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An Exploration of the Christ

May reading this be an activity in which you love the Lord with all your mind, and in doing so, find edification and knowledge to shine Christ’s light into a dark world. I understand that teachers will be judged more harshly (James 3:1), which places all the more imperative upon us to reproof and correct the Body in truth to train us up in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). Nonetheless, my continual prayer is that Christ has spoken and not I, and that He alone is glorified. May this be a solid chunk of ore that provides sharpening (Proverbs 27:17).

The Bible is centered entirely on the single point that Jesus is the Messiah, the One who reconciles us back into right standing with God; He is the Anointed One, the Christ–our Savior.

The Christ:

  • The Fulfillment of the role of Prophet: Deuteronomy 18:18; Hebrews 1:1

  • The Fulfillment of the role of Priest: Psalm 110:4; 1 Timothy 2:5

  • The Fulfillment of the role of King: 1 Samuel 2:10; Revelation 19:16

According to the Scriptures, the prophets would communicate God’s message to the Israelites and the world (Jeremiah 1:9-10; Jeremiah 23:21). The priests acted as mediators between God and man, and would perform the rites given by God to the Israelites (Exodus 19:6; Hebrews 5:1).

The kings of Israel and Judah would serve as YHWH’s agents to rule the nation in observance of God’s covenant and laws. They would also oversee the nation’s defense and its conducting of war–a position meant to implement God's justice and righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6; Isaiah 32:1) in Israel to set it apart from the rest of the world (Leviticus 20:26).

Man was unable to fulfill any of these roles by his own power.

Jesus is Jehovah, the Word made flesh; where God spoke through the prophets, He has spoken now through His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2).

Jesus is Jehovah, our High Priest; He is a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek, and our mediator to the Father (Hebrews 5, 7, and 8; 1 Timothy 2:5).

Jesus is Jehovah, the King of kings; He sits exalted at the right hand of the Father and every knee will bow to Him (Luke 22:69).

Scripture shows that the mantle of Messiah is fulfilled in Jesus in many ways. An interesting example is in the gifts the wise men bring to Jesus in Matthew 2:11, “And going into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” Gold, as usually interpreted, represents Christ’s fulfillment of the role of king--gold being a valuable metal and something often plundered in the wars spoken of in the Tanakh/Old Testament. Frankincense can represent Christ’s fulfillment of the role of priest, since the law required frankincense for many of the Old Covenant priestly ceremonies. Myrrh (one of its primary uses being an embalming liquid) was a prophetic symbol of Christ’s death, and can represent Jesus’s fulfillment of the role of prophet because it was through His death and resurrection that the gospel (God’s message of good news) would be given to all.

Jesus, the Word who rends our heart by His message of the gospel–that we all have sinned and require a savior, leading us to repentance.

Jesus, the High Priest, who sacrificed Himself on our behalf to make us blameless before God upon the reception of His sacrifice, and His sacrifice alone.

Jesus, the King, who rules our lives in righteousness and justice as we believe, and leads and defends us for His glory alone.

Focusing on Christ’s role as King:

Ephesians 1:15-19 - the glorious inheritance of Christ’s kingship, and thereby our co-heir status, belongs to those who believe; “that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:20-23 (ESV).

When faith is received from Christ's words as Prophet, we accept the sacrifice He provided as Priest. When we have received Christ's sacrifice, we die, and a new creation is born, which is His life in us (2 Cor. 5:17; Galatians 2:20). Thus, we are then under Christ’s authority, in which He rules as King of our life in righteousness and justice, all to foster a deeper love for Him and others.

Christ's kingship of righteousness and justice

We are ruled by God’s righteousness and justice when we submit to Christ's kingship–a submission that looks like sackcloth and ashes, but also good food and festivities.

We are to put on the Lord Jesus and His righteousness, which is the driving force of our sanctification.

  • As we put on Christ’s righteousness, the lusts of the flesh are put to death (Romans 13:14; Ephesians 4:24) as we discipline ourselves in self-denial (Matthew 16:24; 1 Corinthians 9:27), according to the Holy Spirit at work within us (Romans 8:13-14). Asceticism is self-denial without the Holy Spirit, as addressed by Paul in Colossians 2:16-23, among other things. We know the flesh wars against the Spirit (Galatians 5:17), so we will continue being sanctified until we receive glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42–53; Philippians 3:10).

