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The Wednesday Word: Christ is God Over All

Romans 9:5 “Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came who is God over all, blessed for ever. Amen.”

My! My! My! How the opponents of Christ’s deity detest this verse. They re-translate it and claim it doesn’t say what it says. “It’s really a doxology,” they declare, or the word “God,” they protest, should be omitted. Yet here it stands, this bold declaration of Christ’s deity, in a passage where Paul is arguing for the privileges of the Jews … not the least of which was that, when God became a man, He became a member of their race and had, therefore, become kin to them.

Notice how this verse declares the dual nature of Christ. He had come in the flesh (human nature) and yet was entirely and thoroughly the Lord God from heaven. At the same time as being human, He was and is the Mighty God.

Furthermore, He is unmistakably declared to be ‘over all’ which means there is no one above Him. Since He created all and governs all, He is over all angels and created beings. It was the Lord of Glory Himself who came to redeem us. We were in trouble, and God Himself came to the rescue.

The God of the JWs (Jehovah Witnesses) didn’t love us enough to come here to save us. He, according to them, created and sent someone else to do the job. Perhaps their god didn’t want to get his hands dirty? Or maybe it was because he didn’t like the idea of suffering, rejection and humiliation? Or possibly he was occupied with more pressing matters? But whatever the reason, he, according to them, stayed in Heaven and sent a substitute to represent Him. But Jesus is man´s substitute not God´s.

The JW theory can be likened to a man who while walking over a bridge with his son spies someone drowning in the river below. His heart is so smitten with concern that he asks his son to jump over the side to rescue and save the drowning man and the son willingly complies with the request. But this is not the story of the God of the Bible! He laid down the vestiges of royalty, wrapped himself with humanity and came here Himself to rescue and save us from the river of death by bearing our sins on his own body on the cross. As Horatius Bonar said,

‘Turn your eye to the cross and see these two things, – the Crucifiers and the Crucified——-See the Crucified. It is God himself; incarnate love. It is the God who made you, suffering, dying for the ungodly. Can you suspect his grace? Can you cherish evil thoughts of him? Can you ask anything farther to awaken in you the fullest and most unreserved confidence? Will you misinterpret that agony and death by saying that they do not mean grace, or that the grace which they mean is not for you? Call to mind that which is written, – “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” 1John 3:16.

Horatius Bonar: Christ Died for the Ungodly.

In the scheme of thought which denies Christ’s Deity, we are presented with a god who was unwilling or unable to come here himself and rescue us. We must then ask, had that god become too frail to undertake the mission? Did he need someone more energetic and youthful to complete the task? Candidly speaking, this business of God creating some super-angel to do His redeeming work leaves God looking somewhat suspect in His sincerity and commitment to us. Frankly, I’m not impressed with a god who would not come here Himself to rescue me! A god who stayed in heaven while I was utterly ruined on earth cannot melt my heart. A god who delegates my redemption to another cannot command my loyalty. On this matter, I take my stand with Luther who said,

“Wherefore, he that preaches a God to me that died not for me the death on the cross, that God will I not receive.”

Martin Luther: Smalcald Articles.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Mary

Doubtless, Mary, the Mother of Jesus was a wonderful woman. However, the Church of Rome calls her ‘the Mother of God.’

What a ¨terminological inexactitude! ¨

Logic, however, would dictate that, if she is indeed the ‘Mother of God’, she must have preceded Him, for the mother is first then the child. But the genealogy of Mary, according to Luke’s Gospel, stops her lineage at Adam (Luke 3:38).

As for the history of God, the Scriptures declare, Him to be ‘From everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90: 2). How then can Mary exist before the everlasting One?

God is the Creator of all things. He created Adam. Mary was the creation of God through Adam but not the ancestor of God. Yes it´s true, Mary was the mother of the humanity of Jesus, but she was not and never will be the parent of the Eternal Creator.

Having incorrectly called her the Mother of God, the Papacy, in addition, calls her the ‘Mother of the Church.’ Did the Church proceed from her? Did she give birth to the church? I think not!

But, according to the Papacy, not only Jesus, but Mary, Joseph, and other saints as well as angels, make intercession with God on behalf of men. So emphatic is this teaching that in the Compendium of the Catholic Faith authorized by Pius X, Mary is stated to be the most powerful advocate with God next to Jesus for it is impossible for her to go unheard by Him, seeing He is her Son.

Nevertheless, the Scriptures state, ‘… there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus’ (l Timothy 2: 5).

Jesus declared, ‘No man comes to the Father but by Me’ (John 14: 6).

He also said, ‘Come unto Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). There is nary a word to indicate that Mary must placate and soothe Jesus on behalf of sinful man.

