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Truth and Jesus Christ #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
September 16, 2022 8:00 am

Truth and Jesus Christ #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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September 16, 2022 8:00 am

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When you read about Christ in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Jesus Christ does not merely teach us about God. Jesus Christ himself is fully God. He bears the full essence of God without any diminishment whatsoever. This is the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I'm Bill Wright. You know, trying to comprehend how Jesus Christ is at once fully God and fully man is kind of like an ant trying to master advanced trigonometry. Well, today, as Don continues teaching God's people, God's word, he's going to do his best to shed some light on this mind-bending topic, which is summed up in the rather theological term hypostatic union.

But don't let that scare you. Let's join our teacher now for part one of a message titled Truth and Jesus Christ from the Truth Pulpit. What we find in this text from John, chapter 1, 14, two aspects of the significance of the coming of Christ, two aspects of the significance of what this verse means. There is the historical significance of what it signifies. And then secondly, there is the revelatory significance of what it signifies.

What happened in time and space history 2,000 years ago in the land of Israel? We want to see that from this text. And what does it mean about God and what does it mean about Christ? The historical significance and the revelatory significance. That's what we're going to see as we go through this text. And so point number one, the historical significance of what happened and what this text means.

The first half of this text makes two historical assertions. Look at it there with me in verse 14. The first assertion is this, the Word became flesh.

Do you see that there? It's making a statement about what happened in the past. In the past, the Word became flesh. And then secondly, you see alongside that what happened after the Word became flesh and that coordinating conjunction there, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

Something happened. The Word became flesh. And then after he became flesh, there was something else that happened in time and space history. He dwelt among us. So that's the historical significance that we're about to look at. The Word became flesh.

We'll see what that means. And then he dwelt among us and we'll see what that means as well. And so first of all, the Word became flesh.

That's the first aspect of this historical significance. For today, we see that this was the Word that was God. Go back to chapter one, verse one. John's Gospel opens on the theme of the Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Now, without getting into the depth of the Trinitarian significance of this passage, just notice a couple of things here. Notice that it says, in the beginning was the Word. The Greek construction in this means that at the time of the beginning, going back to the very start of creation in a Genesis 1-1 kind of way, before that time, the Word was continually existing. Before time began, the Word was. The Word existed and was existing back in eternity past.

And so the Word was someone who was pre-existent. And as you continue on there in verse one, you read that the Word was with God. And that indicates that somehow, somehow the Word is separate from God. If you're going to be with someone, you have to somehow be separate from Him. Separate from her, not that God is a her, just speaking in human language here.

If you're going to be with someone, there's a separate identity of some kind that is in place. And yet you read on and you see that it says there in verse one that the Word was God. This Word who was in the beginning, this Word who was with God, was Himself God, and therefore equal with God. God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, although He's not in this text, God the Son, God the Spirit, fully equal in their essence. Nothing about Christ is inferior to who God the Father is.

Look over at John 14, verse 9, for one aspect of what we need to say here. Jesus said to Philip there at the end of the verse, He said, He who has seen Me has seen the Father. To look at Christ is to see what God the Father is like. God the Father is infinite and unchanging and perfectly holy.

No one, no one is like that except God Himself. And yet Christ says to Philip, when you see Me, you see God the Father. You see a perfect exact representation of what God the Father is like when you observe Me and when you study Me.

And so that's the opening verse there of John chapter 1, verse 1. Now in verse 14, this Word who was in the beginning, this Word who was with God, this Word that was God in the beginning, that Word we see in verse 14, that is the Word that we see in verse 14, the Word became flesh. And so taken together, these verses teach us that God became a man. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, 100% deity, 100% humanity in the one person of Jesus Christ. You could say it this way, the invisible God, I'll say that again, the invisible God added visible humanity to His person.

And what does that mean? It means that God has revealed Himself in a person, the person of Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ, beloved, listen to these nouns carefully, in Jesus Christ dwell the depth, the substance, and the very essence of God Himself. Christ is more than a good teacher. Christ is more than a prophet. Christ is not simply a God, as the Mormons like to say. Christ was God Himself. And the grace of God and the truth of God come to men in and through the person of Jesus Christ. And these principles of grace and truth abide evermore in Him. He is the exact representation of God because He is God Himself. That is the Christ in whom you must believe if you are to be delivered from your sins.

You must know Him for who He really is. Go back to the book of Hebrews with me, to Hebrews chapter 1. Hebrews chapter 1. And here in this text, you're going to see that Christ is the climactic revelation of God.

