Category Archives: Jesus Christ

OUR INHERITANCE IN CHRIST:

The Bible is full of references to the inheritance believers have in Christ. Ephesians 1:11 says, “In [Christ] we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will” (ESV). Other passages that mention a believer’s inheritance include Colossians 3:24 and Hebrews 9:15. Our inheritance is, in a word, heaven. It is the sum total of all God has promised us in salvation. Words related to inheritance in Scripture are portion and heritage.

First Peter 1:4 describes this inheritance further, saying that we have been born again “into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.” According to the apostle Peter, our inheritance is distinguished by four important qualities:

Our inheritance in Christ is imperishable. What we have in Christ is not subject to corruption or decay. In contrast, everything on earth is in the process of decaying, rusting, or falling apart. The law of entropy affects our houses, our cars, and even our own bodies. Our treasure in heaven, though, is unaffected by entropy (Matthew 6:19–20). Those who have been born again are born “not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).

Our inheritance in Christ is unspoiled. What we have in Christ is free from anything that would deform, debase, or degrade. Nothing on earth is perfect. Even the most beautiful things of this world are flawed; if we look closely enough, we can always find an imperfection. But Christ is truly perfect. He is “holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26), and our inheritance in Him is also holy, blameless, exalted, and pure. No earthly corruption or weakness can touch what God has bestowed. Revelation 21:27 says that “nothing impure will ever enter [the New Jerusalem], nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful.”

Our inheritance in Christ is unfading. What we have in Christ is an enduring possession. As creatures of this world, it is hard for us to imagine colors that never fade, excitement that never flags, or value that never depreciates; but our inheritance is not of this world. Its glorious intensity will never diminish. God says, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5).

Our inheritance in Christ is reserved. What we have in Christ is being “kept” in heaven for us. Your crown of glory has your name on it. Although we enjoy many blessings as children of God here on earth, our true inheritance—our true home—is reserved for us in heaven. Like Abraham, we are “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). The Holy Spirit guarantees that we will receive eternal life in the world to come (2 Corinthians 1:22). In fact, “when you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:13–14).

Jesus prayed for His followers, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name” (John 17:11). We are secure, being guarded by the Almighty Himself, and surely our inheritance is equally secure. No one can steal it from us. John 10:28–29: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” See also Matthew 6:20.

As God’s children, “adopted” into His family, we have been assured an inheritance from our Heavenly Father. “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:17). This heavenly heritage is God’s purpose and will for us (Ephesians 1:11). We receive the promise of our inheritance by hearing the word of truth and believing in Christ (Ephesians 1:13).

One day, we will take possession of our portion, our heritage, our full inheritance. John Calvin writes of our inheritance, “We do not have the full enjoyment of it at present. . . . We walk . . . in hope, and we do not see the thing as if it were present, but we see it by faith. . . . Although, then, the world gives itself liberty to trample us under foot, as they say; although our Lord keeps us tried with many temptations; although he humbles us in such a way that it may seem we are as sheep appointed to the slaughter, so that we are continually at death’s door, yet we are not destitute of a good remedy. And why Seeing that the Holy Spirit reigns in our hearts, we have something for which to give praise even in the midst of all our temptations. . . . [Therefore,] we should rejoice, mourn, grieve, give thanks, be content, wait” (from Calvin’s Ephesian sermons, delivered in Geneva, 1558—59).

When we understand and value the glory that awaits us, we are better able to endure whatever comes our way in this life. We can give God praise even during trials because we have His guarantee that we will receive all He has promised: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Revelation 21:4 gives us a brief but beautiful description of our inheritance: “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” God and man will dwell together. Everything will be made new. The bejeweled city, New Jerusalem, will be our residence. The river of life will issue from God’s throne. The healing tree of life with twelve kinds of fruit will grow there, too. There will be no night there, because the eternal light of the Lamb will fill the new heaven and new earth and shine upon all the heirs of God.

David writes, “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; / you make my lot secure. / The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; / surely I have a delightful inheritance” (Psalm 16:5–6). And that is why “we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Prophet Nathan’s Sermon

IS jesus THE WORD OF GOD?

The answer to this question is found by first understanding the reason why John wrote his gospel. We find his purpose clearly stated in John 20:30-31. “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” Once we understand that John’s purpose was to introduce the readers of his gospel to Jesus Christ, establishing Who Jesus is (God in the flesh) and what He did, all with the sole aim of leading them to embrace the saving work of Christ in faith, we will be better able to understand why John introduces Jesus as “The Word” in John 1:1.

