Based loosely on the Apostles Creed
Begotten of the Father’s nature, offspring of eternal love,
Human child of Mary’s nurture was conceived from pow’r above.
One with God’s eternal being, one with us except our sin,
Opened God’s redemptive wisdom, promised mercies to begin.
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, from the cross into the grave,
This the death planned from the cradle, This the only death to save.
This the only Kin-Redeemer, purchase price was Him alone.
He the God-man, intercessor, none else could for sin atone.
From a manger of man’s making, to God’s bless’d eternal throne.
He will judge the dead and living, take the saved to be his own.
Never may we fail to worship, never may we fail to bow.
Fathomless the grace that saves us, worship ever, worship now.
You Might also like
By Tom Nettles — 5 months ago
This article is part 2 in a series by Tom Nettles on Remembering Jesus Christ. You can read part 1 here.
“Remember Jesus Christ, risen out of death, arising from the seed of David, according to my gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8).
In supplying the name of the one that we are to remember, he also supplies the reasons that forgetfulness in this matter is fatal. Paul supplies the name of the person who embodies the full range of truth and saving grace that counters the falsehoods, errors, and aggressive evil of fallen humanity. As he reminded the Corinthians, “As in Adam all die; even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). In the context of this letter to Timothy, Paul uses the combination “Christ Jesus” or “Jesus Christ” fourteen times. Two of these also employ the word “Lord” with the name “Jesus” and the office, “Christ.” Also, there are fifteen other uses of the word “Lord” to refer to Jesus Christ. The book is saturated with Jesus Christ, his lordship, his mercy, his purpose, his truthful word, his conquering of death, his promise of life, his salvation, his status as judge, and his personal presence with the believer. Paul aimed to make it impossible to forget either the person or the work of Jesus Christ. To forget is to deny; to deny is to give surety of an absence of grace.
Particularly Paul does not want us to forget the significance of the name and the title given to him. His name is Jesus. The angel told Joseph, calling him “son of David,” that the child with whom Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit was to be called “Jesus” (Matthew 1:20, 21). The significance of this designated name was related to the child’s office as Savior—“for he shall save his people from their sins.” The name means, “Jehovah is salvation.”
For Joshua (the same name), his name was a testimony to the promise of Jehovah in giving to Israel the land of Abraham. It signified that Jehovah was strong, mighty, faithful, the only God, and would accomplish all his promises, both of blessing and of cursing. He would work through Joshua to fulfill these promises and establish the context where the people would respond to this miraculous deliverance and strikingly clear revelation. Some of the promises were unconditional and unilateral. No alterations among the Israelites could change the ability and determination of God to carry through. Others were conditional and were, in one sense, dependent on the faithfulness of the people (2 Kings 23:26, 27).
The task of Joshua was typological; the task for Jesus was the substance and absolute. Joshua set the stage for the powerful display of divine purpose; Jesus embodied the mystery of godliness. Joshua testified of the power of God to save and called the people to follow him in serving the Lord (Joshua 24); Jesus did not merely testify to the power of God to save, but he possessed and executed his saving power by own righteous acts and perfect obedience. Not only like Joshua did he testify to the power of God to save, but he constituted the saving purpose of God. Though “Jesus” is his human name, it also is a testimony to his divine nature–”Jehovah is salvation.”
As “Christ,” the God-man Jesus is the anointed one. Every office and type established by anointing, the Christ culminated in himself. Did God give prophets to reveal and speak and write his word to his people? Jesus is the prophet promised through Moses, the “Word made flesh,” the Son through whom God “has spoken” (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18; John 1:14; Hebrews 1:2). Is he not the true Elisha, the God of supplication, anointed by Elijah (1 Kings 19: 16; Luke 1:17; 3:21, 22; Luke 23:34; John 1:29-34). Does the Lord not set forth the prophet as a special representative of his anointing? (1 Chronicles 16:22; Psalm 105:15). “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm.” Does not Jesus claim that he is the fulfillment of the anointed prophet sent to preach good tidings to the poor, and proclaim liberty to the captives? (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18).
