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Truth and Jesus Christ #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
September 19, 2022 8:00 am

Truth and Jesus Christ #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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As you start to contemplate the glories of Christ, you get lost in the wonder of it, of where to even start to contemplate and to meditate upon the glories of who He is. Hello, and welcome back to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I'm Bill Wright. How is it possible that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man at the same time? Well, today as Don continues teaching God's people God's word, he's going to unravel the mystery behind this seemingly incomprehensible yet fundamentally important topic.

So let's join Don now for the second half of a message called Truth and Jesus Christ on The Truth Pulpit. Beloved, there's a couple of things that you need to understand about the reason that we don't rely on visions to be the basis upon which we find a revelation of God. First of all, Scripture says definitively that Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. The fact that someone sees a supernatural vision is no indication that it's a vision from God, quite to the contrary.

It's going to be a manifestation of Satan himself, because revelation is over. It is complete in the Scriptures, and God is found in the Scriptures now, not through visions. And Scripture explicitly warns us about basing our experience of God on visions. Colossians 2 speaks about this as well. Don't be led astray by someone who takes his stand on visions that he has seen.

Very important for you to understand this. This is critical to biblical discernment. But going further, as we contemplate the word dwelt among us and God having manifested himself, what is Peter's response when he realizes that he's really in the presence of God? He falls at Jesus' feet, and he says, Lord, go away from me. I'm a sinful man. I cannot, as a sinful man, tolerate the reality of your presence.

He was undone. Just like Isaiah in chapter 6 says, woe is me, for I have seen the Lord, and I'm a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips. In Scripture, when people saw a manifestation of the holiness of God, they fell down in terror. And, beloved, that is not the spirit that you find in these supposed modern-day miracles, these modern-day visions, I should say.

This is not the experience. When Paul was caught up into heaven, as he talks about that in Corinthians, he said, I saw things that man is not permitted to speak. And yet today we have all kinds of people saying they've gone up to heaven, they come back, and now they tell us everything that they saw. Nothing could be more contrary to the word of God than that. People who are exposed to realities of the holiness of God are shattered by it.

They are convicted of sin when it happens in Scripture. And today's claims to visions are nothing like that at all. And so we have to have the discernment and we have to have the willingness to say, no, Scripture alone. True faith in Christ comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. It is based on the revelation of God found in his written word these days. That's one point of discernment and the other aspect is what these modern visions lead to and the way that people talk about them is nothing like the reality of someone that has seen Christ as shown in Scripture.

This is so very critical for us to cling to and to hold to and to insist upon. The Word became flesh, the Word dwelt among us. And so with that little bit of summary, understand this, that for three decades, Jesus took up residence among men.

They really saw him and it really had an impact on him. And the entire New Testament testifies to these realities. And in the subsequent 2,000 years since Christ became a man, the world has never been the same since then.

Everything has changed. We measure time by the incarnation of Christ. And I realize that there are academics that are trying to, you know, that don't follow the long established measurement of time and talk about the common era, before the common era, after the common era. Well, what's the dividing point? What's the dividing point?

The dividing point is even in that scheme, the dividing point is found in the person of Jesus Christ. And so as a matter of historical reality, God actually became a man, actually walked on earth, actually dwelt among men. And just while you're in Luke, let's just remind ourselves of something else, of the utter humility that that act was on the part of our Lord Jesus. Look at the end of chapter 9 of Luke, down in verse 57.

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, I will follow you wherever you go. And Jesus said to him, the foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. He dwelt among men, but he had no dwelling place of his own.

Think about that, God on earth, on the earth that he created without a place to lay his head. Verse 59, he said to another, follow me. But he said, Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father. But he said to him, allow the dead to bury their own dead, but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God. Another also said, I will follow you, Lord, but first permit me to say goodbye to those at home. But Jesus said to him, no one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. You find in Christ this call to absolute discipleship, this call to absolute, unreserved, unqualified commitment to him that human loyalties cannot transcend.

Human loyalties must bend. Human loyalties must yield to the supreme loyalty to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is his authority as God, and in his humanity we see how much he humbled himself, not only taking on human flesh, not only leaving heaven in the worship of angels, but humbled himself to the point of death, even death on a cross after he had lived a life in his adult ministry where he had nowhere to lay his head. When you start to contemplate the glories of Christ, you get lost in the wonder of it, of where to even start to contemplate and to meditate upon the glories of who he is. Do you focus on the greatness of his deity? Do you focus on the greatness of his humility, that he would leave heaven to come on a mission to save sinners who had rebelled against him? Do you focus on how he lived a perfect life, utterly devoid of the trappings of royalty to which he deserved? Do you focus on the fact that he went to the cross and suffered in agony, hanging literally between heaven and earth for the salvation of sinners?

