Category Archives: Christ

Christ – Centrality of, Part III

Knowing the necessity of leadership in humanity, God provided those to represent their country and embody their country.  Of all the peoples in history, God appointed only the Hebrews to bear his Message through Law and Prophets.  Then, when he wanted the embodiment of himself revealed, he used those same people, but reduced them to a single tribe and a family of that tribe to introduce Jesus Christ.

No one…NO ONE… completes with Jesus Christ, let alone excels Jesus Christ in any way.  He is humanity’s only inexhaustible personality.  Other historical figures have multiple volumes written about them.  Even more are written as new discoveries uncover information not previously known.  Jesus Christ alone contains in himself such depth, height and breadth that only he KNOWS all he IS Revelation 19:12.  An end comes to any other person’s life and of the information he produces.  Not Jesus.  He’s the embodiment of all that a single person is AND of all that all the billions of people of history HAVE BEEN and will yet be.

So enormously essential to us is he, and so explosively exponential, that learning of him will take the forever of eternity, which means we’ll never know all there is to know about the Living God in His Living Son Ephesians 2:6-7.

William Ramsay wrote that a historian can dismiss and include historical persons and incidents as it suits his purpose.  But no one, wherever he lives, in whatever age, can dismiss Jesus Christ at all…not with a word, a paragraph, a book, a library of books, all the books ever written John 21:25.  He will embody everything accurately thought, written about him or lived by his Spirit within us.   But he is absolutely essential, irreplaceable, unavoidable and inexhaustible.

Alfred Edersheim undertook to write his life of Christ.  He figured to spend two to three years.  He instead spent seven, and even then had written what he considered merely an introduction.  And he wrote TWO massive volumes.

Learn of Jesus by reading his word.  Study deeply.  Broaden your brain to discover truths about him you didn’t know.  The very experience will whet your appetite for MORE.  And the additional information about him will thrill your mind and fill your soul with his GLORY!  Amen.     – Fini –

 Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Christ – centrality of, Part II

Many influential personalities have appeared in history.  They have served as representatives of their nations, or embodied their nations.  They have risen in every nation, and from every continent.

However…and understand the distinction that word creates…the seminal figures in history originated in the children of Shem:  more particularly, the Semites; more specifically, the Hebrews.  Name among them Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and the ONE called Jesus the Christ, the greatest of all, the most important of all, the sole essential historical figure.  From the tribe of Judah, from the family of David, he came so quietly in Bethlehem only angels noticed.  He grew so quietly into adulthood that God only twice pulled the curtain to let us see:  as a 40 day old baby over whom ancient Simeon rhapsodized; and as a 12 year old whose stay in Jerusalem bemused his father and mother.

Again, all that remained hidden in him would become known incrementally.  At age 30, he appeared at the Jordan.  He stood in line to be baptized by a reluctant but obedient Baptist.  He rose from the river immersion to see the Holy Spirit as a dove descend and rest on him.  God voiced his approval on everything his Son had said and done in those years of private preparation.  He left the Jordan for Jeshimon!—the wilderness—to face, confront and conquer Satan’s temptations.  Then…well…look in tomorrow.    – End Part II –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com 

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

 

 

 

Christ – centrality of, Part I

A person can sometimes eclipse a country.  Hannibal excelled Carthage.  Alexander soared beyond Greece.  Charlemagne overshadowed the Holy Roman Empire.  Robert E. Lee exceeded the American Confederacy.  Carthage couldn’t bear the loss of Hannibal, Greece, Alexander, the Holy Roman Empire, Charlemagne.  In turn, the American Confederacy brought failure to Robert E. Lee.

Then there was Rome.  Whatever great sons Rome bore, they never eclipsed the privilege of being Romans.  The state embodied her men; they didn’t embody the state.  Rome could bear the loss of her great men because she kept producing, with a few dramatic exceptions, others who added to the Empire’s renown.

