Friday, December 28, 2012

Upgraded - Definitions page - Various words used in The Christian Message website

Upgraded - Definitions page - Various words used in “The Christian Message” website - thechristianmessage.org/2012/03/

Excerpt:

Pic of New York City's two twin
World Trade Centers and
inhabiting people being
destroyed by Muslims carrying
out their [sincere] belief
system. Such evil is a prime
example of "multiculturalism"
at work.
Multiculturalism - Multiculturalism is the godless and irrational belief that holds [that] all value systems are morally equal – all, except, the Christian (divine revelation) value system, which is based upon the Hebrew Old Testament and Christian New Testament Christian Scriptures. This illogical and insane belief's folly, can be demonstrated for what it malevolently and diabolically is, by the 9/11 Muslim terrorist attacks which killed (murdered) over 3,000 innocent people, of all ages.

It could be further noted, that "multiculturalism" in its various forms and fashions, is effectively used by the godless in their exercise of government. Those unsavory characters (in governmental control and influence) love to tie "political correctness" and "multicultural"  principles together to propagandize the masses, rewrite history and blame and stereotype certain groups, such as Christians, political Conservatives and others. 

Also note: .................... Continued.............

Please note:  For the whole [above] "Definitions Page" of "The Christian Message" website please access:

Upgraded - Definitions page - Various words used in “The Christian Message” website - thechristianmessage.org/2012/03/

http://www.thechristianmessage.org/2012/03/definitions-page.html


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Upgraded topical message: Cheap Grace is a Worthless Substitute for a Faith That Saves

The following message has been upgraded with a number of pics, captions, internal links, etc.  

Cheap Grace is a Worthless Substitute for a Faith That Saves - thechristianmessage.org/2012/06/

German Christian Pastor,  Detrich
Bonhoeffer, was executed by WWII
Hitler's military for opposing the
Nazi regime which perpetrated
 one of history's worst massacre
scourges and crimes against
 humanity. 
Excerpt:

>>>>>> .......The description, “Cheap Grace” has often been attributed to the controversial, Christian, pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German born WWII casualty. He is best known for his book, " The Cost of Discipleship" (1937) and his resistance to Nazi Germany. Hence, he was executed by Hitler shortly before the war ended.

I suppose that Bonhoeffer’s phrase “Cheap grace” could be summed up by something that he said when describing Christian discipleship. He stated [paraphrase]: “He who believes, obeys; and he who obeys, believes.” In Bonhoeffer’s view, a Christian couldn't be a genuine Christian by [only] intellectually subscribing to the teachings of Christianity as found in the divine revelation of Scripture. One had to evidence such belief and subscription.

Modern Christianity is rife with a “subscription” which confuses Christ's all encompassing sacrifice for sin with blanket absolution which is (then) capriciously translated into universal forgiveness and justification for all, thus eliminating the Holy Spirit’s work and activity of creating individual personal faith in the individual (soul), which [faith] then justifies. ["Justifies" - God's forgiveness] Remember what was said previous – the Martin Luther description of “salvation?” - “Where there is forgiveness of sins there is life and salvation.”

Those who confuse the grace of God upon the sinner and God the Holy Spirit’s activity of bringing the sinner to saving faith, would, and do eliminate the Holy Spirit, personal faith and belief. They, instead trumpet salvation (the saving of the individual’s soul from sin and eternal damnation) solely to the act of Christ dying on the Cross for human sin....... <<<<<<<

Note:  For the whole [above] topical message, please access:



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Upgraded topical message: Why Christ became a man

"The Christian Message" website has upgraded the following topical Christmas message:

Why Christ became a man 
- thechristianmessage.org/2011/12/

Excerpt:

>>>>>> It was the harshest of all frontier winters. The man’s wife and children left for the Christmas Eve worship. He could not bring himself to believe in the Christ of Christmas. To him, God, becoming a man to “save” humanity, was, absurd.

