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Who Is This Christ? - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
March 2, 2024 12:00 am

Who Is This Christ? - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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March 2, 2024 12:00 am

Jesus Christ covers your sins and desires for you to enjoy life to the fullest.

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Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Jesus Christ is many things, a great man, a compassionate friend, a bold teacher, but He's so much more. Let's continue the study of Colossians to learn about the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.

That sounds like a rather narrow-minded, egotistical, bigotry kind of a statement. No man comes to the Father but by me. Who is this Christ?

Who can make such a statement as that? And if somebody should ask you, who is Christ? What would you say? Would you say, well, He's the Savior. He's the only begotten of the Father. He's the Father's beloved Son.

What would you say? Because you see, our understanding of who He is will determine what we believe. It will determine how we live. It will determine how we die.

It will determine how we invest or spend our life. And He made the statement, no one comes to the Father but by me. How could Jesus make such a statement as that? Well, I want to answer that by asking you to turn, if you will, to Colossians chapter 1. As I began to study this passage of Scripture, I was going to preach on verses 15 through 18 or 19.

But I came to this fifteenth verse and I kept reading it and reading it and reading it and I studied all four of these verses. But I first of all felt so inadequate to deal with that phrase and that passage, just that one single verse, that Jesus Christ is the image of God, of the invisible God, the first born of all creation. I first of all felt very inadequate to deal with it.

Secondly, I found myself feeling very unworthy to deal with it. And I got on my knees crying out to God, God, I don't even feel worthy to describe who Jesus is, let alone having the ability to do it. So I want you to ask the Holy Spirit to help you to get a fresh new glimpse of the reality of this man who said, no one comes to the Father but by me.

So I want you to stay with me very carefully. And listen, I want you to turn to these verses. I got lots of verses I want you to read with me. So with your Bible open, let's begin with verse 15 and that's as far as we're going to get. He says in verse 15, we're going to read several of us but we're going to come back to this, that Jesus Christ, and He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things have been created by Him and for Him, and He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church, and He's the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.

For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him. Now, most of us think we understand who Jesus is, but let's look at this for a moment. He says in this passage, and He that is Christ is the image of the invisible God. Our God is invisible. That is, no one has ever seen Him.

No one has ever touched Him. And if you will think about what you have entrusted to this invisible God, that means He cannot be seen with the eye. Now, why does He say that God is invisible? You'll recall when Jesus was speaking to the woman at the well, He said that God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

And in Luke 24, He says that spirit does not have flesh and blood. That is, one of the reasons no one has ever seen God is because God is spirit. Not some phantom, but that God is spirit that He does not have is not contained in a physical body such as we are. Now, many people when they think about God, they think about God being this old man with a long white beard sitting up in heavenless big throne and who acts like a granddaddy, but that's not who God is at all.

He's not a granddaddy. He's a loving Father, but God is spirit. Now, but I want you to see a second reason that no person has ever seen God. Turn to 1 Timothy chapter 6. 1 Timothy chapter 6 tells us something else about God and why no man has ever seen Him and why He is the invisible God. In verse 15, He says which, speaking of the Lord, we better start at 13 so you'll understand the context.

Paul says to Timothy, I charge you in the presence of God who gives life to all things and of Christ Jesus who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ which He, that is God the Father, will bring about at the proper time. He who is the blessed and only sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone, speaking of God the Father, possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light whom no man has seen or can see. One of the reasons that no person has ever seen God is that God, He says, dwells in unapproachable light. That means that the glory of God, the Shekinah glory of God shines with such radiance and such brilliance and with such intensity that no person's eyes could ever behold or see through that light. He says God dwells in unapproachable light. That does not mean that God is unapproachable but that it means that He in His essential being that no one can see Him. No one has ever seen Him because He's a spirit. No one has ever seen Him because He dwells in unapproachable radiant brilliant Shekinah glory the eyes of man cannot behold.

