Sermon #1650 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “What Think Ye Of Christ?”
Text: Matthew 22:42
Subject: The Person and Work Christ
Date: Sunday Morning — May 14, 2006
Tape # Y-95a
Reading: John 1:1-34
I want to pick up right where Bro. Lindsay left off a few minutes ago in Matthew 22:42. We will begin reading at verse 41.
(Matthew 22:41-46) “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, (42) Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. (43) He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, (44) The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? (45) If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? (46) And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.”
“What think ye of Christ?” — That is my subject. I put this question to each one of you. I hope you will each one hear it as a question to addressed to you personally. I put this question to myself, too. ¾ “What think ye of Christ?” Your answer to that question, and mine, will reveal the state and condition of our souls before God. There is no middle ground here. You cannot make this a matter of indifference. The question is very short and simple. ¾ “What think ye of Christ?” But you have never been asked to consider a more weighty or a more important question in all your life. The answer to this question involves life or death!
Most people go to hell asking questions about religious matters. One of Satan’s most deceptive snares, whereby the souls of men are blinded to the glory of God and the things of God, is religious curiosity and debate. The Herodians asked, “Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar?” The Sadducees were curious about the resurrection body. The Pharisees asked, “Which is the great commandment?”
Men and women love to talk about religion, debate religion, and even fight over religion. But few, very few are willing to face and deal with that which is vital. Most people avoid dealing with the real, soul-searching issues of the gospel by giving themselves up to vain questions about points of religious doctrine, church order, religious history and religious ceremonies.
What multitudes there are today who are the obvious descendants of these Herodians, Sadducees, and Pharisees! I meet them everywhere I go. I hear from them every day. They want to know — “Who will be the greatest in heaven?” — “What kind of body will we have in the resurrection?” — “Who will be the guests at the marriage feast?” — “Who will be the bride?” — “What part of the law is applicable today?” — “When will Christ come?” — “What is the great tribulation?” — “What is the millennial kingdom?”
I could easily spend an hour just listing the meaningless (Yes, I said, “meaningless.”) religious questions people discuss, debate, and divide over, going to hell, because they miss the one issue of eternal consequence. When all is said and done, there is only one question that really matters. It is the question our Lord asked of the religious infidels of his day. This is the question I hope he will cause you to consider today. “What think ye of Christ?”
One Vital Question
I am not asking, When were you saved? I do not ask, What church you attend? I do not even ask, What do you believe? If you go to hell, it really will not make any difference whether you go to hell as a Calvinist, an Arminian, a Hindu, a papist, or Muslim. I want you to seriously and honestly answer just one question before God. – “What think ye of Christ?” My friend, your eternal destiny hinges upon your ability to answer that question properly. Nothing else is of any real importance but this – “What think ye of Christ?”
We read in the Book of Judges how that the Gileadites killed 42,000 men because they could not pronounce a single word correctly (Jud. 12:1-6). But their inability to pronounce that one word proved that they were enemies and must be slain. And the Lord Jesus sets before us the one question, the one issue between you and God ¾ “What think ye of Christ?” If you cannot answer this simple question satisfactorily, it is because you do not know God and are yet a stranger to his grace and to his Son.
I know there are many who think I preach too much about Christ. They imagine that it really does not matter what people think of Christ, so long as they are sincere. I am frequently informed, in round about ways, that people would prefer it if I talked more about practical duties, prophetic theories, ecclesiastical policies, and social issues. All of these things have their proper place. But they cannot put away sin. They cannot make men new. They cannot give life to dead sinners. Christ alone can save you. You must know Christ.
Therefore, I am determined to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified. Christ is the mainspring and subject of all Scripture. Christ is the Bishop of our souls. Christ is the Author and Finisher of our faith. Christ is the Bread of life. Christ is the Captain of salvation. Christ is the Foundation, the Corner-stone, the Door, the Mediator, the Prince of life, the Rock, the Shepherd. Christ is the Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the world, the Light of men, the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Christ is Christianity. Christ is Salvation!
Proposition: Therefore, you must not think it a strange thing for me to tell you that no one is saved who does not know Christ and think of Christ as he is revealed in the Word of God (John 17:3).
(John 17:3) “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
“What think ye of Christ?” — Outwardly, to the human eye, Jesus of Nazareth appeared to be an ordinary man. He had no “halo” about his head, no special “glow” about his body. He was not, to the outward appearance, in anyway extraordinary. They called him the carpenter’s son, a winebibber, and a glutton. Even his own brothers and sisters saw nothing impressive, in an extraordinary way, about him.
