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Who Does God Say Jesus Is?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
August 4, 2021 12:01 am

Who Does God Say Jesus Is?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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August 4, 2021 12:01 am

Some people think of Jesus as a prophet or a good teacher. But God has sovereignly declared what we should think of His Son. Today, R.C. Sproul unfolds the cosmic significance of the title given to Jesus by the Father: Lord of lords.

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Today on Renewing Your Mind, are speaking to you with all four on heaven and earth.

I have the ability to bind your conscience to impose moral obligations upon you, so that if you don't listen to what I say your deep voice. Think I was crazy if I made a statement like that, but that's what Jesus did. He sent. I have all the authority in heaven and earth, because the father gave Jesus what theories people referred to them as a prophet and a good teacher. Some even referred to them as the Messiah, the son of God ever thought about how God the father notified his son is not endorsing school from his series, Christ is too small. I want to do in this segment is asked the question, how would God, look at Jesus. When I look at that and see how complex our doctrinal statements tend to be that amazes me when I go back to the primitive church the first century, Christian church and realized that the very first confession of faith of the Christian church was extremely brief. It was one simple statement yet Jesus oh curios Jesus is Lord before theology developed in the church had to think through its position on many many issues. It was enough at the beginning to make that confession with your lips. Jesus is Lord.

Then I asked the question why if they're going to reduce the confession of faith to the smallest common denominator. Why did they choose the title war. Why wasn't the first Christian confession. Jesus is Messiah or Jesus is the Son of Man.

Instead the church chose the title war there was a reason for that.

Before I explained that Reese let me ask a question from those of you who are here. What Old Testament passage is quoted more often in the New Testament than any other Old Testament passage from Isaiah 53 that's what I would think Isaiah 53 where the suffering servant goes to the cross. The cross is so central to the New Testament in that description of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53 sounds like a blow-by-blow description of the passion of Jesus doesn't certainly Isaiah 53 is quoted and quoted frequently in the New Testament but not as often as this other text. The Old Testament passage that is quoted more often than any other in the New Testament is song 110. It starts like this. The Lord said to my Lord said, though at my writing goes on till I make your enemies your footstool's the Lord shall send the rod of your strength out of Zion, and so on, but a set first portion of Psalm 110 the Lord said to my Lord whether something very unusual and puzzling about this text.

Firstly, if you have your Bibles open look of Psalm 110 in the first verse you see something unusual in the way the verses printed it goes. The Lord LORD said to my Lord L hello Loralee know what the translator is doing for us here is telling us that even though he's using the same word Lord in this text. There are two distinct Hebrew terms in the original languages behind this text. Both of these words are being translated by the English word Lord however you see Lord LORB that usually indicates that the translators are taking the Hebrew word Yahweh and rendering it into the word Lord and Yahweh of course is the name of God is the name God used to reveal himself to Moses at the burning bush. I am who I am. The sacred name of God, Yahweh, and so what we read here is the Yahweh is speaking Yahweh says to my L hello Loralee were there and the text is Adam not so Yahweh is speaking to the Islamists, Adam and I will all we need to do is figure out what the word Adonai means in the Old Testament. The term Adonai is the supreme title in all of Israel given to your claim pattern. I means the sovereign one, the one who has absolute authority over heaven and earth, and over our lives and in this sense, it was used exclusively for God we mentioned before that in the case of Jesus we call Jesus Jesus Christ Jesus's name Christ is his title in Israel.

It was Yahweh.

Adonai order turnaround. The Lord God Adonai is the title. Yahweh is the name by two. That's one problem with resolve that the problem with the text but you see something even more difficult in this particular verse always.

Yahweh is Adonai but in this text Yahweh is talking to someone else who is called Adam. So the Lord God is speaking to someone else and using that title is normally reserved for God for this other person not only is Adonai now somebody other than Yahweh, but Adam and I is the psalmist. Adam not the psalmist Lord who is the sultans David and he is the king of Israel, so the king writes. And incidentally, this Psalm is usually seen as an enthronement song a song that would be used in the celebration festival to celebrate the enthronement of the king in Israel. So the king and all of his glory, and all the splendor comes up and he says Yahweh speaks to my sovereign but in simple terms the king is saying God is talking to my king and saying to my king sit at my right hand, they begin to get a feel already for why that verse would be super important.

In the New Testament.

