google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html

Archive for the 'WOW Jesus' Category

WOW Jesus

Watch Now:

JesusWOWfactor04.jpg

Jesus Christ, the most extraordinary person who ever lived, who never wrote a book but has more books written about him than any other subject! History is split into BC and AD in honor of him! Jesus Christ, the God-man, who gives a WOW factor to anybody who will bow the knee and serve Him.

Here in this short video, I introduce my own WOW factor about Jesus. Jesus who promises salvation and how He still challenges and loves people today.

You can download a copy of this video by right mouse clicking here and saving...

I also have a seminar, WOWJesus, which I would also love to bring to your church or group. Contact details are below and at the end of the video. I look forward to hearing from you and how we can work together. Thank you.

JesusWOWfactor03.jpg

Read Full Post »

WOW Jesus 28

00:0000:00

Jesuswow.jpg

WOW Jesus

Why would God become human?

In our last study we looked at Jesus Christ being fully God. We concluded with a question - Why would Jesus be fully man and fully God and so what? Today we seek to engage with that question and briefly answer it. One of the church father’s, Anselm, wrote that God’s salvation plan for humans’ involved triumphant victory over sin, death and the grave. However no person could be found that was eligible or capable to do this. Because of this, God stepped into the human history, so that this victory could be achieved. This God-man would be fully human, so as to live every feature of humanity, including suffering and death. This God-man would also need to remain fully God, so as to defeat sin, death and the grave. Jesus, being sinless, was this God-man, consisting as he did of two complete natures, the God nature and the human nature.

So what does all that mean! Firstly, it means that God himself has taken on the responsibility for our sins. Jesus on the cross bore our sins, though he was sinless, and became sin for us. By doing this, we are drawn to him in a personal way. God has shown that he loves us and wants us in a relationship with himself. Secondly, it means that God has bridged the gap between the supernatural and the natural, the infinite and the finite, to show us what He is like. Jesus as God in person gives us a focal point to respond to. God does not compel us to love Him, but invites all to a dynamic relationship with Him. Lastly, it means that God is one and therefore there could only be one incarnation.

By doing away with the incarnation, how then could God’s salvation plan be fulfilled? Not at all! If Jesus was not God, then he would be part of the problem and therefore need to be redeemed himself! This is most certainly an untenable proposition. Yet our inquisitive human minds ask yet another question. How can somebody have both natures - deity and humanity? This was another question asked in the early church.

One of the church fathers, Athanasius said “in the Incarnation there was no subtraction of deity but an addition of humanity”. By this he means that Jesus whilst being fully God, didn’t lose any of that divinity when he became human. Instead of losing anything, Jesus gained humanity. This divine and human nature unity is called ‘hypostatic union‘. Early church councils affirmed Jesus’ two natures as well as his personal unity.

We have much to be thankful for the early church fathers. This is the final part of this particular segment of studies looking at the how, why and what of Jesus of Nazareth. It is our prayer that you have grown a little in your knowledge of God and that you are a little closer to Him. Come back to us soon where every day something new is uploaded to help you follow Jesus Christ. Thank you.

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

add-to-itunes.gif Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00

Jesuswow.jpg

WOW Jesus

Fully God

Today we are looking at Jesus being fully God! You may remember that in our previous study, we looked at Jesus being fully human. This is also part of what we celebrate at Christmas.

As Christians, we believe God inhabited a human body, thereby still being God, but also being fully human. Throughout the Bible, Jesus is acknowledged as God. The apostle John, as we discussed in a previous study in this series, expressly called Jesus, the Word or God. Later on in his life, John expressly stated that Jesus was “the true God and eternal life”. Jesus himself claimed equality with God and when He stated “your sins are forgiven”, some of the Jewish rulers attributed this as a “God alone” action and thereby accused Him, at least in their minds, of blasphemy against God! When He was on trial for blasphemy, during the questioning again Jesus equated himself with being God.

That Jesus is both human and divine is what makes Christianity unique amongst the world’s religions. It is why Jesus’ claims to be the only way to God are true and make sense, and it is why millions of people today worship Him and acknowledge Him as their Lord and their God.

