The Doctrine of Christ
Does it matter what I believe?

People may say “All I need to do is love Jesus!”

It is so important to believe truth!

Out Eternity depends on it!

One day even Jesus asked the disciples what they and the people believed about him:

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter,and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hadeswill not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:13-19)

 

Paul indicates that belief is important when he says:

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

 

And the writer to the Hebrews stated that when we come to God we must believe that He is!

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

 

Having a correct belief is so important.

We are being continually affected by what we believe.

There are people who decide to hide their head in the sand because they are not willing to change their lifestyle – and often we hear people say:

“I only believe this or that.”

“I’m only to be positive about this or that…”

They are like people who decide not to see the doctor for fear that they may have serious illness!

 

We must understand that refusal to face reality and act in the light of it does not change the condition and it may even make it worse.

What we believe about reality does not change the truth, nor its effect upon us.

Correct belief however enables us to know the truth as it is, and then take appropriate action, so that it will have the best possible effect upon our lives.

Having correct beliefs is also necessary because of the large amount of variety of incorrect beliefs around us today.

 

Today we are being assaulted by so many beliefs and philosophies.

And some of these beliefs seem to be the right ones – but they are deceiving so many people.

It is imperative that we know what the Bible really teaches so that we can recognize error.

For many years the early Church kept the confession of the Apostle’s Creed:

  1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;
  2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord;
  3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;
  4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell;
  5. The third day He rose again from the dead;
  6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
  7. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead;
  8. I believe in the Holy Ghost;
  9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints;
  10. The forgiveness of sins;
  11. The resurrection of the body;
  12. And the life everlasting. Amen!

 

Dr. Macartney in his volume “What Jesus Really Taught” says – comparing Napoleon and Jesus:

“The two characters of history about whom more books have been written and more words spoken then others, are Napoleon and Jesus Christ. But what a contrast between these two men who-more than all others-have engrossed the mind of man! Napoleon shed rivers of blood upon which to float this ambitions. The only blood the other shed was His own, which He poured out upon the cross, for the redemption of mankind.”

 

But he goes on to quote what Napoleon said about Jesus:

“I know men, and I tell you, Jesus is not a man. He commands us to believe, and gives no other reason that His lawful word, I am God. Philosophers try to solve the mysteries of the universe by their empty dissertations: fools: they are like the infant that cries, to have the moon as a plaything. Christ never hesitates. He speaks with authority. His religion is a mystery: but it subsists by its own force. He seeks, and absolutely requires the love of men, the most difficult thing in the world to claim. Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal, conquered the world but they had no friends… I founded His empire on love: and at this hour abyss between my misery and the eternal kingdom of Christ, who is proclaimed, loved, adored and which is extending all over the earth. Is this death? I tell you, the death of Christ is the death of a God. I tell you, Jesus Christ is God.”

 

No other man, born of woman, has gathered around His claims and character so many volumes of literature as Jesus Christ.

This is why many years ago the apostle John said:

“This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:24-25)

 

Libraries all over the world contain a mountain of books that have been written about Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is:

  • Promised Messiah
  • Saviour of the World
  • Founder of Christianity
  • Lord and head of the Christian church
  • The complete revelation of God to man

 

Because the doctrine concerning Christ is so vast in its range, it is no easy task to classify it.

We can examine the facts about Jesus Christ in a threefold way:

 

1. His past manifestation

Co-eternal with the Father and with the Holy Spirit we see Christ already in

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (1 John 1:1-3)

 

Christ asserted His pre-existence when He said:

“Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)

 

“And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” (John 17:5)

 

We see in the Old Testament the promises of the manifestation of Christ as the Redeemer-Messiah are interwoven in the Scriptures from the first promise of Him given to Adam:

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspringand hers; he will crushyour head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

 

“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.” (Malachi 4:2)

 

Jesus took all past predictions and relate them to Himself:

“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me…” ( John 5:39)

 

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:27, 44-45)

 

“Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.’” (Hebrews 10:7)

 

His Two Natures

 

Paul reminds us of the mystery of godliness when his says:

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16)

 

Throughout the Bible Christ is represented as a Person having two natures, one divine the other human.

In His incarnation He became the possessor of a true humanity in union with His eternal deity.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

 

At His incarnation Christ added to His already existing divine nature a human nature and became the God-Man.