The old Indian chief’s community weather forecast proved to be false..... <<<<<< - thechristianmessage.org/2011/12/

Note:  For the whole topical Christmas message, please access:
Why Christ became a man - thechristianmessage.org/2011/12/

Also note: "The Christian Message" subject listing of topical messages

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Upgraded message: God is not your heavenly father unless you are one of His children


The Christian Message website has just upgraded the following topical message with additional pics, captions, internal links, etc.

Some segments of Christianity
erroneously attempt to simplify
that which is God the Holy
Spirit's work of bringing the
sinner to repentance and faith.
Gospel of John 3:1-21
God is not your heavenly father unless you are one of His children - thechristianmessage.org/2010/10/

Excerpt:

>>>>>> ...... How can one return to a loving Father and loving family if one has never belonged? Such is an impossibility. You find yourself grappling with life’s umpteen problems and overwhelming cares and concerns. You are like the proverbial, canoeist, up the creek, without a paddle. And, you are being pushed and forced by an overwhelming current, downstream to a certain waterfall death.

I wish I could be as assuring as some “Christian” preachers who give step by step instructions and lay out a prescriptive “Salvation” plan for your sinful soul, which apart from Christ’s forgiveness, and God, the Holy Spirit's action [John 3:8] will speed its way to certain hell. Matthew 7:13-29 ; Luke 16:19-31 ....... <<<<<<< - thechristianmessage.org/2010/10/

Note:  For the whole message, please access:

God is not your heavenly father unless you are one of His children - thechristianmessage.org/2010/10/

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Updated: Celebrating the New Year: Taking note of Christ's words, "Behold, I come quickly!"

Will you live into the new year?
And, if you do, will you make it
to the next? Are you prepared
to meet your Maker? Do you have
the faith necessary to please God?
[Hebrews 11:6] Or, are you one of
those duped by false representations
of the Christian Religion and / or
false belief systems?
Updated with additional pics, captions, internal links and minor editing:

Celebrating the New Year: Taking note of Christ's words, "Behold, I come quickly!" - thechristianmessage.org/2011/01/

Excerpt:

>>>>>> Faithful Christians celebrate this new New Year with a thoughtful and resolute awareness of their one true love – that, being, the presence of their Lord, and Christ. No greater and faithful friend can a person have, than to possess Creator, Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

To the non Christian, there isn't any experience that genuinely incorporates the future with lasting hope. All that remains in this life, is the “ticking away,” measured in minutes, hours, days, and years – and, finally, the “end.” Those who do not embrace the Lord of Life cannot experience everlasting life once this earthly (temporal) life is soon, expended. Matthew 7:13-29 ; Matthew 25:31-46 ....... <<<<<<<

Note:  For the whole message, please access:

Celebrating the New Year: Taking note of Christ's words, "Behold, I come quickly!" - thechristianmessage.org/2011/01/

Updated: Yours to Live and Plan? The New Year

Life passes by so swiftly. The Scripture relates:
"The days of our years are threescore years and
ten, and if by reason of strength they be four-
score years, yet is their strength labour and
sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."
[KJV] Psalm 90:10
Updated: With additional pics, captions and internal links:  

Yours to Live and Plan? The New Year - thechristianmessage.org/2011/12/

Excerpt: 

>>>>>>> It is a common human trait, to be in control; or, at least, think we are in control. We love to make plans and to act upon them. And, to a certain extent, that is not a bad thing. Not to plan and act upon those plans would be irresponsible as we could become lazy couch potatoes. Not to make plans and act upon them could result in a very disorderly world. We humans live by time. We act upon time. We set our lives in order by time. We are, essentially ruled by time. Without schedules, our lives would be in disarray.

