Guests: and

Background Considerations:

The issue in this lesson does not have so much to do with the nature of Christ as with his activities on our behalf as reason for assurance. Over the centuries, believers have understood Jesus’ work on behalf of humanity if different ways. The reason for this is the variety of ways the biblical writers address the question. Depending on the point they want to make or the audience to which they are speaking or even events surrounding their own lives and personalities, they find in the work of Christ something redemptive and responsive to human need.

Some metaphors for the work of Christ:

Jesus as king (especially in Matthew)
Jesus as “Suffering Servant”
Jesus as sacrificial victim
Jesus as place of refreshment
Jesus as mediator, go-between
Jesus as judge (in civil court?)
Jesus as source of life – bread, water, vine, way, light, etc.

Explore these metaphors for the work of Jesus, milking them for theological as well as personal meaning. Several derive from the Old Testament and carry significance for the original hearers and added importance for those who witnessed the life and ministry of Jesus. Do metaphors always turn out to be consistent? How, for example, can Jesus be judge and advocate? Have we arrived at the limits of metaphor or of our understanding of how these offices were carried out in the biblical world?

Relevant Biblical Passages:

John 3:16-17 God gave his son to save
Romans 8:34-39 removal of condemnation in face of love
1 Timothy 1:15 Jesus came to save sinners
Hebrews 2:17-18 Jesus as empathetic human

Contributions to Study of Assurance:

An assessment of the various “works” of Jesus should have a lot to do with our sense of assurance. How does this work? In what way(s) do the biblical passages and metaphors for the work of Christ contribute to assurance in the plan of salvation?

Lessons for Life:

What difference does all this make in my personal or our community church life? Why might it matter and in what way might it become important? Which is most important of Jesus’ works for us? Why?

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