believe Jesus Christ is true God and true Man, having been conceived
of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins, according to the
scriptures. Further, He arose bodily
from the dead and ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of the Majesty
on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate, and in the Person of the Holy
Spirit, He indwells the believer.
Christianity owes its life and
character in every detail to Christ. Its teachings are teachings about Him.
He was the origin and will be the fulfillment of its hopes.
He is the source of its ideas, which were born of what He said and did.
The strength of Christ’s church is the strength of His own Spirit, who
Jesus is mysterious and wonderful; we
can all be on a life-long journey of discovery about Him.
The most wonderful aspect of all is that some day, perhaps soon, we will
be together with Him. Let’s learn
some things about Him now, after all why wait? The following poem makes my heart
to yearn to be with Him soon.
these eyes have never seen
radiant form of Thine;
veil of sense hangs dark between
blessed face and mine.
see Thee not, I hear Thee not,
art Thou oft with me;
earth hath ne’er so dear a spot
where I meet with Thee.
some bright dream that comes unsought
slumbers o’re me roll,
image ever fills my thought,
charms my ravished soul.
though I have not seen, and still
rest in faith alone,
love Thee, dearest Lord, and will,
but not unknown.
death these mortal eyes shall seal,
still this throbbing heart,
rending veil shall Thee reveal
glorious as Thou art.
does the old Testament say?
Old Testament tells us many things in many places about the coming of Christ.
For the sake of brevity we will look at the book of Isaiah. It has a rich
store of prophecy regarding the appearance and ministry of the Christ or
What will the Messiah be like?
He will be kingly (Isaiah 9:6–7, 32:1–3, 42:1–4).
He will have wisdom, understanding, power, and knowledge (Isaiah 11:2).
He will come to those who repent of their sins (Isaiah 59:20).
How will He appear on earth?
He will be preceded by a messenger (Isaiah 40:3).
He will be born as a child (Isaiah 9:6).
He will be divinely conceived and born of a virgin mother (Isaiah 7:14).
He will be adored by the Magi (Isaiah 60:3, 6).
He will be linked to the family of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1).
He will be a Galilean (Isaiah 9:1)
He will perform miracles such as
giving sight to the blind, speech to the dumb, and strength to the lame (Isaiah
35:5, 6, 42:7).
He will be rejected by His people
(Isaiah 6:9–10, 8:14, 29:13) and by all nations and peoples (Isaiah 53:1, 3,
He will be persecuted (Isaiah 49:7).
He will be insulted and beaten (Isaiah 50:6).
He will be silent when accused (Isaiah 53:7).
He will be crucified with sinners (Isaiah 53:12), and buried with the
wealthy (Isaiah 53:9).
will be God, or divine, (Isaiah 25:9, 40:10).
this one book of the Bible, Isaiah, gives us a great deal of information about
the Messiah. As you can see there is
a great deal of specific prophecy regarding the coming of Christ.
When Jesus was born the Scriptures had laid out the events of His life
from birth to death. This is just one of the reasons we can be sure that Jesus
was the Christ of God.
Old Testament shows the yearning of the chosen people of God for the Messiah.
Many waited day by day for His coming.
It is said that every woman of David’s line hoped to be the one to have
the privilege of being mother to the Christ.
The Jewish people were united in the hope of the things to come.
They could look to the promises of God to their nation and see that they
had been kept. At the same time they
were often a suffering people, they eagerly watched for God to intervene in
the same way God reaches towards today’s hurting people through the now risen
Christ. He is still faithful to His
promises, and like the Old Testament Jew, we can look back on the faithfulness
of God. At the same time we have the
most marvelous promise of God to look back on, let’s see how God gave us our
Savior and Lord.
does the New Testament say?
the focus of the entire New Testament is on who Jesus Christ is and how to
follow Him. The four gospels
specifically deal with His life and ministry.
Many of the things told to us in the New Testament are done specifically
to show us how the person of Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament
prophesies. The book of Luke teaches
about Christ’s humanity. Matthew
focuses more on His kingliness. The
book of John concentrates on His spiritual or divine aspects.
Who and what did Jesus say He was?
Jesus said that He was God, in John 10:30 He states “I and the Father
are one” thus telling us that He is equal and the same as Jehovah.
