As I interviewed Pastor Don Kennedy, I was able to comprehend the Presbyterian approach to Jesus and how the Presbyterians view Jesus in this present time.
To the question, what was the atoning work of Jesus on the Cross, Pastor Don states that Jesus bridged the gap between us and God caused by sin and provided a way into the holy place of heaven by the shedding of his blood.
This is true. I agree with Pastor Don that Jesus is the bridge that connects us to God. Jesus is our mediator. According to Pastor Brian Mulheran, Jesus’ death on the cross has laid the axe to the root of the tree of sin that was within our lives and in its place He has put His tree of righteousness and life. Even though this has transpired, you and I still find ourselves committing the very sin we don’t want to commit. We have this new nature within us that desires to do right, but often we do wrong. The way we have lived in the flesh has been by aligning ourselves with our sin nature. Once we have Jesus’ new nature placed within us, we can now realign our lives with it.
According to Pastor Mulheran, Jesus changes our sinful nature to realign us to divine nature. Jesus is still the mediator but in a different view.
To the question, what does the baptism of Jesus signify? Pastor Don Kennedy states that the baptism of Jesus is the beginning of the special ministry time of Jesus of 3-1/2 years. Why was this baptism so significant? Why was this baptism the commencement of Christ’s ministry? I believe the holy spirit came down on Jesus with power and it was only then that Jesus went about with supernatural power from on high to do signs, wonders and miracles. Jesus was no longer God/man; I believe Jesus became complete God when He came up from that water. According to Pastor Don Kennedy, he states that Adam was federal head of the rebel race of people. We were identified with Adam and he identified with us. Jesus died and we moved from being lost to being saved. We move out from federal headship of Adam and come under federal headship of Jesus Christ. Solidarity of Adam in Jesus Christ? So therefore the baptism of Jesus was not just an example for us to follow, it was significant for God Himself as it was only after the baptism that the ministry of Jesus commenced, accompanied by miracles. It was also prophetic in nature for the visible infilling of the Holy spirit who came on Jesus in the form of a dove. In the second chapter of Acts, the Holy spirit came on the people in the form of tongues of fire.
To the question, what are the characteristics of Christ? Pastor Don states that “He was begotten in the womb of Mary and therefore he received characteristics of God. She bequeathed it to him”. I disagree with this statement because I believe that these characteristics of God were bequeathed by God Himself and Mary was an instrument used and empowered by God for bringing Jesus Christ into the world. According to J. Rodman Williams, “the truth is that the son of God had actually come in the flesh”.
When I asked Pastor Don the question, what is the authority of Jesus Christ he stated that Jesus is our prophet, Priest, King; the head and Saviour of his Church, the heir of all things and judge of the world. I agree with his answer but I also believe that there is more. Jesus is omnipotent and all powerful; Jesus is omniscient and all knowing; and Jesus is omnipresent and his presence is everywhere. This awesome Lord Jesus is the One who loves us, died for our sins and forgives us; Jesus has the authority to forgive our sins. According to Pastor Brian Mulheran, Jesus was preaching “change your thinking and believe in the good news of my salvation which brings the remission of sins”.
I, as a strong Charismatic (hopefully), believe the great authority of Jesus over evil spirits and the satanic realm which is very real and Jesus states in Ps. 91, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means harm you”. Praise the Lord.
In conclusion, I would like to state that Jesus, the word of God, Son of God, Light of the World, our Creator, came into this world with a unique purpose and Jesus fulfilled this purpose for our lives.
This interview has helped me to realize that whatever our views in theology, as long as we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary, was crucified for our sins and rose again from the dead, we will be saved. Not everyone is a Baptist, not everyone is a strong charismatic, not everyone is a Methodist, not everyone is an Anglican, but everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved as John 3:16 states “that God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life”.
Williams, J. Rodman, 1990, Renewal Theology, Michigan, Zondervan