Sermon #1553                            Miscellaneous Sermons


     Title:           Thou art the Christ,

                        the Son of the Living God.”

     Text:           Matthew 13:13-17

     Subject:      The Person and Work of Christ

     Date:          Sunday Morning—December 21, 2003

     Tape #        X-95a

     Reading:    1 John 5:1-13



My text this morning is a very familiar passage. It contains two questions raised by the Lord Jesus, questions he asked his disciples. The first was apparently discussed among the disciples and then answered by a consensus opinion. The second was apparently answered immediately, without any discussion, by the apostle Peter. The text is Matthew 16:13-16. Let’s read it together.


(Mat 16:13-14)  "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”


Our Lord knew very well what the people thought of him. He asked his disciples this question that he might instruct them by drawing out the thoughts of their own minds. Our Lord was about to tell them about his death So he wanted them to have a very clear understanding about who he was and why he had come to the earth. So he asked them, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?"


The opinions of men about heavenly, spiritual things are really insignificant, but it is good to know what they are. As I said, the disciples apparently discussed the question a little and gave the consensus of opinion expressed in verse 14.


(v. 14)  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets."


Obviously, these disciples, like most of his disciples today, thought the world in general, particularly their religious families, friends and neighbors had a much higher opinion of the Master than they actually possessed.


These were all mere human opinions. They were all far short of the truth. Yet, they had some truth in them.

·       Herod’s notion that Jesus was John the Baptist, newly risen from the dead, appeared likely to many. Like that mighty prophet, the Lord Jesus was a man of great boldness, courage, and faithfulness to God.

·       Like Elijah, he seemed to be a singular man, a prophet whose words were clothed with fire from heaven.

·       Like Jeremiah he was a weeping prophet, a man of constant sorrows.

·       The words of the prophets were manifestly evident both in his doctrine and in his life. It is not surprising that many thought the Savior was identical with them.

Men say many things that appear to be true and honoring of our Lord. Yet, no man’s opinion of Christ is true. ― The fact is, a pretense of honoring Christ, while refusing to worship him as God and trust him as Savior and Lord, is but a display of utter enmity toward, contempt for, and hatred of him. Such a pretense is utter blasphemy! ― None know his true character, except those who are taught of God, those to whom he is revealed. Precisely because the opinions of men are always both wrong and insignificant, our Master does not even make a comment about them.


(Mat 16:15-16)  "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?”


About this question, no discussion was made. Peter answered immediately, and answered for all the disciples. It seems to me that his answered is given as it is because the Holy Spirit would have us understand that this is the confession of all true disciples, of all true believers. This confession is the foundation upon which the church and kingdom of God is built.


(v. 16)  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."


I take Peter’s confession as my own. It is this confession that I want to declare to you this morning. ― “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.


I believe that Jesus is the Christ, not a Christ, but the Christ, the very Christ of God. This is the whole of my hope, peace, and assurance before God. ― “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” My conviction concerning him is so thorough and complete that I rest my soul upon him alone. I trust Jesus Christ alone for my everlasting salvation and my total acceptance with God (1 Cor. 1:30-31; Col. 2:9-10).


(1 Cor 1:30-31)  "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: {31} That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."


(Col 2:9-10)  "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. {10} And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power."

·       Either I am redeemed by him, or I am not redeemed.

·       Either I am made righteous by him, or I have no righteousness.

·       Either I am sanctified in him, or I am not sanctified.

·       Either I am complete in him, or I am incomplete.


Outwardly, to the human eye, to all natural appearance and reason, the Lord Jesus seemed to be an ordinary man, as he walked through this world. They called him “The Nazarene” and “The Carpenter.” Many even called him an evil man, a glutton and a winebibber. Isaiah told us that when he came into the world he would have no impressive form or comeliness to attract us to him, “no beauty that we should desire him.” He said, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”


1.    He was born to a poor, unknown, insignificant family.

2.    Because there was no room for him in the inn, he was laid in a stable’s manger.

3.    To escape the wrath of Herod, he was carried into Egypt, as the Scriptures said he must be.

4.    He grew up in a small, out of the way town called Nazareth, and worked as a carpenter.

5.    He began preaching when he was about thirty years old; but his ministry was attended by no one but a few poor, uneducated fishermen and insignificant women.

6.    Everything he taught about himself, God, sin, righteousness, redemption, and salvation was rejected by all the religious leaders of the day.

7.    Finally, even popular opinion turned against him and the Lord of glory was crucified like a common criminal upon a Roman cross.

8.    When he died, he was taken down from the cross and buried in a borrowed tomb.


The religious people thought they were through with this man called Jesus. And, if he had only been an ordinary man, they would have been through with him. But this Man was no ordinary man. This Man was and is the Christ of God, the Son of the living God! After three days, the Father raised him up from the grave, seated him upon his own right hand, and declared him to be both Lord and Christ.


