Radio Broadcast Monday 11/09/2020

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P16 (11-09-20)


You can grow up in church all your life, and be quite religious. You can sit in a bible study among people who identify themselves as Christians. You may have never even heard someone identify themselves by Christian before. Many today do, but the Christian identification has lost its meaning because there are so many now who identify themselves as Christian but have no clue of who Christ is and what He came to do. My mother-n-law used to think anyone born in America is a Christian. You may have heard the very first time, the words, “born again”. These kinds of “Christians” seem to have their own vocabulary, like doctors or lawyers do. You may have even been asked the question, “Are you saved?” What kind of question is that? That is so foreign to your understanding.

Well, think about the disciples who ate and drank with Jesus Christ. What did they think about Jesus? Many people said that he spoke like no other man, that he had authority from some other place to speak like he does. Others say he is a great teacher or a great moral person. But when Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Son of the living God.” But take note of what Jesus’ response was. Jesus said, “No man revealed this to you. This was revealed to you by my Father in heaven.”

All of us were born spiritually dead, without the Spirit of God living in us. How then can we understand what Jesus is saying to us, unless He explains it to us? And would we believe what he says? If some man walked on the earth today and said he is God, would you believe him? No. But Jesus was in the appearance as a man, and ate and drank with us, and got tired and hungry like us. Would you think it would be easy to believe him when he said that he is God? Thomas certainly had difficulty believing that Jesus is God. Not until after seeing Jesus risen from dead, and showing him the nails in his hand, did he believe. But all the disciples were spiritually dead, without understanding. How many times would Jesus say to them, “How slow of heart are you to believe all that has been written through the prophets concerning Me?”

Jesus fulfilled all the words of the prophets, to be the one through whom the blind see, the lame walk and the dead are raised to life again, to be betrayed into the hands of men, and specifically by 30 pieces of silver, to be a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and that even his disciples would all fall away and he would be left alone, to bear alone the sins of the entire world. And he said, “I came for this purpose, to die only to rise again. This command I received from My Father.” “What kinds of words are these? Surely He is the promised Messiah.”

One by one, all but one of Jesus’ original twelve disciples came to believe that Jesus is the Messiah. What attitude of heart did they have? Were they wanting to know the truth? Were they teachable and humble of heart? The humble will come to receive what God came to give us, new life in Christ Jesus. They will be willing to stop trusting in whatever they thought living was, of making themselves right before God, and put their faith in what God has said concerning what His Son came to do and give.

But being born dead, we have to have the truth concerning Christ Jesus revealed to us. This cannot be taught to us by merely reading a book. Yes, God has given us the scriptures so we may know Him, but if you fail to come to Christ for life, what then did the reading and memorizing of scripture accomplish? Nothing of eternal benefit for you, who lack faith in Christ. You must be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you. You read to get to know the author, not for information. And if you are reading with that attitude, that is a good start, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

What clicks with you to believe who Jesus claimed to be, of who he claimed to be, God in the flesh? How God reveals Himself to you, and only He can do that, can be somewhat different, depending on your background and whatever religious error and tradition you have been taught that is contrary and in conflict with truth. Your mind has to come alive to truth, of who Jesus is and what He came to do for you.

For example, a Hindu man, all his life was taught that every animal is sacred, and he could not understand this message these Christians were explaining to him that Jesus is God come to earth in an earth suit. Then one day, he pondered over an ant hill about to be run over by a farmer plowing his fields. He thought to himself, “How do I warn the ants of impending danger? I cannot speak to them or write to them, for they cannot understand or comprehend. But if I could become an ant.” Then, it was if the Holy Spirit revealed to him what God did by sending His only Son to us. Jesus wanted to warn us of impending danger. He wanted to rescue us from certain death. So God became like one of us so we can understand God and know Him and be saved.


When we come to Christ, we possess a new nature. What is that new nature? Christ has come to live in you and me, giving us his life, living in you, and in so doing giving us a new identity. Before, I was a child of the devil. Today, I am a child of God. Before, my identity was a lost man. Today, I am a saved man. Before, my identity was unforgiven. Today, my identity is a forgiven saint. You see, there is a change in identity. This new creature is living in a body that contains indwelling sin.

