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Jesus Christ: The Divine Rock Who Judges and Saves

According to the God-breathed Scriptures, Jehovah is the Source of salvation,

Salvation belongeth unto Jehovah: Thy blessing be upon thy people. Selah“ Psalm 3:8

“But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that which I have vowed. Salvation is of Jehovah.” Jonah 2:9

And the only Rock that can save and judge:

“For the Chief Musician; after the manner of Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. My soul waiteth in silence for God only: From him cometh my salvationHe ONLY is my rock and my salvation: He is my high tower; I shall not be greatly moved.” Psalm 62:1-2

“For Jehovah is our judge, Jehovah is our lawgiver, Jehovah is our king; he will save us.” Isaiah 33:22

ONE ONLY is the lawgiver and judge, even he who is able to save and to destroy: but who art thou that judgest thy neighbor?” James 4:12

This explains why it is Jehovah alone who is able to redeem his people from their sins and forgive them, since all forgiveness stems from him:

“O Israel, hope in Jehovah; For with Jehovah there is lovingkindness, And with him is plenteous redemption. And he will redeem Israel From all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:7-8

“Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am Jehovah; and besides me there is no saviour… I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake; and I will not remember thy sins.” Isaiah 43:10-11, 25

“To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness; for we have rebelled against him;” Daniel 9:9

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth over the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in lovingkindness. He will again have compassion upon us; he will tread our iniquities under foot; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19

This also helps us see why God is the One who grants repentance unto to life:

“And when they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then to the Gentiles also hath God granted repentance unto life.” Acts 11:18

“in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth,” 2 Timothy 2:25

Here’s where it gets interesting.

According to the Holy Bible, Jesus is the One who saves his people from their sins,

“And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

And who comes to judge all the nations in order to repay every person for what s/he has done.

Christ is further described as the very Ruler of life who forgives sinners by granting them repentance and turning them away from their sins:

“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his deeds.” Matthew 16:27

“But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world… Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels… And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46

“For neither doth the Father judge any man, but he hath given ALL judgment unto the Son; that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father that sent him… and he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man.” John 5:22-23, 27

“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Servant Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied before the face of Pilate, when he had determined to release him. But ye denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted unto you, and killed the Prince of life; whom God raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And by faith in his name hath his name made this man strong, whom ye behold and know: yea, the faith which is through him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all… Unto you first God, having raised up his Servant, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.” Acts 3:13-16, 26

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, hanging him on a tree. Him did God exalt with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.” Acts 5:30-31

“forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:13 AV

“he word which he sent unto the children of Israel, preaching good tidings of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all)—… And he charged us to preach unto the people, and to testify that this is he who is ordained of God to be the Judge of the living and the dead. To him bear all the prophets witness, that through his name every one that believeth on him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10:36, 42-43

The risen Lord is even identified as the very Rock who both saves and judges his people:

“and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ… Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.” 1 Corinthians 10:4, 9 Authorized King James Version (AV)

And whereas the Hebrew Bible clearly teaches that Jehovah forgives sinners for his own sake, the NT proclaims that individuals are saved and forgiven for the sake of the Lord Jesus!

“and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 AV

“because to you it hath been granted in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer in his behalf:” Philippians 1:29

There’s more.

All those who have been redeemed form a spiritual body, a communion of saved individuals, which the sacred writings call the church. In certain places, the church is described as belonging to God:

“unto the church of God which is at Corinth, even them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:2

“Give no occasion of stumbling, either to Jews, or to Greeks, or to the church of God:” 1 Corinthians 10:32

“But if any man seemeth to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God… What, have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and put them to shame that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you? In this I praise you not.” 1 Corinthians 11:16, 22 – cf. 15:9; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 3:5

And yet in other passages, this same church is said to belong to the Lord Jesus!

