Hello! Hello! I hope you have all been doing well and that you have had an amazing weekend despite the cold temperatures in Kenya.
I have been re-reading one of my favorite Christian classics by one of my favorite Christian authors: A.W. Tozer titled Man the Dwelling Place of God. (I will call the book a classic even though 1960’s isn’t that far off– or is it?) Anyway it is an amazing, amazing book for sure and I recommend it to every Christian.
There is a certain chapter that stood out for me which I would like to just paste here.
Interestingly, when I read the book for the first time last year, some other chapters stood out for me more than others, however this year, the chapter: The Lordship of the Man Jesus is Basic — jumped out of the pages as though I had never read it before. I found so much to unpack from it and that is why I have decided to share the whole chapter here.
Truth is, I actually do this sometimes because of reference. Rarely do I forget my blog posts. I find it difficult to recall specific books after long periods of time thus to make my recollection easier, I blog or journal the important stuff which stands out as I read or watch whatever, that way, I am able to retrieve them easily whenever I need them.
There is much truth to the chapter, and just to emphasize on that — much truth. I hope that whoever reads it will be able to comprehend, examine and meditate on it intrinsically as well.
“We are under constant temptation these days to substitute another Christ for the Christ of the New Testament. The whole drift of modern religion is toward such a substitution. To avoid this we must hold steadfastly to the concept of Christ as set forth so clearly and plainly in the Scriptures of truth. Though an angel from heaven should preach anything less than the Christ of the apostles let him be forth-rightly and fearlessly rejected.
The mighty, revolutionary message of the Early Church was that a man named Jesus who had been crucified was now raised from the dead and exalted to the right hand of God. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Less than three hundred years after Pentecost the hard-pressed defenders of the faith drew up a manifesto condensing those teachings of the New Testament having to do with the nature of Christ. This manifesto declares that Christ is—
(I found the below description to be pure gold! And spot on!)
“God of the substance of His Father, begotten before all ages: Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world: perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting: Equal to His Father, as touching His Godhead: less than the Father, as touching His manhood. Who, although He be God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by the taking of the manhood into God. One altogether, not by the confusion of substance, but by the unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ.”
Even among those who acknowledge the deity of Christ there is often a failure to recognize His manhood. We are quick to assert that when He walked the earth He was God with men, but we overlook a truth equally as important, that where He sits now on His mediatorial throne He is Man with God. The teaching of the New Testament is that now, at this very moment, there is a man in heaven appearing in the presence of God for us. He is as certainly a man as was Adam or Moses or Paul. He is a man glorified, but His glorification did not dehumanise Him.
Today He is a real man, of the race of mankind, bearing our lineaments and dimensions, a visible and audible man whom any other man would recognize instantly as one of us. But more than this, He is heir of all things, Lord of all worlds, head of the church and the first-born of the new creation. He is the way to God, the life of the believer, the hope of Israel and the high priest of every true worshipper. He holds the keys of death and hell and stands as advocate and surety for everyone who believes on Him in truth.
This is not all that can be said about Him, for were all said that might be said I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. But this in brief is the Christ we preach to sinners as their only escape from the wrath to come. With Him rest the noblest hopes and dreams of men. All the longings for immortality that rise and swell in the human breast will be fulfilled in Him or they will never know fulfilment. There is no other way (John 14:6).
Salvation comes not by “accepting the finished work” or “deciding for Christ.” It comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious Lord who, as God and man, fought our fight and won it, accepted our debt as His own and paid it, took our sins and died under them and rose again to set us free. This is the true Christ, and nothing less will do.
But something less is among us, nevertheless, and we do well to identify it so that we may repudiate it. That something is a poetic fiction, a product of the romantic imagination and maudlin religious fancy. It is a Jesus, gentle, dreamy, shy, sweet, almost effeminate, and marvellously adaptable to whatever society He may find Himself in. He is cooed over by women disappointed in love, patronised by celebrities
and recommended by psychiatrists as a model of a well-integrated personality. He is used as a means to almost any carnal end, but He is never acknowledged as Lord.
These quasi Christians follow a quasi Christ. They want His help but not His interference. They will flatter Him but never obey Him. The argument of the apostles is that the Man Jesus has been made higher than angels, higher than Moses and Aaron, higher than any creature in earth or heaven. And this exalted position He attained as a man. As God He already stood infinitely above all other beings. No argument was needed to prove the transcendence of the Godhead. The apostles were not declaring the pre-eminence of God, which would have been superfluous, but of a man, which was necessary.
Those first Christians believed that Jesus of Nazareth, a man they knew, had been raised to a position of Lordship over the universe. He was still their friend, still one of them, but had left them for a while to appear in the presence of God on their behalf. And the proof of this was the presence of the Holy Spirit among them. One cause of our moral weakness today is an inadequate Christology. We think of Christ as God but fail to conceive of Him as a man glorified. To recapture the power of the Early Church we must believe what they believed.
And they believed they had a God-approved man representing them in heaven.”
What a powerful exposition!
A.W. Tozer — Man the Dwelling Place of God.
Okay… Let’s just be honest, whenever most people hear anything about religion, their first reaction and instinct is probably to cringe or brush off the whole matter entirely.
Why? Most likely because it is a subject that is associated with extreme cases of fanaticism, it brings about a lot of conflicts and controversies, and even offends easily.
Religion is famously known for: manipulation, stagnation, repression, ignorance, bigotry and is too often a threat to liberty. And rightly so. I do agree. With that said, I recommend you to read two of my posts as well as encourage you to do a personal, extensive, and honest research on your own regarding this matter. Why?
As intellectuals (critical thinkers), I believe we owe it to ourselves to interrogate, examine, and ask hard questions regarding matters touching on faith rather than choosing to ignore them or even worse— follow blind faith. Click here for the first post.
Who speaks the truth with regards to a genuine, sincere and true relationship with God? Is it Buddha? Muhammad? Jesus? Zoroaster? Confucius? Joseph Smith? Guru Nanak? Krishna? Among others? Find out on this second post:
My heart overflows with a goodly matter; I speak the things which I have made touching the king: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalms 45:1
Thank you for reading this blog. Feel free to share it with others whenever and wherever.🙂