Messiah – transliteration from Hebrew ‘Mashiyach’: from mashach ((maw-shakh’); a primitive root; to rub with oil, i.e. to anoint; by implication, to consecrate; also to paint:) anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically, the Messiah
Christ – transliteration from the Greek ‘Christos’: from chrio ((khree’-o); probably akin to NT:5530 through the idea of contact; to smear or rub with oil, i.e. (by implication) to consecrate to an office or religious service) anointed, i.e. the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus
Starting here, we have talked about the relational covenant that forms the basis of Christianity. I’ve said, and stand by the statement that True Christianity is no religion; rather it is a covenant relationship, which includes (for that reason) 1) the basics of the relational agreement (which I’ve discussed in the first parts of the series – see also: The Sign of Water Baptism, which discusses the relevance of Baptism in its meaning and as it fits into the covenant made with God through Christ), and 2) the actual spirituality of man made on the basis of that covenant.
True Christian spirituality can be summed up in one word: ANOINTING.
I can say that, but the fact is that it remains a great mystery which will only be truly unfolded at the end of all things temporal. The last book in the bible is called ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ’ (Rev 1:1). While many like to delve into the book for its prophecies regarding the end of the world, it is significant (even essential) to, rather, take note of the title. (The book is sometimes called ‘The Apocalypse’ – don’t let that throw you, ‘Apocalypse’ is simply the Greek word for ‘Revelation’, just as Christ is the Greek word for the Hebrew ‘Messiah’.)
The intention of the book called The Revelation of Jesus Christ, is exactly that: TO REVEAL THE FULL UNDERSTANDING OF MESSIAH. Don’t worry, I’m not going to delve into said book in detail here, just to point out that the book’s purpose is to reveal Messiah. The prophecies contained therein all discuss events which will be manifesting unto the world the fullness of who Christ is.
But let’s back up here. How does this apply to our relationship with God?
At the writing of this post, the Christmas, advent season has just ended, so it may be appropriate to consider a concept from a verse that we often associate with Christmas:
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
One of Jesus’ True spiritual names is: ‘GOD WITH US.’
Jesus is the personification of the promises made in BOTH the New, and Old Covenants. (He is also the fulfillment of the law (Matt. 5:17), thus in the New Covenant we follow not the law of carnal commandments (Heb. 9:10), rather we follow Christ who is its fulfillment.)
Furthermore, Jesus is both fully God, and fully man (John 1:1 &14; Col 2:9, etc.). When He came to the earth, He was God in the flesh (John1:14) with man. But the revelation goes well beyond that.
The God/Man being that was Jesus Christ is a revelation of God’s intended relationship with man.
9 For in him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him [Christ], which is the head of all principality and power:
In the beginning, God made man of the dust of the ground (this does not mean man is made literally of dirt, rather, it is prophetic language speaking of PHYSICAL MATTER – your body is made of the same matter that the rest of the physical universe is made with), and then, God breathed of His Spirit into man, making him a living soul. God’s intention from the very beginning was to share His Spirit: His life-force, the very essence of His eternal being, with man.
When we look at Jesus, we see a man of flesh and blood, like Adam… no, like YOU, who was at the same time completely filled with the presence of God.
His title, as we notice, is not ‘King,’ or ‘Emperor’ (though he is elsewhere called the ‘King of kings,’ this is only to describe His True spiritual stature in a form we can understand – He is Lord of all), rather His title is MESSIAH (or in Greek: CHRIST (in English, we could call Him: The Anointed One)).
The word ‘Christian’ means ‘little Christ,’ we derive our identity from the anointing as well. It is not only an essential revelation of the faith, it is primary.
Jesus’ very title is a declaration of God’s presiding presence upon, and within Him. When Jesus was in the world working the works of God, it was a revelation that God is with us. Yet even more importantly, the fact that this Anointing – this Spirit of God, which Jesus had is promised to we, who cut covenant with God through Jesus Christ (the Covenant in His blood is the ONLY viable basis of a relationship with God – remember the basis of the topic: Jesus Christ is God’s reconciler, His way of being with us, and only through Jesus Christ can we have ‘God with us’.)
Jesus made this promise before He died on the cross for our sins:
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
This is a great passage to meditate on, let me draw your attention to a few things: 1) He says in verse 17 that the disciples KNOW the Spirit [that is, the Anointing] because He dwells with them. Yet, He is not YET in them (even as He declares: ‘SHALL BE in you’); but the disciples knew the Holy Spirit already (although He was not yet in them), because they knew Jesus. Jesus was The Anointed One (Messiah, Christ), He always did what the Anointing approved, and the Anointing was the power of His ministry (John 4:18 & 19; Acts 10:38).
Jesus also declared, as He discussed the coming of the Holy Spirit, that He would not leave them comfortless, but: ‘I will come to you.’ Notice that Jesus, essentially calls, Himself, the Holy Spirit with this statement? That is how the world will not see Him, but WE WILL SEE HIM. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one (1 John 5:7 KJV)
God wants not only to be reconciled with you, but to fill your being with His fullness.
(Every time I broach this topic, I find it so immense that it is near impossible to get very far in a post; I will continue at a later time; if you’d like to continue with me, feel free to follow my blog:).) Part 2
(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Where can I find the relevance of water baptism in the NT? Many churches say that we must be water baptized, that its a sign of of death to the old self, and new life in Christ. Yet I can’t find the apostle Paul teaching this.
Great question! Paul’s main teaching on that is Romans 6, specifically verses 3&4:
3 Know ye not that so many of us that were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of God the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
The rest of the chapter continues this discourse, so again Romans 6. Paul also equates water baptism to the New Testament version of the sign of circumcision in Collossians (where he also reiterates the death & new life in Christ) 2:11-14.
I am glad that you ask because there is an ENORMOUS lack of good biblical teaching on water baptism in the church today. See also the post below where I give a mlre thorough teaching on it (I’ve had people want to get re-baptized after reading it because they felt they’d not understood baptism when they recieved it).