“I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST HIS ONLY SON OUR LORD”
O.T. Lesson Isa 53:1-6
N.T. Lesson John 1:1-14
Real enjoyment, fun if you will, for the Christian is Jesus. After the resurrection, the New Testament believers suddenly found the key to the Old Testament. The Old Testament was de-mystified, and from one end to the other, it was noted that the story was of Jesus. They found him in the Pentateuch and in the Historical books, in the poetic and in the prophetic. He was in Creation, actively involved with the patriarchs– in the Passover, the wilderness wanderings, in the Judges, in the story of the Royalty of Israel. He was in the law and in the sacrifices and in what they represented. And he was in predictions of the Messiah– of his life, of his death, of his resurrection, of his ascension and of his coming again.
The Messiah had been seen in shadow but now after his resurrection it was in the open for all to see. His humanity was demonstrated in his name Jesus– just an ordinary Jewish name but with a new dimension! Tacitus the Roman historian mentions him as “Christ, who was executed at the hands of the procurator Pontus Pilate in the reign of Tiberias” [1. Mc Grath, I Believe, Illinois, Intervarsity Press, Page 39.], and Josephus the Jewish historian devotes a whole paragraph to these final events [2. Josephus, Antiquities, Book XVIII, Chapter 3, p3]. But he was more than merely an historical figure. He was the Son of God– His first-born, unique Son, and the NT believers became preoccupied with him. Look at the book of The Acts of the Apostles chapters 3 and 4.
When the Old Testament was translated into Greek [called the Septuagent, which was the translation Paul used] the special name for God which came out of Ex.3:14 “I AM WHO I AM or I WILL BE THERE AS I WILL BE THERE. [sometimes indicated by the letters YHWH, and written in English as Jehovah, Yahweh] was translated as Kyrios and translated in English as LORD. The normal definition was sir, Mr. or Master or owner, a title of respect. And sometimes in the NT it has that connotation; however, it often goes over to the larger meaning and identifies Jesus with the special name for God from the OT. [In Matt 12 Jesus calls himself ‘Lord of the Sabbath”, and in Luke 20 he challenges the theologians of the day to the title of ‘Lord’ to the Messiah. and then in John 20:28 Thomas exclaims “My Lord and my God“]. In Acts 2:36 Peter identifies Jesus in these words “Let all Israel be assured — God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
The Apostles took Jesus’ statement recorded in Matt 28: 18 seriously– “All authority is given to me in heaven and earth” and Paul writes in Eph 1:18ff “Christ.. is seated.. in the heavenly realms far above all rule and authority, power and dominion and every title that can be given not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” Not only is he Lord in an abstract way but also individually. Romans 14:7-9 says,”None of us lives to himself alone, and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. For this very reason Christ died and returned to life so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.”
Can you truly say that “Jesus is Lord” in your life today?
THE APOSTLES’ CREED
I BELIEVE IN GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, HIS ONLY SON, OUR LORD. HE WAS CONCEIVED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY. HE SUFFERED UNDER PONTIUS PILATE, WAS CRUCIFIED, DIED AND WAS BURIED. HE DECENDED TO THE DEAD. ON THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN. HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN AND IS SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER. HE WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD.
I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE HOLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH, THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY, AND THE LIFE EVER LASTING. AMEN
Other resources used:
- Alister McGrath, I Believe — Exploring the Apostles’ Creed, Illinois, InterVarsity Press, 1997. (Buy this book from Amazon.com)
- D. Bruce Lockerbie, The Apostles’ Creed: Do You Really Believe It? Wheaton, SP Publications Inc., 1977. (Buy this book from Amazon.com)
- Holy Bible, New International Version. International Bible Society, 1984. (Buy this book from Amazon.com)
- Eugene Peterson. The Message, Colorado, Navpress, 1993. (Buy this book from Amazon.com)
- Gilbert Staford. Theology for Disciples, Anderson, Warner Press, 1996. (Buy this book from Amazon.com)
©2000 D H Friesen