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THIS TRANSCRIPT WAS AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED. As time allows we are proofreading it.

But we have a very very important subject that we’re going to study. We’re going to deal with how Jesus understood His identity and I’d like to begin by reading a passage that we find in the Gospel of Matthew 8:23 to twenty-seven. Matthew 8:23-27.

This is speaking about the experience that Jesus had when He was in a boat if you’ll remember, and the disciples were struggling to keep the water out of the boat in a storm. Let’s read about it.

“Now when He got into a boat His disciples followed Him and suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea so that the boat was covered with the waves but He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and I awoke Him saying: Lord save us we are perishing. But He said to them: Why are you fearful? Oh, ye of little faith. Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea and there was a great calm.”

And now comes the key verse: “And the men marveled saying: Who can this be? That even the winds and the sea obey Him.”

Actually, this question: “Who is this Man?” was asked on repeated occasions during the ministry of Jesus. In fact, once the Lord Jesus Himself asked that question: “Who are men saying that I am?” Disciples said: Well, some say that You are Elijah, others say Jeremiah, one of the prophets. Then Jesus said: “And who do you say that I am?” And, of course, Peter said: “You are the Christ the Son of the Living God.” (Mt 16:13-16)

Time and again throughout the ministry of Jesus this crucial and critical question was asked: Who is Jesus? Now, the answer, that has been given throughout the centuries, as well as in the days of Jesus, has been varied. Some people believe that the Lord Jesus was simply a great prophet. Other individuals believed that He was a great faith healer and of course He healed the diseases of many. Still others believed that He was the greatest moral teacher that has ever existed on planet Earth. And even the Pharisees believed that Jesus was demon possessed and He was deranged mentally. And Albert Schweitzer, very well-known probably by most of us, believed that Jesus was a deluded fanatic. Even though he believed that Jesus was a great moral teacher, that Jesus did many wonderful things, he believed that Jesus believed that the kingdom was going to come through His work and the kingdom never came and so Jesus was a deluded fanatic, according to Schweitzer.

The question is: According to the Bible, who is Jesus? Now there are three aspects of Jesus that we find in the Gospels.

(1) Number one we have a lot of material on who He is. That is a self-identity of Jesus.

(2) And then we have a good amount of material on what Jesus did – His works.

(3) And then there is another and considerable portion of material that has to do with what Jesus said, what Jesus taught.

Now, what Jesus taught and what Jesus did are based on who Jesus is. And so, it’s vital that we understand, in our lecture tonight, exactly who Jesus was.

Now, we’re going to study tonight ten great facts about Jesus and we’re going to gather this material mostly from the Gospels. We’ll make a few references to other Bible verses, but we want to see what the Bible, what the Gospels particularly, have to say about who Jesus is, what He taught, what He believed and what He did.

Our first great fact is found in the Gospel of John chapter one. If you’ll turn with me there, John chapter one. And we want to read verses one to three. John 1:1-3. This is a passage very well-known probably by most of us and it says there:

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

(1) The first great fact that we want to notice is that according to the New Testament, according to the Gospels: Jesus Christ is God and He was already in the beginning. Notice that it doesn’t say: ‘in the beginning became the Word.’ It says: “In the beginning was the Word.” In other words, He already existed in the beginning. In other words, our first great fact is that Jesus preexisted everything in the universe because He is eternal God. Go with me also to John Chapter seventeen, John 17 and let’s listen to the words of Jesus Himself. John 17:5 and here Jesus prayed to His Father and He’s praying particularly for His disciples and He says in this high priestly prayer the following: “And now, o, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself with the glory, which I had with You before the world was. So notice that Jesus existed before the world was.” Jesus was in the beginning and Jesus is God.

Now, I’m going to make reference to some verses from the New Testament that we’re not going to read but you can just follow along in the list of text that you’ve received. For example, in Matthew 1:23 the angel says that one of the names of Jesus is going to be Emmanuel. Now, do you know what the name Emmanuel means? It means: “God with us.” And I know that there’s one particular individual here who has a daughter whose name is Emmanuel – the feminine. Emmanuel means “God with us” In other words, when Jesus came to this earth He was “God with us”.

Go with me also to John Chapter 8 and I would like to read verse 58. John 8:58. We’re still speaking about the first great fact and that is that Jesus Christ is fully, totally, completely, in every sense, eternal God. Notice John 8:58. Here Jesus is going to share some very surprising news with the Jewish listeners that are hearing what He has to say. Verse 58 of John 8: Jesus said to them:

“Most assuredly I say to you: before Abraham was I AM.”

