Thursday, May 9, 2024

          One common tactic for cults, false teachers and false teachings to pursue is to attack the person of Jesus.  We often find that these opponents attack the identity of Jesus as fully God and fully man.  Some opponents might strip away the humanity of Jesus while others minimize or do away with His deity.  Scripture teaches us that Jesus is fully divine and fully human.  We are not to emphasize one above the other but rather hold fast and firmly to both aspects of Jesus’ identity.  John helps us to do this correctly.  In I John 4:2-3, we read, “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”  In John’s day, the humanity of Jesus was under intense attack.  Some false teachers proposed that Jesus only “seemed” to be human or “pretended” to be human but was really 100% God and zero percent human.  John, under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, soundly refuted this claim.
            In the opening of his gospel, John emphasized the deity of Jesus by pointing out that His birth in Bethlehem was not the beginning of Jesus’ existence.  It was the moment that God entered into the world like one of us, born as a baby to Mary, but it was not the moment that Jesus came into existence.  Jesus has always existed.  He has always been.  John wrote, “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” (John 1:1-3).  To those who might have believed that Jesus was a man but not God, John issued a stern rebuke.  Even today, there are unitarians who do not accept the Trinity or believe that Jesus is divine.  But the theologically and biblically correct portrayal of Jesus has always been fully God and fully man.  We want to be clear about this as we serve and share the good news of Jesus with others.
            You might be tempted to ask “why does theology matter?”  Simply put, the truths we believe have a direct impact upon how we live.  Beliefs govern behavior.  Theology presides over actions and decisions.  Most of all, what we believe about Jesus determines where we will spend eternity.  And that is a big deal!  False teachings today consistently attack the identity of Jesus and the authority of Scripture.  When we lose sight of who Jesus is, it can be easy to lose sight of some other beliefs and values too.  Near the end of 1 John, the apostle made clear his purposes for writing the letter.  We read, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).  Knowing Jesus assures us of eternal life.  And because we know Christ, we will value His Word and allow His Word to be our final standard for right and wrong.  Have a great Thursday!  This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day.  We will gather for “Muffins with Mom” at 9:00-9:45am in the fellowship hall as moms and their kids are treated to something special.  We will recognize and honor mothers and the gifts of women in our church.  Bible study is at 9:45am and worship is at 10:55am.  Our children will play a big role in helping us to worship on Sunday.  Their presence and the joy they bring always bless us when we worship.  Who has it better than us?  Nobody!  We’ll see you on Sunday!

No Comments





Acts Bible Communion Cross God's will God\'s will God Gospels Holy Spirit Holy Week Jesus Joseph Lent Peter Reformation Satan accountability action advent all saints allegory anger anxiety apologetics atonement awareness awe backsliding baptism beginning beloved betrayal bitterness blessing born again burden burnout calling care change character chistmas choices christian living christmas church history church circumcision comfort commitment community compassion complacency confession confidence consequences contentment control conversation cost courage creation death debt deception decisions deliverance denial dependence depth desire despair determination devotion direction discernment discipleship discouragement dishonesty disobedience distractions doctrine doubt dreams eagerness emotion encouragement end times endurance equality eternal life eternity evangelism evil example facing battles faithful living faithfulness faith family fatigue fear fellowship focus follow foreshadowing forgiveness foundation freedom friends fruit of the Spirit future generosity gifts giving glory goodness gospel grace grateful gratitude greed grit growth guidance guilt halloween happiness healing heart heaven help history holiday holiness home honesty hope humble humility identity impossible incarnation inspiration instruction integrity intentional jealousy journey joy judgment justice justification kindness kingdom knowing God lament law leadership lead lies life listening love martin luther maturity measure memorial memories mentoring mercy messiah minor prophets miracles missions mission mistakes motives mountaintops mourning music nation nativity nature new year new next generation obedience obstacles offering omniscience opportunity opposition overcoming parenting passion path patience peace pentecost persecution perseverence perspective plan poetry power praise prayer preparation presence pressure pride priorities process prodigal progress promise prophecy protection provision psalm purpose rebellion reconcile redemption refuge rejoice relationship remember remembrance renewal renown repentance resentment resolution restoration rest resurrection return revenge revival righteousness risk sacrifice sadness salt salvation sanctification scripture second coming seeking God self-control serenity sermon service shame sharing silence sincerity sin solitude sorrow sovereignty spiritual disciplines standard star stewardship storms strength struggle stubbornness stuck submission success suffering surrender talents talking temple temptation ten commandments testimony testing thankfulness thankful thanksgiving theology time tithes tough times traditions transfiguration trials trinity troubles trust truth veterans victory vision waiting warning weakness wisdom wise men witness wonder work worship