This is the sermon for Sunday, October 22nd, 2009.
FAITH FOUNDATIONS PART 3
Jesus, God the Son
There are many religions in the world and if you were to research them all, no doubt you could find some good moral teachings, some element of truth in many of them. And living in the day and culture that we do, when people live more according to how they feel than what they know, it is easy to understand why so many are deceived by the “feel good” philosophies of our day.
It is to this end that God’s word is clear; we are not to live by bread alone, but by every word which proceeds forth from the mouth of God. That is, we are not to live by that which simply seems to satisfy our physical desires, but we are to live according to the truth God has given us in His word.
So far in our study we have considered the doctrine of the inspiration of scripture and we have looked at the nature of God Himself. This morning, as we continue our series entitled “Faith Foundations,” we are going to take a look at what the Biblical record reveals to us about the person of Jesus.
The Nature of Jesus
The one thing which sets Christianity apart from all other religions and cults in the world; the one thing which is essential to our salvation is the unwavering belief that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and is therefore Jesus the Christ, the anointed one, the Messiah, the second Person of the triune God.
Let me quote from our church’s website: “We believe in the virgin birth and the deity of Jesus Christ, in His atoning death and sacrifice, His bodily resurrection, and His ascension into heaven.”
Teaching about the nature of Christ is so very important because if Jesus is not both God and man; If He is not Who He says He is then He could not do what He said He could do. And if He could not do what He said He could do, we cannot become who He said we can become.
We can look around today and see many groups, and cults who are full of heresies concerning Jesus Christ. For instance, the Mormons, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, deny the uniqueness of Christ’s divinity. While they will say that Jesus is a son of God, they would go on to say that he was simply one of many sons, including themselves, teaching that they are sons of God, just like Jesus was. This leads to their false teaching that all of us can become gods just like Jesus.
The Jehovah’s witnesses also deny the Deity of Christ, claiming that Jesus was a created being and nothing more than the manifestation of the archangel Michael in human form.
Let’s allow Scripture to tell us about Jesus.
John 1:1 ESV – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
According to this passage, Jesus is the Word who was God and was with God.
John 1:14 ESV – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
This means that in the single person of Jesus Christ these two natures both existed. It is important to recognize that the divine nature was not changed. It was not altered. He is not merely a man whom “had God within Him” nor is he a man who “manifested divine qualities.” He is God, second person of the Trinity.
Hebrews 1:3a ESV – He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.
Jesus’ two natures are not mixed together; they are separate yet act as a unit in the one person of Jesus.
The Work of Christ
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 ESV – 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
Notice a few things he mentions here about the work of Christ.
- Paul says that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.
Romans 5:8 ESV – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Paul says that Jesus was buried and raised on the third day. The work of Jesus did not end at the cross. It is the empty tomb that tells us our Lord conquered death, it is the resurrection that gives us hope and assurance that death is not final and that the life we have in Jesus is eternal. The cross was where Jesus paid the price, but the empty tomb is where Jesus defeated death and demonstrated His victory as Lord over life and death.
- And Paul drives home his point that Jesus did rise from the dead, by listing off all of the people who saw the risen Lord. It must be remembered that when this letter was written, it was probably in the first half of 55 A.D. only 22 years after the resurrection. Paul is saying, “Hey, this is true and here’s the proof. Many of the folks who saw Jesus are known to you and are still alive.” They would not believe something that was not true. The resurrection of Christ was a verifiable fact that could be corroborated by eyewitness still alive at the time this letter was written.
Also, Jesus ascended into heaven and someday will come again in glory.
Acts 1:11 ESV – Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.
The New Testament refers to the second coming of Christ more than 380 times, making it one of the most clearly taught and yet sorely neglected doctrines in scripture. We don’t hear a lot about the second coming of Christ these days but in the first few centuries of Christianity the second coming was anticipated with great fervor.
Jesus is coming again, and because we don’t know when, we should live as if it could be any day.
So there you have it. Jesus, both God and man, born of a virgin and yet the eternal, the Alpha and the Omega, came to earth, lived a sinless life, died a vicarious death and rose in a glorious resurrection. And He offers the free gift of salvation to all who will receive it. Someday He will come again in glory with His Holy angels to judge all the earth.