Let’s now look at some of the claims in the Bible, revealing the deity of Jesus Christ!

  • In these examples from the New Testament, the deity of Jesus Christ is revealed. Jesus is expressly called God - (John 1v1) The Word was God; (John 1v14) The Word became flesh; (John 1v18) The only begotten God; (John 20v28) My Lord and my God as declared by Thomas; (Titus 2v13) Our great God and Saviour, Jesus; (Romans 9v 5) Christ who is God overall; (Hebrews 1v 8) About the Son, He says 'Your throne O God is forever and ever...’; (1 John 5v20) Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
  • Old Testament description of God was applied to Jesus. (Matthew 3v3) 'Prepare ye the way of Jehovah'
  • Jesus possessed the very attributes of God - (John 14v6) Life; (John 8v58) Eternal; (John 14v6) Truth
  • The very works of God were ascribed to Him - (Col 1v16) Creation; (John 20v28; 5v23) Receives honour worship and glory belonging to God.
  • Jesus had equality with God - (John 10v30, 33) I and the Father are One; John 5v18) Making Himself equal with God; (Philippians 2v6) In His very nature God; (1 Timothy 6v15) King of Kings and Lord of Lords - God; (Revelations 19v16) King of Kings and Lord of Lords - Christ; (Isaiah 44v6; Revelations 1v8) - Alpha and Omega - God; (Revelations 22v13-16) - Alpha and Omega - Christ; (John 8v58) Before Abraham was I AM

Jesus- fully human and fully God. But a further question needs to be answered. Why would Jesus be fully man and fully God and so what?

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

add-to-itunes.gif Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

WOW Jesus 26

00:0000:00

Jesuswow.jpg

WOW Jesus

Fully Human

At Christmas, we celebrate when God became human, in what we call the incarnation. But could God really enter this world as a human? As Christians, we believe that God did indeed enter our messed up world, as a man – the man Jesus Christ.

That Jesus was a man is not really disputable. The primary documents about Him, found in the Bible, says that he was born of a woman, which in itself tells us that at least in a prenatal state he was nurtured and formed as any other male baby was and is. His genealogical line is given and He grew into maturity as any young Jewish boy did. His birth was messy, just as any child’s birth was 2000 years ago, let alone all that was going on behind the scenes!

With his humanity, and being fully human, Jesus exhibited normal human emotions such as love, happiness, joy, laughter, weeping, sadness, anger and anguish. Jesus ate and drank. Jesus grew tired. Jesus slept, perspired and bled. Jesus died just as all humans do. Religiously, he worshipped as a Jew. Not only these facts, but the 4 ‘biographies’ or gospels written about him acknowledge his humanity. He was human in every way that we are - physically, mentally and emotionally.

The only exception to this, is that he was sinless. Yet we must ask, could Jesus have sinned? Yes he was tempted just as we are, but could Jesus really have succumbed to temptation? We must conclude that while he could have sinned, it was certain he would not and did not. For if He had sinned, he would have been in need of a saviour Himself! And that of course, is an untenable position.

But why did Jesus need to fully human? Firstly, so Jesus death could appease God’s anger with us. Secondly so that Jesus can empathize and pray for us. Thirdly, Jesus exhibited true and perfect humanity. Fourthly, due to his perfect humanity, Jesus is to be our example to follow. Fifthly, true human nature is good. Lastly, while God is both above and beyond, He is not so far removed from us, that He cannot interact with his creation.

Let us now look at some of the major errors or heresies mad ein history concerning the humanity of Jesus.

Ebionite - Jewish heresy. Jesus was a man who received divine power at His baptism.

Docetist - believed that the material world was evil (Common Greek & Eastern idea). So Jesus could not have had a real body, He only appeared to be human, denying His deity.

Arian - 4th Century. Arius taught that Christ was a created being, trying to explain the idea of Christ being the 'firstborn' or 'begotten'. Denied the deity of Christ

Apollinarian - taught that Christ had a human body and soul, but that His spirit was divine. Denies the humanity of Christ.

Nestorian - 5th Century. Denied the union of the divine and human natures in Christ. Christ became 2 people (man and God) in one body.