He is the final word, you could say. In Hebrews chapter 1, verse 1, we read this, God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son. The original text says in Son.

It's even more clear and more emphatic. It's in Son. It's in the Son that God has made Himself known. Verse 2, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. Again, you see the pre-existence of Christ, that it was in Christ that the world was created.

Before Genesis 1,1, Christ. And then we see this in verse 3 as it reflects on the revelatory nature of Christ. It says in verse 3, and Christ is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature. There is no diminishment of the revelation of God in Christ.

There is nothing missing, because in Christ dwells all the fullness of deity in bodily form. That is who the only Savior of mankind is. He is God in human flesh. And you go on and read in verse 3, and He upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high.

And so, in Jesus Christ, the fact that the word became flesh, that is the historical significance of what John is speaking of here in verse 14. In Christ, God became a man. That's what happened in real history when Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. When He was born to her nine months later, God had become a man. God had entered into the fullness of humanity, even humbling Himself to the lowest and lowliest position of being formed in His mother's womb. It is not that Mary is the mother of God. Mary is the mother of the human form of Jesus, because God pre-existed Mary, and she could not in any way have given birth to God Himself.

She gave birth to the human form of Jesus. These are matters of great importance. And so, beloved, here's what we need to see. When we come to the Lord Jesus Christ, when you read about Christ in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, you need to understand this and have it very clear in your mind. Jesus Christ does not merely teach us about God.

He doesn't simply tell us principles by which we can learn about God. Jesus Christ Himself reveals God. He manifests God. God has appeared in the Lord Jesus Christ, because Christ Himself is fully God. He bears the full essence of God without any diminishment whatsoever. There was never a time where Jesus did not exist. There was never a time where the Son of God did not exist. Contrary to what Jehovah's Witnesses and other Arians might try to tell you, Christ is eternal in the same way that God the Father is eternal.

These are matters of great importance. Charles Spurgeon said this. Speaking of Christ, he said, He took on Him the very nature and substance of manhood. He did not merely assume the name and notion and appearance of manhood, but the reality, the weakness, the suffering, the mortality of our manhood, He actually took into union with Himself. Our Lord is as truly and as really man as He is God. Not only does God dwell in the body of a man, but our Lord Jesus is God and man in one person.

End quote. So when the apostles and the other witnesses of the time saw Jesus in the flesh, they were not seeing an appearance. They were not seeing a ghost. They were not seeing some spiritual apparition.

They were seeing a real man in real time. And Christ as a man suffered hunger. He suffered thirst. He had human emotions. He lived in obedience to his parents and submitted to his parents.

As Luke chapter 2 tells us, those and all other aspects of his humanity, accepting the sin of it, he experienced the fullness of humanity, experienced temptation, and thus he is fully identified with men by becoming a man. Now, stay with me here and understand something. Both aspects of the person of Christ are absolutely essential if any man is going to be saved.

I've said this in the past. If a bridge is going to successfully span across a body of water, it has to make contact with land on both sides of the body of water. In the same way, if a man is to be saved, if the infinite chasm between God and man, not only in essence but in sin, if that infinite chasm is going to be bridged, there has to be someone who has his foot both in deity and his foot in humanity.

Otherwise, the bridge collapses. In Christ, we have a Savior who is God himself and therefore is fully identified with God. In Christ, we have a man who is fully identified with humanity. And therefore, having joined the two natures into one, he and he alone is available. He and he alone is able to be the Savior. Someone who is not God cannot die for an extended number of people.

Someone who is not a man cannot die for man and take away their sins. There has to be a full identity with the essence of God and with the essence of humanity, and that's what Jesus Christ has done. And so, when we contemplate this, we realize that there are great realities that are unveiled in the Lord Jesus Christ. And so we see this historical assertion that the Word became flesh.

Now, John adds a second historical assertion. Go back to John chapter 1, verse 14 with me. John chapter 1, verse 14, we see the second aspect, not only that the Word became flesh, but secondly, he dwelt among us. The Word dwelt among us. The Word became flesh, the Word dwelt among us. So, 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ literally lived with men on this earth. During the course of his earthly lifetime, he moved about men who witnessed him, who felt his flesh, who heard him speak, who witnessed his works, and he lived among us. Now, this word for dwelt among us, it's from the Greek word skenao, and it means to take up residence, or he lived, or he dwelt. And what it's saying is that when the Word became flesh, when Jesus Christ became a man, he took up residence among men.