Jesus not only told His followers this but when He was being judged by
the high priest He said it as well. (Matthew
26:63, 64) This statement condemned
Him to death on the cross.
Jesus showed us that He had the power
of God by performing many miracles. By performing the miracles, He showed that
He had God’s attributes of power over nature (Mark 4:39), control over
physical disease (Mark 3:10), and control over the spirit world (Luke 4:35). Most
impressively He showed us His power over death (John 11:43, 44).
Jesus is omniscient (all knowing) in
that He knew what was in our mind before it was said (Mark 2:8, John 2:25).
He is also omnipresent in that He was with His followers then 2000 years
ago, is now with us, and will be with us “to the very end of the age.”
Jesus is the creator of the universe
(John 1:3). Jesus was one of the
“us’s” active at the time of creation (Genesis 1:26).
However Christ didn’t just create the world and set it off spinning
like a top, eventually to have is slow down and fall over.
No, He is active even today sustaining the world by His power (Hebrews
1:3). And He doesn’t just sustain the natural universe, or the physical world,
but also us.
Let’s watch Jesus grow up.
Jesus being fully God is also fully man.
Just as we looked at His divine attributes, let us also look at His human
ones. Jesus, although conceived by
the Holy Spirit, was born in a physical body in the usual way (Luke 2:6–7).
He had a normal body in that He was circumcised (Luke 2:21), He grew up
(Luke 2:52), got hungry and thirsty (Luke 4:2 John 19:28), and He got tired
(John 4:6) and slept (Matthew 8:24). Lastly
He bled and died (John 19:34). We
also know that Jesus was tempted and had the opportunity to sin, but didn’t.
The following poem and favorite
Christmas hymn expresses the thoughts of the author on the mystery of the dual
nature of the baby Jesus.
Child is this who laid to rest
Mary’s lap is sleeping,
angels greet with anthems sweet
shepherds watch are keeping?
this is Christ the King
shepherds guard and angels sing,
haste to bring Him laud,
Babe, the Son of Mary.
lies He in such mean estate
ox and ass are feeding?
Christian fear, for sinners here
silent word is pleading.
spear shall pierce Him through.
cross He bore for me, for you.
hail the Lord made flesh,
Babe, the Son of Mary.
bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
peasant, king to own Him.
King of kings salvation brings,
loving hearts enthrone Him.
raise the song on high,
virgin sings her lullaby,
joy for Christ is born,
Babe, the Son of Mary.
earthly life of Christ
was born of a virgin who was a descendent of David, as was promised in the Old
Testament. The virgin birth is hard
for us to accept and understand. Why
would God want to do such a strange thing? Lets back up a bit and look at why
Jesus had to be born at all, why could He have not just appeared and gone about
God was to appear on earth as a man in the person of Jesus Christ there were
three ways it could have been done. The
first is that He could have appeared as a grown man, done His work, and left for
parts above. The second is that He
could have been born in the normal way of two human parents. And thirdly, He
could be born of the union of a human mother and the Holy Spirit.
God had merely appeared as a grown man or occupied a human body He would have
been without a human origin. What God had in mind required more than just the
Spirit indwelling a person. This had
been done many times in the past (Sampson etc.).
The indwelling of a human body by the Spirit does not produce a perfect
human, we as Christians are indwelt by the Spirit and are not perfect. We could
not continue to exist if Christ came into us and destroyed everything in us that
was not holy. At the same time God needed the “second Adam” to be perfect in
order to be suitable as a fit sacrifice for our sins.
the same way if God had chosen two human parents to bear the baby Jesus a
perfect child would not have resulted. Also this child could not have been fully
man and fully God. Being born of a
human father would not have identified His human body as the rightful property
of His Deity.
agency of the Holy Spirit and the mother Mary establish both His humanity and
His Deity. It is easy for us to identify with the baby Jesus in the manger in
terms of our human experience. The men and woman that Jesus met when ministering
had no doubt that He was like us. He enjoyed their hospitality, and suffered
was born in a manger in a hotel stable in the town of Bethlehem. They were away
from home because of the census that the Romans were taking at the time.
When He was eight days old He was circumcised by the priest at the
temple. This was done as a sign of the continuing covenant between God and His
Jesus was 40 days old He was taken by His parents to be consecrated to the Lord
at the temple. This was done for all firstborn male Jewish children. When at the
temple a man named Simeon came and acknowledged the baby Jesus as “the
Lord’s Christ” and the “salvation which you have prepared in the sight of
your people” (Luke 2:22–35).
