February 26, 2019

Bible Study of the Day : The Person of Christ

In Jesus’ birth, Gabriel visited a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to let the virgin Mary know she would conceive the Son of the Most High. It’s almost a parallel circumstance to Zechariah and Elizabeth, but there’s something profoundly different about what happens here. Gabriel assures her that even Elizabeth has had a son in her old age, but something different about Mary is that she has faith. She believes immediately.

Elizabeth exclaims, “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!” What if we stepped out and had faith like Mary, and instead of doubting the Lord’s promise, we responded with a resounding “YES, I AM THE LORD’S SERVANT! MAY IT BE DONE ACCORDING TO YOUR WORD!” like Mary!

Moreover, the Person of Christ – the person that Jesus is – is a profound revelation. Dr Wayne Grudem provides an outline of the Person of Christ that I will summarize:

  1. Human weaknesses and limitations: Jesus had a human body, had a human mind, had a human soul and emotions
  2. Sinlessness: Luke 4:13 even the devil could not tempt him after 40 days; 2 Cor 5:21: he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us
  3. Yet Jesus was truly tempted: Heb. 4:15 “For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace…”
  4. He Did Not Sin: He did not sin because he resisted in human strength alone (by trusting in God and obeying), but he could not have sinned because of his divine nature
  5. Why was Jesus’ full humanity necessary? a. Representative: To obey God on our behalf: Rom 5:18-19
    b. Substitute: To die for sin in our place: Heb. 2:16-17
    c. Example: To be our example to follow in life: 1 John 2:6
    and the pattern for our redeemed bodies:1 Cor. 15:42-44
    d. Sympathetic priest: To sympathize as high priest: Heb. 2:18
    e. Mediator: To be the one mediator betw. God & men: 1 Tim. 2:5
    f. Human ruler over creation: So that a man (God’s image) might rule over creation: Heb. 2:8
    7. Jesus will be a man forever
    Luke 24:39 “flesh and bones”; Acts 1:11 will come in the same way he left
    Acts 7:56 Son of man standing at right hand of God; Rev. 1:13 one like a Son of man
    Matt. 26:29 will drink wine with disciples in Father’s kingdom
    Rev. 19:9 invites us to great marriage supper in heaven

In summary, we want to have faith like Mary and assurance in the Person of Christ. Reflect on who the Person of Christ is in your life, how does he speak to you? What does he mean to you?

Prayer: Dear Lord, you brought a savior down to this Earth to be fully human, fully man with us, a man that sympathizes with our weaknesses and our frailty. He who knew no sin became sin for us, on our behalf. And He was made from the virgin Mary, who had incredible faith in your promise over her life. Lord, help us to have faith that knows and is confident in your promise for us. Help us to lean on You, and have a hunger to know more of who you are in our lives. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

February 25, 2019

Bible Study of the Day: Man on a Mission

Luke 1: 1-25

Luke_genealogy.png

In Luke 1, after 400 years of silence from the Lord, we enter a time of religious upheaval and hypocrisy under Herod the Great. It is now that Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth conceive a son, John. There are several extraordinary things about this part of the passage that I’d like to highlight:

5 During the reign of Herod king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah, and he had a wife named Elizabeth, who was a descendant of Aaron. 6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, following all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. 

There are several things to take note of here:

  • Zechariah and Elizabeth are seen as righteous in the sight of God
  • They walk blameless in the light of the Lord
  • They follow His commandments

What does it mean in the greek to be righteous and blameless in the sight of God? Righteous, in the Greek, dikaios, was given as title to Holy men and women in the Old Testament. Noah and Abraham are also described as righteous. It referred to those who were civilized and well-ordered, innocent and just. You knew the righteousness of an individual by their fruits (Mt 7:16). In the Greek, amemptos, blameless is equated to without fault. Zechariah and Elizabeth were a model example for believers, of OT and NT, for past, present, and future. And they would conceive a son of that same stature and reputation.

16 He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go as forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.

The Greatness of John would be affirmed in such:

  • man of noble birth (descendants of Aaron)
  • unworldly man (plain dress, plain look)
  • control over appetite
  • full of the Holy Spirit
  • Man with a Mission (as stated above)
  • obedient to the CALL
  • unwavering faith and courage
  • on fire for God

John was the Elijah who was to come! He would be the Messenger for the Jews of the coming Messiah. John would act as a forerunner before the Lord to turn the hearts of the Jews back to God. He was a man on a mission.

And this is where I turn to you, friend, and ask:

  1. What are you known for? (Are you known for your obedience to God’s call on your life; are you known for your unwavering faith and courage? Are you on fire for God?)
  2. What is your mission? (To be a Christ-like example in your work, to serve as a pastor, to work as a missionary in the fields, etc,.)

I pray you may reflect on where you came from, who you are, and what your mission is in the sight of the Lord today.

Prayer: Almighty God, as we reflect on the first few words of Luke, I am reminded that in your 400 years of silence, you were with the Jewish people and sought righteousness for their sake. Even in Zechariah and Elizabeth’s unbelief, you came through and gave them a son, a son John who would become an undeniable force of life to those around him. Lord, remind us who we are, how we want to be known, and what our mission is. May we be missional in our lifestyles, in our speech, in our actions, and our walk with you. And may we set aside time to really study your Word. In Jesus name, Amen.