2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

John 1:11-13
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Colossians 2:9-10
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

We have to understand now that in Christ all the fullness of Deity lives in bodily form. Because his body was not in a fallen state. His being was not fallen in any way, shape or form. Even though he was born, he was born of a virgin and was not born in indwelling sin in him as you and I are. But when we are born again, all of that fullness of God lives in bodily form in Jesus and you now have been given completeness or fullness in Christ, who is head over every power and authority.

Colossians 1:19
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

Not only was the fullness of God to indwell in Jesus, and not only is it the case that in Jesus, all fullness of deity lives in bodily form, but you and I have now been given that fullness in Christ, the spiritual birth that you and I possess. The very moment we came to Christ, in Christ, in His fullness, that he is living in a body, but that contains indwelling sin. In the midst of that, Jesus, who lives in you is head over every power and every authority.

Colossians 1:15
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

You want to know what God was like? Look at Jesus. He is the firstborn over all creation. What does that mean? Adam was the first man who was ever created alive spiritually and Jesus, called the last Adam, is the first man ever born alive spiritually. That is why his virgin birth is not up for grabs. Had Jesus not been born of a virgin, he would have been born out of the loins of Adam, exactly like you and me and would be born dead spiritually, exactly like you and me. But Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, conceived by the Spirit of God, and became, therefore, the absolute visible image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, the only man ever born alive spiritually.

(In Luke 1:26-38, you can read the account of the virgin birth of Jesus.)

Luke 1:34-35
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

Colossians 1:16
16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

As I stated earlier in Genesis 1.

Genesis 1:1
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

If God created the heavens and the earth, and we are told in Colossians, that all things are created by him and for Him, visible, invisible, thrones, powers and authorities, then who do you suppose in Genesis created the heavens and the earth? It is none other than Jesus Christ.

Titus 1:1-3
1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior

Titus 2:10
10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

Titus 3:4-5
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

So who is Paul talking about there? Who is Titus talking about there? They were talking about Jesus. How did Paul identify Jesus? God our Savior. God our Savior. God our Savior. How much more clear could it be said than that? That ties, of course, into the Trinity.

Titus 1:4
4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Titus identifies Jesus as God the Father and our Savior.

Titus 2:11-13
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ

Can it get any clearer than that? Yet people come knocking at your door continually trying to convince you that Jesus Christ is not God. That is the spirit of the antichrist, and we need to understand that. I am not calling people anti-christ but the doctrine is the doctrine of the anti-christ.

Now, what about the author of the book of Hebrews?

Hebrews 1:2-3
2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.

The author of Hebrews is attributing the very creation of the earth we live on today to Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:3
3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being,

If you want to know what God is like, look at the Son.

Hebrews 1:3
sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

What did the apostle Peter have to say about Jesus of Nazareth? Do you remember Jesus asked him, “Who do you say that I am?” People came up with all kinds of ideas as to who he was. Then Peter was asked that question. And Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 16:13-17
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?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.

Folks, this is kind of a preamble to what I believe is a very important thing for us to understand, that any truth about God has to be revealed to you, not by man, but by the Father in heaven. That is what is told to us in Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 2:8-10
8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[Isaiah 64:4] –
the things God has prepared for those who love him –

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

So, for Peter to be able to say, “You are the Son of the living God”, he could not figure that out by man-made techniques. He did not figure that out by asking Jesus to write that out and then try to interpret that in Greek. It was revealed to him by the Spirit of God. That is the only way that the truth of Jesus will ever come to bear in your life. It has to be revealed to you by God. Jesus said, in the word, that any man who comes to me, must come to me by faith. Faith is what pleases God.

John 6:44
44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[Isaiah 54:13] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.

Hebrews 11:6
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

John 17:25-26
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Jesus made another statement. If anyone wants to diligently know the Father, that I will reveal myself to him. When people do not understand the deity of Christ, it is not because of their heads, but because of their hearts. For any heart that wants to know God, not because I am trying to memorize my denomination’s doctrines. I am not trying to get to know God so I can get one upmanship, but I want to know God. God will reveal to you His Son. He will reveal to you the truth as to who Jesus is, the Son of the living God, his being, and the one who is and was and is coming again, the one who was with God and is God and came to this earth and dwelt among us full of grace and truth. That only can be revealed to you by God, not figured out in your head, but revealed by the Spirit. So Jesus told us about that when he said to Peter, the Son of Jonah, “this was not revealed to you by man but by my Father in heaven.”

