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My Lord and My God #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2024 12:00 am

My Lord and My God #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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April 19, 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, I'm Bill Wright. Thanks for joining us as we continue teaching God's people God's Word. Don begins a new message today, so without further delay, let's join him right now in The Truth Pulpit. Well tonight we come to what I intend to be our concluding message on how to know Jesus is Lord. And you could really preach through all of the Gospels, all four Gospels and all the Epistles to make this point, but we have to be somewhat selective and, you know, bring things to a conclusion and keep things moving. What we've seen is how much the Old Testament laid the foundation for our understanding of the Lordship of Christ.

We looked at that in some detail. We saw how the prophets predicted the life and the death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection and how the Old Testament sacrificial system was a foreshadowing of the coming of Christ, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. More recently we've looked at his deity and how that establishes the Lordship of Christ.

And up until now we've seen five points related to his deity. The Bible calls Jesus God, John 1, 1 and 14. Jesus does the works of God, John chapter 5, and we looked and reviewed seven different miracles from the Gospel of John that established that. You know, Jesus said, if you don't believe my words, believe on account of the works, that God is with you, eternal God in human flesh. We saw that Jesus has the name of God. Jesus has full unity with the essence of God. Last time on Sunday we saw that Jesus perfectly reveals God the Father. He said to Philip, if anyone has seen me, he has seen the Father. To see Christ is to see exactly what God the Father looks like. And along those lines, if you'll just take a quick peek in the book of Hebrews chapter 1, we're not going to go too far off track here with this, but in Hebrews chapter 1 you see all of this kind of brought together and summarized in a wonderful way.

This could have served as a closing text for tonight's message, but we'll open with it. Hebrews chapter 1 verse 1. Notice the emphasis on the prophets and how God spoke in times past, which has laid the foundation for everything that we've said here.

We've just been biblical in all of this, beloved. Hebrews 1 verse 1. Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. The prophets laid the foundation. It was through Christ that God created the world.

This is lordship. He is Lord over heaven and earth. And then in verse 3, we see that he is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature. Everything that uncreated God is, is seen in the Lord Jesus Christ. A creature, if Christ was somehow the first creation of God, as Jehovah's Witnesses blasphemously claim, then there is no way that this verse could be true, because a creature could never show forth the essence of his uncreated creator. So for Christ to be the exact imprint of the nature of God is to say that he is uncreated God.

He shares fully in the essence of God, and therefore we are right to call him God the Son. Verse 3, going on, he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. You have this, you have these supernatural beings, these invisible angels, and Christ is infinitely above them. This is the mark of lordship.

This is the mark of deity. The one who rules over the universe is the one who is Lord over all. And so Jesus is eternal God in human flesh. Now after a while, after you lay out so many of these things as we've done for the past five or six weeks, you start to realize that you're really piling on, and Scripture just adds and adds to these things so that we can't miss it.

If this was, you know, if this was – sorry for the crass analogy here – if this was a street fight, those denying the deity of Christ, denying the lordship of Christ, calling him only a good teacher or only an elevated man or something, in the face of all of this overwhelming biblical testimony about his real essence, they're bringing a squirt gun to a knife fight. This is – Scripture devastates when you understand it in its fullness, when you take time to study it and reason these things out from the Word of God, you realize that there is no excuse for anyone denying the deity of Christ, and that judgment falls rightly on those who blasphemously make him out to be someone other than he is. This just goes on and on and on throughout Scripture. So much so, so much so that in that familiar text in Philippians 2, verses 9 through 11, all creation is going to one day make, beloved, the confession that we have been asserting and defending over the past several weeks from this pulpit. Philippians chapter 2, verse 9, therefore, speaking of Christ, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, this one who is in the form of God, by very nature God himself, one who is equal with God.

