home > Pastor’s Desk > 2023 > October 6th > THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST, chapter 4 – All of the Promises of God Were Fulfilled By His Son

Throughout the Old Testament, God made certain promises to the patriarchs (Abraham, Issac, and Jacob/Israel) that their descendants, the nation of Israel, longed to see fulfilled. These promises centred on having a holy Homeland and a Messiah. Over the centuries that followed their expulsion from their Land which sent them into exile into Babylon initially and then into Persia, the Israelites became known as Jews. Their expectations of how these divine promises would be fulfilled then became greatly embellished with the promise of a homeland being interpretted to mean that the Romans would be overthrown and expelled out of ‘their’ land,  by the promised messiah who would then have to be a powerful military commander. These embellished expectations then gave rise to the Jewish sect known as the Zealots; and, prior to the Zealots it led various other unsuccessful Jewish revolts. But when the messiah actually appeared, He was not the military commander that the Jews were expecting. How could this carpenter’s son from Nazareth be the heir to King David’s throne and the one who would ultimately fulfil the promises of God to Israel? So how justified were the first-century Jews in their expectations of how God would fulfil His promises to them? How obligated was Jesus the Messiah to fulfil the promises of God? And what implications does this have for Christians today who are committed to claiming the promises of God?  



¶ And as Jesus taught in the temple, He said,
“How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?
David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared,“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’
¶ David himself calls Him Lord. So how is He his son?”
And the great throng heard him gladly.
Mark 12:35-37

The answer to Christ’s question is grounded in how the Jews referred to someone as their father, and how they referred to someone as a son. In English we have the ability to identify our ancestors as our: father; grandfather; great-grandfather; great-great-grandfather, and so on. Inversely, we can also refer to their male descendant as their: son; grandson; great-grandson; great-great-grandson, and so on. The Jews through the ensuing centuries could refer to Abraham as “our father” (Lk. 1:73; 3:8) and as it turns out, with such an emphasis on respecting elders, it was unusual for someone to refer to their eventual descendant as their ‘Lord’, yet, David could refer to his descendant, Jesus, as his “son” (Matt. 1:1). Thus, King David was prophetically declaring that the Messiah would be the divine Lord (Psalm 2). This then forms the background to the angelic announcement to the shepherds on the night the Jesus was born –

¶ And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold,
I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:8-11

The angel announced that Jesus was: (i) a Saviour; (ii) the Christ (Messiah); and (iii) the Lord. Significantly, the angel also specified that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:4) which fulfilled what the prophets had foretold (2Sam. 7:12-13; Mic. 5:2). The angelic designation of Jesus as ‘saviour’ may well have been understood by the shepherds to mean what the Rabbis had long told their congregations about the coming Messiah as a military commander. But it wasn’t just these shepherds who probably held this expectation, even Christ’s own disciples expressed this understanding to Jesus immediately prior to His ascension:

¶ So when they had come together, they asked Him,
“Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Acts 1:6

By the time of Acts 1, Christ’s disciples had already come to understand that Jesus was Christ, Lord and GOD who was worthy of the worship only due to GOD. It is therefore reasonable to understand why the disciples expected that Jesus would fulfil the promises that GOD had made to the patriarchs and which the nation of Israel expected the Messiah would deliver. This is why Christ’s response to His disciples’ question is so revealing (Acts 1:7) and it then leads us to reconsider how we understand “the promises of God.”



The brief exchange between the disciples and the risen Lord prior to Christ’s ascension reveals three important insights:

1. Sometimes our expectations of GOD are misunderstandings of what the Scriptures actually say.

2. Understand that GOD always keeps His promises which may then invite us to consider how He has done so with a fresh perspective.

3. Recognise that often it takes the passage of time for us to realise and understand that GOD has kept His promises in a way that far exceeds what we had actually expected.

Paul’s statement to the Corinthians that Jesus had fulfilled all of the promises to Israel is an application of the above three insights. Paul, a converted Jew to Christianity grew up longing for God’s promises to Israel to repossess its Biblically-prescribed borders under the military leadership of the promised Messiah. In his consideration of these divine promises to Israel he had come to realise that Jesus had indeed fulfilled all of these promises which then confirmed that Christ was LORD of Lords (1Tim. 6:15) because He was the Divine Promise-Keeper.

In relation to these promises, Dr. Munther Isaac in his book, From Land to Lands, From Eden to the Renewed Earth (pps. 193-4), cites Dr. Peter W.L. Walker’s book, Jesus and the Holy City (p. 117)- “Moreover, Walker argues that the phrase ‘all the promises’ would necessarily include those concerning the land.” “In other words, the story of Israel, in its totality, including the part related to the land, must find its fulfillment – its Yes – in Jesus. Therefore, the land cannot but be a major themes in the story the NT writers are telling — a story that is continuing on the story of the OT, in which the land was such a central theme. Furthermore, some themes in the NT — like the selection of the twelve disciples, Jesus’ interaction with the temple, and the covenant with Abraham — are strongly tied with the theme of the land. If the land is a major them in the OT, then it is inherently a major one in the NT.” And Dr. Isaac goes on to point out that Jesus Himself was the fulfilment of what the Land promise was ultimately all about – where God and man could meet and worshipers of God could display God’s light of holiness to the world.  



