Emmanuel: Christian Maturity Series – Jesus Christ

Christian Maturity

 

STUDY 1   JESUS, WHO HE IS

 1. The Character of Jesus 

 The Scripture passages clearly show us that:

 (a) Jesus is God: Jesus is not only with God, but He is God.  See John 1:1.  He is part of the Trinity: God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit.

 (b) Jesus has always existed.  Scripture affirms that Jesus has always existed, even before the beginning of time.  See John 1:2.

 (c) Jesus is the Creator of the World.  The World and everything in it did not just ‘appear’ or ‘evolve’ from nowhere.  Jesus was at the beginning of Creation and all things were made through Him.  See John 1:3.

(d) Jesus is Supreme in the Creation.  Jesus has the supreme place in the created order, above anyone or anything that has ever or will ever live. He is also Head of the Church, God’s people on Earth.  See Col.1:18,19.

(e) Jesus, the man, was God in human form.  Jesus was born as a human being in Bethlehem, and lived on Earth among us. See Mt.1:21-23

Jesus is the Word and the Word is another expression for God. In the Hebrew Scriptures the Word is an agent of Creation (Psalm 33:6), the source of God’s message to His people through the Prophets (Hosea 1:2), God’s law, and His standard of holiness (Psalm 119:11).  John’s description of Jesus as the Word clearly shows that he was speaking of Jesus (especially in John 1:14), a human being whom he knew and loved, but who was, at the same time, the Creator of the Universe, the ultimate revelation of God, and the One in whom all things hold together (Col. 1:17).

Though He was God, in His human life Jesus never demanded nor clung to His rights as God.  He took the humble position of a servant.  See Phil.2:5-11.

Through the way He lived His life, Jesus showed us God’s Glory. 

Jesus lived His life full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  See John 13:1. 

2. Memorisation: It often helps us to understand what the Scriptures are saying by memorising key verses. The following verses are taken from The Good News translation:

1.  “Before the world was created, the Word already existed; he was with God, and he was the same as God. From the very beginning the Word was with God.”  (John 1: 1-2)

 2. “Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him…the world was made through him.” (John 1: 3, 10)

 3. “He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a man and appeared in human likeness.” (Phil. 2: 6,7)

 3. Questions

 1. St. John said that Jesus brought light to this world and the light shines on all people.  Have you allowed the light of Christ shine into your life?  What does this mean?

 2. God created all things, including you and me. Because we are created beings, we have no basis for pride. Remember that we exist only because God made us, and we have special gifts only because God has given them to us. What does this mean to us as Christians? What special gifts has God given you? (See 1 Cor. 12: 1-11)

 3. The passage in Philippians 2; 5-11 was probably a hymn sung by the Early Christian Church. Although it doesn’t say everything about who Jesus is, what main things does it say about Jesus?

 4. Further Reading.  Please look up the following passages:

 Isaiah 52:13 –53:12                  Colossians 1: 15-20                  1 John 1: 5-10

  

STUDY 2  WHAT JESUS HAS DONE           

 1. Scriptures: Look up and read the following Scripture passages. They will help you understand what Jesus has done. Think and pray about the passages, and note down any thoughts and/or questions you want to share with the Group.

Isa. 53: 1-6                  Acts 2: 22-24               Acts 10: 34-43             Rom. 1: 1-6                                          

2. What Jesus did: The uniqueness of Jesus Christ can be seen in the way He lived a perfect life and the wonderful things He did. This is an example to us all. His death on the Cross was an offering for us and His resurrection from the dead is a proof that He is the Son of God. Jesus fulfilled what the Scriptures had forecast.

1. He lived a perfect life: He lived a perfect life, without any sin, conceit nor deceit. Unlike us, Jesus committed no sin. Unlike Adam, He chose to do the will of His Father (1 Peter 2: 22).

2. He did wonderful things.  The life of Jesus was an example to us all, for He went around doing good.  As a man, in order to do God’s work, Jesus needed to be anointed with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10: 38).

 3. He died for our sins.  When Jesus died on the Cross, an exchange took place; Jesus, who had never sinned, became an offering for our sins, and God laid upon Him the iniquity of us all. In turn, we have been given peace with God through Jesus. His punishment brought us peace and His wounds heal us (Isa. 53: 5-6; 2 Cor. 5: 21).

 4. He rose again from the dead.  It was impossible for death to keep its hold on Jesus because He had committed no sin. His resurrection from the dead is the greatest proof that He is the Son of God (Acts 2: 24; Rom 1: 4).

 3. Memorisation.  It often helps us to understand what Scripture is saying by memorising key verses. The following verses are taken from The Good News translation.

1. “He committed no sin, and no one ever heard a lie come from his lips.”    (1 Peter 2: 22)

 2. “God poured on him the Holy Spirit and power. He went everywhere, doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 10: 38) 

3. “Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5: 21)

 4. “But God raised him from death, setting him free from its power, because it was impossible that death should hold him prisoner.” (Acts 2: 24)

 4. Questions:  After reading and thinking about the passages of Scripture, try and answer the following questions.

 With regard to the life and work of Jesus:

 1. What is God saying to us about Jesus?

 2.  How should we reply to God?

 3.  What can we do in response to what Jesus has done for us?

 4. Further Reading:  If you want to undertake further study on this topic, please look up the following passages:

John 8: 21-29               John 20: 30, 31            Rom. 6: 20-23

2 Cor. 5: 16-21            Heb. 4: 14-16              Heb. 7: 26-28