B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER # 88
B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER # 88
I Cor. 16:9 “For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
January 15, 2007
A Study of the Apostles (Part 2)
He is named this in all the four listings of apostles. (Mt. 10:3, Mk.
Lk. 6:14, Acts 1:13) It is John alone who gives us information on this
apostle who should not be confused with one of the seven who served in
Jerusalem by the same name.
In Jn. 1:44-51 we see here that Jesus called Philip to “Follow Me.”
Philip in turn went to Nathanael and told him that they had found the Messiah.
Philip was from Bethsaida, the same city that Andrew and Peter were
from. So there was prior acquaintance likely among these men.
Philip’s name was Greek which might indicate why Greeks would come to
him to see Jesus. In John 12:20-23 we see Philip contact Andrew and they both
go to Jesus to say that there were Greeks seeking Him.
In Jn. 6:5-7 it is to Philip that Jesus puts the question of how they
were to feed so many at the feeding of the 5000. This was a test that the
Lord put to Philip. His answer shows that he was like the rest of the
apostles, just not understanding yet all that the Master could do.
In the upper room Philip is reaching out to Jesus, but needs to be
shown. In Jn. 14:8 Philip says, “Lord, show us the Father and we will be
satisfied.” Belief does not revolve around seeing, but trusting in the unseen.
Beyond what Scripture says we have traditions that cannot be relied
upon too much as to where this apostle worked. Some think that he went to
Carthage in North Africa. Another tradition has him going to Phrygia in Asia
Minor(modern day Turkey) and working with Bartholomew and his own
As to his death one tradition says he died of natural causes. Another
that he rebuked the people for their idolatry and was killed for this.
Another tradition says that he converted the wife of a Roman proconsul. In
retaliation for this the proconsul had him arrested and cruelly
executed. His death was likely around 87.
The Person of Christ
Jesus is unique in His person. He is the only one in history who could be defined as true God and true Man. The Scriptures show clearly that Jesus has the attributes of God. God has certain features that no one else possesses. He is eternal (John 1:1). He is holy (2 Cor. 5:21). He is all powerful (Luke 8:25), all knowing (John 21:17), and present everywhere at once (Matt. 28:20). He does not change (Heb. 13:8). Every human being has a beginning. Humans are sinners. We have limitations in strength and knowledge and location. We as humans age every day. Jesus also showed His divinity in His involvement in the creation of world (John 1:3) and the many miracles that He did while He walked this earth.
At the same time Jesus showed all the attributes of human beings – except for sin. Jesus was born (Luke 2:12), He had a human body (Luke 24:39), He grew up (Luke 2:52), He was thirsty (John 19:29), He cried (John 11:35), and He died (Matt. 27:50).
We then have to say that Jesus was both God and Man. However, we will not say that He was part God and part Man like some gods in false religions. That is human thinking. We are used to doing that when we talk about races. A child might be half Indian and half English. But the Person of Christ is special. It is accurate to say that He is 100% God and 100% Man. This is God’s math, not our own. We call the fact that Jesus is true God and true Man in one person the personal union of Christ.
In this personal union, whatever Jesus did, He did as both God and Man. This is called the communication of attributes. This means that it would be accurate to say that – in the case of Jesus – God was born, God wept, God was thirsty, and God died. It had to be this way if we are to be saved. Jesus had to have both natures fully to solve our problem of sin.
Sinners have two problems that need to be solved. The first one involved having a debt of sin removed. We have disobeyed our holy God’s commands. Those sins need to be taken away and removed from our record. Think of a fine that needed to be paid. There is a penalty for sin (Rom. 6:23).
On the other hand, God requires us to do what is right. Besides avoiding the wrong and piling up negatives, there is a positive column that needs to be filled. For example in the Fifth Commandment we not only required to not murder and hurt and hate, but we are also supposed to love our neighbor and help and be a friend to him in every bodily need. If somehow we would be able to avoid hating, we still would have to actively love in order to keep that commandment.
As true God and true Man Jesus was able to solve both problems. As God, He is above the Law. He then became Man in order to put Himself under the Law (Gal. 4:4-5). As God and Man He was able to keep the entire Law perfectly in our place, doing all the right, positive things that we could never do. This is His “active obedience.” He was fulfilling all righteousness in our place, and so He gave us what was lacking.
He became Man in order that He might have a body to be sacrificed. We know that God cannot die. Yet with the attributes of God and Man it is accurate to say that God died, and thus Jesus was the perfect sacrifice able to pay for sin. This is called His “passive obedience.” He was receiving the punishment for sin that we deserved, and removing what would cause our eternal death.
Without Jesus being true God and true Man it would be impossible for us to be saved. We guard this teaching very carefully as well as everything that surrounds it such as the virgin birth.
Pastor Mike Schierenbeck, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Three Well Spent Days
The CLC recently financed a three day mission trip of Pastors D. Paul and Deepak to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, possessions of India though they are way out in the Indian Ocean. We also sent them with a good supply of Bibles, catechisms and doctrinal printed materials. The following report is from Pastor D. Paul of the BELC.
“Nov. 24th At 6pm we visited the congregation at Kamaraj Nagar at Port Blair. Thirty-eight believers gathered in the house thirsty and eager to hear the Word, accepting us with great hospitality. I preached on Jn. 1:12 after which the people knelt for individual prayers.
At 8pm we visited a family of six and prayed for one who was brutally injured by an accident.
Nov. 25th At 8am we visited a family at Bambooplat, an island 30 minutes away. From 9-12 we visited another island and prayed for a family. At 6pm we had a service at Jungalighat in Port Blair where 29 believers gathered thirsty for the Word and raising questions. I preached on Eph. 2:8-10.
Nov. 26th At 8am we preached the Word to a family of seven and I explained out BELC ministry. At 11 we visited another family and prayer for them. At 12 we visited nine families at Bathusbast at Port Blair. After 1pm we visited five families at Pratrapur and I preached, while we also blessed one newborn child and prayed. At Bathubast there is one small church building that Pastor Deepak previously with members had constructed. At 6pm we had 46 believers in attendance when I preached on I Cor. 3:11 ‘Jesus Christ is the Foundation and Cornerstone of our Faith and Confessional Life.’ After worship an engineer’s family cheerfully fed us and we prayed for them. At 9:pm we visited anther three families.
Conclusion Our heavenly Father has given us a good mission field here. We will be able to make many disciples for our Lord Jesus Christ. They here have many questions on the Trinity, Salvation, the Virgin Mary. We issued them “My Church and Others” in Hindi, the Catechism in Tamil and 24 Hindi Bibles. We thank God that He has showed us a great new mission field where they really need spiritual food, the Truth of God without any mix.”
The BELC leaders will be meeting in council in February to make recommendations to the CLC Mission Board on how to work in the islands. Pastor D. Paul is the Acting Chairman of the BELC. Pastor Deepak had worked before in the islands and is dong Hindi translation work for the BELC.