We rely on and trust in the justice of God to sustain our sanctification.

  • Christ is the mediator between us and God the Father, “Therefore He is able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them.” (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:25 BSB).

  • Christ is constantly interceding on our behalf against any accusation or claim of the enemy–notably, for those who draw near to God through Him. Christ refutes the claims of satan–completely–by pointing to the sacrifice He made at the cross, identifying the justice that was paid in full for those who are in Him. Therefore, it is God’s justice that has assured our salvation, and it is His justice that guarantees our reception of grace when we boldly approach the throne.

Freedom from the dominion of sin

God’s grace given to us in Christ encompasses His righteousness and justice, which frees us from the dominion of sin.

  • Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (NKJV)

If we believe that any power of sin, satan, the world, or our flesh holds dominion over us, we are rebelling against Christ’s kingship over our lives. The message Jesus gave us through His death and resurrection is that we have become children of God through faith in Him (Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:10).

  • “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

  • There is only one yoke that we are to put on, and that is Christ’s. If we believe in Christ, yet say we are not free, then we make God a liar. We know it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18), thus God assures us of our freedom in His word that says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36). Do we believe in the pure power of the Blood?

Two laws at work within us

Therefore, we see the two laws at work within us:

  • Romans 7:21-25

  • The law of the flesh and the law of the Spirit

The weapon the Holy Spirit gives us

The only weapon given to us to fight against the flesh is the Word, which is why we need our daily Bread; the manna of heaven; the Word, and the word.

  • We have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), and Christ is the Word made flesh (John 1:14), and the manna from heaven (John 6:35).

  • We have been given the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) through Christ’s cross, which gives us access to the truth of the Scriptures. Through the Holy Spirit, we will be led into all truth (John 16:13) to glorify Christ (John 16:14). Therefore, consuming the bread of life is something we must do daily to sustain our walk. Just like the necessity of eating food to sate our physical hunger, we must feed upon the Wword to satisfy our spiritual hunger (John 6:50-63). This is why Jesus says He is food and drink indeed (John 6:55).

  • The mind we have been given in Jesus unlocks the word, being the Bible, which deepens our love for God by continually giving us new and greater revelations of the righteousness and justice given to us in Christ's death and resurrection.

Thereby, we put on the Lord Jesus Christ and His righteousness, which is the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and the armor of light (Romans 13:12).

  • By the power of the Holy Spirit, we consume the words of the Bible, in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24), guarding and sustaining ourselves in every way by the word which proceeds from the Word made flesh (Matthew 4:4). Light, in a natural sense, is something that brings knowledge, as it lights up what is in darkness and allows it to be seen clearly, bringing understanding to what was once hidden. God shines His light through His Word, and through the Holy Scriptures we gain knowledge. This is why it is written, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to Me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." Hosea 4:6 (ESV). And, “...seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Colossians 3:9-10 (ESV).

The union of the word and the Holy Spirit

Thus, it is by the union of the word and the Holy Spirit that we are armored and protected, and it is by the word and the Holy Spirit that we defend ourselves–the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

Psalm 1 talks about the blessed man and states that his delight is in the law of God. The law of God is given in the Hebrew Scriptures and is an inseparable part of the word. My inner being rejoices at the law of God (Romans 7:22; Romans 7:25), and by the power of Christ’s love in me, I keep His commandments (John 14:15)--not out of an intention to fulfill the law of my own power (Romans 3:21-31; Hebrews 10:39), but to walk according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1-2). For Christ says that all Scripture points to Himself (John 5:39) and that He is the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 5:17). Delighting in the law of God makes the man “like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither, and who prospers in all he does.” (Psalm 1:3).

In Isaiah 61, the Anointed One (the Messiah; the Christ) proclaims His good news to the captives and wants to free them for the reasons stated in Isaiah 61:1-4, particularly: “that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3 (ESV). Christ died so that we would know the truth and that it would set us free (John 8:32), thereby transforming us according to the will of God rather than being conformed to the world (Romans 12:2). This is why the work of God is believing in the One He sent (John 6:29) because it is in Christ that we are made alive to the truth, which leads us deeper into the truth found in His word--something only illuminated by the Holy Spirit. If the law is holy, good, and righteous (Romans 7:12), and is spiritual (Romans 7:14), then a spiritual means of receiving that which is good is required, which is offered in Christ Jesus since He was both man (unspiritual) and God (spiritual).

