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Seeing the Father in Christ #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
April 18, 2024 12:00 am

Seeing the Father in Christ #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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April 18, 2024 12:00 am

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Welcome to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, Founding Pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. It is our joy to continue our commitment to teaching God's people God's Word. Today Don is continuing with the second part of a message we started last time.

So let's get right to it. Open your Bible as we join Don now in The Truth Pulpit. Turn your Bibles to John 14. Turn in your Bibles to John 14.

I'm going to read the first nine verses of this chapter and that will serve as our fifth point in this series on the Lordship of Christ. In John chapter 14, beginning in verse 1, our Blessed Lord says this, and actually let's step back to three verses earlier because it fits with everything that I said just now. John chapter 13 verse 36. Simon Peter said to him, Lord, where are you going?

Because Christ had said, you'll seek me and not be able to find me. Peter said, Lord, where are you going? Jesus answered him, where I'm going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterwards. In verse 37, Peter said to him, Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you. And Jesus answered, will you lay down your life for me?

Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow until you have denied me three times. Peter's sin, Peter's failure in that moment was spiritual overconfidence. He thought he was something that he wasn't. And Jesus rebukes him and subsequent events exposed him as not being the spiritual giant that Peter thought he was. This is the common condition of man, to think more highly of himself than he ought, to take spiritual matters for granted without an earnest seeking of Christ, an earnest brokenness before him. Jesus speaks in verse one of chapter 14 now. He says, let not your hearts be troubled.

Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself that where I am, you may be also. And you know the way to where I'm going.

Thomas said to him, Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my father also.

From now on, you do know him and have seen him. Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us. Jesus said to him, have I been with you so long and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, show us the Father? Now, the point here for our extended series and the first point for today, the fifth point in this overall series on the deity of Christ, is that Jesus Christ perfectly reveals God the Father. He perfectly reveals God the Father.

The only way he could do that would be if he was God himself. And so in John chapter 14, in the first three verses, Jesus has told his uncertain disciples that he'll be leaving soon, but he says, don't let it trouble you. There's a sovereign plan that I'm working out and I will come again and take you to myself that where I am, there you may be also, in verse three. And Thomas, Thomas speaks and says, Lord, I don't get it.

I don't understand a thing you're saying. You talk about us knowing the way where you're going, verse four, and Thomas says to him in verse five, Lord, we do not know where you are going. And how can we know the way? He is desperately in the shadows of spiritual understanding. He's in the presence of Christ and yet he doesn't understand.

Just like so many of you today, you are in the presence of an open Bible and the open teaching of the word of God, and yet you are in darkness and you have no idea what would happen to you tonight if you fell over dead. Thomas says, Lord, you talk about going away and that we know the way. I have no idea.

I have no clue. And it's in that context that Jesus responds to him, and notice how he points him to himself. He doesn't tell Thomas that, Thomas, all you need to do is to live a little bit better life. Thomas, you just need to be in the synagogue, be in the church on a weekly basis, and, you know, things will be okay.

Thomas, it's not really so serious. You know, it's all going to work out fine in the end. Everyone's going to be in a bright green place in the end, and God will just magically forgive everyone's sin and we'll all be in heaven together.

He doesn't say anything like that. Beloved, the justice of God is real. The wrath of God is real, and his judgment on sin will be executed. It's a lethal spiritual mistake to just presume upon some kind of general mercy of God without looking to Christ for personal forgiveness of your sins. So Jesus says to him in verse 6, he says, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Notice the assumption is no one comes to the Father.

That's the blanket statement, and then there's one solitary, hopeful exception. It's those that would come not in their own goodness, but come in the name of Christ, who would come through Christ, having received him, having rested in him, having put their faith in him, only those will be saved. Everyone else will be lost. Philip is still confused as you read on. In verse 8, Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father and it's enough for us.

Just give us a glimpse of God and we'll be satisfied. Now Thomas and Philip both, neither one of them, had come to know Christ at this point. Thomas says, we don't know the way. That's not the mark of someone who's been born again, who has the Spirit of God in them.

Spirit hadn't come yet. Philip didn't understand who Christ was. He says, I just want to see God and I'll be satisfied. And Jesus responds to him in verse 9. There's almost, if it weren't so weighty, it would almost be humorous to realize that Philip says, in essence, I want to see God. You know who he's telling that to? God, in human flesh, right in front of him. It'd be like you saying to me, I just wish I could meet Don Green.

No one wants to do that, I get that, and that's okay, I'm alright with that. I say, well, I'm right here. I'm in your presence. Well, in an exponentially, geometrically greater way, Christ says to Philip, don't you understand who I am? Verse 9, have I been with you so long and you still don't know me? If you've seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you say, show us the Father?

