To Know Jesus is to Know God!

Don’t try to make God into some abstract, intangible, incomprehensible, spiritual power. I think that is a tactic that Satan uses to confuse people, to frustrate them, to keep them from sincerely seeking the Lord with all their hearts. He tries to paint God as some dark and mysterious force that can only be partially comprehended by the spiritually elite. But God has revealed to us, through His holy and inspired written word—the Bible—that He’s really not like that at all. How do we know? Because He gave us Jesus—the Word made flesh (John 1:14).

The Apostle John says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:1-3, NASB). And then he goes on to say, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (verse 14).

I love the Apostle Paul’s statement concerning the identity of Jesus when he says, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:5-7, NASB).

The writer of the book of Hebrews says that God, the Father, spoke these words to the Son:

But of the Son He says,

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”

And,

You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,
And the heavens are the works of Your hands;
They will perish, but You remain;
And they all will become old like a garment,
And like a mantle You will roll them up;
Like a garment they will also be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.”

(Hebrews 1:8-12, NASB)

Note that, in this passage, we see God the Father calling Jesus the Son both “God” and “Lord.” The Father also asserts the eternal existence of the Son and says of Jesus, “The heavens are the works of Your hands.”

Unless you go so far as to attempt to rewrite the ancient Biblical texts, as the Jehovah’s Witness people have done with their “New World Translation,” it is impossible to escape the fact that the Bible portrays Jesus as God among men. According to the Bible, Jesus emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant” and was “made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7, NASB). What does this mean on a practical level? Well, it means that, though He was divine and possessed all the attributes that when along with being God, He set those attributes aside for a little while in order to come and live among us as a human being. It means that, though was omnipresent—in all, through all, before all—He reigned in the perimeters of His existence. Though He was omniscient—all knowing—He reigned in the extent of His knowledge. Though He was omnipotent—all powerful—He reigned in the glory of His power. But, though He “emptied Himself,” He did not stop being Who and What He was and is—God!

The Apostle John says, “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 (John 1:18, NIV). The Hebrews writer says, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature (Hebrews 1:1-3, NASB).

One important reason why Jesus came to earth and was “made in the likeness of men,” was so that we could get to know the God who created us; the only true and living God whom we love and serve. And not just know that He is, but know who He is—His nature, His character, His heart! This is the very essence of having a personal relationship with God; something that was impossible for any mortal until after the sin barrier was ripped apart when Jesus died on the cross! Now we each have available to us an incredible privilege—more amazing even than anything any Old Testament prophet, priest, or king ever experienced—the opportunity to enter into a intimate relationship with God; and to know Him personally and deeply. It is a relationship so intimate, in fact, that “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God” (I Corinthians 6:19, NASB).

I encourage you to walk and talk with Jesus. Spend time with Him in study and meditation of the written Word of God. Walk with Him through Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. Hear Him teach. Watch Him love and serve. See how He related to and with people. How He rebuked some, and encouraged others. Spend time with Him in prayer and learn to walk and talk with Him each day. Let Him reveal Himself to you through the glory of His creation, through the power of love shared by hearts devoted to Him, as well as through the prophetic utterances of the writers of the Book! God is no longer some deep, intangible mystery. God wants to be known by you. He wants you to know Him and to love Him for who He really is. As incredible as it may seem, Jesus has made that possible. Know Jesus, know God!

In His Eternal Love,

~ Salty ~

Luke 17:10

Christianity – Not a Belief System, but a Walk of Life!

The challenge every covenant child of God now faces is to, as Jesus stated, “deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23, NASB). Or, as the Apostle Paul put it, “I die daily” (I Corinthians 15:31, NASB). At the heart of this “lifestyle of death” lies the recognition of our own unworthiness, the acknowledgment of our dependency on God’s grace, and our desire to continually surrender our will to His will. It is impossible to carry one’s cross while walking in rebellion to the expressed will of God. The Apostle John reminds us of that fact when he says:

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (I John 1:6-10, NASB)

Now, obviously, to “walk in the light” does not mean to walk perfectly, or without any sin whatsoever. If it did, the text would not say that “the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses [present, continual action] us from all sin” because we would have no need for such cleansing. Also, if to “walk in the light” meant to live without ever sinning, we would have no need to “confess our sins.” So then, just what does it mean to “walk in the light?” A clue is given in the preceding verse wherein we are told that, if we “walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” Remember, Jesus told His disciples:

For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light. (John 12:35-36, NASB)

You may remember that, early in his gospel, the Apostle John described Jesus as “the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man” (John 1:9, NASB) and saying, “we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, NASB). Truth and enlightenment are descriptors the “the light,” and both are essential to comprehending the grace of God poured out for us through the sacrifice of His Son. John said, “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” and “He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him” (John 1:5 & 11, NASB). Though their Messiah was standing right in front of them, the Jewish scholars and theologians simply could not wrap their heads around just who Jesus was. “For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness” (I Corinthians 1:22-23, NASB). However, as John also points out, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12, NASB).

So, to “walk in the light” is to walk with enlightenment, comprehending the truth of the gospel, acknowledging Jesus as God’s own Son, our Savior. It is to bring our hearts into subjection to the will of God and our lives into conformity with the truth of Jesus’ teachings. The Old Testament prophet said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, NASB). Jesus said it this way: “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32, NASB).

The Bible makes it clear that we cannot “walk in the darkness”—ignorance and rebellion—and still consider ourselves disciples of Christ. If we do that, the Apostle John says, “we lie and do not practice the truth” (I John 1:6, NASB). Contrary to what many believe, authentic Christianity is not simply a belief system, it is a walk of life.

Thus, the Hebrew writer admonishes us, saying: “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification [holiness] without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14, NASB). Wow — now that’s a pretty direct and challenging thought; and one to which we would do well to sit up and take notice! The word “sanctification” in this passage is the Greek word ἁγιασμόν – “agiasmon”— a form of the word “hagiázō” meaning: “to make holy, consecrate, sanctify; to dedicate, separate” (Hagiazo, 2013). To “pursue” this sanctification is to make every effort to distinguish ourselves as children of God, not only by what we believe, but by the way we choose to live. It is to bring our lives into conformity with the will of God; to seek to please Him rather than ourselves. As the Apostle Paul said to the “ekklesia” in Corinth, “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9, NASB).

~ Salty ~

Luke 17:10