GNCM seeks to spread the Word in many ways, including pamphlets on specific elements of our faith. Pamphlets can be given to seekers as an introduction to Christianity in the hope that the receiver will want to investigate further through whatever resources may be available. This could include joining a local church congregation, joning an Alpha course, or joining a Bible study group.
THE REAL JESUS!
"Surely Jesus is not God! That is too much to believe! This is not what he taught about himself!" This is a view that some modern church leaders, theological professors, and secular lay people express confidently today. But what are the facts?
The church (e.g., The Nicene Creed, The Reformers, The World Council of Churches) has historically believed and confessed that Jesus is both God and Man. Only if Jesus is God can we have any assurance that salvation is available and effective. Only if Jesus is Man, that is perfect man, could he have made atonement for our sin. One of the finest descriptions of this is by St. Anselm in his famous book "Why God Became Man".
When the New Testament speaks of Jesus as The Son of God, it does so not in the same way in which we may be said to be sons and daughters of God. We are this only by grace and by faith in him. He, however, is the unique Son of God by nature! The Son of God is understandable only in trinitarian terms. In relation to God the Father, Jesus is God the Son!
That Jesus is the Son of God in an extraordinary sense (that is, more than our sonship in relation to God, and more also than Jesus being just a preacher or even special teacher) is confirmed by the New Testament's description of him as the pre-existent agent of creation (1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2), as the agent of forgiveness (Mark 2:1-12), and as the agent of judgment (Romans 2:16; Acts 10:42; John 5:22; Matthew 25:31). All of these activities are normally ascribed to God only. But the New Testament, in all its parts, attributes these activites also to the agency of Jesus. The clear implication is that Jesus possesses the same authority and power as God the Father!
The earliest traditions about Jesus in the New Testament point to Jesus' divinity. We find this in the Aramaic "Q" material that dates from about AD48, very early indeed, which is common to both Matthew and Luke. Some scholars use this material to emphasize Jesus' role as a teacher only, omitting the clear teaching of Jesus that he is much more than a teacher! This is an error on the scholars' part, whatever their motivations. The "Q" material attests that only the Son knows and can reveal the Father (Matthew ll:25ff and Luke 10:21ff) and that one greater than the temple, the prophets, and biblical wisdom is present (Matthew 12:6,41ff and Luke ll:31f). Who could be greater than the temple, prophets, and biblical wisdom but God himself? It is He whom the temple, prophets, and biblical wisdom serve! It so happens that the context of these passages focuses on Jesus as the Son of Man, the title Jesus prefers to use in relation to his person and work and which is not a reference to his humanity only, but also to his divinity as the source of this title (Daniel 7:13ff) clearly shows. In other words, this one who is "greater" is Jesus, the divine Son!
Moreover, the authors of the New Testament concur with Jesus' own teaching. The Word, which is God, has become flesh in Jesus (John 1:1,14). This corresponds to Jesus' own word about himself in the fourth Gospel, that to see him is to see the Father (John 14:9). In Jesus, the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily (Colossians 2:9). Jesus is the brightness of God's glory (i.e., the brilliant weighty presence of God himself!) and the express image of God's person (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus Christ is our God and Saviour (2 Peter 1:1; see also Romans 9:5; 1 Timothy 1:17).
I personally once had doubts about the full divinity of Jesus Christ. It seemed to be claiming too much. But then something important was brought to my attention by an historian. Why would the early church make so much trouble for itself by claiming that Jesus was God in the flesh, unless it was certain that this is what Jesus himself had taught? Neither Jew nor Gentile would easily find this teaching acceptable. Their philosophical and theological presuppositions would go strongly against it. Yet in the face of such opposition, the early church exhibited complete confidence in its belief that Jesus was fully God and fully Man!
It was this belief about Jesus that won the hearts and minds of countless millions of people through the centuries. You, too, can believe this with confidence. Both the Word of God and history provide the assurance. What a blessing it is to know Jesus Christ in all his fullness!
Do you believe in Jesus Christ? "As many as received Him, to them he gave the right to become children of God.." (John 1:12)
Dr. Allen Churchill
Good News Christian Ministries
PO Box 184, Rideau Ferry, Ontario, KOG 1WO
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