By starting out his gospel stating, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John is introducing Jesus with a word or a term that both his Jewish and Gentile readers would have been familiar with. The Greek word translated “Word” in this passage is Logos, and it was common in both Greek philosophy and Jewish thought of that day. For example, in the Old Testament the “word” of God is often personified as an instrument for the execution of God’s will (Psalm 33:6; 107:20; 119:89; 147:15-18). So, for his Jewish readers, by introducing Jesus as the “Word,” John is in a sense pointing them back to the Old Testament where the Logos or “Word” of God is associated with the personification of God’s revelation. And in Greek philosophy, the term Logos was used to describe the intermediate agency by which God created material things and communicated with them. In the Greek worldview, the Logos was thought of as a bridge between the transcendent God and the material universe. Therefore, for his Greek readers the use of the term Logos would have likely brought forth the idea of a mediating principle between God and the world.

So, essentially, what John is doing by introducing Jesus as the Logos is drawing upon a familiar word and concept that both Jews and Gentiles of his day would have been familiar with and using that as the starting point from which he introduces them to Jesus Christ. But John goes beyond the familiar concept of Logos that his Jewish and Gentile readers would have had and presents Jesus Christ not as a mere mediating principle like the Greeks perceived, but as a personal being, fully divine, yet fully human. Also, Christ was not simply a personification of God’s revelation as the Jews thought, but was indeed God’s perfect revelation of Himself in the flesh, so much so that John would record Jesus’ own words to Philip: “Jesus said unto him, ‘Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, “Show us the Father”?'” (John 14:9). By using the term Logos or “Word” in John 1:1, John is amplifying and applying a concept with which his audience was familiar and using that to introduce his readers to the true Logos of God in Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God, fully God and yet fully man, who came to reveal God to man and redeem all who believe in Him from their sin.

Prophet Nathan Emol

jesus-son of god:

Jesus is not God’s Son in the sense of a human father and a son. God did not get married and have a son. God did not mate with Mary and, together with her, produce a son. Jesus is God’s Son in the sense that He is God made manifest in human form (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is God’s Son in that He was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35 declares, “The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon 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.’”

During His trial before the Jewish leaders, the High Priest demanded of Jesus, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God” (Matthew 26:63). “‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied. ‘But I say to all of you: In the future 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). The Jewish leaders responded by accusing Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 26:65-66). Later, before Pontius Pilate, “The Jews insisted, ‘We have a law, and according to that law He must die, because He claimed to be the Son of God’” (John 19:7). Why would His claiming to be the Son of God be considered blasphemy and be worthy of a death sentence? The Jewish leaders understood exactly what Jesus meant by the phrase “Son of God.” To be the Son of God is to be of the same nature as God. The Son of God is “of God.” The claim to be of the same nature as God—to in fact be God—was blasphemy to the Jewish leaders; therefore, they demanded Jesus’ death, in keeping with Leviticus 24:15. Hebrews 1:3 expresses this very clearly, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being.”

Another example can be found in John 17:12 where Judas is described as the “son of perdition.” John 6:71 tells us that Judas was the son of Simon. What does John 17:12 mean by describing Judas as the “son of perdition”? The word perdition means “destruction, ruin, waste.” Judas was not the literal son of “ruin, destruction, and waste,” but those things were the identity of Judas’ life. Judas was a manifestation of perdition. In this same way, Jesus is the Son of God. The Son of God is God. Jesus is God made manifest (John 1:1, 14).

Prophet Nathan Emol

why is humanity of christ important?

The humanity of Jesus is as equally important as the deity of Jesus. Jesus was born as a human being while still being totally divine. The concept of the humanity of Jesus co-existing with His deity is difficult for the finite mind of man to comprehend. Nevertheless, Jesus’ nature—wholly man and wholly God—is a biblical fact. There are those who reject these biblical truths and declare that Jesus was a man, but not God (Ebionism). Docetism is the view that Jesus was God, but not human. Both viewpoints are unbiblical and false.