Here we have a hand in the Old Testament of Yahweh speaking of someone other than himself was now designated the Lord for us to capture the significance that will take a few minutes to examine the meaning I've already told you the meaning of Adonai Hebrew. When we go into the New Testament. The Greek word to translate Lord, is the word curios. I know you heard that word in its Anglicized form. There is a word in your vocabulary. And I know everybody in this room has heard the tasters were curios into their life's the word church were church sunlight curios that it really Scottish people here. Scott Soares really call a church in Scotland.

The clerk okay so you got the word church. CH you are CH Scott's call it the Kirk, a Dutchman in here.

The Dutch call it metallic Kirk KI RK any Germans really call church in Germany. Character KIR CHB right now. Do you notice any similarity in those all that's changing is the consonant and a bottle here and there, but it's the same basic sound and all these words were church in the in the German language in the Dutch language and in the English language all go back to the Greek word cure RK which means those who belong to a curios so that the church literally means those who are the possessions of a curios of the Lord one who has sovereignty and authority over people was another problem with this. In the Greek world. This word curios was used in more than one way. The word Lord in its widest use in its simplest use all the time curios not was Sir like a formal way to say Mr. of a man says something to me here in this room say what did you say Sir Sir, would you do this or Starwood assets just of just the normal way of speaking or were trying to show courtesy and respect people in the English language. We also have a sense in which we use that title. Sir, in a more elevated way is about Sir Winston Churchill. Sir Lawrence Olivier Sir Galahad or someone now were not just talking about any buddy called Mr. Knauer talking about somebody who's up another notch in the social register.

They have been granted. Say have been made nights of the kingdom and they are in a special elite group.

Now that there called certain that the less what's going on with this title curios. There is the normal sense in which curios was simply a form polite address and that's difficult for us when we read the New Testament because Jesus will meet a stranger for the first time and they'll say to them. Lord, would you come to our house for dinner and scratch your head and say how the set person no Jesus is Lord, having never met him before but all probability they didn't know that Jesus was Lord in the way we speak of Jesus as Lord. But the writers just being faithful to the formal way of addressing people just like he said sir would you come out with and there was a second way in which the title curios was used in biblical bags and it was as a title for someone who owned slaves, a slave owner slave was called to do loss plural was duly so in order to be a curios in the sense of a slaveowner you had to own slaves and usually when that word is meant in the New Testament the writers were translated master now. Sometimes the Bible people will call Jesus master and Paul identifies himself. For example, how Paul, a servant or slave of Jesus Christ. Or they'll say that we are not our own.

We have been bought with a price. We belong to Jesus. He is our master, we are his servants so that secondary meaning of the term Lord is sprinkled throughout the New Testament to show our relationship to Jesus, here's work. It's a little complicated. In addition to the normal Sir that second level of slaveowner. There is what we call the Imperial use of the title curios in biblical days in here in its Imperial sense. It is used only for one who is deemed to be the supreme sovereign, the supreme ruler and a study Imperial use of curios that corresponds to the Hebrew concept of Adonijah that we read here in Psalm 110 so Greek would look at that and he was sick, God says to my Imperial ward, sit thou at my right now. We've all heard about how the early Christians were martyred in bunches.

They fed to the lions. They were killed by gladiators.

They became human torches in the gardens of NARAL. They were placed as cannon fodder in the US Circus Maximus and you wonder why all those Christians were getting killed all over the place while they were considered traders to the Roman Empire because what developed in Rome was an emperor cult where the view began to be popular that the Emperor was a God. So to be a loyal Roman citizen. You had to demonstrate that you were willing to worship the emperor and Christians wouldn't do that. And so there developed in the end of the first century and into the second century, a loyalty oath in Rome where a person could show that he was a good citizen, a law-abiding person faithful to the Empire. All that person had to say publicly in order to be accepted as a loyalist to Rome was to say these two words Kaiser curios Caesar is low and the Christians were. They were in trouble because they would say look, we want to pay our taxes. We want to be respectable citizens will drive our chariots within the speed limit will bend over backwards to be model citizens in the Empire will do all those things that you want us to do. But please, we can't say Kaiser curios because Kaiser may be great, but Kaiser is not curios because our belief is Jesus. Oh curios Jesus is Lord Nazis and they would not compromise. It was at that point that they were put to death or next question will look at is this where does Jesus get this title who visited was a comp member of Jesus and his ministry says I speak nothing on my own authority, but only with the father. Wilson then elsewhere he says in a very bold and dramatic way.

