1. WAS JESUS GOD?

 

One of the most challenging questions asked of anyone is recorded by Mathew. It is, “What think ye of Christ? whose Son is He? Mathew 22:42. What about His divinity? Was Jesus God? John in his gospel builds an unanswerable argument designed to prove that Jesus of Nazareth is the divine Son of God. And he frankly declares he wrote his book that his readers “might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing” they “might have life through his name.” John 20:31.

 

Did Christ exist before coming to this world?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

John 1:1-3. That Word which took part in the creation of the world was Jesus (John 1:14).

 

Jeremiah called the Messiah “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5, 6). The Hebrew Yahweh (Jehovah), “the self-existent One” is here applied to the Messiah. The text shows both His power and divine nature.

 

Was Jesus divine or was He only a man? How does God the Father refer to Him?

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

Hebrew 1:8, 9.

 

What did Jesus say about His existence before His birth in human flesh?

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”

John 17:5.

 

Note: Take a look at Isaiah 9:6 where the prophet calls Christ the Father. Read john the Baptist’s testimony in John 1:15, 30, “He was before me” (though Jesus was born after John). Paul says, “He is before all things.” Colossians 1:17. Then there is Christ’s own witness in John 8:58 where he says, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Read also Exodus 3:14. This name “I am” both in the Hebrew and in the English is a form of the verb “to be” and implies that He is eternal, self-existing One.

 

Through what power was the incarnation of Jesus made possible?

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

Luke 1:35.

 

Note: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit worked together in the act of incarnation. Incarnation has to do with Christ becoming man. The incarnation of Christ did not in any way annul His divinity. The Scripture says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.1 Timothy 3:16. When Christ was born the announcement of the angels to the shepherds referred to Him as the Saviour.

Read Luke 2:11. Mathew 1:21-23 speaks of Him as “Emmanuel…God with us.”

 

What reason is given in Hebrews why Christ became man?

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”

Hebrews 2:17.

 

How did the Father refer to Jesus?

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Mathew 3:17.

 

How did Jesus demonstrate He had the power of God, that He is the Son of God, and that he is God the Son?

    1. He had power to read human hearts - - (John 2:24, 25).
    2. He had the power to foretell the future - - (John 13:19).
    3. He had creative power - - (John 6:1-20).
    4. He had power to give life - - (John 5:21).
    5. He had infallibility of utterance - - (John 8:46).
    6. He had power to forgive sins - - (Mark 2:1-12).
    7. He had the right to receive worship - - (Mathew 14:33).

 

Note: This is an important point since created beings such as men and angels are not to be worshipped. Read Acts 10:25, 26; Revelation 22:8, 9; Mathew 4:8-10. But Jesus accepted worship of His disciples as Deity. Thomas said of Him, “My Lord and my God.” John 20:28, 29. Angels also worshipped Him (Hebrews 1:6). Ultimately all the universe will adore Him.

(Philippians 2:10).

 

    1. He had the power to raise the dead to life (John 5:25).
    2. He had power to transform hearts (John 1:12, 13).

 

Note: Only a divine being could truthfully say, “I am the light of the world”; “I am the resurrection, and the life”; “I am the door”; “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

 

How could Christ be David’s Lord as well as his son?

      The Pharisees had answered Christ’s question, “Whose son is he [the Christ]?” by saying, “The son of DavidMathew 22:42. Then

Jesus referred to Psalm 110:1 where David called the Messiah “Lord.” This would indicate the Messiah was older than David. If this be so, then how could the Messiah be David’s son and in this position younger than David? These Jewish leaders were unprepared to answer this question, “If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?Mathew 22:45. Had they faced this question properly they would have to admit Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.

 

Conclusion

The record of Mathew indicates that Jesus was born of a virgin (Mathew 1:18, 22-25). Paul declares, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Galatians 4:4, 5. He is referred to as “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.” Hebrews 7:26. Concerning His relationship to the Father Paul says, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9. We cannot help but acknowledge, as did the centurion who was watching Jesus when he died, and say, “And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.” Mark 15:39, last part. He is “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:4.