Successors of Indo-European people established Alexander’s Empire, the Roman Empire, the British Empire and North and South American cultures.  They also colonized Africa and created most of the few states that, until Big Middle East Oil supplanted them, control of the earth’s wealth.  Celts, 83      – End Part I –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com 

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Christ – God know his worth

Broadcom Communications has tried to buy Qualcomm Communications.  The Qualcomm board has rebuffed the $103 Billion offer as hopelessly under Qualcomm’s value.  Time will tell in this battle between tech giants.  San Diego U-T, 11/17/17

The obvious spiritual point is:  God knows that Jesus is none other than his only begotten Son; that Christianity is none other than God’s full, final revelation of himself as the fulfillment of every Old Testament figure, symbol and personality; that no other religious leader or faith has any value to God when compared with Christ and Christianity.

In essence, God knows exactly what his Son is worth.  Which immediately puts all other religious leaders and religions on notice:  none of them will ever pose a threat to either the Savior or his Church.

Let all Moslems take note who feel their Mohammed has a chance of replacing Jesus as America’s Lord.  Let all Christians who fear such a threat take note.  Nobody is a competitor of Jesus, let alone a threat to his role, reputation and destiny.  Let Satan squeal and squall through unlettered mortals of this or that leader’s possibilities.  He never fails to produce new phenomena to replace old phenom-failures.   God laughs to scorn all who would resist his predictive will by opposing the Christ he has “installed…on Zion” Psalm 2:6.

If God removed Moses and Elijah from the Transfigured Christ on Mt. Hermon, leaving Jesus Alone, he won’t tolerate competitors sitting next to his Glorified Christ, who sits at God’s right hand!

At this thanksgiving, thank God that Jesus alone remains God’s Only offer of salvation and providence.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com 

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Christ – presence of the difference

Both Solomon and Zerubbabel’s temples were dedicated to God.  Both had a wide audience of Hebrews in attendance.  Both represented the economics of their time.  Both lasted for centuries before being dismantled by invaders.

Solomon’s financial prosperity gave greater material glory to his temple than Zerubbabel’s lesser gave to the post-exilic generation.  That difference gave the older generation pause as they viewed the latter’s foundation.  While it brought them tears, it brought delight to the younger.  The ever-stressful struggle between older and younger people as the former remembers the “better days” and the latter “what is.”

However, the latter temple would have the greater glory because the greater person who entered it—none other than the historic Jesus Christ in Jerusalem John 2:13-22.  Remember on that occasion Jesus claimed himself God’s True and Lasting Temple in whom all of God’s people would find their rest.

So…who are we, poor, wicked sinners?  Nobodies.  Which doesn’t matter at all since it isn’t WHO we are, but WHOSE we are that matters.  We’re sons and daughters of the Eternal King, then in human form and now in his eternal, glorified body, the like of which each Christian will one day possess Philippians 3:20-21, Revelation 1:12-16.

Let us rise up, Christians, to our forgiven state that will one day be exalted.  Let us now reflect the Glory of Christ we shall one day possess.  Let us keep on becoming what Jesus promises we shall BE!

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

     Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

     Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Christ – centrality of, Part III

The Last Days began with the birth of Christ.  His beginning heralded the end of history.  It occurs when he returns from Heaven on towering cloud-chariots, accompanied by loud trumpet blasts, his own stentorian call to the dead and numberless angels he sends to gather and separate the harvest.  When that happens it heralds the end of all we know and the beginning of what only God knows.

That could only happen since Jesus ROSE BODILY from the grave.  The very truth that separates Christianity from all other religions, including Judaism.  Buddha is dead.  Moses is dead.  Confucius is dead.  Mohammed is dead.  Joseph Smith is dead.  But Jesus Christ lives—personally, forcefully, dynamically, intensely, eternally!

Naturally, all men are alive in some way or another.  The immortality of influence can’t be denied.  Good men live on in the lives, attitudes and work of their followers.  Evil men continue to plague earth long after their personal demise—witness the underlings of Hitler even today, and the followers of a very dead Osama ben Laden.

But Jesus isn’t alive merely as an influence.  He’s alive as a Person, a Presence, an Individual.  He speaks and worlds take shape.  He orders, and diseases vanish, limbs grow and spirits return from the abode of the dead to the corpse they left!  He died and strong men carried his corpse into a tomb and rolled a giant stone to shut him in.  No matter to him.  He who spoke worlds into being and corpses into life himself lived again in that dark place and exited it in blazing illumination that lights all history and eternity Revelation 21:22-23, 22:5.

