Archive for the ‘Incarnation’ Category

December 29th, 2015

The Importance of Christ’s Deity

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:11-12 (ESV)

The sacrificial system was always a temporary fix, both in practicality and in God’s overarching redemptive design. The sacrifices offered were never able to speak to the fullness of sin’s offense, nor compensate adequately in holiness. Yet, the coming of Christ revealed the purpose of the sacrificial system: to establish a process by which Christ could ultimately justify God’s offer of salvation and permanently atone for sin. His deity is essential to this provision. If Christ is not infinite, as God alone is, then His sacrifice cannot even remotely account for the entirety of our sin. Secondly, if Christ is not eternal, then that accounting cannot span the expanse of time from the beginning of creation until His return. Christ, then, must be both man and God for Him to be able to secure an “eternal redemption.”

For centuries, there have been those who try to minimize the importance of Christ’s deity, suggesting that He was simply a good man or a skilled teacher. Make no mistake, though, without the deity of Christ, there is no salvation. If we fail to affirm the fullness of the God-man, then we rob our faith of its power. Defend the teaching of Christ’s deity and be thankful that He became sin Who knew no sin so that we could become the righteousness of God.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Hebrews, Incarnation, Jesus.
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March 29th, 2014

Entering Our Box

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (ESV)

Why did Jesus leave the glory of heaven to come to earth? What motivated Him to leave an environment of pure and persistent worship to dwell among sinful and rebellious humanity? God chose to become like us. God robed Himself in flesh.

Religion is man’s attempt to break out the box of the natural and to seek to enter the realm of the supernatural. Man’s attempt is futile at best. Knowing that we could not enter the realm of the supernatural, God chose to enter our natural realm. God entered our box in the Person of Jesus.

Jesus lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death to atone for our sins. Jesus did for us that which we could not do for ourselves. Our righteousness does not measure up to the standard of God’s holiness. Even on our best day, we completely miss the mark of God’s perfection. The Good News is that the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Jesus identified with us so that we could identify with Him.

Jesus came from the Father full of grace. His grace provides us with the gift of eternal life that we could never earn, nor deserve. His grace enables us to accept His acceptance of us.

Jesus also came from the Father full of truth. The truth of our condition without Christ is that of utter hopelessness. We stand bankrupt before our Holy God. Jesus demonstrated the truth of forgiveness, righteousness, and restoration. The truth is that our sin debt has been paid in full.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, March 29th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Incarnation, Jesus, Redemption.
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June 19th, 2013

Declaration of His Love

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Colossians 1:19-20 (NIV)

God was pleased! His unconditional love prompted His pursuit of rescuing us from our depravity. Having all His fullness dwell in Jesus brought God pleasure. God built the ultimate love bridge by becoming like us in Christ. The incarnation is a declaration of the fantastic love of God that transcends our understanding and benefits our forever.

Through Christ, God reconciled us. In our sin, we were separated and alienated from Holy God. Only the depth of God’s love could bridge the gulf of our indifference. We were hopeless, helpless, and hell bound. But God acted in history to revolutionize our eternal destiny. God decided what to do for us long before we could do anything with God or for God!

How did God accomplish the reconciliation and restoration of fallen humanity? God provided the ultimate sacrifice to remove our utter sin. Jesus made peace with God on our behalf through shedding His blood on the cross. Jesus did for us that which we could not do for ourselves. We were not qualified to pay the penalty of our own sin. We were not fit to receive the full wrath of God for sin. The iniquity of us all was laid on Jesus (Isa. 53:6).

Have you responded to the pleasure of God in Christ? Have you received the wonderful gift of eternal life, which God was pleased to provide to you in Christ? Now invest your life in sharing the message of reconciliation and extending the ministry of reconciliation.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Incarnation, Love, Reconciliation.
Interact No Comments
January 12th, 2013

Rescue

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.” 1 Tim 1:15 (NIV)

Remember the reason Jesus descended. Don’t lose sight of the reason Jesus left the glory of heaven to come to the earth. Jesus embarked on the ultimate mission trip when He chose to leave the glorious environment of angels worshiping at His feet to enter our messy world of rebellion, ridicule, and rejection. No one else was sufficient to accomplish what Jesus completed by coming into the world. No one else qualified to remove our sin and to impute righteousness.

When I think about the mission trip Jesus took for my benefit, I am overwhelmed with the thought that He knew what He was coming to. Jesus knew exactly what He was coming to, and He still came! Jesus knew every sin I would commit, every command I would omit, and He still came! Jesus knew my proclivity to drift from His path of righteousness, my propensity to swim in the sea of selfishness, and He still came!