 

 

 

2. THE MEDIATORIAL OR PRIESTLY MINISTRY OF JESUS

 

God’s plan of salvation is full and complete taking into consideration every weakness of man and every power of the enemy. David declares, “Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.” Psalm 3:8. When Jonah refused to proclaim God’s message of salvation to Nineveh he ended up in the depths of the sea, inside a great fish. When he cried out, “Salvation is of the LORD,” the Bible says, “The LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” Jonah 2:9, 10. There are seven aspects of Christ’s life which make it possible for a person to pass from death to life. Each is important. In this study we shall deal mainly with Christ’s present life and what He is doing for us now.

 

What was necessary for Christ to become a priest, man’s representative before God?

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

Hebrews 2:14-18.

 

Note: Christ came to destroy the devil and to make deliverance from the bondage of sin possible. To do this he partook of flesh and blood, He died, and He was made a priest forever.

 

What was the first title given to Jesus?

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Luke 2:10, 11.

 

Note: When Christ entered human flesh (this is called His incarnation) He came as man’s Saviour. This was the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise of the Redeemer given in Genesis 3:15.

 

What is another important aspect of Christ’s life?

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.”

Hebrews 5:8, 9.

 

Note: Before Christ could die vicariously for man’s sins, He must show it to be possible to live a sinless life in the flesh. Christ was made complete for His work as priest by experiencing the suffering lot of mankind. By knowing our heartaches and problems He could be a compassionate, understanding mediator. Read Hebrews 2:17, 18; 4:15; 5:1, 2, 7-9. Thus Christ was qualified to be priest by knowing our human side of things.

 

When was Christ made a priest?

And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

Hebrews 10:11-14.

 

Note: Four things took place before Christ became priest – the incarnation, the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. Christ’s sitting down at the right hand of the Father had been predicted in Psalm 110:1, 4 and Paul finds the fulfillment of this after Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension. Read Hebrews 1:3. Christ ministers the merits of His atoning sacrifice.

Read Hebrews 8:3; 9:12-14.

 

What is a mediator?

He is a person who acts as conciliator between those who are at variance. Christ not only acts as conciliator but He has paid man’s debt. He dies in man’s place and by this act Christ became our Mediator.

 

Why was it necessary for Christ to return to heaven?

    1. That the Holy Spirit might be given. John 16:7.
    2. That Christ might begin His intercession for us. Romans 8:34.
    3. That He might prepare a home for His people. John 14:2, 3.

 

How many mediators are there between God and man?

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

1 Timothy 2:5.

 

Is the work of Christ as mediator necessary to the plan of salvation?

In the sanctuary on earth redemption was typified by various sacrifices. When the sinner brought his sacrificial victim, the priest took the animal’s blood when it was slain and put it on the horns of the altar. The Bible called this an act of atonement. Read Leviticus 4:25, 26. So the atonement consisted of the sacrifice man brought plus the application of its benefits by the priest. Likewise the plan of redemption includes not only Christ vicarious death but also His ministry as our High Priest. In order to apply the benefits of His sacrifice, Christ after he arose from the dead “for our justification,” (Romans 4:25) entered heaven as our High Priest. Read Hebrews 9:12.

 

What is Paul talking about when he mentions “there is made of necessity a change also of the law”

      (Hebrews 7:12, last part.)

This has no reference to the Ten Commandments. In Hebrews 7:11 it is made clear that the perfection of Christ’s priesthood was not to be found in the Levitical priesthood. Since the priesthood was changed (Hebrews 7:12) there was the necessity for changing the law this governed the making of priests. Since God the Father has ordained that Christ shall serve as man’s priestly mediator in the heavenly temple (Hebrews 8:1, 2), it means that the law of types and shadows that governed the priestly rituals has come to an end in the atoning of death and priestly ministry of Christ.

 

     Was the tribe from which Christ came to serve in the priesthood?

 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.”

Hebrew 7:13, 14.

 

     By whose authority was Christ made priest?

