Jesus Christ: Son of Man and Son of God

For January 15, 2023
To think of Jesus Christ as Son of Man is not much of a stretch because historical records verify His life, ministry, and existence. We can know that He walked the earth for about thirty-three years with the same human wants, needs, and aspirations we all share. He slept, ate, drank, wept, and was tempted. He experienced joy, anger, sadness, pain, hunger, thirst, anger, and love. He became grief stricken, fatigued, and was lonely.

What set Him apart was that He did not succumb to the temptations that arise from sin, the self, or Satan. Instead, He lived a completely balanced life of moral and spiritual excellence at all times. He submitted Himself to the will of His Father and satisfied all the requirements of God’s Law—He was perfect!

Understanding Jesus as Son of God becomes less of a problem when we acknowledge His being morally and spiritually perfect as an attribute of deity or as a reflection of God’s holiness. In this context, the “perfection” and “mastery” components of His life and ministry make perfect sense. Because Jesus embodied God in human flesh,

Thus, He could impose His will over His creation by silencing the raging storm, walking on the turbulent sea, turning water into wine, feeding the multitudes with two small fish and five loaves of bread, healing the sick, raising the dead, and performing countless other miraculous works that verified His claims to be God in human flesh.

John the Apostle addresses the deity of Christ in the first chapter of his gospel,

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

Then he further adds,

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 (NIV)

God became human and made His home among us. It is humanly impossible to understand and explain the mysteries of God, including the intricacies of His Incarnation. God has the authority to conceal or disclose anything He so chooses (Proverbs 25:2).

Yet He revealed His divine, redemptive plan through Jesus Christ, the only Son of God. All that God requires is our faith in Christ to receive His gracious gift. Today, we can acknowledge Christ as Savior and Lord and receive the blessings associated with God’s promises to save all those who believe and confess Jesus Christ,

But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 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. 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 10:6-10 (NIV)

Jesus Christ is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. He is the perfect Mediator between God and humanity to reconcile anyone anywhere with God.

Through His reconciliation, we can have complete forgiveness of sin, spiritual transformation, and eternal life. All He requires is our faith in His perfect work on the cross. Won’t you trust in Christ today and let Him change your life forever?

What a Wonderful Savior!

A Happy New Year!

For January 1, 2023
The second chapter of the Book of Philippians relates the humiliation and exaltation of Jesus Christ and tells how every knee will bow to His authority and how every tongue will confess His deity as “Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (v.11)

Thus, for two-thousand and twenty-three-years, we have been numbering the years since Jesus Christ’s birth to remind us of the greatest and most influential person in human history. 1

Although His distinct message has been often ignored, overlooked and disregarded by many. It yet remains simple, compelling, and redemptive to those of us, who love Him dearly and trust Him implicitly,

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

By faith in Him, we can find lasting peace, fulfillment, and complete satisfaction. For when the Son makes you free, you are free indeed. (John 8:36)

He promises to create new hearts inside new people who humbly yield to His will by placing our faith in Him,

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. Ezekiel 36:25 (NLT)

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

He also promises to create a new place where we will live with Him forever,

See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. Isaiah 65:17 (NIV)

When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. John 14:3 (NLT)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. Revelation 21:1 (NIV)

Only Jesus Christ lived a life of complete moral and spiritual perfection, while fully embodying God’s grace, healing, and love. He gave Himself freely so that we could have a new spiritual identity through the New Birth (Born Again).

By faith, we can have a complete, spiritual overhaul as new persons in Christ. We can experience true and lasting change, growing to be more like Jesus each day.

Here, we turn from our sin, and we turn to Christ to be our Lord and Savior. Then, His Spirit takes control of our hearts so that we can become God’s beloved children forever.

Won’t you begin a new year by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and let Him change your life?

Happy New Year 2023!

What a Wonderful Savior!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

For December 25, 2022
This year we celebrate Christmas on a Sunday, the Lord’s Day; the day many Christians worship the Lord Jesus Christ, from the perspective of a grateful heart; grateful for the gift of love, mercy, and forgiveness He unselfishly gave the entire world when He rose from the dead nearly two-thousand years ago.

Christmas remains my favorite time of the year because we honor the most important person who ever lived, whom the angels foretold (my emphasis),

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25 (NKJV)

Love, mercy, and forgiveness are human traits we don’t see much in today’s unforgiving world clamoring for vengeance. Our world of animosities demands that we “get even” for infractions, whether past, present, real, imagined, or not—somebody has to pay.

Death is the ultimate price that one can pay to show their love, and God, through Christ, did that for us at Calvary. His divine, selfless love extends mercy and forgiveness to all people everywhere as we accept His precious gift by faith, by asking Him to be our Lord and Savior. Now when we offend Him with our sin and disobedience, His is a very different response through Christ,

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

Instead of judgment, He forgives us and keeps no record of our sinful past. Psalm 103:12  tells how He separates our sins from us as far as the east is separated from the west.