Eutychian - 5th Century. Mixed divine and human natures to create a third type of person. The human nature was absorbed into the divine.

Sadly though, even in some parts of the church today, these errors and heresies are repeated. The Jesus of history was fully human, just as he was also fully God – and that’s what we will look at next time.

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

add-to-itunes.gif Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

WOW Jesus 25

00:0000:00

Jesuswow.jpg

WOW Jesus

Just A Good Moral Teacher?

One thing that a lot of people say about Jesus, even those who are not Christian, is that he was a good moral teacher. The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates offered, “how we ought to live”, as a working definition of ‘moral‘. As I said, people often say, even those who would claim to be following Jesus, say that Jesus was simply a good moral teacher – and that’s all he was. Today we seek to discover if Jesus was a good moral teacher? If he was, did Jesus teach and does it reflect a good way to live? Finally, we will look briefly at if he was more than just a good moral teacher – as some claim!

Jesus’ moral code, revolving as it would have done around the part of the Bible we call the Old Testament, can be seen in “do to others, what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Some people refer to this as the “Golden Rule“. However, Jesus, as ever goes further than anybody else and says that it is not only the outward actions of a person that makes them morally good, it is also the internal attitude behind it. Jesus was acknowledged as a great teacher often during his lifetime. One example is Nicodemus in John 3.

Let’s have a brief reading of some of his moral teaching.

Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain;

and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.

Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven,

for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Those words are from what is generally called the “The Sermon on the Mount”. Jesus also said “Love your neighbour as yourself”. “Love your enemies, not just your friends” That is a world-turning morality! He forgave people their sin, but also told people not to continue in their sin – such as the woman caught in adultery and dragged before Him in by the teachers of the law, to whom Jesus said “neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:1-11. Jesus not only taught great morality, but he lived his morality! That is part of his uniqueness and set him apart from others!

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, people today hold it as a paragon of virtuous teaching and regard Jesus as a great teacher. Although, this is the best-known teaching of Jesus, it is also the least understood, and certainly the least obeyed. Whilst some may see The Sermon on the Mount as a call to peaceful demonstration against provocation, this was never Jesus intention regarding this teaching. It is as somebody once said “a picture of God’s alternative society… containing the standards, the values and priorities of God’s Kingdom”. It was this that Jesus spoke in the Sermon, not as a general guideline for people to wallow in comfort and boundless joy. Jesus was a good moral teacher, certainly at least to his followers, but was he more than this?

CS Lewis once wrote “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a good moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic-on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Jesus Christ of Nazareth, was certainly more than a good moral teacher! As Christians we believe that His purpose for coming was to rescue this world from the mess it is in! That is why God became human in Jesus Christ. Our next study looks at Jesus being fully human and that will be followed by Jesus being fully God – and why it is so!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

add-to-itunes.gif Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

WOW Jesus 24

00:0000:00

Jesuswow.jpg

WOW Jesus

What’s in a name?

Today we are going to ask ourselves, in relation to Jesus, What’s in a name? I wonder what your name means. Parents usually name their children after the hopes and aspirations they have for that child. For example, the name John means “the gift of God”. I know somebody called Grace, and her nature is that of somebody full of grace. My name of David means “beloved” and when my parents named me, it was meant to symbolize the love they had for me.

But what does the name Jesus mean? When Jesus was born, his very name imbued the reason he was born. The name Jesus as we discovered in an earlier message means “Saviour” or “One who saves or rescues.” The entirety of His birth, life and death was centered on this very role - saving and rescuing all those who would believe, receive and follow Him. We have seen in the testimony of the Apostles John, Peter and Paul how Jesus came to save sinners, to call people to follow, believe and receive Himself! This Jesus who proclaimed He was the only way to God!

Jesus’ conception and birth were extraordinary at every level. So important is our understanding of his birth that, according to the Gospel accounts, no fewer than 4 angels came to give a full picture of the event. Do you think that his parents, Joseph & Mary, ever gazed upon him, and thought “How misnamed He is”! They did not, because they knew the very purpose for which He was born.

