The Identity of Christ
I am always amazed at the number of people who can read from the same scriptures yet preach a different gospel than that preached by Christ. Christ never preached or told anyone that he was "God the Son", "God the Holy Ghost", "God the Father" or that he was "God." So who was Christ? (John 8:40) This particular series brings to light the identity of Christ and the relationship he had with God (John 10:36, Heb 1:5). It presents the why, how, when and where Christ first established “HIS” church and the “DOCTRINE OF CHRIST” which is the cornerstone and foundation of every true Christian Apostolic Church.
Identity of Christ Series: (Parts 1-4)
(Part 1): Who Do You Say I Am?
A man's perception of truth (of who Jesus is, or who he is not) is based on the information he had at the time he formulated his belief. If provided with faulty information from the start, then our understanding of Jesus will also be faulty, incorrect and untruthful.
Did your understanding of Christ come from another man or from God (Mat 16:16-17)? Never depend on what someone "thinks" or "believes," especially if you have never read it (or seen it for yourself) in the Word of God (i.e. Jesus is God). Thankfully, Jesus forewarned of these false prophets and teachers (Matt 24:4-5, 11, 24; 2Peter 2:1; 1John 4:1) and provided us with a host of witnesses, concerning his identity, those who actually knew Christ, were with Christ and were taught by Christ personally.
The Bible teaches that Christians “should all speak in agreement” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Why then are men and women preaching some other gospel than that which was taught by Christ?
The Christ has not changed, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." (Heb 13:8)
This lesson is not to criticize how you obtained your information but to reiterate who Jesus said he was.(John 10:36) Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
(Part 2): The Church Christ Established
Before we can correctly understand the doctrine of Christ we must understand how the Church of Christ was established, where it began and with whom. Our “Confession of Faith” (Mat 16:15-18) is central to every Christian Church. The identity of Jesus, as both the Christ and Son of God, was confirmed during this dialogue held between Peter and Jesus.
It is from this point forward that Christ begins to establish His church (Mat 16:18). And the church is established upon this rock (is a term used to reflect the firm foundation of a specific truth correctly spoken by Peter, as to who Jesus truly was).
Christ then informs Peter that he will equip Peter with the necessary keys (understanding) to fulfill this calling Christ has just placed on him (Mat 16:19).
(Part 3): The Doctrine Of Christ & (The Doctrine Of God)
When we speak of “doctrine” we are speaking about a specific set of teachings or instructions.
The Doctrine of Christ was, and is, the Doctrine of God that was given to Christ (John 7:16, 8:28, 2Jn 1:9) to implement.
(John 8:28) Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
(2Ti 3:16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Sound Doctrine: (Logical Reasoning)
(2Tim 4:3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
(Tit 1:9) Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
(Tit 2:1) But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
Jesus warned that we must have the courage to openly confess Him. If we do not have this courage, Jesus will not confess our name as brethren (Mat 10:32-33). People in the New Testament times confessed Jesus’ name (Acts 4:10-12; 8:37). Our confession, of who Jesus is, is to be with our mouth, an oral confession (Rom 10:10).
Any denomination that follows a doctrine other than that established by Christ cannot be the Lord’s church.
(Part 4): The Christian Apostolic Doctrine
(Mat 16:16) contains the doctrinal foundation and identity verification of who Jesus was (the Christ) and his relationship to God (The Son of God). This truth is what every Apostle (those that belonged to Christ) taught (John 6:69; Acts 8:37; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3, 17; 3:14; 1 Peter 1:3; 2 John 1:3).
The foundation of the Apostolic Church is to reflect the teachings of the apostles and prophets; Jesus Christ the Chief cornerstone, Apostle and High Priest of our profession (Ephesians 2:20, Hebrews 3:1).
The Apostles Writings
It is through the writings of the Apostles that we know Christ. There are no surviving records of any writings of Jesus. There are no records that he made any attempts to leave any such writing. Instead, he chose certain men to do this on his behalf. In his prayer to the Father, Jesus revealed his intention:
(John 17:20) “Neither pray I for these (The Apostles) alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.”
An apostle (G652) refers to someone who is sent, “a sent one.” The word is used in the New Testament to refer to those men who were chosen to be the founding leaders of the church, Eph. 2:20.
(Eph 2:20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Eph 4:11-13)
(Heb 3:1) Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;