There is no more important study than the study of who Jesus is and what He did. He is central to the Christian faith and without Him, everything in Christianity falls apart. He is actually the main theme of the entire Bible and the pinnacle of God’s revelation to man. In this post, we will survey some fundamental truths about Jesus, using 1 Timothy 3:16 as an outline.
1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
1. THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF GOD THE SON “God was manifest”
Summary Statement: God the Son has always existed with the Father and the Spirit.
Key Verses: John 1:1, Micah 5:2, 1 Peter 1:20, John 1:18
- The clear teaching of the Bible is that God eternal exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – called the Trinity. God is one God made up of three eternal and equal persons – Father, Son, and Spirit.
- The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who was there in the very beginning with God the Father and God the Spirit. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
- God foretold through Micah that the child born in Bethlehem would be One who had existed from everlasting. Micah 5:2 But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, Though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
- God the Son was chosen before the foundation of the world to come into the world. 1 Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
- The eternal, invisible God is declared to us through the coming of the Son. John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
- This is why Jesus would pray the following. John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
2. THE INCARNATION OF GOD THE SON “in the flesh”
Summary Statement: God the Son became a man without ceasing to be God.
Key Verses: John 1:14, Matthew 1:18-25, Hebrews 4:15, John 20:30-31, Romans 5:6-8
- Incarnation = when God the Son took our human nature into union with His Divine person and became man. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
- He became a man without ceasing to be God through the miracle of the virgin birth. Matthew 1:18–25 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. [Virgin birth] 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. [miracle of the Holy Spirit] 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. [This child will be the Saviour, so called Jesus.] 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, [Fulfilment of prophecies] 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. [This child is God]. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
- Consistent with His Divine nature, He lived a perfectly sinless life. Hebrews 4:14-15 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin
- Everything He did (miracles) and taught backed up the truth that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. John 20:30–31 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
- Incredibly, after living a perfect life, He allowed Himself to be betrayed and crucified dying for the sins of those who were ungodly and His enemies. Romans 5:6–8 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
3. THE RESURRECTION OF GOD THE SON “justified in the Spirit”
Summary Statement: Jesus Christ was proven to be God in the flesh by the resurrection.
Key Verses: Romans 1:4, Ephesians 1:20
- His birth was a miracle, His life exemplary, His death shocking. Yet would all have been pointless if He had remained in the tomb. The ultimate justification (vindication, proof) of His person was the fact that He rose from the dead bodily. Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
- Christ was raised from the dead by the power of God the Spirit. Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
- The resurrection of Christ is the ultimate victory that shows He really who He said He is and that He can save all who come to Him in faith. Ephesians 1:19–21 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
4. THE GLORIFICATION OF GOD THE SON “seen of angels”
Summary Statement: Jesus Christ, God’s Son is the object of angelic worship.
Key Verses: Philippians 2:9-11, Hebrews 1:6
- God the Son created the angels who exist to minister to Him and the Father. They have watched keenly with great interest the incarnation of the God the Son. They announced His birth. They strengthened Him after His temptation. They were there at the empty tomb and the ascension. They will be there when Christ returns.
- All things in heaven (including angels) will bow and worship Him.
- Phil 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- Hebrew 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
5. THE GOSPEL OF GOD THE SON “preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world”
Summary Statement: The good news that God sent His Son into the world should be proclaimed to and believed on by everyone.
Key Verses: Mark 16:15-16, 1 John 2:22-23, 1 John 5:11-12
- As scandalous as it seemed to the Jews, the Jewish Messiah was the Saviour of the world. The message that God came into the world, died on the cross paying for the sins of all men, and rose again is one that designed for all people Jews and Gentile alike. Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
- And it is a message that is good news for all people. All should believe this message. Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
- The only way to know the Father is to know the Son. The only way to accept the Father is to accept the Son. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is the only way to God. 1 John 2:22–23 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
- God’s gift of eternal life comes only through accepting the Son. With the Son we have life; without the Son we have not this eternal life. 1 John 5:11–12 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
6. THE ASCENSION OF GOD THE SON “received up into glory”
Summary Statement: As further proof of His identity, Jesus Christ ascended back to heaven after His resurrection.
Key Verses: Acts 1:9, Mark 16:19, John 6:62
- 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus gave one final word of instruction to wait for the Holy Spirit to come so they could tell others who He was and what He had done and then He ascended back into heaven. Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
- He was taken back to heaven and resumed his seat at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
- Yet another proof that He came from heaven originally. Jn 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
- There He makes intercession for us. Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
7. THE RETURN OF GOD THE SON
Summary Statement: Jesus Christ, God the Son, has promised to come back to rescue His bride, reward the righteous, punish the evil, and set up His eternal kingdom.
Key Verses: Acts 1:10-11, John 14:1-9, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10, 1 Corinthians 15:24-26
- Following his ascension, those observing were told the He was going to come back in a similar manner as He left. Acts 1:10–11 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
- This was consistent with Jesus promise to come back. John 14:1–3 1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
- This return happens in two stages – the Rapture, when Christ returns in the clouds to take the church out of the world before a time of tribulation. 1 Thess 4:17-18 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
- Seven years later at the end of the tribulation, Christ will return to the earth to punish evildoers and set up His kingdom on earth. 2 Thessalonians 1:7–8 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
- Christ will conquer all enemies including death and His earthly kingdom will be merged with the eternal kingdom of God the Father. 1 Corinthians 15:24–26 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR US
- God was manifest for you. He wants you to know Him, so He did everything He could to reveal Himself to you, including coming personally in God the Son and taking on flesh.
- God loves you and came to die for you. He came in flesh, so His fleshly body could die on a cross for you and pay for Your sin.
- God has conquered death. Death could not hold Your Saviour. His victory over death means that you too can life again after your body dies.
- God the Son should be honoured and glorified just as the angels honour Him. We can honour Him by proclaiming the good news of what He has done and by believing the good news. Many people all over the world have believed the message of the gospel; you can too.
- Jesus Christ is now in heaven making intercession for us, praying for us, speaking on our behalf, combating the accusations of Satan.
- Jesus is coming back to take us out of this world, to right all the wrongs, and to rule and reign forever.
- Won’t you bow your knee to Him today while you have a choice to do so?
- Won’t you believe on Him today and be saved from sin and hell and given eternal life?