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Posts tagged ‘Divinity of Christ’

Glory of God appearing in our character

The Face of Moses and Law on Tablets of stone

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Law on stone tablets, his face shone. (Exodus 34)  The apostle refers to that in his letter to the Corinthians.

“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was,” (2 Corinthians 3:7 NIV)

Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Romans 5:20) and we had condemnation but Jesus spread the Good News and brought the ministry of righteousness and therefore exceeds in glory. [Galatians 3:10] Believing in the death of Christ accepting that this dead man was taken out of the gave by his Father, we have the epistle of Christ, ministered by the apostles, not having been written with ink, but with the spirit of the living God, the Father of Christ Jesus [2 Corinthians 3:3 ] but also our Father to whom we can come up thanks to Jesus his offering and his will to communicate in our name with his Father. Jehovah God allowed Jesus to mediate on our behalf.

With the death of Christ Jehovah accepted Jeshua’s offering and that old system of law etched in stone was led to death. Today we should not have our ‘law of God‘ on tablets of stone, but in fleshly tablets of our heart. Like Moses his face shone with the glory of God so also did Jesus his face shone with even more glory.

Flames in heart and soul

After Jesus had gone away from this earth, taken up in the sky by his Father, God gave the disciples of Jesus His Power, the Holy Spirit, who came down on them in the room where they had hid themselves, afraid for the persecutors of the followers of Jesus. By receiving the Holy Spirit those men got the glory from God to speak in Jesus his name but also to speak in God His name. Before the Holy Spirit came over them they where like buried in that room. They had died in the fear for men who were against Jesus Christ.

Are you afraid for those who do not like it that you speak with admiration for Jesus? Are you afraid to show your reverence for the son of God, daring to tell the world that it was a man of flesh and blood who was willing to give his life because he believed in the Creator of heaven and earth in which you believe too? In admiration for Christ Jesus we should go out into the world and spread the Gospel of liberation brought by a man who proofed he could be faithful to the One and Only God.

The apostles got the Holy Spirit over them, but we when we became baptised also got the Power of God in us. We should feel that force, and it should give us also the power it gave those first Christians to tell others the Truth. Shouldn’t we expect also far greater glory when the Holy Spirit is giving life to us? If the old or first covenant, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new covenant, which makes us right with God! We believe in that sanctification by the blood of Christ. God is a Spirit who has no flesh and no blood and can not be seen by man, but Jesus was a real human being who shared lots of his time with the underdogs of the community who could see and touch him. He was not afraid to be considered part of the mad ones or the ones to be avoided. The oppressed and poor listened to his voice which brought a message of love and peace, telling them about a better world where we can be part of it.

Showing divine character

In everything Jesus did he showed a divine character. He showed the love of his Father. He showed others how his father was prepared to take them all up in His Kingdom when they where willing to follow the words of Christ and changing their character as well. We too have to work at our character and blend it in with the Law of Christ and with the Law of God.

We know now that that first glory by Moses was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new covenant. So if the old covenant, which has been set aside, was full of glory, then the new covenant, which remains forever, has far greater glory.

“7 If, however, the administration of death, written with letters and engraved on stones, began in glory, so that the children of Israel could not gaze steadily on the face of Moses, because of the glory of his face–a glory even then fading– 8 how much more shall the ministry of the Spirit abide in glory? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, far more is the ministry of righteousness radiant in glory. 10 Indeed that which once was glorious has lost its glory, because of the glory which surpasses it. 11 For if that which was fading came in glory, far more will that which ever abides be glorious.” (2 Corinthians 3:7-11 MONTNT)

It’s because in the presentation of Jesus as an ransom offering for all, the wisdom, love, justice, mercy, goodness, and the faithfulness of God are displayed in all that God has done. He displays His glory in the ‘Cross’.

Becoming part of the Forgiven much

When we accept the death of Christ as a peace offering we also may be part of the people called ‘the forgiven much’.  In that understanding we should also be willing to take on the armour of Christ and be willing to become like him. It shall demand of us to work on our attitude and to rebuild our character. We shall to be prepared to learn from the Word of God and intensify our Bible Study. When we understand that, we will love much and will serve much, and worship much, and adore Him, out of a heart of devotion and not just do it because we’re Christians’ and we’re meant to do that kind of thing.

In the resurrection  of Christ Jesus we can see the acceptance of God and we can find that kind of hope to excite us. When we listen carefully to all those prophesies in the Old Testament and compare them with the writings of the New Testament, we can come to the understanding that those books complement each other and can give us all reason for nothing to hold us back.  In the glory of the dead Christ taken up into the realm of God we are giving the hope of the resurrection and should  have nothing to hide any more. Everything can come out in the open with us.

