Siloam's Pool
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Hey guys! I am honored that you would take the time to read this blog. I hope that what I have to share will be worth your time. You may ask yourself, "What's up with the title of this blog?" The title Siloam's Pool comes from John 9:7. There was a man who came to Jesus who was born blind. As Jesus and the disciples passed by the man, Jesus used this man's condition to teach an important spiritual lesson to his followers. Jesus affirmed that the man had been born blind in order that God might be honored through this man's life. Then Jesus said in a dramatic statement, "We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." (John 9:4-5). He then told the man to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. The name "Siloam" means "sent." The man went and washed and came back seeing. It is my hope that through this blog, that perhaps someone might see as a result of the truth that is shared here. I will do my best to honor your time. God bless!

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The Doctrine of Christ
October 9, 2008

           The doctrine of Christ is one of the most significant, if not the most significant doctrines that we hold to. The Old Testament is filled with references to the Messiah who was to come. Genesis 3:15 gives what many believe to be the first gospel pronouncement and Isaiah 52-53 gives the best picture of the mission of the Messiah, to suffer for the sins of many and to reconcile us to a holy God. The blessings of the patriarchs in Genesis and the promise made to David in 2 Samuel 7:1-29 all begin to narrow the scope of the specific lineage that Messiah would come from. The Psalms paint a picture of both the death (Psalm 22) and reign (Psalm 2) of Messiah. The New Testament points back to the Old Testament passages in showing the fulfillment of these prophecies and explaining many of them. Perhaps one of the most important New Testament passages is John 1:1-18, which establishes Christ as the Eternal Word of God that took on humanity in the Incarnation and created all things that are in existence. These tenets of Christology are essential to avoid the heresies that many cults have been built upon. Colossians 1:15-23 teaches Christ as the image, or likeness, of God and grants full deity to Christ. It also teaches Christ as Lord of creation, the church, and the Christian. From the book of Hebrews we find Christ is God’s best. 

            The virgin birth is a tenet of Christology that cannot be denied without denying Scriptures. It is indispensable and is the miraculous incarnation of the Son of God. Jesus' baptism identifies him with sinful humanity, is the inauguration of his public ministry, and publicly displays his obedience to the Father’s will. Jesus' temptation brings up the question of the peccability of Christ and shows Him as the faithful Son who is sinless, regardless of the view one holds on peccability or impeccability. Jesus' miracles affirm Him as a prophet of God and prove His deity. 

            Many heresies have risen up over the years (such as Docetism, Ebionism, etc.) that have led to several church councils, the most important of these being Nicene, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon. However, ancient heresies are not the only heresies that needed to be combated by Christians, as modern attacks such as liberal theology’s search for the historical Jesus have recently been levied.
            Our Christology impacts the church in that we must realize we are either following Truth or a variation of lies and myths. We cannot deny the hypostatic union of Christ (1 Tim. 2:5) and therefore must affirm the virgin birth. We have to also recognize that the Word of God is eternally existent (Jn.1), while Jesus Christ exists only by means of the incarnation; but also, we must realize that the work of Christ is not attributed to one nature or the other, but to both. We have to affirm the creed of 1 Tim. 3:16 as the story line of Messiah.
            Because of the work of Christ, we have instituted two ordinances, that of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:26). We find that in performing His work, Christ fulfills the offices of prophet (Deut. 18:15-18), priest (Jn. 18:37), and king in the order of Melchizidek (Heb. 6:20), not of Aaron.
            The Old Testament is replete with imagery of the sacrificial nature of the death of Christ and the work of atonement that it accomplished, from the imagery of the tabernacle and the sacrifices to the description of Jesus as the Lamb of God (Jn. 1:29). Perhaps one of the most significant passages regarding the work of Christ is that of the Day of Atonement in Lev.17:11 in comparison to the suffering servant passages of Isaiah 52-53. The New Testament abounds in highlighting the fulfillment of these Old Testament passages in Christ and the superiority of Christ’s sacrifice as recorded in Hebrews.
            The church has held many theories regarding the atonement and to whom it is due, such as the recapitulation theory or Irenaeus, the ransom theories of Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, and Irenaeus, the satisfaction theory of Anselm, and others. The key feature distinguishing these theories is what must be satisfied in the atonement. Some argue the law, some argue Satan or sin and death, and some even the universal order. There are even some who hold to an example theory or a moral influence theory. The position one takes on this can determine how salvation works itself out for a person.
            Another special issue of the atonement of Christ concerns the classical debate between Calvinists and Armenians, or reformed and non-reformed theologians, regarding the extent of the atonement and whom it covers. Also of special interest is whether the atonement also brings physical healing. Major denominations base some of their doctrines on this aspect of the atonement.
            Also of great importance regarding the work of Christ is His session at the right hand of the father (Eph. 1:20; 1 Jn. 2:1). There are also issues regarding the resurrection of Christ. This is a key doctrine concerning Christ, for if we deny it we have no hope (1 Cor. 15:14). All of the many theories regarding the resurrection fall short in explaining away the event and accounting for the life changes that took place in the lives of Christ’s followers. The work of Christ completes and fulfills us by restoring to us what was lost by our own sinfulness. It is so important, that having a proper understanding of the work and person of Christ is really a matter of life or death.



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