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Fixing Our Eyes Upon Jesus, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
December 1, 2023 10:00 am

Fixing Our Eyes Upon Jesus, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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December 1, 2023 10:00 am

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace

These lines from Helen Lemel's famous hymn couple well with our text for today.  Hebrews 12:2 says, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  In this message, Pastor Rich challenges us to follow closely behind our leader and our trail-blazer.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. These lines from Helen Lemmel's famous hymn couple well with our text for today. Hebrews 12 to it says, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. In this message, Pastor Rich challenges us to follow closely behind our leader and our trailblazer, Jesus.

Let's listen in. This is the second part of the sermon titled Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus, which was first preached on December 9th, 2012. Did Jesus have to trust His Father? Yes, He did. To what degree did Jesus trust His Father?

Completely with abandon. So having known that, having seen that, having that revealed to us with and the eyewitness account of those days, recording to us in the scriptures, our task before us as is given to us when He says, Looking unto Jesus, what He's saying is, follow the leader. You are running a race.

It is the race of faith moving towards the objective. The writer of Hebrews says, as you're doing that, follow the leader. Follow the leader.

You have a leader, so follow Him. We find this again. I mentioned Hebrews chapter two, verse 10. It says, Bringing many sons to glory. That is His objective, the captain of our salvation in bringing many sons to glory. We are following Him to the destination.

Hebrews chapter six, verses 19 through 20. We studied this before as we got into the illustration of the boat, and that boat has an anchor that is anchored into the destination, and He is called the anchor of our soul. He is the forerunner to which we are headed.

Peter says in 1 Peter 3 18 that Christ has also suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. All of these statements saying the same thing, He is our leader, follow Him to that destination. What we have here in this statement is a very important point of the incarnation of God in the person of the second trinity, and that is that God gave us a man to follow. Prophets could say, Trust God and draw near to God.

I can stand before you and say, Trust God and draw near to God. But it is an entirely different thing to understand that God has not just said, Trust me and draw near to me. God has given us a man to follow in that direction. Very difficult for us to just follow a command or a concept, it is an entirely different thing to follow an actual man. And that is who Jesus Christ is.

He is the author, the archagos, the trailblazer of our faith, because He trusted His Father absolutely and perfectly. So as we have this man that God gave us to follow, God incarnate, the second person of the trinity, we are to follow Him. And that is the instruction from today's message, follow the leader. Now, as we are following Christ, we don't do so numbly or mechanically or slavishly.

This looks like a lot of fun, doesn't it? You know, like a Himalayan Sherpa carrying all the baggage behind the explorer that's going, I'm just following the leader, slavishly going along. Is that how I follow Christ?

Absolutely not. That's not what he's talking about. Jesus, as the pioneer of our faith, as the trailblazer, Jesus came for a reason. He lived for a purpose.

He died according to plan. And there was a point to everything He did, moving Him closer to His ultimate goal. In that way, we follow Jesus. We follow in His steps. He has told us that He gave us an example that we should do as He has done, that we should walk in His steps. And so we follow Him as, say, David did from the Old Testament. David, who was a man after God's own heart. David is known for having followed God with his whole heart. Was he distracted from time to time? Yes, he was. But he still followed God.

And he recognized that when he got distracted, it was the worst thing for him. The best thing for him was when he was wholeheartedly in pursuit of God. That is why he said in Psalm 63, my soul follows close behind you. The King James reads, my soul followeth hard after Thee. My soul follows close behind you. My soul follows close behind you.

You know what he's saying? David is saying, I am passionately in pursuit of God because He is the object of my pursuit. He is the object of my trust and my confidence. So what are we called to when he says here, looking unto Jesus, the ark-egos of our faith. The writer of Hebrews is instructing us to follow the leader and we do so by being a student of Jesus. A student of Jesus, a student as in a disciple.

What is a disciple but a committed follower? Why should we be a student of His? Because He is our preeminent example. He is our leader. He is our teacher. He is our Lord, Master, Rabbi.

I like what William Dembski says. He is one of the pioneers of the intelligent design movement. William Dembski says this, Christ has entered, no I'm sorry, Christ has assumed the fullness of our humanity and entered every aspect of our reality. He thereby renders all of our studies the study of Himself.

That's a good statement. In everything that I do, I am a student of Jesus Christ and I see the glory of God. I see His handiwork.

I see what aligns with His character and purpose. I see what detracts from His character and purpose in everything that I do because I am a student of Jesus Christ. What we have here is some very practical Christology. Christology, theology isn't just for our knowing, it's for our transformation. And in this command to look unto Jesus, to follow the leader, there's some very practical Christology meaning that I will live in the outflow of what I believe. How does that look?

How does that work out? Well, first of all, it's two questions very simply. And the first question is this, what did Jesus do? It's not up to me, in my conjecture, to try to imagine what would Jesus do if He were in my shoes doing this.

It is up to me, however, to know the revelation of God and to look at what Jesus actually did. What did Jesus do? Because He said, for example, in John chapter 13, happy are you when you do what I have done.

He says, I have given you this to you that you should do, that you should follow my example. What exactly did He do in John chapter 13? He got down and did the work of a slave and He washed His disciples' feet. What did Jesus do?

Let's consider three sub-points under that. What did Jesus do when He was tempted? You see, it's the temptation itself is not sin. Even Jesus was tempted. But what did Jesus do when He was tempted? Are you tempted?

Yes, you are, on a very regular basis. You are tempted to be distracted away from what God has for you. You are tempted to be distracted and lured toward things that want, they want to be your satisfaction instead of God. Just as Eve was tempted to be your satisfaction instead of God. Just as Eve was tempted in the garden, away from God, away from His character and His purpose.

You and I are tempted regularly on a daily basis. What did Jesus do when He was tempted? Or how about what did Jesus do when He was mistreated? Have you ever been mistreated? Yes, you have.

If you haven't been, you will be, so just wait. What did Jesus do when He was mistreated? He was humble. He was meek.

Meek does not mean weak. I mean, think about it. Who was Jesus, right? The very one who created all that is, and those that were mistreating Him at any moment of time, He could have gone, okay, I'm done with you, and they were gone. Now, in His humanity, in His willingness to follow the Father and do the Father's will, that never entered His mind. But did Jesus have the power to do that? I mean, is He not the one who calmed the waves and the wind?

He is sovereign over creation, and yet He never used that sovereignty, He never used that omnipotence for His own protection. That's the definition of meekness, okay? How, what did Jesus do when He was mistreated?

He responded in meekness. What did Jesus do when He had a very hard thing to do? Did Jesus have a hard thing to do? Something like enduring the cross? Pretty hard thing to do.

You know what? The writer of Hebrews is not referring to the pain and the anguish, the physical pain and anguish of being hung on a cross and dying of suffocation. That's not what He was referring to. He was referring to the fact that the second person of the Trinity had to be abandoned by the first person of the Trinity, a suffering that you and I will never comprehend. Jesus had to endure that, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.

He had a very hard thing to do. Why did Jesus do that? Because it was in the Father's will and purpose. It was, according to the Father's character of love and grace, that's why He did it. And it was in the Father's purpose and it pleased the Father. And Isaiah 53 says He saw the travail of His soul and He was satisfied.

That's why He did it. What did Jesus do when He was tempted, when He was mistreated, when He had a very hard thing to do? As we are students of Jesus, then we will translate in that to, what then should I do? What then do I do when I am tempted? What do I do when I am mistreated?

What do I do when I have a very hard thing to do? We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston, Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace, weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-01 12:13:04 / 2023-12-01 12:17:51 / 5

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