B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER # 90
B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER # 90
I Cor. 16:9 “For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
February 15, 2007
A Study of the Apostle’s Creed-2nd article-part 3 Submitted by Pastor Mike Schierenbeck Wisconsin, USA In our study of the second article of the Apostles’ Creed we have divided it into three parts. We have briefly examined the Person of Christ and the Office of Christ. We now consider the two “states” of Christ, that is to say periods of His life. These would be the state of humiliation and the state of exaltation. To be humbled is to be made or brought low. Jesus humbled Himself as part of the plan of redemption. Though He possess all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9), He “made Himself of no reputation taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8) When Jesus walked this earth, no one would have guessed Him to be God by His appearance. Three of the apostles got a glimpse of His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration, but overall His glory was not evident. When people saw angels they became afraid, even seeing that reflected glory of God, but people did not have that same reaction to Jesus. At times Jesus did miracles and made use of His divine powers, but overall when He was on this earth He chose not to use His divine powers fully. We note that it was not the fact that He became true Man that constituted His humiliation, for even after He rose from the dead in glory He did not get rid of His humanity. His humiliation was in the type of Man that He was. He was born in a stable not in a palace. Yes, the angels announced His birth, but His first visitors were shepherds. He rode into Jerusalem as King, but also in lowliness on the foal of donkey. His disciples were not from upper society. In the Apostles’ Creed we may find a summary of the time of His humiliation: He was “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.” His humiliation was necessary to carry out the work as our Savior. The fact that He was a Servant was prophesied in Isaiah 42 and 53. He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) We also believe and teach that after this humiliation, Jesus entered into a state of exaltation. To be exalted is to be lifted up. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11) His exaltation began when He raised Himself to life. The Scriptures also speak of the Father and the Holy Spirit as being involved in the resurrection of Christ. Here again we can trace the exaltation of Christ by using the Apostles’ Creed: The descent into hell: There is one passage that speaks directly of Christ’s descent into hell. 1 Peter 3:19 reads, ” … by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison.” When there has been a triumph in war, the commander and the troops are often given a victory parade. This is what Christ Himself did. He did not enter into hell to suffer more. His work was finished on the cross. He descended to hell to proclaim that victory to those who had rejected Him. The resurrection: The fact that Jesus is risen from the dead is essential to our faith. After He was made alive, He left the tomb. The angel rolled away the stone to reveal the emptiness of the grave. That first Easter Sunday and for forty days He showed Himself to witnesses so that there would be no doubt that He was alive. His resurrection assures believers of three very important facts: 1) Jesus is indeed the Son of God. Many false Messiahs have predicted that they would rise. Only Jesus has done it. 2) Our sins are forgiven. The resurrection is God’s stamp of approval on the work of the cross. “[Christ] was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised again because of our justification.” (Romans 4:25). The empty tomb declares that you are forgiven of your sin. 3) Believers shall also rise from the dead. The Lord declares in 1 Corinthians 15 that Jesus is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. Since we are connected to Christ by faith we have the guarantee that we will follow where He has gone. 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 shows the stark difference of what things would be like without the resurrection and with the resurrection. The ascension: After 40 days of showing Himself alive, Jesus ascended to heaven to the right hand of the Father. His ascension recorded in Luke 24 and also Acts 1. His ascension is very meaningful in our faith life. “[God] raised [Christ] from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power… And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church.” (Eph. 1:20-22) The “right hand” of the Father is figurative language for being in authority. In the English language we have the phrase “right-hand man” to say that a person is of great importance. He uses His authority to rule the Church and to give gifts to the Church (Eph. 4). We also are assured that in His ascension He is making all things ready for His church (John 14:2-3), and that the next thing that we can look for is His return. Return to judgment: The last segment of His exaltation has not occurred yet. We are told in the Bible that He will come back to judge all of mankind, whether living or dead. While the vast majority of people were not aware of His first coming as it happened. That will not be the case with His second coming. “Every eye will see Him.” (Rev. 1:7) Matthew 25:31-46 depicts the separation of believers and unbelievers by Christ. He knows whether or not a person belongs to Him, but this will be made plain on the Last Day. After He has made the verdict of guilty or not guilty, He will show evidence of faith or a lack of it. There have been untold millions who have refused to worship Jesus or acknowledge Him as God. On the Last Day we are told in Philippians 2 that “every knee will bow.” How blessed we are to even now bow the knee willingly to our Savior! The Holy Spirit has worked a great miracle in our hearts that we have come to know and believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God. I believe that Jesus is true God and true Man. I believe that Jesus is my Prophet, Priest, and King. I believe that Jesus was humbled and is now exalted for my redemption. ————————————————–
HERMENEUTIC’S – Figures of Speech
Figures of Speech
As we go through Scripture we take a passage in its normal literal meaning unless there is an indication that it is figurative language. By recognizing the usual figures of speech we can understand the Word better and not confuse ourselves, which we can so easily do.