2 Peter 1:1
1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours

Who did the apostle Peter think Jesus was? He thought he was God and Savior. What would you have to say about Peter in regard to that? You would have to say he was a nut who believed it, or was an imposter and said he believed it anyway, or he had come to realize by revelation that Jesus is exactly who he claimed to be and that is God. It is not any more complicated than that.

What about Thomas, that good old doubting Thomas. All of us have a little bit of doubting Thomas in us. And we probably have a lot of Peter, who has the tendency to deny the Lord when the heat comes up and to have a foot in your mouth more than you do than in your shoes. We all have those things in us. But Thomas was a doubter. Thomas said.

John 20:25
25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Thomas would not believe he was raised from the dead unless he saw. So I tell you, that was one doubter. Then you stop to think about it. Jesus said he was found in appearance as a man. When Jesus walked on the face of this earth, he had an earth suit on. He had ears, hands, eyes, and he got hungry. He got sleepy. He got tired. He experienced those kinds of things physically. You look at that, and somebody comes up and says, “I got some news for you. I am God.”. I could look on this side of the cross and this side of the resurrection and on this side of 2000 years of the testimony of people who have testified of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and I can look at this side from 1969, when I came to know Christ personally, and you want to know what, it is easier for me to believe today than it would for them back then.

When I was over in Israel a number of years ago, and stood at the Sea of Galilee, and saw fishermen, probably dressed identically as they were dressed back in those days. I saw people walk on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. I saw sheepherders in the markets of Jerusalem. I saw people who have not progressed, as far as we are concerned, in over 2000 years. They dressed the same and the circumstances are the same.

I look back at that, and say, “How easy would it be to believe Jesus is God, regardless of what he did, seeing him step out on one of those boats, and started speaking to people? You would know He spoke as no other man spoke. You know He spoke with authority, not with a loud voice, but with truth. He did not speak like anyone else. He spoke truth. You saw that, and you saw the miracles.

When you think about Thomas and the resurrection, how many people have seen someone dead and then alive again? The stone is rolled away and Jesus is raised from the dead, and you look and say, “How can that be?” Doubting Thomas was saying, “Look, until I can put my finger in his hands and put my fist in his side. I will not believe.”

John 20:25
25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

So what did Jesus do? He just walked through a wall. That would get your attention too! So he picked up a conversation that had taken place, that no one would know what had been said, except God as present. So he picked up the conversation with them as if he had been there the whole time.

John 20:26-27
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

What did that do to doubting Thomas?

John 20:28
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

He recognized Jesus as who he was, God. Even there, how was that revealed? By the Father. He could have tucked his hand in his side and still not understood he was God. The very same thing he said to Peter.

Matthew 16:15-17
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.

The same thing for Thomas, despite the physical evidence. The truth of God had to be revealed by the Father, just as it has to be revealed to you and me today.

The same thing happened to Mary of Bethany.

John 11:25-27
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?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

And to the centurion.

Matthew 27:54
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

These were people who had just been involved in the crucifixion of God Himself. They saw the physical things that took place, the earthquakes and the sky darkened. Something had to be stirring something in their own hearts in the midst of this kind of thing. Again, God had to reveal something. “Surely he was the Son of God.”

You see this also with Nathaniel in John 1:49.

John 1:49
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

Then you read about Philip, who found Nathaniel, in John 1:45, and told him.

John 1:45
45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

Then, of course, the very famous passage of John the Baptist in John 1:29.

John 1:29
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Friends, John the Baptist’ job was to baptize because the one who sent him to baptize told him that the one you see a dove descend upon is the Messiah.

John 1:29-34
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”[f]

You can imagine the anticipation of John the Baptist’ ministry. Every day he was asking, “Is this the one?” Every man who walked into those waters, he had the privilege of baptizing, and wondering, “Is this the one?” Then one day a man came who was the one. John the Baptist, in the baptizing of Jesus, a dove descended on him, thus fulfilling prophecy told to him. So John the Baptist revealed the Messiah to the nation of Israel.

How did that come about? By revelation. That was revealed by the Father to John the Baptist as to who is Jesus Christ. My friends, the same thing is true today. That kind of truth is spiritual truth. When scripture says, “He is Spirit and you must worship Him in Spirit and in truth”, we must realize these are spiritual things and spiritual things must be discerned spiritually.

