Christianity is different from all other faiths. It is based on the truth that God loved mankind so much, that he sent His only begotten son to make salvation available to those who would believe in him. John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God has only one begotten son. His name is Jesus, and he was sent to be the savior. The Bible explains how God was able to have a son. Matthew 1:18-21 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Mary was a virgin when she conceived. As the scripture tells us, God, the Holy Spirit, created the seed in her womb, and she became pregnant. Joseph, being a just man, did not want to bring shame upon Mary and was minded to put her away privately, but the angel of God showed him that the child that Mary was carrying was not the result of involvement with another man. Rather, this was the promised savior, and God was the father. Hebrews 2:14 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Normally, children are made of flesh and blood, which comes from their parents. In the case of Jesus Christ, he took only a part. The flesh was contributed by Mary. However, the blood, which is in the seed, was created by God. This was essential, because Jesus, in order to be the savior, had to have pure blood. The blood that comes from man is corrupted by sin. The only other man who could have lived a perfect life before Jesus came, was Adam as God had created him in the beginning. But when Adam sinned, his disobedience corrupted him and made it impossible for him, or anyone with his blood line, to ever live a perfect righteous life. Leviticus 17:11 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. The life in Jesus Christ was created by God. It was that pure blood which could make an atonement for all who would believe. Matthew 27:4 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, what is that to us? See thou to that. Judas accurately described Jesus as having innocent blood. There was no sin in Jesus Christ. He always did God's will and never fell short. He did everything necessary to make salvation available. Therefore, he is the road that leads to God. John 14:5-6 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Jesus is the only way (path) that leads to God. If you want to get to God, you absolutely have to go through Jesus Christ. Here is the specific instruction regarding salvation. Romans 10:9 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. This has been covered in detail in another study, but because it is of utmost importance, it is presented again here. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. You must understand and believe the truth concerning him if you are going to have eternal life. John 5:39 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they that testify of me. In this section of John, the people believed that by searching the scriptures, they would be able to obtain eternal life. However, they didn't believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus tells them that indeed the scripture does show them how to obtain eternal life, but that it is about him. They must therefore believe on him if they truly were going to believe the scriptures. Acts 4:10-12 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Once again, the truth is clearly stated. Jesus is the only means of obtaining salvation. Now, let us take a brief look at the accomplishments of Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:12-15 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Throughout the New Testament of The Bible, we see the truth that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. We must understand the relationship of God to Jesus Christ. 1 John 4 1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 1 John 5:5 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 2:22-23 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. These verses summarize and emphasize God's plan of salvation. We see that God sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to be the savior of the world. God and Jesus are a father and son team. You must believe in Jesus if you are going to have God's salvation in your life. But you must also understand the difference between Jesus and God. John 10:30-36 30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? There was certainly a misunderstanding in the Jews in this section of scripture. They thought that Jesus was calling himself God. Was he? In verse 36, he said he was the son of God. That is very different from saying he is God. If you have a child, that doesn't make him you, does it? As your child, he or she probably has many of your attributes and virtues, but there is no doubt that you and your son or daughter are different people. Likewise, Jesus and God are father and son. They are two unique individuals. John 1:18 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John 14:9 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? When Jesus said that he and his father were one, he meant that he lived according to God's will and therefore, if you saw him, you saw the father. As John 1:18 states, no man has seen God at any time. Jesus, the only begotten son of God, declared Him. That is, he made God known. Matthew 26:39 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Jesus always did the will of God. But he had his own will because he and God were separate. He could choose to do his own will, or to do God's will. Thankfully, he chose to do the will of the Father. Matthew 13:54-58 54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. 