Jesus had to be born as a human being for several reasons. One is outlined in Galatians 4:4–5: “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” Only a man could be “born under the law.” No animal or angelic being is “under the law.” Only humans are born under the law, and only a human being could redeem other human beings born under the same law. Born under the law of God, all humans are guilty of transgressing that law. Only a perfect human—Jesus Christ—could perfectly keep the law and perfectly fulfill the law, thereby redeeming us from that guilt. Jesus accomplished our redemption on the cross, exchanging our sin for His perfect righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Another reason Jesus had to be fully human is that God established the necessity of the shedding of blood for the remission of sins (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22). The blood of animals, although acceptable on a temporary basis as a foreshadowing of the blood of the perfect God-Man, was insufficient for the permanent remission of sin because “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God, sacrificed His human life and shed His human blood to cover the sins of all who would ever believe in Him. If He were not human, this would have been impossible.

Furthermore, the humanity of Jesus enables Him to relate to us in a way the angels or animals never can. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Only a human could sympathize with our weaknesses and temptations. In His humanity, Jesus was subjected to all the same kinds of trials that we are, and He is, therefore, able to sympathize with us and to aid us. He was tempted; He was persecuted; He was poor; He was despised; He suffered physical pain; and He endured the sorrows of a lingering and most cruel death. Only a human being could experience these things, and only a human being could fully understand them through experience.

Declaring that Jesus has come in the flesh is the mark of a spirit from God, while the Antichrist and all who follow him will deny it (1 John 4:2–3). Jesus has come in the flesh; He is able to sympathize with our human frailties; His human blood was shed for our sins; and He was fully God and fully Man. These are biblical truths that cannot be denied.

Prophet Nathan Emol

does christ Have two natures?

The Bible does not explicitly address the question of whether Jesus Christ has two natures or only one. As it will be explained below, however, understanding that Christ has two natures is the most biblically and theologically consistent position. The issue came to a head in church history as theologians in the church tried to grapple with and codify the information that the New Testament provides about Jesus.

According to the New Testament, Jesus really is a man, born into the human race, yet He is also fully God. John 1:1 states that the Word is God and then in verse 14 we see that the Word John is speaking of is Jesus who “tabernacled” among us. Matthew and Luke both tell of Jesus’ birth of the Virgin Mary and give His human lineage. It is difficult to understand and explain, but that is what the New Testament teaches. Jesus is God who entered the human race as a man.

Some groups early on tried to explain the nature of Christ by saying that the divine “Christ spirit” came upon the man Jesus. Early Gnostics said that the Christ spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism and left Him at the crucifixion. In this scenario, it might seem as though Jesus had two natures; however, on closer examination, this is not the case. The man that people identified as Jesus would actually be two persons sharing a body, and each person would only have one nature. He would be Jesus the human and Christ the divine. In this scenario, God only appears to enter the human race, but He does not actually do it.

Another way of trying to explain the data in the New Testament is to say that Jesus Christ was only one person AND that He only had one nature. The difficulty with this explanation is that His nature would be something of an amalgamation of divine and human. He would not be fully human because the divine nature has mixed with the human nature, making Him something more than human. He would not be fully God because the human nature has mixed with the divine nature, making Him something less than divine. We see parallels to this idea in Greek and Roman mythology where a god has a child with a human woman. The offspring is more than human and less than a god—a super human or a demi-god. Hercules was one such person, the son of Zeus and the woman Alcmene.

An illustration may be helpful. Like most illustrations, it is far from perfect and cannot be pressed on every point. Suppose a king wants to identify with the poorest in his country. One way he could do it would be to disguise himself as a beggar and move among them. However, in this situation he is only pretending to be a beggar; he can go back to the castle at night, and he still has all the resources of a king. On the other hand, the king could renounce his throne and give away everything and become a beggar. But in this case, he would cease to be a king. A third option is that he could, for a time, give up the use of all his resources for a set period of time—let’s say 3 years—knowing that at the end of that time he would once again resume the throne. In this last situation, he is both truly a beggar and truly a king. Jesus became man, but He remained God.

The only way to adequately explain the biblical data is to say that Jesus is one Person with two natures—a human nature and a divine nature. He is both God and Man. His two natures are inseparably united (not mixed) in what theologians term the “hypostatic union.” The New Testament affirms that Jesus Christ, who walked the earth, died on a cross, and rose again, was fully a member of the human race with a fully functioning human nature (without sin). At the same time, Jesus was fully God. He willingly humbled Himself and gave up His glory and the right to use His divine attributes apart from the direction of God the Father, but He never ceased to be God. Jesus Christ is fully man and fully God—He has the nature of both. He is a man, but He is more; He is also God. He is God, but He has forever joined Himself to a human nature. A shortened way to express this is to refer to Jesus as the God-Man. He is the Man who is also God, and He is God who became a Man.

Prophet Nathan Emol