“And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build MY church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

“Salute one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ salute you.” Romans 16:16

Other verses even go as far as to say that the church is in God and Christ:

“Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians IN God the Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.” 1 Thessalonians 1:1

“Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians IN God our Father AND the Lord Jesus Christ;” 2 Thessalonians 1:1

What this means is that all true believers are spiritually united to and in fellowship with both God the Father and the Lord Jesus, a fact highlighted by the following texts:

“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and WE will come unto him, and make OUR abode with him.” John 14:23

“that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, AND WITH his Son Jesus Christ:” 1 John 1:3

This in turn presupposes the essential equality of the Father and the Son, since this assumes that the Son is omnipresent as the Father is, seeing that he is just as personally present with all true believers in the same sense and to the same degree that the Father is!

In light of the foregoing, would it surprise anyone that the same inspired Scriptures identify Christ as the very God who redeemed the church by becoming flesh in order shed his blood on the cross to redeem and reconcile it to himself?

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28 AV

“but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” 1 Timothy 3:15-16 AV(1)

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even IN his Son Jesus Christ. THIS IS the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20

I’m not surprised since Jesus has to be God Almighty in the flesh in order to be our Rock, Savior and Judge who, along with the Father and the Spirit, is the one eternal Source from which all salvation flows. And this is why he is worthy of all praise, love, devotion and honor:

“And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and madest them to be unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon the earth. And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a great voice, Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive the power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And EVERY CREATED THING which is in the heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea, and ALL THINGS THAT ARE IN THEM, heard I saying, Unto him that sitteth on the throne, AND UNTO THE LAMB, be the blessing, and the honor, and the glory, and the dominion, for ever and ever. And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the elders fell down and worshipped.” Revelation 5:8-14

“After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne, AND UNTO THE LAMB. And all the angels were standing round about the throne, and about the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, These that are arrayed in the white robes, who are they, and whence came they? And I say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. Therefore are they before the throne of God; and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat: for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:9-17

Unless noted otherwise, all Scriptural references taken from the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Holy Bible.

Endnotes

(1) There is a textual dispute concerning the reading of 1 Timothy 3:16, since some Greek manuscripts either read ho (“which”) or hos (“who”), instead of theos (“God”), even though the majority of the extant Greek witnesses have theos. This accounts for the different renderings among the various English translations, such as the following:

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the spirit, Seen of angels, Preached among the [b]nations, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.”

With that said, the identification of Jesus as the God who became flesh for the express purpose of saving a people for himself is explicitly stated elsewhere in Paul’s inspired writings:

“as we await the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (tou megalou Theou kai Soteros hemon ‘Iesou Christou), who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all lawlessness and purify for Himself a special people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:13-14 Modern English Version (MEV)

The NET Bible has a note (https://netbible.org/bible/Titus+2) explaining the significance of the particular Greek construction used here:

tn The terms “God and Savior” both refer to the same person, Jesus Christ. This is one of the clearest statements in the NT concerning the deity of Christ. The construction in Greek is known as the Granville Sharp rule, named after the English philanthropist-linguist who first clearly articulated the rule in 1798. Sharp pointed out that in the construction article-noun-καί-noun (where καί [kai] = “and”), when two nouns are singular, personal, and common (i.e., not proper names), they always had the same referent. Illustrations such as “the friend and brother,” “the God and Father,” etc. abound in the NT to prove Sharp’s point. The only issue is whether terms such as “God” and “Savior” could be considered common nouns as opposed to proper names. Sharp and others who followed (such as T. F. Middleton in his masterful The Doctrine of the Greek Article) demonstrated that a proper name in Greek was one that could not be pluralized. Since both “God” (θεός, theos) and “savior” (σωτήρ, sōtēr) were occasionally found in the plural, they did not constitute proper names, and hence, do fit Sharp’s rule. Although there have been 200 years of attempts to dislodge Sharp’s rule, all attempts have been futile. Sharp’s rule stands vindicated after all the dust has settled. For more information on Sharp’s rule see ExSyn 270-78, esp. 276. See also 2 Pet 1:1 and Jude 4. (Underline emphasis ours)

Therefore, the point still stands that Jesus is God Almighty in the flesh, which is why he can be described as our Savior, Judge and Rock.

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