What A Mystery!
What A Mystery!
Before I came to faith in Jesus, I'd heard the gospel preached but wrestled with His identity. How could He offer forgiveness for my sins when the Bible says only God can forgive sins? I came to realize that I was not alone in my struggles after reading J.L. Packer's book, Knowing God. In this book it is suggested that for many unbelievers the "really staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man, as truly and fully divine as He was human." Yet this is the truth that makes salvation a possibility. "Packer goes on to say that there is an actual ignorance of God, ignorance both of his ways and of the practice of communion with him, exists at the center of much of the church's weakness today." This ignorance of God has contributed to some negative trends in the church:
- Christians have been unduly influenced by modern ideas about God, which views Him as distant, small, and completely unknowable.
- Secondly Christians have become confused as a result of their dealings with modern skepticism. Lacking a strong Biblical understanding of God, believers have become less certain about both God and His Word. The truth of Scripture is routinely questioned, and even the concept of truth is itself been called up for discussion
When the apostle Paul refers to Christ as "the image of the invisible God," he is simply saying Jesus is completely and perfectly God, Creator and Sustainer of all things in heaven and earth, also fully human (Colossians 1:15-17). Because of this very truth, we can be assured that through Christ's death and resurrection, He is not only carried the consequences for our sins but has also redeemed human nature, so that we and all of creation can he reconciled to God (Colossians 1:20-22).
In what you can call an amazing, initiating act of love, God the Father reveals Himself in and through Scripture by the power of God the Holy Spirit and through the life of God the Son. Those who are believers in Jesus can be saved because He is Emmanuel, God with us.