58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. As we saw, some of the Jews were full of wrath against Jesus because they thought he was calling himself God. Here, we see the people in his hometown. They didn't believe he was the son of God. They thought he was Joseph's son, which would mean that he was illegitimate. The scripture further tells us that Jesus did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. What was it that they didn't believe? They didn't believe that he was the son of God. Matthew 19:16-17 16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. Clearly, Jesus did not think that he was God. He was a man who had pure blood, and although he was tempted in all ways as we are, he never sinned. Hebrews 4:14-15 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Jesus is not God, for we know that God cannot be tempted. The fact that he is a man makes his life even more magnificent! Jesus is not just another man, he is the only begotten son of God! James 1:13 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: Even though Jesus was tempted, he always did God's will. He did everything which God asked him to do, and God showed the world that He was well pleased with Jesus. Acts 2:22-24 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. Jesus was a man approved of God. God worked many mighty miracles through Jesus Christ. When Jesus was crucified and died, God raised him from the dead. Jesus is alive today! 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Jesus Christ was obedient to death, even the death of the cross. This sacrifice is what made salvation available to all who would believe. But God didn't leave him dead! He raised him and put him in a position of great authority and power. The only one greater than Jesus Christ, is God himself. The scripture in 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 gives us a beautiful and simple explanation of the relationship between Jesus and God. At the present time, Jesus reigns. God has given him power and authority to subdue all things unto himself. But God is the exception. Once all things have been made subject to Jesus Christ, he will turn all things over to God. An illustration of how this works is given in the life of Joseph in Egypt. Genesis 41:38-46 38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? 39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. 41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. 44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. 46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. Joseph was the only one who could interpret Pharaoh's dream. Therefore, he was given a position of great authority in the land of Egypt. This was significant since Joseph was a Jew in a foreign land. There are some parallels in this section of scripture, which can apply to the life of Christ. God has entrusted Jesus with such incredible authority because Jesus proved himself trustworthy. Philippians 2:6 6 He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God. (Today's English Version) We have seen that Jesus had pure blood because the seed in Mary was created by God. This gave Jesus a godly nature. He chose to live his life in a manner which reflected this nature. However, he never thought that he should try to overthrow God as the supreme being. Who did try to overthrow God? Isaiah 14:12-14 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Lucifer tried to make himself God. He was cast down by God, and will ultimately be rewarded with everlasting torment. On the other hand, Jesus Christ did not try to make himself God. Therefore, God highly exalted him, as we have seen. Philippians 2:8-11 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Matthew 28:18 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Colossians 1:18-19 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; God is glorified when we confess Jesus as Lord, and believe that God raised him from the dead. Because of the authority and position which God has given to Jesus Christ, when we believe and are born-again, we too are raised to a position of power and are made children of God. The following section in Ephesians shows some of the awesome works of God. Ephesians 1:15-23 15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. As children of God, we serve the Lord Christ, and reign with him in life. We know that in the beginning, Adam sinned, and because we are all descendants of Adam, we are all sinners. We have the blood which came from Adam. But when we accept God's gift through Jesus Christ, we receive newness of life. Jesus is Lord, and we are heirs with him of God's promises. Romans 5:12-19 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Jesus had to be a man in order to fulfill God's plan of salvation. As by one man, sin passed upon all men, so by the obedience of one man shall righteousness be made available to all who believe. Once we become children of God, we are no longer strangers, but are in the family of God, with Christ as the only begotten son of God, and we are brethren with him. Ephesians 2:19-22 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. There is comfort, power and joy in truly understanding the relationship between God, Jesus Christ and those of us who have become children of God. 1 Corinthians 3:22-23 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's. John 14:23 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. John 14:10 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Colossians 1:27 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Jesus was obedient even unto death, so that we can obtain eternal life by accepting him as Lord. God has given Jesus a position of power and glory. Only God is greater than our Lord Jesus Christ. It is God who provides the power to enable Jesus to subdue all things to himself. It is God in Christ, and Christ in you! This is the hope of glory! Jesus Christ is the basis of our faith. It is imperative that we understand his role and the salvation which is available only through him. The following verses summarize the truth of the Christian faith. Ephesians 4:4-6 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. There is one God. There is one Lord, that is, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the rock upon which our faith is built. He is building his church, and as The Bible says, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Praise God for sending Jesus Christ to be our savior!
Copyright © 2005 Joseph A. LaFauci. All rights reserved.