Thursday, September 1, 2011

Glory of the New Testament

Galatians 4:4 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.

Think of all the events and places God orchestrated in bringing about the fulness of time in which the Son of God would enter into history.  When Christ came, history would forever be split down the middle - things that happened before and after Christ.  What the New Testament records for us is the powerful accomplishment of God in Christ for the salvation of His people and the exaltation of His glory.  Over the course of the next few blogs I want us to get a grasp on the Glory of the New Testament.  To do this we will be exploring ten themes that emerge from studying all 27 books of this incredible portion of the Bible.  I will list them all for you today, and then explore the first theme as we aim to see the Glory of the New Testament.

Ten Themes for Understanding the New Testament
1. Incarnation           2. Humiliation            3. Gospel         4. Exaltation
5. Pentecost            6. Missions               7. Christian Life       8. New Covenant
9. Second Coming                         10. Eternity


What is meant by the term "incarnation"?  This word comes from two Latin words: en meaning "in" and carnos meaning "flesh".  So when we speak of Christ's incarnation, we're referring to the events that led to God the Son entering from eternity into history to take upon himself humanity. 

As Christ was entering from eternity into time He spoke these words in Hebrews 10:5 "Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME."  With Christ coming into time he entered into history through the virgin birth.  When the angel comes to Mary to tell her the news of being the one chosen to bear the Son's human nature, she states in
Luke 1:34-35 - "Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God."

Jesus' virgin birth, incarnation, is a central doctrine of the Christian faith.  It fulfills the prophecy about the Messiah being virgin born (Isaiah 7:14) and it insures that Christ would not have the sin nature inherited from Adam, which comes down through a father's bloodline. (please compare 1 Peter 1:18)  As both the fulfillment of prophecy and the perfect, sinless Savior, Jesus Christ would begin his humanity in this world with a three-fold aim - to do his Father's will in paying the price for salvation with His life, to bring glory to His Father by His resurrection from the dead and to destroy the works of the devil.

In tomorrow's blog we will continue exploring these themes of the Glory of the New Testament

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