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Who is Jesus? – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2023 3:00 pm

Who is Jesus? – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Here's Anne Graham Lotz. Welcome to today's edition of Living in the Light with Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz and her message for this week, Jesus, His Name is Lord.

Reading from the Gospel of John chapter 1, here's Anne. The light reigns over the darkness through your testimony. The light reigns over the darkness through the truth. In verse 9, the true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. And this is the true light.

There are lots of artificial lights out there, aren't there? And in our day and time, lots of people are promising to offer satisfaction, fulfillment, be able to bring peace, organize things so that we can have this utopia on earth and all sorts of people promising that you can have power, or wisdom, or insight, or your life will work if you'll just come after their artificial light. There are lots of artificial lights, but Jesus is the true light, and he's the light for every man. Don't let anybody intimidate you into thinking that in a pluralistic society, it's somehow not fair or it's offensive to lift up Jesus, because, I mean, we have a Jew sitting here and a Buddhist and a Hindu, and, you know, we all have our own religions, and we want to be tolerant of other people, and, you know, it's all right.

You have yours, and they have theirs, and I have mine, and as long as we're all sincere, and as long as we don't hurt or offend each other, it's all right. It's not all right, because Jesus is the true light. Now, Buddha and Muhammad and some of these other people have an element of truth to their teachings, but they are not the true light. Jesus is the true light for every man.

That doesn't mean just for southeastern America. It doesn't mean for just white Protestants. It means Jesus is the true light for Russians and Africans and Israelis and Chinese and Koreans and Spaniards and South Americans, and we could go all the way around the globe, and he's the true light for every man.

It doesn't matter what your religion is. If you're a Jew, if you're a Buddhist, if you're a Muslim, if you're a Hindu, if you're an atheist, he is the true light for every single man in the whole world. A light is not overcome by the darkness. It reigns over the darkness through your testimony and through the truth. But you know something? The darkness can't overcome it, but you can hide it. Are you hiding your light under a bushel?

What is your bushel? Fear of being offensive? Fear of someone criticizing you? Fear of losing your reputation? Maybe you're just afraid you won't have the answers. Maybe you're afraid you won't know what to say, and I pray God will use to help take some of that fear away and give you some of that which you need to fill up that you might overflow.

But you know I've got a feeling you'll never feel adequate. I think the devil keeps us feeling inadequate so that he keeps our light hidden under a bushel. Just throw away the bushel and let your light shine even if it's a small little candle flame of a light. It penetrates the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. Jesus is the living word. He is infinite, invincible in his life and in his light. Thirdly, he is inescapable. He is inescapable for the entire world.

It doesn't matter what government, what culture, what mass of people, what power, what civilization. At some point every single person is going to have to confront him either now or later. Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess one day.

All of us will stand before the judgment of God and we're going to be face to face with our judge who is Jesus. He's inescapable and he offers you a chance to make a choice. And you have a choice to either receive him or to reject him. And John describes the choice to reject. In verse 10, he was in the world and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own but his own did not receive him.

And the first choice to reject was made by people out of ignorance. He came into the world and the world that was created by him and for him and through him didn't recognize her creator. She was ignorant. She didn't know who Jesus is. Now do you know someone who was created by Jesus, for Jesus, through Jesus, but they don't recognize him? They don't know who Jesus is?

And do you know the awesome, frightening thing? That's a choice to reject. Ignorance is not an excuse.

You can't plead, well I just didn't know. That's why Jesus trained 12 disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel. That's why this book was recorded and preserved. That's why the New Testament was written and explaining all that Jesus is and will do for us and be to us. That's why you're commissioned to go out and tell other people who Jesus is. Because there are many people out there who don't know who he is and their ignorance will not be an excuse that God will accept.

To be ignorant of him and not to recognize him due to ignorance is a choice to reject. We also make the choice to reject of these people in verse 11 due to intolerance because he came to his own and his own didn't receive him. John is speaking of the Jews. Now the Jews had the prophecies. They had all of the prophets.

They knew all of the scriptures. They were the one people on planet earth who would know him. They would recognize him. They were looking for him. They were eagerly anticipating him. And when he came to his own, they recognized him.

