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For God So Loved The World

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Jesus name above every nameJohn 3:16 is probably the most familiar and most quoted verse in the Bible. Whenever I quote it, I always like to add the two verses that follow it (John 3:16-18):

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [Jesus Christ] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Too often, we tend to have a one-dimensional image in our mind of who Jesus Christ is to us. He is, indeed, first and foremost, Lord and Savior to those who believe in and trust in him as their Lord and Savior. But beyond that, what do we really know about the character and nature of Jesus Christ?

In answer to the question–What was Jesus like as a person?”–GotQuestions?org states the following:

Although He had “no beauty that we should desire Him…” (Isaiah 53:2), it was His “personality” that drew men to Him. He was a man of great character.

He had a COMPASSIONATE nature. He had compassion on the crowds “because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). Because of His compassion for them, He healed their diseases (Matthew 14:1420:34), and because of their hunger, He compassionately created enough food to feed more than 5000 (Matthew 15:32).

Jesus was SERIOUS and FOCUSED. He had a mission in life and never got sidetracked from it, knowing the weightiness of it and the shortness of time. His attitude was that of a SERVANT. “He did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). KINDNESS and SELFLESSNESS characterized His personality.

Jesus was SUBMISSIVE to His Father’s will when He came to earth and subsequently went to the cross. He knew that dying on the cross was the only payment His Father could accept for our salvation. He prayed the night of His betrayal by Judas, “O My Father, if it be possible, take this cup of suffering from Me: but let what you want be done, not what I want” (Matthew 26:39). He was a submissive son to Mary and Joseph, as well. He grew up in a normal (sinful) household, yet, “He continued in subjection to them…” (Luke 2:51). He was OBEDIENT to the Father’s will. “He learned obedience through the things that He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus had a heart of MERCY and FORGIVENESS – “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). “…If we admit that we have sinned, He will forgive us our sins…” (1 John 1:9). He was also LOVING in His relationships – “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus” (John 11:5). John was known as the disciple “whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23).

He had a reputation for being GOOD and CARING. He healed often and in most places where He went in order that they might know who He was! Truly He proved to be the Son of the living God by all the miracles He did, all the while showing concern for the afflictions of those around Him.

HONEST/TRUTHFUL – He never violated His own Word. He spoke truth wherever He went. He lived a life we could follow explicitly. “I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE…” (John 14:6). At the same time, He was PEACEABLE. He did not argue His case, nor try to bully His way into people’s hearts.

Jesus was INTIMATE with His followers. He spent quality and quantity time with them. He coveted their fellowship, taught them, and helped them focus on what was eternal. He was also intimate with His Heavenly Father. He prayed to Him regularly, listened, obeyed, and cared about God’s reputation. (Angered at the money changers who were buying and selling in the temple, He said firmly and AUTHORITATIVELY, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you have made it a robbers den!”) He was obviously a STRONG, but quiet LEADER. Everywhere He went (until the inevitable decline), the people followed Him, eager to listen to His teaching.

He was PATIENT, knowing and understanding our frailties. He was and is “patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

These are traits that all believers should desire to become a part of their “personality” and character. The things that drew people to Jesus should be the very things that draw people to us. Jesus has given those who believe in Him His Holy Spirit, who enables us to be constantly changing into His image (Romans 8:29). This will only come about as we YIELD to Him for who He truly is…LORD of the universe! We must believe that He is conforming us into His image, and not resist His will for us. Even as Jesus never drew attention to Himself, (but rather to His Father), even so, we ought to say as John the Baptist did, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). (Quote source here.)

jesus-names-word-cloudThere are over 70 questions related to Jesus Christ with links to the answers on GotQuestions?org at this link. There are also approximately 200 names and titles attributed to Jesus Christ found in the Bible. Here are a few listed on GotQuestions?org:

The Nature of Christ
Chief Cornerstone: 
(Ephesians 2:20) – Jesus is the cornerstone of the building which is His church. He cements together Jew and Gentile, male and female—all saints from all ages and places into one structure built on faith in Him which is shared by all.

Firstborn over all creation: (Colossians 1:15) – Not the first thing God created, as some incorrectly claim, because verse 16 says all things were created through and for Christ. Rather, the meaning is that Christ occupies the rank and pre-eminence of the first-born over all things, that He sustains the most exalted rank in the universe; He is pre-eminent above all others; He is at the head of all things.

Head of the Church: (Ephesians 1:224:155:23) – Jesus Christ, not a king or a pope, is the only supreme, sovereign ruler of the Church—those for whom He died and who have placed their faith in Him alone for salvation.

Holy One: (Acts 3:14Psalm 16:10) – Christ is holy, both in his divine and human nature, and the fountain of holiness to His people. By His death, we are made holy and pure before God.

Judge: (Acts 10:422 Timothy 4:8) – The Lord Jesus was appointed by God to judge the world and to dispense the rewards of eternity.

King of kings and Lord of lords: (1 Timothy 6:15Revelation 19:16) – Jesus has dominion over all authority on the earth, over all kings and rulers, and none can prevent Him from accomplishing His purposes. He directs them as He pleases.

