THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 1-16-05
LESSON TITLE: "WHO IS JESUS?: JESUS AS THE WORD"
How wonderful it is to know God and to have the health, strength, and will-power to give this time to Him on this Lord's Day morning. Thank you for putting God first today and choosing to commit this time of offering to His service.
Today, we will again be uplifted through our commitment to serving God as commanded, as we approach His almighty throne. How enjoyable it will be to worship our God through prayer, song and the study of His matchless Word. Won't you do your part this morning to see that our worship together is acceptable so that our glorious creator may be glorified?
Now, as we begin our offering to God, will you bow with me in prayer!
Well, it's time to join in our songs of praise. The first song of the morning is entitled, "There Is Sunshine In My Soul."
(SONG # 1)
Think for a moment about all the songs we sing about Jesus. How wonderful it is to praise God by focusing on His Son, who was willing to give His very life for you and for me. Furthermore, how important it is that we understand just who He is and why he is worthy to be followed! I love the familiar verse which is found in John 3:16. We all know the truth which Jesus Himself proclaimed there, it reads, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Praise God! It is through this Jesus that we have the very opportunity for eternal life!
But look around the religious world today. Many reject Jesus as the only begotten Son and others go even further, rejecting the fact that He was a faithful follower of God at all. How sad, to realize that there are many different people and religions which reject not only Jesus, but as well they reject His true significance and that He bears any importance at all. With this is mind, we might want to consider what the inspired writer Luke records Peter as saying in Acts 4:10-12, there we read, "let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Here we learn just how important Jesus name is in our day. Peter goes so far as to confirm that "salvation" is only found in and through Jesus precious name! If you, I, or anyone else has a desire to be saved and to have eternal life there is only one "way" to find it. Again, salvation is only found in the perfect, precious and holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord!
With these thoughts fresh on our mind, we will begin a new series of study today which focus's on Jesus, it is entitled "Who is Jesus?" Our specific lesson of the day will introduce us to, "Jesus as the Word." So please stay with us and after our next song together, I will be leading us in the main thoughts of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "We Praise Thee, O God."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
Thank you so much for continuing with us this morning. And I have a question to ask you now. I want you to think just for a moment as far as scripture is concerned. What is the central theme in scripture, in the Bible, God's Word itself? If you think just for a moment, certainly to many of us that Jesus Christ is that central theme. Whether we begin in the book of Genesis and see some of the very first prophecies such as Genesis 3:15, whether we move throughout the different periods of Israel, throughout the periods of the judges, the kings, whatever period of the Old Testament, even of the prophets that it might be, we find all of them focusing and talking of the day when a great Messiah, one who would come to save all mankind, not just Israel, not just the chosen ones, but that all peoples, all seed would be blessed through the one see, that is Jesus Christ.
Even there in the New Testament, the gospels as well as the continuation of the apostles and their writings as well as others who were led of the Spirit of God still look to Jesus, preach of Jesus and confirm the very precious message of the gospel, the heart, the center, that being Jesus Christ, that He came to the earth, He lived, He died, was crucified and He rose again on the third day and that it is through this act, the shedding of the blood that you and I today are His children, that we are a part of the church that was actually purchased (Acts 20:28) with that very blood itself.
As we think about that and we consider the introductory remarks of the morning, certainly we are reminded of just how precious the name of Jesus is and that's why we'll begin a series considering "Who is Jesus?" Certainly there is no other topic that could be more important or more precious than Jesus, God Himself, and as we consider Jesus over the next several months, we hope that we will not only learn a lot to encourage ourselves, but that we might be encouraged to get out and tell others about how special, how precious this name is, and as well they have the opportunity to be saved through the glorious name of Jesus.
I received an email the other day and certainly the Internet is certainly a handy tool in many ways and bothersome in others, but very handy as we receive things from our friends, and I received a little outline and some ideas in relationship to who Jesus is. Really the context that was used was found there in John chapter 1, that is the gospel of John. And as I looked there at the ideas that were presented, I never really thought before about how many identifying marks or terms are there in John 1. Certainly I had always thought about the idea of the Word, the idea of the Deity there as he says that "He was in the beginning, with God and was God." I thought there about the idea of Him becoming a man or flesh in verse 14 as we will talk about in a moment, but then as I looked there at this article once again, we find the evidence once again of the Creator in verse 3, the idea that Christ offers life in verse 4, the idea that He is the light in verses 4 and 5. In verse 13, that He offers grace as well as truth in verses 14 and 15. That He is Lord, verse 23. That He is the lamb of God, verse 29, the son of God in verse 24. In verse 41, the Christ, as he is clarified. The Old Testament prophetic individual as is clarified in verse 45. Then in verse 51 as well the son of man. Here we find that Jesus has many ideas and really there were many terms used to clarify who He was and so for that sake we will be using over again the period of the next several months this passage as a springboard we might say, something to help us to know what we need to study, what we need to know about this Jesus because He is the Savior and as we saw there is no other name by which we can be saved.