However, to take for granted that we are in control and that our plans are always commendable; and, that those plans should not be altered; – that, type of thinking, is neither advisable, nor, wise -- at least, from a divine perspective...... <<<<<<< - - thechristianmessage.org/2011/12/

Note: For the whole (entire) topical message, please access:

Yours to Live and Plan? The New Year - thechristianmessage.org/2011/12/



Monday, December 17, 2012

Updated: What is the central teaching of the Christian Religion?

Just because Christ died
for all sins, does not mean
that all people become God's
children, anymore than a
cookie jar, contains cookies.
What is the central teaching of the Christian Religion? -- What distinguishes it from all others? - thechristianmessage.org/2010/10/

Updated with additional pics, captions and internal links: 

Excerpt:

>>>>> ...... The pardon for human sin had been granted when Christ was crucified. [Galatians 4:4;5] But, that does not make all sinners recipients of that gracious (redemptive) pardon, no more than a cookie jar contains, cookies. Sinners must come by faith, in order to receive Christ and His sacrifice on their behalf, in order to become God's dear children......<<<<<
 -- thechristianmessage.org/2010/10/

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Updated: Topical message about evil

Pic of a Roman dagger and sword.
Christ taught about the corruption
of a person's heart which emanated
from one's sinful self.  Christ did not
call for a government weapon control
of daggers and swords.
Matthew 15:18-19  ; Mark 7:21


Updated with additional pics, captions and internal links: 

Evil - The age old question: “If there is a God and he is good – why does he allow evil?” - thechristianmessage.org/2011/08/

Excerpt:
>>>>>> ...... People will say, “If God is suppose to be all that Christians and their Holy Book say, then why doesn’t this God of love rid the world of evil?” Let’s suppose God would, do, just that. And then let us suppose that God, [since he is almighty] could do it by the end of today. Then, ask yourself: “Which of us would be left to witness God Almighty’s purge of evil?” If we are honest with ourselves, we would have to answer: “None of us!” ..... <<<<<<<  - thechristianmessage.org/2011/08/

Note:  For the whole topical message, please access:


Evil - The age old question: “If there is a God and he is good – why does he allow evil?” - thechristianmessage.org/2011/08/




Thursday, December 13, 2012

Updated with additional pics, captions and internal links: "Understanding the Bible: Reasons Why Non Christians Don’t Comprehend the Holy Scriptures"

Misguided souls often make the mistake of claiming that the Bible
is contradictory; when, in reality, it can easily be understood and
accepted  by God gifted faith.  Once this divine spiritual
enlightenment is present, "supposed contradictions" aren't an
 issue. Rather, these alleged contradictions can be understood by
rationally; accepting them as Scriptural paradoxes.

"Understanding the Bible – Reasons Why Non Christians Don’t Comprehend the Holy Scriptures:" - thechristianmessage.org/2012/02/
Excerpt:

>>>>> ..... Sinful humanity will generally and continually view God’s Gift, the Bible, as contradictory because they don’t realize that there is such a reality as the “paradox.” A “paradox” is “a statement that seems contradictory, unbelievable, or absurd but that may actually be true in fact.” [Webster] To say that God is not a God of love, simply because He allows those who choose not to have anything to do with Him, to go to hell, is unreasonable, unfair and absurd....... <<<<<< "Understanding the Bible – Reasons Why Non Christians Don’t Comprehend the Holy Scriptures:" - thechristianmessage.org/2012/02/

Please Note: Topical Christian Messages, by subject

Note:  Above pic (s) found on the web

____________________________________________

Posted by Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel
www.thechristianmessage.org


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Updated Christmas Message: “Mary,” the mother of Jesus Christ -- Not the “Mother of God”

Updated Christmas Message: “Mary,” the mother of Jesus Christ -- Not the “Mother of God”  - thechristianmessage.org/2010/12/


Excerpt:

>>>>>>>> ...... Why it is a gross mistake to regard Mary, the human mother of the Christ, to be the “Mother of God:”

