Who is Jesus Christ?
Cooper P. Abrams III
Paul addressed the source of the confusion in 1 Corinthians 2:13-15, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
John warned us that from his day onward there would be many false Christ's whom he calls "antichrists."
1 John 2:18 "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time."
The Bible cautions us and tells us that the truth of who the real Jesus Christ and that Satan is making a concentrated effort to distort the truth of who Jesus is and what He did. These are the two things I will address this morning.
Who is Jesus the Christ?
What did He do?
We will let the Bible tell us the answer.
Jesus used this title of Himself some eighty times in the New Testament. This term is uniformly used of Christ in connection with His mission ( Luke 19:10), His death and resurrection (Matthew 12:40; 20:18; 26:2), and His second advent ( 24:37-44; Luke 12:40). It transcends purely Jewish limitations and has application to the salvation of the entire race.
2. The disciples asked "And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets."
3. Jesus then asked them "But whom say ye that I am?" And Peter answered, ". . . Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus' response was ". . .Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church (ekklesia meaning "assembly") and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
4. This passage as been greatly misinterpreted and misused and I will not explain their error, but show you what it means.
b. Peter proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ was also the Son of the Living God. Here again many have misunderstood. The title Son of the Living God proclaims the Deity of Jesus. The word Deity refers to one being God. God's son is certainly deity as is God.
John 1:1, 14 clearly attests to this fact that Jesus was God, come in the flesh incarnate in man.
" In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." The Bible leaves no room for speculation.
c. Peter further said Jesus was the Son of the "Living God." The term living, was given to the true God, to distinguish him from false god and idols, that are dead or lifeless wooden blocks and stones. He is also the Source of life,. . .temporal, spiritual, and eternal. The term living is often given to him in the Old Testament.
Romans 1:21-24 tells us where man went wrong and corrupted the truth of who Jesus Christ truly is. " Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves" (Romans 1:21-24).
In turn Jesus said to Peter, that He had also given him a name to express his character. He said "I have called you Peter, a rock, denoting firmness, solidity; and your confession has shown that the name is appropriate." The gates of hell will not prevail against this truth. What truth...that He was the Christ the Son of the Living God.
b. The point is this: Jesus is truly the Son of God the Savior who came to bring salvation to men who would accept it.
2. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." ( John 3:16-17)
3. "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2).
2. We have seen that the Bible attests to His deity, that He is God's Only Begotten Son.
3. The Bible says that He is God, incarnate in flesh.
4. God says that Jesus was the Savior, the one who bring salvation to those who would believe in Him and receive it.
1 John 4:19 says "We love him, because he first loved us."
2. The love is "agape" love meaning unmerited favor. His love meant that He took upon Himself to die in our place and suffer the penalty for our sins, because we could not save ourselves.
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
Many individuals and churches have presented a different Gospel, but this is the Gospel that Paul preached and the true Gospel. Paul even warned men against a believing in a false gospel that was not a gospel in Galatian 1:6-9. He even stated that those that preach a false gospel be "anathema" which means "dedicated to destruction."
Why such strong words. A false gospel cannot save. A false Christ does not exist and cannot save, forgive sin or given eternal life.
2. Philippians 2:5-11, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Listen to the very words of Jesus Himself. He said, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. . . . And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. . . . He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
2. Romans 3: 9-12, 23, "No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. . . . For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
3. Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
4. That is the Good News and the reason for Jesus Christ coming to the world. Yes, the wages of sin is death, BUT God is offering each of us the gift (free gift as Ephesians 2:8-9 state) of eternal LIFE through Jesus Christ.
5. How do we receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life?
6. Romans 10:9-13, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Â For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."