Arminian Today

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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus the Messiah

Mere Christianity?

Dr. James White often refers to what he calls the “mere Christianity” movement where people try to make Christianity as small as you can make it.  In the 2000 years of the Church, orthodoxy has been the standard for what is deemed as Christian.  I grant you that at times this has not always been clear and sometimes people made non-essentials as essentials of the gospel.  In our day, mere Christianity has come to simply believe that if you affirm Jesus, you are a Christian.

I have been following a blogger for some time who I have seen him drifting this way.  His view is that Jesus is what matters yet it seems to me that he does not care what people believe about Jesus so long as they say they love Jesus and desire to follow Him.  While this blogger seems to affirm that the Bible is the Word of God (though I’m not sure if he holds to inerrancy or infallibility), he often muddles the water by using the liberal “red letter Christian” mantras.  It is as if this blogger makes Jesus someone that we should merely copy (and by that I mean be a hippie and be focused on “peace and love man”).  This blogger even has been writing about how he has seen Jesus in a Muslim friend of his and how this Muslim has taught him more about Jesus than many Christians.

This is the mere Christianity movement.  There is no focus on the doctrine of Christ nor about His atonement.  There is little emphasis placed on His perfection for our salvation.  There is nothing said about His death, His resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father where He lives to make intercession for the saints.  There is nothing said about His coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead.  In fact, mere Christianity makes Jesus just someone that we should copy and imitate to have a better life.  Jesus becomes nothing more than a “great teacher” along with other “great teachers.”  Jesus’ own declarations are ignored.

I don’t assume that someone is a Christian simply because they name the name of Jesus.  Jesus Himself said that many would come in His name (Matthew 24:4-5).  John the Beloved wrote that many antichrists had come (1 John 2:18).  Antichrists are false christs.  Paul the Apostle issued curses on those who preach a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-9).  Thus we can see that there are false christs and false gospels.

Not everyone who says Jesus is truly His (Matthew 7:21-23).  Jesus said that those who are His are those who hear His words and put them into practice, who build their lives on His teachings (Matthew 7:24-27).  A disciple of Jesus is one who abides in His teachings (John 8:31-32).  This means that the disciple not only reads the Word of God (and not merely the “red letters”) but they study it as well.  I study God’s Word to know God, to love Him more and to obey Him better all by His Spirit and His grace.

So many claim Christ but they don’t even know the first thing about Him.  They don’t know His Word.  They don’t read His Word.  They don’t study His Word.  They don’t care to study His Word nor do they truly care to know Him because Jesus doesn’t fit our views when we read and study Him.  The perfect Son of God is not like us in that He is absolutely perfect, holy, blameless, and His ways are beyond our ways.  We seek to imitate Him (1 Peter 2:21-24; 1 John 2:6) but we recognize that He alone is perfect.  He is perfect for our salvation (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Because He remains forever perfect, He now stands before the Father in our defense (Hebrews 7:22-25).  As we abide in Jesus through faith (Romans 5:1; 1 John 2:24-25), we find that He is faithful to wash our sins away (1 John 1:7, 9).

The mere Christianity movement wants to place Jesus among others.  Jesus is far above all others (Colossians 1:15-20).  Every knee will bow to His glory alone (Philippians 2:5-11).  This includes all false teachers, all false prophets, all false religions.  Jesus is not equal among others.  Jesus is God (John 1:1, 18; Romans 9:5) and He is to be worshiped as God.

The mere Christianity movement has to dethrone Jesus to make Him equal among others.  For example, the Muslim view of Jesus is not at all equal with the biblical view.  The Quran teaches that Jesus is not God, that He is not even the Son of God.  Yes Islam says that Jesus is the Messiah but they deny His divinity and the Quran condemns to hell those who would say that God is a man or has a son.  The Quran falsely believes that the doctrine of the Trinity includes Mary.  The Quran denies that Jesus died for our sins.  Most Muslims believe that Jesus didn’t even die on the cross but rather Allah made someone else to appear as Jesus on the cross such as Judas.  While Islam teaches that Jesus will return, they believe that He will return and set up an Islamic kingdom on the earth.  The Islamic confession of faith is focused on Mohammad and not on Jesus.

