The Significance Of Christmas – Part 6

Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

(2) Divine worship is given to Christ (John 5:23; 13:13; 20:28; Mat 14:33; Luke 5:8), and prayers are addressed to Him (Acts 7:59; 1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 12:8-9).

(3) Divine offices are assigned to Christ: (a) Creator of the universe (John 1:3; Col 1:16; Heb 1:8,10; Rev 3:14); (b) sustainer of all things (Col 1:17; Heb 1:3); (c) forgiver of sins (Mark 2:5,10; Luke 7:48-50); (d) bestower of resurrection life (John 5:28-29; 6:39-44); (e) judge of all people (5:21-23; Mat 25:31-46; Acts 17:31; 2 Tim 4:1); (f) giver of salvation (John 5:24-26; 6:47; 10:28; 17:2).

(4) The NT sees Christ in OT statements about the Lord. Compare Ps 23:1 with John 10:11; Ps 102:24-27 with Heb 1:10-12; Is 8:13-14 with 1 Pet 2:7-8; Jer 17:10 with Rev 2:23; Ezek 34:11-12 with Luke 19:10.

(5) The name of Jesus Christ is associated with that of God the Father (14:1,23; Mat 28:19; Rom 1:7; 2 Cor 13:14; Col 2:2; 1 Thes 3:11; Jas 1:1; Rev 5:13; 7:10).

(6) Christ’s sinlessness and holiness testify to His deity (Luke 1:35; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15).

(7) Christ was declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection (Rom 1:4).
These conclusive proofs of Christ’s deity mean that believers must act toward Christ in exactly the same manner as they act toward God the Father. They must believe in Him, worship Him, pray to Him, serve Him and love Him (see also John 1:1, note above; Mark 1:11, note above on the Trinity).

What made Jesus humanity unique?
“And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
Jesus was born without the sin that entered the world through Adam. He was born holy, just as Adam was created sinless. In contrast to Adam, who disobeyed God, Jesus obeyed God and was thus able to face sin’s consequences in our place and make us acceptable to God (Romans 5:14-19).

Jesus gave up power to experience humanity
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” (Phil 2:5-7)
The Incarnation was the act of the preexistent Son of God voluntarily assuming a human body and human nature.

Without ceasing to be God, He became a human being, the man called Jesus. He did not give up his deity to become human, but He set aside the right to His glory and power. In submission to the Father’s will, Christ limited His power and knowledge.

Jesus of Nazareth was subject to place, time, and many other human limitations. What made His humility unique was His freedom from sin. In His full humanity, Jesus showed us everything about God’s character that can be conveyed in human terms. The Incarnation is explained further in these passages: John 1:1-14; Roman 1:2-5; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14; and 1 John 1:1-3.

Philippians 2:5-11 holds many parallels to the prophecy of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53. Several key characteristic of Jesus Christ, are praised in this passage: (1) Christ has always existed with God; (2) Christ is equal to God because He is God (John 1:1ff; Colossians 1:15-19); (3) though Christ is God, He became a man in order to fulfil God’s plan of salvation for all people.

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