The Life of Christ

At New Life Assembly, the person of Jesus Christ is the substance of what we are about. Many books have been written about Christ, and appropriately so. No man has affected history more than he has. Our Gregorian calendar is dated from him. He stops the dating of human history, and starts it all over again. Time is divided by him going backward as BC and forward as AD.

Of course this small web offering of doctrinal overview is not adequate to address the subject of his person - which all the books written about him have still not exhausted. His power and godhead is wrapped in mystery that is most appropriate because he is the manifestation of the mysterious sole God of the universe.

Everything about Jesus speaks of God's direct involvement with men through him. He was born of the spirit miraculously. His mother gave him his flesh, and God his father gave him his spirit and his character.

He was born a king. The king who was reigning at the time of his birth feared him enough to try to kill him. Jesus has always been a threat to people who want to control other people. The reason for this is that once Jesus is truly in your life no human can control you because his mastery of you is so complete. As he said: "No man can serve two masters". Therefore, serving Christ makes you free from all men. People can manipulate you psychologically, or physically compel you, but they can't master you - not when the one who now rules the universe claims that he is your only master is in your life.

From the time of his birth, until his death, and unto the present moment, Jesus was and is the most controversial person in history. Jesus polarized people then and now. People were either for him or against him. (Luke 11:23) "He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth." People either worshipped him or sought to kill him. One week the crowd is shouting “hosannas” of praise and laying their coats down for his donkey to walk upon, and a week later the crowd is crying "crucify him".

He is not just polarizing: He is extremely polarizing. He says the most astonishing things about himself, and then works miracles that back up his extreme claims.

For instance: He claims to be the son of man and then allows people to worship him; He indicates that believing in his father God is not enough for salvation, and that you have to believe in and accept the son as well, or you won't be saved. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me." (John 14:1 ) "All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." (Mat 11:27)

John was probably Christ’s closest disciple, and understood the essential polarizing truth of Jesus when he said: "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." (1 John 2:23)

It is biblically evident that the destiny of men is determined by their acceptance or rejection of Christ. To be clear: acceptance of Christ does not mean mouthing a confession of him. Instead, it means giving up all claims to everything of earth in order to follow him.

Furthermore, a “casual” acknowledgment of Christ as a good man, when he is “extremely fantastic” amounts to blasphemy and a denial of Him. This is because; to confess Christ is to confess his claim of being your only way to God and salvation. When you claim that about him anything less than your fanatical devotion to him is fanatical error.

God is mysterious. At New Life Assembly we don't feel a need to explain God or understand him any more than an infant or toddler can understand his father. It is enough to know the Father and learn from him those things that it pleases him to teach us through preaching in the gatherings, and our devotions in private. Likewise, Jesus is a mystery because he is the manifestation of the mysterious God. We don't claim to understand Jesus any more than we understand God.

To put this into perspective, people can live together as husband and wife for fifty years and still say to each other, "I don't understand you". In fact, if we are honest we would all admit we often don't even understand ourselves; and we have been in our own skin all of our lives. How then can we hope to understand Jesus? It is true that I don't fully understand my wife, but I know her and I love her. It is not for us to understand Jesus but to know him, and love him, and to accept what he says God says about him.

When Pontus Pilot said "behold the man" he gave us very good advice. It is safe to say that sober consideration of Jesus Christ is the gateway to wisdom because God has made him “wisdom” for our consideration. (1 Cor 1:30) "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" So powerful is consideration of Jesus Christ that when he is preached into men's awareness miracles of conversion soon follow. This is the record of hundreds of lives at New Life Assembly as well as millions around the world.

The importance of beholding Jesus is evident in the bible teaching that he is the human manifestation of the eternal God. (1 Tim 3:16) "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."

Jesus knew men needed to behold him and then consider him. So he compared himself to the brazen serpent in the wilderness. Those rebels against Moses who had been punished by God with deadly snake bites were given a “look and live” remedy. God had Moses make a brazen serpent and mount it high where the smitten and dying people could see it. Those who looked at the brazen serpent could see the judgment of God against their sin and in so doing they secured the mercy of God.

Likewise; we can see the horrible position we are all in by our sinning against God by his judgment against Christ as the representative of our sin on the cross. We can thus become conscious of the gravity of our own sin and can more properly and effectively repent.

This means that to look on Jesus is to see both our sinful nature and God’s mercy towards us. To see God is to see God’s truth that orders our perceptions, and thus our thinking, so that in beholding it we can be saved.

Here are some of the things about Jesus that we accept and the verses that declare “behold the man”. If you will sincerely look at each statement and its supporting verse(s) YOUR VIEW OF CHRIST WILL BE AFFECTED:

God made Jesus to be sin for us who knew no sin.

(2 Cor 5:21) "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

He is the mediator between God and men.

(1 Tim 2:5) "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"

He had the same God and father that we have.

(John 20:17) "Jesus saith unto her, ...go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."

He was the firstborn of many brethren

(Rom 8:29) "...be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

He was an example that we could follow in his steps.

