Category Archives: God’s Word

L.A.D.I.E.S. Brunch Conference 2017 – Saturday, October 7 feat. Kelly Parker!

Save the Date: Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Ladies, join us for our third annual L.A.D.I.E.S. Brunch Conference (Living as Devoted in Every Sense)!  Saturday, October 7, 2017 will be a great morning of inspiration and encouragement with our special guest speaker, Kelly D. Parker.

About Ms. Parker:

Kelly Parker is a Bible teacher, speaker and blogger. Her desire is to see women embrace the victory and freedom that come from a life wholly submitted to Christ. She finds great joy in conveying biblical truths in a straightforward way to help women apply God’s Word to their everyday lives.

Kelly is the founder of When the Gals Gather, a movement focused on empowering women with tools and resources for authentic biblical living. Kelly is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and a graduate of Kent State University. She holds a degree in Marketing and Public Relations and has more than 10 years of professional marketing experience.

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys writing, reading and calligraphy. She is married to Luvirt Parker, Lead Pastor of Christ Community Church in University Heights, Ohio.  They have three children, Gabrielle, Marcus and Nia, and reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Ms. Parker is a wonderful, dynamic speaker who has a message for ladies of all ages!  Feel free to invite your daughters, neighbors and friends to this event!

Along with a delicious brunch, admission is FREE for this “can’t miss” event, and there will be door prizes, too!  If you or a group are interested in attending, let us know as soon as possible (we need a head count!).  Please call our church office at 330.376.4654 or call Melvin Gaines at 234.206.0345 or 234.221.8125.


No Ways Tired (God Has Brought Us Through It All)

Rev. James Cleveland

Rev. James Cleveland

Original post August 2, 2009 – Edited for re-post January 19, 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Cw75v2uqts

I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired – Rev. James Cleveland (via YouTube)

I don’t feel no ways tired,
I’ve come too far from where I started from.
Nobody told me that the road would be easy,
I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.

(excerpt from I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired – written by Curtis Burrell – sung by Rev. James Cleveland)

 

When your son asks you in the future, ‘What is the meaning of the decrees, statutes, and ordinances, which the Lord our God has commanded you?’ tell him, ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand. Before our eyes the Lord inflicted great and devastating signs and wonders on Egypt, on Pharaoh and all his household, but He brought us from there in order to lead us in and give us the land that He swore to our fathers. The Lord commanded us to follow all these statutes and to fear the Lord our God for our prosperity always and for our preservation, as it is today. Righteousness will be ours if we are careful to follow every one of these commands before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.’ (Deuteronomy 6:20-25)”

When reflecting upon our lives as we remember our victories and learn from our defeats, do we respond with awe as to how God has brought us through it all?

We are (if we choose to be) a living testimony to the true statement that “God is able (Ephesians 3:20).” When we look at our life from where we came from to where we are today, we should be giving thanks to the Lord through Jesus Christ, proclaiming aloud “look where God has brought us from.” It is His grace and mercy that has carried us through. God’s grace has brought us out of generations of servitude and bondage to a new generation of freedom. He has allowed us to realize true freedom, not just in this country, but also in our ability to worship and serve our Lord Jesus Christ. Few today know of the sacrifices of our ancestors and predecessors who gave their lives for the freedom that we can celebrate in today. The times of difficulty experienced by those who lived before us in those days of persecution required a strong measure of faith and trust that God would be the One who would sustain them and deliver them. Their vision was far from short-sighted.

We have a responsibility, however, to acknowledge, who Jesus Christ is in our lives. “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it’ (Luke 9:23-24).” God has truly blessed us, in our following Jesus Christ, with a sense of family in our neighborhoods when we were raising not just our own children, but the neighbors’ children, too! Today, that precious family value has been lost to a new generation of single parenthood and a lack of a healthy overall family presence. The world has a powerful effect on today’s youth and family structures that has diminished the impact of the family structure.  Only the love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit can overcome adversity and move people to reconcile with God and with others.  If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, pray for the Spirit to change lives and more!  He is able to provide many miracles!

