Faith Basics: The Work of Christ

Posted by Dan Jarms & Jared Millican on September 20, 2023
Faith Basics: The Work of Christ
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In this episode Jared Millican joins Dan Jarms to discuss the teaching, miracles, obedience, and atonement of Christ. 

  • Automated Transcription
  • Dan Jarms 0:00
    Today on faith matters, we're going to continue our series faith basics and we're going to be talking about the works of Christ.

    Dan Jarms 0:13
    I'm Dan Jarms. And you're listening to faith matters a podcast to help update you on matters of faith Bible Church, as well as equip you in matters of the Christian faith.

    Dan Jarms 0:32
    I have Jared Millican here with me, Hey, Jared, Hello, we are going to be talking about the works of Christ in our series of faith basics. And what we're going to do today is, is talk through four big areas of the works of Christ. We've already talked about his incarnation. And we already talked about the Old Testament prophecy. And what we're going to focus on are the teachings of Christ, the miracles of Christ, the obedience of Christ, and how that worked out to lead to his atonement. One of the things that theologians do biblical scholars do is they look at Jesus related to his offices. So once you talk to us a little bit about those offices, and how those offices relate to the idea of his teaching, and his miracles, and His Atonement.

    Jared Millican 1:22
    So the three offices that theologians and others will will reference our Prophet, Priest and King. And so at any point, when Jesus is on the earth, when he was on the earth, he was, he was doing something under one of those offices. So whether it was working miracles, or speaking, or of course, when he went to the cross as a sacrificial, sacrificial lamb, in one way or another, he was doing something that related to one of those offices. So one passage that lays out those offices altogether, you could go all over the place to look at them individually, but there is at least one that kind of keeps them all together. And that would be that would be Hebrews one, where we can see Prophet, Priest and King all referenced here. So let me read Hebrews one, one through three, and then just briefly point out how this shows us that Jesus was Prophet, Priest and King. So it says, long ago, at many times, and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets. But in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom he also created the world, hears the radiance of the glory of God, and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the Word of His power. After making purifications for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high and having become as much superior to angels, as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs. So where do you see priest, verse three, he made purifications. For since he sat down at the right side of the father after that, and that showed that his work as priest was complete about King, he's appointed the heir of all things, and again, he sits down and majesty. And then as far as profit goes, in the past, it says, God spoke through many prophets, but now he's spoken through His Son. So Jesus is the greater profit. But more than that, he's not just another prophet more significantly, he is the son, himself, the Son of God, the greater profit but even greater than a prophet.

    Dan Jarms 3:18
    So he is the final message, to come and speak. So now he's spoken through His Son. So there's, there's that prophetic role. So if we were to take teaching, that the teaching of Jesus that connects to his, his prophecy, and Jesus taught, if we work through what Jesus taught in something like the Sermon on the Mount, there, we have the prophet as law giver, because he is giving the law applied to the human heart. We see him teach multiple parables teaching truths about the kingdom, we'll see him Correct. wrong ideas about purity, and talk about the truth about purity. So throughout, he's either correcting or he's expounding, and he is that prophet, and then one of the things we often think of with a prophet is the for telling the predicting, and in Matthew 24, he predicts, and every every gospel has sets of prediction. So as a teacher, we see him doing that. But one of the questions that was always asked to Jesus was, by what authority? Do you do these things? And so here we have Prophet priest, or at least prophet and king because he comes by the Father's authority now has his own authority to speak.

    Jared Millican 4:39
    Yeah, I think we need to understand that anytime Jesus is teaching, he is acting as a prophet, he's acting as the messenger of God and the Son of God, himself. I think of John 1249. Jesus says, I have not spoken on my own authority. But the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment, what to say, and what to speak. So they will say, See Jesus himself confessing, acknowledging, these are words of God, I am I am sent from God. Steven and X seven reminds the people that Moses prophesied that this would happen and that the Christ, the, the another, Moses would come and he's telling them this has happened this, this second Moses, this new Moses has come that finally Jesus himself has come as the final word from God as the great teacher and, and the great prophet.