Therefore, believing in Christ is the beginning of wisdom because it is the beginning of consuming the word of God in Spirit and in truth; "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." Proverbs 9:10 (ESV). Thus, we see the connection of God speaking creation into existence by His word in Genesis 1:3--"And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light.", which was done through His Word, being Jesus (John 1:1-5), of which John 1:5 states, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."--with Him establishing the world by His wisdom (Proverbs 8). The word of God and the wisdom of God are synonymous, and it is written, “but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:23-24 (ESV). Jesus is knowledge, and in Him is the fullness of the Godhead dwelling bodily (Colossians 2:9).

If the light shines in the darkness, are we perceiving it? God ordered all of creation by His Word and brought forth light, which He called good, and separated it from the darkness–of which He said nothing (Genesis 1:3-4). But we know that darkness will be done away with at the end, and God Himself will be our light (Revelation 21:23). Ignorance of the word produces darkness, but enlightenment to the law of God brings forth knowledge, which pierces the lies of the enemy. Did not Christ disarm the lies of satan in the wilderness each time with Scripture (Matthew 4:1-11)? Jesus, the Word made flesh and the author of the word, used Scripture to combat the attacks of the enemy, who was intent on producing in Christ what he is filled with: darkness, which is rebellion against God’s authority. Sin is a failure to trust in God’s knowledge rather than our own understanding. For it is also written, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 1 Corinthians 1:25 (ESV).

God’s order is so great and expansive, yet it is also infinitely intentional and organized. We know that God is the author of peace and not of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), and that when He finished creation, it was good (Genesis 1:31). Therefore, we know that confusion and chaos are produced by a lack of knowledge, which can only exist in the absence of light. For example, mathematics is something that resides in deep darkness for me–I lack the mathematical knowledge needed to access its great equations and hidden truths. Einstein, however, can see more clearly than me in math because of his mathematical knowledge. Either way, we know that math is a creation of God and has been ordered according to the mind of Christ–we do not create numbers; we merely discover them.

In the same way that we uncover deep mathematical truths in the abstract, so too do we understand God more through His already-established word. But, unlike math, we have direct access to the mind of our Creator through Christ Jesus, who gives life to what is lifeless and material. Moreover, love is a relationship, not an algorithm. Indeed, according to God’s will at work within us (Philippians 2:13), we grow in wisdom (2 Peter 3:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Luke 2:52). As our understanding of God deepens through His word of truth, we mature–God has not changed, and neither has His word, but our minds have been refreshed, leading us in righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:17-24). For God does not change like shifting shadows, and He and His word are righteous (Proverbs 8:8).

The Hypostatic Union

We know Christ has said, “But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:14 (BSB)

  • Christ is identifying Himself as the fountain of living waters in Jeremiah 2:13.

  • The fountain of water is the word bubbling up within us, which, in union with the Holy Spirit, springs up into eternal life. The Bbread must be consumed consistently with persevering faith, which will have its perfect work over time so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4).

  • And from the nourishment of the fountain of living water, the Branch from the stump of Jesse will grow within us (Isaiah 11:1-5), and--by persevering faith through sanctification--we will become oaks of righteousness to the glory of God the Father.

The union of the word and the Holy Spirit–belief and faith; obedience and authority; works and fruit; earth and heaven–is the picture of what it means to be baptized by water and fire (Matthew 3:11): “Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’” John 3:5 (ESV). The water is the tangible, material, and created; the Holy Spirit is the intangible, spiritual, and uncreated.

The water is what is tangible and physical and defines the reality of what we see.

  • The water represents this physical reality–the Bible, spiritual disciplines, nature, our flesh, actions we take, etc.

But the baptism of Christ is impossible without the Holy Spirit, who baptizes us with fire–which is spiritual–so that we can access the truth from what is material.

  • God opens our eyes to discern what is spiritual (the truth of Christ; the manna of heaven) from what is physical (the written word; the Bible), and empowers our obedience (disciplines and actions) to be fruitful according to faith (fruit of the Spirit). For without the Spirit who leads us into all truth, we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13).