Light of the World: (John 8:12) – Jesus came into a world darkened by sin and shed the light of life and truth through His work and His words. Those who trust in Him have their eyes opened by Him and walk in the light.

Prince of peace: (Isaiah 9:6) – Jesus came not to bring peace to the world as in the absence of war, but peace between God and man who were separated by sin. He died to reconcile sinners to a holy God.

Son of God: (Luke 1:35John 1:49) – Jesus is the “only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14). Used 42 times in the New Testament, “Son of God” affirms the deity of Christ.

Son of man: (John 5:27) – Used as a contrast to “Son of God” this phrase affirms the humanity of Christ which exists alongside His divinity.

Word: (John 1:11 John 5:7-8) – The Word is the second Person of the triune God, who said it and it was done, who spoke all things out of nothing in the first creation, who was in the beginning with God the Father, and was God, and by whom all things were created.

Word of God: (Revelation 19:12-13) – This is the name given to Christ that is unknown to all but Himself. It denotes the mystery of His divine person.

Word of Life: (1 John 1:1) – Jesus not only spoke words that lead to eternal life, but according to this verse He is the very words of life, referring to the eternal life of joy and fulfillment which He provides.

His Position in the Trinity
Alpha and Omega: 
(Revelation 1:822:13) – Jesus declared Himself to be the beginning and end of all things, a reference to no one but the true God. This statement of eternality could apply only to God.

Emmanuel: (Isaiah 9:6Matthew 1:23) – Literally “God with us.” Both Isaiah and Matthew affirm that the Christ who would be born in Bethlehem would be God Himself who came to earth in the form of a man to live among His people.

I Am: (John 8:58, with Exodus 3:14) – When Jesus ascribed to Himself this title, the Jews tried to stone Him for blasphemy. They understood that He was declaring Himself to be the eternal God, the unchanging Jehovah of the Old Testament.

Lord of All: (Acts 10:36) – Jesus is the sovereign ruler over the whole world and all things in it, of all the nations of the world, and particularly of the people of God’s choosing, Gentiles as well as Jews.

True God: (1 John 5:20) – This is a direct assertion that Jesus, being the true God, is not only divine, but is the Divine. Since the Bible teaches there is only one God, this can only be describing His nature as part of the triune God.

His Work on Earth
Author and Perfecter of our Faith: (Hebrews 12:2) – Salvation is accomplished through the faith that is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and Jesus is the founder of our faith and the finisher of it as well. From first to last, He is the source and sustainer of the faith that saves us.

Bread of Life: (John 6:356:48) – Just as bread sustains life in the physical sense, Jesus is the Bread that gives and sustains eternal life. God provided manna in the wilderness to feed His people and He provided Jesus to give us eternal life through His body, broken for us.

Bridegroom: (Matthew 9:15) – The picture of Christ as the Bridegroom and the Church as His Bride reveals the special relationship we have with Him. We are bound to each other in a covenant of grace that cannot be broken.

Deliverer: (Romans 11:26) – Just as the Israelites needed God to deliver them from bondage to Egypt, so Christ is our Deliverer from the bondage of sin.

Good Shepherd: (John 10:1114) – In Bible times, a good shepherd was willing to risk his own life to protect his sheep from predators. Jesus laid down His life for His sheep, and He cares for and nurtures and feeds us.

High Priest: (Hebrews 2:17) – The Jewish high priest entered the Temple once a year to make atonement for the sins of the people. The Lord Jesus performed that function for His people once for all at the cross.

Lamb of God: (John 1:29) – God’s Law called for the sacrifice of a spotless, unblemished Lamb as an atonement for sin. Jesus became that Lamb led meekly to the slaughter, showing His patience in His sufferings and His readiness to die for His own.

Mediator: (1 Timothy 2:5) – A mediator is one who goes between two parties to reconcile them. Christ is the one and only Mediator who reconciles men and God. Praying to Mary or the saints is idolatry because it bypasses this most important role of Christ and ascribes the role of Mediator to another.

Rock: (1 Corinthians 10:4) – As life-giving water flowed from the rock Moses struck in the wilderness, Jesus is the Rock from which flow the living waters of eternal life. He is the Rock upon whom we build our spiritual houses, so that no storm can shake them.

Resurrection and Life: (John 11:25) – Embodied within Jesus is the means to resurrect sinners to eternal life, just as He was resurrected from the grave. Our sin is buried with Him and we are resurrected to walk in newness of life.

Savior: (Matthew 1:21Luke 2:11) – He saves His people by dying to redeem them, by giving the Holy Spirit to renew them by His power, by enabling them to overcome their spiritual enemies, by sustaining them in trials and in death, and by raising them up at the last day.

True Vine: (John 15:1) – The True Vine supplies all that the branches (believers) need to produce the fruit of the Spirit— the living water of salvation and nourishment from the Word.

Way, Truth, Life: (John 14:6) – Jesus is the only path to God, the only Truth in a world of lies, and the only true source of eternal life. He embodies all three in both a temporal and an eternal sense. (Quote source here.)

