Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: Jesus Christ Our Lord

Monday, September 19, 2016

Jesus Christ Our Lord

Studies in the Epistle of Paul to the Romans
Jesus Christ Our Lord
1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; . . .” (Romans 1:1-3).
The prophecies regarding the promise of the Messiah are very detailed.  All these prophecies concern various aspects of the ministry of the eternal Son of God revealed in His Name used by Paul in verse three.  Some of these prophecies are already fulfilled while many others are yet to be fulfilled.  These prophecies are details of events concerning “Jesus Christ our Lord.” 

In this short phrase, we have three distinctive revelations regarding the Person of Jesus.  Jesus is His Name.  Christ and Lord are titles defining Who Jesus is. 
Jesus is His Personal Name revealing the purpose of His incarnation as the Savior of sinners.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
The name Jesus is from the Greek word Iesous (ee-ay-sooce') and is the Greek form of the Hebrew JehoshuaJehoshua means Jehovah is salvation.  Jesus is God incarnate.  The eternal Son of God was incarnate to be the Savior of all humanity and restore lost dominion over the first creation lost due to Adam’s sin. 

All three of the words “Jesus Christ our Lord” are intricately connected to the word Saviour and Redeemer in the doctrines of salvation and redemption.  Therefore, these five words (Jesus, Christ, Lord, Saviour, and Redeemer) are doctrinally inseparable.  In other words, anytime we see one of these five words used in Scripture, we can read the doctrinal significance of the others into any text.  Although these five words are not synonymous with one another, the use of any one presumes the doctrinal context of the others. 
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (II Peter 3:18).
The terms the Lord Jesus Christ have become so familiar in use that they communicate little more than a Name.  If you are on a first name basis with the Lord Jesus, you have presumed an intimacy that does not reflect the respect His Name deserves.  Jesus is referred to as Lord one hundred and eighty-five times in the New Testament.  When we hear the terms the Lord Jesus Christ used, they should immediately cause us to think in terms of holy reverence.  These terms should cause our minds to bow in humble adoration and reflect upon these terms to generate worship of the One with which the terms identify. 

The terms the Lord Jesus Christ are not common words identifying a common person.  These terms identify the holy, incarnate Creator of the heavens and our Earth.  We will all stand before Him one day and give account of our lives of which He is fully aware, knowing the intimate details of every thought, emotion, and action of our lives.  We all would do well to reflect upon the meaning and significance of each of these terms so that the proper attitude and worship can be created when we use these terms. 
Christ is from the Greek word Christos (khris-tos') and is the Greek form of the Hebrew Messiah (mashiyach; maw-shee'-akh). 
The title Christ reveals Jesus as the Anointed One.  As the Anointed One, Jesus is the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies regarding His coming to fulfill the Law for us and propitiate God.  The title Christ relates to the anointing of Jesus as the supreme Prophet, Priest, and King.  The synoptic Gospels (Matthew Mark, and Luke) present Jesus the Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King. 

Matthew presents Jesus the Christ as the Covenant King fulfilling the Davidic Covenant as “the righteous Branch” (Jeremiah 23:5 and 33:15). Mark presents Jesus the Christ as the Servant Priest (“Servant Branch,” Zechariah 3:8).  Luke presents Jesus the Christ as “the Son of man . . .come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).  This mission describes the nature and purpose of the many parables of Jesus taught in the Gospel of Luke.  The Gospel of John presents Jesus the Christ as Deity and as the Son of God (John 20:31). 
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken” (Deuteronomy 18:15).
“20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you” (Acts 3:20-22).
“18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all” (Genesis 14:18-20).
“1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:1-3).
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7).
“32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).
“3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints {lit: nations}. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest” (Revelation 15:3-4).
The word “Lord” is from the Greek word kurios (koo'-ree-os) and is the Greek form of the Hebrew word Jehovah.  This Greek word is usually used when quoting an Old Testament in any Greek verse where Jehovah is used in the Hebrew.  This name reveals the supremacy of Jesus in His Sovereignty as Creator and Redeemer.  The words Christ and Lord are inseparable in the identity of Jesus. 

Jehovah is always referred to as the One coming in the Old Testament prophecies relating to the coming of Messiah.  The Christ (Messiah) is the incarnation of the Lord (Jehovah).

