Who has all power in heaven and earth? God does. Listen to what Jesus said, Matthew 28 18, and Jesus came and spoke to them saying, all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Now, maybe you're sitting there going, wow, you're really going over and over and over this thing. Yes, I am, because I've heard some Christians not be able to explain to somebody why they believe that Jesus Christ is God.
I've heard some Christians being unable to quote scripture to validate that Jesus Christ is God. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is a senior pastor of The Bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. As we begin in the book of John, we have one of David McGee's associate pastors, D.A.
Brown, with us today. And D.A., what are some of the things that we want to look at in this next teaching? Hey, Bob. It's important to know what we believe and why we believe it. Today, Pastor David takes some time to see what does the Bible say about who Jesus is and how does that affect our life? You're right, D.A., and in this passage where John is talking about how divine Jesus was, this is really important to our faith because this is a message. Jesus is a message directly to us from God himself. Yeah, Bob, does the Bible say Jesus was God? Do you believe that Jesus was God?
Well, why does that matter and how will it impact your day-to-day living? Well, let's find out as David McGee begins teaching through John chapter 1. So we're going to start in the Gospel of John today.
We're starting a new book, so you'll turn with me there. This is a little bit different than the other three Gospels. The other three Gospels are referred to as synoptic.
And what that means is they kind of parallel one another. A lot of events correlate in them, but John kind of stands alone. And one of the things that John emphasizes is the godhood of Jesus Christ. Now, John was thought to be the cousin of Jesus, and it's interesting because some of the liberal scholars said that this Gospel of John was written after the second century. You know what's always interesting is every time a liberal theologian or a scholar comes up with something, it always seems like there's some discovery that debunks it. And what happened with John is they found a copy, a piece of it, in Egypt that dates back to 135 AD. Well, obviously, to get from Israel to Egypt took a matter of years where they could have enough copies floating around, so we believe that it was written somewhere between 70 and 90 AD. So let's jump in.
Man, and this is some meaty stuff here. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. Now, it's interesting because there's some schools of thought out there now that say that Jesus Christ was not God. As a matter of fact, the Da Vinci Code gets into that there was this huge conspiracy in order to deify Jesus Christ.
If you know the historical facts, if you know some of the archaeological facts, it's very easy to shoot down the blasphemous lies that are in the Da Vinci Code. But it's interesting because Pliny the Younger, who was a pagan, wrote of the early Christians to the Emperor Trajan in 112 AD. This is early on, and said that Christians would gather on a fixed day, and they would sing words to Christ as God. Now, guys, this is in 112 AD, and this is historical fact. And part of what the Da Vinci Code is saying is that this was incorporated in 300, 400 AD under Constantine.
It's simply a lie. And notice that it says the Word was with God. Now, understand this Word is it's logos.
We usually pronounce it logos in the Greek. We'll get into the definition. But, you know, Jehovah's Witnesses use this first by taking it out of context and its obvious meaning. When it uses the word in the beginning was the Word, not is the Word, but was the Word, that means that at the beginning of time, the Word already existed.
Now, what is this Word referring to? It's referring to Jesus Christ. Now, for the believer, for the Christian, one of the cornerstones of our faith is the deity of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was and is God.
And there's other world religions, Muslims, for instance. Jews believe Jesus was a prophet. Drew's believe that he was a prophet. A lot of people believe he was a prophet. But Christianity stands alone in saying Jesus was God. Jesus considered himself to be God. He refers in John 17, 5. He says, And now, O Father, glorify me together with yourself with the glory which I had with you before the world was. Now, if you're taking notes, you probably want to jot down these addresses because somewhere along the line, you're going to run into somebody that questions the deity of Jesus Christ.
And it's important that we be prepared to give to every man an answer. See, Jesus here says, before the world was, he was with the Father. Now, you're going to see in certain places in the Gospel of John where Jesus refers to himself as I am. I am this. I am this.
I am that. That is a phrase that to a Jewish person, you knew immediately that he was claiming to be deity. Well, how do we know that? Because you go back to Exodus chapter 3 verse 6, and it says, Moreover, he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look upon God.
And we skip down to verse 14. And God said to Moses, I am who I am. That's the definition of Yahweh.
Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I am has sent me to you. Now, it's interesting that Jesus takes this phrase, which was used in Exodus and mentions it many, many, many times in the Gospel of John. And one of the things that John is doing is portraying Jesus as God and also as man.
Now, don't be confused about that. And I've heard people say, well, he was half God and he was half man. Theologically, that's a bad statement. He was 100% man. He was 100% God. He didn't leave his godhood behind, and he wasn't just half a man.
But he uses these I am statements. In John 6 48, he said, I am the bread of life. In John 8 12, he said, I am the light of the world. John 10 9, I am the door. John 10 11, I am the good shepherd. John 11 25, I am the resurrection and the life. John 14 6, I am the way, the truth, and the life.
John 15 1, I am the true vine. Now, it's interesting in those situations, almost every one of those situations, when he used that phrase, the Pharisees got freaked out. Now, whenever you see the Pharisees getting freaked out, it's a big hint that something has gone on. And quite frequently, sometimes we read past that. But whenever you see that, stop, because that's a spiritual signal that something just happened that maybe we don't understand. So whenever you see the Pharisees getting freaked out, ask yourself, why are these guys freaked out?
Now, they kind of lived freaked out. You know, when Jesus would say certain things, they would get really freaked out. So that's a big hint when you're studying the Bible. And Jesus made claims. I've heard people say, well, Jesus Christ never claimed to be God.
What Bible are you reading? John 14 9 says, he that has seen me has seen the Father. And that's an interesting discussion between him and the disciples that we'll get into later. John chapter 10 verse 30, he says, I and my Father are one. This is a claim to be God.
This is a claim to be deity. Mark chapter 2 verse 5 says, and when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, Son, your sins are forgiven you. And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, why does this man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone? Man, they were so close, weren't they? Jesus sat there and forgave sins, and then they made the comment, who can forgive sins except God alone?
Man, they were so close. If they had just made the next step in logic, well, if only God can forgive sins, and this guy's forgiven sins, he must be God. Jesus is called God by Thomas in John chapter 20 verse 27. Then he said to Thomas, reach your finger here and look at my hands, and reach your hand here and put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing. And Thomas answered and said to him, my Lord and my God. And if you read that passage, you're not going to find that Jesus corrected him. Jesus received his worship as his Lord and as his God.
And for all that we run Thomas down for, he hits a home run here. Who has all power in heaven and earth? God does. Listen to what Jesus said, Matthew 28 18. And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Now maybe you're sitting there going, wow, you're really going over and over and over this thing. Yes, I am, because I've heard some Christians not be able to explain to somebody why they believe that Jesus Christ is God. I've heard some Christians being unable to quote scripture to validate that Jesus Christ is God.
And it's very important as there's a lot of weirdness out there. So look at this, Jesus walked on water, the winds and the seas abate him. He gave sight to the blind. He gave hearing to the deaf. He cast out demons.
He made the lame to walk. He turned water to wine. He healed the sick, and he raised the dead.
Jesus Christ was and is God. Amen. We'll be right back with more from David McGee on Cross the Bridge. Right now, here's a word from associate pastor D.A.
Brown. Hey Bob, we want to take a minute to pray for some listeners in these cities. In California, we have Fort Bragg, Garberville, Grass Valley, Happy Camp, Hay Fork, Indio, and Johnstonville. God, we thank you for the people tuning in today in these cities. Lord, we pray that they're encouraged in what you're laying on their heart to do. We pray that they would put their trust in you and get plugged in a Bible teaching church. We pray for the pastors, Lord, that they would have wisdom and discernment, how to encourage the people to come to hear the Word. And Lord, we ask you, bless these cities. In Jesus' name, amen. Amen.
Thank you, brother. And now, let's get back to David McGee as he continues teaching verse by verse. In verse 3, all things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made. Interesting words there in verse 2, in the beginning.
Does it remind you of anything? The same three words begin the book of Genesis. Go back to verse 1, in the beginning.
Is that just a happenstance that the Gospel of John, verse 1, chapter 1 says in the beginning? You go back to Genesis, chapter 1, verse 1, and it says, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. I have every reason to doubt the Word of evolutionists.