Now immediately we ask the question, Did Jesus not know proper grammar? Didn’t He know that you’re supposed to say: Before Abraham was, I was? You just don’t say that, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Well, the fact is that Jesus was trying to make a point and that is that He is the Great I AM who let Israel in the Old Testament.

In fact, He was the I AM who was in the in the burning bush. Go with me back to Exodus 3:14. Exodus 3:14. This is the experience of the burning bush and here is where we need to recognize that both the Old and the New Testament testify to Jesus. You see if you didn’t have the Old Testament you would say: ‘Man, that’s kind of strange: Before Abraham was I am.’ But when you go to the source of the name I AM you know why Jesus used it. Now, notice Exodus 3:14 when Moses says to God: when I go to Israel what name should I tell them you have? And here’s the answer.

“And God said to Moses: I AM who I AM. And He said: Thus you shall say to the children of Israel. I AM has sent me to you.”

And of course, the name I AM indicates an eternal present existence. You see, in the sight of God there is no past, there’s no future, there is an eternal present in the mind of God. And so, God is the great I AM. Jesus identifies Himself as the great I AM, as God who was in the burning bush.

In fact, the Jews understood very well what Jesus was trying to say because immediately afterwards in verse 59 of John 8 they picked up stones to throw at Him because they recognized that He was declaring Himself to be God. So, our first great fact, very important fact, for what we are going to study and understand tonight is that Jesus was, is and forever will be – everlasting, eternal God.

(10’:12”) (2) Now, the second fact that we want to remember is that Jesus was the active Agent in the creation of this world. He was the One who actively implemented the Creation Plan of this world. Let’s go back to a text that we’ve already read John 1:1-3. John 1:1-3 and particularly we’re interested in verse three. It says there: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” And now here comes the key verse. “All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made.” How many things were created through Jesus? All things. You might say: ‘Well, all things on earth.’ Not quite. Go with me to the book of Colossians. Go with me to Colossians, chapter 1 and let’s notice how many things Jesus made. Colossians, chapter 1 and we want to read starting with verse 16. It’s speaking about Jesus and it says:

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created through Him and for Him and He is before all things and in Him all things consist.”

So how many things were created through Jesus? All things, whether they be heavenly or earthly things, visible or invisible things, principalities, powers, governments, you name it. All have been created through Jesus Christ.

Now you might be wondering: Why is it important to believe that all things were created by Jesus? Let me explain why. You see, every single one of us who are gathered here this evening were created by Jesus. Now you probably are saying: ‘No, I was created by my mother.’ Ok, let me ask you: who created your mother? She came from her mother, right? And where did her mother come from? Well, from her mother. And where her mother come from? From her mother. And so, if you go back far enough where do you end, according to the Bible? You end with Adam and Eve. That’s right. So, when Jesus Christ created Adam and Eve, through them He created us all. In other words, Jesus is the Creator of all of us. Why is that important? Because the time would come when Jesus needed to pay the debt for all. And only He who created all, could pay the price for all. You see, one creature could perhaps pay for another creature. But only He who created every being in the whole vast world, could take the place of every being in the whole vast world and save them from their sin. So, the second great fact is that Jesus is the Creator of all and therefore it is possible for Him to become the Redeemer of all. He can take our penalty upon Himself.

(3) Now let’s go to our third great fact and that is that Jesus even though He was God in the beginning, even though He existed already in the beginning, even though He is eternal God, the Bible tells us that at a certain point in history “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son born of a woman.” Now don’t ask me to explain the mystery of the Incarnation. I can’t do it. I mean, imagine what God did? He took the divine Christ, who is eternal God and by some mysterious process that we can never understand, genetically, He took that divine person Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God and He implanted Him into the womb of Mary. And thus, God became Man. The eternal God was transplanted to our rebellious planet and thus He became God-Man. Before this He have been God, now He becomes the God-Man.

Let’s notice what it says in Matthew 1:18 about this birth of Jesus’s. His birth was absolutely unique because He was born of a virgin, which means that He must have been born not through sexual intercourse. Now, notice what it says in verse 18: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, …” That is engaged, before they came together, “… she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying: Joseph son of David. Do not be afraid to take to you Marry, your wife. For that, which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Spirit and she will bring forth a Son and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Now, notice the justification, the Scriptural justification, for this that is happening. Verse 22:

“Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying: Behold a virgin shall be with child and bear a Son and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which translated is God with us.”

And so, the Bible is very clear, the Gospels are very clear, that Jesus is not only eternal God but at some point in history He became also a Man. Now, notice what it says in John 1:14 speaking about this same word. John 1:14 says:

“And the Word became, …” what? “… flesh and dwelt among us. And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full grace and truth.”

Notice, the Word, who was in the beginning, who was God, now becomes what? becomes Flesh.