So what does it mean here that Jesus was the Word? I want you to look there with me as we have already referred over to the book of John and to look with me at the very first verse at the very first chapter of John. Here the beloved disciple of Jesus, one who was loved by Him, one who was there at the cross after the crucifixion had already begun to take place, is mentioning here in verse 1 according to the spirit as he was guided. "In the beginning was the Word." It is clearly here given to us that the article in Greek shows us that the Word is a specific Word. If you'll notice in your Bible, probably like mine, the Word is capitalized. Why? Because it is in reference to a specific thing, a specific noun and that noun is Jesus Himself. It says there, "In the beginning was the Word." When was the Word? Even in the beginning! You know we go back to Genesis chapter 1 and verse 1, "In the beginning, God..." There was only God in the beginning. And the only other scripture that really uses it in the same context here in John 1:1, "In the beginning..." was the what? The Word and the word was with God." We know that Jesus was not only one who lived on the earth in the form of a man, but was even in the beginning with God and as our studies will show later, as verse 1 clarifies was God. Now it doesn't just say that He was God. It actually says that the Word was God. Sad to say but there are many of my own brethren, most likely even in Springfield, who do not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. John must have been crazy. In fact, the Spirit must have been crazy that inspired John because here it says that not only was He in the beginning, that is the Word, not only was He with God, God the Father, but He was God and we might also add the Hebrew writer to it as well as many other writers because it is there that we read that even God the Father Himself called the Lord Jesus His God. Well certainly He is God and that will be reserved as far as further comments for another study.
But what about the Word? He was in the beginning. He was with God. He was God. But the Word there as well is clarified for us down in verse 14, if you'll read with me there. It says, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." John says that the Word was something that came from above and dwelt among us, actually coming from above, it had to take on the form of what? Flesh. So who else would that be? What other individual or being could we understand that to be other than Jesus Christ, whom we know left the majesty on high in order that He might leave the right hand of the Father and come to the earth to become a man as was born in Bethlehem in order that He might live a life and eventually suffer and shed blood for your sake and for my sake. It says, "He is the one who was the Word and He became flesh and He dwelt among us." And what did He do among us? "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten..." Sound familiar? We mentioned John 3:16 earlier. The only begotten of the who? The Father. There is only one that is referred to as "the only begotten of the Father," Jesus Christ. So whatever the Word was, it was the only begotten of the Father and certainly here again as evidence the flesh, only the son Jesus as we are taught about in scripture could be the one who is evidenced as the Word or Christ Himself. Not only was He the only begotten of the Father, but it says, "He was full of grace," and furthermore the verses continue on, 15 and following that "John came and bore witness of the Word," that is again Jesus. What was the ministry? He was preaching the kingdom, that is John, and he was preaching about the coming of the Messiah, that Jesus, the time is at hand. So again, Jesus was the Word.
In fact, if we'll look now again at verse 1 of chapter 1, "In the beginning was the Word, was Jesus, and the Jesus or the Christ was with God and Jesus or the Christ was God." You see how that we can take the Bible itself and learn and grow and understand clearly just how important the name of Jesus, the name of Christ, the name of the Word is because it is again by that name that we have the opportunity today to be saved, that we have the opportunity as men, as women, no matter who we are, to understand that Jesus became the very presence, physical presence of God on this earth, in order that He might fulfill all those things that were written before time, that is before us, that were even written from the beginning so that we might know truly all that we need to know according to the revelation of God about who Jesus is.