“12  Therefore, cherishing such a hope, I use great freedom of speech. 13 I do not do as Moses did, who used to cover his face with a veil to keep the children of Israel from beholding the passing of a fading glory.” (2 Corinthians 3:12-13 MONTNT)

Being transformed

The apostles were “being transformed” into the likeness “with ever-increasing glory.”  Even more than that, back in the days of Moses it was an outward and a physical reflection, whereas this glory the Holy Spirit creates in us is an inward spiritual transformation. At the time of of Jesus’ Transfiguration the disciples looked on with utter amazement at what was happening to Jesus. Peter really didn’t know what to say other than to want to stay there. The glory of God was shining right through him. It defied description. God has a transfiguration to accomplish in us so that we are changed into the same image. All creatures are made in the image of God, but they have to shine by becoming part of God His World and not by being part of the unbelieving world.

Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, humans can’t see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that there’s nothing there.  Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are — face to face! It is up to us to recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiselled stone.  All those illustrations, crosses with a Jesus on it, sculptures presenting holy figures or even presenting God, are an abomination to the Most High and going in against His Commandments not to make any statue to worship in front.

Radiant with the very glory of God

We should not need any figures or images to bring us an idea of a Godhead or to show us the Glory of God. The Glory of God should shine in our heart. It is that glory which should get our heart beating even faster, bringing it ‘on fire’.  Our character should be made by the feeling of the presence of God. Yes He is personally present, a living Spirit. This Eternal God should bring new life in us bringing awareness in us that, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it!  All of us! By the blood of Christ everything became whitewashed and all the borders and fences between us and God were taken away. This liberation should make our faces shining with the brightness of Jesus his face. And so we should also become transfigured much like the Messiah.

From our baptism onwards, we should enter into a new word of grace and glory in which our lives gradually will becoming brighter and more beautiful as Jesus enters our lives and we become like him.

 “15 Yes, to this very day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies on their hearts; 16 but when their heart turns to our Lord the veil is stripped away. 17 (The Lord means the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord abides there is freedom.) 18 And we all, with unveiled faces, reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are ourselves continually being transformed into the same likeness, from glory to glory, as by the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:15-18 MONTNT)

It’s the sole prerogative of God the Holy Spirit to transform our characters that they might be radiant with the very glory of God. The Holy Spirit shall work from the inside out to change us into the image of the Lord Jesus, so that he may be glorified through us.  The Spirit of the living God has all the power to renew us and to make us ‘anew’.  We do a real injustice to God’s greatness and majesty when we limit His power, and the possibilities of His power, in our own minds. One of the great things about being in Christian ministry is seeing God’s power by the Holy Spirit taking broken and spoiled people and making them into new people. It’s fantastic to see how God etches into their lives something of the glory and beauty of Jesus. This is what gives us the strength to go on.

When the glory of God begins to appear through a person, it shall make that person more human, not less humanThere’s a fire in the glory of God that not only burns but also warms and draws people into God’s love. And it’s this way that people are set free to be truly human and truly natural. We can never be all that we’re meant to be until God’s spirit begins his work in us.

It is by sharing the glory of Christ, wanting to have a shining face, expressing the love for God, love for the Word of God and the love for the whole creation that we can build up a community of people wanting to follow the master teacher Jesus, and as such becoming true Christians.

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Preceding article: In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification

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  • Easter 6 – “The Church” (Revelation 21:9-14, 21-27) (revtucher.com)
    You and I have been made a part of the Church through the work of the Holy Spirit. We are brought in through faith and made clean by the blood of the Lamb. We share in the life of Christ and His glory. Notice what John says here: it is the glory of God. He doesn’t say that it is the glory of the people. There is a reason for that: the people of the Church are sinful. It is by Christ’s life, death, and resurrection that the Church reflects the glory of God because we have been clothed with Christ’s righteousness. In other words, it’s not by our doing but by Christ’s doing. That is the way it should be and the way that it has to be.
  • Past, Present and Future of Salvation, Today’s Study of Romans 5 (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
    we boast in the hope of the glory of God. We enter grace, or forgiveness, by faith in what Christ did. And when Paul says that we stand in grace, he implies that this is a state in which we can remain. Because of God’s grace, based on what Christ did in the past, we rejoice in the hope that this gives us for the future the hope of sharing in the glory of God. This hope is not just a “wishful thought”.. it is confidence based on what God has done for us…
  • May 1: Does Your Life Bring Glory to God? (evcthoughtoftheday.com)
    Paul is telling the church at Philippi that their life should be filled with the fruit – the good works, the character, and the attitudes produced by Christ as a result of their salvation – such that their lives become a billboard for God that causes people to give glory to Him.
  • Father’s Glory (wrob77.wordpress.com)
    The Greek word for glory is Doxa, where we get our word doxology, and it has all the meaning of Kabod but includes a greater sense of perfection and display of power.
  • God’s Passion for His Glory (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)
    Isaiah 43:6-7: God says, “bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
  • Rite of Confirmation – “Public Confession” (John 16:12-22) (revtucher.com)
    The Holy Spirit comes to glorify Jesus by introducing Him to people as the crucified and risen Christ. That is what He comes to do for the disciples and that is what He comes to do for us. The Holy Spirit comes to introduce us to what the truth is about: Jesus. The disciples weren’t prepared for all Jesus has to say, as He tells them, for they were too worked up over Jesus’ impending departure. But He wasn’t going to leave them empty-handed. He leaves them the Holy Spirit who will testify of Him and what He has done.
  • Love. Chapter One. (rebellredarts.com)
    Everything is for the glorification of God. Everthing that  we do here on this earth has a purpose. The purpose is the glorification of God. Our work is his work.  Eternal life is knowing God , says Jesus Christ. Jesus tells his Dad that he gave glory to him by finishing the work that he gave him to do. God gives us all work while we are to accomplish, to finish. one day we will all  get to experience this awesome day.

Politics and power first priority #2

The early days of Christianity

2.2.2. Politics and power first priority #2

Between ‘first-born’[1] indicating being the first one of the New Covenant period, the first born of the New Creation which was pre-eminent for the followers of the Messiah[2] , the New Adam opening the gateway for the new people of God, became under fire because certain people started to believe that Jesus was the first person born, even before Adam, the first man was created. This idea entered in the second period of the 2nd century and developed further in the 3rd century with Clement of Alexandria [c. 150- c. 214 CE] who used the term “protoktistos” in his Stromata[3] but later on calls Jesus “protoktistos”, [first-created][4] Clement uses the term first-created, as though it was first-born, to Clement and others, the two meant the same thing and were interchangeable and in fact, if we look at Clements same work [Stromata] just a little later on in chapter 14, page 465, we come across the expression, “tes sophias tes protoktistou tw thew”, which means, “Wisdom, which was the first of the creation of God”, here we clearly see the [genitive] “protoktistou” [of the creation]! Clement repeatedly identifies the Word with the Wisdom of God, and yet he refers to Wisdom as the first created of God; while in one passage he attaches the epithet “First-created,” and in another “First-begotten,” to the Word.

To the church fathers [pre-Nicene] the terms “prototokos” and “protoktistos” were naturally synonymous and interchangeable terms, they treat both equally and with the same meaning!

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a partnership formed (harmonia, syymphonia) wich became one of the foundations of the Christian Empire.[5] Because the religious peace of the East was threatened the Roman Emperor Constantine I convoked (325) the first ecumenical council (see Nicaea, First Council of Nicaea) to solve the problems raised by Arianism. Arianism as the theological view that Jesus was divine, but was created by and is lesser than God the Father, was officially condemned as incorrect by the Council of Nicaea in 325, which gave its seal of authority to the established trinitarian view. The Nicene Creed was formed and taken up in catechisms that require students to memorize the Nicene Creed. The Greek term homoousios [consubstantial, of the same substance] used by the council to define the Son’s relationship to the Father was not universally popular: it had been used before by the heretic Sabellius. Some, like Marcellus of Ancyra the Galatian churchman, the most violent opponent of Arianism in Asia Minor, developed the theory that the Trinity was the result of emanations from God that would ultimately revert to God in the final judgement. In attacking Arianism, lapsed into Sabellianism (Sabellius). The voices of orthodoxy, however, were not silent. In the West St. Hilary of Poitiers and in the East St. Basil the Great ( c.330–379, Greek prelate, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Doctor of the Church and one of the Four Fathers of the Greek Church with the Cappadocian theologian St. Gregory Nazianzen ( c.330–390) and St. Gregory of Nyssa ( d. 394?) continued to defend and interpret the Nicene formula. By 364 the West had a Catholic emperor in Valentinian I, and when the Catholic Theodosius I(346?–395, Roman emperor of the East (379–95) and emperor of the West (394–95), son of Theodosius, the general of Valentinian I) became emperor of the East (379), Arianism was outlawed.

