Pt. 11 Ch. 1. Is Christ Truly God: The Doctrines That Divide By Erwin Lutzer (NKJV)

November 26, 2018

The Preeminent One Who Saves

Many Christians all over the world never question whether they are serving Christ or someone who has come in the name of Christ. We all know that throughout history, men have put others so high up on a pedestal that the line becomes blurred. At the council of Nicaea, the consensus was that Jesus Christ is fully God. Nevertheless, all but two bishops would sign The Nicene Creed. As you might suspect, they sent them into exile along with Arius. Constantine, filled with joy at the outcome held a great banquet. He was elated because his empire had become as one. Even Eusebius, who had lost on his compromise eventually caved and signed the document. All of the bishops were present and protected by bodyguards and soldiers from the horrid persecution they had once known. Guards stood all around with sharp swords brandished. Eusebius wrote, “Easily one would imagine this to be the Kingdom of Christ or regard it as a dream rather than a reality.”

However, many of those present believed it to be a costly victory. These delegates believed had it not been for the political influence of Constantine, the outcome might have been different. It seemed obvious to them he used his political clout to back his friend Athanasius. There was certainly a dissension among the ranks. They argued that politics won over theology. Even Athanasius was dissatisfied with the Emperor insinuating himself into the debate. Lutzer said, “He would rather have convinced the delegates by his own arguments than to have the dispute settled by a Politician.” At the time, Constantine was still a babe in Christ. He may have been a fine Emperor, but as far as Christianity was concerned, he was on milk.

Nevertheless, Arianism continued to gain a massive influence throughout the churches. This teaching denied the divinity of Christ. Remember, it originated with the Alexandrian priest Arius. In his mind, Christ was the firstborn of all creation. If Christ was the first creation of God the Father according to Col. 1:15; Rev. 3: 14, in no way could He be coeternal with the Father, nor consubstantial. This is why it is so important for us to know how to study the Bible. One would think that these so-called Theologians would consider God’s way of thinking on the subject of firstborn. We recall the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis chapter 25. Jacob and Esau were twins born to Isaac and Rebekah. Factually, Esau was the first to spring from Rebekah’s womb. In other words, he was the firstborn, while Jacob took hold of Esau’s heel. This earned him the status Jacob meaning “supplanter” or “holder” in the Hebrew tongue. He was destined from the start to be a little swindler. When the two boys grew up as young men, Jacob did just that. He swindled Esau out of his right as the firstborn son. Read Genesis 25.

Lutzer wrote, “Though Jacob was younger than his brother, Esau, Jacob was the firstborn. It is not a matter of time but status that determines who the firstborn is. Christ is the preeminent One.” In the book of Acts, it is as plain as the nose on your face whom God the Father puts first, not so much for His sake, but for ours:

Acts 4:10 “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

1st John 2: 18 “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.”

1st John 3: 23 “And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”

1st John 5: 9 “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

Col. 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Let us be careful to know Christ Jesus better than we know any other human being, even ourselves. To be continued…

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