First of all, nowhere in the Scriptures, is Mary, the (earthly) mother of Jesus Christ, referred to, as the “Mother of God.” Although Mary is afforded the special God blest privilege [Luke 1:26-56] of bearing the long promised and prophesied Christ [Isaiah 7:14] by the miracle of the “Incarnation,” that does not justify what some (in the Christian world and religion) have done to elevate her to almost the same equal status with God, Himself....... <<<<<<<<<  - thechristianmessage.org/2010/12/

_______________________________


Note:  Above pic (s) found on the web

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas message (updated): The True Christmas Message is Not the Cradle, but the Cross

Christmas message (updated): The True Christmas Message is Not the Cradle, but the Cross

Excerpt:

>>>>>>> ....... People who either ignore, spurn, or ridicule the Triune God’s message of Christ – His birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection from the dead, often will take what is in God’s Revelation gift, to humanity, the Scriptures, and pervert that very Good News which God utilizes to deliver and save their damnable souls. It is that very same good news which the Scriptures relate, which tell us that we are sinners headed for hell in desperate need of the Savior. It is through these very same Scriptures, as found in the Hebrew Old Testament and Christian New Testament, which God the Holy Spirit utilizes to create saving faith within one's priceless soul. Romans 1:16 ; Romans 10:17 ; 2 Timothy 3:14-17 ; Acts 8:26-39 ; 1 Peter 1:23 ....... <<<<<<<< - thechristianmessage.org/2011/12/

_______________________________


Note:  Above pic (s) found on the web

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Updated Christmas message: The “Peace” of the Christmas Season, often misunderstood for the “Peace” that Christ came to bring

Updated Christmas message: 

The “Peace” of the Christmas Season, often misunderstood for the “Peace” that Christ came to bring

Excerpt:

>>>>>> ....... The Christmas Season always brings this message, of “Peace on earth and good will toward men.”  But how does this angelic message, repeated throughout history, by humans, square with The “Prince of Peace,” [Isaiah 9:6-7] who was prophesied hundreds of years before his Bethlehem birth? [Micah 5:2] What did, Christ, who is the “Prince of Peace,” intend, when He said that He did not come to bring “peace,” but a “sword?” [Matthew 10:32-42] A clear understanding of what Christ intended, can go a long way in clearing up the confusion that comes with the worldly celebration and understanding of the Christmas Season....... <<<<<<<
- thechristianmessage.org/2010/12/
_______________________________


Note:  Above pic (s) found on the web





Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Christian Message: Two updated topical messages

"The Christian Message" has two updated topical messages with additional pics and captions underneath those pics:

 The Scripture says the those "....who know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; they shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power...." - 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 

God’s Judgment against the Wicked and The Admonition and Warning to God's Children, Not to Fret over the Workers of Iniquity - thechristianmessage.org/2011/10/


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rejecting God and His Word by rejecting His prophet messengers

Pic from Gibson's movie: "The Passion of the Christ."
Pharisees of Christ's day were epitomes of hypocrisy;
such as religious leaders of today.
To access all the Gospel of John questions and answers - Click here 

Gospel of John Question: Why wasn't John the Baptist accepted and received by the religious leaders of his day?

Scripture - John 1:19-28

19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”

22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,”’as the prophet Isaiah said.”

Artist's sketch of John the Baptist proclaiming
and urging the people to repent of their sins.
He called them to "bring forth fruit fitting of
repentance." John 3:7;8;9
24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” 28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Answers to the above question:

Marks of God's [true] prophets:

1 - God's prophets run cross grain to the religious influential elite. The old adage proves to be correct:  "Familiarity breeds contempt."  Also, note the following Scriptures relating to the greatest of all prophets; Jesus Christ, (Himself):
  • "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him." - John 1:11
  • "So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.'” - Matthew 13:57
2 - God's prophets tell people what they do not desire to hear. 1 Kings 22:8-18 - Note, especially, 1 Kings 22:8 and 1 Kings 22:18

3 - God's prophets proclaim the Word of God. That Word of God is a "turn off" to the unregenerate, as stated in Jesus Christ's own words:

John 8:47 - "He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” Note - Read the context: John 8:1f - (the whole chapter).

