Jesus' Divine Conception
In Luke Chapter 1 IV we find one version of the miraculous story of the Angel Gabriel’s visit to a town called Nazareth to the virgin Mary who was around age thirteen. Mary was pledged to be married to a man named Joseph.
“And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail, thou virgin, who art highly favored of the Lord. The Lord is with thee, for thou art chosen and blessed among women.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words, and Gabriel went on to comfort Mary, telling her not to be afraid as she has found favor with God.
“And behold, thou shalt conceive, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus.”
Mary asked Gabriel how this could be since she was a virgin.
“And the angel answered and said unto her, Of the Holy Ghost, and the power of the Highest. Therefore also, that holy child that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Mary only asked the one question, and her single reply was “Behold the handmade of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
Jesus. The Greek spelling is Iesous, transliterated from the Hebrew Yeshu’a (Joshua). Christ’s earthly family spoke a Semitic language closely related to Hebrew (called Aramaic), so He would have been called Yeshu’a. This was a common name for that time. As you learn more about Jesus, you find that He came to save common people like us. The name Jesus means “Savior”.
Jesus' Calling or Mission
“And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying, The heavens, they are many and they can not be numbered unto man, but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine; and as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof, even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words; for this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality, and eternal life of man.”
“If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.”
The Lord God invites each one of us to accept this life-changing gift and to become part of his work!
Jesus' Nature and Attributes (Character)
The attributes of God are the ways in which God displays His nature … the ways in which God causes Himself to be known by His people. We learn what God is like by looking at the way in which He reveals Himself. And these attributes, which are displayed, become great targets for the praise of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
God reveals himself and His will to us through His Scriptures. Through Word and Deed, God teaches us how to live out His purpose in our lives.
God is Great
“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.”
Psa 48:1 IV
“Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out.”
Job 36:26 IV
God is Rich in Mercy
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”
Eph 2:4,5 IV
“Yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations. O how merciful is our God!”
God shows loyal love
“And I answered him, saying, Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore it is the most desirable above all things.”
1 Nephi 3:64
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Rom 8:38,39 IV
God is good
“O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous”.
Ezra 9:15 IV
“Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us; for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth; for we obeyed not his voice.”
“Praise the Lord; for the Lord is good; sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.”
Psa 135:3 IV
Righteous means virtuous, good, or honorable. If the Lord our God is good, so should not we be good?
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Eph 2:10 IV
Nature & the History of Creation
“Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.”
Psa 135:6 IV
“And it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven and this earth; write the words which I speak I am the Beginning and the End; the Almighty God. By mine Only Begotten I created these things. Yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest. And the earth was without form, and void; and I caused darkness to come up upon the face of the deep. And my Spirit moved upon the face of the waters, for I am God. And I, God, said, Let there be light, and there was light. And I, God, saw the light, and that light was good. And I, God, divided the light from the darkness. And I, God, called the light day, and the darkness I called night. And this I did by the word of my power; and it was done as I spake. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And again, I, God, said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters; and it was so, even as I spake. And I said, Let it divide the waters from the waters; and it was done. And I, God, made the firmament, and divided the waters; yea, the great waters under the firmament, from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so, even as I spake. And I, God, called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And I, God, said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place; and it was so. And I, God, said, Let there be dry land; and it was so. And I, God, called the dry land earth; and the gathering together of the waters called I the sea. And I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good. And I, God, said, Let the earth bring forth grass; the herb yielding seed; the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind; and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself, upon the earth; and it was so, even as I spake. And the earth brought forth grass; every herb yielding seed after his kind; and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself, after his kind. And I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And I, God, said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years, and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth; and it was so. And I, God, made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the greater light was the sun, and the lesser light was the moon. And the stars also were made, even according to my word; and I, God, set them in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth; and the sun to rule over the day, and the moon to rule over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And I, God, said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly, the moving creature that hath life, and fowl which may fly above the earth, in the open firmament of heaven. And I, God, created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind; and every winged fowl, after his kind. And I, God, saw that all things which I had created were good; and I, God, blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the sea, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And I, God, said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature, after his kind; cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth, after their kind; and it was so. And I, God, made the beasts of the earth, after their kind; and cattle after their kind; and everything which creepeth upon the earth, after his kind. And I, God, saw that all these things were good. And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said, Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them. And I, God, blessed them and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Gen 1:1-30 IV
“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders; thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid; the depths also were troubled. The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound; thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven; the lightnings lightened the world; the earth trembled and shook. Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
Psa 77:13-20 IV
“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”
Rev 15:3 IV
“And it came to pass that when my father had read and saw many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as, Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!”