We deserved eternal judgment and condemnation. Yet, His selfless love prompted Him to restore us imposing no restriction. Mercy says that we have no probation period whereby we “earn” His favor.

Nothing can separate us from God. Neither can anything in our past make us guilty before Him. Thus, we can reflect His mercy as our being prime benefactors. (Romans 8:35-39)

All of us are born to die, but Jesus’ death was most is redemptive. And as we invite Him to abide within us, we can emulate God’s perfect love by forgiving wrongdoings, showing mercy, and extending goodwill to others as well,

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 (NLT) Motivated by God’s selfless love, our compassion becomes a viable and attractive alternative to all forms of love outside of Christ. It encompasses the “most excellent way” outlined in 1 Corinthians 13 (the Love Chapter).

Patient and kind, it’s always at work seeking opportunities to show kindness. It is not jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. It is not possessive or irritable. It does not concern itself with what the recipient can do to “deserve” it, nor does it demand its own way.

It keeps no record of wrongs, and it rejoices when truth prevails. It never gives up, never loses faith, but is hopeful and enduring. Just like the shepherds of old, we too can joyfully observe the Lord’s birthday as recipients of God’s gift of love, mercy, and forgiveness. Won’t you accept this gift today and experience the true meaning of Christmas? What a wonderful Christmas present.

What a Wonderful Savior!

 Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Still In Cloths In A Manger

For December 18, 2022
In the beginning, God created a perfect world where we could have intimacy with God as our constant Friend and Companion. We felt His love in full measure, which gave us unending joy and satisfaction.

Then, our ancestors ate the forbidden fruit and lost the perfection we had with God; exchanging it for sin, decay, and death. Now we are sin-tainted and separated from our holy God forever. (Romans 3:23)

Unable to resolve our sin problem or broken fellowship in our strength, God had to intervene on our behalf by becoming human, Jesus Christ, to pay sin’s full price for us.

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 (NIV)

By faith in Jesus Christ, we can have restored fellowship and eternal salvation. One would expect the “Savior of the World,” to travel with an entourage, and to have suitable, five-star hotel accommodations. But not so with Christ,

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:4-7 (NIV)

Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, came to save a sin-cursed world, yet the world was oblivious to His birth. Many today yet reject the significance and/or the importance of celebrating His birth (especially this year as it falls on The Lord’s Day!). However, observing Jesus’ birth on December 25th is a valid expression of our faith and devotion.

We should reserve one day out of the year to observe His birth. However, we should set aside room in our hearts every day for Him. Not covered in rags in some obscure corner treated as an afterthought—but reigning front and center, as our Lord and Sovereign Redeemer. Won’t you give the Lord your heart today and experience the true meaning of Christmas?

What a Wonderful Savior!  

Making All Things New!

For November 20, 2022
The Apostle John was the last remaining of the Twelve Disciples who spent every waking moment with the Lord for three years. He loved Jesus dearly and often sat next to the Lord, where he could lean against the Lord, as the Disciples ate together. Jesus thought highly of John as well, that while being crucified on Calvary’s Cross, He assigned John to care for Mary, His mother.

He outran Peter to the empty tomb and saw the neatly folded grave clothes after hearing about the Lord’s resurrection. He was also with the other Disciples when Jesus appeared to them in the upper room and beside the Sea of Galilee after the resurrection. He experienced the indwelling of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and saw the rise of the New Testament Church.

He saw the persecution of the Saints, the destruction of Jerusalem, and experienced exile from tyrannical Roman emperors. Yet, while exiled on the Isle of Patmos, the Lord visited him and relayed these comforting words,

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:5 (NKJV)

To understand why Jesus promises to “Make all things new,” we should start at the beginning, when God created a perfect world where we could share in His eternal bliss.

Before sin, we had intimacy with God as our constant Friend and Companion. We felt His love in full measure, which gave us unending joy and satisfaction. As our Faithful Provider, God gave us all we needed to live in full contentment.

To water the plants and trees that gave us esthetically pleasing, delicious, and nutritious fruits and vegetables, He designed a perfect subterranean irrigation system. Clothing was unnecessary in our climate-controlled environment with neither rain nor storms. In our perfect setting, God protected, nurtured, and provided for us thoroughly.

God created the human species “in His image,” elevated and distinct from all other earthly creatures. He made us perfectly, as male and female, to procreate, to be good stewards over the earth, and to exercise dominion over the animal kingdom. (Genesis 1:27-28) One author relates our being created in God’s image this way,

In making man after his own image, therefore, God endowed him with those attributes which belong to his own nature as a spirit. Man is thereby distinguished from all other inhabitants of this world, and raised immeasurably above them. He belongs to the same order of being as God Himself, and is therefore capable of communion with his Maker. This conformity of nature between man and God, is not only the distinguishing prerogative of humanity, so far as earthly creatures are concerned, but it is also the necessary condition of our capacity to know God, and therefore the foundation of our religious nature. If we were not like God, we could not know Him.1

In that idyllic setting—free from sin, pain, sorrow, illness, fear, or death—we experienced His holiness, peace, and joy in full measure. In every way, we prospered and flourished abundantly.