What think ye of Christ?” Who is he? What did he do? Why did he do it? Where is he now? What is he doing? Simple as those questions are, they are the most important, most crucial questions you will ever face. Let me show you from the Scriptures what I believe about Jesus of Nazareth.


Proposition: Jesus is the Christ of God, the Messiah, the Redeemer, the King, the Savior promised, prophesied, and portrayed in all the Old Testament Scriptures.


I.       As indicated by the title of this message, I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ.


Throughout the Old Testament Scriptures, from Genesis to Malachi, there was the promise of a man who would be God’s Messiah, One who would come to the earth to redeem and save his people. He is called the Seed of woman, the Seed of Abraham, the Son of David, a Prophet like Moses, a Priest like Melchisedek, and the King of glory. “To him give all the prophets witness” (Acts 10:43).


A.   This is what Peter declares in our text. ― “Thou art the Christ!”

B.   This what is all the people asked the Pharisees. ― “Is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29).

C.   This was what the Lord Jesus himself proclaimed (John 8:24; 13:19). ― “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:29).


II.    I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is himself very God of very God, the second Person of the holy Trinity, in all things equal with the Father and the Spirit.


Yes, he is a Man, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh; but this Man is God. He is the God-man. ― “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily!”


A.   This is what all the Old Testament prophecies teach us (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7).


(Isa 7:14)  "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."


(Isa 9:6-7)  "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. {7} Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."


B.   This is what all the New Testament writers declare (John 1:1-3, 14-18; Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:1-3, 8; 1 John 5:7).


(John 1:1-3)  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} The same was in the beginning with God. {3} All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."


(John 1:14-18)  "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. {15} John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. {16} And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. {17} For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. {18} No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."


(Rom 9:5)  "Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen."


(Heb 1:1-3)  "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, {2} Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; {3} Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"


(Heb 1:8)  "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."


(1 John 5:7)  "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."


·       None but God could satisfy justice.

·       None but God could put away sin.

·       None but God can forgive sin.


     Illustration: Thomas ― “My Lord and my God!”


III. I believe that Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God, is the second Adam.


(1 Cor 15:21-22)  "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. {22} For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."


(1 Cor 15:45-49)  "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. {46} Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. {47} The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. {48} As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. {49} And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."


A.   The teaching of the Scriptures with regard to Christ’s being the federal head and representative of God’s elect is plain and clear (Rom. 5:12-19).


Explain the parenthesis

in Romans 5:13-17.


(Rom 5:12-19)  "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: {13} (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. {14} Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. {15} But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. {16} And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. {17} For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) {18} Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. {19} For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."


B.   Imputation and representation are vital aspects of gospel truth, so vital that to deny them is to deny the gospel.


This is not a fine, insignificant point of theological orthodoxy. This is vital. If we deny our sin, fall and ruin by Adam, we must deny righteousness, redemption, and salvation by Christ. If we deny salvation by Christ alone, we must deny our fall in Adam. Both stand or fall together. Both are by imputation. The Bible reveals three great acts of imputation by our God.

1.    Adam’s sin was imputed to all men (Rom. 5:12).

2.    The sins of God’s elect were imputed to Christ (Isa. 53:6; 2 Cor. 5:21).

3.    Christ’s righteousness is imputed to all who believe on him as their Savior and Lord (Rom. 4:21-5:1; 5:19).


(Rom 4:21-25)  "And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. {22} And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. {23} Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; {24} But for us also, to whom it shall be (The word here is a present, active verb. It should read “to whom it is being imputed.) imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; {25} Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."


(Rom 5:1)  "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"


(Rom 5:19)  "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."


IV.           I believe that this Man who is God, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, holds the fate and eternal destiny of all men in his hands (Matt. 28:18; John 3:35; 5:21; 17:2; Rom. 14:9; Phil. 2:9-11).


(Mat 28:18)  "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."


(John 3:35)  "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand."


(John 5:21)  "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will."


(John 17:2)  "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."


(Rom 14:9)  "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living."


(Phil 2:9-11)  "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: {10} That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; {11} And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


Somewhere along the road this religious generation has gotten everything turned around. The great question and concern is not “What will you do with Christ?”, but “What will Christ do with you?” Anyone who knows who Christ is knows that mercy, grace, salvation, and eternal life are his prerogative. “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean” (Matt. 8:2). We would be wise to recognize this and cry with the hymn writer,


“Pass me not, O gentle Savior,

Hear my humble cry:

While on others Thou art calling,

Do not pass me by!”


V.  I believe that all praise, honor, glory, and pre-eminence has been given to, and rightly belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 1:18-19; John 5:23; Phil. 2:5-9; Heb. 1:6; 1 Cor. 1:31; Rev. 4:11; 5:9-13).


