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Sunday, March 2, 2014 am                Basics Index

BACK TO BASICS 8
March Theme – The Godhead
Who is Jesus?

 As we study back to basics this year, we have addressed the subject of God and the Bible as His word.  We now turn our attention to the Triune God.  This month, I intend to present 4 lessons in our theme:
1) Who is Jesus?  2) Is Jesus God?  3) Who is the Holy Spirit? (Is He God?) 4) What is the work of the Holy Spirit?

We will also address next Sunday night, The virgin birth of Jesus and His resurrection. It is crucial that we understand these 2 subjects as fact.  Our faith depends on it!

Today, we want to introduce Jesus.  In a theme such as the one we are engaging in this year, this lesson is a challenge trying to give a fundamental introduction to Him.  Over the course of 3 years we studied the life of Jesus in detail from His birth to His death, resurrection and ascension.  In our lesson today we want to introduce who Jesus is and why He is fundamental to our faith.  In this lesson we will notice 5 points about His life.

 I.                    Jesus is our Savior

a.        One of the key concerns that we need to address is the problem of sin.  We are all sinners (Rom. 3:23).  God has defined what sin is (1 John 3:4, James 4:17, Rom. 14:22-23) and the consequences of sin (Rom. 6:23).   Because His is the standard we are to follow, His will is also the way that we overcome sin.

b.       God sent Jesus into this world so that we might be saved – John 3:16.
When Jesus was born, the angels announced, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

c.        Jesus even acknowledged that He came for our salvation –

                                                   i.      “And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”” (Luke 19:9–10)

                                                  ii.      The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

d.       Our salvation is a continually emphasized message in scripture.

                                                   i.      Rom. 5:6-11 describes how God demonstrated His love in sending Jesus. 

                                                  ii.      1 John 4:14 says, “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

                                                iii.      1 John 2:2, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

                                                iv.       Eph. 1:7 – in He we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

                                                  v.      Philippians 3:20,  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

 II.                  He is the focal point of history

a.        Rest assured, Jesus was sent to this earth so that we might be saved.  And a most remarkable thing about His coming to this earth is the timing.

b.       Paul told the Galatians, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)  
Ephesians 1:7-10 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

c.        Prior to His coming there was great anticipation.  There was a great need that transcended that of a single nation.  There were prophecies that validated His coming.  He came at a time when His purpose could be carried out.  Since that time, NO ONE has impacted history like He did.

d.       In 1926, James A. Francis wrote an essay entitled: One Solitary Life. His essay has had far reaching impact and has been slightly modified. Later versions read like this:  He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.  He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college. He never visited a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind's progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that One Solitary Life.

e.       It has been estimated that in all the time of history there have been about 60 billion people that have walked on this planet.  And in that time, only a handful of people have many any real, lasting impression on the world.  And of that handful, NONE can compare to Jesus. 
He never wrote a book, yet MORE attention has been given to His teachings: More criticism, more opposition, more adoration and more devotion.  Every word He spoke, that we have, has been studied, scrutinized, analyzed, debated and preserved far above that of any other philosopher, historian, author or scientist.  Some 2000 years this side of His time on the earth – He is studied by millions every hour of day.  Books about Him can be found freely in book stores and libraries, both public and private. 
He never painted a picture as far as we know, yet some of the greatest art in the world is about Him (right or wrong) including paintings, theatre and some of the greatest hymns.
He never raised an army, yet millions have died for Him throughout history.
He never traveled far from home, yet his teachings have travelled around and around and around the world.  He started with just a handful of disciples, but it didn’t take long for that number to grow exponentially.  Even in the first century, Colossians 1:23 tells us his gospel was preached “to every creature under heaven.”  Today, roughly 1/3 of this world’s population believes in Him (more than 2 billion).  His birth divides history (BC & AD).  His teachings unite and divide nations and the world.  His impact is so great, that his enemies seek to discredit and destroy His teachings.  Mankind may not accept Him, but He CANNOT be ignored![1]

 III.                He is our Mediator

a.        Because of our sins, we need an advocate to intercede on our behalf.  Jesus is our advocate. 

b.       Jesus came to this earth to be our advocate.

1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
The word “advocate” is a word that means to call to one’s side.  The idea is one who appears on behalf of another.  In legal terms, we would equate it to a lawyer or mediator.  The same word is translated “Helper” describing the Holy Spirit in John 14:16, 26, etc.

c.        The Hebrew writer explained how

Jesus came as a High Priest.  Hebrews 2:17–18 tells us, “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

One of the works of the High Priest was to offer yearly the sacrifice of atonement for Israel’s sins.  Jesus came and offered a sacrifice that is “once and for all” time. 
As our eternal High Priest, Heb. 7:25 says, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

d.       1 Tim. 2:5 says,   For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

e.       While on this earth, Jesus demonstrated how He was an advocate.  It is seen in the way He helped the poor and needy.  IT is seen in the instructions Jesus gave us on how to live.  And ultimately, it is seen in the price He paid for our sins on the cross.

f.         Today, when we pray God it is through Jesus – Eph. 2:18 tells us that it is through Jesus that we have access to the Father. 

g.        Because of this we can put our trust in Him.  Heb. 4:16 tells us “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

 IV.                He is our example

a.        In 1 Cor. 11:1 Paul said we are to imitate Christ (following his example)

b.       While on this earth, Jesus lived His life without sin.  He resisted temptation, He cared about everyone and He firmly taught the truth.  But one thing we must clearly understand is that He lives as a man and was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin (Phil. 2:5-7, Heb. 4:15-16). 

c.        Eph. 5:1-2 tells us to be imitators of God as dear children.
1 Pet. 2:21 tells us that Christ suffered for us leaving us an example.
1 John 2:6 says, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

d.       We will never find a better example of how to live than our Lord Jesus Christ.

 V.                  He is our hope

a.        Because Jesus came to this earth, we have purpose beyond the boundaries of our flesh.   Jesus came to this earth no just to take care of our sins but also to provide us something better. 

b.       He told His Martha at the death of Lazarus, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”” (John 11:25–26)
John 14:1-3 He told His apostles that He was going to prepare a place for them.  A place with mansions, etc.

c.        Hebrews 11:13-16 speaks of the great examples of Biblical faith dying not having received the promise but they looked for something better and God has prepared a city for them. 
In Vs. 39-40 we read, “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” NOTICE how our hope is the same as theirs. 

d.       And isn’t that why we choose to live for Him?  Heb. 6:19 – our hope is an anchor of the soul.
1 John 3:2-3, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

 There are so many other things that we could say about Jesus.  May we, as we are reminded of these things, strive to live for Him so that when this life is over we may live WITH Him.  Understanding this is fundamental to our faith.