That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard all day. How could you say that to me? You see, the point for today, beloved, for our takeaway on this, is that to know Jesus Christ is to know the Father. To see Jesus Christ is to see what the Father is like. To read his words is to hear the revelation of the Father. To read his works is to see God manifesting himself. There is no distinction in their essence, in their person, yes. In their essence, in their attributes, no.

Perfect identity. It can only be true if Jesus is God, eternal God in human flesh. If he was a created being, as the Jehovah's Witnesses blasphemously teach, he would not be uncreated God.

If he was manifested in the Catholic mass, it would not be the Christ of Scripture. If he was only a prophet, if he was only a really good man, he would not be God himself. So if you were only looking at a human prophet, if you were only looking at some kind of angelic being that had been created, even as the first of the creation of God, if that's what you were looking at, someone who was created, someone who was naturally born, someone who was made and fashioned distinct from the essence of God, beloved, this is a really important, profound theological point. No matter how elevated those views might be compared to other men, if they were true, and they're not, but if they were true, you could not say, when I look at Christ, I'm seeing God himself. You're looking at an angel, not someone of a different order of magnitude of existence. If you're looking at a human prophet, you're not looking at God. If you're looking at a good moral teacher, and that's all that he is, you're not looking at God. The only way that it could be true for Jesus to say, if you've seen me, you've seen the Father, in that unqualified sense, is if he's God himself.

Beloved, here's the thing. This God who exists, that we've seen declared, who's made himself known in creation, in the canon of Scripture, in the conscience of humanity, in the person of Christ, and in the conversion of men throughout the ages, who makes himself known in that way, who sheds abroad the knowledge of God in the hearts of sinners, that they might come to Christ, the only way that that God is known in Christ, the only way that you can say, looking at Christ, is to see that God, is if Jesus Christ is fully equal with him. The words of Jesus Christ perfectly express the character of God. The works of Jesus Christ perfectly express the character and power of God. There is this sharing of a divine essence, without separation, without diminishment, that means that the fullness of God is present in the person of Christ.

Colossians 2, 9 says, all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form in Christ. Now Jesus goes on in verse 10 and 11, says, Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who dwells in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

He says, take My word for it when I tell you that you see God when you see Me. Take My word for it, He says, and if you won't take My word for it, look at all of the works that I've done, turning water into wine, raising the dead to life, stilling the seas. Look at the works that I do, the works that only God could do as testified by the Old Testament. Look at the works that I do and believe on account of the works, and then you'll come to believe My words as well. Oh, beloved, and as you read the Gospels, as you read the Gospels, there's so many testimonies to the reality of Christ and who He is. You have the words of Christ, you have the works of Christ. Scripture talks about how God the Father spoke from heaven. Look down on Jesus at, for example, at His baptism and at His transfiguration, and says, this is My beloved Son, in Him I am well pleased. You know, look, Scripture says that on the testimony of two or three persons, a fact is established. We have God the Father having spoken, the works of Christ speaking to us, John the Baptist spoke, the apostles spoke.

Five hundred witnesses saw Him resurrected from the dead. There's no lack of evidence. There's no lack of persuasion. If this was a courtroom, the judge, a righteous judge, would give summary judgment in favor of those proclaiming the deity of Christ. There's no opposition to it here. The testimony is of the highest order.

It's established. You say, well then, why doesn't everybody believe? Well, think about it this way, to kind of reverse the analogy a little bit. The hearts of those who refuse to believe, that refuse to bow to the lordship of Christ, they're like a judge that's taken a bribe. They've been paid off by sin and their love for sin. And so they refuse the things of Christ because they love sin.

They love themselves. If Christ is Lord, then they are not. If Christ is the authority, then they are not.

Then you're not free to live however you want if there's a final accounting. Easier to push Christ out and deny Him and to reject Him in the falsehood of your own mind than to simply acknowledge the truth that's established in all these ways. It's so, so sad.

It's so, so sad. Philip had been with Christ for three years and he didn't get it at that point prior to the resurrection. But Christ says, it's all right there for you to see. If you don't see it, if you're hardened against it, it's not because it's not plain. If you don't hear the Spirit of God speaking through the Scriptures, it's not the Spirit's fault that you have your fingers in your spiritual ears saying, nah, nah, nah, I'm not going to listen. It's not the Spirit's fault that you hardened your heart against these things. That's your fault. That's your responsibility.

Why are you accountable for it? So much better, so much better to soften your heart and say, God, work in my heart and help me to come to the truth of these things. Be merciful to me, the sinner.

Appeal to the mercy and compassion of God, the mercy and compassion of Christ that he has on the lost. He's a friend of sinners. He's your best friend.