St. Gregory of Nyssa (eastern ortodox icon)

St. Gregory of Nyssa (eastern ortodox icon) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The second ecumenical council was convoked to reaffirm the Nicene formula (Constantinople, First Council of 381, second ecumenical council). It was convened by Theodosius I, then emperor of the East and a recent convert, to confirm the victory over Arianism. Arianism within the empire seems to have expired at once. However, Ulfilas or Wulfila [Gothic,=little wolf], (c.311–383, Gothic bishop, translator of the Bible into Gothic) was converted to Christianity at Constantinople and was consecrated bishop (341) by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia and carried (c.340) Homoean Arianism to the Goths living in what is now Hungary and the NW Balkan Peninsula with such success that the Visigoths and other Germanic tribes became staunch Arians. Arianism was thus carried over Western Europe and into Africa. The Vandals remained Arians until their defeat by Belisarius (c.534). Among the Lombards the efforts of Pope St. Gregory I and the Lombard queen were successful, and Arianism finally disappeared (c.650) there. In Burgundy the Catholic Franks broke up Arianism by conquest in the 6th cent. In Spain, where the conquering Visigoths were Arians, Catholicism was not established until the mid-6th cent. (by Recared), and Arian ideas survived for at least another century. Arianism brought many results — the ecumenical council, the Catholic Christological system, and even Nestorianism, and, by reaction, Monophysitism. Nestorianism on the one hand saying Jesus was to be two distinct persons, and Monophystium on the other, closely and inseparably uniteophysitism [Gr.,=belief in one nature], a heresy of the 5th and 6th cent., which grew out of a reaction against Nestorianism. It was anticipated by Apollinarianism and was continuous with the principles of Eutyches, whose doctrine had been rejected in 451 at Chalcedon (see Chalcedon, Council of ) fourth ecumenical council. [6]

The emperor Constantine completed what Paul had begun to some —a world hostile to the faith in which Jesus had lived and died. The Council of Nice in 325 determined that Church and Synagogue should have nothing in common, and that whatever smacked of the unity of God and of the freedom of man, or offered a Jewish aspect of worship, must be eliminated from Catholic Christendom.

The transfer of the seat of power from Rome to Constantinople, and the founding of the East Roman empire under Constantine I. gave to Asia Minor, and especially to Constantinople, a commanding importance in the history of the Church for several centuries. The seven oecumenical Councils from 325 to 787 were all held in that city or its neighborhood, and the doctrinal controversies on the Trinity and the person of Christ were carried on chiefly in Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt.


[1] “who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;” (Colossians 1:15 ASV)

[2]The Greek for firstborn is proto with tikto: firstborn. The Greek for first created would be proto with ktizo: first created. Paul did not use the second but the first. Second, the biblical use of the word “firstborn” is most interesting. It can mean the first born child in a family (Luke 2:7), but it can also mean “pre-eminence.” In Psalm 89:20, 27 it says, “I have found David My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him…I also shall make him My first-born” (NASB). As you can see, David, who was the last one born in his family was called the firstborn by God. This is a title of preeminence here.” CARM(Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry)

[3] Book, 5 chapter 6, section 35, and book 5, chapter 14, section 89

[4] Stromata in ANF 2, chapter 6, page 452

[5] June, 325. (First Council of Nicaea) plus fourteen councils, held between 341 and 360

[6] H. M. Gwatkin, Studies of Arianism (2d ed. 1900); J. H. Newman, The Arians of the Fourth Century (1933, repr. 1968); J. Pelikan, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (1971).

W. H. Frend, The Rise of the Monophysite Movement (1972); J. Pelikan, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (1971) and The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (1974).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia® Copyright © 2007, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

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Next: Politics and power first priority #3

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie:  Politiek en macht eerste prioriteit #2

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  • The Top Ten Most Important Church Councils (catholicexchange.com)
    To be deep into history, John Henry Newman wrote, is to cease to be a Protestant. Put another way, to be deep into history is to become stronger in the Catholic faith—something we are all called to do in this Year of Faith.
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    one key to understanding the orthodox teachings of these councils is heresy. The councils, especially the earliest ones, were essentially anti-heresy conventions, called to sort the wheat of dogma from the chaff of heresy.
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    In all, there were 21 ecumenical councils.
  • From Lofty Words to Faithful Action (lifegivingwater.wordpress.com)
    Arius believed that people were putting too much emphasis on the Jesus’ divinity that they were forgetting his humanity. After all, does it not say in John 3:16 that Jesus was God’s only begotten son, explicitly stating that Jesus was brought into existence by the Father?  Yet, Alexander felt that to emphasize Christ’s humanity was to strip Christ of his divinity and to make him less than fully divine.

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