He lived among men. And what's fascinating about that verb is that the noun form of this verb in the original language refers to the tabernacle, the place where God manifested his presence and met with his people in the Old Testament. God, in the Old Testament, manifested his presence in the tabernacle, later manifested his presence in the temple. And thus, in a sense, he dwelt among us in the temple, but not in bodily form. With Christ, what we have now is God has manifested his presence. God has took up residence and met with his people in the person of Jesus Christ. And so Christ was manifesting the very presence of God to those who saw him as he lived among men. And so, compared to the Old Testament and the shadows of the tabernacle, in Christ, in the New Testament era, God was now dwelling with his people in a far more personal way, in the most intimate of ways.

It far exceeded what Israel knew in the shadows of ceremonies and animal sacrifices. And this is one of the reasons, beloved, why it is so important for you not to be drawn in, not to be tempted to go back to Old Testament rituals, to Old Testament feasts and things like that. Those were shadows that were inferior to the greater coming of Christ. And because Christ has come, the shadows go away. When the fullness of light comes, the shadows disappear. And in that way, in the same way, the coming of Christ has done away with those ceremonies that looked forward to Christ.

Now that we have the fulfillment, we do not dabble in the shadows. And so, as Christ lived among men, men were able to see him, hear him, feel him, and touch him. They heard his authoritative teaching.

Look over at Matthew chapter 7 with me. They heard his authoritative teaching, and it astonished them. Matthew 7, verse 28, after Jesus finished preaching the Sermon on the Mount, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. Jesus' teaching was such that they knew that they had never heard anything like that. It was astonishing to them to see a man of such authority, of such power in his speaking, and such wisdom and insight and depth of understanding. Never a man spoke like this, it was said of him elsewhere in Scripture.

In addition to hearing his authoritative teaching as the Word dwelt among them, they witnessed his supernatural miracles. Look over at Luke chapter 5 with me. Luke chapter 5.

I want to spend just a moment looking at this. There's a lot to be said from this text in Luke chapter 5, as we see the Lord dwelling among men. Luke chapter 5, verse 1. Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around him and listening to the Word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets.

And he got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And he sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. See the emphasis on teaching while the Lord was on earth? His ministry was one of teaching and proclaiming the Word of God.

Nothing has changed, beloved, in the ensuing 2,000 years. The teaching of the Word of God is central to true ministry. It cannot be marginalized and still claim to be a biblical ministry. That is essential and critical for us to understand. Jesus was teaching there in verse 3 from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.

I'll give you a preview of what's about to happen here. Jesus, having taught verbally the people, is now going to do a sign to authenticate and verify the veracity of his teaching. He's going to do something that no man could do in order to show that his teaching was the very Word of God. And so he tells Simon in verse 4, put out into the water and let down your nets for a catch. And Simon, the fisherman, the professional fisherman, answered and said, Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing.

In other words, Lord, this is not a good idea. We know that there are no fish here. We've just worked all night.

We're professional fishermen. And so this is not going to prove anything. But, verse 5, I will do as you say and let down the nets.

This was hardly Peter at his highest moment of trusting faith. No, but I'll do it. You say to do it, I'll do it, but Lord, you're on your own on this one.

Whatever happens, you're responsible. I warned you ahead of time this wasn't going to work. Verse 6, when they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish and their nets began to break so that they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats so that they began to sink. The Lord, whom we saw earlier, through whom God created the world, was continuing to exercise his sovereignty over creation and natural elements. And so he supernaturally called together fish to come into those nets and it was so massive and so beyond human ability, so beyond human capacity that there was no other conclusion to draw but the fact that this was God in human flesh who was speaking and who had just performed this miracle. Now what happened at that manifestation of the person of God? What was Peter's response? When Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus' feet saying, Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.

There's a lot to be said there. In the context of John 1.14, what I want you to see is that God became a man and his disciples witnessed his supernatural miracles. They were direct eyewitnesses of it and saw it and verified it in the same way that you and I verify reality around us with their five human senses. They saw it.

It was real. That's Don Green bringing our study for today to a close here on The Truth Pulpit. Friend, if you'd like to find out more about Don Green or you'd like to hear this message again, we invite you to visit thetruthpulpit.com. When you get there, you'll find all of Don's teaching available to you 24 hours a day. That's thetruthpulpit.com. Well, thanks so much for taking the time to be with us for today's lesson. I'm Bill Wright inviting you to join us again next time as Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word here on The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-25 05:15:46 / 2023-02-25 05:24:23 / 9

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