This Jesus, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, is the most talked about person in history. Almost everyone has an opinion about Him. Jesus was born to confirm God's promises, to reveal God as a Father, and to be our representative before Him. Jesus gave us an example of how to live a holy life to the full. Jesus was not merely a man who received some special power. Jesus was not some strange creation that was half man and half God, with his human nature somehow absorbed into the divine. He was, as we shall see in the coming studies, much more than those ideas – Jesus was fully God and fully human! Jesus came to serve all others and not to be served! Jesus came in order to call others to a life of following, receiving and believing in Him! Jesus came to reconcile people back into a peaceful and dynamic relationship with God by means of shedding his blood on the cross! Jesus trusted God to raise Him from the dead – and he did! Jesus – resurrected, ascended, glorified and exalted! Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. Jesus Christ, who proclaimed “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

JC Ryle, the great 19th century Anglican bishop of Liverpool, once wrote these words about the name of Jesus “Jesus is a very encouraging name to weighted-down sinners. He, who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, might lawfully have taken some more high-sounding title. But He does not do so. The rulers of this world have often called themselves great, conquerors, bold, magnificent, and the like. The Son of God is content to call Himself Saviour. Those seeking salvation may draw near to the Father with boldness, and have access with confidence through Christ. It is His role and His delight to show mercy. "For God didn't send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him" (John 3:17).

Jesus is a name, which is especially sweet and precious to believers. It has often done them good. It has given them what money cannot buy - that is, inward peace. It has eased their wearied consciences and given rest to their heavy hearts. The Song of Solomon describes the experience of many, when it says, "Your name is oil poured forth" (Song of Solomon 1:3). Happy is the person who trusts not merely in vague notions of God's mercy and goodness, but in "Jesus."

Jesus was proclaimed by the Apostle John, Apostle Peter, the Apostle Paul and the early church as the Saviour and rescuer of the world – just as his name Jesus means! I am bound to ask you this: "Is Jesus your Saviour and rescuer? Are you following, believing and receiving Him?"

Because as the Apostle Paul acknowledges in Philippians 2:9-11 "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

add-to-itunes.gif Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

WOW Jesus 23

00:0000:00

Jesuswow.jpg

Apostle Paul’s

Jesus

Today we are going to look at Paul’s Jesus. Paul, who as a Pharisee was known as Saul. Paul who became a follower of Jesus, after encountering him on the road to Damascus. Paul who describes himself as the least of the apostles, former persecutor of the church and the foremost of sinners. Because Paul chose to follow, believe in and receive Jesus Christ, most of the New Testament was written by this man and he sought to serve his master, Jesus Christ. For Paul’s life and ministry, we have much to be thankful to God! But what can we briefly learn about Jesus from Paul?

Reading Colossians 1:15-20 - The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

See how Paul piles up the metaphors about Jesus - image of the invisible God; firstborn over all creation, invisible and visible and also their creator and sustainer! This Jesus is the head of the church, all those who follow, believe and receive Him! This Jesus has the supremacy over all things! This Jesus, the man, had the fullness of God within him! This Jesus, who was fully man yet simultaneously fully God! This man Jesus who was fully God, yet became nothing by becoming human, in order that people may choose to be restored back into relationship with God or not. This Jesus the re-conciliator, redeemer and peacemaker through his death on the cross! Peace with God, only comes through Jesus’ blood shed on the cross! There is no other way! That’s why Jesus Himself said “I am the way, the truth and the life. Nobody can come to the Father except through Me!” You an almost sense Paul going “WOW!!”

Now reading 1 Timothy 1:12-17 - I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Here Paul reveals his relationship with Jesus! Jesus has given and shown Paul the wonders of Gods’ mercy, grace, faith and love! That’s why Paul has been appointed into service by Jesus, despite Paul’s past which included violence, blasphemy against God and persecuting the church – the body of whom Jesus is the head, the wisdom and guide!