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Now that's a radical claim. What would you think of me if I walked in here and I said look, now you listen to what I say and and you can evaluate it and you say this kind is recited about a dozen away started about no moral obligation whatsoever to submit to what I say. Just because I set up a web I can minimize the list what I say because I'm speaking with authority how much authority a PhD not on speaking to you with all of on heaven and earth.

I have the ability to bind your conscience to impose moral obligations upon you. So if you don't listen to what I say your deep voice.

You'd think I was crazy if I made a statement like that, but that's what Jesus did.

He said I have all the authority in heaven and earth, because the father gave three times in the New Testament the voice of God the father is heard audibly and in two out of three occasions it's the same message this is my beloved son, one occasion. This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, and on the other occasion even more emphatic. This is my beloved son, here in South garlic Jesus as the one to whom he has given all for, and the one whom God commands that we hear and that we listened and we see this most graphically in what is called the commodity can of Paul's letter to the Philippians, which we find in the second chapter of Paul's letter to the Philippians where Paul says this and this is where he's talking about humility about our humility. He says let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus is never to say. Think about Jesus humility being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God. That's an awkward way of translating it. Another way of translating it is how this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God took his equality with God, not a thing to be grasped. That is not a prerogative, or privilege to be held onto jealously or tenaciously. But Jesus, who had this supreme dignity who has the supreme authority willingly and voluntarily emptied himself the apostles with he emptied himself, making himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and came in the likeness of flesh and being found in the appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient even to the point of death, even the death of the cross. You heard that him right were Jesus, who has all this dignity willingly lays it aside and takes upon himself the form of a servant. Now the question is what is God's reaction. Paul continues therefore this is the conclusion therefore God has highly exalted him and given him the name which is above every name, so that the name of Jesus every knee would bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God before Lori Christians heard that the name of Jesus every knee should bow, what does that mean that every knee should bow, that means that at the name of Jesus every human being should prostrate himself to acquiesce to his authority to recognize his sovereignty to be on our knees before him, and to open our mouths and confess Jesus who curios Jesus Christ is what Paul is saying here is that because of Christ's humiliation is voluntary humiliation. God has bestowed upon Jesus name that is above every that is, God has given to Jesus, the highest title that can be given to Jesus by another folks who read this text and all sailing.

What is the highest name that anybody could ever have in the safe. Jesus that's not what Paul is saying here. The title that Paul is speaking of that is the highest name.

The name is above every name is the title Lord is the title curios. So the name of Jesus is not saying the name Jesus is the highest name but at the very name of Jesus. Your mouth is supposed to open up and say Jesus Christ is to the glory of God the father of the Unitarian doesn't understand are people who feel that if we worship Christ if we endure Christ if we confess the deity of Christ, that somehow we cast a shadow on the character of God the father, God the father who takes his name and gives it to his son is God the father who gives all authority of his sovereignty to God the son is God the father who demands and commands that all men everywhere kiss the son, and honor and adore him, is God the father who calls him curios gives him that night and this one of the early church saw in that name. Such exultation and wanted to preserve that title for Jesus because they didn't want to have any lesser view of geniuses than Jesus.

Father had Jesus so is the duty of the Christian to call Jesus what God cost basis not the Jesus is the father's Lord. I don't mean that but the name that the father gives to the sun is the name curios is not just any Lord Izzy. What we find later on in the New Testament is that Jesus is Lord, not only in the Imperial sense, but in the superlative sense in the ultimate sense in the way the Jew described that was by calling him the Lord of lords and the King of Kings read that in the Greek it's curios, curio, Lord of lords.

Not just any Lord, Lord of all and he shall reign forever and ever and ever. And what ever and then what and then when he said hello. He is, that's the confession of the church because that's the declaration God the father declares Jesus to be Lord of lords to think of him as anything less is to have an inaccurate view of who Jesus really is. That's the focus of our series this week.

Your on Renewing Your Mind. It's titled your Christ is too small Dr. RC Sproul taught these messages back in 1986 that was just two years after the ministry moved from its study center there in western Pennsylvania to our current location here in Florida and that this is the first time we've aired this series here on the program it's in celebration of leader ministries 50 year anniversary and a great opportunity to highlight the benefits of becoming a ministry partner religion or ministry partners commit to give a monthly donation to Wagoner as our way of saying thank you each month.

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