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Saturday, November 12, 2016
Solus Christus – Part Two – one of the Five Solas of the Reformed Faith - 12 November 2016, Anno Domini
32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (John 6:32-33)
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (John 6:47-51)
Bread of Heaven and Bread of Life! That sums up the gift of Christ in salvation to us; and not only salvation, but a joyful and victory-filled life in Him as we consume, and digest, that Bread of Heaven. The wilderness church subsisted on Manna from Heaven, too, but it was a bodily sustenance that Manna provided. It was their diet ALONE just as Christ is our Bread ALONE! When there was no other source of food in the Wilderness, God sent them Manna from Heaven that typified that better Manna that was to come. For the Lord’s elect, there is no other spiritual nourishment than that of our Lord Jesus Christ that can grant life eternal. He ALONE can save. He ALONE died for the remission of our sins. He ALONE rose from the grave and up to His Father in Heaven to intercede on our behalf – ALONE!
Not only did the Manna typify our Lord, but also that great Rock on the Mountain of the Lord (Horeb) which cleft for us to provide the Water essential for life in a dry and barren land. Jesus Christ was cleft for us on the cross by the Centurion’s spear. The Mountain of God at Horeb symbolized mercy in granting water to the people. It stands just before Mount Sinai (also called the Mountain of God). Horeb represents mercy whereas Sinai represented the Law. Horeb came BEFORE Sinai, therefore mercy trumps Law.
Since there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood (see Hebrews 9:22), the Children of Israel had no hope of surviving the last curse in Egypt without the blood of the lamb to cover their dwellings. That lamb symbolizes the Lamb of God, sacrificed for us before the Foundation of the world. (see Rev 13:8). That first Passover in Goshen shadows that great Passover which Jesus became for us. (see 1 Cor 5:7)
Despite the helpless predicament of Israel, penned in the marshes of the Red Sea with the Sea on the east and Pharaoh’s pursuing army on the West, God both followed and led the Children to victory across the dry bed of the Sea. His Pillar of Cloud by Day and fire by Night was ALONE their protection. 19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: 20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. (Ex 14:19-20) The intelligence officer of Pharaoh’s army must have been a real idiot not to be impressed by the powerful force that had thus far protected Israel. How could Pharaoh, knowing of all that God had done to preserve Israel, believe that His Mighty Hand would fail in the bed of the sea! He pursued with his multitudinous army. That great Power that preserved Israel was the same which spelled doom for Egypt: 24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, 25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians. 26 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. 27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. (Ex 14:24-28)
The absurdity of Israel’s doubt that God would preserve them under every challenge is, to us, immeasurable, but, remember we are looking back on the accomplished event. They were forced to proceed on faith in the Lord ALONE! No man had ever witnessed or even imagined such miracles up to that time. Neither could the disciples imagine the events of the crucifixion and resurrection though they had been told by the Lord.
A Near Perfect Picture of Christ:
4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. 5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (Num 21:4-9)
You may wonder how the serpent is a type of Christ – it is not precisely so. The serpent represents the sins of each of us that Christ took upon Himself on the cross. But the serpent (the very thing that represented the sins of Israel) being nailed to a pole does foreshadow the crucifixion of Christ on the cross in remission of our own sin. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15) We are all bitten by that old Serpent of the Garden and infected with deadly sin. Looking to the crucified Christ on the cross as our Savior, Redeemer, and Lord, we too are healed of the deadly wage of sin which is death.
As promised to Abraham, and all who believed the Promise made to Abraham, 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Gal 4:4-7) It is important to note that all who are the elect of Christ are sons and daughters. This gives lie to the NIV, ESV, and others that make the deceptive translation of John 3:16 to read, “one and only son” instead of “Only Begotten Son.” Christ is the natural offspring and very substance of the Father whereas we are sons and daughters by adoption.
On the lonely, moonlit hills overlooking tiny Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago, the great Angel and his cohorts appeared to lonely shepherds “keeping watch over their flocks by night.” The Angel did not appear in the halls of power in Jerusalem, but rather to these simple shepherds. The Promised Seed of all time and eternity had been born of Mary in the small hamlet below. The sleepy village itself was oblivious to the epochal event as are many today. But no such marvelous thing had ever happened in Bethlehem, or any other place on earth, to compare with that which had occurred on that wintry night. God does not ask for a resume before He calls a soul to His heart. He does noot single out the wealthy, the prominent, or the strong; but men of simple hearts and humble disposition. He neither excludes the rich and powerful – but these usually are less likely to recognize their depravity and need for Christ - much like the rich young ruler.
Our Lord came to us as a gentle Baby at Bethlehem, traversed the land healing, teaching and resurrecting the dead; He shall come again with Power and Great Glory to judge the world. 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matt 24:29-31)
At that moment, there will be “no loving the sinner and hating the sin.” The character of all will be sealed at that split-second of time. He comes with Great Power for no reason. He will wield that power against the wicked who have not only denied Him, but persecuted those who believe. 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great”( Rev 19:11-18)
I realize my two devotions on Solus Christus fall far short of the beauty and glory necessary to adequately expound upon the glory of Christ ALONE. But the Holy Bible does, indeed, possess that exposition in full beauty and truth. My only hope for success of my devotion is that it will inspire a curiosity in the heart of the reader to diligently study, learn and digest the beauty available through the pages of the Book of Books.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:4-11)
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Rev 22:20-21)