They knew who he was. But they didn't receive him because he wasn't what they wanted. They were looking for a Messiah who would be a king like David or Solomon who would bring Israel back to a position of world prominence and domination who would restore her to a position of leadership in the family of nations. The masses of people were looking for a Messiah who would feed them with bread from heaven and they would never have to work anymore. The leaders were looking for a Messiah who would give them a position of honor and glory and power and would give them wealth and Jesus came as the Messiah, the Lamb of God, the Savior who would die on a cross to take away their sin and they didn't want him like that. In the tragedy he came to his own who knew him and they recognized him but they rejected him through their intolerance.

He wasn't what they wanted. And you know I think today of his own, I'm not thinking of the Jews, I'm thinking of the church, people within the church. He comes to his own and his own people don't receive him. The people who ought to love him most. I believe it was Christianity Today that came out with this poll and they said 40% of evangelical Christians, those who are most willing to identify with Jesus Christ, those who call themselves evangelical Christians, 40% do not believe in absolutes. Which means 40% of those who call themselves evangelical Christians who seek most to be identified with Christ would deny that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life. Those are absolutes.

And so he comes to his own even within the church, the evangelical Christians, and they don't receive him as he is. That's a tragedy. My mother gives an illustration and I'll use it for my own life. When I was a little girl I received a smallpox vaccination. They don't give them anymore but when they gave me mine they scratch a place on your arm, some of you my age or older maybe got one of those and mine happened to take. And it swelled way up and then got really awful and to this day I have a scar about the size of a half dollar on my upper arm where I had that smallpox vaccination. And what they did actually, as I understand, was scratch in some of the smallpox and then my body built up antibodies against it so that I'm actually immune now to smallpox.

I have just enough of the disease to keep me from ever really getting the real thing. And my mother uses that to, in application to the church today and to so-called Christians today, they have just enough religion that's caused them to build up antibodies and immunity against a real relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. They have a form of religion but they deny the power. He came to his own and his own received him not. And that's a choice to reject.

Rejected through ignorance, rejected through intolerance. But then of course there are those who make the choice to receive in verse 12. Yet to all who received him, you know I have a bad habit at home. I'm so busy and my schedule is so full when I hear a knock on the door, I go open the door and I stand just right in the threshold. And so say my neighbor has come to visit me and maybe she'd like to have a cup of coffee and talk and I just stand right in the doorway. And she's there on the porch and so we talk and we'll talk about the weather, talk about her children, or talk about the schools. And I can see her looking past like, Ann, I'd really like to come inside and talk and I just stand right in the doorway, you know. And then finally she says, well, you know, it's been nice talking with you and then she leaves. And I enjoy talking with my neighbor and I saw her and, you know, we talked together and then she left and I went back inside.

I never received her into my house. How many people do you know have that sort of a threshold relationship with Jesus, what I would call a screen door relationship? You know, they talk to him and they can pray and they listen to him and they read their Bible and they go to church and they enjoy fellowship of other believers and they might even call themselves a Christian but they have never stepped away from the threshold, opened the screen door and received him into their lives. That's a deliberate act.

You can't... He's a gentleman. He doesn't push his way past you.

He doesn't barge through the door. You must ask and invite him to come in to as many as received him into their lives, those who believe in his name. That doesn't mean that you just give an intellectual assent that this man is called Jesus of Nazareth and you can recite some of his names. It means that you believe in all of his character as it's represented by his name. And his name is Lord. That's the Old Testament word Yahweh, Jehovah God. It means God who reveals himself to his people but Lord also means boss. It means controller. It means master.

It means authority. And you believe in him as Lord. He is your Lord.

He is the controller, the boss of your life and you surrender control to him. His name is Jesus. And God said you'll call him Jesus because he will save his people from his sins. The name Jesus means deliverer.

It means savior. And you place your faith and believe in him as your Jesus, your savior, the one who died on the cross to take away your sin, shedding his blood in atonement for you, the Lamb of God. And then he's the Christ, Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ is the New Testament word for the Old Testament word Messiah. It means that you believe he is the fulfillment of all that Old Testament prophecy that he is indeed God walking the earth in a human body. When you believe in his name, he is your Lord Jesus Christ and you have received him deliberately into your life, then you have the right to become a child of God. I've heard Jesse Jackson say that we're all children of God, not according to the Bible. You're only the child of God when you believe in his name, the Lord Jesus Christ, and you receive him into your life. We're not all children of God. But you become a child of God, John describes, not of generation, children born not of natural descent. Now I honestly believe if someone could be born again through natural descent, maybe it would be me.