I want you also to turn with me over to the book of Colossians as Paul there wrote the church at Colossi in striving to help them, specifically in the verse that we will look at in Colossians chapter 2, to know who this Jesus was and clarify what part He played. There in verse 9 of chapter 2, Paul says to the church there, "For in Him..." Look at the context. He's talking about Christ. He's talking about Jesus. He's talking about the Word. It says there again in verse 9, "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Wow, that's not hard to understand now is it? Bodily. He put on a bodily form, although being God in the beginning with God and was God although being God, He put on a bodily form and came to the earth that as it states here that He might present the fullness of the Godhead. I want you to imagine for a moment if Jesus had not come as the Word. Imagine if we only knew of God and you erased all the physical evidence that we have in scripture about the life as Jesus as the Word, the flesh as He lived on this earth. Wow! We would be missing a lot about the Christ. We would be missing a lot about what we are required to do, how I need to act, how I need to speak, because a great portion of what we know as Christians comes from the life of Christ. It shows us what is required in the life of an obedient individual, obedient to the Father, because we see the perfect example of Jesus. Well you think again for a moment about the fact that if Jesus had never come, left the Deity, the position on high, in order to become the Word in flesh to dwell among us, to be the fullness of the Godhead, how then would we know what God would do if He were a man? Wow, that's a deep thought! A powerful thought, I believe, because otherwise without that example, what we might say is, "Well, how can God know? How can God really know how I feel or how can He really know what it's like to be tempted or to sin or to make mistakes?" Wah, wah, wah! You know how we like to whine? Well we wouldn't be able to do it if we had not had the example of Jesus because Jesus came and He put on that fleshly form and as the writers tell us He was tempted as we are tempted. He suffered as we suffer, and then some. He was able to endure and do all not only as our Savior and our King and our High Priest, He was willing in the flesh to be afflicted and to set an example for us that we would be able to live all of our lives knowing exactly that God was willing to pay the price, not that is the Father in giving His son, the son in giving His life, but the son in living a fleshly existence knowing the pain, the agony and the suffering that He would have to behold as one who partook in such. So God is perfection. His glory, His wisdom, His righteousness, His goodness, on and on and on we could go. All were clarified in the life, the fleshly life of the Word Jesus Christ.
Then we look at other verses in the same book, John, John 17 and verse 17 where it clarifies further that the Word is truth. We have the clear comparison that God's Word is truth and therefore as we look at Jesus being the Word and the very thing that exemplified God's Will and God's Word as He lived His life on this earth, no doubt it would not be strange that His Word, that is Christ and the Word of God are the same, on in the same and that they both represent the what? The truth. No doubt that's why in John 14 and verse 6 the proclamation was made by John Himself that "I am the way, the truth and the life." Not only is He the way to show us the direction. Not only is He the truth, again the Word showing us the knowledge that we need to know to do what was right. But also, it says that He is the life. He offers not only life now, but eternal life as immortal beings in a heavenly existence, a heavenly home because of the promise that God has given us.
I would like to also look in the book of Thessalonians if you'll turn over there again, Paul writing to a different church, the church at Thessalonica. There in 1 Thessalonians chapter 2, I want you to notice how he ties together the truth once again with the Word, and as well we have seen that Jesus is the Word. In verse 13 of chapter 2, He says, "For this reason we also thank God without ceasing because when you receive the Word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is the Truth, the Word of God which also effectively works in you who believe." Notice he says there that the Truth is the same as the what? The Word of God that works in you. Well now we've learned that the Truth, the Word, that Jesus has given us something to work at. What is that? The life that He left, the example, the revelation that He sent us through the Spirit as He prayed to the Father that He would send the Holy Spirit to come, to guide the apostles and eventually they recorded it for us. It is that type of a God that we serve, a God that loved us enough to give us these precious truths and all these things that we need. And so therefore as we look at the Word and the Truth, we see that in Ephesians that the Truth is the equivalent of the gospel and in Romans 1:16 that the Gospel is that which we lead unto salvation, so as we come full circle, we see that Jesus is the Word, He is the Truth, He is that which is representative of the very Will of God, the representative of the Truth of God, the representative of the Gospel of God and that which in all things equals salvation. Without Him, you cannot be saved. I cannot be saved. Why? Because Jesus and Jesus alone is the only Word which became flesh, the only Word that took God's Word itself and demonstrated that Word in His life, becoming flesh and dwelling among us, showing forth the fullness of God, that He could live as a man and still be perfect, in order that we might be left an example as it says in 1 Peter 2 and verse 21, "footsteps to follow," in looking to what Jesus did, how He accomplished, how He endured, how He was able to succeed, and then to pattern our lives as the very Lord Jesus Himself. How precious it is to know that we can know Jesus. We can obey Him and we can follow Him and that we can believe that not only He was the Word, but that He became flesh so that we, His children, might become not only followers, but inheritors of that eternal life in heaven some day.
(SONG # 3 - "Rock Of Ages!")
What a blessing it has been to join together in the things of God this morning. Thank you for doing your part in making all these things to be according to His Will. As always, we invite you back every Lord's Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!
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Praise be to God the Father for the precious gift of His Only Begotten Son Jesus, who left His perfect home in Heaven to become flesh and dwell among men! Thank God for Jesus The Word!