"Thou Art The Christ"        

 Matthew 16:16


     We who believe rest our immortal souls upon one thing. We build all our hopes of peace, pardon, and eternal life upon one foundation. We believe that Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph and Mary, who was crucified as a common felon at Jerusalem nearly 2000 years ago, is the Christ, the Messiah, promised by God in all the Old Testament prophets. Peter's confession is the foundation upon which the whole gospel is built, the foundation upon which the whole church and kingdom of God is built, and the foundation upon which the whole of our faith is built. - "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." With the disciples of old, we confess, "We believe, and are sure, that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God" (John 6:69). How important is this issue?

(1.) If Jesus of Nazareth is not the Christ, the Mesiah, promised in the Old Testament Scriptures, then HE IS NOT THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD! The prophecies of the Old Testament plainly declare that the Messiah, when he appears, though he must be a man of the house and lineage of David (Psa. 132:11; Isa. 11:1), must also be the Son of God (Psa. 45:6-7). To deny the deity of the Lord Jesus is to deny his messiahship. And to deny his messiahship is to deny his deity.

(2.) If Jesus of Nazareth is not the Christ, the Messiah, then HIS OBEDIENCE TO GOD IS OF NO BENEFIT OR MERIT TO ANYONE. Though he was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners," though he perfectly obeyed the law, though he had no sin and knew no sin, if he were only a man,his righteous obedience is nothing more than a good example. It could not be of infinite merit to make us righteous. It is the deity of our Savior that makes his obedience to God as a man meritorious for us.

(3.) If Jesus of Nazareth is not the Christ, then HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS HAS NO SAVING EFFICACY. The blood of one man, however innocent, cannot atone for the sins of many. Only that Man who is himself God can make atonement for and redeem a multitude of lost sinners. He must be man, or he could not suffer and die. But he must be God or he could not satisfy the justice of God.

(4.) If Jesus is not the Messiah, then WE ARE ALL YET IN OUR SINS. We have no hope, no pardon, no righteousness, because we have no Savior!


Don Fortner