Let’s personalize this.  When looking at where God has brought you from, take the time to review and reflect upon where you are today. Looking back at your past helps you to move today in the right direction in order to be in the place where God would have you to be now and in the future. Jesus transforms lives from a lost existence through repentance and His forgiveness of sin.  His grace and mercy from His gift of salvation is ready for anyone who is willing to trust in Him as personal Lord and Savior.  He can, and will, transform you today.  Just ask, and you will receive.  Amen.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)


Is the Bible the True Word of God?

Original post May 31, 2009; Edited for re-post January 19, 2015

When one uses the phrase “God’s Word” or “The Word of God,” what is the meaning behind it? Man uses words to communicate with the idea of conveying a thought or a purpose. He can do it with sincerity, but at times it is done for our own selfish purposes or reasoning. God’s Word, on the other hand, is the revealing of God’s will for all people. He provides His Word for a purpose and it has the ability to “speak to us” and reach us in ways that normal communication cannot emulate. We have received His Word because it is inspired by God.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Scripture was given to us because it has a benefit for us, provided that we receive and respond to its teaching. While man’s words do not by themselves have power and authority, God’s Word ALWAYS operates in divine power (1 Thessalonians 1:5) and with divine authority (Luke 4:32, 36).

Many people will not read the Bible because the Word has the ability to convict those who read it of their sinful nature. It is the power and authority of God’s Word that challenge one’s mind and consciousness and that brings change in our lives. It will either bring one to Jesus Christ or it will condemn one to eternal separation. This is all in the choice that we make. God wants us to preach the Word and speak to others (2 Timothy 4:2). It is to be presented with encouragement and yet do so with the authority to correct those who are in sin with patience (2 Timothy 4:3).

It takes God’s time (and not our timing) for God’s Word to work in the lives of others. You need to allow God to work in His sovereignty and according to His purpose. Our call, as believers in Jesus Christ, is to be ready to share with others about our lives (1 Peter 3:15-16) and how God has changed us for the better.

It is God’s desire to impart His wisdom and knowledge to those interested in heeding His Word and to become more mature in their way of thinking about Christ (Colossians 1:28). The presence of the Holy Spirit is to guide men to God’s desires for our lives (Psalm 37:4; 2 Peter 1:21). The Spirit gives us the ability to understand God’s power and authority in His Word (Titus 3:5; Nahum 1:3; Philippians 2:13; Proverbs 21:1-3).

We should always be mindful that we derive our righteousness not in our own actions, but in His righteousness because of Jesus Christ making the eternal sacrifice for us all. The choice for us is to receive His Word in its entirety or reject it altogether. After all is said and done, God’s Word is the inspired authority and it operates with power and truth (2 Peter 1:21; Jeremiah 30:2). God is always in control…God’s Word is true…God’s will be done.


How the Risen Savior Impacts You

Today’s message summary from Gus Brown:

How does the Resurrection affect you? Do you know how it impacts your life? Life is more than just getting up in the morning and going to work and to school. You should know what your life purpose is in everything that you do.

When Jesus died, fear gripped the disciples. In turn, if we don’t understand how Jesus’ death and resurrection affects us, we can live our lives in fear and uncertainty.

We need to personalize Jesus’ role in our lives.

John 11:17-27
17 When Jesus arrived, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem (about two miles away). 19 Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother. 20 As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him. But Mary remained seated in the house.

21 Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. 22 Yet even now I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.”

23 “Your brother will rise again,” Jesus told her.

24 Martha said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told Him, “I believe You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world.”

We must move beyond the doctrinal teaching of the resurrection to that of a personal relationship with the risen Savior. It’s more than just a period in history. His appearing had a purpose. His appearance would negate the false stories and myths that he was stolen away. He is alive, and wants to have a relationship with you.

He fulfills who He is with His presence. He is the great Comforter–He gives you direction as to where to go and also provides peace in the midst of your difficult experiences. This is how we experience the living God in our lives. He ministers to you in order that we can minister to others.

He came because there would be stories that He did not really rise from the dead:

Matthew 28:11-15
11 As they were on their way, some of the guards came into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 After the priests had assembled with the elders and agreed on a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money 13 and told them, “Say this, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’ 14 If this reaches the governor’s ears, we will deal with him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been spread among Jewish people to this day.

John 20:18
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what He had said to her.

Isn’t it interesting in today’s culture that the women seem to respond first, while men are still playing catchup. Our hearts keep us from seeing and acknowledging God’s presence.

John 20:19-20
19 In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because of their fear of the Jews. Then Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!”