On a cloudless, smogless day at noon, if you were to look into the brightness of the noonday sun with no clouds and no smog, your eyes could not look into the high noon sun. Neither can any person or has any person ever at any time in any situation ever seen God. That's why He begins this verse by saying He is the invisible God. Now if He's the invisible God whom you and I have never seen yet in whom you and I have entrusted our eternal life, we've said we believe there is a hell, there is a heaven, this invisible God in whom we believe whom we have never seen and no one has, have never touched, have never felt. So therefore you've placed your faith in this invisible God not because your friend or anyone with great integrity has said to you, you can put your trust in Him because I saw Him and I know that He's real and I know that He exists and therefore you can put your trust in Him.

Nobody has ever seen Him. Look what you're risking on a God whom you've never seen. Cannot see Him because He's Spirit, cannot see Him because He dwells in unapproachable light.

Now what about those verses in the Old Testament for example in Genesis chapter 32 when Jacob is wrestling with this person during the night. Who is that person? That person is, listen, the pre-incarnate Christ. That is before Jesus Christ came in this world in the form of a baby, He existed in a form and at times took upon Himself a form which could be seen to some degree. If you recall in the third chapter of Daniel when the three Hebrew children had been thrown in the fiery furnace and the king looks into this white hot furnace and says, I see not only Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego but there's a fourth person in there walking around.

Who was that? I believe that was the pre-incarnate Christ before He came to earth hundreds of years later. I want you to turn to Psalm 104 for a moment. Look at this verse. Psalm 104 is also a verse that deals with why we cannot look upon God. Psalm 104 beginning in verse 1. The Psalmist says, Bless the Lord, O my soul, O Lord my God, thou art very great, thou art clothed with splendor and majesty, covering thyself with what?

With a light as with a cloak. That is the glory of God is so radiant that is what He's clothed with. So the Spirit whom we call God, Jehovah God, is clothed in the brilliance and the radiance of an indescribable, intense glory and light so brilliant and radiant and intense that no person can see Him.

He is the God in whom you and I have entrusted all. Now, as you look in the Old Testament, these men saw reflections of, forms that reflected God but no person has ever seen God. So he says in the first part of this verse, And He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Now, what about this image? He says that Christ is the image of God. Somebody says, Well, we too are in the image of God.

Let's go back, if you will, to Genesis chapter 1 and look, if you will, in verse 26 because here that is exactly what the Bible says. Verse 26 of Genesis 1 says, Then God said, Let us make man in our image, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, speaking with each other. Let us make man in our image according to our likeness. So there is something about us that is made in the image of God.

But let's explain something at this point. What is it about us that's made in the image of God? It certainly isn't a physical body because God is Spirit. What is it about us that's like God? It certainly is not our knowledge because we're not omniscient, our power because we're not omnipotent, our presence because we're not omnipresent, our holiness because we're not holy in the same way God is holy. And you can take all the attributes of God as immutability.

He never changes. We're always changing. How is it that you and I could be said to be made created in the image of God? Well, next to all the attributes and characteristics of God, God thinks, God feels, God makes decisions. And he has given to us the capacity to think. We have a mind. We have emotions with which we feel and we have a will by which we make decisions. So we too are in the likeness of God and the fact that we are spirits and that we have a will to make decisions.

We have a mind with which to think and we have emotions with which to feel. We are like God in those ways. When God created Adam and Eve, he created them perfect.

He did not create them holy, but he created them innocent because the holiness, the innocence must be tried in order to either determine to be holy or unholy. So here is man not in the perfected image of God like God, but like God in many ways and in the image of God in more ways than we are. And even God's first man who was in his state of innocence and whose innocence was tried in the garden, Adam failed and the only thing that was left was, to some degree, his ability to think and to feel and to make decisions. Now when you and I are saved by the grace of God, what happens? The Bible says that our sins are forgiven. When you were saved, the Lord Jesus Christ became your life. That is, he came through the Holy Spirit to sit in residence in your spirit. He regenerated your spirit who made you a new person.