And yet mere Christianity says that since a Muslim claims to love Jesus (the Jesus of the Quran and not the Jesus of the Bible), then they are “saved.”  If a Muslim denies the Quran’s teaching on Jesus and embraces the biblical view of Jesus then I would submit that they are not a Muslim but a Christian.  Of course, true salvation requires faith and repentance in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38-39; 3:19-20; 17:30-31).

One final point.  The mere Christianity movement especially detests evangelism.  After all, the evangelist is preaching that Jesus alone saves (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) and He alone is our mediator before a holy God (1 Timothy 2:5-6).  The evangelist preaches that faith and repentance are necessary for eternal life (Luke 13:5; John 5:24-25; 6:29; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 5:13).  This goes against the mere Christian view that all religions are essentially good so long as they love Jesus.  It also goes against the postmodern mindset that there is no absolute truth since Jesus Himself claims to be the truth of God (John 14:6).  When religious people are confronted with their sins and with the truth of Jesus, they always strike back with a vengeance.  I have witnessed this myself. People don’t mind if you preach a peace and love Jesus but the moment you preach that a person must repent, they quickly turn on you.  People love Jesus but the Jesus they create in their own images but not the biblical Jesus.

I am often confronted by the biblical Jesus as I read.  I am confronted with my sins.  I am confronted with my lack of being like Jesus in all I do.  I am confronted with how wonderful Jesus truly is and the more that I study Him and the more that I seek Him, the more I find that I am not like Him, that He is God and worthy to be praised, and I will never truly grasp Him in this life.  Jesus is simply too wonderful, too mighty, too holy for me to perfectly understand but what I do know is this: He died for my sins (1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 3:18) and He is coming again in glory (2 Timothy 4:1).  I long to see Him and worship Him forever.  I will continue to preach the biblical Jesus and preach against the false christs of this world.

Messianic Prophecies in the Psalms

The following are Messianic prophecies given to us in the book of Psalms.  This comes from the MacArthur Study Bible.

1.  God will announce Christ to be His Son.  Psalm 2:7.  Fulfilled Matthew 3:7; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5.

2.  All things will be put under Christ’s feet.  Psalm 8:6.  Fulfilled 1 Corinthians 15:57; Hebrews 2:8.

3.  Christ will be resurrected from the grave.  Psalm 16:10.  Fulfilled Mark 16:6-7; Acts 13:35.

4.  God will forsake Christ in His moment of agony.  Psalm 22:1.  Fulfilled Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34.

5.  Christ will be scorned and ridiculed.  Psalm 22:7-8.  Fulfilled Matt. 27:39-43; Luke 23:35.

6.  Christ’s hands and feet will be pierced.  Psalm 22:16.  Fulfilled John 20:25, 27; Acts 2:23.

7.  Others will gamble for Christ’s clothes.  Psalm 22:18.  Fulfilled Matt. 27:35-36.

8.  Not one of Christ’s bones will be broken.  Psalm 34:20.  Fulfilled John 19:32-33, 36.

9.  Christ will be hated unjustly.  Psalm 35:19.  Fulfilled John 15:25.

10.  Christ will come to do God’s will.  Psalm 40:7-8.  Fulfilled Hebrews 10:7.

11.  Christ will be betrayed by a friend.  Psalm 41:9.  Fulfilled John 13:18.

12.  Christ’s throne will be eternal.  Psalm 45:6.  Fulfilled Hebrews 1:8.

13.  Christ will ascend to heaven.  Psalm 68:18.  Fulfilled Ephesians 4:8.

14.  Zeal for God’s temple will consume Christ.  Psalm 69:9.  Fulfilled John 2:17.

15.  Christ will be given vinegar and gall.  Psalm 69:21.  Fulfilled Matt. 27:34; John 19:28-30.

16.  Christ’s betrayer will be replaced.  Psalm 109:8.  Fulfilled Acts 1:20.

17.  Christ’s enemies will bow down to Him.  Psalm 110:1.  Fulfilled Acts 2:34-35.

18.  Christ will be a priest like Melchizedek.  Psalm 110:4.  Fulfilled Hebrews 5:6; 6:20; 7:17.

19.  Christ will be the chief cornerstone.  Psalm 118:22.  Fulfilled Matt. 21:42; Acts 4:11.

20.  Christ will come in the name of the Lord.  Psalm 118:26.  Fulfilled Matt. 21:9.

 

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/24/2013 at 12:14 AM

Posted in Prophecy

Tagged with ,

The King is Born!