20 Having said this, He showed them His hands and His side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

John 20:26-29
26 After eight days His disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace to you!”

27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.”

28 Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.”

Jesus will reveal Himself to the believer not in a physical way, but in a spiritual way. It should be readily apparent to the believer of His spiritual presence somewhere in his or her existence. You would know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that He is present in your life. It’s tougher to see Him in this way when you’re always in a hurry and running to and fro. He wants you to know that He lives and He wants you to be aware of His presence.

1 Corinthians 15:6-8
6 Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time;
most of them are still alive,
but some have fallen asleep.
7 Then He appeared to James,
then to all the apostles.
8 Last of all, as to one abnormally born,
He also appeared to me.

His appearance is to remove fear or concern of His existence (see John 20:19). As time passes, we lose sight of things because people who have influenced our lives are no longer visible or present. We must always note, however, that Jesus is our ever present help. In turn, we do not live in fear. We are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Believers are the people to set the example. The more that we learn to love Jesus, the more that we can stand up for Him and declare Him as Lord and Savior to everyone you come into contact with. Instead of fear, we can live for Him in confidence.

Acts 2:14
14 But Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them: “Men of Judah and all you residents of Jerusalem, let me explain this to you and pay attention to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it’s only nine in the morning. 16 On the contrary, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

17 And it will be in the last days, says God,
that I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity;
then your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
18 I will even pour out My Spirit
on My male and female slaves in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will display wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below:
blood and fire and a cloud of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the great and remarkable Day of the Lord comes.
21 Then everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.

That boldness comes from the recognition that the disciples were serving and ministering on behalf of a risen Savior. In the same way, the Holy Spirit will empower you to live boldly for Him.

Acts 3:15-16
15 You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in His name, His name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. So the faith that comes through Him has given him this perfect health in front of all of you.

Do you ask people whether or not they know Jesus Christ? Just going to church will not save you from your sins. Only Jesus can do that. If you truly understand what it is to no longer hide and live in fear of reprisal from others, you can and will speak boldly for Him.

John 4:1-12
1 Now as they were speaking to the people, the priests, the commander of the temple police, and the Sadducees confronted them, 2 because they were provoked that they were teaching the people and proclaiming the resurrection from the dead, using Jesus as the example. 3 So they seized them and put them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening. 4 But many of those who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about 5,000.

5 The next day, their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander, and all the members of the high-priestly family. 7 After they had Peter and John stand before them, they asked the question: “By what power or in what name have you done this?”

8 Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders: 9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man—by what means he was healed— 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing here before you healthy. 11 This Jesus is

the stone rejected by you builders,
which has become the cornerstone.

12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.”

God sets the standard as to how we are to live. No matter what the world may dictate, God will enable you with the strength to overcome the opposition and speak boldly for Christ.

Acts 5:27-32
27 After they brought them in, they had them stand before the Sanhedrin, and the high priest asked, 28 “Didn’t we strictly order you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to bring this man’s blood on us!”

29 But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging Him on a tree. 31 God exalted this man to His right hand as ruler and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

We’re in a very delicate place in this country. It is becoming more difficult to minister according to God’s Word in light of the world of political correctness. Please note, however, it is always better to obey God then to obey men. Jesus is the One who sends us into the world to share the message of the gospel.

John 20:21
Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

Matthew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

As you go before others on behalf of Jesus Christ, you will continue to grow and develop through His presence.

John 17:18-19
18 As You sent Me into the world,
I also have sent them into the world.
19 I sanctify Myself for them,
so they also may be sanctified by the truth.

The purpose of Jesus’ resurrection was to save each and every one of us. It also eliminates any fear or uncertainty of His presence. He lives to love us and to empower and strengthen us to live victoriously for Him. He has called us to build His kingdom and to challenge others to not live as the world lives. He calls us to be the example of those who can live on a higher plain in the midst of a dying world. May it be our desire to know the power of His resurrection in our lives. Lord, may you work in us and through us for your glory. Amen.


Today’s Reading: Unity Yet Diversity in the Body

1 Corinthians 12:12-28
Unity Yet Diversity in the Body

12 For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 So the body is not one part but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” in spite of this it still belongs to the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. 19 And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? 20 Now there are many parts, yet one body.

