Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Christ Our God Made Flesh, by John.

Christ, Our God Made Flesh
Colossians 1:15-23

1. We are monotheists. That is, we believe in one God, but we recognize Him in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
(1) Our Trinitarian stand makes it easy for Muslims to say we are polytheists, that we have three Gods.
(2) That is a misconception on their part since we recognize only one God.
(3) The Muslims' own history should tell them that Arab Christians in the days before Mohammed called our God "Allah!" And they were Trinitarians, too.
2. We live in spiritually mixed up times, don't we?
(1) We have been affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, and now we are affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. (Did you see our ad in the local paper this week about our name change?)
(2) Martin Luther, who lived in Germany from 1483 to 1546, established a protestant church sometime after 1517 when he nailed his 95 theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg.
(3) Along about the same time Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland, came to believe religion should be derived directly from the Bible. Like Luther, he was an ordained priest, but he became leader of Protestantism in Zurich and Southern Germany. He was killed in battle trying to gain rights for what he believed.
(4) Zwingli's teaching affected a French priest named John Calvin. Calvin was run out of France, and settled in Geneva, Switzerland. He tried to establish a church with his beliefs there. He was banished from Geneva but was later welcomed back. Presbyterian and Reformed churches today stem from his teachings.
3. All of these three men were great Christian theologians, well trained, and they were all believed the Bible was absolutely central to the church. They disagreed about many doctrines.
4. The established church of that time wandered far from the Bible. If it had not, there would not be so many denominations today!
5. I believe God raised these men, and others like them, up to bring us all back to the Bible.
6. We are constantly in danger of leaving the Bible today. You don't have to look very far to find churches majoring on liturgy, pomp and parade, tradition, or some specific gift of the Holy Spirit.
7. I hope we have learned at least three things from those men of the past.
(1) One is that the Bible must be preeminent in our faith and practice of Christianity.
(2) We must recognize that all who call on the name of Christ are either brothers and sisters in Christ, or they are trying to be!
(3) Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and the Wesley brothers did not agree on everything, but they did agree that Jesus is the Son of God, and that Jesus Christ is God made flesh to save us from our sins and to give us new life!
8. That is exactly what Paul is reminding the Colossians of right here in the text we read.
9. I want to say about three things about Jesus Christ that we need to find in this Scripture.

I. Jesus is God, the Very Image of the Father.

1. V 15 says that. (I think it goes without saying that God the Father does not look like Jesus looked in His fleshly body. This verse speaks of the Spirit. Of course, we have no knowledge of what Jesus really looked like physically anyway.)
(1) V 16 tells us Jesus created everything that was made.
a. That includes the one-celled animals like amoeba.
b. It includes the complex creatures like human beings.
2. He chose the very best method of construction for living things, and from the simplest to the most complex there is infinite similarity and infinite diversity in them. ill. In Francis S. Collins' book, "The Language of God," he said (p. 124), "After a decade of expecting to find at least 100,000 genes, many of us were stunned to discover that God writes such short stories about humankind." He went on to say we have about 20,000 genes and the Chimpanzee has about the same number of identical genes, but they are obviously used in drastically different ways.
2. When I was a lad, I played marbles for keeps with my friends. I ended up with a huge sack of marbles. I discovered they made excellent ammunition for my slingshot! The marbles were the same, but they were used differently.
3. By the same token, someone invented the internal combustion engine, and someone else adapted it to a buggy and made the first automobile. Henry Ford made the first car that the common man could afford. Today there are all sorts of cars. The basic principles are all the same, but that's where the similarity ends, and that's the way it is with Chimpanzies, Orangutans and human beings. Having a similar, or even identical, DNA does not make us identical, or even kin!
(1) Since I was a teenager, I recognized the similarity in the skeletal structure of mammals, humans, dogs, seals, whales, cats, bats, etc. I concluded then, (and I'm waiting for scientists to back me up), God used the best possible structure for all of us and adapted it for the kind of life we have and lead.
4. He also created the myriad of heavenly masses we call stars, planets, asteroids, comets, and black holes!
5. But we can't stop there. v 16 says that He also created the invisible things, "thrones or powers or rulers or authorities."
6. The point is, whether it is something tangible or intangible, if it is, Jesus created it!
7. There is not, there never has been, and there never will be anyone like Jesus! Genesis 1: 2+3 says, "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light, and there was light.'"
8. The fact that God was there before there was a heaven and earth is understood; otherwise, He could not have created them.
(1) The three persons of God are all present in creation.
(2) God is simply the term for the One we call "Father. He is the only real # 1!
(3) The Spirit of God comes next, and that is the Holy Spirit.
(4) When God spoke in v 3, that was God's living Word. The New Testament tells us Jesus is the Living Word of God in John 1: 1-3 and 14. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father full of grace and truth."
9. Jesus is preexistent. The Heavenly Father put creation in His hands, and Colossians 2:9,10 says, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority." V 19 of our text says, "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him."

II. He Is the Firstborn Over All Creation.

1. From the very beginning God told the human race that Jesus was coming, and from the beginning He intimated that Jesus would die for our sins!
2. The Scripture says, in Revelation 12:9, "The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."
3. Then back in Genesis 3:15 God told the serpent, identified as Satan in Revelation, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel." (The "seed of woman" is Jesus, of course).
4. Jesus came to earth to show the human race at least five things.
(1) He lived a sinless life showing the entire human race that there is no excuse for sin! If He could do it, we should be able to also!
(2) He was to gather a band of 12 apostles. (Apostello in Greek, from which we get our word "apostle" means someone sent with a message.
(3) He was to prepare these men to bare the message of God's love and forgiveness of sins to those who put their trust in His Son, and the coming Kingdom Of God On Earth!
(4) When those men were prepared, and the time was exactly right, He was to die on a cross, the innocent for the guilty, so that the guilty might become innocent by His Gift!
(5) Then He was to rise from the dead, and to become the first One to ascend into heaven into the presence of His Heavenly Father!
5. Jesus did everything His Father told Him to do, and He did it perfectly!
6. He was the First to rise, and He is Lord of all who will rise to meet Him when He returns!

III. The Majesty of Christ Is Vital to Our Lives.

1. Our salvation comes from the Father.
2. If Jesus isn't God, He cannot forgive us our sins!
(1) But He is God! He is God's Son, and God witnessed the truth of that when Gabriel spoke to Mary in Mt 1:20, and again in Luke 1:31.
(2) God bore witness to His Son again in Mt 3:16,17 when John baptized Jesus and a dove appeared from nowhere and lit on Him, then a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased!"
3. Jesus arose from the dead, and He became the first-fruit of the resurrection. (We will follow Him in both death and resurrection at the right moment in God's good time).
4. There are other instances when God showed His approval of His only born Son Jesus, but these will have to do today.


1. Jesus is God. He is the Lord of every Christian who has ever lived or ever will live.
2. He died to give us both life and forgiveness, and to fill our lives with hope!
3. We can't prove God, but we can live out His reality on earth!
4. We can keep God's Word central in our lives and in our churches.
5. We can share Jesus with the people around us, just like we have been sharing Him today.
6. Are you without Christ? Without real hope? We invite you to trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The moment you do, you will know God is real, and all the promises of God will apply to you!

Emmanuel 8/6/2006


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