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Posts Tagged ‘Almighty God’

The Wednesday Word: Jesus, The Great “I AM”

January 8, 2020 2 comments

John 8:58 “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.”

According to the Old Testament, the ultimate name of God is “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). This same “I AM” appeared in the New Testament calling Himself Jesus. It is no wonder then that many of the Jews, in those days, thought Christ to be demon possessed.

Others thought Him mad: No sane man could come up with the audacious utterances that flooded from the lips of this carpenter! The Jewish leaders knew fine well that when Jesus announced, “Before Abraham was I am” He was claiming to be God. Every Hebrew who knew his stuff was aware that the ‘I AM’ was none other than Yahweh —the One True and living God who had spoken to Moses at the Burning Bush. But now this brash upstart of a Nazarene tradesman dares to walk around claiming to be Him.

The lead up to Jesus’ claim of being the Covenant God of Israel, the ‘I Am,’ is fascinating. The troubled Pharisees were, as usual, debating Jesus when Abraham was mentioned. One of their number as he, no doubt, sat stroking his grizzled beard, asked with a voice of disdain, and I paraphrase,

“Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead: who are you making yourself out to be?” (John 8:53).

Jesus floored them with His answer, claiming that Abraham had not only seen his day but also (unlike the Pharisees) had been glad. This was too much for the religious stalwarts of Jewish society. Was there no end to the carpenter’s impertinence? Indignant, they responded with no small degree of sarcasm saying, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” In other words, you haven’t even reached retirement age buddy, and yet you claim to be old enough to have seen the Father of our Nation.

Then Christ proceeds to drop a bombshell by announcing, “Before Abraham was I am.” In the Greek, the words for ‘I am’ are in the present tense (Ego eimi): Literally, Jesus was saying, ‘Before Abraham was I am continually!’ The Jews knew exactly what He was saying. They knew Christ was claiming, once more, to be the eternal God. Jesus was saying, “I am eternal. I have no beginning and no end. ‘I AM.’ There never was a time when I came into existence for I have always been. I am the eternal God standing here in human flesh.”

Notice how the Jews knew exactly what Jesus was claiming. See how they took up stones and tried to kill him. Stoning was the standard way by which blasphemers were executed. This attempted stoning, therefore, is a vital piece of evidence for it demonstrates that the Jews understood full well that Jesus was claiming to be God.

So how say you? The ancient Jews knew what He was saying and were enraged. They knew that Christ Jesus, by the claim of being the I Am was declaring that He was neither a created being nor a good teacher sent by God, but rather He was announcing Himself to be the eternal Yahweh who exists from all eternity.

How long then will you halt between two opinions? If Christ Jesus is the Mighty God, worship Him, trust him and follow Him. If He is not, rank Him alongside the evil workers of history. If you say He is only the Son of God but not God, you make Him a blasphemer. Why in the world would you want to follow a blasphemer? You should, instead, count Him as one who has, in a sinister fashion, led countless numbers to their doom in a lost eternity. But whatever you do, do not patronise Him by saying He was a good moral teacher, but not God.

We must never forget when Jesus declared Himself to be ‘I Am’ He was declaring Himself as the Eternal self- existent One.

He was saying, “I am the One who has existence in Myself.”

He was saying, “I am the one who made all things, and without Me was not anything made that is made.”

He was saying, “I am the one who sustains all things and upon whom all things depend.”

He was saying, “I am the one who decrees how long all things on earth continue for they continue only as long as I support them.”

He was saying, “No one exists without my permission and power, and when I take away their breath, they die.”

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Wednesday Word: Yahweh Walks on Water

Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus had just fed 5000 people, and now it was time for Him to get alone and pray. He, therefore, sent the disciples away in the boat but when the disciples were in the middle of the lake, the wind picked up. The waves got higher. This was more than a squall for the boat was being beaten (v 24, lit. tortured, tormented). Fierce as this night at sea was, it is not the wind, not the waves, not the storm that frightened the disciples. It’s Jesus. The disciples are afraid when Jesus shows up.

Jesus’ walking over the sea is filled with a meaning that we miss if we don’t understand the mentality of the people of Jesus’ day. In their minds, the sea was the manifestation of death. The sea was that which swallows. It was perhaps even a demonic power. So, when Jesus walked on water, He was not only showing His control over creation; He was also showing His power over death. Jesus was treading under His foot the ancient serpent (see Gen. 3:15). But the disciples didn’t know that it was Jesus who was walking towards them.

So, put yourself in their shoes. You have left Jesus up on the mountain and have been struggling to row the boat across the sea for hours. You are tired, wet, and frustrated. Now, around 3 AM, a figure comes strolling towards you over the sea, death, and the dreadful serpent.