Jesus was 12 years old He was taken to Jerusalem to be confirmed in the Jewish
faith. When the family left to go
home Jesus stayed at the temple. Here
He amazed those who heard His questions and answers. When Mary and Joseph came
looking for Him after noticing that he was missing, they scolded Him.
He responded by pointing out that He would naturally be found in His
Father’s house, but they did not understand.
this time to the time of His public ministry the Bible only states that He was
obedient to His parents. We must
assume that he worked with Joseph in his trade as a carpenter.
Jesus was part of a family and had brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3;
Matthew 12:46, 13:55–56). We can only guess that Jesus’ mother Mary was
widowed because Joseph is not mentioned later in Jesus’ life and John provided
for Mary in her later years (John 19:26, 27).
(Luke 2:52 tells us that He grew in wisdom and stature and was well liked
by those around Him as well as by God, if only we could approach that goal!
Jesus was about 30 years old He was baptized by his cousin John.
John had been prepared and sent ahead of Jesus to prepare Israel to
listen to Jesus. When Jesus was
baptized by John, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended from heaven
and sat on Jesus. A voice was heard
coming from above, it said “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well
pleased. The baptism of Jesus marked
a new phase in His life. From this
time forward Jesus went about His spiritual ministry.
concept of the dual existence and nature of Christ, both God and man is
difficult to understand. Perhaps because of this it is one of the most common
heresies from the earliest times. Even today many cults claim that Jesus Christ
was not God, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Or that He was not fully man, and therefore did not really die, only
orthodox doctrine of the nature of Christ was clearly stated at the council of
Chalcedon in the year AD 451. It
said that “in one person, Jesus Christ, there are two natures, a human nature
and a divine nature, each in its completeness and integrity, and that these two
natures are organically and indissolubly united, yet so that no third nature is
Deity of Christ. The deity of Christ is the real stumbling block for many to
accepting Christianity. It is here that Jews, Moslems, Unitarians, Jehovah’s
Witnesses, and many others come to grief. It is from misbelief or at least
inadequate belief about the incarnation that difficulties at other points of the
gospel story usually spring.
Christ is more than just following in the footsteps of a great man. To be a
Christian means accepting the absolute uniqueness of His person. Jesus is
different from all other people that have ever lived for a variety of reasons.
earthly ministry of Christ
Jesus had been baptized He was directed by the Spirit to go and fast in the
desert. For 40 days He did not eat
and was tempted by Satan. When He
had shown that he could not be tempted into sinning angels came and fed Him.
then left the desert and proclaimed in the temple publicly that He was to
fulfill the Old Testament prophesies. After
this He went and called the first disciples.
The first to be called were Simon Peter, and his brother Andrew.
Then Jesus traveled in the area and both taught and healed the people
which He encountered. Many of the
people were glad to receive both the healing and the teaching but the civic and
religious leadership didn’t like what was happening.
did not side step issues in order to be a people pleaser. He was not a yes man,
or even a very comfortable person to be around. He
continually challenged both His friends and enemies.
One of the things that made many dislike Jesus was that they could not
appropriate His power for their goals.
people began to hear of Jesus’ power and wisdom.
As He traveled thousands of people would follow him into sometimes remote
areas. Two of His most famous
miracles were His feeding of these crowds. It
is plain to see that Jesus cares for all of us a great deal.
at the tables of His miracles below, it shows His power and love.
about three years of public ministry Jesus went to Jerusalem to celebrate the
Passover. He was received by
cheering crowds. Many expected Him
to form a new government and throw out the Romans.
When he told them that His kingdom was not of this world they became
disillusioned. At the same time
those who had a vested interest in maintaining the status quo began to plot in
earnest to kill Him.
death of Christ. The event of
Christ’s death is central to the Christian church and faith.
Jesus death on the cross is both the foundation of our salvation and a
powerful example of obedience and love. We
will devote chapter 5 to Christ’s death and resurrection.
resurrection of Christ. The
resurrection of Jesus after His death on the cross is the single most important
event in history. It proclaimed not
just His victory over death, but ours also.
We will devote chapter 5 to the study of Christ’s death and
present activity of Christ.
do we know about the present activities of Christ?
