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Describing Christ

January 5, 2009 Leave a comment

In verses 13-23, Paul and Timothy describe God the Father and Jesus.

  1. God rescued us.
  2. This means that we needed rescuing.
  3. From what? “the dark power of Satan” (v. 13)
  4. To where? “the kingdom of his dear Son” (v. 13)
  5. This may imply that we were in hell, or at least on the pathway to hell, before we were rescued.
  6. God’s Son “forgives our sins and sets us free” (v. 14)
  7. Sins need forgiving
  8. Sins hold us captive
  9. Without forgiveness, we’re not free
  10. Christ=God
  11. God can’t be seen
  12. Christ took on human form, so Christ is God-who-can-be-seen
  13. Can we say that we’ve “seen” Abraham Lincoln or Plato or other historical figures?
  14. If yes, then we can say we’ve “seen” God through Jesus Christ
  15. Creation was made by and for God’s son
  16. God’s son preexisted all creation
  17. Does this mean that God existed in the infinite past, or simply that God prexisted our universe?
  18. The orthodox answer is yes, but is there a logical difference between the two possibilities?
  19. v. 17: by him everything / is held together
  20. This sounds kind of like the theory of monads by Leibniz
  21. Jesus is head of his body
  22. Jesus’ body is the church
  23. Jesus is the first to be raised from death
  24. This can’t mean the first to come back to life from an earthly perspective. There were resurrections in the Old Testament.
  25. In the Apostles’ Creed, it says Christ “descended into hell”
  26. This is a disturbing phrase, but describes Jesus’ spiritual death for our sins.
  27. A physical death and resurrection would not have been sufficient to save us from our sins.
  28. Calvin discusses this phrase here
  29. This puts Jesus above all others
  30. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the position of honor
  31. God lived fully in Jesus
  32. God was pleased to do so
  33. Does this imply that God is less pleased to live in us?
  34. No, because when we ask Jesus into our hearts, God sees us as he sees his son.
  35. This is an amazing and humbling and exciting truth
  36. God was “pleased” to have Jesusshed his blood on the cross
  37. The word “pleased” in this context must have an element of willingness, rather than excitement. No parent is excited to see his or her child suffer and die.
  38. I have two questions about verse 20b: all beings in heaven / and on earth / would be brought back to God
  39. Does this mean that Jesus’ death applies to everyone? “all” can’t mean every human being, because “wide is the pathway to destruction” (Matthew 7:13)
  40. Does this mean that Jesus’ death provided salvation to heavenly beings? Or is it a statement related to the phrase “angels long to look into such things” (1 Peter 1:12)
  41. I used to be far from God
  42. Until getting right with God, everyone is far from God
  43. Jesus is our GPS to get us to heaven
  44. My thoughts separated me from God
  45. Often I feel like my thoughts still separate me from God
  46. I did evil things
  47. Some of the things I do now I would label evil
  48. Since Jesus became human and died for me, I’m forgiven before a holy God, despite my continuing struggles with sin and rebellion.
  49. Through Jesus, God made peace with me
  50. I’m allowed to stand in his presence
  51. Nothing and no one unholy or guilty or imperfect is allowed to do this
  52. Now I’m treated by God as “holy and faultless and innocent” (v. 22), which is different than saying I am actually “holy and faultless and innocent”
  53. Stay deeply rooted in my faith (cf. the parable of the sower)
  54. The gospel brings hope
  55. It is possible to lose hope as we go through life
  56. This message was preached to everyone
  57. Really? Not yet. This can’t be an absolute statement of number. Not everyone has heard the good news yet. That’s why we have missionaries.
  58. Paul and / or Timothy are servants of this message
  59. It is possible to be a servant of an idea, not only a person
  60. But all ideas are linked to individuals, so the two can’t be separated entirely

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