Title: I Believe that Jesus is the Christ
Text: Matthew 16:13-18
Reading: I John 5:1-13
Subject: The Person and Work of Christ
Date: Sunday Morning - December 31, 1995
Tape # S-10
Whenever possible, I like to preach seasonal messages, simply because people appear more interested when I can talk to them about things that are already on their minds. So, when I started to prepare for today’s services, I wanted to prepare messages having to do with the blessings of the past and the possible prospects for the future. I believe the Lord has directed me to a subject for this hour and enabled me to prepare a message that will fully meet those desires and much more. My subject is one that I hope is already on your mind and one you frequently think about. I want you to turn with me to Matthew 16:13-16. (Let’s read the text together.)
This is my subject - I Believe that Jesus is the Christ, not a Christ, but the Christ, the very Christ 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.
· I Corinthians 1:30
· Colossians 2:9-10
Outwardly, to the human eye, to all natural appearance and reason, he 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, from Adam 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 Melchezdec, 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 were asking the Pharisees. - “Is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29).
C. This was the public claim of our Lord himself
· John 8:24
· John 13:19
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.
· Isaiah 7:14
· Isaiah 9:6
B. This is what all the New Testament writers declare.
· John 1:14, 18
· Romans 9:5
· Hebrews 1:1-3, 8
· I John 5:7
1. None but God could satisfy justice.
2. None but God could put away sin.
3. 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.
· I Corinthians 15:21-22, 45-49
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.
· Romans 5:12,18,19
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 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; II 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).
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.
· Matthew 28:18
· John 3:35
· John 5:21
· John 17:2
· Romans 14:9
· Philippians 2:9-11
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.
· Colossians 1:18-19
· John 5:23
· Philippians 2:5-9
· Hebrews 1:6
A. He is the Lord our Righteousness (Jer. 23:6)
B. He is the Lord our Substitute (II Cor. 5:21).
C. He is the Lord our Mediator (I Tim. 2:5).
D. He is the Lord our God (I 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.
· I John 5:1
A. They have already passed from death unto life and shall not come into condemnation (John 5:24; Rom. 8:1-4).
B. They are free from the curse, penalty, condemnation, and dominion of the law (Gal. 3:13; Rom. 10:4).
C. They have already been judged in Christ, punished in Christ, and raised up to glory in Christ, for they lived, died, and rose again with him (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:4-6).
“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.
· Revelation 1:7
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; II 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 (I John 3:2).
· Every unbeliever shall be forever damned, forever tormented, and forever lost!
How can I persuade you now to be reconciled to God? How can I persuade you to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? May God the Holy Spirit now give you life and faith in him. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (II Cor. 5:1-21). Here are four things that ought to persuade you to come to Christ right now.
1. The Immortality of Your Soul (vv. 1-9).
2. The Certainty and Strictness of Divine Judgment (vv. 10-11).
3. The Love of God in Christ (vv. 12-16).
4. The Accomplishments of Christ (vv. 17-21).