Specifically, to John's day:

4 - The established religious order did not conceive of the type of Messiah which John the Baptist was conveying. They did not conceive of God's promised One - The Messiah, as a suffering and dying servant for the world's sins [Isaiah 53:1f]; but rather as an earthy Monarch who would politically free them from their Roman colonial overseers.

Christian friends and those of you unregenerate (still searching) -  Today, is no different. God's prophets are considered by the religious world as the scum of the earth. Like John the Baptist of Jesus day, God's messenger prophets are not what is expected by most people. God's prophet messengers are different. They often speak words and messages which are perceived and considered hard and harsh. They often do not care for  religious humdrum; for the prescribed and legalistic religious order of the day; nor, for the political correctness of church and secular culture.

God's (true) prophets are not entangled with the cosmos (earthly) status quo. His prophets, rather proclaim God's divine revelation and apply it both generically and specifically to their present generation. They do so, putting their reputation and creature comforts aside and at risk. They proclaim God's Word, guided by that same Word (Scripture) and the Holy Spirit of God who promised to lead His disciples into all the truth.  John 14:17 ; John 15:26 ; John 16:13

God's prophets in every age
have been persecuted. Foxe's
Book of Martyrs is an excellent
 informational resource. 
Some church bodies (organizations) and their perspective leaders will theoretically accept the reality of God's prophets still being in operational form in our day and age. They will give that lip service impression to their devoted following; mentioning that certain Scriptures contain that reality. [Romans 12:3-8 ; specifically Romans 12:6] But, these same church bodies and their leaders are as spiritually blind as the Pharisees were in John the Baptist's day, when confronted by God's prophets. They conveniently either do not recognize God's prophets from the past (Hebrews 13:7) and / or they dis those prophets of God sent to them (in present time) who have come in the Name of the Lord to help curb their errant beliefs and practices; and thus, assist them to be lead into God's truth. [Matthew 10:41 ; Mark 6:11 ; Luke 9:48.] These church bodies (and accompanying leaders) will even vilify God's prophets and seek to harm them in various ways. Please Note: The New Testament Book of Acts 1:1f ; also read Fox's Book of Martyrs.

As in John the Baptist's day, the religious leaders allowed the message of John to go in one ear and out the other by focusing on who John the Baptist [was]. No prophet of God is without sin (except Christ, during his prophet ministry here on earth). But, it is damnable human nature to tune out and reject the message of the prophet, by going about the nefarious actions of character assassination. When the character assassination focus is primarily driven toward the prophet messenger, the message becomes of no effect in the intended hearer who needs desperately to listen to God's proclaimed Scripture Word and its practical applications.

_______________________________________________________

Please notice: The above verses quoted out of the King James Version. However, by placing your computer cursor over the Bible reference; you may read each individual verse in the New King James Version [translation].

_______________________________________________________

Note to the reader:  

The Christian Message website's, "Bible Questions and Answers" are intended to help assist the web reader to appreciate the Holy Scriptures and to enhance understanding. It is this web author's prayer that God the Holy Spirit will utilize this humble effort to effect and affect faith in those who read and hear.

Please also note:

As Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel has additional thoughts to convey of these specific Bible questions and answers individual published web postings, he will continue to edit - revise and add. Please check back, at will on this website; and / or check with Nathan M. Bickel ['s] Facebook page:  The Christian Message for notifications of this website's new additions.

Note:  Above pic (s) found on the web

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving with a farm family and the barnyard pigs


Following The Great Flood God promised that "seed
time and harvest" would continue. That is primarily
interrupted by sinful human selfishness; wars and
continued terrorism, being prime examples.