This Jesus has made Paul clean and renewed him! This Jesus strengthens Paul to be in active service for God – and because of that we get most of the New Testament! The only reason Paul can do what he does, is because it is Jesus who has anointed and appointed him to God’s service, sustains, guides and protects him! This Jesus, who with inexhaustible patience uses Paul as an living testimony to help others come to follow, believe and receive Jesus Christ. This Jesus, whose purpose was to save sinners – such as Paul who confesses that he is the supreme example of a sinner – and give everlasting life. Lastly, Paul overflows with praise for Jesus, describing him as immortal, invisible and only God and giving Him alone the glory and honour! May that be so in your life, your church and in the life of the church worldwide!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

add-to-itunes.gif Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

WOW Jesus 22

00:0000:00

Jesuswow.jpg

Apostle Peter’s

Jesus

Today we are going to look at another person who was one of Jesus’ closest friends – the man we know as the Apostle Peter. Peter, whose name was originally Simon, but given the name Peter, by Jesus (Matthew 16:18). Peter, the great Apostle and some say the greatest Apostle! With John and James, one of the three people closest to Jesus and had seen Jesus transfigured and glowing with glory on the Mount of Transfiguration! Peter, a fisherman, was commanded to go with Jesus with the simple words “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people!” Peter, who several times was rebuked by Jesus. Peter, who was the first disciple to confess Jesus as the Christ – the long waited for Messiah! Peter, who had watched his friend, Jesus, executed. Peter, who with the other disciples, went into hiding after Jesus’ death on the cross. Peter, who publicly denied three times ever knowing Jesus of Nazareth. Peter, who showed his love of Jesus of Nazareth – having given up everything to follow, believe and receive Him.

Acts 2:22-24; 32-36 - ‘You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. This Jesus, God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.’

~~~~~

Here in this speech recorded in Acts 2, we see the Jesus of the Apostle Peter! This Jesus of Nazareth who was attested by many witnesses, even His enemies, to have done great signs and works of wonder – things like healing the sick, speaking words of wisdom, raising Lazarus from the dead and forgiving sins! How could Jesus of Nazareth do these wondrous miracles? Because Jesus of Nazareth, was empowered by the Holy Spirit! That’s how he could do those things!

What’s more, despite all these wondrous actions of Jesus, which were attested as being of, and from, God; Jesus of Nazareth was killed like a common criminal, by people willing to break the law to achieve it. But, that was all part of God’s perfect plan – not only for Jesus but also for humanity – because God raised Jesus from the death to show that death was powerless to contain him! Remember what the name “Jesus” means? More about that in a later study!

Unlike the mighty King David who was buried in a tomb, Jesus was free, raised up and ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father! Following His ascension, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father! From there comes the third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to indwell and empower all those who proclaim to be followers of Jesus of Nazareth, having believed and received Him as Lord and Master. This Jesus, undefeated by death, now proclaimed to be both Lord and Messiah!! WOW! So not only was Jesus attested to be the long awaited for Messiah, but he was also the supreme director of all peoples – Jew and Gentile – and all created things! Peter has given evidence of Jesus’ resurrection, ascension, exaltation and glorification! All things are under the power of Jesus of Nazareth.

It was the resurrection of Jesus and subsequent infilling and empowerment by the Holy Spirit which turned Peter and the other followers of Jesus, from quivering cowards into a dynamic people we know as the early church. Oh how the Church today needs to rely on the Holy Spirit for power, wisdom and guidance rather than it sometimes does on mere human power, wisdom and guidance.

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

add-to-itunes.gif Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

WOW Jesus 21

00:0000:00

Jesuswow.jpg

WOW Jesus 19

Apostle John’s Jesus

John1:1-18 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. He was the true light that enlightens everyone coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own home, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born of God, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.”’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart and bosom, who has made him known.

~~~~~

Here is the aged Apostle John, writing his Gospel after Jesus’ earthly life has finished and he has ascending back to God the Father. John was one of Jesus’ three closest friends – Peter and James being the other two. He had been on the Mount of Transfiguration, and saw the transfigured Jesus shining in glory, conversing with Elijah and Moses and heard God the Father declare that He was pleased with His beloved son, Jesus (Luke 9:28-36).