It’s interesting, if you examine the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter 1, you’ll find that He descends from Abraham and from David, He has a real human lineage. And if you go to the genealogy of Christ in Luke chapter 3, you’ll find that the genealogy not only takes you back to Abraham and to David, but the genealogy actually takes you all the way back to Adam. In other words, Jesus came from our line of human beings. He suffered the results of the great law of heredity. He was a real Man. He was not a make-believe man, He was a real human being.

Notice Luke 24:36-43. This is a passage that is referring to the post resurrection state of Jesus. Notice Luke chapter 24 and let’s start reading at verse 36. This is after the resurrection of Jesus. It says: “Now, as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them and said to them: Peace to you. But they were terrified and frightened and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said to them: Why are you troubled and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I, Myself. Handle Me and see. For a spirit does not have…” What’s the next word? “…Flesh…” and what? “… and bones as you see I have. When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.” And then they still didn’t believe it so He said: “Do you have any food here?” Do spirits eat? Basically, is what He’s saying. And so, they gave Him something to eat and He ate in their presence. Did Jesus have a real human body even after His resurrection? According to Scripture yes, He was a real genuine human Being.

Notice also the corroboration that we find in the book of Hebrews. Go with me to Hebrews chapter 2 and let’s notice what the apostle Paul tells us here, in starting with verse 17. It says, speaking about Jesus: “Therefore in all things He had to be made like His brethren.”

(19’:50”) Now, let me explain something. Jesus was not made with a human nature, like for example a drunk on skid row, who has not been regenerated, who has not been born again. In other words, when Jesus was born into this world He was born with a regenerated human nature. In other words, we could say that Jesus was “born born-again.” Jesus never had to go through a new birth experience. When He was born, He was born regenerated by the Holy Spirit. In other words, Jesus began at His birth where we began when we are born again through the work of the Holy Spirit. In other words, the difference between Christ and us is not in our human nature but it is at a point when we are born again. When Jesus was born He was born already by the Holy Spirit, regenerated. When we are converted to Christ and we are born again – at that moment we are at the position where Jesus began. In other words, when the Bible says that “Jesus was made like unto His brethren” – it’s speaking about those who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, those who have been born again.

In fact, you can check out the word brother, the word brethren, as it’s applied to Christ and His relationship to His people in the New Testament and you’ll find that every single time that we are called “the brethren of Jesus” it refers to people that have joined His family, people who have been converted and have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. So, in other words, Jesus was born into this world, according to the Bible, our Brother. Now notice what it also says in verse 14 in Hebrews chapter 2: “In as much then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood He Himself likewise shared in the …”, what? “… in the same. That through death He might destroy him who have the power of death, that is the devil. So as the children had flesh and blood, so Jesus also came into this world with flesh and blood.”

So, we’ve noticed three great facts so far about Jesus.

Number one: He is eternal God.

Number two: He created every person in this world and therefore He can offer His life in place of every person that He created.

Number three: Jesus besides being eternal God is also truly and genuinely a Man.

Now why is it important for Jesus to be both God and to be Man? The answer to this question is found in the Gospel of John 1:51. John 1:51 and here Jesus is speaking to Nathaniel who was one of His disciples, one of the disciples that Jesus called. And you’ll notice what it says in John 1:51:

“And He said to him: Most assuredly I say to you hereafter you shall see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. – You’ll see heaven opened and the angels ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

What a strange declaration. Now, let me ask you: where does this idea come from? The angels ascending and descending upon something? You know. It’s the story of Jacob in Genesis 28. You remember that he sinned against his Father by lying to him. He stole his brother’s birthright and he had to flee from home and he felt that God had abandoned him and after traveling a couple of days he laid down with his head upon a stone, upon a rock and he had this dream. And in the dream he saw a ladder. It was firmly planted on earth and its heights reached into the heavens. And God was at the top of the ladder.

Now, let me ask you: how many key parts does the ladder have? I always have people say: “two” and I have some people say: “three.” It’s actually two. The top and the bottom. Because if you have the top and the bottom you would have the middle, right? And so ladder has two key parts: you have the bottom and you also have the top where you want to reach to. Now, the interesting thing is: usually when we put a ladder, we plant it on the earth and then we put it up to where we want to go. But the ladder of Genesis 28 and of John chapter 1 is placed in the opposite direction. In other words, it’s like a helicopter ladder. It’s not a case of us putting a ladder on earth to reach unto heaven, it’s a case of God letting down the ladder from heaven to earth, until it reaches the earth, so that we can assent.