On this day, the Church celebrates the birth of the Messiah of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the only way to salvation (John 14:6) and all must come to God through Him (1 Timothy 2:5-6).  He is the one promised to Israel (Romans 9:1-5) and He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15-16; Revelation 19:16).  He is the one that we Christians believe is coming again (Hebrews 9:27-28) yet this time His coming will be in power and glory.  We believe that the risen Son of God is forever alive (Hebrews 9:14) and we believe that in Him alone do we find forgiveness of all our sins (Ephesians 1:7).

So on this day, whether an Arminian or a Calvinist, let us rejoice that Jesus Christ has come (Galatians 4:1-6).  Let us celebrate Him and praise our God that He has sent His salvation unto us (Luke 2:30-32).

Merry Christmas!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/25/2011 at 11:42 AM

How Important the Resurrection of Jesus Is

In 1 Corinthians 15:3 we read from Paul the Apostle that the resurrection of Jesus is vital to his preaching of the gospel to the Corinthians.  In 1 Corinthians 15:17 Paul writes, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”  The resurrection of Jesus then is of most importance to the disciple.  The resurrection of Jesus proves that God accepts the sacrifice of His Son meaning that our salvation is secured because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:28; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 4:24-25).  Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of our sins (Hebrews 9:22).  The precious blood of Jesus, the perfect Son of God, is vital for our cleansing from sin (1 Peter 1:21-24).  Furthermore, the resurrection of Jesus proves that He alone is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) and that none can come to God but through Him (1 Timothy 2:3-6).

The early disciples preached heavily on the resurrection of Jesus.  They understood that what made them unique from Judaism or from the religions of the Romans was the central tenet that Jesus was raised from the dead.  The Jews largely rejected Jesus being the Messiah but the disciples not only proved from Scripture that Jesus was the Messiah but that He also was risen from the dead to which the Jews had no answer (Acts 9:20-22; 18:24-28).  The resurrection separated Christianity from all other religions of the world.  If Jesus, according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:17, is not risen from the dead then our faith is pointless and in vain.

Recently I heard an emergent (liberal) say that should they find the body of Jesus, it would do nothing to his faith.  He said to his listeners, “What if they do find the body of Jesus?  What if they discover His body in a tomb outside of Jerusalem?  My faith is stronger than that.”  Really?  If the body of Jesus were discovered it would destroy the Christian faith.  Christianity rises and falls not upon the teachings of Jesus but upon His resurrection from the dead.  Jesus claimed that He would rise from the dead (Matthew 16:21).  Jesus’ disciples all claimed that He was risen from the dead (John 20:30-31).  This would mean that both Jesus and His Apostles all lied.  All of them gave their lives for the resurrection of Jesus but if Jesus was not risen from the dead, they died for a lie.  They knowingly died for that lie if Jesus is not in fact alive.

The testimony of Scripture would be destroyed if Jesus’ body was discovered in Israel.  The New Testament assumes the resurrection of Jesus.  Nearly every single book in the New Testament affirms the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 15 alone is one chapter devoted entirely to the resurrection of Jesus and Paul’s argument is that our resurrection and eternal life is based on the historical accuracy of the resurrection of Jesus.

2 Peter 1:16-21 takes the resurrection of Jesus away from the realm of mere faith to saying that it happened in time.  Certainly an element of faith is necessary for the disciple concerning the resurrection of Jesus (John 20:29) but our faith is not blind faith.  It is not faith in an event that cannot be proven.  Our faith in the resurrection is based on the clear evidence that the New Testament writers gave us under the direction of the Spirit to lead us to the truth.

So the resurrection of Jesus is of utmost importance to the disciple.  Contrary to popular culture that says that all religions are basically the same, the resurrection of Jesus makes this claim impossible.  If Jesus is risen, He alone is the one true and living God.  He alone is the one true and living Savior.  There is no salvation apart from Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12) but if Jesus is not risen from the dead then this claim is false.  Yet if Jesus is risen, all other religions are false.  The duty then of the disciple of Jesus is to take the importance of the resurrection and proclaim it to a wayward world (Acts 2:36-39).  This would bring glory to God to proclaim His truths to a world that chases false religions and ideas (Matthew 28:19-20).  I pray that we would do so in the power of the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 1:8; Romans 1:3-4).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

09/17/2011 at 10:53 AM

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