Because of my parents and my grandparents and their parents, and I praise God he has given me a wonderful, goodly, godly heritage. But God has no grandchildren. Just because you're born in a garage doesn't mean that you're a car. It's not of generation. You can't be born into the family of God just because of the physical, earthly family that you have. It's not of determination.

It's not a human decision. You can't just decide, you know, I'm going to turn over a new leaf and I'm going to start acting like a Christian. I'm going to start living like a Christian. I'm going to start talking like a Christian. I'm going to start going to church like a Christian.

I'm going to have some Christian friends and I'm just determined I'm really going to be a Christian. It's not of determination, not of man's will. It's not of a husband's will. Or actually the King James Version says, not of the will of man.

It's not of tradition. No man can force you into rebirth. They cannot force you into the family of God. You cannot walk forward somehow, sign some card for your pastor and be born into God's family. You cannot have a campus crusade guy come by your door, take you through the four spiritual laws and say, now you're a Christian. It's not of tradition. You can't go recite some litany or count beads or go through all sorts of traditions and rituals and be pronounced, now you're a Christian. It's not the will of man. It's not according to tradition.

It is regeneration. It is according to the will of God. And when you place your faith, you believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

You surrender your life to him as your boss, giving him control. And you claim his death on the cross to make atonement for your sin. He is the Lamb of God sacrificed for you as if there was no one else on planet earth who would benefit from it, just you. And you believe he is God walking the earth in a human body. He is the Christ, the Messiah, who is coming, who is coming again alive, coming back to earth to reign and rule.

You place your faith in him in response to your faith, in response to you believing on his name and receiving him into your life. God supernaturally imparts the life of Christ within you. In Luke, I believe it's chapter 1, the angel Gabriel came to Mary and he said, Mary, you're going to conceive a baby and this child is going to be the Son of God. And Mary said, how can that be? I've never had sexual intercourse.

I've never known a man. And the angel said, the Holy Spirit is going to come upon you and that which is born in you is going to be born supernaturally. And Mary submitted and she said, be it unto me according to thy word. And Mary conceived physically through the power of the Holy Spirit in response to her faith, the physical life of Jesus. When you place your faith in the name of Jesus and you receive him into your life, you conceive spiritually the life of Christ. He is born within you and you have the life of Christ within.

That is a miracle. It's something that's almost hard to describe and explain to you because it's supernatural. It's of the will of God. No one can force it. You can't inherit it.

You can't determine that this is what you're going to do. It's just what God does, fulfilling his promise, that if you would place your faith in the name of his Son and receive him into your life, you would become a child of his, born again into his family. How do you present Jesus to others? If he is inescapable, presenting a choice to receive or reject, how have you presented him?

You know, I listen to some people. The way they present him, he sounds like an option. Sounds like somebody you can add to your life, you know.

You can take or leave. Well, he's not an option. And he's not someone you add to your life. He is your life.

Would you present him as he presents himself? A living word, inescapable, presenting a choice to either receive or presenting the choice to reject. And lastly, the living word is the incarnation of the glory of God and the grace of God. John 14, the word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John says we've seen the glory, and glory, you can interchange that with the word character. John is saying I've seen the character of Jesus.

And when I saw the character of Jesus, I've seen the character of God. And John would say, I have seen Jesus when he was tired and I've seen him when he was rested. And I've seen him when he was happy and I've seen him when he was sad.

I've seen him laugh when somebody said something funny and I've seen him cry. And I've seen him when he went to bed at night and had nowhere to lay his head except the stone on the ground. I've seen him first thing when he's wakened in the morning. And I've seen him when he's preached and I've seen him when he's prayed. And I've seen him when he's eating and I've seen him when he's fasted. And I've seen him when he's in public and I've seen him when he's in private. And I've seen him when he was falsely accused. And I've seen him when he was denied and I've seen him when he was betrayed. And I've seen him when he was beaten and whipped and the beard pulled from his face. And I've seen him when he was spit upon and blasphemed. And I've seen him when he was crucified and I've seen him when he died.

And I've seen him when he was buried. And I've seen him when he was raised, and I've seen him when he was ascended, and I'm telling you, I have seen the character of God full of grace and truth. When it says full of grace and truth, that means he is the completeness of God's grace and truth.

Nothing left out. He is the very incarnation of the glory, the character of God. Have you ever wanted to know God better?