Now, what does this represent, the fact that the latter is planted on the earth and it reaches to the highest heaven? What it means is that Jesus Christ is God with God in heaven and at the same time He is Man planted on earth with us, here on earth. In other words, He’s Man with us – that’s the earthly part of the ladder and He’s God with everlasting God in heaven – that’s the top part of the ladder. And because He is Man and He is God, He is able to bridge the abyss between heaven and earth, so that we can make it from this earth to heaven. In other words, as God He has access to God and as Man He has access to us. He is the bridge between heaven and earth.

It’s really sad that many people in this world believe that human priests can lead them to God. The problem with that idea that a human priest can lead you to God is that a human priest has only the bottom part of the ladder. Because he’s a man. But in order to bridge the abyss between heaven and earth the person must be Man and he must be God. In other words, to the divinity of Jesus, to His Godhood and to His humanity we owe the possibility of making it from earth to heaven. If He is God He is up there. If He’s man He’s down here, but if He’s both, He closes the abyss for us between heaven and earth.

(4) Now, the next great fact that I want to study is “that Jesus being a Man was tempted in all things like we are.” As a full human Being. Now, let me just say that Matthew chapter 4 presents the temptations of Jesus, later on in this series we’re going to talk about the temptations specifically. We’re going to see that the three temptations represent three categories of temptations that come to us. Now, Jesus wasn’t tempted in every specific temptation that we’re tempted with. For example, He wasn’t tempted to watch too much television. Because, of course, there was no television. But was He tempted with His eyes? Yes, He was. So these three temptations represent three categories of temptations that we suffer as well as He suffered. He was tempted in all things according to the Bible.

Now, can God be tempted, according to the Bible? God cannot be tempted. Go with me to James chapter 1. James chapter 1 and let’s read verse 13. James 1:13. See, God can’t be tempted. Could the devil fool God? Come on, folks, can the devil fool God? Of course not! Why?! Because God knows everything. How could He be fooled? How could He be deceived? That’s what James 1:13 says: “Let no one say when he is tempted: I am tempted by God. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” So, can God be tempted? No.

So, what if Jesus had come to this earth as God? He could not have been what? He could not have been tempted. And if the devil had tempted Him and He has lived here as God, the devil would have said: ‘O, come on! This is just a facade! These are real temptations because every time that I’m about to get you, you turn on your divinity and you know that it’s me! Because you know all things.’ And so, if Jesus had come to this earth as God He could have never been tempted. And we’re going to notice that has severe repercussions when it comes to us. The fact is, that the Bible teaches that Jesus came to this earth “and was tempted in all things like we are, yet without sin.” (Heb 4:15)

By the way, do you know that Jesus was tempted far greater than Adam, or than us? You look for example at the temptations of Adam. Adam lived in a perfect beautiful garden, didn’t he? Jesus was tempted in arid desert. Adam was tempted in a garden where he had no scarcity of food. There was no excuse for him to be hungry. Jesus was tempted when He had fasted forty days and forty nights. Adam was tempted when he had a perfect body and perfect mind, in fullness of strength. Jesus was tempted when the human race had been degenerated by four thousand years of sin. Adam was not constantly attacked by Satan in the garden. He had access only to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Jesus from the time He was born – and we’re going to study this tomorrow night – from the time that He was born till the time that He died, twenty-four hours a day seven days a week the devil was on His track. After Him, tempting Him, making His life miserable! Not so with Adam.

(30’:17”) And besides, Jesus was tempted to use power that He had, but I don’t have. For example, if the devil told to Elder Finn: If you the son of God, turn these stones into bread! Would that be a temptation for Elder Finn? Why not? Because he can’t turn stones into bread! But the fact is, Jesus knew He could! And so His temptations were far greater, far larger than our temptations! And let me say, even though they were far greater and far larger than our temptations He was tempted in the same human nature as we are tempted in.

Let me illustrate the point. Let’s suppose… and I don’t even know if I should use this example but I would, it’s a good one. Let’s suppose that Superman existed. Ok? We’re going to notice why it’s important for Jesus to have become a Man and have been tempted in all things like as we are. Let’s suppose that Superman exist. Does Superman have powers that we don’t have? Of course, if he existed – that is of course. Can he melt things with his eyesight? Sure. Does he have the power to break steel? Of course, he does. Can he blow a tree completely out of its roots? Of course. He has great powers that I don’t have. Now, supposing that Superman existed and he appeared in front of this auditorium tonight and he said to all of you: Folks, so nice to see all of you tonight. And then that door is opened and Superman flies out the door and he says: ‘Follow me!’ What would you say? ‘Excuse me? Superman has powers that I don’t have.’ Is there any basis for him to say: “Follow me”? No. Because he’s asking me to do something that he has power to do and I don’t. Are you following me or not?

