December 21, 2021
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 21 December 2021
Was the baby Jesus born to the virgin Mary in the town of Bethlehem nearly 2,000 years ago a mere man? According to the Bible, that Jesus was more than a mere man. He was, indeed, very man, but He was also God of very God (i.e. true God of true). When He assumed human flesh and a human nature, Jesus did not become any less God, nor was He any less than true God. C. S. Lewis wrote perceptively, with regard to the deity of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus.
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to [C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Collier Books, 1960) 55-56].
The Old Testament prophets predicted the coming of this Savior. In select passages of their inspired writings, they revealed what is the called the “deity,” or “God-nature,” of the Messiah. For instance, David, in Psalm 2:7, wrote that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son. Isaiah 9:6 declares the Messiah’s title to be “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father (e.g. “One who is eternally a Father with respect to His people”; “He acts toward them like a Father”), Prince of Peace.”
The prophet Micah (5:2) wrote, “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” None but the Lord God Himself could rightfully claim such titles. Jeremiah 23:6 proclaimed that the Messiah is “The Lord our Righteousness.” Clearly, the Old Testament writers foresaw that the Promised One would be more than merely a mortal man.
Jesus, the Prophesied One, became a true man — yet without sin — while always being true God. He would be able to accomplish the plan of redemption. He would be able to experience manhood entirely while accomplishing his work of redemption. As you contemplate biblical passages and Bible doctrine, it should be evident that the Child of Christmas was very much a newborn baby who would mature as a true man. He is the Promised One who would “bruise the head” of Satan at his first coming, and destroy the devil’s influence upon the earth at his second coming. He is the Anointed One of God who has been identified as the most unique person in the history of the world.
He is the prophesied Lamb of God who was born to die on the cross at Calvary, as a sinless substitute for depraved humanity, and thereby pay the price and remove the consequences of sin. He is the death-conquering Savior who rose literally from the dead and conquered sin and death once-for-all time, so that those who have been redeemed may be free from the slavery that sin and death maintain in this world. He is the Prince of Peace who will bring internal peace to those He has saved, and external peace when He returns a second time to establish his earthly reign on his father David’s throne.
He is God the Son who loved the world so much that He would lay aside the eternal glory and majesty that attended Him in heaven, to become a man, a servant, who would give his life to death in obedience to his Father’s will, so that those who believe in Him would receive his life for eternity. He is the Child born to die. The three words, “born to die,” state simply and clearly that our Lord Jesus Christ laid aside his glory, majesty, and rights as God Almighty and took upon Himself the nature of a man. The Child of Christmas became a man, who gave His life so by grace through faith in his work alone, we may live with Him in the fullness of his glory for eternity. MERRY CHRISTMAS, indeed!!
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
The primary emphasis of Capitol Commission is threefold: prayer, presence, and proclamation. As a ministry of prayer, we encourage all believers – regardless of political ideology or denominational commitment – to pray for their elected officials. One primary resource in this regard is using our prayer website – www.pray1Tim2.org – where you can pray each day for your elected officials. As a ministry of presence, we engage leaders and staff to share the gospel, meet needs, and make disciples. The responsibility of our leaders can be overwhelming, and it is an honor to come alongside them to encourage them and to express gratitude from them. As a ministry of proclamation, gospel clarity and witness are crucial, and this is primarily accomplished through ongoing Bible studies for both legislators and staff. The Lord has called Capitol Commission to a ministry of prayer, presence, and proclamation to a place where few can go, behind the scenes with state and national legislators and staff.