Who Jesus is and the relationship between God and Jesus.
Joe Lewis, January 12, 1996
If you have your Bibles with you, you might like to turn to Luke . . . . Luke chapter one . . . . we'll start at verse twenty six.
Firstly, we’re studying about Jesus - who he was and his relationship to God. And I just like these verses because they tell us that an angel came to Mary and this angel referred to Jesus as the son of God. And in these verses we’ll also see, um, him as the son of man side of Jesus.
These here are two of the aspects of who Jesus was - he was the son of man, and he was the son of God. He was the son of man - he was born of Mary, wasn’t he? He was also born of the holy spirit of God. And so, because of his birth; being born of man and being born of divine holy spirit, he is the son of man at the same time he is the son of God.
I’m going to emphasize a little bit here on - this evening - on the son of God side. But, ah, starting with the twenty sixth ah, verse, it says, “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,” Now, it says “in the sixth month.” That was referring to the sixth month after John the Baptist was conceived by his mother, Elizabeth. So, Jesus was, ah, conceived six months after his cousin. John the Baptist - or some relationship close to cousin-ship. Maybe second cousin or something like that.
Verse twenty seven says, ah, that this - this, Gabriel - this angel came, “To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
This - the angel referred to Jesus as the son of God. We read of - of Gabriel - a very useful, helpful angel in the Kingdom of God.
You know, in the prayer - the sample prayer that we read of Jesus - the sample prayer of Matthew six - think it’s ah, verse ten - and, ah, he had a desire that God’s will be done in earth as it is in heaven. When God asks something to be done in heaven - he asks - he asks angels - he asks Jesus - and it was done - it just - it was done. When God sent Gabriel to Mary, he said - he would have said, “Gabriel, go to Mary - deliver this message” and he did. When God sent his son, Jesus, to the earth, Jesus went. When God asks something to be done in heaven, it is done. Jesus, when he prayed, he wo - he desired that God’s will would be done in earth, just like it’s done in heaven. When God asks us to do something, we do it.
It is God’s will being done in earthen vessels that allows his will to be done in earth - on this earth. We need to be ones that would respond to God when
God calls and says, “Joe, I would like you to follow me” - or he addresses one of you. Many of us have responded to that call.
God has called and said, “Joe, I want you to follow me.” When I was eleven years old I chose to follow God. When I was fifteen years old, he called me into his ministry . . . . for the first time that I was really aware that God was troubling me about The Ministry. When I was twenty seven, I offered to go - to give my life to go into The Ministry.
You know, when I carefully coun - counted the years, that was a number - quite a number of years. And, um, I did not just go when God called me into The Ministry. There was a - there was a battle - there was s - there was a struggle between human flesh and God’s will. But God continued to deal with me.
God’s will - he wants to see his will done in earth as it is in heaven. And now I long to do God’s will - I - I don’t want to be one that would be hesitating and saying, “Well, can I just wait a little while?” I’d rather just - when God calls - “Yes Lord, what is your will?” - have that kind of a spirit - attitude.
You know, that’s the spirit that ah, Mary - when this angel came - she said, “Well, how - how will this - how can this thing be?” But, you know, when – when Gabriel explained it to her, she accepted it, and she was willing for it.
You know it really was quite a thing that God would count a human being worthy to bear his only begotten son. And here, of all the people on earth – one person - Mary. How much favor she had found in the eyes of God. Quite a thing. Um, she was somebody who - who responded to God’s will and was willing for it.
There are some other, um, places in the scripture that we read of people, ah, acknowledging, or confessing that Jesus was the son of God. And, you know, there’s this surprising - some surprises as to just who and what will - has made that claim. Um, there were devils - many devils cast out of many people, confessed that Jesus was the son of God. Even devils recognized Jesus for who he was.
Remember in the Old Testament, Nebuchadnezzar, when the three Judean children, um, those young men were cast into the fiery furnace - Nebuchadnezzar recognized the fourth man in there - in - in the scriptures, it says he - he thought of him as the son of God.