So, if Jesus – 1 John 2:6 states that – Jesus says that we should walk even as He walked. But the question is: if Jesus gained a victory over sin because He had superior powers than me, on what basis could He ask me to follow His example? He couldn’t. It would be unjust, wouldn’t it? Now, let me say exactly what happened during the ministry of Jesus and this is the amazing thing. The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus when He came to this earth, even though He had His powers as God, He chose to relinquish the use of those powers, unless His Father gave Him permission. And the reason for that was so that He could live on this earth like you and me.

Now you might be saying: Now, wait a minute pastor, didn’t Jesus cast out demons? Isn’t that a greater power than human power? Didn’t Jesus heal sick people? Yes, He did. Didn’t Jesus read the minds of people? He sure did. Didn’t Jesus resurrect people? He most certainly did. So He must have been using His divine powers to do all of these things. The fact is He didn’t. Because the apostles had the same ability as Jesus had. The apostles also cast out demons, did they not? The apostles also healed the sick, did they not? The apostles also resurrected the dead, the apostle Paul resurrected a dead person. The apostles also read the human mind. You say: Where? Remember that Peter read the mind of Ananias and Sapphira and told them that they had sinned against the Holy Spirit? Let me ask you: Are they doing these things because they are God? No! But because the Holy Spirit is giving them the capacity to do that. And that was the case with Jesus. Jesus, when He came to this earth, He made a decision in heavenly Council with His Father and that is that when He came here, He was going to live like one of us. He was going to gain the victory over temptation as one of us. And what’s really amazing is that Jesus was tempted in everything, like I mentioned, and yet He never sinned. Not because He used His divine power but because He depended upon the power of His Father.

Notice what it says in John 8:46. John chapter 8 and verse 46 with regards to Christ. Here Christ throws out a challenge. John 8:46: Jesus asks the question: “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” In other words: ‘Who can tell Me that I am a sinner, that I have committed sin?’ Notice also John 14:30. John 14:30. Once again Jesus says that: the evil one has nothing in Him. He says there: “I will no longer talk much with you for the ruler of this world is coming and he has, …” what? “… nothing in Me.” In other words, the devil had no point of contact with Jesus, the devil was not able to entice Jesus even in thought to go against God’s will. And it wasn’t because He was using His divine power, it was because as a Man He was depending upon the power of His Father.

Notice what it says in John 5:19-20. John 5:19-20. Here Jesus states clearly how He lived when He was on this earth. John 5:19-20. Notice: “Then Jesus answered and said to them: Most assuredly I say to you – the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do, for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. So, the Son does nothing of Himself, when He sees the Father do, He does.” And then notice verse 20: “For the Father loves the Son and show Him all things that He Himself does and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.” Several times in the first chapters of John Jesus says: ‘I can of Myself do absolutely nothing.’

Now, why was it important for Jesus to become a Man and be tempted in all things, as it says in Hebrews chapter 4, in all things such as we are, yet without sin? Incidentally, somebody says: ‘Well, how can He understand me then, if He never sinned?’ Let me give you an illustration so you can understand. If you are sinking in quicksand and you are all the way up to your neck, what would you rather have? Would you rather have another person in the quicksand sympathizing with you and understanding your plight? Or would you have rather somebody standing on solid ground to pull you out? I know the answer! You would rather have somebody that has not fallen into the quicksand! Listen, if Jesus had fallen into the quicksand of sin with us, He would need somebody to pull Him out too. But praise the Lord, that He’s not in the quicksand, sympathizing with me. He’s on solid ground willing to pull me out from the quicksand of sin. Now why is it important for Jesus to have become a Man so that He could be tempted as we are, yet without sin? I sustain that there are three reasons.

  1. a) Number one. 1 John 2:6 says that: Jesus has left us an Example so that as He walked, we should walk as well. So, in other words, the victory of Jesus over temptation becomes an example for us also to overcome temptation. The same power that He had, is the power, which is available to us.
  2. b) And this brings me to my second point. Not only was it important for Jesus to suffer temptation and conquer temptation to give me an example of how I should conquer temptation, but Jesus actually overcame temptation, so that He could give me the power to overcome temptation. Not only an Example of how to overcome, but also the power to overcome! Now, notice John 15:5 on this point. John 15:5, here Jesus says: “I am the vine you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for without Me you can do, …” what? “… nothing.”