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD {Y@hovah; yeh-ho-vaw', the self-existing One}, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3).
“5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS {Y@hovah tsidqenuw; yeh-ho-vaw’ tsid-kay’-noo}” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
However, another prophetic detail in Romans 1:3 regarding the coming of Messiah is that He would come through a specific genetic line.  He would be born of the lineage of David.  “Was made” (Romans 1:3) is from the Greek word ginomai (ghin’-om-ahee).  It can mean to come into existence or to begin.  It also can mean to appear in history or come upon the stage of events in time. 
The Son of God exists eternally, but Jesus has a beginning in history (time).  Jesus is the Name of the eternal Son of God once His deity was united with humanity.  “Was made” refers to that point in history when the Son of God became man through the incarnation, conception, and birth.
“The seed” in “the seed of David” (Romans 1:3) is from the Greek word sperma (sper’-mah).  In plants, sperma refers to the seed which contains the germ of the next generation (just as seed is kept from the harvest for the next year’s sowing).  In humans, sperma refers to the semen virile and the product of this semen is all future offspring and generations in a family.  The eternal Son of God stepped into history through the “seed of David” as foretold through prophecy.  Salvation would come through the nation of Israel, the tribe of Judah, and the lineage of David.  The prophecy concerning Jesus as the Lion of Judah of the tribe of David will ultimately be fulfilled in the Millennial Kingdom.
“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revelation 5:5).
There is great theological significance to Jesus being “the seed of David.”  This phrase connects every believer to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ as “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).  In first century Roman law, a seven-sealed scroll was used to transfer the title of assets of a deceased person to his heir.  This “seven sealed scroll” is the title deed to the dominion over the entire earth. Revelation 5:2 asks the question, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?”  This would require a man, but not just any man.  It would require a perfect man.  It would require a sinless man. According to Revelation 5:3, not one single human being was found who met the criteria necessary to lay claim to the title deed of dominion over the earth. 

In the curse of the first creation, the first Adam (and humanity) lost dominion over the earth to Satan.  In the work of the cross, Christ (the last Adam and the God\man; I Corinthians 15:45) won victory over the curse and purchased the possession of that dominion back through His redemption.  When Christ finally takes this title deed of dominion over the earth, He will do so to transpose His authority to the church during the Kingdom Age.  The title deed of dominion over the earth is the Church’s inheritance in the Kingdom.
“13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).
“18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21).
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12).
“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:24).
“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (I Peter 1:4).
The dominion over the earth, restored in the Kingdom Age, is the inheritance “reserved in heaven” for us.  In Revelation 5:4, John wept much because “no man” was found worthy to open and read the book.  Immediately one of the twenty-four “elders” steps forward and encourages John with the words “weep not.”  There is a man who is worthy.  There is someone who has “prevailed.”  It is the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” and “the root of David.”  Both of these terms signify the lineage of the Man who would be able to claim the title deed to the dominion over the earth.  It is also a reminder of the coming Kingdom over which Messiah would rule on the throne of David.  It is the Lord Jesus Christ, who will share His Kingdom rule with His bride, the Church.
“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7).
 After one of the “elders” asks John to “behold” the “lion of the tribe of Judah” and the “root of David,” John turns to see.  However, he does not see what he expects to see.  Instead he sees something else “in the midst of the throne” at the middle of this heavenly scene.  He sees “a lamb as it had been slain.”
The word “lamb,” as used of the resurrected and glorified Jesus Christ, is used twenty-seven times in the book of Revelation.  The use of the word “lamb” identifies the Redeemer with His redeemed.  It is by the means of His sacrifice at Calvary that He has “prevailed” to open the book and lay claim to the title deed of dominion over the earth for all the redeemed of mankind.

It is Jesus Who loosens the seven sealed scroll thereby releasing the horrible catastrophes in the seven-year Tribulation and the judgment of the nations (Revelation 6:1).  The Lion was the ancient banner under which the tribe of Judah marched and encamped.  It was their insignia because of Jacob’s prophecy of Genesis 49:9-10. 
“9 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis 49:9-10).
The tribe of Judah bore this insignia with great pride, knowing that it was a testimony that God had chosen their tribe to be that through which Messiah (Shiloh) would come.  This relates to the next description of Christ as “the Root of David.”  David was of the tribe of Judah.  Christ speaks of this as a reminder in His concluding statements to the local churches in Revelation 22:16:
“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16).
Jesus is both the Creator (“Root,” or source) of the Davidic line of Kings and an “offspring” of it in His incarnation.  This speaks clearly to both His Deity and Sovereignty.  This is a reminder of the coming Kingdom.  The Messiah would set upon the Throne of David in the Kingdom on earth.  This has yet to be fulfilled and so is used as a consistent reminder of that which is still to come.  Christ has instructed Christians that a major part of their prayer life ought to be preoccupied with praying for the coming of His Kingdom on earth.
“And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth” (Luke 11:2).
“The seed of David according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3) refers to the fulfillment of all the prophecies as to the seed of David and all the promises to David himself.  Although the Bible is predominantly Christological, John chapter one and Hebrews chapter two give us the greatest Christological details. 
“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-14).
“1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? 5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour {give relief to those suffering} them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:1-18).

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

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