Paul clarified for Timothy that the reason Jesus came was to save sinners. Jesus was on mission to rescue the perishing and to care for the dying. Paul quickly acknowledged that he was the worst of sinners. In others words, if “sinning” was an Olympic event, Paul would have won the gold medal. Jesus came into the world to save gold medalist sinners like you and me.

What a refreshing revelation! There is no one beyond the reach of God’s grace. There is not a person on earth whom the Lord cannot save. Regardless of their past rebellion, their present sinfulness, and their perpetual spiritual apathy, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:13). When people experience the salvation Jesus provides, they receive His nature to live a life that brings honor to God.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, January 12th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Incarnation, Rescue, Salvation.
Interact No Comments
December 29th, 2012

The Importance of Christ’s Deity

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:11-12 (ESV)

The sacrificial system was always a temporary fix, both in practicality and in God’s overarching redemptive design. The sacrifices offered were never able to speak to the fullness of sin’s offense, nor compensate adequately in holiness. Yet, the coming of Christ revealed the purpose of the sacrificial system: to establish a process by which Christ could ultimately justify God’s offer of salvation and permanently atone for sin. His deity is essential to this provision. If Christ is not infinite, as God alone is, then His sacrifice cannot even remotely account for the entirety of our sin. Secondly, if Christ is not eternal, then that accounting cannot span the expanse of time from the beginning of creation until His return. Christ, then, must be both man and God for Him to be able to secure an “eternal redemption.”

For centuries, there have been those who try to minimize the importance of Christ’s deity, suggesting that He was simply a good man or a skilled teacher. Make no mistake, though, without the deity of Christ, there is no salvation. If we fail to affirm the fullness of the God-man, then we rob our faith of its power. Defend the teaching of Christ’s deity and be thankful that He became sin Who knew no sin so that we could become the righteousness of God.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 356:  Hebrews 7-10)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, December 29th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Hebrews, Incarnation, Jesus.
Interact No Comments
June 18th, 2011

Declaration of His Love

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Col 1:19-20 (NIV)

God was pleased! His unconditional love prompted His pursuit of rescuing us from our depravity. Having all His fullness dwell in Jesus brought God pleasure. God built the ultimate love bridge by becoming like us in Christ. The incarnation is a declaration of the fantastic love of God that transcends our understanding and benefits our forever.

Through Christ, God reconciled us. In our sin, we were separated and alienated from Holy God. Only the depth of God’s love could bridge the gulf of our indifference. We were hopeless, helpless, and hell bound. But God acted in history to revolutionize our eternal destiny. God decided what to do for us long before we could do anything with God or for God!

How did God accomplish the reconciliation and restoration of fallen humanity? God provided the ultimate sacrifice to remove our utter sin. Jesus made peace with God on our behalf through shedding His blood on the cross. Jesus did for us that which we could not do for ourselves. We were not qualified to pay the penalty of our own sin. We were not fit to receive the full wrath of God for sin. The iniquity of us all was laid on Jesus (Is. 53:6).

Have you responded to the pleasure of God in Christ? Have you received the wonderful gift of eternal life, which God was pleased to provide to you in Christ? Now invest your life in sharing the message of reconciliation and extending the ministry of reconciliation.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, June 18th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Incarnation, Love, Reconciliation.
Interact No Comments
January 12th, 2011

Rescue

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.” 1 Tim 1:15 (NIV)

Remember the reason Jesus descended. Don’t lose sight of the reason Jesus left the glory of heaven to come to the earth. Jesus embarked on the ultimate mission trip when He chose to leave the glorious environment of angels worshiping at His feet to enter our messy world of rebellion, ridicule, and rejection. No one else was sufficient to accomplish what Jesus completed by coming into the world. No one else qualified to remove our sin and to impute righteousness.

When I think about the mission trip Jesus took for my benefit, I am overwhelmed with the thought that He knew what He was coming to. Jesus knew exactly what He was coming to, and He still came! Jesus knew every sin I would commit, every command I would omit, and He still came! Jesus knew my proclivity to drift from His path of righteousness, my propensity to swim in the sea of selfishness, and He still came!

Paul clarified for Timothy that the reason Jesus came was to save sinners. Jesus was on mission to rescue the perishing and to care for the dying. Paul quickly acknowledged that he was the worst of sinners. In others words, if “sinning” was an Olympic event, Paul would have won the gold medal. Jesus came into the world to save gold medalist sinners like you and me.

