THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 2-6-05
LESSON TITLE: "WHO IS JESUS? : JESUS AS THE LIFE"
Good morning, and thanks for joining us for the study of God's Living Word! We are glad you are with us this morning to give this time to the things of God. At this time may we start our praise to God by talking with our Father in prayer. Bow with me please!
Let's begin immediately with our songs of praise this day. The first song of the morning reminds us of the commitment which we make to God when we become His children. So won't you do your part in worship to God at this time and join in with the congregation as we sing together, "I Am Thine, O Lord!"
(SONG # 1)
A mistake we often make as followers of God is trying to see God simply as a man! We want to explain away His power, person and character, as something which is merely the same as everyone else - as if He were not different or special.
I also believe that God want's us to know Him and to see Him as real, but not as just another man or human being. I think Moses dealt with this thought in Numbers 23:19. There we read, "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" Notice the many precious truths we learn in this passage!
First, God is not a man, a son of a man, or a sinner. God is God! The creator, giver and sustainer of all. The Eternal One with no beginning and no end. Moses here was not trying to discount the fact that one day Jesus would become a man and walk among men as God, but He was trying to clarify the point that God is not just another man. Rather He is truly God!
Now notice the proofs that he goes on to show us to confirm that God in not a mere man. He states that God's Word can be counted on. Why? Because God does what He says and always fulfills what He has promised. There are no empty promises with God, because He cannot lie and He has committed to doing those things which He has promised. You see our God is a wondrous and mighty God. He is able to be counted on. He will do all that He has said!
In the New Testament, the inspired James helps us with this same thought. In chapter 1 and verse 17 of his book we read, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." Again we find that everything comes from God and that with God there is no variation, change or turning from what He has committed!
Paul had this to say about our God, "He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it," 1 Thessalonians 5:24! Yes our God can be trusted, He is faithful and He will do what He has confirmed through His perfect Word! Do you have the confidence you need in your Creator? Choose today to trust more in God and to know that all that He has said is for real!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our speaker, we are happy to have brother Paul Fisher with us this morning. Brother Fisher is the minister for the Marshfield Church of Christ, in Marshfield, Missouri. We thank brother Paul for being with us and look forward to him leading us in our main study of God's Word, at the proper time.
Our lesson topic of the day will again focus on our series entitled, "Who Is Jesus!" The specific lesson of the day will deal with, "Jesus as the Life!" So, please stay with us this morning and in just a few minutes brother Fisher will be leading us in this study from God's Word. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "My Jesus, I Love Thee."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Paul Fisher
Good morning and welcome to The Living Word Program.
As we continue the study of "Who is Jesus?" we find in John chapter 1 that He is the Word, that He is God who came in the flesh, John 1:14, that He is life, Creator, Giver, and Sustainer of life. Read along with me as I read from John chapter 1 verses 1-4. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men." Life. What a wonderful word. How wonderful it is to hold a newborn baby in your arms. What joy fills our heart as new parents as we cradle that new life in our arms. What greater joy as grandparents when we cradle that same life in our arms. We give that new life whatever it needs to grow, to be nourished and to become a strong, living individual. We praise and thank God for that new life. We look to the springtime of the year as a time of the year when life is renewed. The trees, which all winter have looked like dead things, slowly become covered once more with green leaves. The grass turns fresh green and begins to grow. It is a time of the year when many animals have their babies. It is truly a time of life. We can look in the eyes of a newborn and see the wonderment of life in their eyes. If you are close to a young child, look at their eyes and see the sparkle of life that they have. To them life is wonderful and full of questions and things to be explored. Life. What a wonderful word! Yet, we need to look at that which is more than just physical. We need to look at life that according to John 1, verse 4 exists. "In Him, in Jesus Christ, was life and the life was the light of men." Life. What a wonderful word! The life that is in Him, in Jesus Christ, is life beyond that which is physical.
In the Greek language, that the New testament of God was written in, the word for life that was in Jesus Christ in this verse is the same type of life that is in God. This word is the word "zo" which means the very principle or essence of life. This life is not dependent upon anything else for it's existence. You and I are dependent upon other things for our existence. First, we're dependent upon our parents for our very existence. Second, we are dependent upon many outside elements for our existence such things as air, light, warmth, food and water. Take away any one of these and soon we will physically die. God and Jesus are not dependent upon any of these things or anything else for their life because they are eternal beings. In fact, God and Jesus, instead of being dependent upon anything else for life, are the very givers of life and sustainers of life. This is what it means to be Creator. "They took the dust of the ground and formed man and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life," Genesis chapter 2 and verse 7. They created both those things which are living and non-living.
Life. What a wonderful word especially when we begin to think of that life that is in God and in Jesus Christ because this life is more than just physical life. It is eternal life. This life is life that science cannot synthesize or understand. Yet, we are not left to wonder about this life because Jesus, the source of this life, taught many times on this life and how He would give it to man.
If you have your Bibles, open to John chapter 5 and verses 24-29 and read with me the words that Jesus spoke about this life. "Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my words and believeth on Him that sent me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death into life. Verily, verily I say unto you the hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they shall hear life, for as the Father has life in Himself, so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also because He is the Son of man. Marvel not at this for the hour is coming in which all that are in the grave shall hear His voice and shall come forth they that have done good unto the resurrection of life and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." Jesus said for us to receive this life, we must hear His Words and continue to hear His Words. This is what the word "heareth" means. But notice that Jesus said that it takes more than just hearing His Words. It takes continued belief in God to receive this promised life. This belief is more than just mental consent. It is more than just trusting in Jesus. To be one who believeth means you are one who obeys what Jesus and God has said because without obedience our believing and trusting in God and in Jesus is just like the belief of the devils that we read about in James chapter 2 and verse 19. There James wrote, "Thou believest that there is one God, thou doest well. The devils also believe and tremble." Throughout Jesus earthly ministry, the devils or demons as they are sometimes referred to, always acknowledge Jesus for who He was and that He had the greater power.
