Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P6 (10-14-20)
God has made Himself known to all men through His Son, in how He lived and in what He has done. The Spirit has gone into all the world. There is nowhere His voice has not been heard. God the Father sent His only Son into this world and the Holy Spirit revealed the Son to men, as the one whom He claimed to be, God, and God is Spirit. Those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
Jesus came to proclaim truth into the hearts of men, truth about themselves, their sinful condition, their condition of spiritual death, and about their need of life and that life is the life that is in Christ, who is eternal life. If you have the Son, you have that life. So He is not far from any one of you. His Spirit is drawing all men unto Himself. Will you believe the message and receive new life in Christ Jesus?
Wise men will seek to know God. They will look intently into the words of Christ, and have a heart open to hear and receive truth. But once you are found by God, there is nothing more to seek. When you have Christ, you have all of God living in you. You do not seek the Father because if you know the Son, you know the Father also, for Jesus said, “I and the Father are one”. You do not seek the Spirit for the Holy Spirit came to reveal Jesus to us. The Spirit is in Christ Jesus, and is now living in you, the moment in time when you placed your faith in Christ. The Spirit is sealed in you as a promise of the day of the redemption of your body and will never leave you or forsake you.
So you might ask, “How do I come to know the Lord?” None of us are born spiritually alive. We are born alive physically, obviously, but were born dead to God, our spirit being alive to this world but dead to God. That is why we have self-centeredness and have feelings of being empty inside or wondering about the meaning and purpose of life. What is missing is the Spirit of God living in us. That is what God came to put into mankind that once was in Adam, but left Adam and the entire human race because of sin. Sin is what caused our death, that death to God, ultimately to a physical death but also to an eternal separation from God forever unless a solution is provided.
What motivated God to rescue mankind from a certain death is His love. He saw our condition of death and our need for life. In order for life to be given, the problem of sin and death must be solved. That is solved by Jesus dying in our place, to satisfy the requirement of death for sin for us that the law demands. Now, since Jesus shed his blood on a cross, sin and death are out the way from God’s vantage point. And, since Jesus has risen from the dead, He lives forevermore to intercede for man. The only requirement for man is to come to Christ for life, not a temporal life, but eternal life. This life is in His Son. Are you in Him?
So man must recognize he is a sinner, and that sin is the cause of His death. It is not so much that he sinned, but that he is totally bankrupt and cannot save himself from a certain death. There is no amount of good works or deeds that will satisfy the just punishment of death for sin. Death is just too great a price for sinful man to pay. Now that I grasp my condition of death because of sin, I can now appreciate and understand the meaning of the cross for me. Jesus shed blood on a cross is what took away the sins of the entire world, mine included.
But, I still need life. Until I receive the life of God, eternal life, I am still dead in my sins. The forgiveness of sins is only received in Him. But I need more than forgiveness of sins. I need to be able to live. How did Christ live? By faith. He lived like a man was intended to live, in total dependency on His Father. Although being God, He lived like man was intended to live when man was created with the Spirit of God living in Him.
So, when Jesus was raised from the dead, He offered the same life living in Him to us. Having a personal relationship of trust in the living God is where life is. Do you want joy and peace? Do you want to experience what is truly life? Then come to Christ to receive what He came to give, eternal life, and let Him renew your mind so you can walk in the new way of the Spirit? This is eternal life, to know God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Many people have wondered, or have been greatly troubled, over whether you can lose your salvation. First of all, it is not your salvation. You did not come to save God nor could you even save yourself. God came to do something for you that you could never do for yourself. As Jesus said, if you have the Son, you have the life, eternal life. If you have the Son, then you have His salvation, Him living in you, who will never leave you or forsake you, for He completed all the work required for mankind to be saved. And the life He gave is His life, which is eternal, having no beginning and no end. Jesus is God and God is Spirit and God has no beginning and no end. If you have Christ, then you have everything and you cannot lose what is eternal.
But if you do not have Christ, then you cannot lose what you do not have because you never had eternal life to begin with. If you are seeking to be saved by any other way than through what God provided in His Son, through His death, burial and resurrection for you, then you are a thief and a robber, as Jesus told the religious leaders in His day. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” and “No one comes to the Father except through me.” There is no other way to receive this life. He tells us this because He wants us to know the truth and to come to Him to receive life through the means He provided. He loves you that much!
