Monday, July 11, 2011

What We Believe About Jesus Matters

   What we believe about Jesus matters.  Not only does our view of Jesus matter, it is the key to whether our religious world view is right or wrong.  In other words, the validity or correctness of any religious system is directly proportional to that religious system’s view of Jesus Christ.  Let me illustrate the point for you.  I was at my son’s baseball game one evening when two men began to work their way through the park.  The two men were Jehovah’s Witnesses and they were trying to convert anyone who would listen to them.  They ended up standing behind me talking to a young lady.  After hearing their conversation for a few minutes, I interjected myself into the conversation.  You see, I know what the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe about Jesus.  They deny that Jesus is God.  They hold to a view that Jesus was an angel before He came to earth as a man.  They also deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus, claiming that His resurrection was in spirit only.  I confronted the men with their error and assured the young lady that there is only one way to be forgiven of sin and receive eternal life and that is by faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone.  The men moved on and that was the end of it.  What we believe about Jesus makes all the difference between knowing the truth and being deceived by error.  Here are five truths about Jesus that define who He is.
One – Jesus existed before creation.  Jesus has been and is eternally existent.  The Bible tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1.1-2).  In Jesus’ great High Priestly prayer he said, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17.5).  Jesus is the second person of the Trinity and has existed with the Father forever.  There has never been a time in all of eternity when Jesus did not exist.  He is not a created being, He is the creator.  The apostle Paul told the church at Colossae, “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers – all things were created by Him, and for Him” (Colossians 1.16).  Jesus was before creation and He is the originator of all creation.
Two – Jesus is deity, He is the eternal God.  There are divine attributes that only God possesses and they are all attributed to Jesus.  For example, only God is eternally existent, see the first point above.  Only God is omniscient, knows all things.  In John 4 Jesus told the woman at the well all about her life and He had just met her.  Only God is omnipotent, all powerful.  In Mark 4 Jesus was in a boat with His disciples on the Sea of Galilee when a terrible storm arose.  Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves and they obeyed His command.  Only God can supernaturally heal the sick.  Many times it is recorded in the Bible that Jesus gave sight to the blind, healed the lame, open the mouth of the dumb, and healed many of various diseases, including leprosy.  Only God can raise the dead.  Three times in the earthly ministry of Jesus he raised the dead, brought the dead back to life.  Only God can forgive sin.  In Matthew 9 some men brought a sick man to Jesus to be healed.  Jesus said to the man, “Son, be of good cheer; they sins be forgiven thee” (Matthew 9.2b).  These divine attributes belong to God and Him alone.  All of these attributes confirm what Jesus said of Himself.  Jesus claimed to be God when He said, “Verily, verily, I say into you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8.58b).  The deity of Christ is more than confirmed in His actions as well as His personal profession.
Three – Jesus was and is the perfect personification of holiness.  As God in human flesh Jesus was the perfect man.  Jesus had no sin nature, neither did He commit any sin in word, thought, or deed while He walked this earth.  Jesus’ perfection in flesh began with His virgin birth.  Mary became pregnant with Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus had no earthly biological father and therefore was not born with the fallen sin nature of the first man, Adam.  All who are born after Adam are partakers in his fallen sin nature.  Jesus was born of Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit, completely apart from sin.  Peter said of Jesus, “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (1 Peter ).  The fact that Jesus was sinless qualified Him to be the sacrifice on the cross of Calvary to pay for the sin of the whole world.  It is because Jesus was the sinless sacrifice that we have the opportunity to be saved by faith in Him.  He could die in our place because He had no sin.
Four – Jesus is the full and complete revelation of everything God wants us to know about Him in this life.  The writer to the Hebrews said, “God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1.1-2).  This verse tells us clearly that what God began revealing to man by the prophets in the beginning, He has fully revealed to all men in His Son Jesus Christ.  If you want to know what God is like, just look at the life of Jesus. 
Five – There is only one way to be forgiven of sin and it is by faith in Jesus Christ.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father, but by me” (John 14.6).  Any religion that claims a way to heaven other than by faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone is a false religion.  Peter, standing before the Sanhedrin court in Jerusalem said, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4.12).  There is only one name we can call on, confessing our sin and asking for His forgiveness, and that name is Jesus.
   It matters what we believe about Jesus.  It matters eternally what we believe about Jesus.  He is the only way a lost man can be saved.  I pray you know Him as your Lord and Savior today.

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