Isaiah wrote, “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…He was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isa. 53:2-3).
· He was born to a poor, unknown family. ¾ “No room for them in the inn.”
· He was laid in a manger, in a cow stable!
· He was carried into Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod.
· He grew up in a small, out of the way town called Nazareth and worked as a carpenter.
· He began his ministry attended only by a few poor, uneducated fishermen.
· His teachings about God, sin, and salvation were rejected and scorned by all the religious leaders of the day.
· Finally, even popular opinion turned against him and he was crucified as a common criminal upon a Roman cross.
· And he died and was buried in a borrowed tomb.
The religious people thought, “Now we will hear no more of this man called Jesus. We are done with him!” Had he been an ordinary man, they would have been done with him. But he is no ordinary man. This man was raised from the dead by God the Father and seated at his right hand, who declared him to be both Lord and Christ.
What do you think of him? — “What think ye of Christ?” — Who is he? What did he do? Why did he do what he did? Where is he now? What is he doing there? Let me show you from the Scriptures what I think and believe about this man, Jesus of Nazareth, who is called “The Christ.” I will give you my message in seven plain statements taken directly from the Word of God.
Very God of Very God
First, I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is very God of very God! Yes, he is a man, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. But this man is God. He is the God-man! This is what the Old Testament prophets declare (Isa. 7:14-16; 9:6-7).
(Isaiah 7:14-16) “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (15) Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. (16) For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.”
(Isaiah 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.”
And this is what the New Testament writers proclaim. ¾ The man, Jesus Christ, is himself God (John 1:1-3, 14; Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:1-3, 8).
(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) “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.”
(Romans 9:5) “Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.”
(Hebrews 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.”
(Hebrews 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.”
· The Jews sought to kill him because he, being a man, made himself God (John 10:30-33).
· Thomas called him, “My Lord and my God!”
· In the end, the Jews had him crucified because he asserted that he is God (Luke 22:69-71).
Second, I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ (Matthew 16:13-17).
(Matthew 16:13-17) “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? (14) And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. (15) He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? (16) And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (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.”
Throughout the Old Testament, from the days of Adam to the days of Malachi, believing men and women lived upon the hope of God’s promise to send his Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One, who would come into this world to redeem and save his people.
· Acts 10:43 – “To him give all the prophets witness.”
· John 8:56 – “Abraham rejoiced to see my day!”
This Messiah, this Christ was promised and described by God as…
After seeing his miracles and hearing his words, the people kept asking the Pharisees, “Is not this the Christ?” And our Lord said, “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).
The Last Adam
Third, I believe that this Man, Jesus of Nazareth, is the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45-47).
(1 Corinthians 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 Corinthians 15:45-47) “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.”
God deals with just two men, the first man Adam and Christ the second man, the last Adam. Federal headship and representation is a doctrine that is plainly taught in the Word of God. What a blessed doctrine it is! Look at Romans 5 for a minute. Here the apostle Paul tells us that all men were lost and ruined by the deeds of the first Adam and that all God’s elect are saved by the deeds of Christ the last Adam.
(Romans 5:12-21) “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. (20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
If we deny the fall of Adam and original sin, we must also deny the redemptive work of Christ and our restoration and justification in him. Both the fall and redemption are by imputation. Both sin and righteousness are by imputation. Both life and death are by imputation.
Illustration: “Two Coats” — Our Savior fulfilled his own word. — “He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise” (Luke 3:11). He has two coats of righteousness. One is that righteousness that is his as God. The other is that righteousness that he accomplished by his obedience to God as the God-man, our Substitute. We had none. So he gave us his coat, the coat of his perfect righteousness.
Fourth, I believe that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the sovereign Lord of the universe, that he holds the eternal destiny and fate of all men in his hands. — The great question is not, “What will you do with Christ?” But, “What will Christ do with you?” We somehow manage to get everything turned around and perverted! Christ is not in your hands. You are in his hands. And he can do with you whatever he wills! Listen to the Word of God (Matthew 28:18; John 3:35; 5:21; 17:2; 1 Timothy 6:14-16).
(Matthew 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.”
