Theology: CHRISTOLOGY – A NEW TESTAMENT AND HISTORICAL LOOK AT CHRIST

The following material is adapted from William R. Bright, editor, “Teacher’s Manual For The Ten Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity,” San Bernardino, CA: Campus Crusade for Christ, International, 1965. I have presented it in an outline form with comments for your continued study and reference. I did not expand extensively, due to the coverage that Mark Bright had given to the subject.

 

Introduction: The Incomparable Christ

 

“More than nineteen hundred years ago there was a Man born contrary to the laws of life. This Man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once, did He cross the boundary of the country in which He lived; that was during His exile in childhood. He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous and had neither training nor formal education. In infancy He startled a king; in childhood He puzzled doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as if pavements, and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His service. He never wrote a book, yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all the songwriters combined. He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students. He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun; and yet no leader ever had more volunteers who have, under His orders, made more rebels stack arms and surrender without a shot fired. He never practiced medicine, and yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near. Every seventh day the wheels of commerce cease their turning and multitudes went their way to worshiping assemblies to pay homage and respect to Him. The names of the past proud

statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone. The names of the past scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone, but the name of this Man abounds more and more. Through time has spread nineteen hundred years between the people of this generation and the scene of His crucifixion, yet He still lives. Herod could not destroy Him and the grave could not hold Him. He

stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by devils, as the living, personal Christ, our Lord and Savior.” Author Unknown

 

He is presented as coming in the Old Testament.

 

He is presented as coming in the flesh in the New Testament. He is presented as the Lamb of God.

He is presented as the sin bearer.

 

He is presented as the Bread of Life.

 

He is presented as the Only Way to God.

 

He is presented as coming in the future for His people.

 

I. HE IS PRESENTED AS THE THEME OF SCRIPTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

 

A. He Was The Theme Of The Prophets: Acts 3:18-20, “And he shall send Jesus Christ, who before was preached unto you,”; Acts 10:43, Romans 1:1-3.

 

SOME PROPHECIES THAT WERE FULFILLED

 

Town Of Birth — Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1-6; John 7:42 Born Of A Virgin — Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23 Betrayal Money — Zechariah 11:12, Matthew 27:9-10 Scourged And Spit Upon — Isaiah 50:6, Matthew 26:67

Given Gall And Vinegar — Psalm 69:21, Matthew 27:34,48

 

Resurrection — Psalm 16:8-10, Acts 2:22-28;13:34-35

 

 

Coming Again To Judge — Psalm 50:3-5

 

Yet To Be Fulfilled — Ezekiel 21:27, Zechariah 14:1-7, Luke 1:31-33, Philippians 2:10-11

 

B. He was the theme of the apostles: Acts 5:41,42

 

“And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Acts 9:20, Romans 1:1-3.

 

C. He was the theme preached to the Jew: We know that Paul always went to the Jews in the hope that he could lead some to Christ. Acts 17:1- 4 mentions that Paul’s ministry brought Jews to Christ. Acts 28:29-31, in the close of the book, Paul is still preaching Christ and working with all, including the Jews.

 

D. He was the theme of the message to the Samaritans: Acts 8:5,

 

“Then Philippians went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.”

 

E. He was the theme of the message to the Gentiles: Galatians 1:15,16,

 

“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:”

 

F. He was the theme of the Gospel to be preached today: Mark 16:15,

 

“And he said unto them, go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

 

Romans 1:1-3, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 speaks of the gospel as the death, burial and resurrection.

 

G. He is the only Gospel to be preached: Galatians 1:6-9 Paul tells the Galatians that if they are approached with any other Gospel then that person is to be accursed. 1 Corinthians 16:22

 

 

II. HE WAS PRESENTED AS GOD BY THOSE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

 

A. Peter: Matthew 16:16 “…Christ, the Son of the living God.”

 

B. Thomas: John 20:28 “…My Lord and my God.”

 

C. John The Baptist: John 1:29 “…Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.”

 

D. Nathaniel: John 1:49 “…Thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.”

 

E. Martha: John 11:27 “…thou art the Christ, the Son of God….”

 

F. The Centurion: Matthew 27:54 When speaking at the death of Christ, “…Truly this was the Son of God.”

 

III. HISTORIANS SPEAK OF THE CHRIST OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

 

A. The Encyclopedia Britannica reportedly gives 20,000 words to Christ. No, I did not count them.

 

B. H.G. Wells in his two volume Outline Of History devoted ten pages to Christ. He was not a believer to my knowledge.

 

C. Tertullian AD 155-200 wrote the Apology to the Roman government and mentioned a letter from Pilate to Caesar: “Tiberius accordingly, in whose days the Christian name made its entry into the world, having himself received intelligence from Palestine of events which had clearly shown the truth of Christ’s divinity, brought the matter before the senate, with his own decision in favor of Christ. The senate, because it had not given the approval itself, rejected his proposal. Caesar held to his opinion, threatening wrath against all the accusers of the Christians.”

 

D. Napoleon: While discussing Christ with a man that did not believe in the deity of Christ was quoted as saying, “I know men, and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity…Everything in Christ astonishes me.

