... but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear. - 1 Pet 3:15
There needs to be a pivotal mind change regarding what is the Gospel and especially, who is Jesus? The first apostles taught and preached unceasingly that Jesus is the Christ (Acts 5:42). Peter's preaching on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 was to prove that Jesus who was crucified was actually the Christ, promised and prophesied in the Old Testament. Finally, Peter declared in Acts 2:36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
Three thousand people responded to Peter's strong preaching of Christ, linking the Old Testament Scriptures with the fulfilment that came with Messiah Jesus: His life and ministry, His death and resurrection, and His exaltation to the right hand of God, "Having received from the Father the Promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear" Act 2:33.
The apostles preached Christ, the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. They did not preach Jesus the Saviour as such, but they preached Jesus the Christ and thousands were saved! The Gospel of the Scriptures is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
ïƒ˜ In the Spirit Filled Life Bible there is a very helpful Word Wealth at 2 Timothy 4:22
"Christ" = [SC # 5547 Gk] "Christos" - the Anointed One. The word comes from the verb 'chrio', 'to anoint', referring to the consecration rites of a priest or king. Christos translates the Hebrew "Maschiyach", English "Messiah".
Unfortunately, the transliteration of Christos into English, resulting in the word 'Christ', deprives the word of much of its meaning. It would be better to translate Christos in every instance as 'the Anointed One' or 'the Messiah', denoting a title. Jesus Christ actually means Jesus the Messiah, or Jesus the Anointed One, emphasising that the man Jesus was God's Anointed One, the Promised Messiah.
We say "Jesus Christ" without understanding the word 'Christ'. It is as if Christ is part of His name, rather than understanding that 'Christ' is who He is. Christ came into this world in Jesus, manifesting the Eternal God [YHWH] in the flesh.
Because Jesus is the Christ, we have a gospel that is life changing. We are to believe in and receive Him as the Christ; and be baptised into the Christ. He full title is "Lord Jesus (the) Christ"
In Matthew 22:41-45 Jesus asked the most amazing question, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He". The Pharisees could not answer Him. What a question this is? It is a question that we all need to be able to answer. So many today have only heard of Jesus Christ as the Saviour. They don't know Jesus the Christ, who saves. The challenge we have is to preach the Christ again.
The Lord of us is Jesus the Messiah. 'Messiah' is a more meaningful, word to use than 'Christ'. To renew our understanding of who Jesus is let us consider the Hebrew based word 'Messiah'. 'Christ' had no background in Greek or English - it was simply translating the Hebrew Maschiyach, Messiah.
In 1 John 2:12-14 the apostle addresses little children, young men and fathers. He says the same thing to fathers twice; they "know Him who is from the Beginning". Fathers know Him - Christ/Messiah - the One who is from the Beginning. The Lord Jesus the Messiah is the One we are looking for and expecting.
For hundreds of years the Jews had an expectation that the Messiah would come. They had a knowledge of what to expect when he would come. That knowledge comes from the Old Testament Scriptures. That is why Paul wrote to the Ephesians that he was given grace to preach among the Gentiles "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Eph. 3:8). The Gentiles needed to learn about Messiah as they did not have an expectation or heritage of what a Messiah would be.
Mark 1:1 says the gospel is "the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God". This means the good news that Jesus is the anointed King. Is that the gospel you preach?
Matthew 16:15-19: Peter receives the revelation "You are the Messiah [Christ] the Son of the living God". Peter recognised that this Jesus was the Anointed King who was promised and He is actually the Son of God!
We know Him as the High Priest, praying for us, representing us to God, saving us from our sins, and healing us. This is popular and legitimate, but a limited view of who Messiah is. The gospel we must preach is the gospel of Jesus Christ the Messiah and the gospel of the kingdom of God.
In Mark 1:14 Jesus came "Preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God". He was not preaching salvation as such. But He was preaching who God is and how to live in His kingdom. [Kingdom = government, rule, rulership].
We are not waiting for the kingdom to come. "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand" (Mark 1:15). The gospel does not need to be fulfilled again in our generation, but the gospel needs to be preached in our generation. We do not need a new schedule of what needs to happen before His coming; we need to pronounce the gospel and the hope of His coming in our generation. The word is the unchanging truth in every generation.
1 Corinthians 4:20 says that "the kingdom of God is not in word but in power". We experience this kingdom whenever the power of God touches us. The kingdom of God is within our reach. We must "repent and believe in the gospel" - this is how we reach out and take it. This means coming out of all the religious thinking that we have inherited and being cleansed from dead religious works. Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all needs will be met through His government (Matthew 6:33).
Receiving the gospel means to change now. The Gospel is the gospel (good news) of the government of God in the earth. We are to repent which means to change, being willing to change our minds and then we need to fill the vacuum with faith.
A big part of the change that we all have to make is to get our eyes off the 'church' as an institution and as a system of government and get our eyes back on Jesus the Christ and the Kingdom of God. In all four gospels the "church" is mentioned two times, but the "Kingdom" is mentioned more than a hundred times. The Gospel is the 'rulership of God in the earth'.