So, once again, Jesus was saying if you want to know the Father, you are going to get to know me. It is a strange thing, again, that I see in some evangelical circles today, where there is a new emphasis that I see developing, and people talking about, about the Fatherhood of God, talking about getting to know the Father more. They are out seeking Old Testament passages, and seeking this, to try to get to know the Father, where Jesus said, “if you want to get to know the Father, you are going to get to know me.”
So here are people, once again, I think, who are getting bored with Jesus. In other words, saying, “he does not have any meaning to us.” That is true if all he is is a character in a book. Christ is alive, and he came to live inside you and me. He is not a character in a book. He is not someone to study about in a book. He is someone to experience in your life. When Christ is real to you and you know Him and He knows you, and you experience daily His love, His forgiveness, His mercy and kindness, and His fellowship and all of those things that come from a personal relationship with the living God, you are not seeking anything anymore.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Jesus said you will find me, to knock and the door will be opened. Who is he talking about? Himself. “When you come to me you will never thirst again. Anyone who comes to me will never be hungry again.
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
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
When I see so-called evangelical Christians running around, and very popular ones incidentally, talking about seeking, I have to say, “No wonder you are seeking because obviously you have not found. No wonder you are knocking, because you have not found. Why would you be seeking? Why would you be thirsting when he says when you come to me you will never thirst again, and when you have eaten of me you will never be hungry again? Why in the world are these people representing themselves as Christian leaders? Why are they hungry? Why are they seeking? Why don’t they find?” What they are looking for is in the person of Christ Jesus. When you have found Him, you have found it all. There is nothing else to seek after you have found Him. There is nothing else to look for after you have found Him. It would be more accurate to say after He found us.
We have gone through the same thing when everyone is looking for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came to reveal Jesus. Recall what Jesus said.
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
The Holy Spirit is here. We do not need to examine and study the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came to reveal Jesus to us. What the Christian world is missing is the fact that when we have Christ we have it all. We are not out to seek Trinity. We do not have to seek the Father and the Holy Spirit. They all came to reveal Jesus. When you have Him, you have it all. So, I would pray that people who are getting into this type of thing, instead of taking off in a seeking process, for something he did not tell us to seek, will get back on course and be satisfied with their relationship with the living Christ, who lives in us and is our only hope of glory.
Now, again, where did Christ claim to be from?
33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
He identified himself as the bread of God. Remember he called himself the bread of life.
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.”
Where did he come from? Down from heaven. What did he come to give? Life to the world. What kind of life? Spiritual life.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Jesus is God. What did he come to give us? Spiritual life.
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
Once again, what were they thinking of? Well, the physical. “This guy is Joseph’s son. We know his father. We know his mother. How can he say he came down from heaven?” I think one of the things that I saw when I had the privilege of going over to Israel a number of years ago, walking by the sea of Galilee, taking a boat trip on the sea of Galilee, seeing places in Jerusalem, looking at people out on their boats, looking exactly like they did back in those biblical times, realizing those men out there, just kind of visualizing that could have been Peter and James and John, all those guys out there on those fishing boats. Then one of those guys climbs out of the boat and says, “I am Jesus of Nazareth. I am God.” I want to tell you, it brought me to the fact of how difficult it would have been to have believed had you not seen the evidence in his own life. It would have been a very difficult thing. We kind of look back and say, “How can those guys be so stupid? He was right there!” In some instances, it would be harder than it is today. For today, we have the Holy Spirit of God living in us who is bearing witness to that truth all the time. Of course, they did not have that until after his death, burial and resurrection. That did not happen until the day of Pentecost.
50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
I believe that when Jesus is identifying himself as the bread that came down from heaven, he is establishing where he came from. As mentioned, that would be a very difficult thing because he is a human being, and you would know his mother and father. And Joseph was assumed to be the father. It was not true, but it was the assumption. But they knew his parents. Later on, Joseph and Mary had additional children, so they also knew his younger brothers. And so, that would have been a difficult thing. Here is a person you knew physically, claiming to have come down from heaven. I really do not have as much of a problem, especially being over there, seeing that. I do not have as much of a problem understanding the confusion of the Pharisees, especially in light of the fact that the Holy Spirit of God had not been given to man as yet. Until after his death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit of God did not live in man.