So as Jesus came to victory through the power of His Father in Him, Jesus says that if we are drawing to Him as the vine and we as branches, we can have the same power to overcome, which Jesus had. We all know that famous verse of the apostle Paul where he says: I can do some things through Christ, who strengthens me. {All things! – audience.} Thank you, thank you. How is that again? I can do most things through Christ who strengthens me? {All things! – by audience.} Oh, thank you very much. You’re on the ball tonight. I can do, what? all things through Christ who strengthens me, except to gain the victory over temptation. That’s not what the Bible says! Notice, that it says here: “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13) That’s very similar to what we just read in John 15:5: Without Me you can do nothing. Only Paul puts it positively and Jesus negatively. “Without me you can do nothing.” Paul says: With Him I can do everything – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

(41’:00”) Now you say: How in the world can I gain the victory over temptation the way Jesus did? Well, it’s very simple folks. Go with me to John chapter 15 and let’s read verses 5 and then let’s read verse 7. John 15 and then verse 5 and also verse 7. It says here in verse 5 of John chapter 15 the following, we just read it: “I am the vine you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in Him bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.” Notice, Jesus says: We are to abide in Him, right? What does it mean to abide in Him? Go to verse 7: “If you abide in Me…” and what is the next phrase? “…and My words abide in you.” So how does Jesus abide in us? Through His, what? through His words. How did Jesus answer the devil in the bout of temptation? “It is written!” (Mt 4:4) Because the Word of God was dwelling in Jesus. And so Jesus says: To dwell in you means to have My Word dwell in you.

Incidentally, let me share this with you. In the Gospel of John chapter 6. Jesus said something, which was revolutionary, it really scared the Jewish leaders. He said: “Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you.” And of course, they thought that Jesus was talking about cannibalism. They thought He was actually saying that people had to eat His flesh and drink His blood to have everlasting life. And Jesus knew that they were thinking that and so in John chapter 6, if you go with me there for a minute, John chapter 6 and verse 63 Jesus is going to explain what He meant. He says there: “It is the Spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing.” In other words, it doesn’t do any good to eat My flesh. And then He says: “The words that I speak to you are spirit and I they are, …” what? “… and they are life.” So, in other words, if you want to overcome the devil like Jesus overcame the devil you must have Jesus abiding in you, and Jesus abides in you through His what? Through His word so that you can answer the devil. “It is written.” The trouble is, many of us are not putting scripture in our hearts and therefore when the devil comes we’re at his mercy. Notice with me Psalm 119, I love this passage here. Psalm 119 and let’s read verses 9-11. Psalm 119:9-11. You want to underline this is beautiful. It says here.

“How can a young man cleanse his way by taking heed. According to your word. With my whole heart I have sought you all let me not wonder from your commandments. …” And then here’s my favorite: “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not work out that I might not …” What? “…  that I might not sin against you.” So how did Jesus gain the victory over temptation? The same way we can, by abiding in the word and by facing the devil with the word. The third reason why the Lord Jesus had to be tempted as a man, had to live a life, a perfect life in human nature was so that He could develop a life that He could attribute to me, or He could acredit to my account. Let me explain what I mean. You see when man sinned, God said, you must die because “the wages of sin are death.”

In other words when man sinned, his life was stained by sin and therefore he was subject to death. What was the only way in which the life of man could be redeemed? Well we know that Jesus had to pay for the sin of man. But Jesus had to do something before that. Jesus had to live a perfect life so that He could offer that perfect life in my place before the Father as the Bible says so “that we could be accepted in the Beloved.” In other words, my simple life would be covered by the sinless live of Jesus as I accept Him as my Savior my Lord. This is what the Apostle Paul calls in Romans chapter four, the righteousness which is reckoned or accredited to Abraham and to David and to the people who accept Jesus. In other words, you not only need someone to pay for your sins, you need someone to stand in your place. His life to stand in your place.

You remember the story that we studied last time the story of the prodigal son? What did the father put over the shoulders of his prodigal so? The robe, and what does that robe represent? The righteousness of the Father. In other words, the father now looks at him and he says, ‘Forget all of those things that you’ve done. My righteousness stands in place of your unrighteousness.’ In other words, he is accepted in the beloved, but in order to offer a perfect life he had to live a perfect life, didn’t He? He had to overcome every temptation that came against Him because if He did not have a perfect life, His sacrifice would be in vain because His sacrifice would be flawed and so He had to live a perfect sinless life, so that that life could be accredited to my account and I could be saved.

So, we find that the Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in all things like as we are and yet the Lord Jesus never sinned. For this reason, He can be my example. For this reason, He can empower me to overcome, and for this reason He can credit me with his perfect life so that the Father doesn’t look at me the Father looks at Jesus. The next reason why or the next point in our study tonight, the next great fact about Jesus is that Jesus came to this earth to reveal what his Father is really like. In John Chapter fourteen we find Jesus saying to Philip, “He who has seen Me, has seen the Father.” You see, up to this point the devil had given God a black eye, had given God a bad reputation. In fact, in the times of Christ. We’re going to study tomorrow night when we speak about our good and evil in the Gospels all throughout of the Old Testament period, and up to the times of Christ. The people believe that if you got sick it was God that was punishing you for sin. In fact, they call leprosy “the finger of God”.

