Radio Broadcast Monday 10/19/2020

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P7 (10-19-20)

Synopsis

So the question that needs to be answered is this. Who do you say that I am, the Jesus we have been studying about this past week? We have been reading from the scriptures the claims Jesus Christ has said concerning Himself. These things were written down so that you might believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. This statement is a record of what Jesus said, and is His bold explanation of the gospel, a message of good news of new life, that He came in order to offer us. The gospel, the message of salvation, is about life, new spiritual life, eternal life, God’s life, to be made available to all mankind.

Let us not stop at the cross, where he shed his blood and died, but let us move on to the resurrection. He came not only to take away our sins, when he shed his blood on a cross, without which there is no forgiveness of sins. But He also came to rise again, in order for life to be given to us, not just any life, but His life, the life He always had because He is the eternal God. There is life in His name, a life without end because He is the I Am.

As we continue in our study, we will read about Jesus claims of being the I Am when He said, “Before Abraham, I Am”, which the Jews would have readily understood that Jesus is saying He is the same God who spoke to Moses as the one who sent him to deliver the Jews out of bondage in slavery under Pharaoh in Egypt. As we look further into scripture, Jesus explains more fully why knowing He is God, the I Am, how that relates to you and me.

There are seven I am’s that Jesus uses to explain spiritual truth to us. He is the way, the truth and the life, the bread of life, the light of the world, and the good Shepherd who lays down His life for us. These are the first four that will be explained to us. In essence, Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life available to us, that we can feed on and never hunger and thirst again. He lights our path to walk in new freedom. He is our continual provider and protector, our daily provision for life. He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. He has given us Himself, to live in us forever. He is our righteousness. He is our redemption. He is our forgiveness. In Him, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. You have become the righteousness of God in Him. You have been made holy, set apart from the world. So another way of asking the same question is this. Are you in Him?

If so, He has given you a new identity, called a child of God. In Him, you are in the light, for He is the light, not just any light, but the light of the world, and the only light there is. You are saved, born again, having the life of God placed in you, having entered into the only gate, and Jesus is that gate, and entered in that gate by faith in His provision alone. You heard His voice and responded to that call to become a child of God. You became a sheep and He is your Shepherd. You heard His voice and will not listen to any other voice. He knows you and you know Him. There is nothing else to seek. You need not seek any more forgiveness, holiness, or righteousness, for there is none to be found anywhere else except in Him. You have been made complete in Him.

So do not think that you are a sinner saved by grace. That is not true, if you are in Him, in the light! You are a saint, maybe like a hard apple right off the tree, not mature yet, but you are still a child of God. You are still the apple of His eye. You do not cease to be holy or cease to be His child. Growing in grace is growing to understand all that God has freely given you, to know the inheritance you have in Christ Jesus, and to learn to rest in Him. Are you in Christ? Then you are in the light. Whose light? His light. Is He ever going to leave you? No. Then how could light ever leave you? No. If light followed you into darkness, and He is the light of the world, then it would cease to be dark.

The consequence of being in the light, being saved, is that you and Jesus, the one who is the light, have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son keeps on continuing His work cleansing you of all unrighteousness. That is His work that is ongoing, and is continual as a result of you being in the light. It has nothing to do with our asking or begging, but it is His work that He does continually to those who are in the light.

You do not get redemption over and over again. You do not get redeemed and unredeemed and neither do you get forgiven and unforgiven over and over again. If you are in the light there is a consequence to being in the light. You have redemption. You have forgiveness. You do not get forgiven. You are forgiven. You have His righteousness. You do not get righteousness. You already have His righteousness. He set you apart. You do not get holy or holier. You are already holy. You have already been set apart as a child of God. You do not get more justified or try to get more justified. If you are in the light, you are justified. It has already been taken care of. You do not work to be glorified. You have already been glorified, if you are in the light. If you are in darkness, none of those things are true.

Transcript

We are on Lesson 3, titled Who Do you say that I Am, in our A Closer Look at Jesus Christ study book. Turn to John 20:31.

John 20:31
31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

There, once again, folks, is another bold explanation of what the gospel is all about, that we might have life. As we mentioned so many times on the air, we have concentrated, and rightfully so, believe me, without the cross, our sins would never have been taken away. It is the place where the Lord God of the universe hung and suffered and died for our sins.