(If you do a word search on the “Spirit of the Lord came”, you will see evidence of how the Holy Spirit came upon people in the Old Testament for a specific purpose.)
Now, I believe the Holy Spirit, as told in the Old Testament, came upon man for divine action and for divine revelation. So it was possible, obviously or the apostles would not have been there. It was possible for the Holy Spirit of God to have been moving on people for people to believe. In other words, helping them to see beyond the physical into the reality of the spiritual. He was claiming, therefore, to be the bread of life and came down from heaven.
58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
There again, I think that it is important for us to say, in comparison to what he is talking about here. He was talking about forefathers who ate manna. There was a Sabbath rest available to the Jews in the desert. They did not go in. They refused to go in because of their unbelief.
(You can read the account in Numbers 13-14, of the unbelief of the Jews and the result of having to wander in the wilderness for forty years.)
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
So instead, they settled in the desert, chowing down on manna. They died in the desert just chowing down on manna, furnished by God all the way but never entered into that Sabbath rest. So what was he saying here? “Here is bread that is different from the manna that kept you alive physically. That bread I offer to you is the bread of eternal life.” It is the Sabbath rest we have the privilege of entering into. It is the bread that came down from heaven. It is not just bread that could be made here on earth. It is bread and it is eternal. There again is a picture of eternal life that comes from faith in his physical death on a cross and his spiritual resurrection following the cross.
62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!
Jesus is claiming to be an eyewitness of two things, from above. There are many scriptures that amplify that He was saying that. “What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!” Jesus is saying, “You are not only looking at me but you are going to see me ascend. You are going to see me go back to where I came from.”
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
How did Christ describe God in John 4:24? He described him as Spirit.
19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”
“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
What we were just talking about. “If you want to get to know the Father, you get to know me. If you knew me, you would know my Father.”
44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.
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.
Again, as I was talking about earlier, we have to realize that from God’s vantage point, when you are talking about the Trinity, you are talking about one God, and that God decided to reveal Himself to us in His entirety through the third person of the Trinity, or God the Son. He chose to do that and the Son volunteered to do that. In essence, “I will go to the earth. I will die on a cross for the forgiveness of their sins. I will be raised from the dead on the third day, so they will not only know who I claimed to be, but that resurrected life will now be the source of their life, restoring them back to true humanity through a second birth. Anyone on the earth who has been obviously born once of water, by natural means, now I am going to provide for them spiritual birth. That will come through by my resurrected life.” What kind of a life does God have? Well, it is eternal. It has always been and always will be. It is an eternal life. When Christ comes to give you life, what kind of a life does He give you? Well, His life. What kind of life does He have? Eternal life. That is why, my friends, that He was able to say this in 1 John.
1 John 5:11
11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Where does eternal life come from? His Son.
1 John 5:11
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
What kind of life? The Son’s life. What kind of life is that? Eternal. So if you have the Son, you have the life, eternal life. Just what He said. If you do not have the Son, you do not have the life. What kind of life? Eternal life. You and I have temporal life until we get eternal life. We are not eternal beings. We are temporal beings. We are only going to live on this earth for a few brief physical years. There is another kind of life He made available to you and me, and that is a life called eternal life. Where is that life found? In the Son. It is simple as you could possibly get.
1 John 5:13-15
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
To know is not a hope so or wish so. If you have eternal life when does it begin? It says when you have the Son. When did you have the Son? At a point in time in history, when you as an act of faith, recognized yourself as an unbeliever. In other words, you had not become a believer in the fact that Jesus died for your sins personally. Before that ever becomes a reality or a need, you have to recognize your condition of being a sinner. If I do not recognize myself as being a sinner, why would I be appreciative of the one who came to die for my sins? I would have no need for that. It is like someone who has just eaten a ten course meal, and sees a commercial on television. He does not have a need for it any more. He is full. It is the same thing. If I am sitting there and I do not recognize myself as God said that I am, a sinner, then why would I be interested at all in forgiveness at the cross?