And you harden your heart against him. This is incomprehensible. So Jesus has made the person of God known to us. I simply ask you this morning, is the knowledge of God in the person of Christ a living reality to you or not? Are you growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Then praise the Lord. Blessed are you that God the Father has drawn you to his Son and your heart should be filled with joy over the things that we're saying here today, as mine is, though I was once yet dead in sin like everyone else. But if these things aren't alive to you, if these things aren't the controlling way that you perceive all of life and for which you live, beloved, do not presume that you're a Christian just because you've been hanging around the rest of us for a long, long time. Many will say to me on that day, turn to Christ.

Enough of the games, enough of the hardness of heart, enough of the manufactured objections. Jesus Christ is God. Jesus Christ is the only Savior of sinners. And you're a sinner and you need him desperately on his terms, not on your own.

Or you'll be forever lost. Why would you take one more step in that direction, I ask you? Why would you take one more hardened step away from Christ when he is so evidently pleading to you through his Word here this morning? Come to me and be saved. Father, we come to you and we confess before you how greatly we need the help of your Holy Spirit here today. Father, these are weighty matters, I know. These are things that unsaved people resist and do not want to hear.

They stiffen their neck, they arch their back against them. And yet, Father, as you know so well, I was once like that. You showed mercy to me. You ultimately showed mercy to Thomas, to Peter, to Philip, to the other disciples you brought them in. For thousands of years you've been drawing people to Christ and the church ever expanding is evidence of that. The many genuine brothers and sisters in Christ that are here in the room with me, Father, testify to the same thing. The greatness of your kindness, the greatness of your mercy, the greatness of your power to save, the greatness of your power to overcome the most hardened sinner and your willingness to save the most unrepentant one, if only they will turn to you. Father, by the gentleness of your Holy Spirit, I pray that you would help people see the consequences of the truth that they've heard today.

By the power of your Spirit that you would impress upon them that you are willing to forgive all of their sins and grant them eternal life and complete forgiveness as you invite them to come to Christ. God, I pray one final time here this morning, I suppose, I pray again, I ask again for that kind of work of your Spirit in the hearts of those who have been hardened a long time, to those that have been struggling, for those that are under the weight of sin. Father, may the grace and the mercy and the goodness of God, the righteousness and shed blood of Jesus Christ, the danger of eternal judgment, the wickedness of sin and being so tired of the evil of life that we've lived. Father, may all of that be and that which your Spirit uses to create faith by the word that has been preached here this morning.

Show mercy to each one. Father, not creating unnecessary doubts in those that are truly redeemed, may those that are redeemed find the anchor of their soul reestablished and the wonder of Christ made fresh again in their heart and that the redeemed would speak out with joy, Hallelujah, I have been saved. God, make that true in believing hearts. Father, we're either in light or we're in darkness and for those that are in darkness that can't rejoice in the glory of Christ presented through your Word today, Father, I just ask you once again to show mercy to them. Father, if they would jump to hell, Father, it's only going to be despite the fact that the preaching of the gospel and people who love their souls are hanging on to their ankles saying, Don't do this.

Don't turn away. Father, may the urgency of these things be impressed by the Spirit that each one outside of Christ would know for certain as they walk out today that they have heard the true condition of their soul and that your Spirit would convince them that unless they turn to Christ today, they are in danger of eternal judgment. May no less an urgency be pressed upon those who are not in Christ today than that. May you cause us to flee to Christ, to flee to the only refuge, to strip away all self-deception, that we might belong to Christ safely in this life and gloriously forevermore. In Jesus' name we pray.

Amen. That's Don Green here on The Truth Pulpit. And here's Don again with some closing thoughts. Well, my friend, just before we close today's broadcast, I just wanted to give a special word of greeting and thanks to the many people that listen to our podcast internationally.

It's remarkable to me. The last report that I saw listed 83 different countries that in one way or another are listening to us. And I just want to send a special word of greeting to those of you who are in lands that are distant from my own home here in the United States. You know, we've seen people from every continent except maybe Antarctica and people from countries like Ireland and Australia and Singapore, Canada, the UK, India.

I have friends in all of those countries. And whether you've met me face to face or whether you only know me as a voice through your favorite device, I just want to say God bless you. Thank you for your interest in the Word of God. And may the Spirit of God work deeply in your heart as you continue to study God's Word. Thank you for being with us. Thank you for your prayers. God bless you. My prayers and love are with you as well. And we'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit. That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thank you so much for listening to The Truth Pulpit. Join us next time for more as we continue teaching God's people God's Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-18 04:56:14 / 2024-04-18 05:04:50 / 9

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