Legion, in Luke eight twenty eight, Legion - it says he, ah, he thought Jesus was the son of God - he knew Jesus was the son of God. Here, he as a man possessed with many evil spirits and he recognized Jesus as the son of God.
One of the things I - I want to entertain today is - is do we - do - do each of us understand - is - is there any question in your minds about whether Jesus is - truly is the son of God. And, with the Scriptures, I would like to establish - and if there’s any doubts in your minds - clear them away - any doubts that Jesus is - truly is the son of God. Because the scriptures – the references that I'm using are just a small portion of the scriptures that refer to Jesus, the son of God.
In John one and in verse thirty four . . . . the Gospel of John . . . . first chapter and the thirty fourth verse - this is - this is John speaking - these words are - are of John - said, "And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God." This was the man, John, who was eye-witness to the actions of Jesus when he was here on earth. He witnessed the miracles - he witnessed many miracles - many teachings and the life lived - and not just - he - he - he saw it wasn't just words, but Jesus lived The Gospel. He lived what we - what we are teaching and what we want to live today ourselves. We're trying to be, by accepting Christ into our lives and being Christians - bearing that name of t -
You know, when you take the name of Christ - is quite a responsibility because people are expecting to see Christ in you when you take that name. And when you take that name, Christ, you are responsible before God for your actions - that they are Christ-like. There is provision made for when we fall and we stumble. Repentance can be made for when we stumble. But we want to follow in the path of Jesus.
For some of us - we have to - I guess I should be a little careful how I leave that - ah - not all of us are called to follow in the path of Jesus as a minister – as an apostle - chief apostle - but to - to have Christ's, ah, holy spirit - the fruits of the holy spirit and the marks of Christ in our lives and to walk like Jesus walked.
In John eleven - well in verse forty nine right there in that same chapter one, we read of Nathaniel recognizing Jesus as the son of God also. And then in the eleventh chapter in verse twenty six . . . . says, "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" This is a question Jesus asked of Martha.
If you're familiar with the scriptures, you'll remember Mary and Martha and Lazarus - Jesus was asking Martha a question - in ah, John eleven, verse twenty six "Whoso - whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." And then he asks "Do you believe this?" (sic) Verse twenty seven, "She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world." She was familiar enough with the Old Testament scriptures that she knew of a Messiah or of the - the Christ that would come. And when he came she recognized him for who he was, and she referred to him as the son of God.
In the twentieth chapter and thirty first verse, of John . . . . the thirtieth verse of the twentieth chapter says, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:" This is John telling that there were many other things that Jesus did - many other miracles - many teachings - many other - many other things that Jesus did that aren't written here in this book. And then he goes ahead, and he qualifies, and he leaves no exsc - no room for excuses for unbelief in - for what he did write in this book, and what this book contains. He - he leaves it that there's just - there's enough in this book alone - Gospel of John - for people to believe that Jesus is the son of God. Just if you had this one book. It says in verse thirty one, "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that he - and that believing ye might have life through his name."
You want a little homework, you just read that book of John. It's - it's - I love to read in the book of John. I - I just enjoyed reading there - it's good - good food for me. Not to say that other books aren't, but I - I - I really enjoyed reading in this book.
John's purpose in writing this book was that all people - whoever read that book - would believe. And he put enough detail - told enough about the miracles and the teachings of Jesus that anybody who - who had a love for God - anybody who felt the need of salvation - who felt the need for a shepherd - felt the need for redemption - to be . . . . redeemed . . . . sins cleansed . . . . If they would read this book they would have hope and they would believe in Christ and that he was the son God and that all provisions we need are in him.
I hope that the things that I have shared tonight have helped put aside any doubts that anybody might have had of Jesus being the son of God.
Tape 1 side B
Who Jesus is and the relationship between God and Jesus.