I Nephi 1:13
God never changes
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.”
Heb 13:18 KJV
“For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will shew unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and for ever; and I work not among the children of men, save it be according to their faith.”
2 Nephi 11:145
“And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and for ever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men.”
Jesus is my Savior
Savior means “Redeemer”, “Rescuer”, and “Liberator”.
“And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer. The God of my rock; in him will I trust; he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence.”
2 Sam 22:2,3 IV
“No man hath seen God at any time, except them who believe. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
I John 4:12-15 IV
“I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior.”
Isa 43:11 IV
“For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
“And as many as believed in the Son, and repented of their sins, should be saved. And as many as believed not, and repented not, should be damned. And the words went forth out of the mouth of God, in a firm decree, wherefore they must be fulfilled.”
“And not many days hence, the Son of God shall come in his glory; and his glory shall be the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, equity and truth, full of patience, mercy, and long suffering, quick to hear the cries of his people, and to answer their prayers.”
“And ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.”
“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.”
Power of the Lord
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Rev 4:11 IV
“And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.”
1 Cor 6:14 IV
“And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man…”
“Now as to this thing I do not know; but this much I do know, that the Lord God hath power to do all things which are according to his word.”
Authority of the Lord
“And when he had said these words, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he said, Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead, as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation”
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they who hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man.”
John 5:25-27 IV
“And Saul said, Blessed be ye of the Lord; for ye have compassion on me.”
I Sam 23:21IV
“The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”
Psa 145:8 IV
“He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.”
Psa 111:4 IV
“And the Lord was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet.”
2 Ki 13:23
“He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”
“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.”
2 Sam 22:31
“And now the plan of mercy could not be brought about, except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.”
“Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”
“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
1 Cor 1:9
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
1 Cor: 10:13
God is truth
“He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”
“For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth for ever and ever. Amen.”
“Glory, and honor, and power, and might, Be ascribed to our God, for he is full of mercy, Justice, grace and truth, and peace, For ever and ever, Amen.”
“And he answered, Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.”
God is holy
“Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify they name? for thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”
Rev 15:4 IV
“And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
Isa 6:3 IV
“But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.”
2 Nephi 8:86
“And he also has shewn unto me, that the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, should manifest himself unto them in the flesh; And after he should manifest himself, they should scourge him and crucify him, according to the words of the angel, who spake it unto me.”
2 Nephi 5:24,25
Scriptures quoted from the King James Version.
- Luke 2:42 Jesus was twelve at the recorded visit to the temple.
- Luke 3:23 He was thirty at the beginning of His ministry.
- Luke 2:52 the Lord grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Christ grew physically and mentally in the vigor and stature of man.
- Isaiah 53:2 He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. The comments suggest that his looks were most likely ordinary, not necessarily unattractive.
- Jesus was a carpenter, used to manual labor.
- Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men. (after he became a threat).
- Luke 2:52 God states Christ’s favor with men, and demonstrates it throughout the Gospels.
- Luke 3:4 John came to Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.
- Matthew tells us Jesus came to the river Jordan to be baptized of John.
- Matt 3:14-16 Jesus was baptized … John was baptizing them unto repentance, preparing them to encounter the Savior, the only One who would bring them salvation.
- Acts 3:19 Repent then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out…
- Luke 4:1,2 After Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit led Him into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Christ’s experience in the desert represented an intense season of temptation. Christ had been fasting for forty days. Jesus overcame all temptations.
- Luke 4:18 He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. Greek word for poor is ptochos, indicating utter helplessness, complete destitution, afflicted, distressed.
- Luke 4:18 To heal the brokenhearted.
- John 9:19 Recovery of sight for the blind.
- Acts 10:38 To release the oppressed. Christ didn’t come to be served, but to serve. We can learn from how he handled crowds and difficult circumstances.
- Luke 4:38 Jesus made house calls, engaged himself in people’s lives, rebuked the fever, not the patient.
Parables of Christ
One of the most unique and ingenious methods that Jesus used to teach was by using parables. Jesus was a Master Communicator and brilliant in His approach. He had superior intelligence, ingenuity and creativity in communicating, and He was a skilled and learned Rabbi. All who heard Him were amazed at the authority with which He spoke, and the depth of His knowledge, yet when He spoke in parables, He used the common or essential things of His day, such as farming, fishing, or a wedding, to serve as illustrations to teach important and eternal lessons. The parables are timeless truths, truths that are relevant for all people and for all time. Jesus spoke more than thirty parables and if you haven’t read them since you were a child in Sunday School, you might want to now, for they contain the great mysteries and the hidden things of God, of which Jesus came to reveal.