    Dan Jarms 5:32
    What strikes you about the teaching of Jesus, the teachings

    Jared Millican 5:35
    of Jesus that strikes me most. The two things that come to mind immediately for me are, Jesus was consumed with passion for the glory of God, he was consumed with passion for making known the holiness of God, the righteousness of God, the goodness of God, the love of God. And we know he even communicated these kinds of things, through messages of judgment, of course. But I see that he was passionate for the glory of God. And the he was passionate for showing the love of God, to others who say that all over the place, and John, though he was king, though, he had every reason to execute justice, and condemn and all these things, and he did do those things. But one of the first things we often hear out of his mouth is a message of compassion and love, and the offer of forgiveness to sinners. And that is, that's very striking to me. Because as king you might expect, that would be if you're merely a human king, that would be not the first, those are not the first words to come out of his mouth.

    Dan Jarms 6:36
    Yet the other thing that encourages me, I always like to be in a gospel. So most of the time, I'm reading a chapter in a gospel, or reviewing something about the gospel, because what Jesus says, and what he does is, is so unlike anything else, including in the Bible, because Jesus was a prophet, but he wasn't just a prophet, he was the greater Moses. So Moses predicts, in, in Deuteronomy 18, that a prophet will come, a greater profit than me will come and when Jesus is here, but the crowds also saw, so when they heard him teach, in Mark early and Mark 127, and it says they were, they were amazed at what Jesus taught. And what he was able to do is said, What is this a new teaching with authority. And this combines both his miracle work and his authority as a teacher together. So his teaching is something that all of us should pay attention to. on an ongoing basis, I would say, if you're often in the Gospel, it's a really good idea because you see, God and flesh coming to speak to us. Let's talk briefly about his miracles. What are his miracles? What's significant about the miracles of Jesus?

    Jared Millican 7:58
    Yeah, when we think of miracles in Scripture, that things are going to come to mind most immediately are healings. Changing water into wine, raising the dead things like these casting out demons and demons? Yeah. What's significant about his his miracles, is, if there's one type of work that Jesus did that most demonstrated his kingship, it's his miracle miracles, I would say, we don't tend to imagine Jesus his time here on Earth as a kingly presence. We see that he was making he was humble, and he came to offer forgiveness and all these things, and we tend to merely think that he's only going to return as a reigning king, but Jesus, he did help us see what his future reign is going to be like, on this earth, how to do that he, he did that through miracles. It's not the only thing that his miracles were accomplishing. But we do know that when He healed and when He cast out demons and all these things, and in a very real sense, he was foreshadowing to what is the future final Kingdom going to look like one day, freedom from death, freedom from pain, freedom from from sickness, even see it in when? When John the Baptist sends to ask Jesus Hey, Are are you the one I should we should we expect someone else are you the one What does he What does he respond to them? He says, Well, let's see the the blind have received their sight. The lame are walking, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear the dead are being raised and the poor have good news proclaim to them. It kind of as if to say to John like, Well, what do you think, John? Yeah, yeah, who else?

    Dan Jarms 9:33
    Yeah, I haven't I have all this authority over the natural world. Yeah, exactly. And over the supernatural world, I have authority over both. And and that was that reference in mark one. This is a new teaching with authority, because he just cast out a demon. Right. So one of his miracles showed that authority. I like that lead in about the miracles previewing the coming Kingdom, because all but one miracle In Jesus's ministry was restorative. It previewed the coming Kingdom, only one time, the condemnation of the fig tree, which previewed the coming judgment of Jerusalem. Everything else was giving us a window into the coming kingdom. And so the miracles testified to it. For the apostles, it was a big deal. The miracles were a big deal, because the apostles also did signs and wonders to show that they too had the same authority as Christ representatives. But when Peter preach and Acts chapter two, the first sermon on the day of Pentecost, the many people believed, he said to the men of Israel, hear these words Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works, and wonders and signs. That's the miracles that God did through Him in your midst. As you yourself, know this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite planet foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. So this was a king, testified by God and you murdered him. What was he testified, he was empowered to do the miracle. So miracles do quite a few things and show his authority as king over the natural world and the supernatural world. The teaching, and the miracles testify to who he is what he's coming for. Then we move to the topic of obedience, the obedience of Christ, and the obedience of Christ and coming to do the Father's will, and doing all that the Father came to accomplish. That was significant. I want to start us off on talking about the obedience of Christ.

