Jesus is Unique
JESUS IS UNIQUE
I am constantly enthralled by the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. It is impossible to seriously study the Bible without coming to the conclusion that Jesus Christ is different from all other men in history (Patriarchs, Prophets, Priests and Kings).
Among the leaders and founders of world religions, the distinctiveness of Jesus Christ is clearly visible. I am reminded of the words of Samuel Stennett in a hymn that was regularly sung when I was a young Christian:
No mortal can with Him compare
Among the sons of men;
Fairer is He than all the fair
Who fill the heav’nly train.
Jesus is unmatched in history—His very being cries out for us to entrust our lives to Him. Jesus Christ is:
Unique in substance: He alone is both God and man (John 10:30). Unique in prophecy: No other leader’s life was foretold so clearly and accurately (Micah 5:2). Unique in mission: Jesus alone came to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21). Unique in birth: Only Jesus was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23). Unique in ability: No one but Jesus has the power to forgive sins (Mark 2:10). Unique in existence: Jesus alone existed before the beginning of time (John 1:1-2). Unique in position: No one else is equal with God (Philippians 2:5-6). Unique in reign: Only Jesus reigns forever (Hebrews 1:8).
No one in history is like Jesus. He alone deserves our trust, and He alone is the path to God.
No other name can save me,
No other name beside,
But Jesus Christ the risen Lord,
Who once was crucified. —Brandt
Ps Arnallt Morgan
Celebrate the Ascension of Christ
Celebrate the Ascension of Christ
Thursday 25th May 2017 is the day that the Christian Church celebrates the ascension of Jesus Christ.
If we gloss over the truth of Ascension Day then we rob ourselves of a most important doctrine, for without the Ascension, the work of Christ would be incomplete.
Perhaps because Ascension Day falls on a weekday it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. This is a pity because it is full of significance in the historical life of Jesus when on Earth - and his continuing ministry for us in heaven.
George M Philip said this: “His ascension into heaven and His being seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty is the climax of the whole of His life and work. It is the seventh and final ‘peak point’ in the experience of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: His birth, His baptism, His temptation, His transfiguration, His crucifixion, His resurrection and His ascension. Here is the climax of it all. He came, he lived, He died, He rose, He ascended into the presence if the glory of the Father, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
Although the Ascension occupies a place on the church’s calendar, it is far from being prominent in Christian thought. It seems to be overshadowed by Good Friday and outshone by the glory of the Easter morning. Unfortunately this means that many Christians miss the tremendous truth that the Ascension of Jesus Christ has to teach us.
The gospel writer Luke is renowned as a careful historian. When he recorded the birth of Jesus he rooted the event in its historical setting within the Roman Empire. He continues that same preciseness at the end of our Lord’s earthly ministry by recalling the place of the Ascension - at Bethany. He dates the event - 40 days after the resurrection on Easter Day. He emphases the presence of eyewitnesses - the Ascension took place, he writes; "before their very eyes" (Acts 1:9). Yes, the Ascension was a real event of history.
John MacArthur wrote these words: “The story of Jesus began in heaven when He left and came to earth. And it ends when He leaves earth to return to heaven. The story began with condescension and ends with ascension. Began with incarnation and ends with exaltation. Begins with expectation and ends with consummation. It began with the Son of God being born of a virgin, descending to earth and it ends with the Son of God being born from the dead, ascending to heaven. The story began with hope unrealized and ends with hope fully realized. It began with a promise and ends with a fulfilment and a new promise.”
Let me highlight some of the importance of the ascension:
1. The ascension of Christ reminds us that He has been exalted as Lord, Prince and Saviour
2. The ascension of Christ reminds us that it was He who has sent the Holy Spirit to empower believers.
3. The ascension of Christ reminds us that He has gone to begin the preparations for our eternal home.
4. The ascension of Christ reminds us that He has taken the headship of the church.
5. The ascension of Christ reminds us that He has defeated Satan.
6. The ascension of Christ reminds us that He has passed the work of evangelism to His followers.
7. The ascension of Christ reminds us that He has given ministry gifts to His Church
8. The ascension of Christ reminds us that He has begun the blessed work of intercession on behalf of His people
9. The ascension of Christ reminds us that He now stands ready to return in God's perfect time.
Sing, O heavens! O earth, rejoice!
