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Our Christian Integrity is in the King of Kings


christian_integrity

Our Christian integrity is in the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

I. Your Christian Integrity Begins with the King

II. Who is God and Did He Come to Earth?

III. The Only Blessed Potentate and Authority

IV. Messiah’s Identity in the Old Testament

V. If God is King We are Royalty

VI. Conclusion

Your Christian Integrity Begins with the King

There are seven (7) sayings in the Gospel of John you truly need to understand.


Your integrity/identity begins with the King of Kings who is Yeshua (Jesus). He created you for a purpose and mission which is according to His Holy Will.


This means that who you are is dependent upon who He is and what He expects. This integrity in existence begins with understanding God’s nature! I know this is a hard concept to accept, that Yeshua is “God in the Flesh” but I point you to the Holy Bible (John 1:1-3):

christian_integrity_king

In addition to this text, the seven (7) ‘I AM’ sayings in this same Gospel, are key to understanding an eternal identity on which yours is wholly based. The one (1) of seven (7) I will focus on is: “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”


This proclamation of Yeshua focuses on the most foundational trait of His identity. Key to understanding what is meant not only lies within Jesus’ Words but also its timing.

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Although this was not the final ‘I AM’ statement, it aggregates the other six (6) into a nexus that establish a larger trait which encompasses the rest. Further, it establishes His authority within both the Orthodox Jewish community, and the later Christian faith which His life, death, and resurrection are the key cornerstone.


The first time the Bible mentions ‘I AM,’ is in (Exodus 3:13-14):

christian_integrity_jesus_christ

God assigned this eternal description to Himself which can never be completed by our finite worldview. Literally, anything holy and righteous could be attached to “I AM” and be true of God.


This is God’s way of telling His created likeness (humans): “You finish the sentence, and it will be true.”


Who is God? Did He Come to Earth?

According to the Gospel of John, Jesus and God are one and the same! Read John 1:1–3 again by scrolling back up a little ways.


Therefore, Jesus’ “I AM” statements was neither wishful thinking, spontaneous, nor blasphemy against God’s Throne as would be later alleged by His enemies.


It was a direct response to the soon to be deliverer of the Israelites in Egypt: Moses.

From His ‘I AM’ statement, we can conclude that Jesus clearly understood the magnitude of what He was saying.


This statement: “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life” came at a critical time in His earthly ministry.


The conversation, which led to this revelation, occurred in a place known as the upper room. Present was our Lord of Lords and His disciples. When you have time, do a deep dive study into the upper room events because it is fascinating!


Nevertheless, this moment was one of the most significant personal identifiers of His deity in scripture. If the events unfolded the way Christ prophesied, the seven (7) I AM statements identified Him as not only a Prophet, but God’s Son (God).


His disciples were just a few hours away from witnessing the arrest of their leader. Jesus was not just the leader of this movement, He was/is the movement itself.


The Only Blessed Potentate and Authority

With respect to the seven ‘I AM’ statements, here is an example of that difference in the authoritative style of delivery. Scribes, Pharisee, or other readers of the law would say: “God said I AM, that I AM.”


Jesus, when illustrating all seven (7) statements, removed ‘God said’ and spoke with the authority of God.


For example, there is a universe of difference between the statements: “I know who that person’s mother is" and “I am that person’s mother."


The manner, and nuance, Yeshua spoke with would not have been lost on His Jewish hearers. By saying “I AM,” this man made Himself equal with God. In a literal sense, and depending on voice inflection, He was claiming to BE GOD.


Noted theologian and Pastor John MacArthur put it like this: “He taught with authority. In their culture, that meant He quoted nobody. He footnoted nothing.”


This “I AM” statement arose as a response to His disciples asking where Jesus would soon be going. Often in scripture, our Lord would not directly answer a question someone asked. In its place, He revealed both “what they should know” and “what they really desired to.”


It must be understood, as well, that Jesus’ declaration were not only true, but they were also dangerous as well. We look back on scripture and, after reading the stories, only then understand how threatening Jesus’ statements were to the Jewish power structure.


Imagine being there, in real time, Jewish, and understanding the cultural context!


Messiah’s Identity In the Old Testament

The Messiah’s view of the Old Testament could not have been clearer.


