JESUS CHRIST, AND HIM CRUCIFIED
By John C. Carpenter
To the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote, I, brethren, when
I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined [conclude,
declared, esteemed, judged, ordained] not to know [be aware of, behold, consider, look upon, perceive, understand] any thing among
you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my
preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not
stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
Why was Jesus Christ and His crucifixion and, death,
and resurrection so important, so special, so consuming, that Paul said he was determined to be aware of, look upon, consider and
understand absolutely nothing but Christ and Him crucified? Although there are too many to be mentioned within this article, let us
examine some of the reasons for Paul's singular focus on Christ and His crucifixion. What made Christ so special to Paul?
There are two aspects of Jesus Christ that made Him so special to Paul: who He was, His person, and what He did,
His ministries. Because He had many personal qualities and characteristics as described within the scriptures, he also had many titles.
We can learn much about the person of Jesus Christ by examining those titles. Let us look now at some of His titles which characterized
the person of Christ. Since there are so many titles of Jesus mentioned in so many verses within the scriptures, some titles may overlap
or be repeated, or not listed at all. It is not the goal of this article to list and address each and every title of Jesus, which
is near impossible within the scope of this article. The goal is to make the point of how special and unique Jesus Christ was, and
is. We will examine his actions and ministries later.
First of all, Jesus Christ had a title which most believers have heard,
as well as many unbelievers. Christ described Himself personally by saying I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith
the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty [all ruling, universal sovereign, omnipotent] (Revelation 1:8).
He is referred to as righteous and the advocate [intercessor, consoler, comforter] for the believer in Christ (1 John 2:1), and regarding
the Father's plan of salvation, Christ is The stone which the builders refused is become the head [captain, excellent, head, high,
principal] stone of the corner [bulwark, chief, stay, tower] (Psalms 118:22).
Jesus Christ is also described as the Lamb of God,
the Son of God, the Word of God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Referring to Christ, John the baptist said, ...Behold the Lamb
of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for
he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And
John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that
sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same
is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God (John 1:29-34). The revelator, John,
said this of Christ: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and
in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name
written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth
a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress
of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF
LORDS (Revelation 19:11-16). The Lord Jesus is also described as the Son of Man (Luke 19:10), Risen Lord (1 Cor 15:34), Son of the
Most High (Luke 1:32), Savior (Luke 2:11), and Rock (1 Cor 10:4). Because of His ministries, Jesus is also referred to as our Peace:For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us [God and man]; Having abolished
in his flesh the enmity, even [specifically] the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one
new man, so making peace (Ephesians 2:14-15).
Jesus also told some Jewish leaders, I am the light [to shine, to make manifest]of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light [revelation] of [which results in life] (John
8:12). Jesus is also described with the scriptures simply as Lord. As the apostle Paul wrote the church in Philippi, Let this mind
be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself
of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given
him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and
things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians
Christ is the holy child Jesus (Acts 4:29-30), God's unspeakable [beyond description] gift (2 Cor 9:15), and the eternal
and timeless I am (John 8:58). Jesus Christ is God who was manifested on earth in the flesh: Therefore the Lord himself shall give
you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [with us is God] (Isaiah 7:14). JesusChrist is ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever
believeth in him shall receive remission of sins (Acts 10:42-43). To the leaders of the Jewish church, Jesus Christ again described
Himself with these words: I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep (John 10:11); and addded, I am come
that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Scriptures also describe Christ as the Son of
God (Mat 3:17), faithful and true (Rev 19:11), and the head of the group of believers thought of as the church (Eph 1:22). He also
described Himself as the door into the sheepfold: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and
out, and find pasture (John 10:9).
