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The Beginning and the End

Devotions

Do you know who Jesus is? A recent survey revealed poor understanding of key doctrines, including those about Jesus and salvation, even among evangelical Christians. For example, 52 percent of evangelicals believe people are basically good. An astonishing 78 percent think Jesus is a created being (a heresy known as Arianism). And more than half of evangelical Christians, as well as two-thirds of Americans in general, agree that “God accepts the worship of all religions.”

This is one reason we’re devoting the entire month to a study of Christology (the theology of the person, nature, and role of Jesus Christ). We’ll look at important Scripture passages that help us understand more fully who Jesus is. And we will examine the names of Christ. By asking “Who is this Jesus?” we hope you will come to know Him better and rejoice even more during this Christmas season.

First, we will focus on Christ’s divinity. Jesus told the apostle John in the awe-inspiring vision that opens the book of Revelation: “I am the First and the Last” (v. 17). He said it again at the end of the book: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (22:13). This figure of speech, repeated three times for emphasis is called a “merism,” and it conveys the idea that Christ is the beginning, the end, and everything in between.

He’s the center and in Him we find the meaning of history, redemption, and everything else. Nothing exists apart from Him (Col. 1:15–17). This expression also indicates that He is incomparably above all other gods (Isa. 44:6–8), and He is the Creator of all (Isa. 48:12–13). Only an eternal God could make such a claim!

Apply the Word

This month, it’s all about Jesus! Keep a running record of your daily answers to this question in a notebook or journal. The titles given to Jesus will tell you much about our Lord.

Pray with Us

As we start our Bible and prayer journey this month, let’s thank the Lord for the Advent season that starts today. What a joy and a privilege it is to prepare for Christ’s birth with Bible reading, reflection, and prayer!

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer or editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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