Which is to be believed, the Scriptures or the Bishop of Rome? Apart from the birth of Jesus, there is nothing told in the Bible concerning Mary other than that which is ordinary and human.

Now, consider this, the wise men offered their gifts to the young child Jesus–not to the mother (Matthew 2: 11).

The aged Simeon said things that caused Mary to wonder, … which she certainly would not have done if she had been the Mother of God (Luke 2:25-32).

Mary, in her song, before the birth of Jesus attributed her salvation to God her Saviour (Luke 1:47). Only sinners need a Saviour.

Notice how Mary made no attempt to perform a miracle at Cana, she left it to Jesus to do what He thought best (John 2:5).

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the coming work and comfort of the Holy Spirit; but not a word of our Master is recorded in Scripture referring to His mother also being a comforter and teacher of men.

Nowhere does the Lord Jesus indicate that Mary should be worshipped. The opportunity was afforded Him to do just that when the woman in the crowd cried out how blessed His mother was. He deliberately refrained from endorsing any such notion, but says only, ‘Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it’ (Luke 11: 27-28).

Let´s say it again, Mary was the mother of the humanity of Jesus through the power of the Highest. Afterwards, by natural generation she was the mother of four sons and at least two daughters, thereby doing away with any reason for ever calling her the perpetual Virgin (Mark 6:2-3).

Let´s say it again, Jesus is God. In fact, He is the God-Man. He has two natures in one person. Mary was in no way mother to His deity but rather to His humanity.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

Did the Gospel Authors Think They Were Writing Scripture?

March 23, 2017 2 comments

by Michael Kruger

One of the most common misconceptions about the New Testament canon is that the authors of these writings had no idea that they were writing Scripture-like books. I dealt with this misconception on a general level here, showing that there was a clear apostolic self-awareness amongst the New Testament authors.

While this apostolic self-awareness may be easy to show for authors like Paul, what about the gospels which, technically speaking, are formally anonymous? Do their authors exhibit awareness that they were writing something like Scripture? To explore this further, let us just consider just one of our gospels, namely the Gospel of Matthew.

The first step is to get our expectations clear. We should not expect that Matthew would say something like, “I, Matthew, am writing Scripture as I write this book.” Gospels are a very different genre than epistles, and we would not expect the authors to provide the same type of direct and explicit statements about their own authority…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Free Ebook- An Apology for the Baptists

February 17, 2017 Leave a comment

An

Apology

For The

Baptists;

In Which

They Are Vindicated From The Imputation

Of Laying

An Unwarrantable Stress

On

The Ordinance Of Baptism.

And

Against The Charge Of Bigotry

In Refusing

Communion At The Lord’s Table

By Abraham Booth

 

Download here (Pdf)

What Happens to Those Who Never Hear the Gospel?

September 15, 2016 2 comments

by Matt Smethurst

The man on the island. Perhaps you’ve encountered him in a friend’s argument against Christianity. Maybe you’ve even voiced the objection yourself.

How could a good and loving God condemn to hell someone who’s never heard of him?

When it comes to this emotionally vexing issue, there are two dominant positions among professing Christians: inclusivism and exclusivism. While both views maintain that Jesus is the only way to God, only one insists on the necessity of conscious faith in him.

Inclusivism vs. Exclusivism

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

A Serious Challenge to the New Perspective on Paul

by Michael Kruger

As most readers know, there has been a long scholarly debate over what is known as the New Perspective(s) on Paul (NPP). This approach argues that “justification” in Paul does not mean what many Christians (especially Reformed folks) have always believed.

In short, NPP advocates (e.g., N.T. Wright, James D.G. Dunn) argue that (a) first-century Judaism was not a works-oriented religion, and (b) “justification by faith” is not referring to the acquisition of a righteous status before God, but instead refers to the fact that membership in the covenant community can be obtained without the standard Jewish boundary markers laid out in the law of Moses (inset is a picture of Mt. Sinai).

One of the major flash points in this debate is the term “righteousness of God.” Paul uses this phrase in a number of places…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Likely Forger Behind the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

by Michael J. Kruger

It has been a while since the so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife has been in the headlines. It was originally unveiled by Karen King at Harvard (here), but quickly exposed as a likely forgery. I have also written on the fragment (here and here).

While this document’s status as a forgery is relatively certain, what has been uncertain (until now) is the identity of the forger. Who was the person who created this document and convinced King and others to promote it?

The forger must have had some Coptic abilities. But, the abilities would have had limits–as demonstrated by the mistakes in the Coptic text.

What is remarkable is that King herself has not undertaken a rigorous investigation of the document’s origins and provenance. Who discovered this document? Who owned it? And how was it passed along? If the authenticity of a document is in doubt,….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.