The Center of It All, Part 2

What the New Testament says about Him

The first four New Testament books announce: The Messiah has come! His name is Jesus!

Then Acts declares: Jesus is risen and working through His people, the church!

The next 21 books proclaim: Christ is in you, and you in Him!

And finally, Revelation: He who defeats Satan is coming again! “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (22:20).

What is He to you?

Jesus is the theme of the New Testament.

But is He the theme of your life?

Is He central to your thinking, planning, and use of time and money?

May we say with Paul: “. . . it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).

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The Center of It All, Part 1


What one word best sums up the New Testament?

Perhaps you said “love” or “grace” or “salvation.”

Great answers! But let’s explore further.

Consider the very first verse in the New Testament: “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1).

Now look at the last verse: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21).

The emphasis

He is referred to in all but a handful of the 260 chapters of the New Testament.

He is called Jesus about 975 times, and Christ about 569 times.

He is also called Son of Man, Son of God, Lord, the Lamb, the Word, Teacher, the Nazarene, etc.

Unquestionably, He is the Centerpiece of God’s great plan.

(Continued tomorrow)

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The Likes of Matthew

Of all people!

It’s fascinating the kind of people Jesus chose.

“. . . He saw a man called Matthew . . . and He said to him, ‘Follow Me!’” (Matthew 9:9).

Matthew?! He collected taxes for the hated Romans who occupied the Jewish homeland. Why pick him!

In choosing Matthew Levi, Jesus showed how approachable He was (Luke 5:27-32).

Though many despised Matthew for what he was, Jesus saw what he could become.

Fast forward . . .

After Jesus’ ascension, Matthew and his fellow apostles were powerfully used by God to bring many to Christ.

And can you imagine the New Testament without the wonderful Gospel that bears his name?

Time proved Jesus’ investment in Mathew was not misplaced.

So the next time a misfit wanders into one of our assemblies . . . .

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What We’re Really Saying

What are we really saying when we confess “that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31)?

God keeps His promises.

God kept saying through His prophets that the Messiah would come. And at the right time He did.

Jesus (and not someone else) is the Messiah.

God had never previously revealed His name. But the very first verse of the New Testament announces: “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah . . . .”

Jesus is both human and divine.

Mary was His mother. But no human father was involved in His conception (Luke 1:30-35).

He lives.

“Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” He died, but God raised Him.

So . . .

When we confess Him as the Christ, the Son of God, we are saying a lot more than we may realize.

And the wonderful thing is, it’s all true!

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Is It a Matter of What God Can Do?


“For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

But does God always do what He can do?

The multitude wanted Jesus to feed them as He had before, but He offered what they needed most: living bread from heaven (John 6).

At Lazarus’ tomb some said, “Could not this man . . . have kept this man also from dying?” (John 11:37). But by raising him, many more came to believe (11:42-45).

Jesus could have escaped the cross (Matthew 26:50-54; 27:39-44), but aren’t you thankful He didn’t?

Paul prayed three times for God to remove his thorn in the flesh. But God wanted something better for Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Faith believes God can, but faith also believes He always does what is best.

Let’s trust Him!


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Heirloom Faith?

A hand-me-down faith?

I’m grateful for the Elgin pocket watch that once belonged to my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Heirlooms and hair color can be inherited, but what about faith?

Many people believe what their parents believed. But is it a carefully thought-out choice?

If we simply accept what our parents tell us, is our faith really our own?

Loyal to whom?

Parents can be wrong about matters of faith. Can we afford to take another person’s word for it—even Mom’s or Dad’s?

Should we let loyalty to parents outweigh allegiance to Christ? “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:35-37).

Whatever we sacrifice for Christ, even if it’s our family, He will more than compensate (Mark 10:28-30).

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In View of Who He Is

So obviously superior

Line up the greatest individuals who ever lived next to Jesus Christ. No comparison.

“. . . He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).

John testified, “. . . many other things . . . Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written” (John 21:25).

On one occasion, officers were sent to arrest Jesus but came back empty-handed. Why? “Never did a man speak the way this man speaks,” they said (John 7:46).

Supremely worthy

He practiced what He preached. He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15).

In view of His unparalleled greatness, don’t we owe Him more than simply our admiration?

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