Angel harp and human voice,
Round him, in his glory, raise
Your ascended Saviour's praise.
Ps Arnallt Morgan
Every year I am involved in many RE classes in Secondary Schools across Swansea with 24 Hours that Changed the World, detailing the last 24 hours of Jesus' life. After the session the pupils ask their questions. It is always a special time as they come up with different and often difficult questions. However this year was very special indeed - in one school - after considering the great exchange of the thief at the Cross asked "How can God forgive that thief so easily and not a good person?"
It is a deep and profound question - How can God forgive as a nasty character and not simply those who are good. Well it is all an act of Grace...
Grace - God gives us the things we don't deserve - love, hope for the future, forgiveness of sins, joy everlasting. All of these are found at the Cross. The Hymn writer put it best when he wrote:- Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind but now I see.
In God's economy, everyone is at the same level - every man, woman, child, thief, billionaire, or 'good guy'. In God's eyes we all do things wrong, and yet, in that very moment at the Cross. The thief is told "Today you will be with me in Paradise". Jesus declares to the whole world that despite our sin, we can be free by Grace. Not through our own performance, but by His amazing Grace at work at the Cross.
It is by grace you have been saved through faith it is not of yourselves it is a gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)
So take time this Easter, as you tuck in your Hot Cross Buns and have that sugar rush from all the chocolate. Easter is all about Grace. Grace from a loving almighty God to a sinful world. Let's celebrate and shout it from the roof tops. Jesus is Alive! Grace is available to all who 'believe in His name'.
Thank God for Mothers
Sunday 26th March is ‘Mother’s Day’; the day when we thank God for giving us the one person, on this earth who generally has had the greatest impact on the lives of most of us.
Christian mothers are a link to God and they are a child’s first impression of God’s love.
It has been rightly said that: “Behind every great man is his mother.”
Abraham Lincoln said: “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”
For better or worse, mothers are the makers of men; they are the architects of the next generation. That's why the goal of becoming a godly mother is the highest and most noble pursuit of womanhood. God has specially equipped women for that very purpose, and in Christ, women can experience profound satisfaction in that divinely ordained pursuit. They can be who God created them to be.
Motherhood was established by God as a part of His perfect plan for humanity. Motherhood was not an afterthought but it was a divine intention from before the beginning of time.
This important ministry of being a mother is one of the toughest assignments God ever gave anybody!
A mother is often expected to be as insightful as a psychologist, tough as an army sergeant major drill instructor, gentle as a nurse. She has to be a labour and management negotiator, a teacher, an electrician, a plumber and a carpenter. It requires an endless supply of energy, a massive amount of patience, an iron will, and recognition of the fact that if she ever gets sick, she’s got to get well before the end of the school day.
Yes, the Ministry of being a Mother is very important.
600 college students were once asked to write down the most beautiful word in the English language. 422 of them wrote the word “mother”.
Mothers have an opportunity to impact the lives of their children in a way that no other person can. A child has a relationship with a mother which is unique. A child observes a mother’s life more than that of any other person. This means that a mother has an opportunity to convey her faith to her child in a way that no other can.
A mother has a unique opportunity to communicate her Faith by personal education. Most mothers have a special relationship with her child. Wise King Solomon had this to say in Proverbs 6:20-21: “My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck.”
A mother has a golden opportunity to impress the Christian faith upon a child in a way that will result in conviction. There is many a man who today knows a successful ministry thanks to the life and testimony of a godly mother. Her faith convicted him of the truth of the gospel and compelled him to give his life to the service of the Master.
While there is no such thing as the perfect mother, nevertheless it can be said without any fear of contradiction that she is invaluable to the kingdom of Christ due to her influence on the next generation.
Thank God for mums who have and successfully communicate the love of Christ to their children in a way that has eventually brought conviction; which resulted in faith and service.
Mothers, God has privileged you with motherhood and we as children thank God for you!
Ps Arnallt Morgan