A portion of what we looked at in part 3 of this recap of the last 11 months’ worth of posts about how to live a godly life, concerned itself against one of the major roadblocks to your spiritual path – the devil.
Today, we’ll concern ourselves solely with our major ally on that same path, our Lord Jesus Christ – the Centerpiece of the entire Bible. The entire Bible revolves around the promise of His coming, His arrival and completed ministry, His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension to His Father, and of His return to shepherd God’s children to their eternal home.
Only the Bible can tell us accurately everything there is to know about Jesus (with the exception of possible future Holy Spirit revelation), and it does so through the mouths of the Old Testament prophets, Jesus Himself and the New Testament apostles.
Beginning with the prophets, we find that Jesus was with God (in His true Spiritual being-ness) at the time that the universe was created. In fact, Christ was God’s agent of creation for the universe and everything that inhabits it. The apostles corroborated this as well. (Gn. 1:26; Jn. 1:2, 3; 1 Cor. 15:59; Col. 1:15; Rv. 3:14.)
The prophets referred to Jesus as the ‘Messiah’ in a plethora of prophecies before they actually knew what His name would be. In those God-inspired predictions we learn that the Messiah and His followers would be engaged in a struggle against evil (Satan and his followers) until the end of time. Thankfully, we also know that the Messiah’s side is ultimately victorious. (Gn. 3:15)
We learn the He will come to earth and in His earthly incarnation will be a Jew from the lineage of King David and reign over the earth forever. (Job 19:25; Dt. 18:18; 2 Sam. 7:13, 14; Ps. 2:6 – 8 & 72:6 – 8.)
Mind you these prophecies were spoken over a thousand years before the birth of Christ. If we leap ahead to 700 years before Jesus arrives, we hear prophecies of His virgin birth, His forever and peaceful reign over all peoples and how He is the exact likeness (image) of God with all His attributes. [Is. 7:14, 9:2, 6 & 7, 11:1-5 & 10, 49:5, 6; Dan. 7:13, 14; (see also apostolic corroborations: Jn. 1:1; Col. 1:15 & 5:16 – 20; Heb. 1:3.)]
In this same time frame, God sent prophecies regarding the horrific treatment Jesus would receive when He was on earth; and yet, He would purposefully step up and give His life for the salvation of all mankind. (Is. 50:6 – 8 & 53:1 -7.)
We also learn the birthplace (Bethlehem) of Jesus (Mic. 5:2), and at 500 years before His birth, we see that this Messiah-King would enter Jerusalem on a donkey and His sacrifice would cleanse the people of their sins. (Zec. 9:9, 12:10 & 13:1.)
Through the apostles, we learn of the events that led up to and surrounded the birth of Jesus – the actual virgin birth of Mary, the name Jesus divinely given to the baby Messiah, the angelic declaration of who Christ is, and how the Holy Spirit strengthened the Child with the wisdom of God. (Jn. 1:14, 16 & 18; Lk. 1:30 – 33, 35 & 2:10, 11, 29 – 32 & 40; Mt. 1:20, 21.)
Jesus Himself had much to say about who He was and of His mission. When He was baptized, (even though He was sinless) Jesus told John the Baptist the baptism was necessary in order for His ministry to begin (for His indwelling of the Holy Spirit). And when it took place, both John and God Himself declared the identity of Christ. (Jn. 1:29, 30 & 34; Mt. 3:15, 16.)
Early in His ministry, Jesus told Nicodemus how He came from heaven and of His imminent death to pave the way for eternal life for God’s children. (Jn. 3:13 – 16 & 18.) He also revealed Himself to be the Messiah to a Samaritan woman during His first journey to Galilee. (Jn. 4:26)
Once in Galilee, Jesus enters the synagogue in Nazareth and elucidates the nature of His ministry as He professes that He is the fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah’s messianic prophecy:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery to the sight of the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD…Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Lk. 4:18, 19 & 21. NKJV
And Jesus turned no one away who sought Him out, regardless of their past. (Mt. 9:12, 13.) His preaching brought the ire of the priests in power because He exposed them for the hypocritical, self-seeking, lying charlatans that they were. They were especially riled up when He declared His divine relationship with His Father and that He was the only open door to salvation. (Jn. 5:19-24 & 28, 29.)