Terry Wells, January 12, 1996
We're glad for the privilege of bringing The Gospel to this community and the subject of who Jesus is. We don't presume to tell you all about Jesus in one hour, or even in one year or lifetime because God has planned that, in eternity, he's going to show us the riches of his grace in Christ throughout all the ages in - of eternity. And so, we can't hope to know all about Jesus. That's something that God has reserved as kind of a special gift he's going to give to those who've been faithful to him.
It's kind of a wonderful thing that God has ah, endeavored to trust men and women with this precious life and ah, has produced in them the beginning of an appetite for things that are uncorruptible (sic) - things that are - are - are eternal and spiritual. The things that Jesus saw so clearly and what human beings that he was amongst saw so dimly. And we're just thankful that ah, God is able to give us a little vision - a little - a little glimpse drawn beside the current of - of eternity - and let us glimpse just a little of his plan and purpose.
When we think about the subject of who Jesus is I think about what Jesus himself said when he was talking to the Pharisees - religious people - people who ah, felt that they understood the word of God and they - they were ah, convinced that they were doing what was pleasing to God and Jesus said to them, he said, ah, "Search the scriptures; for" - this is in John five thirty nine - "for in them ye think ye have eternal life: they are they that testify of me." (sic) Jesus was telling us, in this verse, two things. First off, that the Pharisees felt that in reading the scriptures, they had life - that that was - that brought life to them. And then Jesus told the scriptures are what testify of me. And what he was telling them was that the scripture won't bring you life but what the subject of the scripture is will bring you life. He says, "I am the subject of the scripture."
When I think of Jesus, ah, I was - I just came across that verse in first Corinthians where it speaks about, ah, God leading the children of Israel out of Egypt and how they, ah, drank the same spiritual drink and they ate the same spiritual food and says they drank of that rock, and that rock was Christ - that's it now - first Corinthians ten and four. Speaks about that rock being Christ - even back when God was bringing his, ah, resisting and stiff-necked people out of the land of Egypt. Christ was the rock.
And, he's still the rock. You know, what is - what is - what is a rock for us? Well a rock is something to stand on, isn't it? - a rock is something to build on, ah - ahem –
Jesus spoke a very simple parable in the gospels - one - one place is found in the end of chapter - Matthew chapter seven - about the wise man and the foolish man - and the wise man builds his house completely founded upon the rock. But the - the foolish man, ah, he's a man that heard - it says he heard these sayings of mine, but he did them not. And he's like a man who built his house upon the sand.
Now the interesting thing about building on a rock and on the sand - you really can't tell the difference until the storm comes. When the storm comes, it reveals what you've been built upon. And so, many can be built on sand - and some beautiful structures have been built on sand - and many - we cou – me and you could be fooled by a beautiful structure that's on the sand. But, the storm will come - it will come and - and it - and it'll be revealed what it's built upon. And Jesus said he that heareth these sayings of mine and does them is like a man that digged deep and he founded it upo - founded his house upon a rock. Then he listed the storms and floods and the winds that blew and beat upon that house, and it fell not because it was founded upon the rock. That's
Jesus - that's one of the things that Jesus is.
In this connection, I was thinking about what we read about in Job. You might be familiar with the first chapters of Job. Job was a godly man - a God-fearing man - in fact, ah, there probably weren't many men like Job on the earth in his time. And it says that ah, Job - he rose up and he - he prayed and he offered offerings for his sons and his daughters every day - he just said - he said, "It may be that they've sinned." and ah, "It may be that they have – that they've done - that they've done wickedly." And he prayed for h - he prayed for his children. But you know, the time came when there was a storm in the lives of those children. And then a great wind came and the house that they were in collapsed and they were killed. And Job felt the same storm but he – he prospered - he weathered that storm and he prospered. But here, Job - Job was built upon the rock. But his children were building upon the sand. And this should just be a little - a little ah, lesson to us that ah, Job - Job could - he did all he could do for his children, but it was their responsibility where they were building. It was their responsibility. They built foolishly. Job built wisely. He did what he could for them. He provided the example and he prayed for them. But they didn't ah, they didn't ah, take heed of - of his example. The storm came and revealed that they had no foundation in their life.
