Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Thursday, December 1, 2011
An Introduction to Christ
Read | Revelation 1:4-8
The first chapter of Revelation gives a compact description of the Lord. In verses 4 to 8, John condenses the wonder of Jesus Christ to the bare but beautiful essentials of who He is:
Jesus Christ is the faithful witness. Jesus came to earth to more fully reveal the character and ways of the Father (John 14:9). The miracles He performed validated His claim to be the Son of God.
Jesus Christ is the first-born from the dead. The Savior bore our sins and died on the cross, was buried, and rose again on the third day. His resurrection proved that eternal life is possible for us, too, as Jesus taught in John 11:25: “He who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”
Jesus Christ is the ruler of the kings of the earth. It is the Lord who raises men to power, just as it is He who removes them (John 19:11; Rom. 13:1). Meanwhile, believers have access to a higher authority. In God’s throne room, we can beseech Him on behalf of our nations and lay claim to His promises.
Jesus Christ loves us and released us from our sins by His blood. Note the change of tense in John’s writing. The Lord’s love is ever-present, but He has freed believers from their past. Both the penalty and power of sin have been broken.
When people ask you about Jesus, introduce Him by guiding them through this mini-biography. In just a few sentences, John describes Christ’s character, divinity, and authority. The disciple was not timid about proclaiming the Lord. We shouldn’t be shy, either, when we serve so great a Savior.
Introduction and Benediction
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time isnear.
Greeting the Seven Churches
4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. 8 “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.”
Vision of the Son of Man
9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” 12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.