The Authority of the Christ of God


by Mike Ratliff

16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20 (NASB) 

Jesus Christ is Lord of all of each of His people, or He is not Lord at all. That is very sobering isn’t it? It is supposed to be. Those are Jesus Christ’s own words about the nature of those who are and are not His disciples. There are some in the pulpit these days who treat Jesus as if He is just an add on their ministries. Several years ago I wrote a piece on evangelism and how it is God working through His people to do this work. The direction is Him working through us instead of us working and including God. However, I received one comment that stated what a “neat thing” it was when we included God in our evangelistic efforts. Sigh… Pause right there and think about that. Many pastors would reject that as a description of their ministries, however, they inadvertently promote that very thing by using flip language about Christ. To what extent does a degraded view of Jesus in ‘evangelical’ churches start with pastors calling Jesus things like ‘dude’, ‘homeboy’, ‘co-pilot’, ‘boss’ and ‘buddy’? It’s not a far leap from these nicknames to say “Oh well, Jesus is just like me” on to “Well, maybe Jesus did sin like me” or “He was just a great man”. Dan Brown’s view of Jesus seems more likely to an unbeliever after hearing the name of Jesus being used this way by pastors doesn’t it?

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The authority of Jesus Christ and pulpit criminals


by Mike Ratliff

16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “ All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20 NASB)

Jesus Christ is Lord of all of each of His people, or He is not Lord at all. That is very sobering isn’t it? It is supposed to be. Those are Jesus Christ’s own words about the nature of those who are and are not His disciples. There are some in the pulpit these days who treat Jesus as if He is just an add-on to their ministries. Evangelism is a work of God as He “works” through His people to do the work He has ordained. The direction is Him working through us instead of us working and including Him. Consider this, Many pastors and preachers and other “Christian leaders” would reject the idea that they are actually “career men” who simply include God in order to appear religious enough in order to be considered proficient. However, these same men are caught again and again not only using flip language about Christ, they also promote the same behavior amongst those who also want to become successful “career men” as preachers or theologians or “Christian leaders.” They may see what they are doing as career moves, but we must look at what they are doing from a much more serious viewpoint don’t we? To what extent does a degraded view of Jesus in ‘evangelical’ churches start with pastors calling Jesus things like ‘dude’, ‘homeboy’, ‘co-pilot’, ‘boss’ and ‘buddy’? It’s not a far leap from these nicknames to say “Oh well, Jesus is just like me” on to “Well, maybe Jesus did sin like me” or “He was just a great man”. Dan Brown’s view of Jesus seems more likely to an unbeliever after hearing the name of Jesus being used this way by pastors doesn’t it?” Those “career men” who have bought into this are nothing more than pulpit criminals. Continue reading

The Sermon on the Mount Part 22


by Mike Ratliff

37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. 40 Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” 41 Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He? 42 “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of Him. 44 Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him. 45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?” 46 The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” (John 7:37-46 NASB)

We come to the last two verses of our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:28, 29. I confess to all that this study has been extremely humbling for me. Not only did I exegete each passage so I could develop each post, I translated each word from the Greek to English. This involved not only the translation work, which really isn’t that difficult, but the more difficult part of getting the grammar correct. It is at that point that I did a great deal of study and cross-referencing and further exegeting. After all, the process of exegeting Sacred Scripture has as its primary goal the original message penned by the author of the text. It as we pursue that goal that the Holy Spirit moves through Word of God which bears the very form of our Lord to bring the truth to bear upon our hearts and through this we are transformed through the renewal of our minds. In this dark age in which professing Christians can confess to love the Lord Jesus and love his Word, but then deny the necessity of defending his doctrines for the sake of unity with others who deny those truths, we must determine whether we really love the Lord Jesus or not. If we really do then that means we really would love his truth completely and that means his doctrines as well even to the point of death. Yes, that also means that we must divide from fellowship with those who refuse to do so.  Continue reading