Well, Jesus as the rock, ah
When - when the angel came to Mary, as Joe's been telling us, he told her what his name would be. He said, "his name, ye shall name him Jesus." and "he shall save his people from their sins." (sic) When we think of what Jesus is, probably the most important thing is that he's salvation - that's what - that's what Jesus' name means. Jehovah. It means Jehovah is salvation.
When I think of salvation, I think about a time when I had - I had an old pair of - of tennis shoes. And they - they were comfortable shoes. But they were ah, they were pretty badly worn. And I took them to the shoe repair man. And ah, I just was hoping that maybe I could get a few more miles out of those shoes. And ah, he said, - he looked at them and he just kind of shook his head and said, "You know, if you had just brought them in a little sooner, I could have done something for these shoes." You know, there's many a life - many a life is brought to the saviour and, people looking on might just think, well, he should have gone - if he'd only just gone a little sooner, there'd be life - but, no life - there's no life that - that comes - that can come to Jesus that Jesus can't help - no life is too far gone for him to help. While a person still has ah, breath and - and will to choose righteous - righteously, it's not too late.
You know, the shoe repairman, he never sees a good pair of shoes. He never sees a good pair. The - the shoes that he gets - they - they're always - they're worn out. Ah, they’ve been worn - they’ve been beaten - that's all he works with. Now, that's - that's what the Lord works with too. People's lives who've been hurt - lives that have been damaged - lives that have been worn out - and ah, lives that have been disappointed - they come to Jesus. That's the life that he gets. He's glad to take it. He's glad to take a life like that. And what he can do - what he can do with a life like that. He can make it - he can make a life over. He can put something in that life that can never ever die.
Jesus is salvation.
When Steven, who we read about in Acts chapter six, and, when standing before the counsel, that he was - he was asked to speak and, you know that those men - he was speaking to a very hostile crowd. Men who had murder in their hearts. And he just gave them a little history lesson about the history of God's work. And he came down - he moved down through history, and he got to the place where he spoke about Jesus. And he called him "the just one"- the just one. I think that's just the words in Acts chapter seven. I like that about Jesus - he is the just one.
There's some Old Testament verses that seem - it says, who - who is so blind as my servant - who's so blind as my servant. On - on first examination we might not think that - that doesn't make any sense, how can a blind servant be of any help? I was reading about a judge one time. And he lost his eyesight. And you know what he said? He said, "Good. Now I'll be able to judge impartially. I'll be able to judge fairly. And I can't - I can't see the faces of those that are - that are standing in front of me." Well, Jesus gives just and fair judgment - righteous judgment. He - he - he - it's just that - he just blinded himself to - blinded himself to work for all the Saints before him - for all the Saints before him.
He's the just one.
When John was writing one of his letters, he referred to Jesus as ah, "if any man sin" - this is in John chapter - first John chapter two about verse two or three - "if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:" I like that term, advocate. That's - that's - that's - that's a term that describes this saviour of ours. He's an advocate. In other words, he's one who can come to our defense.
Do you know that in the - in the dictionary, if you start going down the dictionary, you'll find at least - in the dictionary I was looking at - there's at least sixty eight words in the dictionary - and I'm sure there's more - that begin with "self." Self. One of those words is self-justification. And this is a very human quality - to want to justify or defend ourselves. And to present our actions and our motives in the most favorable possible light. However, God does not accept self-justification from man. The only - the only one who can justify us is Jesus.