(John 5:23)  "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him."


(1 Cor 1:31)  "That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."


(Phil 2:5-9)  "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: {6} Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: {7} But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: {8} And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. {9} Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:"


(Col 1:18-19)  "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. {19} For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;"


(Heb 1:6)  "And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him."


(Rev 4:11)  "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."


(Rev 5:9-13)  "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; {10} And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. {11} And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; {12} Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. {13} And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."


A.   He is the Lord our Righteousness (Jer. 23:6)

B.   He is the Lord our Substitute (2Cor. 5:21).

C.   He is the Lord our Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5).

D.  He is the Lord our God (1 Tim. 3:16).


VI.           I believe that all (Jew or Gentile, male or female, young or old, rich or poor) who hear his voice of mercy, his word of grace and life in the gospel and believe in their hearts that Jesus is the Christ have eternal life. ― “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 John 5:1).


This is the grand article of faith. This is the one thing needful for your souls. Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ? If you do, it is because you are born of God.


A.   You have already passed from death unto life and shall not come into condemnation (John 5:24; Rom. 8:1-4).


(John 5:24)  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."


(Rom 8:1-4)  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. {2} For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. {3} For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: {4} That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."


B.   You are free from the curse, penalty, condemnation, and dominion of the law (Gal. 3:13; Rom. 10:4).


 (Gal 3:13)  "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:"


(Rom 10:4)  "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."


C.   You have already been judged in Christ, punished in Christ, and raised up to glory in Christ, for you lived, died, and rose again with him (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:4-6).


(Gal 2:20)  "I am crucified (The verb here is in the perfect tense. That means that it refers to something done in the past, once and for all, and never needs to be repeated.) with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."


(Eph 2:4-6)  "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, {5} Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) {6} And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."


“I am not skilled to understand

What God hath willed, what God hath planned.

I only know at His right hand

Is one who is my Savior.


I take Him at His word indeed,

(Christ died for sinners, this I read.),

For in my heart I find a need

Of Him to be my Savior.”


VII.        I believe that, at the hour appointed by God before the world began, Jesus Christ shall come again (Acts 17:30-31; Rev. 1:7).


(Acts 17:30-31)  "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: {31} Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."


(Rev 1:7)  "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."


At the hour appointed by God we shall die. ― “It is appointed unto men once to die!” God has set the bounds of your habitation and mine. At the appointed hour and by the appointed means you and I will leave this world. You must soon die; and I must soon die. But that is not the end. Christ is coming again.


A.   Everyone shall hear his voice (John 5:28).

B.   There shall be a resurrection of the dead (John 5:29).

C.   Every eye shall see him (Rev. 1:7).

D.  This same Jesus, who is the Christ, the Son of the living God, shall judge us all in strict justice (John 5:22; Acts 17:31; 2 Cor. 5:10).

E.   Everyone of us will spend eternity either in the bliss of his presence in heaven or in the terror of his wrath in hell.

·       Every believer shall be gloriously transformed into the very likeness of the Son of God, perfectly conformed to his image (1 John 3:2).

·       Every unbeliever shall be forever damned, forever tormented, and forever lost in hell.


“To say Hell is a horrible place is an understatement. Most people think of Hell as the farthest point from God. It is the caves where Satan’s minions scamper about, poking feeble folk with tiny pikes and taunting them for all eternity. As bad as this seems, it does not even compare to what Hell really is. Hell is the very presence of God and His wrath without Christ as a mediator. Hell is the “place” where men face God without a savior, without anybody to pay their debt of sin. If you thought Satan’s minions were scary, imagine being face to face with all God’s wrath with no Jesus in sight.”

Nathan Terrell




Before I send you home, I want us to go back to our text in Matthew 16. I have given you my confession. ― “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This is the whole of my hope, peace, and assurance before God. Now, I ask you again, Do you “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God”? Look at our Lord’s response to this confession (v. 17).


(Mat 16:17)  "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."


Blessed art thou!” ― You have not learned this on your own. You have not been brought to faith by “flesh and blood.” No mere man has revealed this to you. Oh, no! If you believe that Jesus is the Christ, it is because God the Father chose you, God the Son redeemed you, and God the Holy Spirit has given you life and faith in Christ, revealing him in you. Therefore, I say to you who believe, Christ himself says to you, “Blessed art thou!


(Eph 1:3-14)  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: {4} According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: {5} Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, {6} To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. {7} In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; {8} Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; {9} Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: {10} That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: {11} In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: {12} That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. {13} In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, {14} Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."


(Eph 2:1)  "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:"


(Eph 2:8-9)  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast."


Blessed art thou,” my brother! “Blessed art thou,” my sister!

·       Forever blessed!

·       Completely blessed!

·       Irrevocably blessed!