Here, in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a day designated by government to be honored. Our nation was founded upon the Judeo / Christian religions; and so it makes sense and is fitting to recognize our common Creator for all of His gracious goodness. Thanksgiving, presupposes that thanks be given to someone. Christ's disciples, naturally give thanks to their Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

A Thanksgiving story:    

This morning upon awakening, I remembered a story my father would tell at Thanksgiving. It was about a university professor, whose car had broken down on a countryside road, Thanksgiving Day. He walked to the nearest farm house to ask if he could use their phone. Once graciously welcomed inside, he saw the farmer's family and wife all gathered at the table, waiting to dig into the Thanksgiving dinner. He was invited to have dinner with the family, to which he immediately and eagerly accepted.

After the prayer of thanks to God for the luscious feast (and dinner had begun), the university professor asked the farmer:

"I see that you and your family still believe in that old time religion. How can you pray and give thanks to a god that you haven't seen?" Don't you know by now that you've evolved from the animal kingdom? Haven't you ever heard of evolution?"

The wise farmer didn't care to be drawn into a testy discussion during the Thanksgiving feast with all gathered around; so, he graciously responded:

"After dinner; come out with me and watch me feed my pigs. Then, I will give you an answer to your questions."

Soon after dinner the farmer and the university professor left the empty plates of the farm house kitchen and visited the barnyard. There, the farmer fed the pigs. It was the corn and grain feed which was grown on his own farm. Then the farmer related to the "learned" university professor, that he always counted on the good Lord's promise, following Noah's Flood; that the Lord would always provide for the earth the suitable environment for "seedtime and harvest."  - Genesis 8:22

























The farmer continued by saying:

"These pigs get fed because of the good Lord's promised provision; but, these pigs are not like us humans. These pigs wait for either members of my family or me to feed them; and, once they are thrown their food, they don't hesitate one second to thank us or the good Lord for all their life sustaining provision. That primarily is what distinguishes us from the pigs. If you Mr. University Professor wish to live your life like these pigs; that is your choice. But, for me and my family; we will praise and serve our Creator Lord!”

Related:

Romans 1:16-25:

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. - Christian New Testament - Romans 1:16-25 - Please also note the remainder of the chapter: Romans 1:26-32

Also Related:

The 2 Most Important Realities that a Person Can Realize this Side of the Hereafter - thechristianmessage.org/2011/04/
"Evolution:" Rejected by Jesus Christ - thechristianmessage.org/2011/02/


_____________________________________


Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- an in-depth view of Isaiah 53:1-12 and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.



Please Note: Topical Christian Messages, by subject


Pastor (Emeritus) Nathan Bickel

Please also note:

The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship formatare not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages and related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.




Thursday, November 15, 2012

The fullness of Christ

The "fullness of Christ" begins with a human soul being united
with Christ. All divine blessings flow from that union.
Ephesians 1:3 ; Ephesians 2:8;9
To access all the Gospel of John questions and answers - Click here 

John 1:14-18:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” 16  His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. - John 14-18 - NKJ

Question:  What is the "fullness" of Christ? - John 1:16

The Short and Long Answer:

The Scripture says that "in Christ, are hid, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:3


The Scripture also says that His disciples "are complete in Him" - Ephesians 2:10:

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;  and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.   Colossians 2:8;9;10

One renowned Biblical scholar [Barnes] describes the state of "completeness in Christ:"

(
1) wisdom which is needful to guide us;
(2) the atonement to be made for sin;
(3) the merit by which a sinner can be justified; and,
(4) the grace which is needful to sustain us in the trials, and to aid us in the duties, of life; 

We may also, take note of another complimentary Scripture:

1 Corinthians 1:30 - "But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption"


Also, John 1:14 says that from Christ's fullness His disciples witnessed Christ's "glory" - the same glory from God the Father which is "full" of "grace and truth."

So, what is the "fullness of Christ?"