So here in John 1, John reflects some of that! Look at how Jesus is described by John! Jesus is the Word – whereby John means that just as our words explain our thoughts to others, so Jesus was sent to the earth as a human, to reveal the very mind of God the Father to a world in darkness. John goes on, that though the world is in darkness, Jesus is the Light! Jesus is the Light who is also the Truth and full of grace and truth! Jesus is the creator of all things and is Almighty in power and wisdom!

This Jesus, the God-man, as the creator of all things, is the only one perfectly capable of redeeming and saving the world from darkness. WOW! Jesus, John writes excitably, is God the only Son, close to the heart of, and revealing God the Father to a world in darkness.

John describes Jesus as the Almighty God who became man, in order to give those people who received and believed in Him, the power to become children of God through mercy and unbounded grace. Yet more – so that people could come to know God personally (John 1:18)! WOW! That is the Apostle John’s Jesus!

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

add-to-itunes.gif Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

WOW Jesus 20

00:0000:00

Jesuswow.jpg

WOW Jesus

Mary's Jesus

Luke 1:26-38 - In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin? I do not know a man’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born of you will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

~~~~~

We see here in this passage from the Gospel of Luke, Mary discovering things about the child the angel Gabriel has decreed will be hers, conceived by God in her. Let’s look at them together.

The first thing we learn about Mary’s forthcoming child, is that Jesus will be his name! It is another form of the name Joshua and his name means that he will be a saviour or a rescuer! But more about that in a later study!

Then the angel builds up the metaphors about this Jesus! This Jesus will be great! This Jesus, whom you will bear, will be called the Son of the Most High! WOW! Even more, this Jesus will be given the throne of Israel’s greatest King, that of mighty King David! WOW! This Jesus will be a holy King, reigning over an everlasting kingdom! WOW! This Jesus will also be called the Son of God! This Jesus is God!

Then when Mary goes to see her cousin, Elizabeth declares the child as the blessed fruit of Mary! This child will not only be God, but also human!

Again, two further studies to come in this series – Jesus’ divinity and Jesus’ humanity.

Mary, in great humility and commitment, accepts the assignment to be the bearer and mother of Jesus, the long awaited for Saviour.

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

add-to-itunes.gif Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

WOW Jesus 19

00:0000:00

Jesuswow.jpg

WOW Jesus

Antiphons

In this new series, Jesus WOW, we are going to look at Jesus Christ - who he was & is, what he is and why he matters... In this first post, we look at the Old Testament. In some parts of the church they use as part of their Christmas worship, these seven O Antiphons. Each one, addresses Jesus Christ using a Messianic title drawn from prophecy in the Old Testament, looking back to the birth of the Saviour-Messiah. If you read the acrostic backwards, the initials of each title in Latin form the words “Ero Cras” or "Tomorrow I shall be (with you)", looking forward to when Jesus comes back again. Let us look together at these seven Old Testament titles of Jesus.

Sapientia

Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High God. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner: you came to teach us the way of truth.

Isaiah 28:29 This also comes forth from the Lord Almighty, Who is wonderful in plan, and excellent in wisdom!

~

Adonai

Ruler of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and gave him the Law on Sinai, you came to redeem us with outstretched arms!

Isaiah 11:4-5 He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.

~

Radix Jesse

Root of Jesse, who stands as an ensign to the peoples, at whom kings stand silent and whom the gentiles seek: you came to free us!

Malachi 5:1-5 - You, Bethlehem Ephrathah, are too small to be included among Judah's cities. Yet, from you Israel's future ruler will come for me. His origins go back to the distant past, to days long ago. That is why the Lord will abandon Israel until the time a mother has a child. Then the rest of the Lord's people will return to the people of Israel. The child will become the shepherd of his flock. He will lead them with the strength of the Lord, with the majestic name of the Lord his God. They will live in safety because his greatness will reach the ends of the earth. This man will be their peace.

Jeremiah 23:5-6 - "For the time is coming," says the Lord, "when I will raise up a righteous branch from King David's line, a root of Jesse. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name: 'The Lord Is Our Righteousness.' In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety.

~

Clavis David

Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, who opens and no one shuts, who shuts, and no one opens, you came to free from prison, those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.