There was one caveat. We could not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. (Genesis 2:16-17) Subsequently, we disobeyed God and fell from our perfection. Our ancestors, Adam and Eve, at the fruit and immediately fell from that holy and happy state. Moreover, as their offspring, the entire human race is contaminated by sin and death. Herein lies the Fall of humanity, as one author describes along with its tragic outcomes,

[The Fall is] the original act of Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God and lost their intimate relationship with him (Genesis 3). They fell from perfect communion with God to a state of imperfect communion with him. By this act sin entered into the life of the human race in that instead of enjoying the fact of being God’s creatures, human beings lacked a meaningful and loving relationship with their Creator.2

After eating the “forbidden fruit,” we lost our perfection, exchanging it for sin, decay, and death. The most devastating outcome is universal sin, which results in our separation from God—for all have sinned. (Romans 3:23)

Separated from our Loving Creator, we have a “God sized” spiritual vacuum inside us that yearns to restore our pre-Fall intimacy with our Creator and Lord. As Adam and Eve’s sin-tainted offspring, we tend to reject following the ordinances of God, just as they did. We also rely on subterfuge to avoid personal accountability with impunity. Sin’s insidiousness causes us to behave poorly, even when we have noble intentions,

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9 (AKJV)

Our human depravity prevents us from achieving moral and spiritual perfection, as this author notes,

[Original Sin is] a term to denote the effect of Adam’s sin upon the moral life of his descendants. It is formally defined as “that whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil”… The fact of sin in this sense is plainly proclaimed in Scripture … and borne witness to by history and human self-consciousness.3

Some will argue that we are not inherently hateful, self-serving, or prejudice, and that we can perform good deeds without malice. Although we can perform good deeds, our sin-tainted nature skews our moral compass to produce immoral outcomes—consistently.

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

We all sin, and as the Bible teaches, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) In addition, “good people” suffer from sin’s collateral damage (e.g., pain, fear, guilt, shame, depression, cognitive failure, doubt, and death).

It is as if Adam and Eve’s disobedience tilted our world forty-five degrees, and we have been sliding down its slippery slope since. Human kindness, technology, wealth, influence, and notoriety can be a productive means to an end, but they will not alter our downward trajectory. We can never escape God’s reckoning. Sin’s price is death, which means eternal separation from God, because He is holy, and His response to sin is judgment (wrath). Thus, we are “children of wrath,” who are sliding toward a fiery Hell where the worms never die, and the fire burns forever. (cf., Ephesians 2:3, Mark 9:48)

To resolve our sin and death dilemma, God became human in the person of Jesus Christ, and paid our sin debt and gave us eternal life,

Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19 (NLT)

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. John 1:4 (NIV)

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)

Sin restricts our access to God, since only “perfect” people occupy His “perfect” world. Yet, it remains God’s desire for us to live with Him uncontaminated by sin. Thus, the Lord will create a new Heaven and new earth where His righteousness prevails. There, He will reestablish His perfect environment where we can know His loving fellowship, beauty, bounty, and perfection forever, where the wicked will cease from troubling, and the weary will rest. For this fulfillment, His entire creation eagerly awaits. (cf. Job 3:17, Isaiah 65:17, Romans 8:19-23, 2 Peter 3:10-13, Revelation 21:1-4)

In the meantime, by our faith in Christ, we can have a taste of the full measure of our Lord’s eternal redemption through the Born Again experience. Here we acknowledge our sin and separation from God, and place our faith in Jesus Christ to redeem us and make us new creatures suitable for admission to His glorious Heaven forever.

As we trust in Christ as Lord and Savior, our subsequent spiritual transformation is unlike anything we could have ever know or experience in this life. Our lives grow more abundantly each day as His Spirit and His Word (Bible) reveal how we can know and love Him as our Blessed Redeemer and Merciful Savior.

We become His offspring, and like newborn babes, we yearn for more of His presence and a greater level of intimacy with Him. Christ in us is our ever-increasing hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27) Our “good” works, which were ”filthy rags” before coming to Christ, now follow us as we express our gratitude for God’s grace and mercy extended toward us. (cf., Isaiah 64:6, Ephesians 2:10)

Jesus is our all and all, in whom we live, move, and have our being. (Acts 17:28) In Him, we can find true joy, peace, complete satisfaction, and eternal fulfillment. Won’t you give the Lord your heart today and experience “all things new?”

What a Wonderful Savior!