Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
Thesis: The declaration of "Jesus Christ" is of such magnitude that a validation of great magnitude is required for "faith".
Introduction: Thus far in our studies, one thesis dominates: Paul is an apostle. We have seen that this is an either/or, absolute, identity in that "apostleship" is the position of being an accurate representative of another to the ultimate degree in the realm wherein the meaning applies. There is no "wiggle-room" here. Paul either delivered the truth of God in God's stead, or he was a colossal fraud.
This evening we are going to look into the origins of his "apostleship". He ties those origins to both Jesus Christ and God as Father.
August 1, 2010
- I. Jesus Christ as the Agent of Paul's Apostleship.
- A. The roots and significance of the name of Jesus.
- 1. The English word is a transliteration of a Greek transliteration of a Hebrew name.
- a. The Hebrew name is first found in Exodus 17:9 and is typically transliterated as Joshua.
- b. The Septuagint (285-247 B.C.) transliterates the word into Greek in the form that we find in our current Greek New Testament (Exodus 17:8, Septuagint).
- c. John Wycliffe produced one of the earliest translations into English (1382 A.D.) and we find that his translation contains the use of the English "J" consonant for the Hebrew "Y" consonant (it is reported that in early English the "J" was pronounced as a "Y", but gradually became the hard "J" sound in pronunciation) as well as the omission of the Hebrew "H" consonant (the Latin Vulgate altered the Hebrew "Y" consonant into an "I" vowel because it was known that the "yod" was used as both a consonant and a vowel).
- d. A perusal of the web will yield a host of sites that are so literalistic that some even argue vehemently that the transliteration that we have is a perversion of the truth and that no one can use the transliteration without being apostate.
- 1) This is a foolish rejection of the way language works as well as the way God understands.
- 2) The issue in the understanding of language is the issue of the intention of the user, not the precise sounds of the words (the issue in communication is not how a word is pronounced, but what it signifies at the time of its use, as is easily seen by the use of language by those who cannot pronounce the sounds as they are typically pronounced).
- 2. In an extensive article on the name of "Jesus" in the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament we are told that the name in its Hebrew roots was a sentence name that literally meant "Yahweh makes a broad place" and was biblically illustrated by God's use of Joshua to provide His people with a large and fruitful place in which to live.
- 3. According to the biblical pattern of using the superficial, external realities to illustrate the profound, inner realities, the name of "Jesus" was given because its Bearer would "save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
- a. This means that the "constricting" factor at the "Life" level is "sins", not human enemies who occupy the fruitful land.
- b. This also means that "Jesus" was going to fully address all of the problems that "sins" create at least in regard to that attribute in God which we know as Justice so that the Gospel is both a promise of "Eternal Life" and of "no condemnation".
- 1) This Gospel of a dual commitment is not well understood.
- 2) Neither "Eternal Life", nor "no condemnation", are applied without qualification even to them that believe.
- a) "Life" is a description of a relational interaction that is rooted in personal acceptance, understanding, and a unity of Love and Faith but no creature ever experiences, or will experience, its infinite fulness.
- b) "Condemnation" is a function of "Justice", which is a relational interaction that is rooted in personal behavior, and, though there is no personal rejection of the believer by God, there is an application of "Justice" to the works of believers wherein their unworthy works will both be consumed by fire and cause "loss" to those who have produced them.
- 3) But both "Eternal Life" and "no condemnation" have certain "absolute factors" which are universally applied to all who believe.
- a) There is what I call a "basic salvation package" that every believer will experience in the post-resurrection reality without regard for his/her post justification works and there is an "enhanced salvation package" that varies by reason of the Judgment Seat of Christ.
- b) There is also a "basic no-condemnation reality" that every believer will experience in the post-resurrection reality without regard for his/her post justification works and there is an "enhanced no-condemnation reality" that arises out of the Spirit's production of His fruit in the temporal experience of the believer.
- 4. Paul's "apostleship" through "Jesus", then, means that he is the agent of the doctrine of God's plans for, and actions of, creating a release of men from the constrictions of sin.
- a. This involves, first, the doctrines relating to how God has planned for the separation of fallen man from both his endemic nature as a sinner and his expression of that nature in a cause/effect universe (these doctrines are centered upon resurrection and judgment).
- b. This involves, second, the doctrines of how God has acted in history to make such a separation potentially actual (these doctrines are centered upon the vicarious atonement accomplished by Jesus and its application to men).
- c. This involves, third, the doctrines of how God deals with men in their current state so that His plans and actions effect genuine participation by men in His Life (these doctrines are centered upon the methodologies of "faith" and "love").
- B. The roots and significance of the title "Christ".
- 1. The word derives from a Greek verb that means "to smear with oil" (thus, it is not a "transliteration"; the Hebrew word is "Messiah").
- 2. The Greek verb was used because it could adequately communicate the Hebrew verb (mashach) which was used to refer to a ritual wherein God's choice of "kings" (1 Samuel 9:16; 10:1 and 15:1) was made known.
- 3. The point is that the meaning of "Christ" is established by a comparison of Matthew 2:2 and 2:4 where the phrase "King of the Jews" is reduced to "the Christ".
- 4. However, the character of "the Christ" is more significant than the title just as we argued earlier in regard to the distinction between pronunciation and intended meaning.
- a. It took the Holy Spirit four separate books to explain the issues of the character of God's "Christ".
- b. This issue of "character" is reduced by the four books to four "basic" attributes.
- 1) Matthew presents "the Christ" as "the Enforcer of Righteousness" (the Lion of Judah -- Messiah ben Judah).
- 2) Mark presents "the Christ" as "the Servant Executor of Power" (the Calf of Joseph -- Messiah ben Joseph).
- 3) Luke presents "the Christ" as "the Second Adam" (the Ultimate Apostle, absolutely committed to an accurate presentation of the Father -- a methodological fixation that calls for "faith").
- 4) John presents "the Christ" as "the Communicator of Life" (the Ultimate Lover, absolutely committed to the communication of Life -- an objective fixation that calls for "love").
- 5. Paul's "apostleship" through "Christ", then, means that he is the agent of the doctrine of "Life" through "faith" in the One Whose commitment to righteousness knows no boundaries, even in the sphere of personal cost to Himself.