The "fullness of Christ" are all the spiritual blessings which come from Him and are transmitted (granted) to His children:


"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ," Ephesians 1:3

"But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption"  1 Corinthians 1:30 



Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Note also:  Ephesians 1:23 ; Ephesians 3:19 ; Colossians 1:19 ; Colossians 2:9

Faith is only as good and complete, as its object.
Faith in ordinary human beings who are sinful, is
a foolish trust. Faith in the sinless holy Son of
God is a faith that sustains. That faith can only
come from a pure and undiluted [sinless] source.
"Saving" faith originates from God's Holy
Spirit. He isn't called "holy" for nothing. 
But, what is the "vehicle" driving these spiritual blessings? If only God's children possess the fullness of Christ, then it follows that "faith in Christ" is prerequisite:

Galatians 3:22-29:

22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  Galatians 3:22-29


For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8;9

John 3:1-21 explains the "born from above" experience.
God's Holy Spirit utilizes the divine revelation of the
Holy Scriptures to effect faith in the individual.
It is miracle of "Conversion" [regeneration]:
James 1:18 ; Titus 3:5 ; John 1:12;13

The fullness of Christ begins with God the Holy Spirit. It is He who grants a human soul faith in Christ, which is the entrance to a Christian's spiritual blessings, in Christ

Following, are a number of Scriptures which demonstrate that "faith in Christ" is divinely granted:


Salvation - John 1:12-13 ; James 1:18 ; Matthew 16:17 ; Ephesians 2:4-5 ; Ephesians 2:8-10 ; 1 Peter 1:3 ; 1 Peter 1:23 ; Colossians 1:20-21 ; John 3:5-8 ; John 6:65 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 ; Romans 8:29-31 ; Romans 9:15-18 ; Titus 3:3-7 ; Philippians 2:13 ; 1 John 5:4 ; 1 Peter 1:5 ; Hebrews 2:3 

See also:  John 3:1-21 ; Titus 3:5 ; Ephesians 2:8-10 ; John 1:12;13 ; 1 Corinthians 2:12 ; 1  Corinthians 6:11 ; 1 John 5:1


Please note the above Scriptures - The "saving" of one's soul, is entirely, the work of the gracious Good Lord.


The fullness of Christ finds its practical outworking in the God person of the Holy Spirit

Christ prepared His disciples (and, that includes present day believers) for the future. Before His suffering and death by crucifiction and subsequent Resurrection and Ascension,  we have Christ's instructive words in John chapters 14 - 16. Christ promised that He would be with them to the end of the age (the world). He promised them that His Holy Spirit would be their "Comforter" (helper) and that His Holy Spirit would stand by them and "guide them into all the truth." Everything that Christ's disciples would need to survive and be (spiritually) successful, would be supplied them from above. His Holy Spirit's working is the complete and extended "fullness" of Christ.


_______________________________________________________

Please notice: The above verses quoted out of the King James Version. However, by placing your computer cursor over the Bible reference; you may read each individual verse in the New King James Version [translation].

_______________________________________________________

Note to the reader:  

"Bible Questions and Answers" are intended to help assist the web reader to appreciate the Holy Scriptures and to enhance understanding. It is this web author's prayer that God the Holy Spirit will utilize this humble effort to effect and affect faith in those who read and hear.

Please also note:

As Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel has additional thoughts to convey of these specific Bible questions and answers individual published web postings, he will continue to edit - revise and add. Please check back, at will on this website; and / or check with Nathan M. Bickel ['s] Facebook page:  The Christian Message for notifications of this website's new additions.


Note:  Above pic (s) found on the web and the two hymn verses from TLH ; CPH; 1941


Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Glory of Christ

A pic from the movie, "The Passion of the Christ."
The glory of Christ is not a kingly crown; it is Christ's
 ultimate love for human souls demonstrated by His
suffering and death for the sins of all of humanity.
To access all the Gospel of John questions and answers - Click here 

John 1:14-18:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” 16  His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. - John 14-18 - NKJ

Question:  What is the "glory" of Christ? - John 1:14

Answer:

This 4th Gospel written by Christ's disciple John, continues to expound upon the person of Jesus Christ. John 1:1 described Christ as the eternal Word [of God] who was [is] part and parcel [one] with God. But, this same eternal and holy Christ, became a human being; flesh and blood. That reality was witnessed by Christ's disciples, every day that they lived with Him, traveling the dusty roads of Palestine with Jesus.

