God Has Joined Himself to Jesus
Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. He came forth from Heaven itself. He was equal with God but came to earth as the Son of God, lived, died, and was raised from the dead for the salvation of all mankind.
Many believe in God but deny that Jesus is His Son. We cannot accept the fact that God is, but at the same time deny Christ is His Son. One cannot come to God and be pleasing to God, except by Jesus Christ. In John 14:6, Jesus said,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.” We cannot come to God in obedience without coming through Jesus Christ.
The Promise of God
The fact that Jesus came to this earth was not an afterthought. It was not an accident. God promised to send His Son to bring about the forgiveness of sins for all who will avail themselves of the Gospel plan. Many of the Old Testament writers prophesied of His coming, clearly showing that God always intended to join Himself to Christ, that Christ was to be the culmination of God’s plan for saving man.
In Genesis 3, we read that Satan, who had taken the form of the serpent, deceived Eve, who, in turn, caused her husband to eat of the forbidden fruit. Thus, man fell into sin and, by doing so, separated Himself from fellowship with God. But, God, in His mercy and love, began a plan and set forth a promise in Genesis 3:15, ultimately to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the one who would make possible the reconciliation of man to God. He said to the serpent,
“and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” That was the first promise that God would send Jesus Christ. He would come forth from the tomb after His crucifixion, and, in doing so, He would deal a fatal blow to Satan. The minor blow (the bruise to the heel) Satan would give Christ would be the crucifixion. Satan would think that, in bringing about the crucifixion of Christ, he had won the victory, but that would only be a minor blow. In coming forth from the grave, Jesus would foil Satan’s plan and would deliver a fatal head wound to Satan.
In Genesis 4 is recorded the first worship experience seen with Cain and Abel. In that worship to God, the sacrifice was to be a lamb, the firstling of the flock, and Abel pleased God by making that offering. In that offering we have a picture of Christ, who would ultimately be
“the Lamb of God,” as John said in John 1:29,
“that taketh away the sin of the world!” God was unfolding His plan. He set it in motion by requiring the animal sacrifices, the firstlings of the flock. The lamb Abel offered prefigured, or pointed toward the time when the ultimate Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, would shed His blood to bring about forgiveness of sins. The blood of bulls and goats in animal sacrifices was only typical of the blood that had to be shed ultimately on the cross to save us from sin, the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God.
In Genesis 5, we see the genealogy of Christ, the line of people through which Jesus ultimately would come. In Genesis 6 God reveals to us the principles of redemption that would ultimately be realized in Christ. When God would destroy the world by flood because of the wickedness of mankind, God showed grace to Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous, obedient man. We see Noah’s faith, and the principles by which God would save man are seen way back in Genesis—grace coupled with man’s obedient faith.
In Genesis 12 we find God’s making a promise to Abraham who was a part of the line through which the Christ would ultimately be born. We read in Genesis 12:1-3,
“Now Jehovah said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” This was not only a promise to Abraham to make of his seed, or his descendants, a great nation (the nation of Israel), but it also contained the promise of a Savior Who would ultimately come and through Whom all nations of the earth would be blessed spiritually, because of the sacrifice of the sinless Son of God.
As part of this plan and the unfolding of it, God gave Israel a law—the Law of Moses, also at times called the Law of God, or just the Law. But this law was to point the way to Jesus Christ. It was not intended to be a permanent covenant but a temporary covenant. It had its specific purpose and design. It was to point out the sinfulness of sin and to show how much man needed a savior, so that he would be prepared, hopefully, to receive Christ when He ultimately came. Many of the Jews took the Law and cherished it to the point that they refused to see it was simply a temporary law to be changed when Christ came. They changed its purpose. They added their traditions to it and became so tied to the Law they would not give it up when Christ came to give the new Law, His law. But we must keep in mind that this Law of Moses which God gave to Israel was simply to show the need for a perfect sacrifice to redeem, or to save the people. The Law of Moses was temporary.
In Romans 10:4, the apostle Paul tells us that Christ was the very purpose for the Law, the end of the law. The very purpose of the law, in other words, was to point men to the Savior, Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:14 also shows the law was temporary and that it was to last only until Christ came to die on Calvary and give us His new Law, the New Testament. There Paul writes,
“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.” We could not be perfectly justified by the law of Moses. It was necessary that Christ shed His blood and bring into existence His Law, the Law of faith, by which man, by the grace of God, through his obedient faith in Christ, could be saved.
Many other passages show the contrast between the Law of Moses (which was temporary and to lead us to Christ) and the Law of Christ which is also called “faith", or “the system of faith.” In Galatians 3:23-25, we have another passage that is a critical passage to this point:
“But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” The law of Christ went into effect after the death of the one who made the testament, and that is Jesus Christ. The writer of Hebrews makes that argument in Hebrews 9:15-17.
Another key passage is Hebrews 1:1-3. There the writer clearly shows that it is Christ to Whom we give our obedience now:
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” The writer clearly says that in time past God spoke by the prophets in various ways; but now, at the end of this time, in the last days, the Christian dispensation, He has spoken unto us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament, the Law of Moses, is not the law under which we live today. We live under the Law of Christ, the system of faith. But one might ask, “What then is the value of the Old Testament?” The Old Testament is inspired of God, and it contains more than just the Law of Moses, so its value is tremendous to us. We really could not understand the New Testament if it were not for the Old Testament.
What we need to appreciate is that the Law of Moses itself has been taken out of the way, nailed to the cross, and we serve under the law of Christ. We can’t serve under two laws at the same time. When a constitution of a nation, for example, is changed (the system of government is changed), then that newer system obviously takes precedence over the old. The same is true with the law of Christ. It takes precedence over the old law, which served its purpose and then was taken out of the way.
The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 15:4,
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.” The Old Testament writings are of tremendous value. Many of the principles contained in the Old Testament writings are eternal principles, and the examples recorded there are valuable to us today. Where do we learn of God’s creation? In the book of Genesis, a part of the Old Testament. There are examples of obedience and disobedience, prophecies pointing to Christ—all of these are in the Old Testament and are of tremendous importance and value. They are inspired of God.
The Law of Moses given to Israel was for a temporary period of time throughout their generation. It does not have application to us today because Jesus came to fulfill that Law, to take it out of the way, nailing it to His cross. Thus, we are no longer under that Law.
Prophecies clearly tell us that God has joined Himself to Jesus Christ. In Isaiah 7:14, the prophet says,
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” In Isaiah 9:6-7, the prophet tells us,
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 53 prophesies of Christ’s suffering, of His humiliation and death upon the cross. Micah 5:2 prophesies Christ’s birth in Bethlehem Ephrathah. There were two Bethlehems in Christ’s time and the prophet specified one, exactly where Christ was born. John the baptizer is spoken of as the forerunner of Christ by the prophet Malachi, in Malachi 3:1. The resurrection of Christ is clearly foretold in passages such as Psalms 16:10. In fact, there are over 300 prophecies about the birth, life, the ministry, the death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Person of Christ
God and Christ were joined. Jesus was on earth carrying out the mission of the Father. In John 1:29, Jesus is described as
“Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:1 tells us Christ was with the Father before the world began. In John 2, we see the all-knowing nature of Christ. John 3:16 gives the golden text of the Bible,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” In John 8:41-42, 56-58, it is clear that Jesus came from God, that He was eternally present with God the Father. John 10:30 simply states,
“I and the Father are one.”
We must become one with God and Christ to have hope of eternal life. We become one with God and Christ, and we are added to the one church, the New Testament church, by belief in Christ, repentance of sin, confession of the name of Christ, and burial in baptism for the forgiveness of our sins.
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