Isaiah 9:6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 22:21-22 21 I will dress him in your royal robes and will give him your title and your authority. And he will be a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah. I will give him the key to the house of David-the highest position in the royal court. When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them; when he closes doors, no one will be able to open them.

~

Oriens

Morning Star, splendour of eternal light and sun of justice, you came and illumined those seated in darkness and the shadow of death.

Malachi 4:2 - "But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.

Zechariah 6:12-13 Then say to him, 'This is what the Lord of Armies says: Here is the man whose name is Branch. He will branch out from where he is, and he will rebuild the Lord's temple. He will rebuild the Lord's temple and receive royal honor. He will sit and rule from his throne. He will be a priest on his throne. There will be a peaceful understanding between them.

~

Rex Gentium

King of the Nations for whom they long, the corner-stone who makes of both one, you came and delivered humanity whom you made from clay.

Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the earth and blew the breath of life into his nostrils. The man became a living being.

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: "Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.

~

Emmanuel

God with us, our King and Law-giver, desired of the nations and their salvation, you came to save us, Lord our God.

Isaiah 7:13-14 - Isaiah said, "Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn't it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us').

Right Mouse click to save this as an audio mp3 file

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website

add-to-itunes.gif Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

WOW Jesus 18

00:0000:00

wowjesus.jpg

18. Jesus The Ascended King

Right mouse click to save this podcast episode as a mp3

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:16-20

Jesus’ resurrection is the catalyst for the mission of the church, beginning with the disciples and throughout history. Jesus’ mission to earth is coming to an end and shortly He will be returning to the right hand of the Father. Before He does so though, He has some more words to say to His disciples.

Jesus’ Authority

Throughout the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus’ authority is a major theme. Where Matthew records Jesus doing miracles, this is to highlight Jesus authority in action and not just merely in words. Matthew records Jesus’ authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6) and he imparted authority to his disciples for a short time when they went on a mission in Matthew 10. Jesus has authority (Matthew 28:18) over all things, all people, all circumstances and happenings. Jesus has authority over all spiritual beings, whether angels or demons. Jesus has authority over all nations, governments and rulers. Jesus has authority over all earthly and spiritual authorities. Jesus has the authority. This means regardless of what ever the Christian Disciple faces, Jesus is in control. Therefore, as Christian Disciples, we can obey him without fear of retribution from those who would seek to harm us. We can obey him regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in. It is a great comfort to know, that he is in control of everything!! Through his death on the cross and his rising from the dead, Jesus has conquered all enemies.

Now people sometimes confuse authority with authoritarian. Authoritarian means severe, rigidity and a dictator. None of these applies to Jesus. We have been given a free will, but as his Disciples, we should choose to exercise our free will to obey him and live a life worthy of him. As the Christian depends on Jesus’ authority, the Christian Disciple gains wisdom, guidance, and power.

You Go

If Jesus had not risen from the dead, then the Disciples would not have had a story to tell. But Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, and the early church exploded numerically as the twelve Disciples exercised Jesus’ authority and His power. We read about the growth of the early church in the Book of Acts.

Christianity is a faith whereby all Christian Disciples are to tell others of the goodness of God. Indeed God Himself is a missionary God. Ever since Genesis 3 and the fall of man, God has been on a mission to bring and call people back to himself. That was the purpose of the nation of Israel, to be a light to all nations of the goodness and glory of God! That was purpose when God, who is outside of time and space, entered human history taking on human flesh and restricted himself in a human body as the man we know as Jesus Christ. Jesus’ whole mission was one of calling people back to life in God. As followers of Jesus Christ, all Christian Disciples are to evangelize. Evangelism is showing and telling others of God’s message of reconciliation to all people of all time. It is not forcing people to adopt Church standards (1 Corinthians 5:12) and nor is it simply a message of join the church as a symbol of good works (Ephesians 2:v8-10).