In Colossians 1:25 Paul says he was called into the ministry "to fulfil the Word of God". Then in verse 26 he said he would fulfil the word by revealing the mystery that had previously been hidden. This mystery is the mystery of Christ, the mystery of Godliness, that God was manifested in the flesh (1 Tim.3:16). It was to be "revealed to His saints" (Col.1:26).
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for saints means: the pious, kind, devout, godly people. Psalm 31:23 "Love YHWH all you His saints" (His kind, pious, devout ones). There is a second Hebrew word, 'qadosh' which is mostly translated as 'saint' (Ps.16:3) and means 'holy'.
In the New Testament the "saints" is the Greek SC#40 'hagios' meaning holy ones. Saints are those separated from sin and consecrated to God, being the sanctified ones.
The mystery is to be made known and revealed to the saints. Revelation comes by the Spirit often through the preached word.
In Colossians 1:27 this mystery is concerning the revelation of the glory of God among the nations. The glory in the Old Covenant was locked up among the Israelites but now it is open to all the nations. The mystery is "Christ in you", that is, the Person of Jesus the Messiah living in us!
What does it mean to say Messiah in me? In Matthew 2:2 the wise men came from the east seeking where the King of the Jews would be born. The religious leaders of the Jews knew that the King would be the Messiah. They answered the wise men by quoting from the book of Micah. The quotation in Matthew 2:6 from the prophet Micah is not the complete verse from Micah. Micah 5:2 says that this Ruler will be One whose "goings forth are from of old, from everlasting". [Literally Everlasting means from the days of Eternity]. The Great Ruler was coming from Eternity; God was coming into humanity. Jesus did not begin when He entered the world as a baby. He came from Eternity!
Philippians 2:5-6 gives us amazing revelation and understanding of who Jesus is. The Scripture says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being [existing] in the form [essential and specific form and character] of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God." We have already established that Jesus came from Eternity (Micah 5:2). Now from this passage in Philippians we see that Jesus always existed in the form of God, but He humbled Himself to become a man and die on the cross (Phil.2:7-8).
Christ refers to an Eternal Person. He can manifest the glory of God by living inside each one of us.
In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul presents us with a simple examination: "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you are disqualified". It is that simple! If you have received the Lord Jesus Christ, believing in His name, then you are born of God (John 1:12-13). Jesus the Messiah is in you.
Romans 1:3-4 tells us that Jesus the Messiah is God's Son. He is the Lord of us. He was born of the seed of David according to the flesh.
He is a Man, but not only a Man. He was declared to be the Son of God with power, proven by the Spirit through the resurrection.
Hebrews 7:1-10 give us a wonderful understanding of who Melchizedek is and the exalted and intricate place of tithing that comes through this revelation. The Scripture says in verse 3 that Melchizedek was "made like the Son of God". If Melchizedek is like the Son of God, then what can we learn about the Son of God from these few verses in Hebrews 7?
• The Son of God is the King of righteousness
• The Son is the King of peace
• Without father and mother because He is an eternal being
• Without genealogy - Luke 3:23 says that He "(as was supposed) the son of Joseph"
• He had no beginning or end being an Eternal Being
• And He is a Priest (Ps.110:4).
Isaiah 9:6-7 speaks of the Messiah. He was born a Child but given as the Son of God (Matthew 3:17). The government, that is the responsibility to rule, will be shouldered by Him. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. His kingdom takes over everything. (Revelation 11:15).
In Luke 2:25-26 Simeon, a just and devout man (a saint), recognised the baby Jesus as the "Consolation of Israel". Simeon had been promised that he would not die until "he had seen the Lord's Christ". Simeon saw a baby about six weeks old. Simeon said he saw the Lord's Messiah; it is possible for men to see the Messiah!
How do we get into this reality of the mystery of the glory of God being revealed in us? We go through a translation; we pass through a great change. Colossians 1:13 speaks of this: "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed [transferred, translated] us into the kingdom of the Son of His love"
1 Peter 1:23 says that we have been born again of the incorruptible seed of the word of God: "having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." We are born again into this kingdom by receiving the Word!
Titus 3:5-6 speaks of the washing of regeneration [coming through the new birth] and renewing of the Holy Spirit [receiving the Holy Spirit - remember Jesus is the baptiser in the Holy Spirit]. It is not by works of righteousness we have done but what God does in us.
It is a quiet revolution that is going on. How do we speak? Do you know your heart? Do you know who you are in Messiah and that Messiah is in you?
How do we fix what has happened in the past? We must repent, believe and then we will be free. It is a quiet revolution that goes on inside each one of us, but as Messiah Jesus manifests more and more in each one of us, revealing the glory of the Eternal One, "The glory of the LORD [YAHWEH] shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of YAHWEH has spoken" Isaiah 40:5.
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