Christology

Who is the Word?

Excerpt from John 1 from manuscript GA 01 (courtesy of CSNTM.org)

The Gospel of John is important. And, in a piece of writing noted for its Christology, the prologue (John 1:1-18) is rightly considered to be a masterpiece. Because it’s so important, it’s attracted any number of critics and false teachers who desperately try to explain why it doesn’t actually say … what it actually says.

An ordinary Christian can go batty pondering all the controversies inherent in this passage. Was John 1:1 (“and the Word was God”) translated correctly? Have Christians been influenced by pagan, Greek philosophy to interpret “the Word” as the co-equal, co-eternal Son of God? These are good questions, and lots of good theologians and bible teachers have lots of good answers for them. But, setting these issues aside for a time, if you take a step back and just consider the content as a literary unit the message is very clear.

Who is the Word?

At1 the very beginning, when the creation happened, the Word was there (Jn 1:1a). So, whoever this Word is, He’s eternal. He’s prior to creation. More than that, the Word is with God (Jn 1:1b). God is before creation, and so is the Word. They’re together. They share the same space; they’re with one another. Even better yet, the Word actually is God (Jn 1:1c).

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Is Jesus King of All of Us?

Reposted, with permission, from Randy White Ministries.

Question: Is Jesus the King for all of us or only for Israel? – Bob, Minnesota

Dr. White’s Answer …

First, let’s take a look at the Scripture.

At the beginning of Jesus’ life, He was called King of the Jews.

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (KJV, Matthew 2:2)

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He was called the King of Israel.

Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (John 1:49)

At the crucifixion, Jesus was called King of the Jews.

Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. (John 19:21)

Paul praises Jesus as the King eternal.

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)

Paul said that Jesus will someday be presented as King of kings.

That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (1 Timothy 6:14–15)

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Against Cardboard Shepherds

"The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes," by Lambert Lombard

Trinitarian heresies usually stumble over who Christ is. Without fail, these heretical groups, sects and movements brand themselves as “renewal movements.” God gave us the Scriptures but, alas, things went haywire after the apostles died. The church lurched into heresy bit by bit. These groups warn us that the Greeks influenced Christian thinking, and eventually this pagan philosophy corrupted our doctrine of God, and the church was in darkness. Until … (cue theme music) … someone read the Bible for himself and discovered The Truth (insert heresy now).

For example, Anthony Buzzard, a conservative Unitarian, writes,

Though I believe with a passion the extraordinary and yet eminently sane claims of the New Testament writers, I have the strongest reservation about what the Church, claiming to be followers of Jesus, later did with the faith of those original Christians. I believe that history shows an enormous difference between what has through the centuries come to be known as the Christian faith and what we find reported as first-century Christianity.1

The truth is that these cults are reading the Bible in a very flat, sterile way. The Gospels are thoroughly Trinitarian, and the cults cannot find their doctrine through a systematic exposition of Scripture. Here, in our text this morning, we see Jesus as the shepherd over Israel:

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Theology Thursday . . . on Friday: The Kenosis as Deliberate Concealment

What is the nature of Christ’s incarnation? How did the Messiah’s divine and human natures work together? Much has been written on this, of course. Theology students (and their teachers) have always been intrigued by this question. When this question comes up, the Bible student’s mind inevitably turns to Philippians 2. As Rolland McCune asked, “of what did Christ empty Himself?”1 One common solution is to answer, “Christ emptied Himself of the independent use of His divine attributes.”

This is what McCune suggests. After some exegetical comments on Philippians 2:5-8 and a survey of various theories, he explained that (1) Christ gave up the independent use of His attributes, (2) became subservient to the Father in a unique way, and (3) depended on the Holy Spirit’s power.2 Augustus H. Strong also favored this view.3

There is another view.

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Jesus' Very Busy Day

Synagogue in Capernaum

Read the series so far.

By anybody’s standard, Jesus had a very busy day (Mk 1:21-38). This passage chronicles one single day during Jesus’ early ministry. At first glance, there seems to be nothing earth-shattering here, until you step back and consider all He did during those 24 hours.1 

Consider the common objections to the doctrine of the Trinity, then remember the kind of day Jesus had:

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Who is the Christ We Are Following?

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