can also work towards the Christian hope right now, knowing that the physical world and everything in it is also under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:19-20).

So, work as the emissary of the resurrected and reigning Lord.

Paul finishes his reflections on the resurrection by giving Christians a charge. He writes,

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain,” (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).

Knowing that Jesus is alive and reigning should spur us toward obedience to His word. It should also comfort us when things look bleak. He has all the authority in the world. He reigns over the politicians, the pundits, and the people who are against Him. We should live in great hope, for if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

Reformed Theology is the simple yet life-transforming truth of biblical Christianity

Reformed Theology is the simple yet life-transforming truth of biblical Christianity

Serving the Lord Jesus is truly an amazing journey, full of happiness, challenges, and adventure. It is a life that teaches us to focus on things of eternal value and to worship the almighty God of the Bible. But the craziness of today’s culture relentlessly promotes a self-centered life that is obsessed with temporal things. It causes people to listen with their eyes and think with their feelings. They exchange the worship of the almighty God for the worship of created things they can see and touch. Pleasure, pride, and self-gratification drive them forward to search for new ways to experience more and more of it.

Look at the current gender identity movement. Clearly, it is a perverse doctrine of Satan. And yet, in a few short years, millions of people, companies, and yes, even churches, now bow before it. The result can be seen in news headlines everywhere: broken people, hyper-sexuality aimed at children, shattered families, a rising epidemic of teenage suicide, and drug addiction. Make no mistake, sin is a brutal killer.

In contrast, Reformed Theology is the vibrant, inspiring, life-giving teaching of the Bible. It is a God-centered theology that places the worship of God as the primary pursuit of human existence. It places our focus first on the doctrine of God, his character, and his nature.

By focusing on God, we discover more about ourselves as men and women created in his image. We are not random, gender-fluid animals. We are human beings–men and women created in the image of God–who are dead in sin and need to be redeemed. The Scriptures teach us that through faith in Jesus alone we can be redeemed from spiritual death (Eph 2:8); we can be born again to live a life that God prepared for us since the beginning of time. This spiritual life can’t be earned by how good you are, purchased with money, or given by anyone but Jesus, our Redeemer.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Eph 2:8-9

How can you expect to dwell with God forever if you so neglect and forsake him here?– Jonathan Edwards

Reformed Theology stands on the foundation of Scripture as God’s inspired Word and divine roadmap for life, salvation, and eternal truth. It considers the teachings of the Bible as the highest authority, higher than the authority of any person, church, or government. This grinds painfully against today’s secular and corrupt religious world, yet it is absolutely true.

At the core of Reformed Theology is the gospel (the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection). At the heart of the gospel, is Jesus Christ. Tracing its roots in the teachings of the early church and the apostles, Reformed Theology teaches that the Christian life is one of saving grace, faith, and God’s sovereign power over all things: a life that glorifies God in everything, every day. How we talk, pray, worship, conduct ourselves, and treat others should all reflect the true teachings of the Bible. We are called to live as lights in a dark world. To live as servants of God and not as servants of self … just like Jesus.

If you’re someone who desires to be transformed from the crazy of this world (like I was), I challenge you to read on. Study the heart-changing doctrines of Reformed Theology and experience the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. Let the pure, simple truth of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection set you free.

Calvin Bryant
Founder, JohnCalvin.com
Post tenebras lux (after darkness, light)

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