The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
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The Savior’s Identification with Us
Part 1
By Al Stoner
 
“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mk. 10:45).

It is said of our Lord Jesus Christ that He “made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). Of a truth, He is the Son of God, and “the Lord from Heaven,” and it is He, who “being the brightness of His (Father’s) glory, and the express image of His Person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins,” He “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). To sum up, His Name and Person are unspeakably “great” (Lk. 1:32) and “wonderful” (Isa. 9:6). He is worthy of, and shall receive, ceaseless praise and adoration throughout the endless ages to come.
 
Christ’s Preference for “Son of Man.” But we would here draw your attention to the matter of our Lord’s humbling of Himself, and even more than this, we would focus upon a particular aspect of His humiliation. It is that of Christ’s repeated identification of His own glorious Person with us, who had “sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:19). Over and again, throughout the inspired memoirs of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Lord Jesus speaks of Himself as the Son of man.
 
As we have previously said, our Lord is truly the Son of God. The Father confessed Him to be His Son (Ps. 2:7; Mt. 3:17; 17:5; Mk. 1:11; 9:7; Lk. 3:22; 9:35; 20:13; Acts 13:33; Heb. 1:5; II Pet. 1:17), the Scriptures declare Him to be such (Mk. 1:1; Jn. 20:31; Rom. 1:1-4; etc.), the angel Gabriel, disciples, and others, in the days of Christ’s flesh, made the confession (Lk. 1:35; Mk. 15:39; Mt. 14:33; Jn. 11:27). Demons, when confronted by Him, confessed Him to God’s Son (Lk. 4:41). This was even the very point that was at issue when the Devil tempted the Lord in the wilderness (Mt. 4:3, 6). We also, at our baptism and coming to Christ, have publically and joyfully acknowledged Him to be God’s Son. And we gladly confess Him again and again throughout the time of our sojourn here in this world whenever the opportunity arises.
 
There were, however, comparatively few instances where the Lord Jesus specifically referred to Himself as the Son of God (see Jn. 5:25; 9:35; 10:36; cf. Lk. 22:70). And this consideration we would here set side by side with the multiplied times that He spoke of Himself as the Son of man. It seems that, as Heaven’s Representative and Spokesman, the Lord Jesus Christ was earnestly reaching out to lost humanity; yea, He was and is still reaching out to us! He has graciously and condescendingly extended Himself with the fervent intent of reconciling us back to God. Let us ever give thanks that the Lord from Heaven is also the Son of man!
 
Some Related Considerations. Because the entrance of sin into the world, men sense deeply within themselves that there is a great gulf between Heaven and earth, between God and man. And this was certainly our helpless condition by nature before Christ came into the world. We were “alienated from the life of God” (Eph. 4:18), being “without strength” (Rom. 5:6), “having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). But now, praise God, the Son of man has come, and He has tasted death (Heb. 2:9), in the fullness and totality of its separating power, for every man: that is, death that separates men and women from the society of their loved ones and from all the responsibilities and associations pertaining to this world, but much more than this, death that separates men forever from the blessed society and Presence of the living God. “This is the second death” (Rev. 20:14).
 
But let us ask again the question that was long ago put forth by David, and later repeated and amplified by the writer of Hebrews: “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that Thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; Thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:5-9; cf. Ps. 8:4).
 
The point that we want to emphasize here is that, while there is certainly a shame and a disgrace that is associated with manhood because of man’s involvement with sin, yet there is also blessed hope for every man because Christ has gone to such great lengths in His humiliation and condescension to our low estate (cf. II Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:5-8)! In Christ Jesus we can actually take comfort and rejoice in our manhood because the Savior is “the last Adam” and “the second Man” (I Cor. 15:45-47). In Christ’s death, He became the last of a cursed order, to which we, by nature, belonged, and in His resurrection He has become the beginning of a new and eternal order of redeemed men. In this the Lord Jesus Christ has turned the curse into a blessing for us. And in His identification with us as the Son of man, He is also the great Sinbearer and “High Priest of good things to come” (Heb. 9:11).
 
References from Matthew’s Gospel. With regard to the matter of Christ’s identification with us, we have chosen several verses from the gospel of Matthew where Jesus speaks of Himself as the Son of man. We did not count them, but as you can see there are many. We limited ourselves to instances that Matthew has recorded in order to avoid duplication with the other gospel writers. We would encourage our readers to reread these portions of Scripture listed here. And, as well, it would be good to take a concordance and consider the numerous references in the other gospel accounts.
 
As the Savior speaks of Himself as the Son of man, hear Him reaching out to you and coming close to your side, as it were, as a near Kinsman. He is purposefully and earnestly identifying with you as the Father’s Representative and Ambassador! We include now the following references for your ready consideration. --Editor

(To Be Concluded Tomorrow)




"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).