They cry out in fear (verse 26) believing Jesus to be a ghost, an apparition, perhaps even the Lord of death himself. But Jesus calls them and preaches the gospel to them. Preaches the gospel? Yes! He says, “ It is I” (verse 27). He, Jesus, is the gospel.

In English, we, unfortunately, lose the most important thing Jesus says here. Jesus isn’t just saying, “It’s Me.” He is saying, “I am.” Remember when Moses asked for God’s name (Exodus 3:14-15), God responded, “I am who I am.” God gives Himself the name Yahweh. Later, God will define what Yahweh means, “A God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). Jesus is taking the divine name, Yahweh, and applying it to Himself.

Peter pipes up, and we must dismiss a common belief about Peter in this text. Peter walking on water is not an act of faith. Peter’s request to walk out to Jesus comes from Peter doubting Jesus’ words. “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (verse 28).

It is absurd that Peter makes this demand. Here is Peter doubting Yahweh manifest in the flesh. He questions the Creator of heaven and earth. He is challenging the God who answered Job saying, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world? Do you keep the sun rising and setting? Did you tell the waters, ‘You can come this far’? Have you been to the source of the sea? Have you walked in the recesses of the deep?” (see Job 38:4-18).

But does Jesus scold Peter for his doubt? No! Jesus graciously tells Peter, “Come.” At that word, Peter gets out of the boat, and he too walks on the sea, death and the serpent. Peter isn’t enabled to walk on the sea because of his faith. Peter walked on water because of the word of Jesus, “Come.” That one word carried Peter from the boat, across the water, toward Jesus.

Notice what causes Peter to sink. He doesn’t fear the storm, the waves, or his distance from the boat. He fears what is least threatening to him – the wind (Matthew 14:30).

The same happens to us when we lose our focus on Jesus. If we focus on our circumstances or anything that isn’t Jesus, we sink like a stone.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

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: Was Jesus ever called God?

We, followers of Christ need to be grounded in the truth that the One we are following is the eternal God. Contrary to some popular ideas, Jesus is indeed called God in numerous places of scripture: Take for example,

The Word was God, John 1:1.

Thomas called Jesus Lord and God, John 20.28.

We learn that God was manifest in the flesh, I Timothy 3:16.

And let’s not forget Romans 9:5, “Of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came who is over all God blessed forever.”

Away with these mischief makers who say that Jesus is not man and God at the same time. They know nothing of the Dual Nature of Christ.

Jesus is called Jehovah,

We learn in Numbers 21 that the Israelites tempted Jehovah. This is applied to Christ by the apostle in I Corinthians 10:9 when he says, ¨Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

Nor is Christ merely called Jehovah but Jehovah our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6.) Christ is our righteousness and thus our God (2 Peter 1:1).

The Great God

He is called the great God and Saviour, Titus 2:13

Someone says but that is not speaking of Christ. Excuse me! Read the next verse. This Great God and Saviour gave Himself for our sins (verse 14). Therefore, Jesus is both the great God and Saviour. That’s good news for those of us who have trusted Him.

If language has any meaning, then we must look no further than Christ Jesus to discover God.

Attributes

Not only is Christ called God, but also the attributes of the Godhead are credited to him.

Eternity is ascribed to Him: for he is said to be before Abraham (John 8. 58). This evidently proves that Christ existed before he was born of a virgin.

Jesus is said to be Omniscience: Peter confessed ‘Lord, you know all things.’

He is Omnipresence: Matthew 18:10. Jesus Himself said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Omnipotence …Divine power is attributed to Him (Hebrews 1:1). He upholds all things by the word of His power.

These things are sufficient to prove that Christ is God. The names of God and the attributes of the Godhead are ascribed to him: But there is more.

Works.

The works which only God can perform, are ascribed to the Lord Jesus. Creation is ascribed to Him. Hebrews 1:10. “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hath laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the works of thine hands.” This is further confirmed in John 1:3, “All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”

Additional witness is given in Colossians 1:16. It reads; “By him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers; all things were created by him, and for him.”

The Government of the universe is ascribed to him in Hebrews 1:3 where we are told that he is upholding all things by the word of his power.

The work of our Salvation is ascribed fully to Christ (Matthew 1:21). It would be great error to deny it, when it is evident from so many places in the New-Testament. Furthermore,

Redemption is His (Acts 20:28).

Remission of sins is His to give (Matthew.9: 6).

Eternal Life is His to give (John 10:28).

The building of the Church is credited to Him. This again is strong proof that He is God for “He that built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).

Jesus is the Lord God. We worship Him (Matthew 28:9) and believe on Him (John 14:1).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: More about the Mystery of Christ

Colossians 2:9, “For the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him.”