Jesus also told Judas and some of His other disciples, I am the vine, ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing (John 15:5). For the believer
in Christ, He is thought of as the author and perfector of the faith (Heb 12:2), the deliverer (1 Thes 1:10), the great high priest (Heb
4:14), and the bread of life (John 6:35). He was and is the believers advocate (1 John 2:1), the true vine (John 15:1), the truth (John
8:32), the one who overcame (Rev 3:21), and our consoler (2 Cor 1:5). The prophet Isaiah described Him as follows: For unto us a child
is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
Scriptures also refer to Jesus as Lord Of All (Phil
2:9-11), Good Shepherd (John 10:11), Author and Perfector of our faith (Heb 12:2), Head of the Church (Eph 1:22), Mediator (1 Tim
2:5), Indescribable Gift (2 Cor 9:15), the Great High Priest (Heb 4:14), and the Lamb of God (John 1:29). He is referred to, as well,
as Immanuel: She will give birth to a Son and will call him Immanuel, which means God with us (Isa 7:14).
Jesus Christ was and
is also the Son of God. The scriptures instruct us that, When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying,
Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him,
We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God (John 19:6-7). Responding to some Jews who were
persecuting Jesus and sought to slay Him, Jesus answered them, My Father [acknowledging Himself as the Son of God the Father] worketh
hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also thatGod was his Father, making himself equal with God (John 5:17-18). The psalmist referred to the Son of God, I will declare the decree:
the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee (Psalms 2:7). The apostle John also testified to Jesus
being Gods' son: Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins(1 John 4:10). Even God the Father, Himself, referred to Jesus Christ as His son when He instructed Peter, James, and John his brother
with these words: after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared
unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou
wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright
cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear
ye him (Matthew 17:1-5). The scriptures leave no doubt Jesus was and is the Son of God.
Of Jesus, the apostle John said, In him
was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1:4); and His disciples knew Him as the Messias [anointed, consecrated as king,
priest, saint], which is, being interpreted, the Christ [anointed, consecrated as king, priest, saint, or Jesus] (John 1:41). Additionally,
scriptures refer to Jesus Christ as the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David (Revelation 5:5) and one mediator between God
and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Through the prophet
Isaiah, Jesus referred to Himself as the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob (Isaiah 60:16). Jesus also
referred to Himself as A prophet [who] is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house(Mark 6:4), while Paul also spoke of Jesus Christ as God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1), ourpeace (Ephesians 2:14), and the spiritual Rock who was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4). Jesus Christ is also referred to in the scriptures
as our savior (Luke 2:11), the son of the most high (Luke 1:32), as well as the son of man (Luke 19:10). He is the Light of the World (John
8:12), and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5).
Jesus is the Word (John 1:10), the Way (John 14:6), the Door (John 10:9),
the Messiah (John 1:41), our Hope (1 Tim 1:1), our Redeemer (Job 19:25), the Prophet (Mark 6:4), the Mighty One (Isa 60:16), the One
who sets free (John 8:36), the Supreme Creator over all (Col 1:16-17), and the Sacrifice for our sins: Herein is love, not that we
loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10). Jesus additionally described
Himself as the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), the True Vine (John 15:1), and the Overcomer: Behold, I stand at the door,
and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that
overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne (Revelation
Isaiah prophesied that Jesus Christ is the anointed one: The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath
anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our
God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that
he might be glorified (Isaiah 61:1-3), He is also appropriately referred to as King of the Jews (Mat 2:2, Mat 27:11), as well as thepower of God, Bridegroom (Matt 9:15), the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24), the Almighty One (Rev 1:8), Deliverer from the wrath
to come (1 Thes 1:10), the Bread of Life (John 6:35), Faithful and True (Rev 19:11), our Advocate (1 John 2:1), the Chief Cornerstone (Psalms
118:22), Holy Servant (Acts 4:29-30), and I Am (John 8:58). He is the Judge, the one who God appointed as judge of the living and
dead (Acts 10:42.
Jesus is also called the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in
all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell (Colossians 1:18-19). Last
of all, speaking to Martha, Jesus referred to Himself as the resurrection, and the life (John 11:25), and to Jewish church leaders,
Jesus referred to Himself as the good shepherd (John 10:11), as the door into the sheepfold (John 10:9).