BibleGateway.com also lists a number of the titles and names of Jesus Christ (see list below) at this link (Quote source here):

Title and Names of Jesus Christ

These, in their rich variety, throw light on either the person of Jesus Christ or on some aspect of his ministry.

Titles relating to Jesus Christ’s identity

The Exact Image of God Heb 1:3; See also John 14:9; 2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15

The First and Last, the Alpha and Omega Rev 22:13 Alpha” and “Omega” are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. See also Rev 1:17; Rev 2:8; Rev 21:6

The Word of God John 1:1; See also Mal 3:1; John 1:14; 1 John 1:1; Rev 19:13

The Last Adam 1 Cor 15:45; See also Rom 5:14

The Bright Morning Star Rev 22:16; See also 2 Peter 1:19

The Rising Sun Mal 4:2; Luke 1:78

The Living One Rev 1:18; See also John 5:26; John 11:25

The Amen Rev 3:14; See also 2 Cor 1:20

The True light John 1:3-9; See also Isaiah 9:2; Luke 2:32; John 3:19-21; John 8:12; John 12:46

The Righteous One Acts 3:14; See also Jer 23:6; Jer 33:15-16; Acts 7:52; Acts 22:14

The Lion of Judah Rev 5:5

The King of the Jews Matt 2:1-2; Matt 27:37

The “I am” sayings of John’s Gospel:

John 8:58 See also: John 6:35the Bread of Life;
John 8:12; John 9:5the Light of the World;
John 10:7-10the Gate;
John 10:11-14the Good Shepherd;
John 11:25the Resurrection and the Life;
John 14:6the Way, the Truth and the Life;
John 15:1-5the True Vine

Titles relating to Jesus Christ’s ministry

The Seed of Abraham Gal 3:16; See also Gen 12:7; Gen 13:15; Gen 24:7

The Root and Offspring of David Rev 22:16

The Faithful Witness Rev 1:5; See also Isaiah 55:4; John 18:37; Rev 3:14

Immanuel Matt 1:23; See also Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 8:8

The Capstone Matt 21:42Mark 12:10Luke 20:17; See also Psalm 118:22; Acts 4:11; Eph 2:20-21; 1 Peter 2:6-7

The Rock 1 Cor 10:4; See also Isaiah 8:14; Isaiah 28:16; Rom 9:32-33; 1 Peter 2:8

The Bridegroom John 3:29–John the Baptist describing himself as the bridegroom’s friend, and Jesus Christ as the bridegroom. See also Matt 9:15Mark 2:19-20Luke 5:34-35; Matt 25:1-10; Rev 19:7; Rev 21:2

The Firstborn among many brothers Rom 8:29

The Firstfruits 1 Cor 15:23

The Firstborn from the dead Rev 1:5

The Heir of all things Heb 1:2

Titles relating to Jesus Christ’s authority

Lord Acts 2:25 See also Matt 7:21; Luke 6:46; John 6:68; Rom 10:13; 1 Cor 3:5; Col 3:23; 1 Thes 4:16-17; 2 Peter 1:11

The Head of the Church Eph 1:22-23; Eph 4:15; Eph 5:23; Col 2:19

The Chief Shepherd 1 Peter 5:4 See also Matt 2:6; Micah 5:2; John 10:11; 1 Peter 2:25; Heb 13:20

Prince Acts 5:31

Rabbi John 1:3849; John 20:16

Titles emphasizing Jesus Christ’s saving work

Jesus: the Lord saves Matt 1:21

Man of Sorrows Isaiah 53:3

The Passover Lamb 1 Cor 5:7

A Horn of Salvation Luke 1:69

The Consolation of Israel Luke 1:68; Luke 2:2538

The Deliverer and Redeemer Rom 11:26; Isaiah 59:20

The Author and Perfecter of Salvation Heb 2:10; See also Heb 5:9; Heb 12:2

Titles stressing Jesus Christ’s mediatory status

The Mediator 1 Tim 2:5

The High Priest Heb 3:1; See also Heb 2:17; Heb 6:20

The Son of Man Luke 19:10; See also Matt 11:19; Luke 5:24; John 3:13; John 6:53; Acts 7:56; Rev 1:13

See also (click on links):

Jesus, the Christ
  Christ, Son of David
  Christ, Son of God
  Christ, Son of Man
  Christ, the Lord
  Immanuel
  Messiah, coming of
  Christ, high priest
  Christ as Lamb
  Christ as Saviour
  Christ as shepherd
  Servants of the Lord

Jesus Christ is so much more than we can ever imagine . . .

How can anyone resist a Savior like this?

YouTube Video: “At The Cross (Love Ran Red)” by Chris Tomlin:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here

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5 Comments

  1. nhiemstra says:

    Reblogged this on Flotsam and Jetsam and commented:
    Sara hits the perfect note, once again . . .

    Like

  2. […] For God So Loved The World (sarasmusings.wordpress.com) […]

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  3. […] For God So Loved The World (sarasmusings.wordpress.com) […]

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