And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec :)

Hebrews 7:15, 16, 20, 21.

 

Note: The earthly sanctuary of Israel with its priests and sacrifices served as types of the death and priestly ministry of Christ. Another ancient priesthood, that of Melchisedec, King of Salem, was also foretold to be a type of Christ’s priestly ministry (Psalm 110:4). Melchisedec was a king-priest.  This fact, plus the meaning of his title or name (King of peace, King of righteousness) made him an apt type of Christ’s royal priesthood in heaven. It was the authority of the Father who said because His Son’s endless life that He should be a priest forever. Read Hebrews 7:28.

 

     What is Christ doing in heaven now?

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”

Hebrews 9:24.

 

     Upon what terms does our High Priest deal with us?

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

Hebrews 8:12.

 

Note: The New Covenant agreement is God’s promise to put His law in our hearts and minds. Read Hebrews 8:7-13; 10:16, 17. God has not changed in his attitude toward sin and His law. He forgives sin because of the death of His Son.

 

     For whom does Christ’s present ministry of intercession avail?

1.      For the repentant sinner.Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25. Read 1 John 1:9.

2.      For the believer who falls into sin. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1.

 

Conclusion

Because of Christ’s constant meditation we can “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16. Because of His sinless life, His death on the cross was effectual. Now He intercedes for us as our High Priest. His victory is sufficient for each repentant believing person. The one final part in the great plan of salvation is the return of Jesus Christ. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Hebrews 9:28.

 

The seven great facts of Christ’s life, which give us assurance of eternal life, are:

(1) His Deity;

(2) His incarnation;

(3) His sinless life;

(4) His atoning death;

(5) His resurrection;

(6) His ascension and mediation;

(7) His second coming to receive His people unto Himself.

 

 

 

3. THE TRINITY

 

The Godhead consists of three persons. The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the greatest fundamentals of Christianity. Many have denied the Godhead or Deity of Christ. Some have thought that Jesus is the only God. If this were true, then there was a time when there was no God when Jesus died on the cross and rested in the tomb until the third day. The Bible shows that God has always existed. “From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:2, last part.

 

Did Christ possess the attributes of deity?

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

Colossians 2:9.

 

Note: Paul makes it clear that the powers of Deity in its fulness are revealed in Christ. These powers include every quality of Deity such as dignity, authority, excellency, power of creating and fitting up the world, energy in upholding and directing the universe, love in redemption of man, forethought in supplying all man’s needs as well as needs of all his creatures. Since all these attributes of Deity rest in Christ, the implication is that there is more than one person in the Godhead.

 

How many distinct, personal beings are there in the Godhead?

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

Mathew 28:19.

 

Note: This text states three names. Since the Father and the Son are distinct persons we may reasonably conclude that the Holy Spirit is also a distinct person.

 

What is the relationship of the members of the Godhead?

    1. God the Father is the Head of the universe including the Son of God.

      Jesus said, “I go unto the father: for my Father is greater than I.” John 14:28. Read Corinthians 11:3.

    1. Jesus is the eternal, only begotten Son of God. Read John 3:16; Micah 5:2.
    2. The Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead. He works in harmony with the Father and the Son. Read Genesis 1:2.

 

Note: In order to accomplish the plan of salvation and enable man to understand better the issues involved, the members of the Deity have taken certain positions. God the Father sets forth the viewpoint of the Deity with regards to sin and salvation. God the Son, having become incarnate, has accomplished the atonement for sin by His death and stands as man’s representative, He helps us to understand God as our Father. Read John 20:17. God the Holy Spirit applies salvation to the human heart by converting and transforming – the salvation that was wrought out by God the Son in His life and atoning death.

 

What are some of the characteristics of Deity?