Interestingly at our regeneration, there was added to our already existing human nature, a divine nature – we then became – as true believers in Jesus Christ – divine – human.

“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:4)

 

Jesus in His humanity was subject to the ordinary laws of human development, and to human wants, emotions and sufferings.

“After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” (Matthew 4:2)

 

“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.” (Matthew 8:24)

 

“And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.” (Luke 2:40)

 

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)

 

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)

 

“Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.” (John 4:6)

 

“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

 

“In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.” (Hebrews 2:10)

 

“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18)

 

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (Hebrews 5:7)

 

“Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered…” (Hebrews 5:8)

 

His Deity

 

Both Old and New Testaments offer convincing proof of Christ as the “Mighty God”

 

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

 

“In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.” (Jeremiah 23:6)

 

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27)

 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

 

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Hebrews 1:1-4)

 

Christ Was Sinless

 

The writer to the Hebrews writes very positively about the many temptations of Christ:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

 

Jesus born Holy remained Holy.

Before His birth, Gabriel could speak of Him to Mary:

“The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

 

In order to redeem us from sin He had to be free from any sin!

Had He committed only one sin, He would have been disqualified as the Redeemer of sinful men.

The Bible, then, is emphatic in its witness to the fact that Christ was perfect in thought and deed.

“But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.” (1 John 3:5)

 

Judas confessed of his betrayal:

“I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” (Matthew 27:4)

 

“Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” (Hebrews 7:26)

 

Hebrews 9:14

“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,so that we may serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:14)

“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22)

“God made him who had no sin to be sinfor us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

 

His death

How loaded with grief and suffering were our Lord’s last days before His death at Calvary!

The betrayal of Judas – the anguish and bloody sweat in Gethsemane – the denial by Peter – the injustice and indignities of His false accusation and trial – the desertion by His disciples.

Such was a load heavy enough to break His heart.

Then there came the shame, suffering and sacrifice of the cross itself.

Someone said,

None of the ransomed even knew

How deep were the waters crossed,

Or how dark the night the Lord passed through

Ere He found the sheep that was lost.

 

Among the many doctrines Christ articulated, there was the doctrine of His death.

Christ, is the only One who came into the world for the purpose of dying.

He predicted the fact and way of His death.

 

“Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” (Matthew 9:15)

 

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” (Matthew 16:21)

 

“When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.” (Matthew 17:22-23)

 

“We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” (Matthew 20:18-19)

 

“And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.’” (Luke 9:22)

 

“Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.’” (Luke 18:31-33)

 

He taught that His death had a universal significance.

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”(John 3:16)

 

“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.” (John 12:32-33)

 

He affirmed that His death would have a definite impact upon the spirit-world.

“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.” (John 12:31)

 

He linked His Incarnation and Crucifixion together.

“‘Leave her alone,’ Jesus replied. ‘It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.'” (John 12:7)

 

He declared that His death was to take our place.

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)

 

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

 

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’” (Luke 22:19)

 

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

 

He died by His own volition.

His life was not taken, but given.

 

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.” (Matthew 27:50)

 

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:18)

 

He prayed that His death would glorify God.

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’” (John 12:27-28)

 

“When he was gone, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him.’” (John 13:31)

 

“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.’” (John 17:1)

 

It has been pointed out that the space given in the four gospels to the death of Christ is most striking, remarkable.

The great apostle Paul expounded to the Churches he founded the full and inescapable implications of Christ’s finished work:

 

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)

 

“…who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…” (Galatians 1:4)

 

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

 

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

 

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)

 

“For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14)

 

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)

 

“because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people.” (Colossians 1:4)

 

His Resurrection

 

The importance of Christ’s victory over death cannot be too strongly stressed.

A theologian said:

“Christianity is a religion of miracle, and the miracle of Christ’s Resurrection is the living center and object of Christian faith.”
“The Doctrine of the Resurrection is of primary value for on it all the doctrines of grace depend.”

 

“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.

But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:14-17)

 

We needed His death and His resurrection in order to be saved.

“But what does it say? ‘The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,’ that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-9)

 

This is one reason why the Resurrection occupied such a prominent place in the earliest apostolic preaching.

The preaching of the Resurrection resulted in persecution.

“They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” (Acts 4:2)

 

strong>“Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.” (Acts 5:20)

 

But the apostles could not be silenced in their witness to such a dynamic doctrine.