He is Priest. As the priest was anointed to offer sacrifice (Leviticus 4:4, 5) and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice. Christ, therefore, offered himself once-for-all putting an end to all of the typological sacrifices. Though not of the tribe of Levi, he received a special commission for this purpose (Hebrews 7:20; 8:6; 9:12, 24-26). So, Jesus Christ, having served as the anointed prophet, then completed his anointed work of priesthood, altar, and sacrifice. Nothing in the sacrificial system was left unfulfilled by him.
David was anointed king by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:13). In consequence of the Christ’s completed prophetic work and the perfection of his priesthood, he was given his seat at the right hand “of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3), fulfilling the promise to David of the forever king established by God. “And I will establish him in my house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever” (1 Chronicles 17:14). Jesus Christ alone, in all three of these offices can say, “I have been anointed with fresh oil” (Psalm 92:10).
Nothing else would matter if the next phrase were not vital to the way we are called upon to “Remember Jesus Christ.” Both the soteriological power and the apologetic coherence of the gospel would fall to the ground, no more to rise, without it. “Risen from the dead” denotes the conquering of the scheme of Satan to oppose the purpose of God in lifting up non-angelic creatures to a position higher than the angels—in fact, to share in some way with the glory of his Son. Jesus did not give aid to angels but was “made like his brethren,” made propitiation “for the sins of the people,” and “having purged our sins,” destroyed him that has the “power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14-17; 1:3). The wages of sin, the penalty of death for disobedience, unpropitiated through the ages, held as a threat by the Devil and verified by divine justice, lost its sting when Jesus “bore our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus Christ, who bore those death-dealing sins, was “raised from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Romans 6:4). This means that all the holy, righteous, and just attributes of God, the entire weightiness of God, were honored completely by Christ’s death and thus called for the granting of life to the successful sin-bearer. Death, therefore, no longer has any hold on Christ or his people and Satan’s tool of intimidation has been removed. The work of Christ and the verdict of the Father are communicated in power to the redeemed by the Spirit. “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). God, therefore, instead of being against us is for us. Why? Because he “spared not His own Son but delivered him up for us all.” Having given us Him, he freely gives us all that Christ has gained. None can now condemn for “it is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God.” On top of that he “makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:32-34).
Under the name of Christ, we already have looked briefly at the significance of the phrase, “out of a seed of David.” The anarthrous use of spermatos has the force of isolating the word to a specific person, Mary. Jesus was born, was conceived in and then came out of Mary, a seed of David. Luke 1:27 has the phrase, “out of the house of David,” a phrase to be applied both to Mary and Joseph. The seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) was also the seed of David. He descended from David in his human nature and has a right to the throne. “He will be great,” the angel told Mary, “and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” (Luke 1:32). How low the House had fallen that a teenage virgin was to bear the seed of David to the Messiah and his legal father would be a mere carpenter. Luke 2:4 again emphasizes that Joseph was “of the house and lineage of David” because the enrollment must take place legally according to the male of the household. When the angel addressed Joseph to inform him of the source of Mary’s impregnation, he said “Joseph, son of David” (Matthew 1:20). Jeremiah 30:9 predicts, “They shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king.” In Ezekiel we read, “And my servant David shall be king over them” (34:24; 37:24). Hosea predicts that after a time of devastation, Israel will “seek the Lord their God and David their king” (Hosea 3:5). This descent from David confirms the prophetic material concerning the Messiah, seals the reality of his humanity, and shows that the true “Man after God’s own heart” saves us, rules over us with lovingkindness until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.
Paul has given a thick distillation of biblical doctrine on the person of Christ in his paternal admonition to Timothy. For his preaching, his instruction of elders, and for his personal joy and assurance Paul instructed Timothy, and so instructs us, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, of a seed of David.”