1.      Omnipotent  - - (Revelation 19:6; Job 11:7).

2.      Omnipresent  - - (2 Chronicles 16:9; Zechariah 4:10).

3.      Omniscient  - - (1 Timothy 1:17; Job 24:1; 32:8).

4.      Immutable  - - (Hebrews 6:17).

5.      Eternal  - - (1 Timothy 1:17; Psalm 10:16; Daniel 7:14; Revelation 11:17).

6.      Love  - - (1 John 4:8).

7.      Merciful  - - (Exodus 34:6).

8.      Just  - - (Deuteronomy 32:4; Revelation 15:3).

9.      Righteous  - - (Ezra 9:15; Nehemiah 9:7, 8).

 

Did Christ coexist with the Father from eternity?

Read John 1:1-3, 14.

 

Is the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, a person?

1.      He is another person – “another comforter” (John 14:16, 17).

 

2.      He has personality traits, such as:

1.      Mind, can interceded - - (Romans 8:26).

2.      Will, He can choose - - (1 Corinthians 12:11).

3.      Can be grieved - - (Ephesians 4:30).

4.      Can be lied to - - (Acts 5:3, 4).

5.      Can be insulted - - (Hebrews 10:29).

 

3.      He is linked with the other members of the Godhead in the baptismal formula and in the apostolic benediction

      (Mathew 28:20; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

 

What is the work of each member of the Godhead in relation to the plan of salvation?

1.      The work of the Father.

1.      He gave his Son - - (John 3:16).

2.      He pardons iniquity - - (Micah 7:18).

 

2.      The work of the Son.

1.      Christ saves from sin - - (Mathew 1:21).

2.      He intercedes for us - - (1 John 2:1, 2).

 

3.      The work of the Holy Ghost.

1.      He inspires the prophets - - (2 Peter 1:21).

2.      He reproves the world of sin - - (John 16:8).

3.      He guides into truth - - (John 16:13).

4.      He brings about the new birth - - (John 3:3-8).

 

Conclusion

The three divine beings of the Godhead are one in nature, in character, and in purpose. However, God the Son has voluntarily subordinated Himself to the Father in order that He might take man’s nature. He has atoned for our sins, and stands as our representative head before God. When God gave us His Son (John 3:16), He gave Him permanently. The subordination of our divine Saviour will be eternal (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

Even though our finite minds cannot understand the infinite, yet we have sufficient information about the Godhead to know they seek to save us from sin and assure us a place in the kingdom of God.

 

 

 

4. WHY JESUS TAUGHT IN PARABLES

 

In His teaching Jesus utilized stories. This not only awakened interest almost immediately but also served to hold the attention of those who listened. It is a method which helps to impress truth indelibly on the mind.

 

Why did Jesus speak in parables?

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”

Mathew 13:10-13.

 

Note: When he taught is parables, those who wanted to know what Christ taught could easily understand. However, His method of using parables made it easy to veil the truth from His enemies who wanted to condemn him.

 

Where did Christ get the stories He related?

Generally, His stories were taken from nature, the things with which His hearers were acquainted. He talked about the tares (Mathew 13:24-30), the barren fig tree (Luke 13:6-9), the lost sheep (Mathew 18:12-14), the sower

(Mark 4:3-9), the mustard seed (Luke 13:18, 19), the fig tree (Mathew 24:32, 33). Many of His other parables had to do with various experiences of life such as laborers in the vineyard (Mathew 20:1-16), the ten virgins

(Mathew 25:1-13), or the houses on the rock and the sand (Luke 6:47-49).

 

Did Jesus often teach with parables?

All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them

Mathew 13:34.

 

Note: As Jesus taught in parables He was fulfilling a prophecy mentioned in Psalm 78:2 in which David had foretold Christ’s method of teaching.

 

To understand truth what basic principle did Jesus mention?

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”

John 7:17.

 

Note: One time Jesus asked the question, “Why do ye not understand my speech?” Then He gave an answer, “Even because ye cannot hear my word.” John 8:43. A prerequisite to understanding truth is commitment and dedication to God. “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” John 8:47.

 

Conclusion

Remember that most parables teach one truth. Years later His hearers could see some of the things Christ used in His parables and then remember His teaching. Parable teaching caused the people to ask questions. Christ’s method appealed to all classes of people.