That’s Jesus.  Subjected once to death, but victorious over it and never again subject to it.  Jesus, a living Presence filling the life of the Christian and the church’s personality.  Jesus, an energetic historical reality who has been worshipped into the 21st century, who has worked among the nations in all times.  Jesus—an ever-present actuality waxing greater and greater, directing his people, moving from conquest to conquest time after time.  Jesus, who is not subject to the laws of nature but subjects them to his will; who is not overcome by age, enervation or change, but overcomes them all by the force of his endless life.

That’s what makes Jesus Christ so relevant and the church so necessary.  Twenty-one hundred plus years after his birth in Bethlehem he LIVES, RULES and JUDGES.  This sounds like an Easter sermon, but it’s an everyday, “thank God Jesus Lives” reminder that He gives us victory because HE LIVES and, by trusting him, even we conquer death!  – Fini –

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christ – centrality of, Part II

Captain Jack, leader of the Modoc Indians who rebelled against unjust Caucasian rule, asked if the killers of settlers would be tried by white or red juries.  The commissioner replied that white men would determine their fate.  Captain Jack then asked if the killers of Modoc’s would be tried by Modoc’s?  No, the commissioner replied, “by whites.”  The white man’s law ruled the country.  And a country can have but One Rule and one Law at a time.

The reign of Jesus is distinct.  Only One Jesus Christ came from God.  Only He was needed.  For he offered himself as God’s Perfect Teacher, Example and Sacrifice Hebrews 10:5-7.  In essence, Jesus embodied the purpose and goal of all preceding him; and originated all that followed.  Jesus Christ rules, governs, teaches, promises and warns humanity:  until he has put all God’s enemies under his feet, he is, was and is to be the center of life.  No one else.  When he’s finished eliminating God’s enemies, in an administrative change he’ll return all his authority to God the Father into a SHARED authority I Corinthians 15:24-28.  Jesus will continue at God’s Right Hand, forever and ever, the visible expression of the otherwise invisible God Revelation 21:22-22:5.

The RMS Titanic could float with one compartment flooded, with two flooded, even with three or four flooded.  It couldn’t stay afloat with all five flooded.  And all five had been!  Thus, some losses won’t destroy us.  Some can even be turned to gain.  But if we lose Jesus, we’re doomed.  No hope.  No peace.  No justification before God.  No entrance into the New Jerusalem.  Remember, and don’t forget.  Everything from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 it’s all about Jesus, Don’t even glance at anyone else.  There is none but HE, Forever and Ever!

– End Part II –

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Christ – centrality of, Part I

Like Latin to the medievalist to his studies, Jesus occupies the absolutely central role in humanity, no competitors before and none since.  His nature carefully, fully and distinctly expressed God the Father’s John 3:16, Love; 5:8, Healer; 5:21, Resurrection; 5:24, Eternal life; 5:27, Judge; 6:33, 35, Sustenance for life; 8:58, Incarnate; 9:5, Light, etc.  Blaise Pascal summarized it in the Penses, Great Books, p. 319, Section 740, saying that Jesus is the one both Testaments regard as essential:  the former as its hope, the latter as its fulfillment, both with him as central.  F.F. Bruce wrote that Christians should focus on Christ’s nature as God in the flesh, not in proving his miracles.  They flow inevitably from his nature even as Old Testament prophetic miracles flowed from the Christ’s Spirit in them.  They naturally performed fewer by being spokesmen for Law; he performed many by being the embodiment of God’s Grace in human life.

We say of some people, “We could use ten more like him.”  That’s at once a great compliment of his worth and an admission of limitation of worth.  He does much, but can’t do all.  Jesus is different.  We don’t need five of him, or ten, or even two.  One is enough since One Jesus Christ does it all, works all good things, inspires all necessary virtues, forgives all human sin in every generation, perfectly governs history as its sole sovereign and Personally, Solely and All By Himself Judges every human being at the Last.