In other words, it God who was afflicting you with leprosy, because you were a great sinner. The man who was blind, who was born blind. Who sinned, this man or his parents that he should be born blind? In other words, the devil had given the impression that God was responsible for all of the evil and all of the sickness and all of the suffering and all of the sorrow in the world, it was necessary for one to come and show what God was really like. But of course God couldn’t come as God because the Bible says that “God is a consuming fire”. He would have had to destroy the sinner if He came in His divine glory and saw the divine glory was covered by humanity so that Jesus could reveal what God is like and not destroy man.

And so Jesus says, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” If you want to know what God is like all you have to do is look at Jesus. But sometimes isn’t it true that we think, ‘Well Jesus loves me this I know…’ but then we are not sure about the father? We kind of think of a father, of somebody who sitting on His Throne up there, He’s aloof you know, He’s the one that needs to be appeased. He’s the one who needs to be interceded before by the son. We consider Him a little bit aloof but the fact is that the New Testament tells us, that the Father loves us as much as His son. In fact, He was willing to give His Son because He loves us so much, and so Jesus came to show what His father is really like. And tomorrow will amplify this point a little bit more.

Another reason why Jesus came to this earth is so that He could pay my penalty for sin. Notice what it says in Matthew chapter 20:28. Matthew 20:28. A very important concept in this verse. Here Jesus says,

“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

You know what a ransom is? Has to do with kidnapping, doesn’t it? Somebody kidnaps you and the kidnappers ask for ransom. When the ransom is paid you’re free. It’s also the language of the pawn shop right. You take something to the pawn shop and they give you money for it, and then in order to get it back you have to what? You have to pay, you have to buy it back. The Bible says that we’ve sold ourselves into sin. In other words, a ransom had to be paid somebody had to pay my debt. I want you to notice the dilemma that God was in after man sinned. The devil says to God, ‘Listen, if you don’t punish man with death, you’re a liar, because you said that the wages of sin is death. So if you don’t punish him with death, You’re lying, and you’re not really just.’ But then he says, ‘On the other hand if you do punish him and destroy him, then you are not love. What God of love would destroy the sinner?’ And so the devil put a controversy between the justice and the mercy of God.

He said, ‘If you’re mercyful to man you cannot be just, and if you’re just you cannot be merciful.’ But the fact is God showed that he can be both just and merciful because the Lord Jesus came to this earth, and He suffered the penalty for my sins. Justice was satisfied because He prayed, and at the same time He showed his mercy because I don’t have to pay. He paid in my place and so Jesus is just, and the justifier of all those who believe in Him.

“He came to give His life as a ransom for many.”

 

That’s the reason why when Jesus was baptized shortly before He was baptized John the Baptist introduce Jesus as the Lamb of God. What happened to lambs of God? Sins were placed on their head and then their throat was slit. And the blood gushed out indicating that the lamb was going to die in place of the sinner. Incidentally it was indispensable that Jesus be a man in order to be able to die. Why? Because the Bible says that God is immortal. What does immortal mean? He can’t die. God can’t die. It’s impossible for Him to die. So, if Jesus had come as God. My sins could not have been paid for but that’s the reason why Jesus became man, mortal man, so that being a man He could die. He could pay for my sins. John 15:13.

“No greater love does a man have than to lay his life down for his friends.”

Jesus said. Matthew 26:27+28. The Bible says that Jesus came to ratify a new covenant so that the sins of human beings could be totally and completely forgiven. Isaiah 53 says that the iniquity of us all was placed upon Him, upon Jesus. In fact, in John Chapter three if you go with me there, John 3:14-16, we find a very interesting story here. John 3:14

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. …”

As Moses lifted up what? The serpent in the wilderness. What is this serpent raised up in the wilderness? What does a serpent represent in the Bible? It represents Satan, it represents sin. So how is it, that Jesus is represented by a serpent? The fact is that the Bible says, “That He who knew no sin …” which is Jesus, “… was made to be sin for us that we might be found the righteousness of God in Him.” In other words, He who was not a serpent came under the dominion of the serpent to pay for my sins so that I could be considered righteous in the sight of God. And folks, when the Lord Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane and He cried out three times “Father if this cup can pass from me let it be so. Nevertheless, not My will be done but yours.” The sins of the whole world were being placed upon Jesus.

