GRACE FOR TODAY Radio Message #509 and 510
WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST?
Pastor Don Fortner
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road
Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
In this chapter our Lord was confronted by the religious leaders of his day. They asked him several questions about religious matters--the same sort of questions that religious people are asking today. They asked about politics and religion, the resurrection body, and the law of Moses. After silencing all their curious questions, our Lord put a question to them. It is as though he were saying, "You have asked me many questions which show your great curiosity about religion. Now, I have a question for you. This is the only question which is of any real eternal importance. “WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST?"
My friend, this is the question that I put before you. Consider it well. I do not ask: What do you think of the church? What do you think of this or that system of doctrine? What do you think of prophecy? But, WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST?” Your answer to that question will determine your place in eternity.
We must have a true doctrinal answer to this question.
If our thoughts of Christ are true and proper, we must think of Him in the light of Divine revelation. Our thoughts about Christ must arise from what God has caused to be written in the Bible. Our Lord said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." Before there can be any saving union with Christ by faith, there must be a doctrinal and biblical knowledge of Him. Biblical knowledge is the foundation of true faith (Romans 10:12-17). Certain questions must be answered.
WHO IS JESUS CHRIST?
Men everywhere talk about Jesus. They write songs about him, make movies about him, and write books about him. But who is he? For the answer to that question we must look to the pages of sacred scripture. JESUS CHRIST IS HIMSELF THE ETERNAL GOD. The scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments proclaim that Christ is God (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1; Romans 9:5). He is God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things. He is God our Savior. While He was upon the earth, our Lord claimed to be God; and His apostles worshipped Him as God. Jesus Christ is God the Eternal Son--equal in power, wisdom, glory, and Being with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Let others deny His divinity, if they dare. Every true believer knows that "in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." We have this witness in our hearts which we cannot deny (I John 5: 10).
AND OUR SAVIOR IS THE PERFECT MAN. He is the God-man, our Mediator. We do not pretend to understand the mystery of the incarnation. But we do believe it and rejoice in it (Philippians 2:6-8)
As a real man, our Lord lived upon the earth in perfect righteousness, died, rose again, and ascended into glory.
WHY DID THE LORD JESUS CHRIST COME INTO THE WORLD?
He came to do His Father's will (Hebrews 10:7). He came to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1: 21; I Timothy 1: 15). He came to lay down his life for His sheep (John 10: 11, 14,19). The Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, came into the world to die as a substitute in the place of sinners, delivering us from the curse of the law (Galatians 1:4; 3:13).
WHAT HAS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DONE?
He has finished the work committed to Him. He has accomplished His Father's will. He fulfilled everything required by the righteousness and justice of God for the salvation of sinners (John 17:4). The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished perfect righteousness for us. He died in the place of sinners, satisfying the claims of justice, the penalty of the law, and the wrath of God for us, putting away our sins. In a word--He "obtained eternal redemption for us."
WHERE IS OUR SAVIOR NOW?
The God-man, our Saviour, is exalted to the right hand of the majesty on high (Hebrews 10: 11-14). Today, Jesus Christ sits in heaven as the High Priest of Zion, making intercession for us. He sits upon the throne of sovereign dominion, ruling all things as King of kings and Lord of lords for the salvation of His people. In sovereign serenity the King sits upon His throne awaiting the fulfilment of all things, the salvation of all His people, and the defeat of all His enemies.
"What think ye of Christ?" We must have a true doctrinal answer. I have given you that. But we must have more.
We must also have AN EXPERIMENTAL ANSWER to this question.
It is one thing to know about Christ but another thing to know Him (John 17:3). It is one thing to think of Christ with your head but another thing to think of Him with your heart. It is one thing to think of the person, offices, and work of Christ as a matter of theological opinion and doctrinal orthodoxy; but it is quite another thing to think of Him as your living Redeemer. Do you have any experimental acquaintance with the living Savior? A personal, living knowledge of Christ will teach you to think that CHRIST ALONE IS PRECIOUS. He is the fairest among ten thousand and altogether lovely. And to you that believe, "He is precious." Christ is to be preferred above all things and all people. "Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon the earth that I desire beside thee." It will also teach you to think of Christ TRUSTINGLY. Christ alone is our hope of acceptance before God. His blood alone will cleanse from sin. His grace alone will justify. God will accept not our righteousness but he does accept the righteousness of Christ. If I am saved and accepted before God, Christ must be all my salvation. Surely, a living knowledge of Christ will make you think of Him WORSHIPFULLY. When you think of His redeeming love, pardoning mercy, and saving grace, can you do anything else but worship him?
A real, saving knowledge of Christ will also bring a man to think of Him LOVINGLY. All of God's saints love Christ. True, we do not love Him as we should; we do not love Him as we would. And we do not love Him as we shall; but we all confess with Peter from our inmost heart, "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee." Of this One we can say without reservation, "To know Him is to love Him!" Again, a living faith in Christ causes us to think of Him EXPECTANTLY. We dare not be presumptuous. But there are some things that we have learned to expect from our Savior. We expect Him to be faithful to His promises, unfailing in His love, unchanging in His grace, and bountiful in His goodness. All our expectation and desire is in Christ. We expect His return. We expect to see Him as He is. We expect to be like Him. We expect to have Him. Oh, glorious expectation! Who could desire more?
I urge you who know Christ to think of Him GROWINGLY. The longer I know Him, the more I wish to know Him. This is my prayer, "That I may know Him!" I want to know more of His love, grace, and mercy as my Redeemer. I want to know more of His teaching as my Prophet, more of His intercession as my Priest, and more of His dominion as my King. Don't you? Oh, that I may know more of His glorious Person! AMEN