21 So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 But even more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those parts of the body that we think to be less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unpresentable parts have a better presentation. 24 But our presentable parts have no need of clothing. Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, 25 so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. 26 So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. 28 And God has placed these in the church:

first apostles, second prophets,
third teachers, next miracles,
then gifts of healing, helping,
managing, various kinds of languages.


Our Great God (A Letter from Heather Abernathy)

Here is a recent letter (dated September 1, 2011) from Heather Abernathy, who is serving as an international worker for the Christian & Missionary Alliance in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  The testimony is an encouragement to all of us to trust in God and His timing in everything:

Dear friends,

So you know that God has challenged me to be more like George Mueller and not necessarily share when there is a financial need.  You know God has challenged me to walk on the water with Him.  You also know I have been struggling in it, just not sure if I could really not share my financial needs.  One day last week, I was going through my tuk tuk expense calendar and adding everything up.  I discovered that while I have budgeted $100, the actual cost has been closer to $150 each month 😦  I was amazed to see the numbers added up and in print, and wondered how I have been able to keep going.  The numbers just don’t add up; it doesn’t make sense, but each month it has worked.  I knew my money was once again getting low, BUT, I knew the 25th was coming.
See, each month, on the 25th, I get my deposit from the CMA, from all those who partner with me, through them.  Usually, it is that deposit that pays my rent, utilities and internet and then have a little left over to apply toward food, tuk tuk, or phone card.  The 25th was Thursday, but did not get to check my account til Friday night.  In that deposit, I was expecting it to be enough to cover those things needed for the first and low and behold, it was a deposit of under $200.  OK, so I know I did not respond well; it sort of knocked the breathe out of me and I broke into tears and cried myself to sleep that night.  It had already been a REALLY HARD week, and then I open my account to see not even enough to pay rent…I had no clue where the money was going to come from. So from the 26th on, I have been stressing about money.  And yes, I know, in my head, that God promises to provide, but I really struggled!  I mean, how in the world was I going to come up with the money to pay for my three “big” bills?!?  I had gone to visit the school, where the preschool position is, and basically, the job is mine for the taking.  But, as I have prayed through this, I have had no peace at all about accepting, so…Sunday, I sent an e-mail to the principal and told him that I had to decline the job.  It terrified me to do so.  I mean, here I am with rent coming due and not enough in my accounts to cover it.  Monday, Tuesday Wednesday…all days in which I wondered how I was going to pay my rent and utilities today…Thursday.  Actually, had to pay interent on Tuesday and wondered, “Do I pay with my credit card, or with the little bit of cash I have?!?!”.  A friend challenged me to pay it with cash and to keep trusting.  I paid with cash…  Another friend reminded me that God ALWAYS comes through, right on time and never a minute sooner 🙂  Wednesday, I knew it was too late for anyone in the States to even send through paypal for me to get in time to pay rent today, the first.  So, as I am still thinking how in the world is this going to happen, I am thinking of all the things I might possibly be able to do, but have no clue…  Then, I come home from school and my crown (on my tooth) falls out 😦  ugh…just one more thing that I don’t have money for 😦  I told my friend, the one who every day comes into school all peppy asking, “So had God provided yet?!”, that I felt like I was drowning and I just couldn’t seem to reach Jesus’ hand as He was reaching out for me.  Oh my goodness, the last couple of weeks have been hard!
BUT THEN…I get home from running errands with her, and before I left for the dentist, I checked my e-mail…you know where I am going, don’t you?!?!  I had an e-mail from someone offering me a lump sum of money (but not an amount) to help cover my greatest need right at the moment.  Oh, my goodness, did the tears roll.  Even as I write, I am awed at our great Provider!  When I actually received the money, it was more than enough to cover the rent, so I got home from school and paid my rent and utilities and have a bit of money left over!  God truly does work above and beyond anything we can ever imagine!!  He has provided in a way that I NEVER would have thought.  This has been huge for me, and actually huge for my one friend, too.  When I told her, she shared that every day she just wanted to hand me money, but kept sensing God telling her “NO”, it was His job to provide for me, not hers…(ok, so not in those exact words, but still…).
OH, and the dentist…yep, I went and got things taken care of.  Thankful to have one friend to come and watch the girls for me and another to actually go with me…hehe 🙂  Glad she was with me, too, since I was $20 short and she was able to cover me.  Today, I have it to pay her back…God is so great!  It has definitely been a test of my faith…  It has been a challenge to trust Him to provide, but He did provide, right on time and not a minute before 🙂  He promised to meet and supply all our needs…maybe next time I will not stress quite so much 🙂
Serving our Provider,