This article is part 2 in a series by Tom Nettles on Remembering Jesus Christ.
Join us at the 2024 National Founders Conference on January 18-20 as we consider what it means to “Remember Jesus Christ” under the teaching of Tom Ascol, Joel Beeke, Paul Washer, Phil Johnson, Conrad Mbewe and Travis Allen.
By Tom Hicks — 1 year ago
Forgiveness is at the heart of the Christian faith. Christ died to forgive our sins and to reconcile us to God. And Jesus taught that His disciples must forgive those who sin against them. He said, “if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt 6:15). Forgiveness is not an option for believers. Jesus said, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Mk 11:25). Christians must forgive because they have been forgiven (Matt 18:21-25).
But there is a difference between forgiving a person and reconciling your relationship with that person. Forgiveness is something Christ requires of you, no matter what the other person does. Forgiveness means that you sincerely, from the heart, cancel the other person’s debt against you personally. It involves repenting of any sinful anger and refusing to harbor bitterness against the person who has sinned against you. Forgiving means you promise to let go of the personal aspect of the offense and refuse to obsess over it.
To be clear, forgiving another person does not mean you release them from church discipline or criminal penalties. In some cases, faithfulness means that you have to personally forgive those who have sinned against you, even while filing charges against them for church discipline and seeking a legal penalty. If you’ve forgiven someone, then pursuing discipline and justice isn’t vindictive or vengeful. It’s done from a heart of love to Christ, love to the sinner, and love for others.
Forgiveness means that you sincerely, from the heart, cancel the other person’s debt against you personally.
While Christians must unilaterally extend forgiveness, it’s impossible to reconcile a relationship faithfully without mutual promises. Forgiveness is a unilateral promise, but reconciliation involves bilateral promises. In order for a relationship to be reconciled, not only must the offended party make the promises of forgiveness, but the offending party must repent of sin, promise to continue in repentance, and bear fruit in keeping with their professed repentance (Matt 3:8).
Within the church, reconciliation means that you are willing to accept the offending party as a brother or sister in Christ and to commune with them in the church. It also means that you are open to growing in your trust of this person over time, as they continue to walk faithfully in Christ, but it does not necessarily mean that you should receive them as a close companion, or that they should be restored to their former relationship with you. Christian reconciliation does not immediately imply that all trust is restored. It means that you receive them as a brother or sister in Christ.
So, when does forgiveness not lead to reconciliation?
1. When the sinning party clearly does not repent.
The Bible gives strong warnings against walking with impenitent sinners. God commands Christians to flee from the wicked. Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived, bad company ruins good morals.” The Lord does not want us to be companions with bad company. The Christian response to an impenitent sinner is to avoid them, not to reconcile with them.
Many object that Christ ate and drank with sinners (Matt 9:10-13). And He certainly did, but only to call them to Himself and to urge them to repent of their sins (Matt 9:13). He did not fellowship with the wicked. In fact, the Bible is clear that He didn’t trust the crowds of sinners who listened to His teaching (Jn 2:24). Trusting people is not a biblical virtue. It is foolish to trust those who are untrustworthy. Jesus says, “Beware of men” (Matt 10:17). Thus, as Christians, we must not reconcile with those who do not repent, but persist in their sins.
Christian reconciliation does not immediately imply that all trust is restored. It means that you receive them as a brother or sister in Christ.
Christ fled from the wicked. He avoided going to Jerusalem because He knew people meant Him harm (Jn 7:8). Christ frequently ran away when the Pharisees or the crowds sought to coerce Him or do Him harm (Jn 6:15; 8:59; 10:39; Matt 12:14-15). He only gave up His life at the time and place when He agreed to do so in the terms of the covenant of redemption. He was a willing sacrifice for sinners. But prior to the cross, Jesus protected Himself and did not offer Himself up to the ungodly.