Do you focus on that? Not only is there no exhausting the glory of Christ, beloved, there's no exhausting the different aspects at which you could begin to consider it. He is so far above us, he is so great, so glorious, and yet glorious in his humility as well. This is what we contemplate when we see that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

The glories of Christ now revealed for us perfectly and in an inerrant, reliable way in the 66 books of the Bible. That's who Christ is, God in human flesh. And the fact that perhaps if we've grown up in the church and we've been in the church for a long time, we started to hear this and it's kind of become familiar truth for some of us, we should never accept the lethargic spiritual state that just accepts that and just kind of yawns at it as though this is something that I've heard many times before.

No, this is the reality of the glory of God found in the person of Christ, and the true Christian never tires of it. The true Christian never exhausts the fullness of what it means. And so the Word became flesh, the Word dwelt among us. Those are the historical assertions that we see in this passage in John chapter 1. Now let's go on and consider the revelatory significance of it, the revelatory significance of John chapter 1 verse 14.

Let's look at the verse again, and as we do understand this, that the incarnation was nothing less than the very revelation of very God Himself. John chapter 1 verse 14, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. So you've got the Word became flesh and He dwelt among us, and there's something else, there's something further, we saw His glory. The word and there, that coordinating conjunction, indicates that there was a consequence to Christ's coming. Something had happened, something took place while Christ was dwelling among men, and what John is saying is that we saw Him. We, meaning the apostolic circle, those that were close to Christ, the verified apostles, they saw Him. John and his contemporaries beheld Him.

They saw something, they saw His glory. The verb there, saw, is from the Greek word theaomai. It means more than a passing glance. It's more than just seeing somebody drive by on the street and say, oh, I saw the car go by, or you bump into somebody and you have a five-minute discussion with them.

I saw Jane when I was at the store today. That's not the idea of saw here. This is more than a passing glance. One lexicon says it means to look upon with special interest.

There's a gazing that has the idea, an intent focus. We looked upon Him with intent focus and we saw His glory. And so the apostles did not merely observe Jesus as He walked by. They looked upon Him and they took notice. As it were, they sat up straight and looked and paid attention as they saw Christ. And as a result of that, the apostles have and had a special perception about Christ, a special understanding, a depth of recognition that goes past a casual acquaintance. Aided by the Holy Spirit, the apostles realized that they were looking at glory in the highest sense and they were looking at truth incarnate.

They said, look at it there with me again. We saw His glory and then He expands on what the glory was. Glory as of the only begotten from the Father, glory that was full of grace and truth. The wonder, the excellence, the majesty of Christ that they saw, John says, was a revelation of the very glory of God Himself.

And so His glory refers to the glory of Christ. And what a privilege it is for us to contemplate this and for me to even be able to say something like what I am about to say. We are really privileged to have the Word of God in our own language. We are privileged to be able to study the Word of God in peace, whatever else is happening around us. We are privileged to hear about the Christ who came to save sinners just like you. We're privileged to have the Holy Spirit with us to help us understand. All of these things are great privileges from God that we should never take advantage of or assume that it's always going to be like this.

We need to capitalize on the opportunities while we can. And so as we contemplate the glory of Christ, let me say this, that Jesus Christ has intrinsic, infinite merit. He is infinitely worthy of worship. There is no exhausting His goodness and His greatness because Jesus Christ is uniquely the representative of God the Father.

There is no one else like Him. There is no other place where God has revealed Himself in a man but in Christ. And so because He represents the infinitely holy God, because He Himself is the infinitely holy God in human flesh, the fullness of sovereign majesty, the fullness of God's omni-presence, omniscience, and omnipotence, all of the essence of God, somehow localized in the person of Jesus Christ, when we look on Christ, we are seeing the greatest one in the universe. We cannot comprehend His greatness.

We can know it truly, but we cannot know it exhaustively. That's how great Christ is. That's how infinite He is. His merit, His righteousness, His greatness is beyond all measurement. And it is because He uniquely, in a way no one else does, reveals and manifests God. It is an appearance of God in Christ. Many scriptures speak of Christ in these revelatory terms.

Let me just camp on this for just a moment. This is so important to understand that in Christ God is making Himself known. God is revealing Himself. He is manifesting Himself to those who look upon Christ. And that's why it is so important for you, my friend, it is so important for you to consider carefully how you are responding to Christ, how you respond to this truth, because how you respond to Christ is how you respond to God Himself. And the one who rejects Christ rejects God and seals their doom for an eternal judgment in hell.

This is no academic matter that we are considering here today. We are dealing with matters of eternal life and eternal death as we proclaim Christ to you. We are standing, as it were, we are standing with our heels on the cliff without a rail in front of us. We're standing on a cliff over which eternity hangs. And the question is whether you're going to ground the heels and the feet of your soul on the rock of Christ, or whether you'll take another step forward and plunge into an everlasting fall that leads into everlasting doom.

