Wednesday, December 30, 2015

CHRISTMAS BIBLE STUDY: "The Prophecy of the Messiah" Week # 2

Prayer:


Father God, we thank You for given to us a Savior to save us from sin and destruction. Thank You for the gift of life that came through Jesus our Messiah. Thank You, Lord, because we know that it was love that lifted us when nothing else could help; thank You God for giving Your Son when nothing else could help; thank You, Jesus for giving Your life when nothing else could help. It was love! Thank You Jesus, as the Son of God You have blessed us.  Our hope is in You, Lord; our peace is in You, Lord. Our strength is in You, Lord. Our life is in You, Lord. We praise Your holy Name. We honor You, Lord. We worship You, Lord. Lord God, bless us as we enter this New Year. Lord, we depend on You. We trust in You, Lord. Bless us to learn all we can about the Messiah, and then share what we have learned with others. This we pray in Jesus' Name, AMEN.


God is with us:            Immanuel:      Matthew 1:23

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

 

Printed Text:   (Isaiah 9:6) "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

 

Subject:           The Son of God:

 

Jesus is not God's Son in the sense of a human father and a son. God did not get married and have a son. God did not mate with Mary and, together with her, produce a son. Jesus is God's Son in the sense that He is God made manifest in human form (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is God's Son in that He was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35 declares, "The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. (So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God).

During His trial before the Jewish leaders, the High Priest demanded of Jesus, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God" (Matthew 26:63). "'Yes, it is as you say,' Jesus replied. 'But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven'" (Matthew 26:64). The Jewish leaders responded by accusing Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 26:65-66). Later, before Pontius Pilate, "The Jews insisted, 'We have a law, and according to that law He must die, because He claimed to be the Son of God'" (John 19:7). Why would His claiming to be the Son of God be considered blasphemy and be worthy of a death sentence? The Jewish leaders understood exactly what Jesus meant by the phrase "Son of God." To be the Son of God is to be of the same nature as God. The Son of God is "of God." The claim to be of the same nature as God—to in fact be God—was blasphemy to the Jewish leaders; therefore, they demanded Jesus' death, in keeping with Leviticus 24:15. Hebrews 1:3 expresses this very clearly, "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being."

Another example can be found in John 17:12 where Judas is described as the "son of perdition." John 6:7 1 tells us that Judas was the son of Simon. What does John 17:12 mean by describing Judas as the "son of perdition"? The word perdition means "destruction, ruin, waste." Judas was not the literal son of "ruin, destruction, and waste," but those things were the identity of Judas' life. Judas was a manifestation of perdition. In this same way, Jesus is the Son of God. The Son of God is God. Jesus is God made manifest (John 1:1, 14).

 

 "Who is Jesus Christ?"

Unlike the question "Does God exist?" very few people question whether Jesus Christ existed. It is generally accepted that Jesus was truly a man who walked on the earth in Israel 2000 years ago. The debate begins when the subject of Jesus' full identity is discussed. Almost every major religion teaches that Jesus was a prophet or a good teacher or a godly man. The problem is that the Bible tells us that Jesus was infinitely more than a prophet, a good teacher, or a godly man.

C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes the following: "I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to."

So, who did Jesus claim to be? Who does the Bible say He is? First, let's look at Jesus' words in John 10:30, "I and the Father are one." At first glance, this might not seem to be a claim to be God. However, look at the Jews' reaction to His statement, "We are not stoning you for any of these,' replied the Jews, 'but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God'" (John 10:33). The Jews understood Jesus' statement as a claim to be God. In the following verses, Jesus never corrects the Jews by saying, "I did not claim to be God." That indicates Jesus was truly saying He was God by declaring, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). John 8:58 is another example: "'I tell you the truth,' Jesus answered, 'before Abraham was born, I am!'" Again, in response, the Jews took up stones in an attempt to stone Jesus (John 8:59). Jesus' announcing His identity as "I am" is a direct application of the Old Testament name for God (Exodus 3:14). Why would the Jews again want to stone Jesus if He had not said something they believed to be blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God?

John 1:1 says "the Word was God." John 1:14 says "the Word became flesh." This clearly indicates that Jesus is God in the flesh. Thomas the disciple declared to Jesus, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. The apostle Paul describes Him as, "…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). The apostle Peter says the same, "…our God and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:1). God the Father is witness of Jesus' full identity as well, "But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.'" Old Testament prophecies of Christ announce His deity, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

So, as C.S. Lewis argued, believing Jesus to be only a good teacher is not an option. Jesus clearly and undeniably claimed to be God. If He is not God, then He is a liar, and therefore not a prophet, good teacher, or godly man. In attempts to explain away the words of Jesus, modern "scholars" claim the "true historical Jesus" did not say many of the things the Bible attributes to Him. Who are we to argue with God's Word concerning what Jesus did or did not say? How can a "scholar" two thousand years removed from Jesus have better insight into what Jesus did or did not say than those who lived with, served with, and were taught by Jesus Himself (John 14:26)?

Why is the question over Jesus' true identity so important? Why does it matter whether or not Jesus is God? The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Only God could pay such an infinite penalty (Romans 5:8;2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus' deity is why He is the only way of salvation. Jesus' deity is why He proclaimed, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

 

Background Scripture:          1 John 5:20

"And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."

 

Scriptures References:  John 3:16Luke 2:11; Matthew 14:33, 26:63, 27:43, 54; Mark 15:39; 1 John 5:10; Revelation 2:18.

 

Questions:

1).        To you, who is the Son of God?                               

2).        What did the High Priest demand of Jesus?

3).        What was the reason the Jews wanted to kill Jesus?

4).        What was blasphemy according to the Jewish leaders?

5).        Just as Judas was a manifestation of perdition, Jesus was a manifestation of Who?        

6).        To you, who is Jesus Christ?

7).        We must confess that Jesus is who?

8).        Explain John 10:30.

9).        What did the Jews call Jesus?           

10).      Why did the Jews tried to stone Jesus?

11).      What did John 1:1 and John 1:14 say?

12).      What did the Old Testament prophets announced?

13).      What do modern scholars claim about the Jews?

14).      Why is the question over Jesus' identity so important?

15).      Explain this week's background scripture.

 

Application Question:            Share how you can say "God is with me" personally.


Who Prophesied This?           Week # 2        

"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

 

Please share a short Review:


Reading Assignment:             Week # 2         Isaiah 9-17 Monday through Sunday


Sharing:          Christmas Song          Week # 2        What child is this?

What child is this, who, laid to rest, On Mary's lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, While shepherds watch are keeping? This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing: Haste, haste to bring Him laud, The babe, the son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate, Where ox and donkeys are feeding? Good Christians, fear, for sinners here The silent Word is pleading. Nails, spears shall pierce him through, the cross he bore for me, for you. Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh, Come, peasant, king, to own him. The King of kings salvation brings, Let loving hearts enthrone him. Raise, raise a song on high, The virgin sings her lullaby Joy, joy for Christ is born, The babe, the Son of Mary.

This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing: Haste, haste to bring Him laud, The babe, the son of Mary.

 





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