    Jared Millican 11:34
    The first thing that comes to mind when we think of the obedience of Christ is the cross that the climactic ultimate demonstration of obedience, we would say, but we have to remember, the cross wasn't the only important act of obedience, that Jesus carried out every single act of obedience that Jesus carried out was important and necessary. It's easy to forget, Jesus worked a job. He had friends, he socialized. Jesus was a son and a brother, he had the same 24 hour periods we have, and he had to be a steward of each of those minutes and each of those hours for roughly 33 years, and that's over 289,000 hours to be a steward of Yeah, and, and so knowing that, it's interesting to ask the question, what was Jesus's obedience, like before those last few hours on the cross, and Scripture definitely does describe his his heart for and his attitude toward obedience, John 434, one of my favorite descriptions of Jesus's heart, My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish his work. Maybe we could say, I don't know how far to take that that metaphor, but that he was physically mentally emotionally sustained by obedience. It was his joy. It was his his life to to obey the father, John 1510. Kind of sorts out why that would be the case. Why does Jesus love obedience, so much, John 1510, I have kept My Father's commandments, and I abide in his love mighty Jesus level being, because it's how he abided in the love of the Father. Yeah, that's where he experienced the love of the Father most intimately. And then Luke 242 to 51. I won't read all of that. But it's, it's the account. This is just kind of like a practical ground level example. But it's the account of Jesus staying at the temple when his parents left. And this shows that he was explaining the scriptures and declaring the Scriptures. And then when his parents came back, what did he do? It says he submitted to his parents. So there was not an area of life untouched by this kind of devotion to obedience to the Father, and Jesus's life, every area, and was submitted to the Father. So

    Dan Jarms 13:43
    the other area, we would, we would see all his positive works all the ways he obeyed the Father. One of the things that is really critical in the works of Christ is the fact that he resisted all temptation. So the gospel writers, especially Matthew and Luke, expound on Jesus being taken away into the wilderness to be tempted for 40 days by Satan, and coming through that resisted all of those temptations, because that sets up a really important reality. Jesus was perfectly obedient. And you could talk about it in a number of ways. But when we get to Romans five, starting in verse 12, we have the second Adam. So you start seeing that in the Gospel, Luke of Luke is especially written to show us the second Adam because it runs Jesus genealogy all the way back to Adam. And here we have the Son of Man, who is tested by Satan never fails, perfectly obeys the father and all that he's supposed to do. And then that sets up the fourth work, which is atonement. So Jesus is fully obedient and all things resist all temptations, and never failed, which sets up his qualifications. for atonement, so talk through this, what we often call the fourth work of Christ. So we have teaching miracles, obedience and atonement, which is an act of obedience him dying on the cross. But what's the work that's done by dying on the cross? Take us through that Romans five passage.

    Jared Millican 15:19
    Yeah, really the whole chapter is about why Christ accomplishes atonement. How he does that, and kind of even just lays out the logic for us and really clearly clearly explains why Jesus was enough for our atonement. But I suppose I'll just read verse 18, therefore, as one trespass lead to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men that one trespass, referring to the fall of man through Adam and Eve, and then the consequent trespass and the nature of sin that man inherited from then on out, in the same way, but in a greater way. So one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. Well, that the act of righteousness being through Christ, and again, his entire life of righteousness, and the act of his righteous death, being a perfect sacrifice for sins. many were made sinners through Adam, that one man, yeah, by this one man's obedience, many will be made righteous. Why? Why is that happening? Because sin is being atone for sin is being paid for by a worthy sacrifice, which could only be the perfect God man, which is what you referenced a second ago about Jesus being the second Adam. He's the perfect God, man, perfect image bearer.