1 Corinthians 2:14
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

Natural man cannot discern the things of God. They sound foolish to him. But the mind of the spiritual man does not need anybody’s interpretation. In other words, Christ will reveal it to you if you let Him. That is a big thing. God does not need our intellect. He does not need our knowledge of Greek or Hebrew, English or Japanese or anything else. That is not the issue. What he needs is a teachable heart, a heart of God. “Lord, Jesus I believe you and I believe when you say you are my teacher and if the Holy Spirit of God living in me is there to lead me into all truth. Lord Jesus, I trust you to do that. So if I am going to understand what this passage means, you are going to have to reveal it to me.“

The well-known C.S. Lewis made this observation. “If you had gone to Buddha and asked him, ‘Are you the son of Rama?’, he would have said, ‘My son you are still in the veil of illusion.’ If you would have gone to Socrates, and asked, “Are you Zeus?’, he would have laughed at you. If you would have gone to Mohammad, “Are you Allah?’, he would first rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, ‘Are you heaven?’, I think he would probably have replied ‘Remarks that are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.’”

The idea of a great moral teacher, saying what God said, is out of the question. The only person who could say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic, suffering from delusion that undermines the whole mind of man. Those who knew Jesus Christ best and walked with him and shared their lives with him also claimed that he was God. Jesus claimed he was God. The people who walked with him claimed he was God. If these witnesses knew he was not God, but claimed he was, what would you conclude about them? We talked about that. If he thought he was God, and he was not God, then you would also have to conclude something else about him. So what can you conclude about the testimony of these witnesses. They certainly claimed he was God. But Christ claimed he came into the world to reveal the Father to us.

John 17:25-26
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

John 17:3
3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

The story is told of a true story of a member of the Hindu sect that was confronted with the claims of Christ. He belonged to the James religion. In that religion, all life was sacred, a cow, an insect, the cobra, all were sacred. Yet he could not grasp the Christian concept that God actually visited this planet in the person of Jesus Christ. A number of college students were witnessing to him continually about Jesus Christ. His response to it was, “I understand God. I pray to Him seven times a day. But I do not understand this Jesus coming to this earth. I don’t understand that.”

One day, we are told he was walking through a field, wrestling in his own mind about this concept of God. He looked down and observed an ant hill in the path of a farmer plowing the field. He came gripped with concern inasmuch as it was obvious that the farmer was going to plow through this ant hill and obviously was going to destroy some of the ants that to him were sacred. So his heart went out to the ants, probably the same way that our hearts would go out to some people who were trapped in a burning building. He wanted to warn them of impending danger that was coming. How is he going to warn them? He thought to himself, “I could shout to them and call down to them, but they would not hear. I could write a letter to them, but they would be able to read. How could I communicate with them?”

Then the realization came. Out of sheer love and desperation, he wished he could become an ant. If I could just become an ant. If this could have been possible, he could have warned them before it was too late. All of a sudden the concept that had been told to him, expressed to him, the truth of Christ, was revealed by God. He realized that that is what God was doing. That is what these Christians are talking about. He wrote to us but we were not reading. He called us but we were not hearing. So God became a man.

John 1:14
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Does it not make sense, folks, that this person who is regarded as the greatest teacher, the greatest example, the greatest leader the world has ever known, would be as he claimed himself to be, and those who knew him to be so testified, as the one and only person who could bridge the separation between God and man?

I remember, a number of years ago, when I was in high school, and as I mentioned before, my mom and dad were not born again Christians. My dad was a very religious man. We went to church. He was about the most moral man I had ever known. To me, a very frustrating example. They were basically mid-western, good, honest people, God-fearing people. We never heard about being born again. That was not in our vocabulary. That was never told. Yet there was a belief in Jesus. My dad believed that Jesus certainly was the Messiah. He read a lot of religious books. What he could not understand was his virgin birth. He just could not comprehend that. But he believed for some reason that he was the Messiah. I didn’t even know who the Messiah was. I could care less at the time, but I knew Jesus was Him. I did know that no man on earth could ever supersede Christ. There was no human being who was ever here like him. He is unique to all history. As a matter fact, you could say history is His story.

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