We need no more Christ’s.  We do need more of Christ in his people.  Whose lives embody as much as possible what he embodied completely.  And more of his total worth embodied in the corporate body of Christ—powerfully serving in every generation.  We determine how much of him the unsaved see.

Jesus will come again, but only as Judge of history.  Meanwhile his servants have the privilege of serving daily as his messengers.  May God raise us to his Son’s standard.  He will never reduce his standard to our achievements.       – End Part I –

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153   

     Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Christ – all we have; all we need

Corrie ten Boom once said that we may know Jesus is all we need only when Jesus is all we have.  That profound truth is repeatedly stressed in scripture and experienced by believers.  Sunday Bulletin, 9/17/17.

In Genesis 13:1-18, as a result of God’s too-numerous blessings, Abraham and Lot had to separate.  In a generous gesture, since Abraham had received God’s covenant and its benefits, he allowed Lot to choose first.  His eyes full of green in an otherwise barren land, Lot chose the plain of the Jordan, though under God’s curse by its Sodom being in God’s wrathful bull’s-eye.  Lot got what he wanted, a comfortable life and apparent prosperity.

However, while remaining in Canaan, a land of sometimes marginal, sometimes subsistence production, Abraham got ALL.  “Lot got the land he chose,” God said to Abraham, “You get ME, the Great I AM, your Great Reward.  Oh, in addition, you get the privilege of populating the earth with believers like yourself.”  Abraham’s greatest gift was the former, not the latter.

God may leave us in a precarious lifestyle while he bolsters us with his Holy Spirit.  He kept Allied prisoners in the Kwai death camps while he inspired them to develop medicines, invent musical instruments, hold concerts and start studies in all subjects.  More importantly, their spirits, like sky-scrapers filled with Christ’s presence, poured mercy on all prisoners in need, comforted all who died and…amazingly, forgave their tormentors.

The Japanese were the captors, held captive by their brutality.  The prisoners were the besieged, freed by Christ’s grace to SOAR to dimensions their humanity had never before reached, remained immune to the pain, sickness, wounds and death.  The captors lost by wining; the prisoners won far more by losing.

We sometimes feel we need this or that, or must have this or that, when all we need is to be aware of Jesus Christ’s Presence in us.  Yours for a faith in Christ that instinctively knows he’s all we need without having to learn by experience that he’s all we have.

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

     Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

     Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Christ – always offered clear hope

John Ashbery, renowned American poet, has died at age 90.  A popular figure in the genre, he won numerous awards, taught poetry at Harvard and other eastern universities and had a volume of his poetry published by the Library of America.  But don’t be deceived by all honors.  He once said that if his name could become a verb, Ashbery would mean—“to confuse the hell out of people.”  San Diego U-T, 9/4/17

Which calls the sentence of doom on his work.  Which of us can’t be obscure if he chooses; who is despite attempts to be clear; who won’t leave listeners and readers wondering what he said; who can’t spin words into webs of deceit and obscurity; who can’t make a maze of the simplest subject?  What does it all prove except the one so honored so confused people they considered him superior?

When Jesus came he found the people discouraged, depressed and in despair.  To have philosophized would have driven them deeper into their depths.  Thus, he abhorred philosophy.  To have politicized the issues would have created more distrust, hatred and suspicion than already existed.  Thus, he rejected politics.  To have militarized the issues would have glorified the Roman conquest of enemies and its domination of friends.  Thus, he wouldn’t use force to make himself known.

Think of the words he used instead:  healed, walk, see, hope,…and more hope… endless emphases on hope.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened….” Matthew 11:28.  Words of hope to those needing a lift.  “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out….”  Matthew 12:20.  Words of hope to those feeling defeated.  “Having loved his own who were in the world….In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world” John 13:1, 16:33.  Words of hope for all who wonder if they can persevere through troubles and disappointment.

Jesus came to educate listeners in his authority over all that would diminish us.  He came to clarify the issue. God rules, he repeated.  God loves.  God cares.  He has equipped his people to survive when attacked; to resist when opposed; and to overcome when they’re embattled.  God wills his truth to triumph through us:  his strength and our commitment to him combine to empower, whatever our weakness!

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349