The scriptures make
it clear, without a doubt, that Jesus Christ was and is God. Jesus is referred to as the Word: In the beginning was the Word [Greek,
Logos, the Divine Expression, account, doctrine, matter, what is said, speaker, talk, treatise, utterance, or work], and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing
made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended
it not (John 1:1-5). We read later, And the Word [communication, utterance] 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 bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he
of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me (John 1:14-15). Paul wrote and instructed Titus,
who Paul considered his own son after the common faith, to look for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and
our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works (Titus 2:13-14), while the apostle John wrote, we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding,
that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal
life (1 John 5:20). Jesus Christ was not a man of flesh who became God, but God who became a man of flesh: Behold, a virgin shall
be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us [on earth
and in the flesh] (Matthew 1:23).
Christ is the divine expression of the gospel of eternal life and the Kingdom. Scriptures teach,For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power (Colossians
2:9-10). Without a doubt, the scriptures teach that Jesus Christ had many personal qualities and titles that made His so special,
unique, sanctified, and holy. These many titles, roles, human and Godly qualities were just one of the things which made Paul determined
to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.
AND HIM CRUCIFIED
However, in addition to his person, there was a second characteristic
about Jesus Christ which made Him so special to the apostle Paul, and to the entire world: the functions, or ministries, of Christ,
of which His crucifixion can be described as the most important event in human history. In this article, however, we must recognize
it is impossible to address all the things which Christ did; for as the apostle John warned , there are also many other things which
Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should
be written (John 21:25). But, let us, in our limitations, awe, and with all humility, attempt to mention some of the things that Christ
did which made Paul singularly interested in Christ and Him crucified.
First, the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus
set the believer free: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (John 8:36). So what did Jesus Christ set
the believer in Christ free from. Paul teaches us that the anger and judgement of God is evident: For the wrath of God is revealed
from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). One thing Christ
did is set us free from this wrath of God. Scriptures reveal to us that it is God the Father's Son from heaven, whom he raised from
the dead, even [specifically] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath [of God] to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Writing to the Corinthian
believers, Paul adds: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and
wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For
I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And thathe was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
The actions of Jesus
Christ were predestined by God the Father. Christ Jesus specifically came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) and wasdestined to suffer for the Father's sake (Acts 9:16). To His own disciples, Jesus explained why he came to earth: Jesus answered them,
saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into
the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that
hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall
also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me
from this hour [of suffering and death]: but for this cause came I unto this hour (John 12:23-27).
The prophet Isaiah accurately
described the ministries of Christ with these words: Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For
he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall
see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:
and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our
sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for
our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth [did not complain or resist]: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers
is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was
cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise
him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days,
and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge
shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors;
and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:1-12).
In other actions, Jesus Christ also
had complete suthority given to Him by His Father in Heaven. The Lord was not only able to heal physical diseases, but had the authority
to forgive sins, as well. Some inhabitants of Capernaum had come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they
let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins
be forgiven thee (Mark 2:3-5). Scriptures later tell us that because the inhabitants of Capernaum still doubted that Jesus was the
Christ, He responded to them, But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick
of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house (Mark 2:10-11). Jesus performed a physical
miracle in order to show those in Capernaum that He was the Christ and that He had earthly and spiritual authority given to Him by
His Father in heaven. After teaching the multitudes, the scriptures instruct us, And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings,
the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having [special, true] authority [from His heavenly Father],
and not as the scribes [men, worldly teachers] (Matthew 7:28-29). When some Jews sought to kill Jesus because He not only had broken
the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God, Jesus bluntly responded, For as the Father hath
life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority [Greek, exousia, means authority,
jurisdiction, liberty, power, right] to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man (John 5:26-27). Jesus was well aware of
His own authority given to Him by His Father in heaven. Eleven of Jesus' disciples had some doubts about the Lord, and He clarified
to them, All power [Greek, exousia, means authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right] is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:18-19).
When Jesus taught the multitudes, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having [Godly and heavenly] authority,
and not as the [human and worldly authority of the] scribes (Matthew 7:28-29).