Yet, for all of this, this did not save them, but Jesus made what it is to believe in Him very simple for us to understand when He said, "Why call you me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say," Luke 6:46. We might believe in God and Jesus Christ. We might even be trusting in Jesus to save us but Jesus makes it plain and simple that to truly believe in Him with a saving belief means to obey all that He has said. To receive this eternal life that Jesus promises, we must not only believe but we must also obey. This verse also teaches that there is a day coming when there will be a resurrection of all who have ever lived on this earth. For some this will be a promised resurrection of life, but for others, it will be the resurrection of eternal damnation. We can have eternal life by obedience to Jesus Christ.
Jesus pointed out in John chapter 6 that He was the bread of life in verse 35. "I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall never hunger and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." To the people of that day, bread was a staple food of their life. They had the day before been fed by Jesus from five small loaves of barley bread and two small fishes and after 5,000 men had eaten twelve baskets full of leftovers were picked up. They came to Jesus and wanted Him to continue to feed them, but He turned their attention to spiritual food and God as the source of spiritual food which is the true bread, verses 32 & 33 of John 6. Jesus pointed out that He is the true source of a spiritual, eternal life for He Himself was a giver and sustainer of life. Jesus is the staple food, the bread that is needed for eternal life. Jesus pointed out again in verse 47 the need of having a continued belief in Him to have eternal life, everlasting life, when He said, "Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believeth on me have everlasting life."
Sadly, many people today, stop at this verse and claim that believing in Jesus is all that person has to do. They totally ignore that the continued belief in Jesus must include obedience on the believers part of all that Jesus has said. Without obedience to all that Jesus has said, all the belief in the world will not save us. For we read in Hebrews 9 verse 7, "And being made perfect, He, Jesus Christ, became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him."
In this passage under consideration in John 6, Jesus also pointed out the need to eat His flesh and to drink His blood to have eternal life. In verses 53-58, we ask the question, "Well, how can we eat Jesus' body and drink His blood?" Well we find the answer to this in Matthew 26 and verses 26-29 in the memorial supper that Jesus left for His followers. "As they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it and brake it and gave it to His disciples and said, Take, eat, this is My body, and He took the cup and gave thanks and gave it to them saying, Drink ye all of it for this is My blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." This is one of the things that the followers of Jesus did on the first day of the week. They partook of the Lord's Supper and we find this in Acts 20, verse 7. "Upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to make bread, Paul preached unto them ready to depart on the morrow and continued his speech until midnight." Remember it was Jesus who said, "Verily, verily I say unto you except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." There is a sad verse in this passage, but it teaches that to have eternal life requires an effort on our part that indeed it is more than just believing in Jesus or even in trusting in Him for salvation.
For we read in verse 66 of John 6, "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him. When Jesus then asked the twelve apostles if they would also leave, Peter pointed out a very important question in verse 68 when he said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou has the words of eternal life." Here is the greatest question of all times. "To whom shall we go?" Peter understood that Jesus was life indeed and that He had the words of eternal life.
Peter pointed this out later to the rulers of the Jews in Acts chapter 4, verse 12 when he said about Jesus, "Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name unto heaven given among men for why we must be saved." In fact, this is the whole point of writing the New Testament, because Jesus is life and He has the Words of eternal life and there is no salvation by any other person.
As John wrote in his gospel account, the reason for writing that account and in fact really the whole New Testament in John 20 and verses 30 and 31, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples which are not written in this book, but these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you might have life through His name." John pointed out that by the inspiration of God that if we do not believe in Jesus, we will not have life eternal, but John by the inspiration of God wrote that this is not just one time action on our part, it was not belief period, but it is continued belief which we have pointed out earlier it includes obedience.
But our obedience to God does not cause Him to be indebted to us. For we read in Romans 6 verse 23, "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is life eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord." The sins that we have committed in our lifetime have earned us a wage and that wage is eternal death. God on the other hand extends to us a gift, eternal life, just the opposite of what we have earned, but this gift comes through Jesus Christ our Lord because He is life. We need to ask and answer quickly, "How do we receive this gift of God?"
Romans 10:17 tells us, "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." The starting point that we must begin with then is the Word of God to build our faith upon because without hearing God's Word we would not know anything about salvation. We would not know anything about sin. We would not know anything about the need for eternal life.
This morning as we look over what God has said about eternal life, we find that He's told us not only to hear His Word but to believe that Word as well, Romans 1:16. After we've come to a point of believing that Word, we find that indeed we are sinners and need to repent of our sin and that we also need to confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of Living God and be buried with Him in baptism, Acts 22:16. When we do these things, we are on that narrow way that leads to life eternal and then we can be like those of Smyrna in Revelations 2, verse 10, "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."
This morning, we hope that you have found this lesson interesting. Thank you.
(SONG # 3 - "Living By Faith!")
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Praise God for the gift of His precious Son, Jesus, who is the life! And may we each be thankful that through this "Jesus the Life," that we are offered life eternal!