Can't recall just where it is now, in one of the Gospels, Jesus told a parable about two men who went up in - up into the temple to pray. And one was a Pharisee, and one was a Publican. He told about the Pharisee, that he prayed with himself. And he said, "God, I thank thee that I'm not as other men are. I give tithes of all that I possess and I fast twice through the week and - twice in the week" and - and ah, (sic) - he just felt like he really was clean on all sides. And, the Pharisee ah, the - the Publican, excuse me - it says that he wouldn't even lift up his eyes to heaven, but he smote himself on the breast and he said, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner." And Jesus said, "I tell you" - he said, that um, that man, the publican - he went down to his house justified; for, he said, every man that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (sic)
I was just thinking about that Pharisee who was so close to the presence of God. Even in the temple, praying. And he went home, just - just the same condition that he was before. He missed completely, all the help of God because of his attitude. Because he felt that he was righteous. And he felt because he - and he was comparing himself with others. Comparing himself, and getting satisfaction because there were others that were less fortunate than he was. Or others that he felt were more sinful than he was. And he missed all the help and all the power of God.
The Publican was justified. The Lord heard his prayer. And he was justified - he was - what does that mean? Free from guilt. Free from guilt. A man who wouldn't even so much as lift his eyes to heaven. The God of heaven freed him from guilt.
Some of you, and probably a - all of you, have heard about the - the O.J.Simpson trial this past year. And the - the key strategy in the trial, that brought forth the verdict of innocence, was the fact that he did not testify. His lawyers - his advocates did all the testifying on his behalf. He said nothing. That was the key strategy. That's why he's a free man today. Because he had an advocate and he didn't justify himself. Only Jesus can justify us. And that's all that we can
seek to do too.
In John chapter thirteen, we read about something else that Jesus did. And not only was he this to his disciples - to those who were following him and to those who would go out in The Ministry that he sent out, but also it's for every individual. Every individual that wants to claim the promises of God. And – and this is what he said in John chapter thirteen, he said this to his disciples, he said, "You call me Master and Lord: and so I am - you say well." And he said, "If I then, your Master and Lord, have washed your feet; ye also ought also to wash one another's feet." He said, "I've given you an example." (sic)
And what I'm going to focus on is what he said, I am your master and lord. When Jesus said, I am your master and lord, he wasn't standing before them with a crown and flowing robes and gorgeous apparel and with ah, hundreds of attendants, which he could have. He was standing before them in the place of a
Servant - in humble garments - a towel in his hand - and he just served his disciples and washed their feet. And he said, I am your master and lord. That's the kind of master that we have.
He is one who serves.
And Jesus said that the servant is not greater than his master. Nor he that is called greater than he that called him. And he was just telling them that you'll be doing what I'm doing. You'll not be - you'll not be - you will not be able to call me your master and your lord and not be a Servant. You will have to serve.
That's the way that ah, - that that's the way of God. It's always been the way of God - serving.
Moses was a Servant. The children of Israel, in their - in the hardness of their heart, they always looked at Moses as a great leader. And ah, as a dynamic man. But Moses at heart was a Servant. He was one who was getting his instructions from God. Moses wasn't interested in being a leader. At one time he was, in Egypt. But, you know, he renounced all that. He renounced it all in order that he might suffer reproach with the Children of God.
And we think about Paul who, in his own words said, "I profited amongst many of my equals in the Jewish religion." (sic) He was a man who was going places as a Pharisee. A man who had a very bright career ahead of him. However, he wasn't in the will of God. He knew nothing about - he knew nothing about this God that he was claiming to know, and claiming to serve. But later, he could say, "All those things, I just - I covet them not, that I might win Christ." (sic) He was - he was a Servant. Learned what it was to become a Servant.
And we'll all have to know what it is to serve. To serve one another. It has to - it has to come from the heart. I know - I know of a group and they have a ceremony where they wash one another's feet. They do it just enough to say that they're obeying the scripture. Which is done very often, but they don't enjoy it. And there isn't the spirit of service in it. But it's something they - it - it's become part of their church ritual. That isn't what the Lord wants us t – how he wants us to serve. He puts the spirit of a Servant in us. And we want to serve. Paul said, "Want not - look not every man on his own things, but on one another's things." (sic) Not to be concerned about - too much about our things, and what's happening to us and our affairs and our comfort. But consider - look - look on the affairs of others - the things of others - and serve them.