Additionally, Jesus came to earth not to be ministered
to or served, but to humbly minister and serve by giving His life. Speaking to the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, Jesus
said, whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,
and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:27-28). After announcing that one of His own disciples would betray Him, and referring
to His own crucifixion, death, and resurrection, Jesus said, Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified,
and God is glorified in him (John 13:31). Jesus knew He, Himself, was the son of man and was not shy in saying so. While being questioned
by the Jewish high priest, Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God,
that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see
the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:63-64). God the Father not onlymade him [Jesus] to be sin for us [and in our place], who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians
5:21), but He [Christ] redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that
hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise
of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:13-14).
Christ was the Reconciler of man to God: And all things are of God, who hath
reconciled [to change mutually] us to himself [God the Father] by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto
us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's
stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he [God] hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness
of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
Paul instructs us that God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were
enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only
so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement [reconciliation, restoration]
(Romans 5:8-11). Many believers, and non-believers alike, are familiar with this famous verse: For God so loved the world, that he
gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Jesus, for the
joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and endured such contradiction [dispute, strife] of sinners against
himself... (Hebrews 12:2-3). In act, We [believers] are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews
10:10). Jesus Christ of Nazareth was crucified, yet he God raised from the dead (Acts 4:10, 1 Cor 15:20). The believer In Christ willhave redemption through his blood, [and] the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7). Jesus also
overcame death and became the victory over death for the believer in Christ: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this
mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality,
then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave,
where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:53-57).
The death of Christ also provided the ministy of justification. Because
Christ died for us, the believer in Christ is justified (Rom 3:24) by the blood of Christ, saved (Rom 5:9) from the wrath of God,reconciled (Rom 5:10) to God, saved by His life, can have joy (Rom 5:11) in God, and has received the atonment. Referring to the ministries
of Christ, Paul added later, For if by one man's [Adam] offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace
and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came
upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Christ] the free gift came upon all men unto justification [acquitted
of sin and guilt] of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Christ] shall many
be made righteous [equitable, just, innocent, right] (Romans 5:17-19).
The actions of Jesus Christ have also provided the believer
with fellowship, cleansing, and forgiveness. As the apostle John instructs, if we walk in the light of Christ, we have fellowship
one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. ...If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-9). God the Father, through the ministries of His Son,
also hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and
hath translated [automatically transferred] us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption [deliverance, salvation] through
his blood, even [specifically] the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:12-14). Jesus Christ has also washed us from our sins: He isthe faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed
us from our sins in his own blood. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever
and ever (Revelation 1:5-6).
Despite the fact that the believer was originally dead due to our sins, Christ quickened [brought
new life] together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which
was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew
of them openly, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2:13-15). Regarding the requirements of keeping the law for righteousness and
life, the Lord came to earth not to amend or anul the Jewish law, but to complete and fulfill it. Christ told the multitudes around
Him, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil [accomplish, complete,
make full the righteouns of those who believe in me]. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle
shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (Matthew 5:17-18). Christ also came to earth to give Himself that He might
redeem the believer from all iniquity, and to purify those who believer in Him. No doubt, He gave himself for us, that he might redeem [pay
the price, ransom] us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14). Christ also
delivered from death those who believe in Him: And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the
Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Romans 11:26). The Son of Man also came to earth to bring salvation to those
destined for damnation: For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost (Matthew 18:11). Additionally, Jesus Christ sanctified [make
holy, purify, consecrate] (1 cor 6:11 ), justified (Rom 3:24) the believer in Christ, and was the believers' propitiation (1 John
4:10); and as His most eternally impactful ministry, Christ was delivered [for crucifixion, suffering, and death] for our offences [sins],
and was raised [resurrected from the dead] again for our justification (Romans 4:25).
The ministries of Jesus Christ have also
given the believer in Christ a mighty and eternal gift: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). That gift is eternal life. Also, Jesus Christ is a reconciler between man and God. Holy Scriptures
teach us, For there is one God, and one mediator [a go between internunciator, a reconciler, an intercessor, or mediator] between
God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Paul clarified
the restoration of man's broken relatonship to God with these words: For if, when we were enemies [of God], we were reconciled to
God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved [from God the Father's wrath] by his life (Romans 5:10).For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us [and God]; Having abolished
in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making
peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby (Ephesians 2:14-16). By
His actions alone, Jesus Christ made possible the restoration of the relationship between God and man. Jesus even instructed Thomas
that He was the only means for this reconciliation: I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father [and have
eternal life], but by [faith in] me (John 14:6). Christ also paid the price for our sins. As John wrote, Herein is love, not that
we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation [Greek hilasmos, atonement, expiator, to make amends or
reparation for] for our sins (1 John 4:10). As Paul adds, Ye are [indeed] bought with a price; [so] be not ye the servants of men [but
servants of Christ and God](1 Corinthians 7:23).