Get to know Jesus. You want to know what God is like? He is exactly like Jesus. Jesus is full of grace and truth, the very completeness of God, the incarnation of God's glory, the incarnation of God's grace. Verse 16, from the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.

Let's name a few. Through his grace we've been redeemed, and through his grace we've been forgiven, through his grace we've received eternal life, through his grace we have acceptance with God, through his grace we have all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, through his grace I'm his child, through his grace I'm delivered from a way of life that was heading me towards hell until one that pleases him and is going towards heaven. You know, at one point I was lying in bed, it was after a very traumatic experience in my life, and I was thinking what I had that no one could take away, and I began counting all of these blessings after blessings after blessings, just from Ephesians chapter 1, I got through the whole alphabet, and then I started back over, there were so many just from that one chapter. Sometime you might just lie in bed instead of counting sheep, count your blessing. And that's his grace that he gives us blessings like that.

One blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, and the law as it was given by Moses really didn't help us, didn't make us better, didn't give us joy or peace. What the law did was reveal to us how wicked we are. The law revealed our sin. The law reveals how far short we fall of God's glory. The law reveals how much we desperately need a Savior. The law reveals we need God's grace. The law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ, because Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law, he was completely righteous and pure and holy, and God accepts him and when we're in Christ, we're accepted, accepted in Christ. And that's where grace and truth have met in Jesus Christ.

Full of grace and truth, verse 18, no one has ever seen God, but God, the only Son who is at the Father's side, Jesus has made him known. Amy Carmichael was a great missionary to India. When I was there, it was my privilege to go to Donover, which was her mission compound. Of course, she is with Jesus now, but Amy Carmichael's ministry, part of it was rescuing little baby Indian girls from the temples where they were given, sometimes at birth for prostitution, still goes on in some parts of India, and she would rescue these little baby girls and bring them to Donover and then she would raise them in this Christian environment. One day she was sitting at her desk and she looked up and one of these little Indian girls was standing there, just looking at her. And the little girl looked at Miss Carmichael and she said, I have come. So Amy Carmichael stretched out her hand and she motioned to the little girl to come over and she said, why have you come?

And the little girl looked at Amy Carmichael and she said, just to love you. For God so loved the world that he came, he drew near. And out of his mouth, he speaks what's in his heart. And out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks and what does he say? He says, Jesus. Who is Jesus? He is the living word of God, infinite, invincible, inescapable, incarnate.

Do you know him? Would you worship Jesus? Would you receive him into your life if you have not?

And then would you go tell somebody who Jesus is? Would you pray with me please? Father, what can we say? We feel humbled. We feel awed by the greatness and the glory and the grandeur of your Son. And we count it life's highest privilege to know you through Jesus Christ. We want to know you better. So we thank you for John chapter 1 that reveals to us what's in your heart that's come out on your lips and it's Jesus.

Thank you. We ask that you would seal this message in our hearts, that we might meditate on it later, that we might know you and worship you and receive you if we have not, that we might be compelled to go and tell someone else who Jesus is. And we offer this to you in his name, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen. In these few minutes before we close, here's Anne with this special invitation. Do you long for revival, an outpouring of God's Spirit where God's people wake up in their relationship with God?

I do. In the book of Nehemiah, after God's people had been in captivity for 70 years, they came back to Jerusalem and Ezra, the scribe, got up before them and he just read the Word of God and they had revival. That makes me wonder, what would happen if you and I hit life's pause button in this day of confusion and chaos, hopelessness and helplessness? What would happen if you and I also listened to the Word of God? Let me just add these few thoughts to my message today. Jesus gave his life on the cross as God's sacrifice for your sin.

When you place your faith in him, claiming him as your savior, God forgives you of your sin, reconciles you to himself and gives you the hope of heaven when you die. The result is peace. Until you and I have peace in our hearts, we'll never have real peace in our homes or in this world.

So be part of the solution to what's wrong in our world. Celebrate this year by coming to the cross and claiming the peace that only God can give. Pray the words of this prayer as your own. Dear God, I want to belong to you as your child. I confess to you that I'm a sinner. I choose to turn away from my sin. Right now, I invite Jesus to come live inside of me. I surrender the control of my heart to him. Amen. Anne, thank you, and if you've prayed with Anne, just let us know at There's a booklet we'll send you to help you in living your life for him. And join us next week for Living in the Light.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-10 16:07:38 / 2023-12-10 16:18:51 / 11

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