    Dan Jarms 16:30
    Yes. So this, this atonement accomplishes an enormous amount, it resets the creation mandate where Adam and Eve were to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth. Well, now we have the person who is going to lead the way in that qualified because he never disobeyed. And he also provided atonement. So he justified his His atoning work, is the work that's our justifications based on and I think of the other way to talk about it and sacrificial language that the writers of Hebrews chapters nine and 10, he's the perfect lamb without spot or blemish, there's no there's no fault in him. So he was qualified to make atonement. And so what does his obedience do? Ultimately, it makes him qualified for atonement, and at atonement, his life does atone for the sins of all those who believe in Him. There are other things so when we look at the composite of the life of Christ, or the works of Christ, there are several follow on applications, one of those that I can think of, is that because he lived perfectly, and died for our sins, we don't have to worry if we don't live perfectly. He has been obedient, where we have not been obedient. And that is very relieving. If, if, is like a very common, very common thought, as a very common Roman Catholic thought during the Reformation, that yeah, Jesus death covers all your sins, at the point you believe, but after that, you've got to pay. You have to make you have to make atonement, you have to make repentance, you have to take the mass again, where he's re sacrificed again, you have to go through all these rituals. What a devastating reality, if you would owe us if you have to pay for every sin. So what an encouragement we we rely on the obedience and atonement of Christ. So that sets our heart at peace as people who are pursuing God, still validly so we still we still error, we're still frail and weak. Can you think of any other just personal applications, devotional things that strike you?

    Jared Millican 18:45
    Yeah, definitely. That that hope and security knowing that our our salvation is secure in Christ is there's not a greater treasure than that. One thing that came to mind was from a fusion six, as I've worked through this last couple of months, with college students and some other settings, it's become really clear to me that just as much as this passage is a passage on how to fight sin, how to walk strongly in the faith and all those things. It's also an assurance passage, because it tells you Ephesians 610, through 18, in the first handful of verses that tells us here's everything you already have in Christ, here's everything Christ has already accomplished and given to you. So it's encouraging me that I'm secure in Christ. And because Christ has given me the very armor he did war with, I am guaranteed victory if I walk in his steps. And that's, that's a huge that's a huge encouragement to me. Everything Christ did accomplished, our eternal salvation and our hope in this life and then the life to come.

    Dan Jarms 19:43
    The final thing I might add is another thought of application or something that drives us as Christians, the works of Christ are, are something that are very impactful as followers of Christ. So he called all of his disciples to follow him which is is not just to believe in Him like mentally agreeing. Yeah, that's true. Or even affirming. Yes, I'm, I want to be loyal to that. But to follow Jesus is to follow his example. So we use his teaching, we teach from his teaching, we teach from his apostles teaching. So we want to speak those words. We don't do miracles, but we pray for miracles. But we do exercise compassion. So very often when we will hear a sort of Christian jargon, to be the hands and feet of Jesus. And that really means to act in compassion toward the world and in the church. So Jesus was compassionate with his miracles were compassionate, his obedience, he was perfectly obedient to the Father, and always and even at the atonement. While we can't make atonement for anybody, we can do the one on one direct place. In First Peter chapter two, he gave us an example that we should follow in his steps, willingly suffering, so that he can make atonement we follow that so the works of Christ are critical for our practice as Christians. They're critical for God's work on our behalf. Jared, thanks for joining us today. It's been a pleasure.

Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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Jared Millican

Former college pastor at Faith, Jared and his family are currently preparing to move to the Czech Republic and work as global outreach partners in 2024. He and his wife, Claire, have three children.

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