The Resurrection remains the main proof of the deity of Christ.

“and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 1:4)

 

And it is a divine act that provides the keystone of the Christian faith.

“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.” (1 Corinthians 15:17-18)

 

That the Resurrection is the best established fact in Bible history can be proved by the following aspects.

It was the subject of prophesy.

“because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.” (Psalm 16:10-11)

 

“We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: ‘You are my son; today I have become your father.’ God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said, ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’  So it is also stated elsewhere: ‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’ ”Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.’” (Acts 13:32-37)

 

Christ repeatedly declared it.

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” (Matthew 16:21)

 

“They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.” (Matthew 17:-23)

 

“He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.” (Mark 8:31)

 

John believed it as he saw the empty tomb.

 

“Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.” (John 20:8)

 

The women at the grave reported it.

“But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.” (Luke 24:11)

 

“They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’ Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’” (John 20:13-15)

 

Peter reported that Jesus appeared to Him.

“and saying, ‘It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’” (Luke 24:34)

 

Christ repeatedly appeared to His own.

“but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.” (Acts 10:40-41)

 

He was seen by Paul, and hundreds of others.

“and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.” (1 Corinthians 15:5-8)

 

The existence of the Church confirms the Resurrection.

And every believer is a living proof of such a doctrine.

The Resurrection is not only a fact, but was a mighty factor.

Risen with Christ, can we say that we are sharers of His risen power?

If spiritual inertia is ours, then we need to open the avenues of our being to the tremendous forces liberated by Christ’s victory over sin, death and hell.

By His Resurrection Jesus became ‘the first fruits of them that slept,’ and ‘the firstborn of the dead.’

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:20)

 

“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.” (Colossians 1:18)

 

“… and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood…” (Revelation 1:5)

 

He is so called because His Resurrection was distinct from all those how had been raised before.

Him Jesus arose with a spiritual body.

“it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.” (1 Corinthians 15:44-45)

 

Body and soul were reunited and restored to their original beauty and strength and raised to the highest level.

Louis Berkhof says that the Resurrection of Christ has a threefold significance:

1. It was a declaration of the Father that Christ met all the requirements of the law.

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name…” (Philippians 2:9)

 

2. It symbolized the justification, regeneration and final resurrection of believers.

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:4-5, 9)

 

“By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.” (1 Corinthians 6:14)

 

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)

 

3. It was the cause of our justification, regeneration and resurrection.

“He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Romans 4:25)

 

“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10)

 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)

 

His Ascension

 

The Acts opens with the risen Lord giving commandments through the Spirit to His disciples, and the Resurrection itself is the strongest witness to the reality of the Ascension.

His presence and ministry for 40 days proved that he was alive from the dead.

While with His disciples Jesus spoke much of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

The disciples were eager for the promised restoration of the kingdom to Israel and asked for a date when restoration could be expected.

Christ rebuked them, not for their desire to have the kingdom restored, but for wanting to know the time of restoration – a matter shut up in the counsels of God.

 

While the disciples were feasting upon the presence and ministry of the Lord they loved, suddenly as they lovingly looked at Him, He vanished from their sight.

From that wonderful moment on, they lived and labored in the power of their risen, ascended and returning Lord.

They not only accepted the Ascension as an historic fact but as a mighty dynamic for service.

 

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34)

 

“he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms….” (Ephesians 1:20)

 

“This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (Ephesians 4:8)

 

“They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.” (1 Timothy 3:10)

 

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” (Hebrews 4:14)

 

“But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:12)

 

But Jesus Christ will return in glory, as Scripture promises us!

“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64)

 

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20)

 

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

 

“who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.” (1 Peter 3:22)

 

2. His Present Ministry

 

Christ is active, as well as alive, for ever more.

When Jesus left earth for heaven, His ministry did not cease.

It ever continues although is a changed form.

Entering Heaven, Jesus immediately sent the Holy Spirit to fashion the Church He said He would build:

 

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hadeswill not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)

 

In Christ we are already seated with Him in Heavenly places.

And through His ascension we have the assurance of a place in Heaven with Him.

 

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24)

 

It is Christ’s express desire that we should share His glory.

By the Holy Spirit the Church is the habitation of God.

Christ not only rules and protects His Church, governing the Universe on her behalf, but He also intercedes for her on the bases of His completed sacrifice.