(1 Timothy 6:14-16) “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: (15) Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (16) Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”
Note: These Scriptures must be understood as speaking of Christ as our Mediator ¾ the God-man! — “He must reign” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
(1 Corinthians 15:24-28) “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (28) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
Worthy of Honor
Fifth, I believe, according to this Book, that this Man, the Lord Jesus Christ has been given, fully deserves and is worthy of all praise, honor, glory, and pre-eminence (John 5:23; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 1:6; Colossians 1:17-19; Revelation 1:5-6; 5:9-10).
(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.”
(Philippians 2:5-11) “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: (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.”
(Colossians 1:17-19) “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (18) 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;”
(Hebrews 1:6) “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.”
(Revelation 1:5-6) “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (6) And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
(Revelation 5:9-10) “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.”
Sixth, I believe, according to Holy Scripture, that all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ have eternal life! Every sinner in the world (Jew and Gentile, male and female, young and old, rich and poor, learned and unlearned), who hears his voice of mercy and grace in the Word of the Gospel and in his heart, believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, has passed from death unto life, has eternal life, and shall never come into condemnation (John 3:36; 5:24; 1 John 5:1, 10-13).
(John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
(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.”
(1 John 5:1) “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”
(1 John 5:10-13) “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. (11) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (12) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (13) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
Do you ask, “Bro. Don, How can I have Christ? How can I get him?” — Get him any way you can. Just get him. I read in this Book of…
Perhaps you are thinking, “But I cannot run to him. I am not able to lay hold of the Savior. I am to weak even to reach out and touch him. I am afraid I cannot even fall at his feet.” — If so, hear this word from the lips of God my Savior. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Look to the Son of God and live! Look to him, like those bitten of fiery serpents looked to the brazen serpent.
Trust the Lord Jesus Christ, and eternal life is yours! O Spirit of God, graciously cause these needy souls to look! Carry the poor, the lame, the halt and the blind to the Savior in the arms of your omnipotent grace! Do you now trust the Son of God? Do you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? If you do…
“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 as His Word indeed,
Christ died for sinners, this I read,
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my Savior!”
Seventh, I believe that this Man, the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again (John 5:22, 28-29; Acts 1:10-11; 17:31; Hebrews 9:26-28; Revelation 1:7).
(John 5:22) “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:”
(John 5:28-29) “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) 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.”
(Acts 1:10-11) “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; (11) Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
(Acts 17:31) “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.”
(Hebrews 9:26-28) “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (27) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (28) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
(Revelation 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.”
Application: Now, I ask you again – “What think ye of Christ?” When I hear that question, my heart is full of answers.
· Christ is precious! — Christ is salvation! — Christ is the One Thing Needful! — “Christ is all!”
· Christ is my great God, my Creator, my Provider, my Sustainer!
· Christ is the God-man, my Mediator, my Representative, my Substitute, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Advocate in Heaven!
· What is Christ to me? — He is the Darling of my soul, the Love of my heart, my unchanging Friend, my faithful Companion.
· Christ is the Lily of the valley, the Rose of Sharon, the Bright and Morning Star.
· He is fairer than the sons of men, the chief among ten thousand. Yes, he is altogether lovely!
· Christ is the Door by whom I enter into God’s glorious presence, the Way without whom there is no going, the Truth without whom there is no knowing, the Life without whom there is no living!
· Christ is the Shepherd of my soul, my Prophet, my Priest, and my King!
· He is my Bread and Water. He is my Shield and my Defense, my Refuge and my High Tower! He is my Light and my Salvation!
· Christ is Heaven to my soul; and when I have entered into that place called “Heaven,” I am sure that I will discover that Heaven is Christ!
· In a word, Christ is my All, all my Wisdom, all my Righteousness, all my Redemption, all my Hope, all my Peace, all my Joy, all I need, and all I want!
· He is all to be known, all to be worshipped, all to be trusted, all to be loved, all to be praised, and all to be preached!
Sweetest note of seraph’s song,
Sweetest name on mortal tongue,
Sweetest carol ever sung, —
Jesus! Blessed Jesus!
Spirit of God, keep our hearts full of Christ! Saturate our souls, saturate our hearts, saturate our minds, saturate our lives with Christ!
(Philippians 3:8-14) “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (9) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (10) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (11) If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (12) Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Oh! Eternity bound sinner! Choose this day that good thing that shall never be taken from any. Trust the Lord Jesus Christ! And soon, we’ll meet at Jesus’ feet, cast our crowns before him and sing with the choirs yonder in Glory Land — “Worthy is the Lamb! Worthy is the Lamb! Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and honor, and glory, and blessing!”