He has a name above every name so that the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. One day there will be a unanimous affirmation and assent to the principles that we're talking about here. The people of God will join in it joyously and rejoice in the visible exaltation of our precious Lord. The enemies of God will be forced to acknowledge it by submission that is forced upon them. They will acknowledge Jesus as Lord and then they'll be sent away, but creation will unite, creation will unite in this confession. Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

And so what we've been studying together over the past several weeks is simply a foretaste of the ultimate outcome of human history, and we're blessed to be able to do this together as we open the Word of God. We gladly, openly make the proclamation Jesus is eternal God in human flesh. He is Lord over all. He is the perfect manifestation of the uncreated, unseen God. Now, that brings us to our sixth point in this series on his deity, and it's this, that Jesus has God's glory. Jesus has God's glory. He expresses, he manifests God's glory. He is God's glory, you could say, even more accurately. And what we see is you turn now to the Gospel of John chapter 17.

You can turn there with me in your Bible. In John chapter 17, we see this laid out, and all of the primary points that we've been making in this recent series have come from the Gospel of John, and we've bounced from there into other places of the Bible. But Jesus claimed that the glory of God was his own.

This is a stunning claim, and yet he makes it so plain in the high priestly prayer found in John chapter 17. On the verge of his crucifixion, Jesus gets alone with his father and prays for his father. He commits his disciples to the father's care as he's about to go to the cross and will be temporarily separated from God as he bears the wrath of God and says, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? In anticipation of that great, awful, magnificent, unprecedented hour, Jesus goes to his father in prayer, and he says this in the opening five verses of John chapter 17. When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify your son that the son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

That fifth verse is just unsearchably magnificent, and we'll get to it in just a moment. In verse one there, you'll notice he says, he prays, Father, the hour has come. What he's saying is the appointed hour for my death has arrived. God had appointed Christ for crucifixion. God had appointed Christ in order to be the sacrifice that would turn away his wrath for everyone who would ever believe in him. And this was a predetermined time.

God determined this before the creation of the world that this would come. And so for some 4,000 years or more, all of history had been moving from creation toward this climax up to that point, the climax of the crucifixion of Christ. And so the hour, the appointed hour, that magnificent hour for the time of his death had arrived. Everything that Christ had been living for and looking forward to in the 33 years of his earthly, manly life, it had arrived.

He came for this hour. And so as Jesus is praying here in John 17, he is anticipating the cross. He is anticipating his crucifixion where he would absorb the wrath of God on behalf of his people.

And this was a momentous occasion. The pure, spotless, innocent, undefiled Lamb of God was now going to feel the weight of sin as God imputed the guilt of sin to his son and then struck him for the stroke that was due to his people. Jesus would suffer that penalty on our behalf. He would feel the weight of the punishment of sin as he died for you and me and everyone who had ever put their faith in him. And so this is an hour unlike any other hour that Jesus is anticipating when he says the hour has come.

The moment has arrived. It's now time for him to step onto the stage, as it were, and go to the cross that had been appointed for him from the beginning of time. Now notice his prayer there in verse 5 in light of that. He says, and now Father, glorify me. Glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. He's looking beyond the cross to the time when he would enter into resurrected and ascended glory at the right hand of the Father.

He's anticipating that. And he says, Father, accomplish your purpose. Bring through this cross the purpose of my glorification which you had appointed. And the glorification of Christ would only be complete when Jesus returned to heaven from whence he came and again shared the fullness of the glory of God with his Father.

Now these things, these things are utterly unsearchable. These are things that the unredeemed mind cannot even begin to comprehend. These are things that an unsaved person looks at and reads and has no idea what it's speaking because a veil is over their mind and they cannot understand these heavenly glories. But what we see as the people of God as we read this, we understand that what's happening here is that the incarnation of Christ where he stepped down from heaven into human form, eternal God in human flesh, this human flesh, this humanity that he's taken onto and added as it were to his deity is about, after the cross, he is about to go back into heaven with that humanity and receive the glory that was his with the Father before the beginning of time.

The incarnation would give way to his glorified state in heaven. Now notice what he says there in verse five. He says, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. In verse one he had said, glorify your son that the son may glorify you. Beloved, God is glorified when Jesus Christ is glorified.