(1 Pet 2:21) "...Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:"

He was proof that a man filled with the Holy Ghost can live above sin.

(Luke 4:1) "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan..,"

(Heb 4:15) "...but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."

God has made him wisdom and perfection to us.

(1 Cor 1:30) "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:"

He came into existence after the first Adam fell as the second Adam to be our life giving spirit.

(1 Cor 15:45-46) "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. {46} Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual."

He could get angry at a fig tree and get physically rough with men at church.

(Mark 11:15 & 21) "And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; {21} And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away."

He increased in wisdom and in favor with God

(Luke 2:52) "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."

He had to suffer in order to learn to be obedient.

(Heb 5:8) "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;"

God made him to become perfect by making him suffer.

(Heb 2:10) "For it became him, ...in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."

He is the way that we get to God.

(John 14:6) "Jesus saith unto him, ...no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

God forsook him on the cross

(Mat 27:46) "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, ...My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

God sent his son - who had been made of a woman

(Gal 4:4) "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,"

He wanted us to have the same oneness that he and God had.

(John 17:21) "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: ..."

After everything is subject to him he is going to be subject to God.

(1 Cor 15:28) "And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."

He didn't speak anything of his own initiative.

(John 14:10) "...the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."

He did the things that pleased his father.

(John 8:29) "...the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."

He gave his followers the same glory that he had with God

(John 17:22) "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:"

He demonstrated that we should forgive because we can use God's power to destroy

(Mark 11:21-25) "And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. {22} And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. {23} For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. {24} Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. {25} And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."

He sent forth his followers the same way God had sent him.

(John 20:21) "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."

He makes intercession as a priest to God for men.

(Heb 7:25) "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."

He prayed to God for his disciples.

(John 17:9) "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine."

(Luke 22:32) "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

He didn't come in his own name.

(John 5:43) "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."

He doesn't have his own image.

(Col 1:15) "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:"

His will was separate from God's will but he still did God's will.

(Luke 22:42) "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."

He didn't know when the end time would come.

(Mat 24:36) "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

He did spoke things which he saw with God.

(John 8:38) "I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father."

He died. This man was dead.

(2 Cor 5:15) "And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again."

God raised this man from the dead

(Acts 13:30) "But God raised him from the dead:"

God has made him high above all other humans

(Eph 1:20-23) "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, {21} Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: {22} And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, {23} Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

He washes away our sins with his blood

(Mat 26:28) "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

(Rev 1:5) "And from Jesus Christ, who is the 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,"

While it is important to look at Jesus and consider him in the light of these verses, it doesn't mean that we will understand him. The only honest response to seeing Jesus is to acknowledge the mystery of him and ask the question:

WHO IS THIS MAN?

Who is this man that that astonished the doctors of law in his discussion with them at the ripe old age of 12?

Who is this man that had compassion on the multitudes and healed the sick at will?

What manner of man is this that not only did the waves and sea obey him but he could simply walk on the water and empower others to do the same?

Who is this man who caused the withering of a fig tree because it didn't have fruit for him when he was hungry (even though it was not the season for the fruit) and almost immediately created a riot in the church by turning over furniture and driving out people who were selling religious merchandise and then moves on to tell us that we have to forgive those who do us wrong?

Who is this man who claims that when you see him you see God?

Who is this man who hangs naked on the cross but remains eminently superior to the shame of it?

Who is this man who publically condemns revered religious leaders and then tells a woman caught in adultery that he doesn't condemn her, lets a woman of ill repute wash his feet and spends time with an adulterous woman at a well in Samaria?

Who is this man that says if you kill him in three days he'll raise himself from the dead?

Who is this man born a king proving with his birth, life, death, resurrection that God can take small things and do great things with them?

Of course we can't answer these questions. No one can. It is not for us to answer! It is for us to believe!

Jesus was not understood when God was manifested in a way that allowed men to know Jesus in fleshly expression. How much less can he be understood now that God has made him a quickening spirit?

This much we do know to be true, as stated in the Bible and confirmed by our experiences but not our understanding: Jesus currently exists in several forms: in our gatherings; in our Holy Ghost baptism; in his heavenly place of intercession as our priest; and on the throne in perfect oneness with his Father.

This is truth whose understanding eludes us while our knowledge of it is by experience is beyond question.

We could continue to write hundreds of pages about this man. The bible states that even if we did it would still not give us the whole picture for “the world itself could not contain the writings of all he has done”.

Therefore this concise summary will have to suffice as the official position of New Life Assembly concerning Jesus Christ.

We affirm that God is a mystery. Likewise that man he called his son, sired in the womb of Mary is a mystery. Such mysteries of God are not to be demystified. They are to be acknowledged and embraced. (Col 2:2) "That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;"

We further hold the truth of “Christ Jesus” to be that mysterious, but observable, expression of God which can literally be experienced in the gathering of the people of God. That is because God, in saving us, has made us one with him " and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church," (Eph 1:22)

God bless you in your search for the “unsearchable riches of Christ”.

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