What a refreshing revelation! There is no one beyond the reach of God’s grace. There is not a person on earth whom the Lord cannot save. Regardless of their past rebellion, their present sinfulness, and their perpetual spiritual apathy, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom. 10:13). When people experience the salvation Jesus provides, they receive His nature to live a life that brings honor to God.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Incarnation, Rescue, Salvation.
Interact No Comments
March 29th, 2010

Entering Our Box

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NIV)

Why did Jesus leave the glory of heaven to come to earth? What motivated Him to leave an environment of pure and persistent worship to dwell among sinful and rebellious humanity? God chose to become like us. God robed Himself in flesh.

Religion is man’s attempt to break out the box of the natural and to seek to enter the realm of the supernatural. Man’s attempt is futile at best. Knowing that we could not enter the realm of the supernatural, God chose to enter our natural realm. God entered our box in the Person of Jesus.

Jesus lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death to atone for our sins. Jesus did for us that which we could not do for ourselves. Our righteousness does not measure up to the standard of God’s holiness. Even on our best day, we completely miss the mark of God’s perfection. The Good News is that the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Jesus identified with us so that we could identify with Him.

Jesus came from the Father full of grace. His grace provides us with the gift of eternal life that we could never earn, nor deserve. His grace enables us to accept His acceptance of us.

Jesus also came from the Father full of truth. The truth of our condition without Christ is that of utter hopelessness. We stand bankrupt before our Holy God. Jesus demonstrated the truth of forgiveness, righteousness, and restoration. The truth is that our sin debt has been paid in full.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, March 29th, 2010 at 1:00 am
Category Incarnation, Jesus, Redemption.
Interact No Comments
December 24th, 2009

Celebrating God’s Faithfulness

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name.’” Luke 1:46-49 (NIV)

Life moves so quickly that it is sometimes a challenge to slow down long enough to count our blessings. God has lavished us with His love and unleashed His bounty of blessings in our lives. We are so fortunate to be alive and reconciled to God through Christ. Our new identity in Christ is eternally secure. We have instant access to the throne room of God through prayer. The Holy Spirit is living inside of us and Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. We have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ. Jesus has given us eternal life and life to the full.

Mary was so overwhelmed by the favor of God in being chosen to bear the Son of God. She celebrated God’s faithfulness by glorifying the Lord and rejoicing in God as her Savior. Mary affirmed God’s attentiveness to her humble state and praised God for the blessings He bestowed upon her. With deep gratitude, Mary expressed her appreciation to God through song. She acknowledged the great things the Mighty One had done for her.

Have you had that kind of experience where you began singing praise to God for all that He has done for you? You may want to carve out a few moments to write or type a response of praise to God for all that He has done for you. Express your gratitude to God for His faithfulness in your life. He will continue to see you through. Remember, you are the apple of His eye!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 24th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category God's Faithfulness, Incarnation, Mary.
Interact No Comments
September 19th, 2009

God’s Initiative

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Col 1:19-20 (NIV)

God was pleased! His unconditional love prompted His pursuit of rescuing us from our depravity. Having all His fullness dwell in Jesus brought God pleasure. God built the ultimate love bridge by becoming like us in Christ. The incarnation is a declaration of the fantastic love of God that transcends our understanding and benefits our forever.

Through Christ, God reconciled us. In our sin, we were separated and alienated from Holy God. Only the depth of God’s love could bridge the gulf of our indifference. We were hopeless, helpless, and hell bound. But God acted in history to revolutionize our eternal destiny. God decided what to do for us long before we could do anything with God or for God!

How did God accomplish the reconciliation and restoration of fallen humanity? God provided the ultimate sacrifice to remove our utter sin. Jesus made peace with God on our behalf through shedding His blood on the cross. Jesus did for us that which we could not do for ourselves. We were not qualified to pay the penalty of our own sin. We were not fit to receive the full wrath of God for sin. The iniquity of us all was laid on Jesus (Is. 53:6).

Have you responded to the pleasure of God in Christ? Have you received the wonderful gift of eternal life, which God was pleased to provide to you in Christ? God became like you in Christ, so that you could become like Him in Christ. What is your current reality? You have been reconciled by God and for God. Now invest your life in sharing the message of reconciliation and extending the ministry of reconciliation.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, September 19th, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Fullness, Incarnation, Reconciliation.
Interact No Comments