2. When the sinning party only seems to repent.
Sometimes unrepentant sinners will claim to repent, but they don’t really repent. They may weep and confess their sins, but it’s only worldly sorrow (2 Cor 7:10). They may say all the right words, and appear to be godly (2 Tim 3:5), but their behaviors never fundamentally change. They may change for a short time, but soon enough, they return to their patterns of sin. They may hide their sin, and make a display of outwardly righteous behavior, but the pattern of sin remains. They may not seek accountability, or they may manipulate the people who are supposed to be holding them accountable. But they persist in their sin, even while claiming to repent.
The Bible is clear that we are to avoid those who only claim to repent. 2 Timothy 3:5 warns of those “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” Christians should not reconcile with people who pretend to repent, but whose lives are still enslaved to sin.
3. When the sin has caused great harm and offense.
It’s important to understand that some sins have such great consequences that they completely shatter the trust at a personal level, and the relationship can never be restored. For example, within a marriage, adultery can have such disastrous effects, and be such a betrayal of trust, that the spousal relationship can never be reconciled within the marriage covenant (sometimes called restoration). That’s why God says adultery is grounds for divorce, whether or not the adulterous spouse repents (Matt 6:31-32). Scripture nowhere requires spouses to reconcile within a marriage, when one spouse has biblical grounds for divorce, even if the offending spouse repents.
The Bible does require us to forgive those who have harmed us, and it requires us to reconcile as brothers and sisters in Christ, if the sinning party repents. But the Bible does not tell us to trust people, and receive them into close companionship, if they have utterly destroyed our trust. We must love them (Matt 5:44), but we are not required to trust them (Jn 2:24).
Finally, Christians need to be very careful not to demand that people reconcile. Too often, Christians are eager to see relationships restored. And while a restored relationship could be a beautiful thing, it may also be a terrible thing. Christians shouldn’t pressure other Christians to reconcile, when reconciliation is not biblically warranted.
This article was originally posted at PastorTomHicks.com and is posted here with permission.
Follow Tom Hicks:
By Charles Spurgeon — 6 months ago
“Divine Forgiveness Admired and Imitated”
MTP, May 1885 Sermon number 1841
Taken from Spurgeon’s Expository Encyclopedia 7:401, 402, 405, 406.
When He forgives He forgives the whole of our faults, follies, failures, and offenses. There is a certain solidarity about sin, so that it makes up one lump. I read the other day of a certain theologian speaking of Christ having put away original sin while He left actual sin. Nonsense! Sin is one and indivisible. Iniquity is not to be done up in separate parcels. The sin, the iniquity of men, is spoken of in the Bible as one thing. Although we sin multitudes of times the various streams all flow into one sea of evil, when sin is forgiven all sin is put away, not a shred, nor fragment, nor particle remains. The Lord Jesus drowns all the hosts of sin in the depths of the sea, and the whole of our guilt is swallowed up forever. This is great forgiveness, indeed. Glory be to Him who gives it! Let us follow Him in His truth and heartiness. This forgiveness, again, is given by the Lord Jesus Christ in the completest possible manner. He keeps no back reckonings; He retains no reserves of anger. He so forgives that He forgets. That is the wonder of it, He says, “I will not remember your sins.” He casts them behind His back; they are wholly and completely gone from His observation or regard. Alas, such is poor human nature, that even fathers, when they have forgiven a wayward child, will, perhaps, throw the offense in his teeth years after, when he again offends, but it is never so with Christ. He says, “Your sins shall not be mentioned against you any more forever.” He has done with the sins of His people in so effectual a way that not a whisper concerning them shall ever come from His mouth so as to grieve them. They will themselves remember their sins with deep repentance, but the Lord will never challenge them on account of their past rebellions. Blessed be the name of Christ for such complete forgiveness as this. The Lord Jesus Christ forgives His people in a continuous manner. He forgave us long ago, He still forgives us. He does not forgive and afterwards accuse, His forgiveness is eternal; it is not a reprieve He gives to you, believing ones, but a free pardon, under the King’s hand and seal, which shall effectually protect you from accusation and punishment. “In those days, and in that time, says the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.” He has finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness. Send to hell a pardoned sinner! It is a contradiction to the very nature of God. Condemn those for whom Jesus died! Why, the apostle mentions that death as a conclusive answer to the challenge, “Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” How shall He intercede for us and yet accuse us? It is impossible for Christ to be both Redeemer and Condemner to the same persons. So perfect is His pardon that our sin has ceased to be, He has put away sin forever by the sacrifice of Himself.