God’s promises to Israel was not just about a Messiah and a homeland. His promise was that He would establish a new covenant that would be open to both Israelites and gentiles. 

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD:
I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God,
and they shall be My people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbour and each his brother, saying,
‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest,
declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Jeremiah 31:33-34

God’s promise of a new covenant to supersede the Mosaic Covenant, was to be a covenant in which He would forgive sins without the need for ongoing sacrifices. This would be made possible by the promise of His Son acting as the atoning sacrifice (Isa. 53:4-5). And long before this, GOD had promised that His Son would be born as the Seed of the woman who would vanquish (conquer and destroy) the source of evil by striking the serpent’s (representative of the devil) head (Gen. 3:15). The patriarchs also understood that GOD’s promises also included resurrection from the dead (Job 19:26; Psa. 16:10). And, rather than being limited to a specific small piece of land, God’s promises also included the Lord dwelling forever with the righteous in a new heaven and earth that He would make (Isa. 65:17; 66:22). All of these promises the prophets declared – uncertain of what GOD was actually revealing:

Obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
¶ Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace
that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,
inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating
when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you,
in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached
the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
First Peter 1:9-12

We are now in the New Covenant foretold by the prophets and expounded by Christ’s apostles. Since all of these promises have now been fulfilled, or at least now set in motion, the New Testament believer can now stand on the promises that Christ will ever be with them by the infilling of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:20). The believer can stand on the promise — which means, pray to the Lord with confidence — that Jesus was indeed the Messiah who came to atone for their sins and redeem those who confess their sins and turn to Him through faith and repentance (1John 1:8-9). The believer can also pray with the assurance of the promise in First Peter 5:7 that we can cast all of our cares onto Him – because He cares for us. He is therefore, not just the promise-keeping Lord, He is the One who promises to always love us and cause all things to work together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).

Next:  Chapter 5

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Domestic violence, sexual assault, date-rape, sexual trafficking of minors, marital infidelity, street-gang violence, illicit drug abuse, high rates of suicide, increased ‘deaths of despair’, homelessness, are all major problems in our culture right now. Governments regard these issues as matters of justice (punishing offenders) while agencies regard these issues as matters of social justice (helping victims). Both are valuable but neither are equipped or positioned unilaterally to solve the causes of these growing problems, and many in both of these sectors believe that it can mever be solved. But I believe they can be. And I need your help. To achieve this, I propose two outrageous, yea – ridiculous – strategies. They are outrageous because they are simple (although not easy); and, they are ridiculous because, to materialists, these are just fanciful, idealistic and supernatural nonsense. However, I have history on my side. It will involve men and women, young and old. But I particularly need all men to read what I am about to propose and for them to share this with other men and together with everyone else help me to bring about the biggest social and cultural revolution our country has ever seen.


Perhaps I was a little unfair to this gentleman though, because it is a well established fact that all men are born with selective hearing (as every wife can testify to) and perhaps this may sometimes spill over into incidents such as the one I just recounted(?). But I also suspect that some women have a similar deficiency.

A few years ago the kids and I were a little concerned about Kim’s hearing difficulties. As it turned out, one day outside a shopping centre that we had just arrived at, there was a government sponsored mobile hearing clinic. We urged the reluctant Kim to go in and have her hearing checked. Much to the utter shock of myself and our children the clinician told Kim that she had “perfect hearing”! This then proved that even women may be able to imitate the innate ability of a man to produce selective hearing 🙂 Therefore, there is a high likelihood that both men and women are equally subject to hearing difficulties.

The problem with any hearing difficulties is that it inevitably leads to the far more serious problem of misunderstanding. Misunderstanding is at the heart of nearly every relationship problem that anyone will ever face. Misunderstandings due to mis-hearing or mis-communication frequently leads to disputes that if not handled correctly, which it is mostly not, is likely to lead to relationship breakdowns. But there is a different – almost secretive – way to deal with misunderstandings. Let me explain by using several pictures that will make my point. 


Mark Lowry is normally comedic. But his now classic Christmas song is no joke! It presents baby Jesus as the eternal God the Son, the creator of heaven and earth, the Saviour of the world, the Redeemer of all humankind who turn to Him, the all-conquering Lamb of God, and the Great Judge of all people, the I AM. The event of His miraculous conception is known as the incarnation (God becoming human). But the incarnation was not Jesus the Christ’s first entrance into our world. In fact, it is as though He felt a divine right to enter our world any time He chose. These various appearances of Jesus prior to His incarnation are referred to as theophanies (appearances of God) or more particularly as Christophanies (appearances of God the Son). I want to highlight one of these in particular…


We have all seen parents abruptly terminate conversations with other adults to keep an eye on their children. Children can wander about easily. They could get involved in acts that are detrimental to themselves. Parental instincts, often reflected more in the mother, is one of those protective gifts that ensures children are kept safe.