It was/is authoritative, and He quoted from at least fourteen (14) Old Testament authors throughout His three-year ministry.


Jesus, throughout the Gospel of John, and with all seven ‘I AM’ statements, builds the case for His identity as the ultimate divinity. We, being His creation, must therefore being identified with Him.


The Bible is more specific in the Book Genesis: “Let us create man in our own image.” God said this and so understanding we are created “like” Him, it stands to reason we must necessarily be identified with Yeshua/Messiah, right?


One statement directly relates Jesus to God, the Father, is found in the Book of Exodus. This is the aforementioned ‘I AM’ exchange with Moses. Other names, in the Bible, seem to identify a specific aspect of God’s personality as well.


One of the very little talked about was also in the Book of Exodus, and quite controversial (Exodus 34:13-14):

christian_witness

It is through various names, given by Him, that we can better understand His character and thereby, expectations of us.


An example of a ‘naming convention’ can be found in Genesis Chapter 22 as well. Abraham had just been stopped from sacrificing his son, Isaac, by the voice of an Angel. As Abraham looked up, he saw a substitute sacrifice, caught in a nearby bush (ram).


Abraham named that place ‘Jehovah Jireh,’ which means in the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.


There are several other instances of ‘Jehovah,’ in the Old Testament, which signify character aspects of God. None of these, however, is as all-encompassing as ‘I AM.’


Here is what Bible students will find fascinating: there are names we give God, and then what God calls Himself. Yahweh is one which is said to have occurred more than 6,800 times in the Old Testament.


However, in the English translation this is either “God” or “Lord.” Interesting however, is the fact that each time this is used, it signifies a “redeeming” quality for His people.


This means that even Yahweh, doesn’t adequately describe God’s entire character. He is still “eternal” before there was ever a human being, much less humans in need of redemption!


I, therefore, stick with that all-encompassing “I AM” statement!


If God is King We are Royalty

Further, the deity and identity of the King of Kings and Messiah, is demonstrated in “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life” in several biblically foundational ways.


Like His earlier claim to being ‘the door;’ “I AM the Way” demonstrates an exclusiveness when compared to all that had come before. This also means we are spiritual royalty because of identifying with Him.


The scripture even says (1st Peter 2:9):

spiritual_royalty

Finally, “I AM the Life” demonstrates that Jesus, in his role as Messiah/Christ, provides eternal life for those that believe on His name.


When all three attributes (Way, Truth Life) are viewed collectively, it is Jesus laying claim to something no other biblical figure could — being the exclusive pathway to God.


Further, this statement puts Jesus in a Priestly position. In the Old Testament, it was the Levitical Priests which offered animal sacrifice for sin. In the New Testament, it is Jesus being the sacrificial lamb of God.


WOW! How can one being be both "God" and a sacrifice to Him as well?


Conclusion

In the New Testament, Jesus not only served as ‘our high priest’ but became the sacrifice as well according to Hebrews 10. In effect, the High Priest (Jesus) sacrificed Himself for sin.


The truth of these universe covering “I AM” statements have practical applications in my life as well.


For years, I searched for a way to get rich, have power, and live as long as possible. However, these efforts came to nothing. None of these, having achieved the first two, provided peace, security, or comfort.


When I accepted Jesus as the King of King, I became rich in eternal inheritance, powerful through the Holy Spirt, and will live forever in Heaven.


Finally, “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life” is the most comprehensive of all seven of “I AM” statements. Each of the seven had a ‘qualifier' whereas the Exodus statement did not.


Nevertheless, when one drills down to just those statements made by Jesus, the three qualifiers (Way, Truth, Life) is the most comprehensive of the New Testament seven (7).


As was stated earlier, these characteristics demonstrate an exclusiveness, in Jesus, that even the greatest Jewish Prophets could not lay claim to.


A prophet, Pharisee, or even Scribe, could have credibly made a statement such as “I know the way, I know the truth, I know the life.” This can be made with no personal exclusivity of deity or personal acclaim. It could only ‘point’ to ‘the way, the truth, and the life.’


When we acknowledge Jesus as Savior, we are claiming identity with Him. The Seven I AM(s) in the Gospel of John help us better understand exactly WHO we are identifying with.


Can anything be better than having an ID in the creator of the Universe?


Header Image Courtesy of James Chan @ Pixabay




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