Sadhu Sundar Singh, an Indian preacher of another generation, used to illustrate the incarnation mystery in this way. A simple countryman was being shown a red glass bottle. They told him it was full of milk. The countryman couldn’t believe it was filled with white liquid till he saw the beverage poured out from it. The redness of the bottle had hidden the colour of the contents of the bottle.

Sadhu said, so it was and is with our Lord’s humanity. Man saw Him tired, hungry, suffering, weeping and thought He was only man. ‘He was made in the likeness of men,’ yet He ever is ‘God over all, blessed forever.

The red milk bottle is a good illustration but there is an even better one and that is the Tabernacle in the days of Moses. It looked plain and ordinary on the outside, but inside it housed the very glory and presence of God. What a glorious picture of Christ! He looked just like an ordinary man, but the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in Him.

In Colossians 2:9, we see our New Testament Tabernacle. We see once more that Jesus is both human and divine. Of course, Christ’s enemies say that here the word ‘Godhead’ does not actually mean Godhead or they say that this verse means that it was merely the power of God which dwelt in Christ. It is astonishing to discover the hatred that men still harbour towards Jesus and the truth of His deity. However, the Bible cannot be clearer on Christ’s identity than it is in this verse. This verse, according to Calvin,

“ … means simply, that God is wholly found in him (Christ), so that he who is not content with Christ alone, desires something better and more excellent than God. The sum is this, that God has manifested himself to us fully and perfectly in Christ.”

Calvin’s Commentaries.

In Isaiah 11:2-5, we are given a prophetic picture of the Lord Jesus which conveys something of this fullness. There we read,

“..and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.

Notice how Christ demonstrates the sevenfold Spirit of God!

The Spirit of the Lord.

The Spirit of Wisdom.

The Spirit of Understanding.

The Spirit of Counsel.

The Spirit of Might.

The Spirit of Knowledge.

The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord.

The fullness and perfections of the Godhead were and are truly manifest in the Lord Jesus. The foundation of our faith then is that He who died on the cross was God incarnate. When we meet Christ Jesus, we meet with God in His fullness. This is the foundation upon which we can build our life and eternal destiny.

“Mortals with joy beheld his face,

Th’ eternal Father’s only Son;

How full of truth! how full of grace!

When through his eyes the Godhead shone.”

Isaac Watts

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: Yes Indeed, He Must be God!

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

When the first missionaries arrived in Japan they encountered a young Japanese man who wanted to improve his knowledge of English. So they gave him the Gospel of John to translate. In a short time, the would-be learner became very restless and agitated. At last, he gushed out with the question, “Who is this Man about whom I have been reading, this Jesus? You call him a man, but He must be God.”

Yes indeed, He must be God!

But, not only can we say, He must be God, we can, with certainty, declare that He is, in fact, God. Notice how His deity is spoken of loudly and clearly in Titus 2:13. Observe how Jesus is clearly and plainly designated as the ‘great God.’

There can be no ambiguity about His deity. This passage is unmistakably about Christ.

In verse 11, He is called the ‘grace of God’, and in verse 13, He is designated as the ‘great God.’ Then, in verse 14, this same one who is termed the ‘grace of God’ and the ‘great God’ is said to be the one who has redeemed His people from all iniquity. It doesn’t get plainer than that.

Those who deny the deity of Christ try to argue that this verse says both the Father and the Son will appear at the blessed hope. However, nowhere in Paul’s epistles is the Father said to ‘appear.’ The word ‘appear,’ on the other hand, is used continuously of Christ. He is the revelation of the one True and Living God. He ‘appeared,’ as already mentioned, in verse 11 of this chapter. In 1 Timothy 6:14 we are told to, “keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And we are informed He shall “judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;” 2 Timothy 4:1.

The One who will appear is both the great God and our Saviour. What a stunning and humbling thought this is, that the man who suffered and shed His blood for us is none other than the great God whom the Old Testament declares to be;

“God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regards not persons, nor takes reward:” (Deuteronomy 10:17).

This same great God who died for His people and rose again from the dead will appear a second time. For;

“Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto those that look for him will he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation, (Hebrews 9:28).

So, when we read that we are, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13), we know that, contrary to the JW (Jehovah Witness) teaching, Christ is in no way to be considered the little God, but the great one.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

God teaches us the truth that He alone is God by cutting down the pride of man

Spurgeon 3But, lastly, mark how God has cut down the pride of man, and has exalted himself by the persons whom he has called to look. “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” When the Jew heard Isaiah say that, “Ah!” he exclaimed “you ought to have said, Look unto me, O Jerusalem and be saved. That would have been right. But those Gentile dogs are they to look and be saved?” “Yes,” says God, I will show you, Jews, that though I have given you many privileges, I will exalt others above you, I can do as I will with my own.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sovereignty and Salvation-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 6