Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jesus Christ is God

Heb 1:3 - 'And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.'

Christ is God, He is the radiance of His glory.  Radiance is defined by Thayer as 'reflected brightness/splendor' - 1a) of Christ in that he perfectly reflects the majesty of God. `
John Gill gives an illustration of this in his commentary concerning this verse, 'the allusion is to the sun, and its beam or ray: so some render it "the ray of his glory"; and may lead us to observe, that the Father and the Son are of the same nature, as the sun and its ray; and that the one is not before the other, and yet distinct from each other, and cannot be divided or separated one from another'.
Jesus Christ is the radiance of God's glory-'His magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace; the kingly majesty which belongs to Him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity, splendour, brightness'{from Thayer's Definitions}.

Jesus Christ is the exact representation of God's nature, to which Matthew Henry adds 'This is a high and lofty description of the glorious Redeemer, this is an account of his personal excellency. He is, in person, the Son of God, the only-begotten Son of God, and as such he must have the same nature.'
Christ is the 'express image', He is a carbon copy of the Father -" He who has seen Me has seen the Father".John 14:9 , - of His nature, His person, substance.  This word, 'representation' or 'express image' is described nicely by Albert Barnes, 'The word used here - χαρακτὴρ  charaktēr - likewise occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is that from which our word “character” is derived. It properly means a “engraving-tool;” and then something “engraved” or “stamped” - “a character” - as a letter, mark, sign. The image stamped on coins, seals, wax, expresses the idea: and the sense here is, that if God be represented under the idea of a substance, or being, then Christ is the exact resemblance of that - as an image is of the stamp or die. The resemblance between a stamp and the figure which is impressed is exact; and so is the resemblance between the Redeemer and God.“Who is the image of the invisible God.'
Looking again at Christ being the representation of God's nature, once more  we turn to commentary from Albert Barnes, 'Tyndale renders it, more accurately, “substance.” The word in the original - ὑπόστασις  hupostasis - whence our word “hypostasis,” means, literally, a “foundation,” or “substructure.” Then it means a well-founded trust, firm expectation, confidence, firmness, boldness; and then “reality, substance, essential nature.” In the New Testament, it is rendered “confident,” or “confidence” 2Co_9:4; 2Co_11:17; Heb_3:14; “substance” Heb_11:1; and “person” in the passage before us. It is not used elsewhere. Here it properly refers to the essential nature of God - what distinguishes him from all other beings, and which, if I may so say, “constitutes him God;” and the idea is, that the Redeemer is the exact resemblance of “that.”
God the Son upholds all things by the word of His power; for any who doubt and mock the power of a mighty God, this phrase from Hebrews 1:3 should cause men to tremble in fear and be in awe of that very power.
 Barnes commentary says 'That is, by his powerful word, or command. The phrase “word of his power” is a Hebraism, and means his efficient command. There could not be a more distinct ascription of divinity to the Son of God than this. He upholds or sustains all things - that is, the universe. It is not merely the earth; not only its rocks, mountains, seas, animals and human beings, but it is the universe - all distant worlds. How can he do this who is not God? He does it by his word - his command. What a conception! That one simple command should do all this! So the world was made when God “spake and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast;” Psa_33:9. So the Lord Jesus commanded the waves and the winds, and they were still Mat_8:26-27; so he spoke to diseases and they departed, and to the dead land they arose; compare Gen_1:3. I do know how people can “explain away” this ascription of infinite power to the Redeemer. There can be no higher idea of omnipotence than to say that he upholds all things by his word; and assuredly he who can “hold up” this vast universe so that it does not sink into anarchy or into nothing, must be God. The same power Jesus claimed for himself. ' There isn't much I can add to that.

Christ made purification of sins, or as Thayer's defines it, 'a cleansing from the guilt of sins wrought by the expiatory sacrifice of Christ'. Nothing or no one could remove the penalty of sin and satisfy God's wrath against sin except the shed blood of God the Son. There is no other way to be cleansed or purified from sin {keeping in mind that nothing defiled will enter God's holy kingdom} which is a stumbling block to works-based religions.  Only a the shed blood of the Holy Son of God would be accepted as purifying for the sin-stained souls of men. If you do not believe that Christ is God the Son, then how can you understand what His shed blood means?

After His work was finished and He ascended back to the Father, He 'sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high'. Once more, we go to Albert Barnes' commentary, 'We are not to suppose that God has hands, or that Jesus sits in any particular direction from God. This phrase is taken from the manner of speaking among men, and means that he was exalted to honor and power in the heavens. It was esteemed the place of the highest honor to be seated at the right hand of a prince. So, to be seated at the right hand of God, means that Jesus is exalted to the highest honor of the universe.'

 Jesus Christ is not in a wafer, He is not in a piece of toast or a tortilla shell. He is seated in power, in honour, in glory, in majesty with His Father, equal to His Father. To say otherwise is to go against the word of God and to speak lies. May we never lessen the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, instead let us ponder His power, might, majesty and glory. He isn't just any king, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords over all things, seated at the right hand of the Father and, as
John Gill correctly states,  ' here he will remain, till his second coming.'


Darrel said...

There are two other passages in Scripture that come to mind to go along with these in Hebrews. Phil. 2 and Heb. 9. It is the same Jesus that is seated at the Father's right hand and is indeed worthy of all praise from all His creation for all eternity that did this: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of th cross." Phil. 2:5-8.
"But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of bulls and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." Heb. 9:11&12.

It is a good thing that we will have all eternity to learn at the feet of our Savior, it will take me that long to grasp the full import of just these few verses. Thanks, Lyn, great post!

lyn said...

Great verses, thanks for bringing them to my attention Darrel. I am with you Darrel, it will take me an eternity to learn about our Lord, just learning about His holiness will take forever. Being in His presence and seeing Him face to face is something that baffles me when I ponder on it. I have been brought to tears just thinking of this magnificent, mighty, and merciful God who set His affections on me before the foundation of the world, knowing what a wretch I am; but it is not about me, it is about Him...all for His glory. Oh what a wondrous love is this!!!

Bless you brother

Linda said...


all religions deny Jesus' deity. Jehovah's Witnessess are egregious in stripping Jesus of his Deity, Islam, Mormons the RCC, WOF etc...

The most JOY is acknowledging Jesus for who he actually is.

thanks lyn and Darrel for your encouraging writings and comments

lyn said...

That's right sister, they deny Christ's deity, this is a stumbling block for them. They weary themselves trying to work righteousness, it's like a cat chasing his tail.

Aren't you glad we have been granted the joy of knowing who Jesus is?!?!