Why evangelize? The prime motivation for evangelism is out of gratitude for what God has done, in that we love because he loved us first. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:14, For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.” As his servants we are to tell and live out God’s reconciling message

As I said before, we are all to do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5). In these last words of Matthew’s Gospel, all Christian Disciples are to make disciples throughout the whole earth! Making disciples is not just evangelism but ensuring that guidance and care is given to new Christian disciples. How is this achieved? How can the Christian Disciple exhibit Jesus’ authority and power in evangelism? Who gives the impetus for Christian Disciples? That is part of the role of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus said would come once He had ascended back to the right hand of God the Father.

The Holy Spirit is coming

This is in fulfilment of Ezekiel 36:27 “And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws”, where the Almighty and All-powerful God will indwell those who follow him. Throughout his ministry Jesus had talked about how after he was to depart, and that the Holy Spirit would come (John 15:26).

We know from the other writings in the New Testament who the Holy Spirit is and what his ministry is.

The Holy Spirit is spoken of as God (1 Corinthians 3:16). The attributes of God are ascribed to the Holy Spirit - life (Romans 8:2), truth (John 16:13) and love (Romans 15:30).

The Holy Spirit is also a Person and is always referred to as ‘he’ in the New Testament (John 16:14). He relates to us as a person for he is comforter, guide and teacher (John 14). He can be blasphemed against and be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), and wherever the Holy Spirit is, the Father and Son are also present because they are one. (John 14:18-23).

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

What is the ministry of the Holy Spirit and what does e have to do with Christian Disciples?

1. Glorify Christ: This is the Spirit’s prime role, that he will glorify Jesus Christ the Son of God, who is to be praised and glorified (John 16:13-14). He will testify for Jesus Christ (John 15:26). He will witness for Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).

2. The Paraclete – Comforter: He is one called to stand alongside (John 14:16). Jesus said it would be better for him to go away and send the Holy Spirit to live in us (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit ministers to us all that Jesus would be to us if he were here in person.

3. Declares God’s Word: The Holy Spirit has a prime role in revelation. It was he that spoke through the prophets (Ezekiel 2:2) and it was he who inspired the Bible, God’s Word (2 Peter 1:21). Further to this, the Holy Spirit interprets and illuminates God’s Word (John 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16) to people!

4. Conviction: The Holy Spirit is sent to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8)

5. Salvation: Christian Disciples are born of the Holy Spirit and are known as regenerated (John 3:3-8)

6. Indwelling: God lives inside each Christian Disciple through the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, a person cannot be a Christian Disciple (Romans 8:9; Gal 2:20; Colossians 1:25-27)

7. Sealing / Ownership: The Holy Spirit indwelling the Christian Disciple is assured proof of being God’s possession (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:3)

8. Security: The Holy Spirit is a deposit, guaranteeing our future redemption, salvation and inheritance (Ephesians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 1:22).

9. Filling: This speaks of the Holy Spirit’s control or domination of our lives. The imperative here is that we are to be filled (Ephesians 5:18), and go on being filled. He gives power to enable Christian Disciples to evangelise (Acts 1:8; 4:8, 31).

10. Sanctification: The Holy Spirit transforms us into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 7-18), as we walk, live in, and are led by the Spirit (Galatians. 5:16; Romans 8:13).

11. Baptism: This expression occurs 7 times in the New Testament. It occurs 4 times in the gospels, referring to Jesus baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 1 Corinthians 12:13 states that we are all baptized with the Holy Spirit into one body.

12. Service: The Holy Spirit equips us for service. God is working in you to will and to act accordingly to his purpose (Phil. 2:13), to be my witnesses (Acts 1:8).

How is the Spirit seen? The Spirit’s work is in evidence where people’s lives become more holy and more like Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 13:7).

The Holy Spirit equips Christian Disciples for service through the giving of spiritual gifts. Elsewhere on this website that has been discussed.

Ask yourself the following questions and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

Q1. Read Matthew 28:16-20. How does the authority of Jesus aid me in evangelism?

Q2. Read John 21. How am I carrying my cross for the sake of Jesus Christ?

Q3. How is the presence of the Holy Spirit transforming me into the image of Jesus Christ?

Click on the appropriate link to subscribe to this website and receive an email when anything new is posted!

Subscribe via iTunes

I heart FeedBurnerAdd to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »