Friday, October 21, 2016

Summarizing the eternal, embodied, exalted and experienced Christ in the Baptist Faith & Message 2000

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Acts 10:38-42 "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him. 39 We ourselves are witnesses of everything He did in both the Judean country and in Jerusalem, yet they killed Him by hanging Him on a tree. 40 God raised up this man on the third day and permitted Him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us, witnesses appointed beforehand by God, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to solemnly testify that He is the One appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead."

Today's post aims to summarize the Baptist Faith and Message's statement concerning the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the opening text for today's post demonstrates, the Apostles in the early church were already proclaiming and summarizing the life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and second coming of Jesus. Such summaries derived from a combination of their reflections on an already complete Old Testament and the remarkable life of Jesus Christ. By seeing how Jesus fulfilled Old Testament expectation, the Apostles preached Him throughout the Mediterranean world. 

As the Gospel spread, the demands of such a ministry demanded additional scripture, which is why the New Testament Gospels, Acts, the Epistles and Revelation would be eventually composed. In Peter's summary above, we find a skeletal outline for what would become the Gospel of Mark years later. In seed form at least, the Holy Spirit was working forth through Peter what would be the composition of Mark's Gospel. Early church history records how Peter preached Christ years later in 62 A.D from the Gospel of Matthew and a then newly completed manuscript of the Gospel of Luke. His protege, Mark, copied down Peter's sermons under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit - resulting in Mark. 

What we want to do today is understand the "high-points" of Jesus' life and ministry both then and now. The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 has a marvelous summary that lays out the key "high-points" we find in the authoritative sacred and inerrant text of the Old and New Testaments. Below we will simply offer some headings along with statements from the BFM 2000. 

1. The eternal Christ
"Christ is the eternal Son of God. 

2. The embodied Christ
In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. 

3. The exalted Christ
He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. 

4. The experienced Christ
He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord."

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