A simile makes a comparison with the use of words “like” or “as” . In Luke 17:24 the Lord taught, “For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of man be in His day.” When lightning flashes, everything is clearly seen. When Jesus comes, He will be clearly seen. There will be no question about it. Notice the use of the word ‘as.’ Some have tried to make the creation account into a sort of simile. But it is literally true with no indication that the “day” is a figure of speech and not a normal 24 hour day. But in 2 Pet. 3:8 the word “day” is figurative, “…with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Here with the word “as” we understand that time is nothing to the Lord for He is above time. He does His will in His own time as He sees fit.
This is a longer or extended simile. Over and over again we have recorded our Lord’s teaching tool of a parable especially in connection with the kingdom of God. We have a good 39 different parables presented in the Gospels. Jesus makes His teaching a picture to be kept in mind and this is especially true in His use of parables. When Jesus says that the kingdom of God is like a pearl of great price, Matt. 13:45-46 or a hidden treasure, Matt. 13:44, He is pointing up how His gracious rule in the heart is worth more than anything else and we want to possess this. Who of us does not get the picture? Just through this figurative way of speaking the picture is given us to retain the teaching far better. NEWS – 20th Anniversary The CLC has now been supporting the brethren in Nigeria for some time. One milestone in our joint work is that the Bible Institute at Efa Anyam has been operating for twenty years as of January ’07. There is so much to thank the Lord for in this regard. There are twenty pastors in the NCLC now, and all but one were trained at the institute. And over twenty years we have lost none of our men who completed the study. One man did leave us some years ago, but returned and is serving faithfully. One brother was transferred to heaven and four have retired. Jesus promise is remembered about none being snatched out of His hands. There have been problems and difficulties among our men, which are opportunities for faith growth. There have been some discipline cases, which are opportunities for repentance. So through thick and thin the Lord has brought us to this point. Five men are enrolled at the institute now. Pray for our brothers that in five years the workers’ number will have been increased and that they will all still be one in Christ and working shoulder to shoulder for Him. What great things He has done! What great things will He yet do? THE CHURCH YEAR continued
This begins with Ash Wednesday on Feb. 21st of 2007. During this time we meditate on the great suffering our Lord went through for us. Mid-week services are held to also focus better to come to the Easter celebration in true joy that follows deep repentance. We speak of the Lenten season as 40 days, which is only counting the weekdays up to Easter. This is the season to focus especially on our sin and His suffering for it. · 1st Sunday – Feb. 25th – Ep.: 2 Cor. 6:1-10, Gos.: Mt. 4:1-11 · 2nd Sunday – Mar. 4th – Ep.: 1 Thess. 4:1-7, Gos.: Mt. 15:21-28 · 3rd. Sunday – Mar. 11th _ Ep.: Eph. 5:1-9, Gos.: Lk. 11:14-28 · 4th Sunday – Mar. 18th – Ep.: Gal. 4:21-31, Gos.: Jn. 6:1-15 · 5th Sunday – Mar. 25th – Ep.: Heb. 9:11-15, Gos.: Jn. 8:46-59 · Palm Sunday – Ap. 1st – Ep.: Phil. 2:5-11, Gos.: Mt. 21:1-9 Palm Sunday begins Holy Week during which we have special services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Since it was on Maundy Thursday when our Lord first gave communion we celebrate communion on that day. Good Friday is an especially somber day of worship since it was on that day at 3:00pm when our Lord gave up His spirit. · Maundy Thursday – Ap. 5th – Ep.: 1 Cor. 11:23-32, Gos.: Jn. 13:1-15 · Good Friday – Ap. 6th – Ep.: Is. 52:13-53:12, Gos.: Jn. 18:1-19:42