Christ is not only the supreme creator, but scriptures instruct us that He created
all things for Himself. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created,
that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist (Col 1:15-17). For the love
and salvation of mankind, Jesus Christ completely emptied Himself, even to the point of death. As Paul wrote the believers in Philippi,Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in
fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even [specifically] the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8).Jesus Christ also sent the all powerful Holy Spirit to earth. Jesus told His discipes, If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I
will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even [specifically] the Spirit
of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you,
and shall be in you (John 14:15-17). Later, Jesus added, But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in
my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26). Jesus
is also currently preparing the believers' heavenly and eternal abode. He left earth to prepare a place for all who believe: In my
Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare
a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:2-3).
IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN
Without a doubt, as reflected in His many titles, the person of Jesus Christ holds no equal, earthly
or heavenly, naturally or spiritually, temporarily or eternally. But, His actions or ministries are as unequaled, magnificent, consecrated,
and holy. As we conclude this article, look how the apostle Paul summarized his thoughts about himself, and Jesus Christ.
wrote the church in Corinth, For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross
of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are
saved it is the power [Greek, dunamis, explosive force, ability, might, strength, wonderful] of God (1 Corinthians 1:17-18). Furthermore,Paul explains that he was sent primarily to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and that the true power of his preaching
was not in his own words and wisdom, but found in the cross [that is, Christ and Him crucified], Paul added that the preaching of
the cross of Christ is foolishness to those who do not know Jesus Christ and are unsaved, but is the explosive power of God to the
believing and saved. Paul reiterated that to all who are called, Jesus Christ [and Him crucified] is the power and wisdom of God the
Father: But we preach Christ [and Him] crucified, [which is] unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; Butunto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).
to Christ, Paul pointedly wrote, But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of [by] God [the Father] is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness,
and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
Paul is clearly explaining that Christ Jesus is the believers' wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, and that any
and all glory belongs to Christ Jesus alone. The apostle continued in his letter to the Corinthian belivers, And I, brethren, whenI came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know
any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And
my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of [its'] power [explosive
power and working of the Holy Spirit, so]: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Corinthians
2:1-5). Paul emphasized that he preached Christ and Him crucified to the believers in Corinth not via his own strength and wisdom,
but through the explosive power, ability, operation and movement of the Holy Spirit, so that the faith of the Corinthian church would
not be in the man, Paul, but in God.
Paul then added, Moreover, brethren [in Corinth], I declare unto you the gospel which I
preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached
unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died
for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1
Corinthians 15:1-4). Here, Paul reviewed to the Corinthian church the basics of the gospel, which is, that Christ died for our sins,
was buried, and that He rose again from the dead on the third day. Paul further explained that it was by receiving this gospel message
about Christ and Him crucified by which the Corinthian believers stand [abide, covenant, established, ordained] and are also saved
from God's wrath and, therefore, receive eternal life.
To the Corinthian believers, the apostle Paul concluded his point with
a bit of logic about the fruit of hearing and believing the gospel of Christ and Him crucified: Now if [the gospel of] Christ be preached
that he [was crucified, died, and] rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there
be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is
also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised
not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith
is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope
in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
For since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Christ] came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ
shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:12-22).
If we seriously consider the person and ministries of the Lord Jesus Christ,
we can not only more fully understand why Paul wrote the believers in Corinth that he was determined not to know any thing among you,
save Jesus Christ, and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2), but we are forced to ask ourselves, What else is there to know? Regarding
Jesus Christ, the scriptures tell us, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 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 9:6-7). As John teaches,...Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing (Revelation