Old things pass away, old things become new. What God did when he saved you and me was to begin the process again of making us in his image. Now we begin to think the way God thinks. Now we begin to feel the way God feels. Now we begin to act the way God acts. It does not mean we have omnipotence, though there is power in the life of the believer.

We're able to love like he loves, not to the same degree, but we're able to love on a level that the unbeliever cannot love on. So that there are many things about us that have begun to change. So therefore, because we have been now created, recreated in the likeness of Christ by the indwelling presence of Jesus Christ and if you'll notice in chapter 3 also of Colossians, he says in verse 10, that now having been saved, we've put on the new self, that is the new person, the new man, who is being renewed to a what? True knowledge according to the image of the one who created him.

That is, something has happened in our life. And now, not only is there the image of Christ within us, the image of God within us, there is now the image of Christ being expressed through us. Now, when Jesus Christ left, he said, I'm going away.

If I go away, I'll send the comforter. He'll be in you with you and upon you and he'll do the following things. The Holy Spirit came in order to indwell the believer in order that the Holy Spirit may live through you and me the life of Christ. Now, as God was in Christ expressing his true nature through the person of Jesus Christ, now Jesus Christ is living in the believer expressing his life through us. It does not mean that we are Christ or that we're equal to him. But in these finite, physical bodies of ours, these marred images of God, very marred, there is enough of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the truth when I say enough is we have all of Christ. That is, when you received him as your personal Savior, you got him all. You don't get some of Jesus at the age of 12 and some at the age of 20 and some at the age of 60.

When you received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, you have the whole person. Now, as we understand by submission to Jesus Christ as the indwelling Lord of our life, as we understand who he is and submit to him, to the degree to which you and I submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, to that degree is he able to express through our countenance and our actions and our behavior and our characteristics and our character the very likeness of the Father. That's why the Holy Spirit came, in order to live within us and to exhibit through us the person of the Son. The Bible says the Holy Spirit always points to Jesus.

He's always glorifying him. Now, once you and I understand how God operates in the ways of God, we understand why he left us here. Why didn't he save us and take us on? Because Jesus left us here not to have a good time, not to have pleasure, not to do all the things that we enjoy and there's nothing wrong with those, but his ultimate purpose was, now that Jesus is gone physically, how is it that God the Father is revealing himself to man? He's revealing himself through his Son who indwells the person of the believer and who is exhibiting those qualities and those characteristics in the life of the believer. So that's why Paul says in Ephesians that you and I in chapter 2, look at that if you will, chapter 2 he says that you and I are very, very important. That doesn't mean that we have an inordinate type of importance, but he says in verse 10 of chapter 2 of Ephesians, for we are his workmanship, something of notable excellence, something of notable excellence. That is, we are God's masterpieces. You say, ma'am, when I look in the mirror, I don't think I'm a masterpiece.

That's because you're looking on the outside and not on the inside. The Bible says that your spirit has been stamped with the very likeness of God. The Holy Spirit has now stamped your spirit with the likeness of God. Christ is now indwelling you in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

So that all of us who are believers are marred images of Christ, but the likeness of Christ is to be upon us. You see, a person who is a believer, you can see it in their countenance. You can feel it in their presence. You can see it in their actions.

Who is that? That is God on the inside exhibiting as that person allows the Holy Spirit total control. Jesus is exhibiting. Jesus is reflecting. Jesus is expressing the life of God who is indwelling us. Now, he says in this passage, back to Colossians chapter 1, he says he is the image of the invisible God. Now, that means that the personality of God he intends for us to bear. Does he not say in Romans 8 29 that God predestined this?

That what? You and I would be conformed, shaped into the likeness of his son who is the express image of the Father. So I want you to remember, there is one within you who is the express image of God. Thank you for listening to Who Is This Christ? If you would like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-02 02:27:28 / 2024-03-02 02:34:39 / 7

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