The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them
to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
March 2, 2014
1) I Am the Alpha and Omega (Keith Greer)
2) News & Notes
I Am the Alpha and Omega
by Keith Greer
As punishment for preaching about faith in Jesus Christ, the apostle
John was exiled to the isle of Patmos (Rev. 1:9). During
John's exile, the Lord Jesus Christ revealed himself to him.
In the Bible book that contains that Revelation, John
described the Christ who "loved us and washed us from our own sins
in His own blood" (Rev. 1:5). Jesus told John that he is
coming with clouds and that every eye will behold him. Then he made
the affirmative statement, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the
Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is
to come, the Almighty" (Rev. 1:8). What exactly does the
phrase "the Alpha and Omega" reveal to us about Christ?
Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek
alphabet. Jesus was making a powerful statement of fact
concerning his eternal nature and his Deity. Earlier, as he
talked with the Pharisees during his earthly ministry, Jesus made a
similar declaration. He said, "Most assuredly, I say to you,
before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58). The Jews who heard him
accused Jesus of claiming to be equal with God, and they took up
stones, intending to kill him. Yet, when the apostle John
began his gospel concerning Christ, he wrote: "In the beginning was
the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He
was in the beginning with God. All things were made through
Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:1-3).
Following are some facts to consider about the "beginning and
ending" nature of Jesus Christ.
He was with God in the beginning. "Then God said, let Us make
man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion
over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the
cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps
on the earth" (Gen. 1:26).
All things were made for him and by him. "He is the image of
the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him
all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth,
visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or
principalities or powers. All things were created through Him
and for Him" (Col. 1:15, 16).
He was not a created being. "Who, being in the form of God,
did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself
of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in
the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even
the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:6-8). Some religions, such as
the Jehovah Witnesses, teach that Jesus was a created being.
Jesus became flesh to enable him to live life as men live it: to be
tested, tried, and tempted; yet, to live without sin (Heb.
4:15). He was both God and man. We have difficulty
grasping this concept, but the Scriptures make abundantly clear that
he was both.
He was the key to man's sin problem. When Adam and Eve sinned
in the Garden of Eden, they set in motion the need for a
Savior. Fellowship between God and man was broken because of
sin. God knew that man would need something to enable
restoration of that fellowship. Jesus Christ was to be the
means through which man's fellowship with God could again be a
reality. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and
between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you
shall bruise His heel" (Gen. 3:15).
He fulfilled the prophecies. The Scriptures contain more than
300 prophecies concerning the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Let's look at a few of them:
* He would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25).
* He would be born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2; Matt. 2:1).
* His lineage would be through Abraham and David (Gen. 12:1-3; 2
Sam. 7:12-14; Matt. 1:1).
* He would establish his kingdom in the days of the Roman Empire
(Dan. 2:44, 45; Acts 2:41-47).
All during Jewish history, the prophets looked ahead and foretold
about the One who would be the centerpiece of God's plan.
He is the revealed mystery of godliness. "And without
controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in
the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among
the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory" (1
Tim. 3:16). The points listed show the development of God's
Son as he began, fulfilled, and completed his mission here on
earth. He said, "I have glorified You on the earth. I
have finished the work which You have given Me to do" (John 17:4).
He is the fullness of the Godhead. "Beware lest anyone cheat
you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition
of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not
according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the
Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all
principality and power" (Col. 2:8-10). Through Christ Jesus,
man becomes complete. Jesus was the one Deity whom man was
permitted to see. "Jesus said to him, Have I been with you so
long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen
Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, Show us the Father?"
He was the payment for the world's sins. "For He made Him who
knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness
of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). God stepped in and did for man
what man could not do for himself. Someone had to balance the
scales and pay the ransom price. Christ paid our bill.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were
still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now
been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through
Him" (Rom. 5:8,9).
He is head of the church -- his kingdom. "And what is the
exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to
the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He
raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the
heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and
dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but
also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His
feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which
is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all" (Eph.
1:19-23). The kingdom was part of God's eternal plan.
The kingdom of heaven has only one head -- Christ (Matt. 16:18; Col.
He was declared to be God's Son with power. "And declared to
be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by
the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4). The Scriptures
contain many examples that demonstrate the truthfulness of Christ's
deity. But the culmination of all proofs is his resurrection
from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion (Matt.
28:1-6). Christ's resurrection was unlike any other
resurrection. He rose, never to die again!
He will call us from the grave. "Do not marvel at this; for
the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His
voice and come forth -- those who have done good, to the
resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the
resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:28,29). When the last
enemy -- death -- is destroyed, it will be Christ who calls us to
come forth from our graves. Finally and forever, all of God's
enemies will have been subdued (1 Cor. 15:24- 26). We expect
this to happen because Christ overcame death and Hades, giving us
assurance that we also will (Rev. 1:18).
He will judge all men. "For the Father judges no one, but has
committed all judgment to the Son" (John 5:22). "Because He
has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in
righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given
assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that
each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what
he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10).
When death has been forever defeated, men will give accounts of
their lives. The Lord himself will judge us. He was
present at the beginning; he will be present at the end.
When we study the pages of God's sacred word, we observe
overwhelming evidence of Christ's existence during all three time
dispensations (periods). God had an eternal purpose.
"And to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which
from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created
all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold
wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the
principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the
eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord"
In the beginning, this plan was hidden from man's full view.
But as the pages of history of God's people unfold, they afford
glimpses of how God will bring his plan to fruition by sending his
Son to this sinful world. To me, the presence of Christ on
every page of the sacred record is the greatest masterpiece of
writing. Through his work -- the inspiration of the Bible --
the Holy Spirit told the complete story of Christ.
Surely, it is crystal clear that Christ has been present since time
began, and he will be with us throughout eternity -- when it begins
on Judgment Day. The common thread woven throughout the pages
of the sacred Scriptures is the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of
the Living God. The Bible breaks down into three simple
statements: He is Coming -- He is Here -- He will Return.
On three other occasions in the book of Revelation, the apostle John
referred to Christ's "Alpha-and-Omega" character (Rev. 1:11; 21:6;
22:13). The book begins with that affirmation, and it ends in
the same manner. Truly, we are blessed and better because
Christ has always been with us. There's no doubt that all
things begin and end with our Savior -- Jesus the Christ.
-- Via Truth Magazine, November 17, 2005, Volume XLIX, Number 22:
http:// www.truthmagazine.com/archives/volume49/ 22-november-17.pdf
News & Notes
"Chucky" Calloway was able to return home from the hospital
March 1. However, it had been discovered that he had also
suffered a heart attack and had a blockage in one of his
arteries. He will, therefore, have to soon return to the
hospital so that the next procedure can be determined, which might
possibly be the insertion of a stent. Let those of us who
are Christians be praying for him.
And let us also be praying for the following for their health
conditions: Virginia Fontenot, Shirley Young,
Cheryl Crews, Peggy Lefort, and Terry and Pam
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom.
10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins
(Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet.
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation can
be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
9923 Sunny Cline Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70817
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 6 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (225) 667-4520
(Gospel Observer website)