Unfortunately, we stopped there. All we have done is seen yourself as a forgiven sinner, and that is why we continue as a child of God to refer to ourselves as an old sinner saved by grace, instead of what God calls us, because he never calls us an old sinner saved by grace, but he calls us a child of God. You can be a child of God who sins but you are not a sinner. A sinner is a designation. A sinner is an identity. You are no longer one of those if you are in Christ. You are called a saint.

Just like a sinner, a lost person, can act outwardly like a saint, a saint inward can act outwardly like a sinner. But the outside is not what God is dealing with. What God is dealing with is what is going on inside. Are you in Christ, and alive in Christ, saved, or out of Christ and dead?

Once again, even at the end of this gospel, John wrote again.

John 20:31
31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

The whole issue of salvation is life.

John 14:6
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 10:10
10 I have come that they may have life

Why do you need life? Because we are dead. All that a corpse needs is life. That is why He said He came to give life to you. That is why He wrote to us, so we can have life in His name.

John 11:25-26
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

1 John 5:12
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

So the whole essence of Jesus is believing in Him so that we may have life in His name, not our name, not in our denomination’s name. You noticed there that it did not say that believing you might have life in the name of the Presbyterian, or life in the Catholics or life in the Baptists. It is life in His name. It is not life in any name that we made up down here. There is only one way we receive eternal life, and that is through the only one who is alive, and that is Christ Jesus. He is the only one who could give life and the only one who did give life.

So it is vitally important for us to come to that conclusion of, “Who do you say that I am?” It is a question Jesus asked His disciples.

Matthew 16:13-15
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

That question is still out there for you and me today. Christ came first of all to be the Messiah. He claimed to be the Messiah.

John 4:25-26
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you – I am he.”

So he identified himself as the Messiah that was being looked for by the entirety of Israel. Yet when he came, they rejected him because he came with a different message than what the theologians thought the bible was talking about. So they hung him on a cross. Not only did he proclaim to be the Messiah, he also proclaimed to be God.

John 10:30
30 I and the Father are one.

John 14:9-11
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.

John 1:18
18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Not only did he claim to be the Messiah, he claimed to be equal with the Father. He claimed if you have seen me you have seen the Father. He also claimed to be God.

Luke 18:18-19
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone.

In other words, why would you call me good unless you are going to call me God because only God is good. And please do not call me good unless you call me God. If you want to call me good, then call me God. He also explains that none of us are good.

He also claimed to be the I am. That was a designation that the religious leaders knew exactly and precisely what Christ was claiming about himself. He was claiming that he is the I am. Any one who knew the scriptures, and certainly the ones he proclaimed that to knew the scriptures upside down, backward and forward. They didn’t know what it meant but knew what it said. He referred them right back to Exodus 3:14/

Exodus 3:14
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

John 8:58
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

So when Jesus identified himself as the I am, they knew precisely what he was saying. The evidence of that is in John 8:59.

John 8:59
59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

We see that again in the 10th chapter.

John 10:31-33
31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

Folks, we are talking about the claims of Jesus Christ. He claimed to be God. He claimed to be the Messiah. He claimed to be equal with the Father. He claimed to be the great I am. He claimed to be life and that life is life eternal.

John 1:4
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

We are going to go through what I call the seven great I Am’s. He, first of all, identified Himself as the I am, then amplified that with the next seven I Am’s, as He identified Himself as to what that meant as the great I Am, not only as God but how that relates to you and me.

John 6:35
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty

We are going to be dealing with those seven I Am’s. I am, as God, that is who God is, the I Am who sent me to you, I am the bread of life. He is talking about the bread of life, of never going hungry. Recall the scripture.

Matthew 5:6
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

We have taken that and said, blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, and there out hungering and thirsting for righteousness, trying to make themselves righteous. But Jesus said He is the righteous one.

1 Corinthians 1:30
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Romans 3:20
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

So, when it says “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”, the people who do not understand He is our righteousness are out seeking how, for them, how to be righteous. That is where legalism and self righteousness comes from, for any righteousness you do obtain is self righteousness, for anything apart from Him is from the self. And you know what He says about self righteousness.

So when He is talking about blessed, he is saying blessed are those who hunger and thirst after Jesus. For it through Him, they will be filled. So when He said He is the bread of life, He is the provision of life. Bread and water, you have to have those to live. Those are the basics of life. He said that I am that bread, and I am that living water, and when you come to Me, you will never be thirsty again and you will never go hungry.