Well said - Jesus is master and Lord, "for so I am." Another thing he said to them - he said, "You call me master and Lord, and you say well" (sic) - you say well. It's very easy to say well - to say the things that are true - to say the things that are right - they were saying that Jesus was master and lord and, that was true - they were saying well. But he said, "If you do them, then you'll be happy." (sic) "Happy are ye if ye do these things." (sic) Our service is only – our service to God is only half - half begun if we've just - if we're just at the place of saying. And what we could - what we could say could be one hundred percent correct one hundred percent of the time. But if it's just in the realm of words, it - it's of no benefit. Until what - what - what we're saying gets into the heart(--).
Governor. Jesus is the governor.
That question in Matthew chapter two about (-verse ended-) where - when those men - those wise men - and it doesn't tell us there were three wise men ah, it just says they were wise men - they had three gifts - it doesn't mean there were three wise men - those men came, and they asked, "Where is he that is born king of the Jews?" They were - they asked - they had - they went to the right place - they went to Jerusalem and they asked the religious leaders of the day where he was. And there was a stir. And so they checked the scripture out - which was a good thing to do - and they said - they - they quoted the sc - the verse - "In Bethlehem, of - of Judea." And it says, "For unto thee shall come a governor and he shall rule my people."
Let's move along to the verse in Isaiah - it speaks about Jesus being - it's ah, Isaiah chapter nine - "Unto us a son is given - a child is born - he shall be called - wonderful, counselor, the mighty God - upon him shall be - the government shall be upon his shoulders." (sic) It says, "Of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end." That's speaking of Jesus also. The one upon whose shoulders is the government.
You know, I'm thankful that the government of - of God's true people is resting on the shoulders of Jesus, isn't it? - it says the government's on his shoulders.
That means there's no real emergency there - as long as the government's on his shoulders, there's no emergency. Um, it says, of the increase of his government and peace, there'll be no end.
What we - what we would like to - to see happen is - in your life and my life and in all our lives - is an increase of his government. Because when there's an increase of his government, there's a decrease in the needs. When there's an increase of the rule of Jesus in individual lives, there's an increase in the contentment that people have and the confidence that people have that God is in control. And that their whole lives are secure in him.
It says he shall rule my people, and I think we talked - just already touched a little bit on the kind of rule that Jesus ah, exhibits. Not ah, not ruling from a - a - a palace or not ruling in splendor, but ruling as a Servant and ruling by love. Even as he stood before his disciples and told them that he was master and lord before he had the towel in his hand. That - that towel is just - just one key to how he rules - he rules by example.
People get tired very very quickly of being told what to do by someone who isn't doing the same thing themselves - they're not practicing it in their own lives.
People see right through that - they have no trouble seeing through that.
In Jesus, every example he set we - we can't say that he hasn't ever gave us the best example that we could ever have. Even in words and every situation, he provided the example.
And that's why his words had authority. When he spoke - it says that people think he spoke as one who had authority (-inaudible-) consequently there was
no authority in their words.
Well, we're thankful that there - there are many other things that we could mention about Jesus and who he is and what he is but I enjoyed just these few and ah, may God help us to just settle it ah, that ah, Jesus is master and lord.
Um, there's a - there's verse ah, two verses and (-inaudible-) every knee should bow and every tongue should confess (-inaudible-) but then in another letter that Paul wrote, he says (-inaudible-) every tongue will confess and every knee will bow (-inaudible-) we'll sing a hymn in closing.
A lady confronted these preachers regarding the identity of Jesus Christ after this first "Lecture" was finished:
¥ Joe Lewis - "We don't believe that Jesus is God."
¥ The Lady - "'I and the Father are one.'" "manifested - it does say he was God manifested in the flesh."
¥ Joe Lewis - "Ya, and we believe that he still is today - in us too. We truly are Christians. We could get together and - and talk when you have time."
The lady declined Mr. Lewis' offer to get together with her - she headed for, and out the door immediately.
The preachers' attention turned to Gray with a brief greeting. Gray noticed the same advertisement as was placed in the newspaper in a little pile on thetable, and asked for a few of them.
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