 

 

His spirit overawes me, and His will confounds me. Between Him and whoever else in the world, there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a being by Himself. His ideas and sentiments, the truth which He announces, His manner of convincing are not explained either by human organization or by the nature of things…The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine, everything is above me — everything remains grand, of a grandeur which overpowers. His religion is a revelation from an intelligence which certainly is not that of man…One can absolutely find nowhere, but in Him alone, the imitation or the example of His life…I search in vain in history to find the similar to Jesus Christ or anything which can approach the gospel. Neither history, nor humanity, nor the ages, nor nature offer me anything with which I am able to compare it or to explain it. Here everything is extraordinary.”

 

IV. CHRIST MADE SOME CLAIMS ABOUT HIMSELF

 

A. He Claimed To Be The Light: “…I am the Light of the world….” John 8:12. It seems that He told us that we were the light of the world as well (Matthew 5:14). Many speak of the fact that Christ is to live in and through us so others can see Him in us. This seems to be a good proof text.

 

B. He Claimed To Be The Good Shepherd: “I am the good Shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

 

C. He Claimed To Preexist Abraham: “Before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58

 

D. He Claimed To The Master And Lord: “Ye call me Master and Lord; and ye say well; for so I am.” John 13:13

 

E. He Claimed To Be The Vine: “I AM the true vine….” John 15:1

 

F. He Claimed To Fulfill The Law:

 

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Matthew 517

 

G. He Claimed To Forgive Sins: Mark 2:1-12 in speaking of the paralytic man that was let down through the roof.

 

 

H. He Claimed To Fulfill Prophecy: He read Isaiah 61, the prophecy of the Messiah and stated, “…This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Luke 4: 21 cf. Isaiah 61:1-2.

 

I. He Claimed To Be The Resurrection: “…I am am the resurrection, and the life….” John 11:25

 

J. He Claimed To Be The Way: “…I am the way, the truth, and the life….” John 14:6

 

V. CHRIST MADE SOME DEMANDS UPON HIS FOLLOWERS

 

A. We Are To Receive Him. Matthew 10:40, “…he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”

 

B. We Are To Witness. Matthew 10:32,

 

“Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father, who is in heaven.”

 

C. We Are To Love Him More Than Others. Matthew 10:37,

 

“He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me.”

 

D. We Are To Follow Him. Matthew 9:38, “And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” Luke 9:23 also.

 

E. We Are To Learn Of Him. Matthew 11:29,

 

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

 

F. We Are To Forsake All And Follow Him. Luke 14:33,

 

“So likewise, whosoever he is of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple.”

 

So, why are Bible college graduates turning down $20,000 a year because it is not enough money? So, why are Bible college graduates turning down churches because they might have to work in secular work to make a living? And then there are those that are willing to be home missionaries to open churches in small communities. They go with little support, they struggle to plant a church, and when things are going decently his home church informs him that they are going to pull his support if he remains in that town. They want him to come home to be a visitation pastor, or no more support. PRAISE GOD he was willing to work outside the church and told the home church he was called to where he was ministering, and not to their church to do visitation.

 

CONCLUSION

 

“The Influence of One Life.”

 

“Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His feet inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself.

 

“While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying, and that was His coat. When He was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

 

“Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone, and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress.

 

“I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that were ever built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as has that one solitary life.”

 

 

Maybe you should add your own salvation testimony to this list of information. Christ just continues to change lives wherever He is preached.

 

HANDOUT

 

A NEW TESTAMENT AND HISTORICAL LOOK AT CHRIST

 

I. HE IS PRESENTED AS THE THEME OF SCRIPTURES IN THE NT

 

A. He was the theme of the prophets

 

B. He was the theme of the apostles

 

C. He was the theme preached to the Jew

 

D. He was the theme of the message to the Samaritans

 

E. He was the theme of the message to the Gentiles

 

F. He was the theme of the Gospel to be preached today

 

G. He is the only Gospel to be preached

 

II. HE WAS PRESENTED AS GOD BY THOSE IN THE NT

 

A. Peter:

 

B. Thomas:

 

C. John the Baptist:

 

D. Nathaniel:

 

E. Martha:

 

F. The Centurion:

 

III. HISTORIANS SPEAK OF THE CHRIST OF THE NT

 

A.

 

B.

 

C.

 

D.

 

 

IV. HE MADE SOME CLAIMS ABOUT HIMSELF

 

A. John 8:12

 

B. John 10:11

 

C. John 8:58

 

D. John 13:13

 

E. John 15:1

 

F. Matthew 5:17

 

G. Mark 2:1-12

 

H. Isaiah 61 cf. Luke 4: 21

 

I. John 11:25

 

J. John 14:6

 

V. HE MADE SOME DEMANDS UPON HIS FOLLOWERS

 

A. Matthew 10:40

 

B. Matthew 10:32

 

C. Matthew 10:37

 

D. Matthew 9:38; Luke 9:23

 

E. Matthew 11:29

 

F. Luke 14:33[1]

 


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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