We see that Christ’s baptism of water and fire is defined by Christ’s nature as the Son, since our inheritance is offered to us through Him. The word says, concerning Christ (which, secondly, can also apply to those who Christ indwells), “Today I have begotten You…” (Psalm 2:7), signifying a specific point in time, yet, also signifying the same present moment eternally. Christ is eternal, and those in Him, therefore, receive eternal life–which explains why God knew us before the foundations of the earth (Jeremiah 1:5; Ephesians 1:4-6), despite God being the only One before all of creation (Job 38:4). God is eternal, and we know Christ existed before all things. As John 1 states: the Word was in the beginning and made all things. But, when Christ entered humanity, being born of the virgin Mary, He took on flesh. Jehovah the Father is the God of all flesh (Jeremiah 32:27), and we know that Christ took on the form of a slave (which, by our flesh, sin held us captive, making us slaves), yet He was without sin. Christ is uncreated, eternal, and unchanging (Hebrews 13:8), yet He took on mortal flesh–did He truly change? We know we are made in His image and not the other way around (Genesis 1:27). We also see the Christophanies in the Old Testament, where Christ is encountered and has a body like a man (Joshua 5:13-15; Daniel 3:24-25).

We know that God transcends time, space, etc., and breaks our understanding of what existing actually means (2 Peter 3:8). God has written the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), so it’s as though the canvas of eternity is already painted. Christ’s existence is so far beyond our understanding--He walks the pages of time unhindered in the present moment as if it’s as fluid as our mortal lives right now. God is fully and eternally present, weighing every moment and traversing time like how we would draw on a piece of paper. We also know that this present moment is the same single moment that stretches into the infinite past and future, which means our recognition of time is solely based on the constraining reality of our decay. God has no such constraints, for He does not perish with time. God is the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9; Psalm 90:2), yet also newness incarnate and the One who makes all things new (Revelation 21:5; James 1:17).

Christ is the eternally begotten Son of the Father, being the eternally existent and uncreated Word of God. Christ is also the Word made flesh, who entered our timeline at a specific point in eternity and history. It’s almost as though there are two timelines: one timeline with Christ only in the form of the Word of God before all creation–still begotten of the Father. The other timeline with Christ being born of the virgin Mary in the form of man, eternally existent as such before all creation. Both timelines being eternally present and active–Christ being the Word, while also being the embodiment of God in the form of man, at the same time and entirely one.

Nonetheless, despite God’s existence being so much higher than our comprehension, Christ is the Word (spiritual, intangible, uncreated) made flesh (physcial, tangible, created); Jesus is God (Luke 1:35; John 8:58), and yet, He is man (Hebrews 2:5-8). Jesus is the Second Adam and is a life-giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15:42-49), yet still retains the scars He bore for us (John 20:27).

Since Christ is both truly God and truly man, He is able to perfectly sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15), enabling us to boldly approach the Father’s throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) because of His propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2).

Final Thoughts

Thus, we continue walking with the Lord in humble submission to receive grace, following Christ’s example (Philippians 2:6-11), and growing in the contrite and child-like heart of reliance as when we first lifted our eyes (Colossians 2:6). From the Truth in us flows truth, and we fulfill what Christ declared: "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." (Matthew 5:14 NIV). From Christ within, God’s power, authority, and boldness are grown in us (Proverbs 28:1), and as we continue walking in persevering faith, God entrusts us with more as we present ourselves faithful in little (Luke 16:10). Therefore, we Christians have been utterly duped into a righteous Ponzi scheme of God's grace–He gives to us freely (James 1:5), but then requires more from us all the same (Luke 12:48), all to glorify Himself for our good (Romans 8:28; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12). Unlike a Ponzi scheme, however, God is perfectly honest and has a payout waiting for us that is beyond anything we could imagine (Titus 1:2).

To be sure, all of this is so that we would be brought from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18)–which is the glory of God, who is love itself (1 John 4:16)–ultimately fulfilling His will in us, which is centered on the two all-encompassing commands: to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Luke 10:27; Deuteronomy 6:5), and to love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27; Leviticus 19:18).


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