In urging you to this copying of Christ, let me notice that this forgiveness of those who offend against us is gloriously ennobling. We are not asked to perform a duty which will in the least degrade us. Revenge is paltry, forgiveness is great-minded. Was not David infinitely greater than Saul, when he spared his life in the cave, and when he would not smite him as he lay asleep on the battlefield? Did not the king humble himself before David when he perceived David’s forbearance? If you would be the greatest among men, bear injuries with the greatest gentleness; if you would win the noblest of conquests, subdue yourself. To win a battle is a little thing if it is fought out with sword and gun, but to win it in God’s way, with no weapons but love, and patience, and forgiveness, this is the most glorious of victories. Blessed is that man who is more than a conqueror, because he inflicts no wounds in the conflict, but overcomes evil with good. In the process of such a conquest the warrior is himself a gainer. A nation in fighting, even if it wins the campaign, has to suffer great expense and loss of life, but he that overcomes by love, is the better and stronger man through what he has done. He comes out of the conflict not only victor over his adversary, but victor over sin within himself, and all the readier for future war against evil. He glorifies God and himself becomes strong in grace. Nothing is more glorious than love. Your Master, who is King of kings, set you an example of gaining glory by enduring wrong, if you would be knights of His company, imitate His graciousness.
Notice that this imitation of Christ is logically appropriate to you all. Brothers and sisters, if Christ has forgiven you, the parable we read just now shows that it is imperative that you should forgive your fellows. If our Lord has forgiven us our ten thousand talents, how can we take our brother by the throat for the hundred pence, and say, “Pay me what you owe”? If we are indeed members of Christ, should we not be like our Head? If we profess to be His servants, are we to pretend to a dignity greater than our Master, who washed His disciples’ feet? If He forgave so freely, how dare we call ourselves His brethren if our spirit is hard and malice lingers within us?
I say, to conclude, that this copying of Christ is most forcibly sustained by the example given in the text. We are to forbear and to forgive. “Even as Christ forgave you, so also do you.” I have heard it said, “If you pass by every wanton offense, and take no notice of it, you will come to be despised, and regarded as a person of mean spirit, your honor demands vindication.” When Christ forgave you, did His honor suffer by that forgiveness? You transgressed most wickedly, and yet He forgave you, do you regard Him as less honorable because of that readiness to pass by offenses? Far from it, it is His glory to forgive. The hallelujahs of saints and the songs of angels are sent up to His throne the more heartily because of the richness of His grace, and the freeness of His mercy. Dishonor indeed! What pride it is on the part of such poor creatures as we are to talk about our honor! Where is the honor of revenge? It is a dishonorable thing to put yourself on the level of him who injures you. A heathen philosopher used to say, “If an ass kicks you, is it necessary for the maintenance of your honor to kick that ass again?” That speech looks like a noble one, but yet it is too much flavored with contempt. When you speak, or even think, of another who has wronged you as though he were only worthy to be regarded as a beast, you are not right in spirit, a degree of evil remains in your heart. Think of the offender without contempt, as well as without resentment. Believe that he is a brother worth winning. Say, “If he does me an injury, for that very reason I will do him a double service. My only vengeance shall be double love. I will not allow myself to even think harshly of him. I will put the best possible construction on all that he does, and thus show that the spirit of Christ is in me, conquering the spirit of fallen humanity both in me and in him.”