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 6 – The deGorified Newborn The ReGlorified Lamb of God

One of my favourite stories of concealed identity hiding in plain sight is from Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, Les Miserables, where the escaped convict, Jean Valjean, is pursued for years by now retired Inspector Javert. As it turns out Jean Valjean, who had changed his name to M. Madeleine has now become a successful business man and the Mayor of Toulon. Javert arrives in Toulon and is immediately recognised by Valjean. But Javert does not recognise the now clean-shaven, genteel aristocratic Mayor of Toulon as his nemesis. But when he observes the compassion of M. Madeleine he recalls the time in prison when Jean Valjean had also displayed a similar extraordinary compassion for unfortunate fellow prisoners. The more he observed such acts of kindness and generosity from M. Madeleine the more Javert became convinced of the true identity of Madeleine. There is something about this idea of concealed identity that comes from the story of Christ. The prophet Isaiah foretold that when the Servant of the LORD would appear He would be largely unrecognised – there would be no form, no beauty, that we would desire Him (Isa. 53:2). But how on earth was this possible? How in God’s Name  could those who were created by Him in His image not recognise Him for who He was? The answer to this great puzzle lies in one word: the kenosis.


Andrew, on occasions, used to wistfully say, “You know, all I really want is…” then he would say some ephemeral pleasure, like ‘a drink of coke’, or ‘quiet’, or ‘to get something finished’. So, one day I decided to ensure that his greatest desire (‘all I really want’) was met. This time all he ever wanted was a coffee, so I bounced up and brought him the best cup of coffee I could make and added a little yummy treat to compliment it. A few days later he once again said, “All I really want…” and I interrupted to finish his sentence for him … “was the cup of coffee that I was able to make for you the other day. I bet it was the best ever. I’m so glad I could meet that greatest desire you have.” He never said, ‘All I really want’ again!


THE LORDSHIP of JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 5 – He is the Creator of Heaven & Earth and all things Visible and Invisible
While the pagan religions in the days of the patriarchs, judges, and kings of Israel, all conceived of their gods as territorial, the God of Israel, Yeshua, declared that He was the Creator of all things and that He was Lord of Heaven and Earth. And He still is.

Freedom in Christ encompasses Freedom FROM and Freedom FOR

God offers freedom to those who turn to Him in faith, and this, as Pastor Andrew says, deserves a Toyota jump. It is worth celebrating. The freedom the New Testament speaks of is not just any old freedom. In Romans 8:21 Paul speaks of ‘the glorious freedom of God’s children’ (NET). In the same way you might savour a piece of chocolate as it slowly melts in your mouth, allow your spirit to savour the meaning of the freedom that is yours in Christ in all its richness. This single word freedom is densely packed with meaning, and we benefit from taking time to unpack just a little of what it means for believers.

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST, Chapter 3 – Before He was Incarnate, He was the Eternal LBefore He was Incarnate, He was the Eternal Lordord

For those unfamiliar with the story of the Bible who may be seeking to remedy that unfamiliarity, I would recommend that they start reading in the New Testament. It is there that they will be introduced immediately to Jesus who is the central character of the whole Bible. For many novice readers of the Bible who then attempt to read the Old Testament of the Bible (its first 39 books), it initially seems like they are reading a completely unrelated story which seems to describe a completely different God. But with a little patience and persistence the reader will begin to suspect that this is not a different story but is in fact the prequel to the New Testament. Then a strange supernatural thing happens as they continue to become acquainted with the lives of the patriarchs, judges, kings and prophets, as these characters interact with enemies, giants, angels, strange heavenly beings, and GOD Himself. The reader begins to see in a similar way to what a photographer could not previously see clearly until his camera’s focus was adjusted to make the picture clear — the GOD who created, acted, spoke and judged, frequently referred to Himself as ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘our’, and at times seemed to have conversations with divine characters identified as ‘the LORD’ and ‘Me’ and ‘His Spirit’ (Isa. 48:16). And this all begins to sound very reminiscent of the GOD described in the New Testament as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With a growing knowledge of the Bible and hunger to understand it, the follower of Christ discovers that literally for thousands of years prior to this day there have been many many others who have also walked the journey of discovery through the mysterious pages of the Bible and have each made a startling discovery about the human Jesus’ pre-existence throughout the pages of the Old Testament.


The One who spoke the world into existence entered materially into His World and “split time in half”. He came to rescue the world because a great betrayal occurred. One of His chief agents was filled with self-deception and conceited envy and manipulated a serpent to his bidding in destroying the very last and highest of the Lord’s “very good” creation. Disappointingly she fell for it – and her husband who supposed to protect her failed in his most basic of responsibilities. Their fall from innocence and into grace plunged that was momentarily and formerly under their vice-regency. The world had now gone rogue. When the Eternal Son of God submitted to His co-LORD, the Holy Spirit placed Him into a virgin’s womb by uniting his consciousness and sinless essence with the ovum of this young virgin. In doing so, Immanuel relinquished none of His sovereign power or prerogatives but chose to lay aside His glory and become fully human. And for those who came to recognise who He actually was, it ever caused them to fall down at His feet in adoration, or shrink back from Him in terror. The side-effect of those who who adored him was a new ability to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping because of worries, you too can discover how an acquaintance with the Lordship of Jesus the Christ can also help you to sleep better.