Seeing Jesus Christ as the One God Anointed, and Not ManTuesday, May 24, 2005
Seeing Jesus Christ as the One God Anointed, and Not Man
As a result of Christ’s accomplishing the Father’s plan of redemption for His own, especially through the resurrection, Christ’s position as Messiah was confirmed and authenticated in the eyes of man. That is to say that God did everything He had to do in order to confirm that Jesus Christ was indeed the Messiah. He did it so that every knee would bow and every tongue would confess that Jesus Christ was Lord of all, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:5-11).
However, though Christ performed these works as proof of His Messiahship, it was not man who made Jesus Christ the Messiah. God made Jesus the Christ, not man. Peter made this point very clearly at the close of his sermon on Pentecost. In Acts 2:36 he says, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ – this Jesus whom you crucified.” Preaching to the same Jews who crucified Jesus, their Anointed Messiah and Christ, just 43 days earlier, Peter proclaimed that Jesus was the fulfillment of the promises of the Messiah. At end of His sermon he makes a statement that carries truth to us today – “God has made him both Lord and Christ.”
So it is from this truth I want you to see in this post that it was not man who made Jesus the Christ, but God. What this means, of course, is that Jesus is the Christ whether man recognizes it or not. Further, as Dr. Stagg (professor of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) has stated, “Jesus is not made Christ by our actions but by God’s…He is God’s Christ, for He is God’s Anointed, anointed to rule. He is King with or without our consent” (The Doctrine of Christ, p. 23). With this in mind, here are a couple of ways in which this truth becomes a help to you.
1. This truth is a help in evangelism.
First, this truth is a help in evangelism. How many times have you shared the gospel with someone, only to have them either reject Christ or just put Him aside until a later, more convenient time? Well, the truth that God has made Jesus the Christ, rather than man, should be a comfort to you in your evangelistic efforts. Just because a person rejects the gospel doesn’t mean Jesus is no longer the Messiah. Praise God for that! I know we would never say such a thing, but we often act like it. It is all too common for someone to cease sharing their faith when they have experienced one rejection. Think of what Jesus went through! He was rejected by virtually all His own race. Yet He kept on preaching because He knew the truth, despite their response.
No, man’s rejection doesn’t mean Jesus is no longer Christ. It simply means that they have rejected His rule in their hearts and lives for now. They may even reject it until they die, but as I said earlier, one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all (Phil. 2:10-11). So keep on being faithful and diligent in your efforts. Don’t let man’s rejection cause you to lose hope in the action God has already taken in His Son.
2. This truth is a help in fortifying the gospel.
Second, this truth is a help in fortifying the gospel. What do I mean by this? Well, I’ve heard people say too many times that they were saved at one time in their life – stating they received Jesus as Savior – but at a later time in life, they say they received Him as Lord. But if God has made Jesus the Christ, and not man, then this kind of salvation experience doesn’t square with who this Christ is. Since God made Him Christ, and not us, we must accept Him as He is when He offers Himself to us. We must accept all of Him, or else not at all. We either accept and welcome Him as God’s anointed ruler of every area of our lives, or we reject Him completely.
There is no such thing as accepting half of Jesus at one time and the other half at another time. I fear this misunderstanding of the Christ is what has contributed to a weak gospel and consequently to weak churches in America today. About such thinking, one minister wrote: “In summary, one fundamental premise of this gospel is that committed to the absolute rule of Jesus Christ in one’s life is not necessary for salvation. Being his disciple is an ‘option’.” In contrast to this, the authentic gospel of the New Testament entreats people to receive or submit to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior” (Jeffrey Wilson, The Authentic Gospel, Banner of Truth, 1990, p. 2). But the biblical truth about the Anointed One is a cure for this infectious thinking. “He is the one person of the Triune God. He is not divided. He is the one to whom a person entrusts himself for salvation from sin, now and forever. ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved’, Paul told the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:31). To the Colossian believers he wrote, ‘As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord…’ (Colossians 2:6).
May the applications of this truth be used of the Lord to strengthen you in your evangelistic efforts, and reshape your view of salvation in accordance with Scripture rather than what present-day church tradition has taught us.