So Jesus came to this earth in order to provide for us total forgiveness, not partial forgiveness, but total forgiveness. He did not come to do as the atonement did and that was through the blood of bulls and goats to cover sin, called atonement. Atonement is not used in the New Testament. It is not a form of forgiveness in the New Testament. Atonement was through the blood of bulls and goats. It was a covering. Jesus did not come to cover our sins. He came to take them away.
1 John 2:2 (KJV)
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
How many times? Once. For how many? For all. For how long? Forever. How many of them? All of them. What about my future sins? How many of your sins were in the future when Jesus died for them 2000 years ago? Unless you are pretty old, I would think you would have to say all of them. He died for all of them.
We have some decisions to make, don’t we? There are some listening to me right now who have struggled with your eternal security, in many instances, for a long period of time in your life. It is not a doctrinal issue. It is not something, as some people say, “Oh, yes you can” and others say, “No, you cannot.” You cannot lose your salvation.
Quite frankly, it is a contradiction of terms. A person comes up and says, “Can I lose my salvation?” Yes, you can if it is yours but you cannot lose His. There is a world of difference between losing your salvation and losing His. If you came to Him for His salvation, then that is eternal. If you came to Him with the thought that this is my salvation, why then I guess you could say you could lose. But, in essence, you cannot lose what you never had. So you cannot lose that either. You just never had it to begin with. It was not my salvation. It is His. I do not possess my salvation. I possess His salvation. He is the one who came to this earth to save me. I did not go to Him to save Him.
So, we have to realize, my friends, as we are looking at the word of God, Jesus came from heaven down to us, seeing us in our condition and seeing our need for a life called eternal life. When the children are saying today, “get a life”, that is really a true statement. That is what we need, a life, but it is not a life that can be obtained down here. It is a life that has to be received from up there.
So we have to realize it is not my salvation, but His. His salvation is salvation that says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” It is salvation we were talking about before the break, that this is a record that God gave us eternal life. Prior to that, in essence, you were quick to believe man’s testimony about anything. You can go up to somebody and spread a rumor about somebody. We are so anxious to believe that and grab a hold of that. We are so quick to think ill of somebody because somebody put a bad thought in your mind about someone. We will believe it in Maine. We will never check it out. Never do anything. We will believe anything except the truth. Christ came to give us truth.
1 John 5:9-11
9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
When we come to Christ, there comes a point in time in history when we see our need for salvation, when we see ourselves as a sinner. We see ourselves as someone who has sinned, fallen short of the glory of God, and then we see the provision for that, and that is the cross. And we accept that. We are not born into this world accepting that. We did not come into this world seeing ourselves as a sinner at all. We came into this world as who we are, self centered, everything is okay, and I am okay and you are okay. We come to the point in life when we see our condition from God’s vantage point, as a sinner. Then we hear the words of Christ. “I came to forgive you of all of your sins.” He took them away. We then see ourselves in our condition, not just what we have done in sinning, but what we are, an unbeliever, dead in our sins, in the uncircumcision of our sinful nature and we suddenly realize that from God’s vantage point I am a dead man. As I see myself as spiritually dead, it is only then that the call for life is going to have any meaning to it. As I see myself as spiritually dead, and I hear Jesus say “I am your life. I came to give you life, eternal life.”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
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?”
I now see myself as spiritually dead and I hear the cry and call of God to give me life. I can either reject that life or I can accept that life. To reject it is to remain dead spiritually. To reject it is to remain, in essence, unforgiven, not because forgiveness has not been provided for me, but through my refusal to receive it and accept it. I am still dead, therefore, in my sins. I have not received a pardon for my sins. I have decided to stay in the cell instead of to walk out free.
Folks, you do not come to the Lord by being born into a Christian family. You do not come to the Lord because you are a Catholic or a Protestant or a Jew or any other man-made designation that we might have. You do not come to the Lord because you are born into a Christian family. You do not come to the Lord because you go to church. You do not come to the Lord because you study the bible. You come to the Lord by faith and by faith alone in what Jesus individually did for you as an individual. You come to Christ and are born again, when you as an individual, a single individual person, one at a time. God does not have any grandchildren, just children. Individually, you come to see your own condition, a sinner, lost, dead, and accept His call for life. When we do, we receive Him by faith. “Lord Jesus, I thank you for dying on the cross for forgiveness of all of my sins.”
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