Jesus the Son of God—Part 3

Sharing Part 3 of this series today from Unlocking the Bible. You can read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

Jesus the Son of God—Part 3

By Colin Smith

It is important to observe that “Son of God” when it is applied to Jesus means something quite different from “sons of God” elsewhere in Scripture (e.g., Job 1:6; Mat. 5:9; Rom. 8:14). So how is Jesus’ identity as the Son of God unique?

Our Lord refers to himself as the Son
“No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Mat. 11:27).

The Scriptures refer to Jesus as the only Son
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

There is a great difference between the sonship of Jesus, who has always been the Son of God by nature, and the way in which we become the children of God through adoption by grace: “To all who did receive him … he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

Read the rest here.

Jesus the Son of God—Part 2

Sharing Part 2 of this series today from Unlocking the Bible. You can read Part 1 here.

Jesus the Son of God—Part 2

By Colin Smith

“Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49

In these first recorded words of Jesus, he speaks of God as “my Father.”

Jesus spoke about God as his Father in a way that was quite different from the way any worshiper would speak of God. This difference was quite clear to the Jewish leaders who heard Jesus speak. John tells us that they wanted to kill Jesus because he was “calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18).

There is a special intimacy about the way Jesus addresses God as his Father. We see it in the Garden of Gethsemane: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Mat. 26:39). And we see it when he is nailed to the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Read the rest here.

Jesus the Son of God—Part 1

Sharing today from Unlocking the Bible.

Jesus the Son of God—Part 1

By Colin Smith

Not only is Jesus Christ the Lord, the Savior, the Messiah, the Redeemer, and the King, but he is these things precisely because he is the Son of God.

1. It was the first announcement of who Jesus is.
The angel says to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

2. It was confirmed from heaven at Jesus’ baptism.
A voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mat. 3:17).

Read the rest here.

Mary’s Treasure

It has been far too long since I’ve posted a devotional by my friend Pat. She wrote this gorgeous piece as their family’s Christmas newsletter and has graciously allowed me to share it with you.

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“Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Mary was an ordinary person who accomplished the extraordinary.  As a young teenager, a mere twelve to fourteen years of age, Mary possessed a quiet faith, one that conveyed submission, humility, and inner strength of character.  The angel assured her, “Do not be afraid.  You have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 2: 32).

Mary was initially overwhelmed and perplexed by the announcement, but she asked only one question of the angel, Gabriel: “How will this be since I am a virgin?”  (Luke 2:34).  Once Gabriel responded that the Holy Spirit would overcome her to create her pregnancy, Mary replied, I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).  Her next response was to compose and sing a song of praise and glory to God, rejoicing in His mercy lavished upon her.  Mary’s song ends with conviction that God will be true to all of His promises.  She felt honored that she had been chosen to participate in a miracle that would fulfill God’s promise made centuries ago to bring the prophesied Savior to the world.

Mary didn’t attempt to live in the future, avoiding futile “what if” questions.  She relied upon her Lord to meet all of her needs on a daily basis. Whenever she was reminded of a new aspect of Jesus’ future predicted by a prophet or an angel, “Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).  God recognized Mary’s superlative heart value. He chose her as the mother of Jesus by examining her heart and found it overflowing with goodness.  To hold the Son of God in her arms, to cuddle Him, to nurture and instruct Him, must have been a tremendous privilege and responsibility, not so different from the devotion and love all mothers feel toward their children.  However, a sense of wonder must have constantly permeated Mary’s emotions.

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As Jesus matured, He gradually developed an awareness of His unique relationship to God.  He was also perfectly obedient to His earthly parents.  Mary and Joseph must have yearned for their firstborn to experience every aspect of life, but Jesus was unable to fall in love, have a family, or experience any permanent status on earth.  Jesus the Christ, was God in the flesh.  He was focused on the work with eternal consequences He must perform during his brief time on earth.

Jesus’ parents had no forewarning that their adult son would walk on water, cure the blind, or heal the lame.  But they believed unreservedly in His mission.  At a wedding where the wine supply was exhausted much too early in the celebrations, Mary asked Jesus to help in some way to prevent embarrassment to the bridegroom. 

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Then she instructed the servants, Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5).  Though Jesus had never performed a miracle up to that point, Mary trusted His abilities and judgment explicitly.  She was likely as surprised as the servants that Jesus converted gallons of plain water into elegant wine.

