The purpose, goal and benefits of the Bible – Part 9
The Bible makes Jesus Known cont’
Note the following examples: (a) Abraham had to wait patiently for nearly 25 years for God to open Sarah’s womb and give them Isaac. Nothing he did could hurry along the birth of that son of God’s promise. This pattern is fulfilled in the NT, as God sent His own Son as Saviour of the world, when the time had fully come (Gal 4:4); nothing humans did could hurry it along.
Our Salvation comes only by God’s initiative (cf. John 3:16), not by human effort. (b) Before the Israelites were redeemed out of Egypt by God’s gracious power, they had to cry out in desperation to their God to be freed from the enemies (Ex 2:23-24; 3:7). This is prophetic of God’s redemptive plan in Christ for us. Before we can expect deliverance by God’s grace from our sins and spiritual enemies, we must cry out in repentance and ask for His saving grace (cf. Acts 2:37-38; 16:29-33; 17:30-31).
All those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. (c) When Naaman the Aramean sought healing from the God of Israel for his leprosy, he was told to wash himself seven times in the Jordan River. Though this made him angry initially, he had to humble himself and submit to the Jordan washing in order to be healed (2 Kgs 5:1-14). This passage foreshadows Jesus and the new covenant—both that God’s saving grace reaches beyond the limits of the nation of Israel (cf. Luke 4:27; Acts 22:21; Rom 15:8-12), and that in order to receive salvation, we must forsake our pride, humble ourselves before God (cf. Jas 4:10; 1 Pet 5:6), and seek to be washed in the blood of Jesus, God’s provision for our cleansing (cf. Acts 22:16; 1 Cor 6: 11; Tit 3:5; 1 John 1:7,9; Rev 1:5).
In summary, though the OT tells of godly people in the past, who serve as our models and examples (cf. 1 Cor 10:1-13; Heb 11; Jas 5:16-18), it does much more than that. The OT records prophetic promises, persons, events and objects (such as the tabernacle and its furnishings) that were intentionally planned and designed by God Himself to cast a shadow, the reality of which was found in the coming of Christ at a later time. This veiled and anticipatory revelation of Christ in the OT was given in such a way as to have spiritual and edifying meaning for God’s people under both the old and new covenants.
Jesus is God incarnate!
“My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28). The Scriptures declare that Jesus is God. This is the foundation of the Christian faith and is of utmost importance for our salvation. Without Christ being divine, He could not have made atonement for the sins of the world. The deity of Jesus Christ is shown by the following: (1) Divine names are given to Him in Scripture: (a) God (Jn 20:28; Is 9:6; Rom 9:5; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:8); (b) the Son of God (Jn 5:25; Mat 16:16-17; 8; 29; 27:40,43; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 22:70); (c) the first and the last (Rev 1:17; 2:8; 22:13); (d) the Alpha and the Omega (Rev 1:8; 22:13); (e) the beginning and the end (Rev 22:13; (f) the Holy One (Hos 11:9, Acts 3:14); (g) the Lord (Luke 2:11; Acts 4:33; 9:17; 16:31; (h) Lord of all and Lord of glory (Ps 24:8-10; Acts 10:36; 1 Cor 2:8).(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; 1Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 12:8-9).
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