I have no reason to doubt the Word of God, which tells me very clearly, very plainly about the origin of mankind. And if you think about it, the rejection of the biblical account of creation is genocide. It wipes out the whole human race. It wipes away our purpose. It wipes away our meaning. It wipes away the fact that we were created in the image of God. And by the way, if you're sitting there right now and you're going, well, I'm a theistic evolutionist. And what that was meant by that is theistic meaning you believe God and you also believe evolution, so you kind of mix the two together to get some hodgepodge. It doesn't say, it doesn't say in the beginning, God made slime. It's not this thing of, you know, from the goo to the zoo to you. And yet so many people begin with a first verse of the Bible to doubt the Word of God.
Guys, you can't do that. You know, praise God, you don't have to cut off your head to believe the Bible. As a matter of fact, it takes a lot more faith to believe in evolution.
I'm so sorry. It takes more faith to believe in that than the creation account. You've got people with PhDs and whatnot and creation scientists that to me show beyond the shadow of a doubt that God created man. And we've come up with these, well, you know, it just took millions and millions and millions and millions of years. You know, time doesn't even allow me to shoot all the holes I could into evolution. But, you know, this watch is not that complicated. And if I took it apart and put it in a bag and shook the bag, do you think it would turn back into a watch?
Well, what if I shook it a long time? Still not going to turn into a watch in the beginning. The Bible speaks in certainty and absolute truth. And, you know, while godless people run around trying to conjure up and guess at how man came about, we have the wisdom of God saying, in the beginning, God created.
Period. We can know that. Isn't that amazing? Some of the best minds in the world are still trying to figure this out and we know. Isn't that cool? Isn't that cool?
And all the other questions too. Is there life after death? What's this life about? You read your Bible? You believe your Bible?
You know these things. What a gift from God. And see, and the darkness of speculation ends where the brightness of God's word shines. Colossians chapter 1 verse 16 says, for by him all things were created that are in heaven and there on earth visible and invisible whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers all things were created through him and for him and he is before all things and in him all things consist. So life lesson number two is we can trust the Bible above all other books. It's interesting over time seeing those who accuse the Bible of different things and, you know, even this gospel, the liberal theologians were disproven because of the Rylands fragment that was found in Egypt. We talked before that they said, well, the book of Daniel is too accurate prophetically because it says the exact day Jesus Christ came into Jerusalem. There's too many other prophecies. So it must have been written after the fact. It must have been written after Jesus came.
Well, then they had a big uh-oh because the Dead Sea Scrolls and they had a fragment of Daniel that was dated back to 160 BC, 160 years before Christ came. So it's interesting to see these things. Guys, understand some people don't want to believe God created us because they don't want to believe God because if they believe God created us, then they are accountable to the Lord and that's what they're avoiding. It's not the concept of creation. It's what creation brings you to as a person. Well, if God created me, what does he desire from me?
What am I to do in that relationship? So guys, don't choose to believe some new bestseller, but believe the bestseller. Amen.
The bestseller of all time. And it's interesting again, and I like the phrase, the word of God is the anvil that has worn out many hammers. So this Greek word in here, word, so this Greek word in here, word, is logos or logos. Now you may be wondering why is John using the word to name Jesus? Well, logos means divine communication, divine communication. And this is something that the word of God and the son of God have in common. Jesus Christ is the divine communication to us as well as the word of God is the divine communication to us. It's God's expression to mankind, God's message to mankind, God's divine communication to mankind.
I think sometimes we forget that this word is supernatural. It has the power to change lives. Isaiah chapter 55 verse 11 says, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth. It shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. I love that verse.
It shall not return to me void. It will accomplish that which I please. In Life lesson 3, Jesus and the Bible are God's message and revelation to mankind. Verse 4, in Him was life and the life was the light of men.
These verses are so deep. These two words are used, light and life. In Him, in Jesus was life and the life was the light of men. And these are great words to describe Jesus, aren't they?
Light and life. Have you ever noticed how much death goes with sin? As a former rock musician, there was a whole lot of death that went with the sinful nature of man.
Romans talks about that. There's just so much death that goes with sin. You can go into a bar and it's just dark and dingy and people are dying.
People are killing themselves. So there's death with sin, but have you ever noticed how much life there is in the Lord? There's a joy. There's a just an awesome experience of life when you're walking with the Lord. Maybe you're here this morning and you're thinking, well, I don't know what to do.