First we know that all authority on heaven and earth has been given to
Christ (Matthew 28:18). This means that Jesus is the active sustainer of the
universe. You can thank Him that
everything doesn’t just fly into bits. As
the active force in creation He willed the universe into existence. Now the
force of His will keeps the natural laws which we call physics, chemistry, and
biology etc in effect.
is the head of His Church (Ephesians 1:22, Colossians 1:18). The Church is the
body of Christ because all saved persons are saved into Christ. In
John 16:13 we are told that the Spirit teaches what it hears.
The Spirit is present in heaven before Christ to hear the many things
Christ has yet to tell us (John 16:12–15).
Christ has the power to take us the many and form us into one body of
many members, the Church.
Jesus is the giver of Spiritual gifts through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Christ has both called and equipped us for the service of the Church and
worship of Him. While some gifts are
universal in nature some are given only to certain people (Romans 12:3–8, 1
Corinthians 12:4–11). Christ has a
plan for each one of us according to His purpose (Philippians 2:13).
We should not reject what God has given us the ability to do.
We need to recognize that often the reasons for the way He has equipped
us not apparent to us.
Jesus intercedes for us, this He began to do before He left earth (John
17:1–26). This means that Jesus is
praying for you now, today. Because He is all powerful He is able to turn His
attention to all of us individually. He will continue this ministry as long as
any of His people are on earth (John 17:20). This present ministry of Christ was
given to us in the twenty third Psalm by David. It is because He continually has
us in His mind, that our salvation is secure if we are born again to Christ.
Jesus is our advocate before the judgment throne of God. If it were not for the
advocacy of Christ in heaven our continued sin as Christians would destroy the
fellowship we have with God. What is
necessary on our part is to be sorry for and confess our sin to Him (1 John
1:9). Jesus pleads our cause before God, and the sufficiency of His death to pay
for the penalty that is rightfully ours.
Christ is building. He has gone ahead of us into heaven and is preparing a place
for us to reside (John 14:1–3). Jesus
has taken personal interest in our future abode!
Jesus is expecting to return for us. He
is preparing to return at a time known only the Father (Mark 13:32).
We do not know when this time will occur, but hope for enough time to
gather the harvest.
following poem talks about our present relationship with Christ as Christians.
distant Lords have I,
far to be.
flesh for me He cannot rest
He rests in me.
now to God
witness there to be
witness here I am because
Spirit dwells in me.
need not journey far
dearest friend to see.
is always mine
makes His home with me.
glorious Son of God,
shall ever be with Thee
Thou are with me.
envy not the twelve.
to me is He
life He once lived here on earth
lives again in me.
Future Activities of Christ
go into depth about the second advent of Christ is beyond the scope of this
text. However we know that Christ
will return to earth as a physical presence to do several things.
Primarily, He will come for His redeemed to take us to be with Him in
me just say that knowing some things about Jesus is not the same as knowing
Jesus. If you feel that you don’t
know him, ask someone to help you. Christ
may have equipped them to share Christ with you. If you know someone who wants
to know about Jesus, but does not know Him personally, perhaps Jesus has put you
in his or her life to share what a faith in Christ is. If you don’t know what
to do, pray, and lead him to someone who can help.
Then allow Christ to equip you to do a part in his body, the Christian
1. Why do you suppose Christ is mentioned by the Old Testament Prophets?
2. Why was Christ born of a woman?
3. Why was Christ born of the Spirit?
4. List some of the central themes of Jesus’ ministry on earth.
5. What is Jesus doing now that has an impact on your life today?
Know What You Believe by Paul E.
Little c 1970, 1985, 1987 by SP
This list of Isaiah prophecy verses was compiled by Jeff Scheibe on the
Today’s Issues- Religion conference on the Exec-PC computer bulletin board
in Milwaukee WI Sept 15, 1990
Knowing God by J I Packer
c 1973 published by
W. C. Dix, 1837–1898
Table of Jesus’ miracles from Salvation Online Network
The section on the present ministry of Christ was gathered from Systematic
Theology c 1948 by L C Chafer
vol V Christology pp 273–278
The section on the present ministry of Christ was gathered from Systematic
Theology c 1948 by L C Chafer
vol V Christology pp 273–278
Maltbie D. Babcock, 1858–1901