These apostles and prophets do not want to simply establish themselves as self-styled leaders. It is to bring the kingdom of God to the earth. It is dominion teaching; they see a way to bring that dominion through an alliance with a government that seems to share their agenda-with a country that seems to have a “manifest destiny” and calling by God to bless the nations of the earth. As this movement builds momentum and many churches adopt such teaching the Biblical centred churches will again be persecuted. However, this time not from the World but from the “church.”
Jesus is identified as God’s Son in a special way that indicates his eternal, divine nature. In the early church, the confession that Jesus Christ was fully divine was a critical aspect of the Christian faith.
Christians want to appear to be living for eternal life, if you really examine their plans they are filled only with earthly concerns, which brings to expression their greed, ambition and desire. To remove from us our love for riches, power and honour. God reveals the vanity of the present life through the afflictions of the cross.
Since we do not belong to ourselves, we should cease to live for ourselves, but should rather deny ourselves. We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours. Since we belong to God, we should live and die for God alone, and order all parts of our lives by his will alone. Thus, we are God’s: let us therefore live for him and die for him.
Martin Luther thought that the heart of religion lies in the pronouns: “The Son of God gave himself for me.” By way of contrast, modern evangelical theololgians often give pride of place to the preposition: “in, into, with, and through Christ.”
For Paul, the work of Christ does not establish a union with humanity in general but rather for a distinct group: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25)
Believers have even now been incorporated into the consummation of their union with Christ in the eschaton: “future glory . . . will be nothing other than the continued unfolding of the riches of our union with Christ.”
Many Evangelicals today think of the good news, or gospel, as an explanation of the steps an individual must take to find salvation in Christ. But this wasn’t the idea that
Jesus had in mind.
In the beginning, God visibly displayed his kingship in the Garden of Eden. He put the first human beings in that sacred garden and commissioned them to extend his visible kingdom throughout the world. They were to fill and subdue the earth as royal and priestly images of God. But Satan led Adam and Eve into a major setback for the kingdom.
Scripture refers to the kingdom of God in two primary ways. On the one side, it often speaks of God’s kingdom in terms of God’s unwavering sovereignty or his unchanging rule over all of creation. It also refers to his unfolding kingdom and the way God has revealed his kingship throughout human history.
Love is an aspect of every law God requires us to obey, so that if we do not act in love, no work we do can conform to his standard.
Many times Christians find themselves frustrated by their attempts to live ethical lives. They feel helpless and impotent to do what is right and good. In such situations it is a great encouragement to know that learning the Scriptures, reminding ourselves of them, even meditating on the Scriptures, is not an exercise in futility.
Most basically, to say that Scripture is “sufficient” is to say that it is able to fulfill the purposes for which it was written. But not surprisingly, this simple idea becomes complicated because it is hard for Christians to agree on what the purpose of Scripture actually is.
Christ fulfills the moral aspects of the law. We depend on Christ’s morality alone as the basis for our acceptance before God. Yet, we must also conform ourselves to Christ’s image and example, seeking to live as morally as he did during his earthly ministry, and as he continues to do in heaven.
In this lesson on Jesus the Christ, we will survey the facts and significance of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry by looking at the periods of his birth and preparation, his public ministry, his passion and death, and finally his exaltation. Each of these portions of Jesus’ life gives us significant insight into Jesus’ role as God’s Christ.