Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
TEN IMPORTANT THINGS ABOUT GOD # 2 - CHRIST HAS SHOWN WHO GOD IS
"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word." Hebrews 1:3 NIV
It is Jesus who defines Christianity. He is the One who makes this faith different from every other faith. Most faiths speak of being spiritual. All faiths have a god, or many gods and believe we must please god. There will be a reward for those who follow the rules, or laws of the faith, and some type of punishment for those who don't.
Christianity is the only faith whose God is the Messiah, Redeemer, Savior and Lord of all. It is the only faith that can provide total assurance for those who believe. They can be certain that they will spend eternity in heaven.
We learned in the last blog that the Bible is God's message to us. He wrote us a letter to tell us about His love for us, His commitment to us, and His promises for those who believe in Him. He also warns us of behaviors and activities that will harm us and make our lives more difficult.
Finally, He breathes His life into His written words so that when you read them you will experience His presence and His power.
So what about the other religions of the world? Two years ago I traveled to Viet Nam. A delightful young man was explaining his Buddhist religion. He mentioned that there were five rules that a Buddhist must keep in order to be pleasing to God. He said, a person must. . .
- not murder
- not steal
- not commit adultery
- not lie
- not drink alcohol
When he got to the fifth rule, he paused, smiled, and told us that he'd been out with his friends last night and had "a couple of beers." "It is not possible to follow all the rules all the time", he said. I wondered if that bothered him. So I asked, "If you make a mistake and do something wrong, what will happen to your relationship with god?"
He told me that he thought that if he did more good things than bad things, god would be forgiving. . .but he wasn't sure. Surprisingly, many who consider themselves Christians would say the same thing. God doesn't want His children to wonder and worry. So, before the creation of the world, He had a plan. This is the second important thing to know about God.
# 2 God has appeared on earth in human form.
This truth is essential to understanding the Christian faith - God has come to earth. The invisible God was made visible in the person of Jesus Christ. God is one God in three persons. . .God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. You can think of it like H20, one molecule that comes in three different forms - water, ice and steam, but one substance. We can think of ourselves in three different persons. . .I am a wife, a mother, a cousin. These are three very different roles, but I am one person.
The birth of Jesus was prophesied over 700 years before it came about.
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
We can read in the New Testament, Matthew 1:23, that a virgin did conceive God's child, gave birth to Him in Bethlehem, and called Him Immanuel which means, "God with us." In Isaiah 9:6 -7, we are told the child will be called "Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." He will reign on David's throne and "there will be no end." This child is Jesus Christ, and He is God in the flesh.
As you read through Scripture, you will see that Jesus was there in the beginning. John 1: 1-3, "Through him all things were made." John 1:14 states that the Word (Jesus) became flesh and lived among us.
Jesus became man so we could behold our Savior and the message of the cross would be real to us. Parents often will do whatever is necessary to 'save' their children. They will give them food and go hungry themselves. They will jump in front of a vehicle and risk being killed in order to push their child out of harm's way. But, only God can save us from the eternal consequences of sin that is in all of us.
Jesus is God. He said so..."the Father and I are one", John 10:30, Jesus speaking to Philip..."Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." John 14:9.
You often hear that Jesus never claimed to be God; don't be fooled, of course He did! You hear that He was a good teacher, a good person, and a man who had wisdom. Jesus claimed to be God. If He isn't who He said He is, He isn't a person deserving of our worship, or even our respect. He is either a liar or a lunatic! Think about that the next time someone says Jesus was a great guy, but not God.
"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord. . ." Jude 24
I'm counting on His life in me, not my ability to keep all the rules and live a good and pleasing life for God. I would surely fail; just like the precious young man I met in Viet Nam who had just five things to do to please Buddha. He knew that on a daily basis this was almost impossible, but he didn't have the peace and assurance of a Savior who died to cover his sin and present him before God without fault and with great joy!
When someone asks me where there is a definition of Jesus in the Bible, I refer them to the following passages. Take a few minutes to read them and ask the Lord to work this truth into your heart as well as your mind.
John 1: 1 - 14 - In the beginning was the word...
Philippians 2: 6 - 11 - Who, being in very nature God...
Colossians 1: 15 - 20 - He is the image of the invisible God...
Hebrews 1: 3 - The Son is the radiance of God's glory...
Thank you Lord for becoming man and walking among us. King Jesus, God Himself, so willing to love and redeem us so we can experience the glory of God without end.