I don't know what to do when you're walking with the Lord. Maybe you're here this morning and you've been saved for a number of years, but remember, remember when you first got saved? Man, the sky was bluer. The grass was greener.
You just, every flower was just awesome. That was life being stirred up in you. As a matter of fact, Jesus had so much life in him that he wouldn't stay dead. See, the Lord gives you an opportunity to experience a fullness of life that you cannot have outside of an experience, outside of not having a relationship with the Lord. But then you contrast that to somebody that's trying to hold on to their life, trying to grab, trying to get, get, get, get, get, get.
That's pretty much the mentality in America today, isn't it? Get, get, get, get. And it's kind of telling when you ask somebody, what are you doing?
I'm getting this and I'm getting that, and I hope to get this, that, and the other. What are you left with after all that? Sand running through your hands.
You can't hold on to sand. That's what Jesus was talking about when he said, you know what? If you seek your life, you're going to lose it.
But if you give it away, you'll find it. And talking to people, well, what are you doing? Well, I'm going, I'm going to get an education. Well, that's great.
Getting education is good. What are you going to do then? I'm going to get me a job.
Well, that's good. What are you going to do after you get a job? I'm going to get me a house. That's good.
Get your house. Then what? I'm going to get me a wife. Well, that's a good thing.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing. What are you going to do then? I'm going to get me some kids. Well, that's a good thing.
Kids are good. What then? I don't know. Grow old. What then?
Well, one day I guess I'll die. What then? See, while the world sits here and says, get, get, get, Jesus stands to the side and says, give, give, give, and you'll discover what living for me is all about.
There's a fullness in the relationship. We've probably all seen people that, you know, they know the Lord, but they're not really walking with the Lord. I call them fence sitters. There's different names that you can, pew potatoes.
We don't have pews, so we can't have pew potatoes here. So, but you know what I've noticed? Those people are often more miserable than people who don't know the Lord because they're not walking in that fullness of joy and they're miserable. And my heart breaks because occasionally I do see people here that fit that description and my heart breaks for them because, you know, they're not walking in the thing of sin, but they're not experiencing the joy of the Lord. They're stuck right there in the middle and they're miserable. And friend, I hope that doesn't describe you.
If it does, you can make a change this morning. And the sad thing is a lot of damage has been done to the body of Christ by these people because there they are, they're miserable. And then what do they do? They, they try to witness to somebody, which is a little scary.
Which is a little scary, you know? I mean, there they go, they've been baptized in vinegar or something. And then they'll go up to somebody, don't you want this joy that I've got?
And you're thinking, no, I don't. Looks like you got all the joy in the world, brother. But there's a vibrancy of living for the Lord that, you know, the enemy, he wants to rip you off. He doesn't want you walking in the fullness of this joy. He doesn't want you living the abundant life, but that's what God desires to give you.
Don't let the enemy keep ripping you off. There is so much more in walking with the Lord. And when you're not walking in that surrendered life, you're going to be miserable. Jesus is life. Jesus wants to give us life.
And he's also called light. And light helps you see, and it warms you and causes things to grow. And these are things that Jesus does to us. He helps us to see. He warms us. He causes us to grow. These aren't just words that are thrown in without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is saying, this is Jesus, light and life. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Now, God wants you to pray this prayer so much that he died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask him to forgive you.
Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.
And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.
Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. Jesus said he would not turn anybody else anybody away who comes to him.
And he came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. So congratulations, friend. You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. You can visit crossthebridge.com to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ.
Or you can write to Cross the Bridge at P.O. Box 12515, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27117, and share how God is working in your life. Well, D.A., before we go, what are some ways that we can bless our listeners? Each day you can wake up with encouragement from Pastor David through the Word of God, with his email devotional, life lessons to consider, a daily reading plan, and a thought to meditate on throughout your day from the heart of David McGee.
That sounds good, Pastor D.A., and again, it's been great to have you with us on the program today. But tell us, what else can our listeners find on crossthebridge.com? If you're not able to make it to your home church this Sunday, why not join us for our live stream at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, or on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. Eastern Time? Just visit crossthebridge.com and click on our live stream link. There, you'll experience a live service from David's Home Church, The Bridge in North Carolina. Again, that website is crossthebridge.com. Thanks again for listening, and join us next time as David McGee continues teaching verse by verse in the Gospel of John.
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