The "glory" which is referenced in John 1:14 is the same glory as God, the Father. That glory is "full of grace and truth."  John says that we saw (or beheld) that glory. This could be specifically referencing Christ's Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9 ; Mark 9:2-9). But, this experience was only one of many, experienced by Christ's disciples.

This Gospel was authored by disciple John under (direct) inspiration of the Holy Spirit, [2 Timothy 3:14-17] following Christ's crucifixion and Resurrection from the dead. Hence, it  a foregone conclusion that Christ's disciples witnessing Christ's glory, included His whole life with them; especially, His crucifixion, Resurrection, post Resurrection appearances with accompanying miracles; and finally, Christ's Ascension into heaven. [Those crucial and heralded events in Christ's life were His "glory," - along with that "grace and truth."]

Artist's pic of Christ's Ascension into
heaven. Just prior to this parting event
Christ opened His disciples understanding.
A more [Greek text] original translation of
Luke 24:45, is:  "Then He opened up of
them, the mind, to understand the Scriptures." 
Mind you; at the time period of Christ's crucifixion, the disciples were blinded to recognize the full extent of Christ's "glory." It was hidden from their eyes. But, afterwards when Christ arose from the dead, he enlightened them. Right before Christ ascended into heaven, Christ lifted that blindness:

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. Luke 24: 44-48

Christ's glory preceded His fullness:

Before ascending into heaven, Christ related to His [then] disciples His mission. It is stated above in Luke 24:46-47. It is a common mistake of those influenced by the Christian Religion to think of Christ's glory as being that of a King, returning to earth a second time to rule and reign. There is not one iota of evidence in the Gospels and from Christ's own recorded words that He would experience a King's glory, setting up an earthy kingdom. Note:  Christ's Teaching about the End of the World - thechristianmessage.org/2011/12/

Christ's glory consisted in His holy suffering and death for the sins of mankind. That was His purpose. By being born into human flesh and sinlessly living among us, Christ was able to do and to bring what God's law could never do for sinful humanity. Human souls because of sins against God's commandments, are damned in their sins without hope of eternal life with a holy God in heaven. But, Christ, is the Savior. He comes and He dies for the sins of the whole world; past, present and future, making it possible for those who receive Him by faith to be spared from their sins' eternal penalty of hell's damnation.

_______________________________________________________

The "Glory" of Christ Described in Hymn Verse Lyrics



"Glory be to Jesus, who in bitter pains; poured for me the life blood from His sacred veins."


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died; my richest gain I count but loss; and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that i should boast; save in the death of Christ my God. All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet; sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a tribute far too small; love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

"In the Cross of Christ I glory, tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time. All the light of sacred story, gathers round its head sublime."

_______________________________________________________

Please notice: The above verses quoted out of the King James Version. However, by placing your computer cursor over the Bible reference; you may read each individual verse in the New King James Version [translation].

_______________________________________________________

Note to the reader:  

"Bible Questions and Answers" are intended to help assist the web reader to appreciate the Holy Scriptures and to enhance understanding. It is this web author's prayer that God the Holy Spirit will utilize this humble effort to effect and affect faith in those who read and hear.

Please also note:

As Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel has additional thoughts to convey of these specific Bible questions and answers individual published web postings, he will continue to edit - revise and add. Please check back, at will on this website; and / or check with Nathan M. Bickel ['s] Facebook page:  The Christian Message for notifications of this website's new additions.


Note:  Above pic (s) found on the web and the two hymn verses from TLH ; CPH; 1941