The word "parable," from the Greek means, "to cast alongside." They are stories or comparisons that when put alongside other teachings, help to clarify or simplify so it can be better understood. Jesus’ parables not only gave support to His teaching, but many of the parables were in and of themselves strong teachings that were serious and filled with reverence, order, and purpose. They clarify many of the basic doctrines.
The Barren Fig Tree
Luke 13: 6-9 IV
“He spake also this parable, A certain husbandman had a fig tree planted in the vineyard. He came and sought fruit thereon and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none. Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground? And he, answering, said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about and dung it. And if it bear fruit, the tree is saved, and if not, after that thou shalt cut it down.”
Luke 13: 6-9 NIV
“Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, `For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?” `Sir,' the man replied, `leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.”
Plan of Salvation
“What must I do to be saved?” asked the prison keeper after seeing the power of God. Paul and Silas responded, “’Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and though shalt be saved and thy house.” And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”
During Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry he explained to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish; but have everlasting life”.
Speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, Peter stated in Acts 4:12 that “neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
A similar statement is made by King Benjamin:
“There is no other name given, whereby salvation cometh, therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God, that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.”
The Plan of Salvation (or Redemption) begins with our belief in God. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. These are the elements to the wondrous plan God so graciously gave to us from the beginning of time.
- Believe in God.
“And all those who shall believe on his name, shall be saved in the kingdom of God”
2 Nephi 11:22
- Believe God created all things,
“For there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth,
and all things that in them is.”
2 Nephi 1:95
- God created Adam in His image and gave him agency in the garden.
“And in the garden of Eden gave I unto man his agency; and unto thy brethren have I said,
and also gave commandment, that they should love one another;
and that they should choose me their Father.”
Genesis 7:40 IV
- Man fell – chose to disobey God. Sin brought death.
“Behold, he created Adam; and by Adam came the fall of man.”
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
- Man became carnal, sensual, devilish. Man is in conflict with God. He is spiritually dead.
“Therefore as they had been carnal, sensual and devilish, by nature…”
- Believe on Jesus Christ and be saved by the grace and mercy of God.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in
hope of the glory of God.”
Romans 5:1,2 IV
- Repentance – life is a time of probation. Choosing and changing.
“… this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state.” Alma 19:91
“And that they may believe the gospel and rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ, and be glorified through faith in his name, and that through their repentance they might be saved. Amen.”
- Judgment – what are our works? By walking in the Sprit, we can be free from sin.
“And they were judged every man according to their works.”
Revelations 20:13 KJV
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
- Hope and Victory. Resurrection of the body and spirit. Eternal life.
“I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.”
“He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord hath spoken it.”
“Keep my commandments in all things; and if you keep my commandments and endure to the end, you shall have eternal life; which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.”
“And Aaron answered him and said unto him, Believest thou that there is a God?
And the king said, I know that the Amalekites say that there is a God, and I have granted unto them that they should build sanctuaries, that they may assemble themselves together, to worship him. And if now thou sayest there is a God, behold, I will believe.
And now when Aaron heard this, his heart began to rejoice, and he said, Behold, assuredly, as thou livest, O king, there is a God.
And the king said, Is God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem?
And Aaron said unto him, Yea, he is that Great Spirit, and he created all things, both in heaven and in earth: believest thou this?
And he said, Yea, I believe that the Great Spirit created all things, and I desire that ye should tell me concerning all these things, and I will believe thy words.
And it came to pass that when Aaron saw that the king would believe his words, he began from the creation of Adam, reading the scriptures unto the king; how God created man after his own image, and that God gave him commandments, and that because of transgression, man had fallen.
And Aaron did expound unto him the scriptures, from the creation of Adam, laying the fall of man before him, and their carnal state, and also the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, through Christ, for all whosoever would believe on his name.
And since man had fallen, he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atoneth for their sins, through faith and repentance, etc.:
And that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory: and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king.”
Saved by Grace – Judged by Works
We are admonished to be zealous of good works. But it is important to know that we will be judged and rewarded for our good works – not saved by those works. It is clearly stated in Matthew 16:30 IV (27 KJV ) that the Lord Jesus will reward every person according to his or her works. “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
It is also explained in Revelation 20:12,13 that the dead will be judged according to their works. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
And in Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Salvation is God’s gift to us through the atonement of Jesus Christ. If you would like to learn more about the gift of Salvation and the reward in heaven according to our works, contact us.