In Christ the Church has her great Intercessor at the throne.

“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34)

 

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)

 

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

 

Christ’s state and office in heaven brings us to a consideration of His threefold ministry as Prophet, Priest and King – the three Old Testament offices reaching their perfection in Christ.

 

1. Christ As Prophet

A prophet in Scripture spoke to men about God: a priest spoke to God about men.

Prophets of old declared the whole counsel of God, and Christ, as the perfect Prophet not only expounded the Word of God—He was the Embodiment of that Word.

The New Testament reveals these facts about Jesus.

 

a. He calls Himself a Prophet

“In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!” (Luke 13: 33)

 

b. He claimed to bring a message from God.

He was the inspired Interpreter of the Word and will of God.

“’I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.’ They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.'” (John 8:26-28)

 

c. He provoked praise as a true Prophet, or Teacher from God.

He ever spoke with authority.

“They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people.’” (Luke 7:16)

 

“‘What things?’ he asked. ‘About Jesus of Nazareth,’ they replied. ‘He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.'” (Luke 24:19)

 

d. He continues the eternal revelation of God to the saints in glory.

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.” (John 16:12-14)

He will ever remain the divine Expositor of truth.

 

2. Christ As Priest

The Aaronic priesthood, which typified Christ’s priestly ministry, represented a priest as one called to represent man before God, by offering sacrifices and making intercession.

The analogies and contrasts between Aaron and Christ provide one of the prominent themes of the Epistle to the Hebrews.

As the Priest, Jesus suffered in man’s stead and satisfied divine holiness and opened the way for God to pardon and restore the guilty.

Someone rightly said.

“One of the most profound mysteries of Christianity is that He became Priest and Lamb and both Punisher and Punished.”

 

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-26)

 

With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.” (Hebrews 9:12)

 

As Priest, Jesus was, and is, sinless.

Aaron had to offer sacrifices for his own sin, as well as for the sins of others.

Not Christ!

“He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins. The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever.” (Hebrews 7:26-28)

 

As the Priest, He continues His intercessory ministry for the Church on earth.

“For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf.  And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:24-28)

 

And so, dear brothers and sisters,we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” (Hebrews 10:19-23)

 

As the Priest, He is a kingly one robed with the full splendor of the throne of God, having the distinctive glory of a finished saving work.

“For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:10-14)

 

“And they sang a new song with these words: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.’” (Revelation 5:9-10)

 

The marvel is that He has condescended to call us priests.

What a neglected truth the priesthood of all believer is!

 

3. Christ As King

Kingship is one of Christ’s eternal prerogatives, rights.

As “the King Eternal,” He was born a King.

During His earthly sojourn He asserted His Kingship and men recognized His claim.

“Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose,and we have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)

 

“And Jason has welcomed them into his home. They are all guilty of treason against Caesar, for they profess allegiance to another king, named Jesus.” (Acts 17:7)

 

As the “King,” He died, and in His Resurrection proved His sovereignty.

In heaven, He rules as King for the glory of God and for the fulfilment of His purposes.

“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18)

 

As King, He exercises power in upholding and controlling the world.

“God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.” (Ephesians 1:22-23)

 

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead.So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ.” (Colossians 1:15-19)

 

The prediction is that He is to return in regal power and splendor as the King of the Kings, and Lord of all Lords (Revelation 11:15; Revelation 19:16)

What a glorious coronation will be His, when many crowns diadem His brow!

What glory will be His when His kingdom comes as He reigns supreme over the earth!

The wonder is that we are to reign with Him, assisting Him as kings in His governmental control of all things.

 

The question is:

Do we honor and obey Him as King of our lives?

Does He reign on the throne of the heart?

The practical aspect of the doctrine of Christ must not be forgotten.

All that He is, and has, are at our disposal,

The Holy Spirit is not only with us to take of the things of Christ and reveal them unto us.

He is within us in order to conform us to the image of God’s dear Son.

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:15-17)

 

Because God was in Christ, and He is now at God’s right hand, He is able to solve all our problems, meet all our needs and banish all our tears.

 

Image source: acswebnetworks.com


One Response to "The Doctrine of Christ"

  1. Marilou Posted on July 18, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Bine spus, pacat ca nu o citesc cei ce trebuie sa o citeasca

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