-for Casey Ingold’s Sermon, January 8th , 2012, Covenant Baptist Church
Captured by Jesus – Part II
Who Is He?
“Who do you say that I am?” This was a central question that Jesus asked his disciples and He asks us the same thing today. Jesus sets Himself apart from all the other so-called religious teachers by making His identity of first importance and His teachings second to that. All the other religious leaders put their teachings first and their identity had little significance.
Jesus claimed to be God in human form. As C. S. Lewis so clearly stated:
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. [Mere Christianity, pg. 55-56]
We must make our choice as to whom Jesus is. As true Christ followers, we must believe He is the God/Man. Jesus is fully God and fully man. Of course this defies logic and is frankly impossible for us to fully comprehend. But much in the Bible will make no sense if we don’t believe that Jesus is both God and Man, and that God Himself is a trinity – three distinct persons, but one in essence.
While the word “trinity” is not used in scripture, there are several verses where all three persons of the trinity are mentioned. For example, Ephesians 3:18 – “for through Him (Jesus) we both have our access in one Spirit (Holy Spirit) to the Father (God the Father).” It would be impossible to understand this verse without acknowledging that God is a triune God.
As for Christ being both man and God, there are several passages that help make this clearer.
Here we see Jesus described as
- The image of the invisible God
- The firstborn of all creation (This is a statement of His position and authority, as the first born son in a family is the heir.)
- The Creator – All things have been created through Him and for Him.
- He is before all things and in Him all things hold together
- Head of the body, the church
- First born from the dead
- Will come to have first place in everything
We also see that “it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His Cross. “ Also see Colossians 2:9.
It was His deity that allowed Him to be the perfect, sinless sacrifice, and it was in His humanity that He shed His physical blood as a payment for our sins. Only the God/man could bear the sins of the world and pay the debt we could never pay. [1 Peter 3:18]
What does this mean to me? Meditate on these thoughts below and consider them prayerfully:
When you read and meditate on Jesus as He has been revealed in the Gospels, you are seeing the very heart and nature of God. This is what God is like. Does knowing Jesus shape your understanding of God? What things or experiences taint your view of who God is?
As you read the Gospels, keep in the back of your mind the fact that Jesus is the Creator of all things. He is holding everything together – evidently the whole universe! He will come to have first place in everything.
As you contemplate the deity of Christ, read Philippians 2:5-11. As you begin, remember that Jesus is God and yet He was willing to set aside His privileges as God and become a man. He (God) became a bondservant, humbling Himself in obedience to the point of death, even death on a cross.
This is the Jesus who we worship! This is the Jesus who gave Himself for each of us as individuals so that we could have a relationship with Him. This is the Jesus who willingly died for us because He loves us more than we can ever understand!