Jesus was born on earth not to constantly perform fantastic miracles, as needed as they were, but to bring redemption of sin to the multitudes.  Soon the prediction the prophet Simeon uttered when Jesus was an infant, was proving true; that Mary as well as Jesus would suffer deep anguish in the future. When Jesus claimed to be the son of God, storm clouds of opposition and rejection gathered over His life.  Mary must have felt personally attacked when she viewed mob hatred escalating toward her son.  Jesus was the subject of intolerance and shame, scorn and disbelief.  Mary paid a tremendous price to bring the Savior into the world; she paid an exorbitant price to stand beneath the cross, witnessing the torment of Jesus’ during his heinous crucifixion.  Mary’s heart must have completely shattered, spilling forth all the treasures she’d pondered over the past thirty-three years of her son’s life.

As He hung from the cross, Jesus assigned His beloved disciple, John, to care for His mother for the rest of her life.  Then Mary retreated into seclusion with Jesus’ committed followers, where they hid from the Roman authorities, praying for protection and guidance.  Three days later, news arrived that Jesus had risen from the dead.  How Mary rejoiced!  Her son, the Son of God, was alive!  Thanksgiving filled the air.

Are we willing to cling to our beliefs as Mary did, even when the rising tide of public opposition threatens to chip away at our spiritual commitment like granite eroding from the constant battering of surging tides?  Just as the plans for the incarnation of our Savior were flawlessly choreographed in heaven, God loves us so much that His purposes for each of our lives are also perfect.  As we celebrate the birth of our Savior this Christmas season, let us follow Mary’s example, learning to treasure all the Words of God and ponder them in our hearts.

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Thank you, Pat, for allowing me to share these precious insights with my readers!

AnnaSmile…..

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Merry Christmas 2013 From Us

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Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. Joseph also went up from Galilee … to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.      —Luke 2:1, 4-7

As I contemplated this Christmas season and what it means to me, I found my thoughts focused on Mary and how she must have felt knowing she was carrying the Messiah Jesus—the Son of God. It must have seemed like a burden and a treasure at the same time. I mean, how can a person wrap their mind around such an amazing thing?

I have tried to put myself in Mary’s place. I would feel scared, humbled, awestruck, wondering… How would Joseph and I be able to raise the Son of God properly? Would He do the typical things that tax a parent’s patience? And if so, how could we properly discipline Him? It must surely be disrespectful to do so to the Son of God.

Still, there must have been moments of pure joy as I looked into that tiny little face and praised the God of the universe for choosing me, a small town girl. I would have wondered why God had singled me out for this honor. What could I have done (or not done) to deserve such a privilege?

And in spite of everything her mind and heart told her, Mary immediately said yes!

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The other day I heard one of my favorite Christmas songs on the radio as I drove home from a weekend of visiting with my children. The song, “Mary Did You Know,” is written by Mark Lowry. I felt the lyrics deep in my heart, so in case you have never heard this song you can hear and view it here:

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Here are the lyrics in case you have trouble viewing the video:

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered
Will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Did you know
That your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?
Did you know
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little boy
You’ve kissed the face of God

Mary, did you know?
The blind will see
The deaf will hear
And the dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Did you know
That your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know
That your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding
Is the Great I Am

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Rick and I are so thankful for the many blessings God has given us: each other … family and friends … enough to be able to live comfortably … a roof over our heads …  sufficient food and clothing … a wonderful church family … God’s written Word within easy reach … the sure knowledge that we will live forever with Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

As I shared with you last week, Rick and I celebrated our 15th anniversary this month. Daily we reflect on God’s blessings in our marriage as He knits our hearts together more every day.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. —Luke 2:11

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. —John 3:16

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Blessings and love during this Christmas season from Anna and Rick!

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What We Believe-Part 3

Believe-

Our church is currently going through a sermon series on what we believe, which is a good reminder for all of us. This is the outline from the first sermon in this series, very basic—sometimes it is good to get back to the basics! Since it is quite long because I decided to fully quote the referenced Scripture passages, I will post a portion of it each day for 7 days. Today’s post is #3 of 7. You can read the first of these 7 posts here and the second one here.

I have chosen to repeat the heading portion on each of the 7 posts for your remembering pleasure.

What We Believe: A Doctrinal Primer

The need for sound doctrine –

Proverbs 1:7—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

2 Timothy 1:13—“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”

Titus 2:1—“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.”

Colossians 2:4—”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”

God the Son: We believe in God the Son, fully divine and fully  human. He died on the cross, was buried and rose again.

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John 1:1-18—”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.In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.”

1Corinthians 15-3-4

1 Corinthians 15:3-4—“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”

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Colossians 1:15-20—“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

Tomorrow’s post is the next section—God the Holy Spirit: We believe in God the Holy Spirit, who provides new birth, indwells us and enables us to live a godly life.

AnnaSmile