Heather


The Preexistence of Jesus Christ

How we worship and honor God is grounded in how we see Him and perceive Him. We are drawn to Jesus Christ because of not what we know about Him on the surface, but in how God reveals Himself to us.Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.It is difficult for us to imagine that God was already present, even in the beginning, for each of us had an origin, yet Jesus was there from the very beginning, not as a created being, but as the Creator. The evidence from Scripture is that Jesus is indeed God.

Colossians 1:16
…because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Revelation 4:11
Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.

The preexistence of Jesus Christ was well before His birth in a manger and when He lived as a man on earth.

We need to start, first and foremost, with the validity of Scripture in our examination of who Jesus Christ is. We need to either agree or disagree with what the Scriptures say about Christ:

2 Peter 1:20-21
First of all, you should know this: no prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.

When we refer to Scripture, we need to understand its distinction from any other book of authors. The Bible is a book written to those who have a desire to understand who Christ is and have the desire to know more about Him. Those who don’t have a desire to believe in Jesus Christ will not get much out of it. In contrast, the desire to live in an upright manner and for Jesus Christ will be drawn to God’s Word and to His will for that person’s life.

God, alone, gives revelation as to who He is; otherwise, we would only be able to guess about who He is. Moreover, because God is eternal and without a creator, we also need to recognize the deity of Jesus Christ. He who is eternal has the power and ability to give eternal life to those He has created.

While Scripture reports the evidence of paradise, Jesus refers to where He came from.

John 3:13
No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven –the Son of Man.

Consider that no one has been to heaven and came down from heaven except Jesus Christ. The timing of Jesus Christ’s comment came before that of Paul’s comments in 2 Corinthians 12:1-7. Paul was speaking about himself ascending to the third heaven, and he reveals that he was given a thorn in the flesh in order that he would not think greatly of himself because of the privilege of seeing something that was beyond the understanding of those he was called to teach. Through all of this, Paul was consistently teaching about Jesus and did not diminish the deity of Christ–his teachings exalted Jesus Christ and affirmed him. In summary, Jesus Christ used Paul in a mighty way by revealing truths to him that he shared with others in such a way that showed Christ as the Son of the Living God–namely, God Himself.

When the question was asked by Jesus “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13) and “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?” (Matthew 22:42)

Matthew 16:13-16

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

    14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

    15 “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?”

    16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”

Matthew 22:34-46

34 When the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together in the same place. 35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Him: 36“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

    37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important commandment. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

 41 While the Pharisees were together, Jesus questioned them, 42“What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?”

    “David’s,” they told Him.

    43 He asked them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls Him ‘Lord ‘:

    44 The Lord declared to my Lord,

    ‘Sit at My right hand

    until I put Your enemies under Your feet ‘ ?

    45 “If David calls Him ‘Lord,’ how then can the Messiah be his Son” 46 No one was able to answer Him at all, and from that day no one dared to question Him any more.

It was in the answers provided that Jesus Christ reveals His deity. In the same way, his deity is also revealed in how He speaks of His preexistence.

John 6:38-42, 47-51, 58-62

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father:that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

    41 Therefore the Jews started complaining about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Isn’t this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can He now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”

47 ” I assure you: Anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

58 This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your fathers ate—and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.”

    59 He said these things while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

 60 Therefore, when many of His disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard! Who can accept it?”

    61 Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples were complaining about this, asked them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you were to observe the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?

It is difficult to understand Christ’s eternal nature when our way of thinking is limited to how we see Him as a man on earth; and those who grew up with Jesus and saw Him as a carpenter’s son also had difficulty with Jesus’ comments that He came down from heaven. He was merely stating repeatedly that He was not like us, and that what He provided were words of eternal life for all of us.

Note that when we witness to others about Jesus Christ, it is a difficult teaching to understand. Our witness for Christ is merely a testimony of what Christ does for us. Ultimately, the person who receives the information has to decide whether Jesus Christ is the truth and has the authority to give one eternal life. “The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some among you who don’t believe” (John 6:63-64).