I see people, many times, in our Christian experience, that will say, and I certainly have no reason to doubt that, and I am not God, so it is not my business anyways. But the fact is, people will say, “I am in Christ, but I am still hungering and I am still thirstering.” “What are you hungering and thirsting for?” “Oh, righteousness.” The misconception is that they are saying they are hungering and thirsting to be better and to be more righteous and to get closer to God. All of those things sound so good and noble, and I am not saying they are not. But it is just misinformed. Their righteousness has to come from Jesus.

When we are talking about Jesus being the bread of life, when we come to Him for our life and for our daily sustenance and we come to Him for our living water, and to realize He and He alone is it, and if something is it, there is nothing more to add to it. If you are complete in Christ, you cannot get any more complete. Nor can you get less. If you are complete it means you are complete.

You look at an apple off a tree. Back in Indiana, we had two well-sized apple trees. I went out there and looked at those apples when they were first coming out. They were hard as a rock. I used to delight in having fights with those in that state. Is that a perfect apple? Some people would say, “No, it is not perfect.” And others say, “No, it is.” Well, yes it is. It is not part apple and part pumpkin. It wasn’t a carrot. It is an apple. It was a perfect apple. Was it going to get anything else? No. Maybe some worms. Now, was it mature? No, it wasn’t mature yet. But was it perfect? Yes, absolutely perfect.

When we are born again, we are little green apples. We are hard as bricks. And we are sometimes hard to bite into. We can hit more people in the head than we would like to think. But are we perfect? Yes. We are perfect apples. We are perfect children of God. Are we mature yet? No. God is not through with us yet. But we are perfect in His sight.

Hebrews 10:14

14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

So, when He is talking about being the bread of life, and to being the living water, we have to realize that once you have come to rest in Him and Him alone, there is nothing else to seek. If you have Him, there is no more righteousness to seek. He is my righteousness. What I do now is grow in grace, grow in maturing in that. That is what growing in grace is about, maturing in your knowledge of the grace of God that has been extended to you in Christ Jesus. It is maturing as you hit life’s problems, trials and tribulations. We have an option to either walk by faith in Jesus on those or go out and try to solve them on our own.

We grow when we say, “Lord, this is your battle, not mine.” Therefore, turn to Him to solve the problems, to take care of the problems, instead of trying to do them on your own. It is the same type of thing that says, “if an enemy comes up and slaps you on the cheek, turn the other one.” Everything inside of us is totally contrary to that. What we want to do is if someone hits you on the cheek is to take their head off. He says, “No, let me handle that.”

Romans 12:9
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[Deuteronomy 32:35] says the Lord.

If we ever get that in our feeble minds, that would save ourselves from a multitude of problems. It is not our responsibility. He is our defender. He is our sword. He is our protector and we are not. So He is the bread of life. He is totally sufficient. When we come to Him, we have everything that we need in Christ Jesus.

Folks, stop seeking something else. It is a repudiation of faith. If you are in Christ, you have found. Now get to know your inheritance, not seeking something else, but getting to know what you already have. You have already been given everything you need for life and for godliness. He did not say He left anything out. He has given you everything you need. If you have already been given everything you need for life and godliness, how much sense does it mean to be seeking something else. Now you spend the rest of your life discovering what your inheritance is in Christ Jesus. That is what it means to grow in grace and to walk by faith.

He not only gave us our bread, He gave us our light.

John 8:12
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

There you go again with this area of life.

John 20:31
31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Light, my friends, is what enables you to see in darkness. Light is the opposite of darkness. You would not know what darkness is if you have not seen light. You would not know what light is if you did not have darkness. That is a contrast. That is the condition of the world. The world is either in darkness, lost, or in light, found.

There is no place in the scripture where light and darkness is anything else except lost and saved. Light and darkness is never represented as being saved but being a little out of fellowship. I am sorry that is taught, but that is not in the bible. Light and darkness is always lost and saved. If you are in the light, as 1 John says, as He, Jesus, is in the light, then the consequence of being in the light is that you and Jesus, the one who is the light, have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son keeps on continuing His work cleansing you of all unrighteousness. That is His work that is ongoing, and is continual as a result of you being in the light. It has nothing to do with our asking or begging, but it is His work that He does continually to those who are in the light.

1 John 1:7
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

As a child of God, in Him, the light, you have redemption, the forgiveness of sin.

Ephesians 1:7
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

You do not get redemption over and over again. You do not get redeemed and unredeemed and neither do you get forgiven and unforgiven over and over again. If you are in the light there is a consequence to being in the light. You have redemption. You have forgiveness. You do not get forgiven. You are forgiven. You have His righteousness. You do not get righteousness. You already have His righteousness. He set you apart. You do not get holy or holier. You are already holy. You have already been set apart as a child of God. You do not get more justified or try to get more justified. If you are in the light, you are justified. It has already been taken care of. You do not work to be glorified. You have already been glorified, if you are in the light. If you are in darkness, none of those things are true.