The mutuality is striking. The glory of the Father and the glory of Christ are put side by side on equal terms. And they shared this equal glory with each other. Look at it there in verse five and marvel at the majesty of Jesus Christ as you read these words. He says, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. Jesus is saying, Father, we shared something before Genesis 1-1. Before the world existed, you and I shared glory together.

I had it with you. We shared that glory on equal terms. They shared equal glory with each other before the world began.

Now listen, beloved. This is really, in one sense, these things are unfathomable in their depths, but the point that we are making here is really not that difficult to grasp. Only, only someone who was God himself, only someone who was fully equal with God in every possible way, in every infinite way, only someone fully equal with God could say these things. None of us were with God before the world began. The angels were not always with God because they were created beings. Jesus is stepping out of time, going back into pre-eternity or pre-creation days and saying, Father, I remember what it was like when we shared this glory together in the ineffable Godhead.

We had that glory together. It's been veiled. What Jesus is saying is, it's been veiled during the course of my incarnation. As we sing at Christmas time, veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate deity. He was fully God as he walked on earth, but his glory was hidden. It was veiled, better stated.

It was veiled in his human flesh. Now what he's saying is, once I accomplish the purpose of the cross and I ascend back into heaven, receive me, and let's return to sharing that glory that we always had beforehand. Only someone equal with God could say such things, and beloved, only someone equal with God would say such things and have them be true. What this tells us is that Jesus Christ shares the power, the life, the essence, and the glory of God.

You can't miss it. Christ had this glory before you existed. He had it before his incarnation.

We're working our way back in time. He had it before Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He had it before the flood. He had it before the Garden of Eden.

He had it before the fall. He had it before God created the heavens and the earth. This is his eternal possession as a member of the Godhead. He shared fully in the glory of God. Now, Scripture makes it plain that no one else has that glory except God himself. In Isaiah 42 verse 8, Isaiah 42 verse 8, we read this, God is speaking.

He says, I am the Lord, that is my name. My glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. That's Isaiah 42 verse 8. God says, I do not give my glory to anyone else. Later in Isaiah chapter 48 verse 11, Isaiah 48 verse 11, God speaking says, for my own sake, for my own sake I do it.

For how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. God is jealous of his own glory.

He does not share that with anyone or anything else. And Scripture is definitively clear about that. And yet here is Jesus praying, Father, glorify me with the glory that we shared before the beginning of time, before the beginning of the world. He's claiming in prayer to the Father the entitlement to share in the glory of God and asking the Father to restore it to him after he does the work on the cross. There is an exclusivity to the glory of God, and yet Jesus has it. The only way to reconcile those two things, the exclusivity of the glory of God and that Jesus Christ has the glory of God, is to understand that Jesus Christ himself is eternal God in human flesh. He has the glory of God.

Now look, that builds on what we've been saying all along in this series. You see how all of this builds on it, and there's just this irrefutable argument that is built as you view these things coming together. Anyone standing alone would be sufficient to establish the deity of Christ. The Bible calls him God. He does the works that God does. He has the name of God. He has unity with God. He reveals God the Father.

Now we see him sharing his glory. At some point when you see this sixth point that Jesus has God's glory, there should be a sense in your mind going on in which you say, well, yeah, of course. If all of these other things are true, then he's obviously fully deity, and if he's fully deity, then he would obviously have the glory of God.

The momentum of this just leads to those undeniable conclusions. He has the glory of God. We are right to pray to him. We are right to worship him. We are right to exalt him, and to do nothing that would detract from the ascription of fullest, highest deity to him.

In Christ, all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form. Now, it took the early church a while to work out the implications of all of this. For the first two or three centuries as attacks were made on the teaching of the deity of Christ, it took the church a while to learn how to articulate this in a way to protect it from error on so many different sides, but they established in the creeds, and Athanasius was heroic, for lack of a better term, heroic in his defense of the Trinity and of the deity of Christ. These things have been established for many, many centuries over the course of church history. And beloved, when we say these things and when we teach these things, understand that this isn't just one voice of one pastor in one city in the 21st century saying these things. This has been the conclusion of the people of God for millennia, that these things have been studied together. There is a testimony of men of God across the millennia that affirm these things. Based on what Scripture teaches, there is this broad teaching of it. Now, and why is that important? Why do I mention that?