Jesus also taught His apostles and an accompanying crowd at the Sermon on the Mount that His professions were an evolvement of the Mosaic Law but by no means did they do away with it. Mt. 5:17) As He continued His travels, Jesus preached about His God-given authority, the unique connection He and He only has with God, and then He humbly invited those present (and all of us) to be a part of that connection through Him. (Mt. 11:27 – 30.)
After Jesus performed many miracles, He sent His apostles out to evangelize – stressing that the message be strong and clear, and to make sure that their hearers learn that there is no middle road. We must be ready to drop everything and follow Him, tell others about Him, and step away from any worldly possessions or endeavors that distract us from that. (Mt. 10:32 – 36 & 40.)
Why? It’s because only Jesus and His message contains the way to life now and eternally. (Jn. 6:27, 31 – 33, 47*, 51 & 53; Lk. 9:23.)
*”Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” Jn. 6:47 NKJV
In the fall of 29 A.D., Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He entered the Temple, whereupon He taught that He was the righteous representative sent from God as the embodiment of Jehovah’s salvation promise. (Jn. 7:18, 29, 37, 38; 8:12.)
But when Jesus declared Himself the Son of God and that His nature was similarly eternal, the priests and Pharisees in the Temple blew their tops. (Jn. 8:19, 28, 29 & 58.) Yet that did not deter Christ from pressing His gospel home:
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jn. 8;31, 32. NKJV
“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” Jn.8:51 NKJV
(Also: Jn. 10:7 -11 & 16 -18, 25, 26.)
After Jesus taught in the Temple for the last time, He gathered His apostles and assured them (us) that He was coming back (second coming) with His angels to gather everyone who had ever lived: those who were His followers to their heavenly destination and those who were not to their condemnation with the devil. (Mt. 25:31 – 34 & 41; Jn. 15:1, 2 & 4 – 6.)
Jesus said He was preparing a place in heaven for God’s children. In the meantime, we were to rest in His peace, knowing that now He was ruling the world. (Jn. 14:1 – 3 & 16:33.)
And with that, our Savior willingly gave His life so that we could keep ours forever…
After Jesus’ ascension to heaven, the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and filled them with complete understanding of everything that Jesus had revealed to them as well as the Old Testament scriptures, and He permeated them with the revelations of everything Christ had yet to teach them – including the grandeur of His nature.
The apostles then began to preach. They reiterated the veracity of the cleansing of one’s sins through faith in Jesus. (Acts 10:36, 42, 43 & 13:38, 39; Rom. 3:22 – 26 & 8:1, 2, 38, 39 & 10:9, 10; Gal. 1:6, 7; 1 Th. 5:9, 10.)
They reassured us of Christ’s second coming. (1 Cor. 15:22 – 26; 1 Th. 4:16 – 17.)
And they revealed the immeasurable grandeur of His person: He is the exact image of God and shares all His attributes and power (Heb. 1:3, 4.), He is our High Priest and our intercessor to His Father (Heb. 2:9,10 & 7:25; Phil. 4:4 – 7; 1 Tim. 2:5, 6.), He has conquered the devil on our behalf (Heb. 2:14), His name is exalted above all names (Phil. 2:9 – 11.), He is the head of the church (Col. 1:18 – 20.), He watches over us and empowers us (1 Jn. 5:4, 5, 11, 12 & 18.), and He places all God’s children in their victorious heavenly state (Rv. 1:17, 18 & 2:7, 10, 11, 17, 26, 28, & 3:5, 12, 21 & 22:12, 13, 20.)
That is your ally on your road to salvation and your gateway thereof. Praise God for Jesus Christ!
Goodnight and God Bless.