Light and darkness is an absolute presentation of lost and saved. To a lost, dark world, Jesus came and said, ̴I am the light of the world”, of the entire world. Jesus did not say, “I am a little flashlight.” “I am the total light of the world.” If you are the light of the world, that means there is no other light. He is talking about being the spiritual life. He is the only spiritual life. He did not say He was one of those lights, not one of those thousand points, but He said He is the light of the world.

John 8:12
12 Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

He said to never walk in darkness, and so we have to believe Christ or not. Back to 1 John.

1 John 1:7
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

When you are in the light, His blood continually lives in you to cleanse you of every sin imaginable. If you are in the light as He is in the light, what did He say? He says you will never walk in darkness. That alleviates that hair-brained idea that we are in the light, then we get over into darkness, then we confess our sin and get back into the light. Jesus said that if you are in the light, you will never ever walk in darkness, and will have the light of life.

Are you in Christ? Then you are in the light. Whose light? His light. Is He ever going to leave you? No. Then how could light ever leave you? No. If light followed you into darkness, and He is the light of the world, then it would cease to be dark. We have to understand that. If you are in darkness, you are lost. If you are in the light, you are saved. He is the light of the world, the only means of salvation.

John 10:9
9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.

Not only did Jesus say I am the I am, identifying Himself as God, He said He is the bread of life. And we just talked about him being the light of the world. We now have our daily sustenance, our bread and living water. We have light that frees us from the bondage of darkness. We have food that frees us from the bondage of hunger and thirst. Now, we are talking about freedom of movement.

Folks, of course, there He is talking about the work of a shepherd. There are some phenomenal works that have been done on the 23rd psalm, describing a shepherd. There is an excellent book out there explaining the work of a shepherd and how they work with sheep. Jesus identified Himself as the good shepherd. The shepherd would guard the gate. If there was a sheep pen out there, he was the one who guarded the gate. The gate was relatively narrow. It is my understanding that the shepherd at night would lay down across that opening. In other words, they do not have gates like we do that you can swing and lock up. The shepherd then became the gate. For a sheep to get out of the gate, he would have to climb over the shepherd. Of course, he did not allow that to occur. It also talks about the fact that my sheep hear my voice.

John 10:27
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

It is interesting to observe shepherderds and their sheep. I remember when I was over in Israel, you would see outside of Jerusalem the sheepherders come in with hundreds of sheep. They would all be in together. You might have ten shepherds out there with all their sheep, hundreds of sheep. Are they branded? How are they going to find theirs from all of these? They are all intermixed in there. Then all of a sudden, you would hear the shepherd getting ready to move, and he would then make a specific, guttural sound, and all those sheep that belonged to him would prick up their ears and get up and follow him right out of there. The sound of his voice caused their reaction.

So, the Shepherd, when He is talking about being the gate, He is saying that no one is going to enter except through Me, and that means no one is coming in to get out and you are not going to get out. I am going to be in front of the gate. It is a phenomenal passage of eternal security God has given us as well. I go out and not lose one. You are not going to climb over me and no one is going to climb in. It means security. When I get up and we go out into the fields, then I am right out there with you. And my rod and my staff are going to comfort you. He is the protector and keeper of your salvation.

Psalm 23:1-6
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

John 10:11
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

There is another characteristic, that in many instances, a shepherd would lose his own life for the sake of his sheep. He would take risks in order to save his sheep. Jesus is saying that He is that good Shepherd. As the good Shepherd, He did not say He was a good shepherd, but the good Shepherd. As the good shepherd, He is going to do something for you. He is going to lay down His life for the sheep. The only reason that a shepherd would ever give up his own life for his sheep would be love for his sheep, wouldn’t it? That is what Jesus is saying to us. “I love you and I am going to lay down my life for you.”

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

In John 14:6, He also makes another claim.

John 14:6
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

This is a marvelous claim that we talk about quite often in our teaching, where Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

It is always interesting to me that He does not use “a” but just “the”s. He does not say “I am a way”, “I am a truth“, “I am a life”, or “No one comes to a Father except through me.” He says, “I am the way”, “I am the truth“, “I am the life” and “No one comes to the Father except through me.”. There is only one Father, there is only one way, there is only one truth, there is only one life and that is Jesus Christ our Lord.

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