Well, in part, to say this. There are so many fools on the internet, and there are so many foolish people who will say foolish things like this, say that, you know, I put aside all human books, and I just studied Scripture for myself, and then they come up with some warmed-over heresy that they think is expressing the truth of Scripture. Beloved, you should not fall for any of that. There's no excuse anywhere for anyone falling for that kind of proud arrogance that where someone takes upon himself and says, I'm the one who overturns orthodox Christianity. I'm the one who redefines the person of Christ based on my personal study in the three years since I became a Christian.

This is foolishness. And even if you don't have an acquaintance with church history, you should at least have an understanding that these are things that have been studied for centuries and defended for millennia by the best minds that have ever walked on the face of the earth. And there are some things that are just not open to question, and the deity of Christ is one of them. This is not open for discussion.

It's not open for re-examination. These things are established based on the testimony of the Word of God and as articulated by the best minds that God has put on the planet over the course of centuries. To deny it, let's put it this way, to knowingly deny the deity of Christ is to forfeit your soul. Jesus Christ is Lord. To say that he is not is to perpetrate the biggest lie that there could be told, and it is to look at God, it is to look at Christ who declared that he has the glory of God, it is to look at Christ and say, no, I think you're a liar.

You're not actually God as you claim to be. These are not simply theological discussions that we're having, beloved. These are things that go to the heart of what it means to believe, and to deny these things is to forfeit your soul.

It's that important. Someone told me one time, who denied the deity of Christ, said, you know, I can't believe that God would condemn me just because I had a wrong opinion of Jesus. And I tried to help her understand that that was, you know, a very bad mistake to make, but you don't put these things, you don't put these things and test these things by human reason and what you think would be reasonable for God to do. No, God has revealed his truth in Christ, he has spoken, and the call is to repent and believe in Christ for your salvation, to confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. If anyone confesses that Jesus is Lord and believes in his heart that God raised him from the dead, he shall be saved.

You cannot, you cannot rip out the lordship and deity of Christ from that confession and still have saving faith. Stated differently, you and I are not free to make up our own opinion about who Jesus is. We don't get to make up our own view of Christ, that's just idolatry.

To make up something that is not a God, a figment of your own imagination, and then to bow down and worship the figment of your own imagination, which ultimately is just going to end up looking a lot like you do, because that's what people do, they make a God after their own image. Too many people like the Jews in Jesus' day, we will not have this man reign over us. Okay, don't have him reign over you, but you will bow and confess him as Lord one day, and then you'll find out for yourself his lordship when he sends you away into eternal judgment, having rejected the only one that could save your soul. It's that important. It's that striking.

It's that eternal in its consequences. And so we gladly, humbly, without apology, proclaim the lordship of Christ. That's Don Green here on the Truth Pulpit, and here's Don again with some closing thoughts. Well, my friend, thank you for joining us here on today's broadcast of the Truth Pulpit, where we love to be teaching God's people God's Word.

And I just want to send a special invitation to you. If you're ever in the Midwest area, come to see us at Truth Community Church. We're on the east side of Cincinnati, Ohio. We're easy to find, easy to get to. We have services at 9 a.m. on Sunday and 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday evening for our midweek study. You can also find us on our live stream at thetruthpulpit.com.

That's thetruthpulpit.com. But we would love to see you. And if you do happen to be able to visit us in person, do this if you would. Come and introduce yourself to me personally. Fight your way through the people and tell me that you listen on the Truth Pulpit and that you're here visiting. I would love to give you a word of personal greeting. So hopefully we'll see you one day in person at Truth Community Church.

You can find our location and service times at thetruthpulpit.com. 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 / 2024-04-19 04:53:33 / 2024-04-19 05:03:35 / 10

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