More “In Christ” Quotes

"There is only one place where we are right with God and that is in Christ Jesus"

"Pray with the realization that you are perfect only in Christ Jesus."

-Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest, June 21)

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25 12, 2014

“Prophesy–Who will save you?”

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Hebrews 1:1

In an age of reason, science, and relativism, a belief in prophecy, both spoken and fulfilled, is likely hard to elicit from most people. I would describe prophecy as foreknowledge of actual events being revealed to man through the inspiration of men by an omniscient being. I was taught very early in my studies of the Bible to break the bible into various sections. There is the obvious Old Testament/New Testament division, but the 39 Old Testament books can be further divided into the Books of the Law, Books of History, Books of Prose/Poetry, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets. 17 of the Old Testament books fall into the Major or Minor Prophet division. The Old Testament can be reliably understood to be available and complete by 250 B.C. I’ll admit that even though that was over 2250 years ago, it seems quite unnatural to me for there to have been periods of time when an omniscient being would provide concentrated inspirational foreknowledge to a small people group in a small corner of the world. So what factors make me a believer in the truth of biblical prophecy? What discussion or evidences might pique the interest of a non-Christian regarding biblical prophecy both revealed and fulfilled? I cannot provide comprehensive answers to these questions for it is a matter of ongoing learning for me. But as I have been pondering this aspect of biblical truth, I have stumbled across some material that I hope might solidify belief in biblical prophecy among believers and provide the evangelist with some organized thoughts and content so that the rich history of fulfilled biblical prophecy especially regarding Jesus Christ (God with us, Messiah, and Lord) might become a viable evangelism tool even in this skeptical age.
In the book Betrayed, Stanley Telchin, from a traditional Jewish family, recounts his journey comparing the Hebrew Old Testament with the English version, looking to find all the erroneous translations, and convince his daughter to turn away from this false Messiah called Jesus whom she had discovered. An important part of his investigation involved answering some critical questions:
-Do I believe that the Jewish Bible (The Tenach) is the divinely inspired word of God?
-Does the Bible prophesy about a coming Messiah?
-Is Jesus the Messiah?
His intense spiritual journey of study, solitude, and contemplation result in resounding Yes, Yes, Yes answers. His scholarly yet personal endeavor confirming the validity of translation of prophecies from the Jewish to English Old Testament should allow for confidence to the Christian unversed in Hebrew when confronted by the skeptic on issues of translational integrity and authenticity.
A distinct transition takes place once the life and teachings of Jesus begin to be documented. The very first sentence of the book of Hebrews clearly presents this transition by stating that “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (emphasis added) A critical turning point in history ordained by God places us on the other side of the bulk of Christian prophecy (but certainly not all prophecy as one considers the book of Revelation as well as the passages on new heaven and earth in the book of Isaiah). This could be illustrated by considering such cultural artifacts as gas street lamps, horse and carriage for long distance travel, and film cameras. In the same way that human invention brought new modes of light, transport, and photography rendering prior methods nearly obsolete, God has appeared in human history as Jesus, our Emmanuel, speaking for Himself rather than through the prophets. The appearance and person of Christ provides all the evidence I need to overcome the seemingly “unnatural” placement of biblical prophecy in time in relation to my place in time. Put in another fashion, I don’t sit around doubting the existence of gas lamps just because I have lived my entire life in an age after the discovery of electricity, therefore I should not doubt the existence and relevance of prophecy just because I have lived my entire life in “days he has spoken to us by his Son”! The decision one must make about the existence and person of Christ cannot be minimized. Consider this verse from Acts 10:

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. Acts 10:43 KJV

Biblical Old Testament prophecy is ultimately about Christ and Peter clearly states the reason for the prophecy is to point people to believe in Christ as the answer for their sin problem. Jesus Himself pointed out that some would “miss the boat” when it comes to understanding what the Law and the prophecies were pointing to when He stated the following:


'You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.' John 5:39, 40 ESV

Do not refuse to come to Jesus! It is my hope that the attached Prophecy Evangelism tools help you see the wonderful trail left by the prophets leading to Jesus Christ the Suffering Servant, and repent of the sin for which he gave His life, trusting in Christ alone for salvation. Are you further interested in the specific prophesies related to the Suffering Servant? Or in just how significant it is that so many biblical prophecies were fulfilled in the life of one man? If so, then that is a good thing because it reveals a mind open to God’s ways which are not our ways and would have been called “uncommonplace” by Sir Robert Anderson:

'The minds of most men are in bondage to the commonplace facts of their experience.'
The Coming Prince by Sir Robert Anderson

Stay tuned as I further explore these issues of biblical prophecy next time but make sure to check out one of the most famous prophecy links of all as performed by Linus taken from the book of Luke giving fulfillment to the Isaiah 9:6 verse in the photo montage above. Wise men still seek Him!


    View Prophecies HTML Table   

View/Download Fulfilled Prophecies as PDF

View/Download Fulfilled Prophecies as Excel File
27 07, 2013

The “Promise”, In Christ, and Evangelism

[tagline_box  description=”I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. –Philemon  1:6“][/tagline_box] Discerning what it means to be “in Christ” paves the way for the Christian to be used by God in evangelism.  More fundamentally, without understanding the “promise” of God woven through the Scriptures, there is bound to be discouragement in life. We devote countless hours to our worldly pursuits without spiritually meaningful endpoints. These represent  mere shadows of the promise of God. Do you work hard to complete a project to be used, read, or seen by many? Maybe you have all the gear and know how for the big catch that you know is waiting in that lake? Or you have studied all the recruits and cleared your calendar and plan to get to every game leading to that elusive national title certain to happen this year? Or maybe you hit the neighborhoods religiously in search of that great garage sale find that is a true “steal”? The “promise” of a certain glorious endpoint will produce continual dedication to that pursuit. I believe the biblical promise of God should supersede the fleeting promises of worldly pursuits and understanding this “promise” is the first step.

[tagline_box  title=”” description=”‘If I am devoted solely to the cause of humanity, I will soon be exhausted and come to the point where my love will waver and stumble.’-Oswald Chambers“][/tagline_box]

This “promise” of God I keep referring to goes back all the way to the covenant God made with Abraham. He is told that through his seed all nations will be blessed (Genesis 12:3,7). Abraham’s descendants shall be “like the dust of the earth” (Genesis 13:16) and “the stars in the sky” (Genesis 15:5, 22:17) and “the sand on the seashore” (Genesis 22:17)—these are the startling metaphors used by God to describe this blessing. And this covenantal promise has been passed down to those in Christ as described here by Paul:

”Consider Abraham ‘He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness’? Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be be blessed through you.’ So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith….But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe…If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:6-9,22,29)

Theologian J.I. Packer provides this insight:
The fulfillment of the old covenant in Christ opens the door of faith to the Gentiles. The “seed of Abraham”, the defined community with which the covenant was made, was redefined in Christ. Gentiles with Jews who are united to Christ by faith become Abraham’s seed in Him (Gal 3:26-29), while no one outside of Christ can be in covenant with God (Romans 4:9-17;11:13-24) (Packer, 1993, p. 89)

I will not devote more time to discussion of the promise, but encourage you to view this great recent video message.

As just a sampling, God’s word richly tells us that “in Christ” we are

  • Made alive
  • Fruit-bearing
  • Without need
  • Given the desires of our hearts
  • Told “Yes” to all His promises
  • Free to approach God
  • Dwellingplaces of God’s Holy Spirit
  • Sealed with the promised Holy Spirit
  • Doers of good works
  • At Peace with God
  • Brought near to God
  • Created new
  • Inseparable from God’s love
  • Redeemed
  • Forgiven
  • Given the fullness of God
  • Hidden and waiting to appear with Him in glory

These promises in Christ provide some serious weapons against worldly discouragements. Evangelism-sharing the true gospel of salvation from the spiritual death of sin by faith– improves our understanding of what we have in Christ (Philemon 1:6). And if we better comprehend the inherited covenantal promise traced from the time of Abraham and what it means that we are a “seed”, then we know that nations shall be blessed and God shall be glorified through us “in Christ”.

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