Nothing less than that is at stake in what we are considering here. And so Scripture speaks of Christ in these revelatory terms, these terms by which He makes God known to us, so that you read in 2 Corinthians 4, verse 4, Christ is the image of God. In Colossians 1, 15, He is the image of the invisible God. Christ manifests exactly who God is because He is God. Jesus said in John 8, 19, If you knew Me, you would know My Father also.

He who has seen Me has seen the Father. John Owen, I've quoted from this book in the past, a little Puritan paperback published by The Banner of Truth, titled The Glory of Christ, highly recommend that book to you. John Owen says this, Christ is specially glorious because He and He alone perfectly reveals God's nature and will to us. Without Christ, we would have known nothing truly about God for He would have been eternally invisible to us.

End quote. Jesus Christ put God on display in a way that was new in the progress of Revelation. So that, look back at John 1, 14, John identifies the glory here, glory as of the only begotten from the Father.

When they heard the astonishing teaching, when they saw the astonishing miracles, beloved, they were seeing not the glory of a mere man, they were seeing the glory of God, the unique, non-repeatable glory of God, and the Father loved Christ like no one else, so that the Father speaks from heaven at different times in the gospels and says, This is My beloved Son. In Him I am well pleased. God pleased with Christ.

God perfectly pleased with His Son. It's rather challenging, very humbling for us as sinful creatures to look upon Christ and say, Are we perfectly pleased with Him as our beloved? Are we well pleased with Christ?

Is He in Christ? Do we find our all in all? In Christ, do we find our reason to live? In Christ, do we find our highest loyalty, our highest priority?

Are we pleased with Him like that? In Christ, do we find our satisfaction even in the midst of distressing circumstances? Scripture lays it all out. Christ displayed God in truth. In other words, He showed God's glory as it really is.

Charles Spurgeon said this. He said, The grace in Christ is true grace. It is not fiction or vague hope. It is grace which, in fact, brings redemption and pardons sin. It, in fact, gives new life and a salvation which completely saves. See, it's true.

Beloved, you see the theme? Truth. The way things really are.

The way that it is accurately. And it is in Christ as fully God, fully man in one person. It is in Christ.

Christ crucified, Christ resurrected, Christ ascended. Only in that Christ is true salvation found. Do you know Christ in that way?

Do you confess Christ with your mouth in that way? Do you own Him as Lord and God in that way? Do you rely on Christ and Christ alone for your righteousness before God in that way?

Or are you still trafficking in the cheap wares of, I've been a pretty good person. I'm sure God will let me into heaven. Understand that those words can never come from the lips of a true Christian because a true Christian understands that it's in Christ alone where glory and truth are revealed, where God is revealed. It is in Christ alone that we find this gracious truth. Spurgeon again says, It is not the truth in Christ. The truth in Christ is not truth which condemns and punishes.

It is truth, these are sweet words, it is truth steeped in love, truth dripping with mercy. The truth Christ brings to us comes not from the judgment seat but from the mercy seat. Now, beloved, this revelation of Christ that we've seen here today, it's no longer visible to human eyes. Christ went up to heaven.

Christ is at the right hand of God. And when He comes a second time, it's not going to be in private visions. He's going to come in a way that every eye will see Him and look upon Him whom they pierced. So we don't look for spiritual visions. Rather, we look in the written Word. The vision, the knowledge of Christ is manifested to us now to our minds by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.

That's where Christ is found. We must ask ourselves whether Christ is in us or not. And He cannot be in us unless He has been received by that faith with which we behold His glory." You must behold the true Christ and receive Him by faith if you are going to be saved from your sins.

I beg you, do not settle for vague notions of religion that do not save. Don't settle for simply appearing amongst the people of God for a period of time while holding all of the reality of it at arm's distance. You must embrace Christ or you will be lost. You must embrace Christ as God in human flesh, crucified, buried, and risen for your sins and for your salvation. Ask Him to save you and to make Himself known to you so that you can say, by faith I see the glory of Christ.

It is the glory in Him of the only begotten from the Father full of grace and truth. Well, that's going to bring our study to a close for today here on The Truth Pulpit. If you'd like to hear this message again, just go to When you get there, you'll find all of Don's teaching available to you 24 hours a day.

Once again, that's And now just before we go, here again is Don with a closing word. Well, my friend, I am committed to the dynamic of verbal preaching. I love to preach and speak. I think there's a dynamic when a preacher opens the Word of God to hearers that the audio component of that is a means that God uses greatly in the lives of those who hear.

But I also understand that sometimes you want to go back and study what was said more closely. We have transcripts of all of my full-length sermons available on our website, and I would encourage you to go there to find them and to be able to study the messages more closely through the written word, as you've also enjoyed it through the spoken word. Thanks, Don. And friend, thank you for taking the time to be with us today. I'm Bill Wright, inviting you to join us again next time as Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word on the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-25 16:00:03 / 2023-01-25 16:08:49 / 9

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