When Jesus hung upon the cross and He cried out in anguish, and it was so powerful, His cry was so powerful that the Gospel writer even wrote it in Aramaic in which Jesus spoke it. He remembered the exact words and they were registered in Aramaic not in Hebrew. ” Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”“My God my God why hast thou forsaken me?”   Forsaken by his own father apparently because the load of sin that He was carrying was so offensive to God, that God hid His face from His own son. In other words, on the cross of Calvary Jesus was paying the penalty for your sin and for my sins, He had to be a man for that, and He also had to be God to be able to offer this sacrifice to God in our place.

Now let’s go quickly to the last three points that identify who Jesus is. The Bible also says that the Lord Jesus resurrected from the dead. Why is that important? Well, if Jesus died to pay for our sins and He stayed in the tomb how could He give us life? How can a dead God save us? So, I was indispensable, that Jesus not only died to pay for my sins but that Jesus also resurrected from the dead. And that resurrection is registered in the Gospels and I put on our list here particularly Matthew 28:1-7 where you see that the resurrection of Jesus was literal. It was personal, and it was physical. In fact, Jesus, according to Revelation chapter one, has the keys of death, and of the grave.

In other words, Jesus has taken away the keys from the devil. He said, ‘Give me those keys!’ And what is Jesus planning to do with those keys someday? He’s planning to use them to open up all the graves of his children all over the world. He said because “I live you shall live also.” The Bible also says that Jesus is our intercessor, the One who intercedes for us before the Father. Let’s notice John Chapter three very quickly. John 3:16. Very well-known verse John 3:16. At football games you always find it behind the goal posts, don’t you? Those of you who watch football. John 3:16 probably the person who has the sign at the football game doesn’t have the foggiest idea what it means but anyway it says here,

“For God so loved the world …” Does that include everybody? Yes. “… that He gave His only begotten son. …” But now I want you to notice that it includes everybody, but it excludes some.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

He came to save the world. He was sacrificed for the world, but He will only save those who believe in Him. Now let me illustrate the point. What is Jesus doing now? What has He been doing the last two thousand years? You know, you ask Christians that, and you are kind of thrown for a loop. Really, what has He been doing the last two thousand years? I’ll tell you what He’s been doing He’s been interceding for us. According to Hebrews 7:25 as well as many other verses as well. He’s been interceding for us. You say, ‘Wait a minute, wait a minute! Interceding for what?’ For sin. ‘But didn’t He pay for all sins at the cross?’ Did He? Did Jesus pay for all sins at the cross? He most certainly did. Then everybody’s going to be saved. No, because during the last two thousand years Jesus has been serving as our intercessor. We must personally come to Him and claim the benefits of what He’s done. We must claim the payment that He has made.

Let me give you an illustration. Supposing that there is this bank. Will call it “The bank of the universe”. It has enough money in it to pay for all of the debts of every single person on planet earth. How many people do you think would go to that bank? Would you go? I think you would go, in a minutes time. There’s only one catch, even though it has resources in it to pay for every single debt in the whole wide world, you have to go and we have to withdraw the money. Is it possible that many people would not go to withdraw the money and they would still stay in debt? Absolutely. When Jesus died He deposited in the bank of heaven enough merit to save every human being that has ever lived on this earth. He paid for every single sin that has ever been committed. But there’s a catch you have to claim the payment that He made you have to go to the bank you have to pray, you have to claim Jesus as the intercessor, you have to ask for forgiveness for your sins. You have to ask for His sacrifice to apply to you personally and individually. And that’s what Jesus has been doing the last two thousand years. He has been interceding in the presence of the Father for us.

Final to points very quickly. The Lord Jesus is also going to serve as our judge. Is that comforting to you, to know that Jesus is the judge? Comforting to me, because I know that the judge is one of us. He’s been over the road. He can sympathize with us. He can understand us. He knows us. He’s a human being like we are and we know that He’s going to represent us fairly. But there’s another reason why Jesus, the Son of Man, is the judge, and that is because in the judgment there’s not going to be any excuse. Somebody might say well you just didn’t know how terrible the temptations were. You know for example drugs. Man, they were so strong they were so powerful you never really know what it was like. And Jesus is going to say, ‘None of that. I went over the same road I hung on the cross, and when I was on the cross they offered me a drug to calm the pain. Gall mixed with vinegar, that was a drug, and I said no, I refused it, because I wanted to have a clear mind.’ So, there’ll be no excuse in the judgement.

Furthermore, Jesus has to be God in order to be judge because the Bible says that we are going to be judged according to our thoughts, our intentions our feelings, and the secret things in our heart. And only an omniscient God could be able to discern those things. And so, Jesus the Son of Man will be the judge. And finally, the Bible tells us that a portion of Jesus’ self-identity is the fact that is going to come again very soon to this earth. The consummation of our hopes. In Acts chapter one, when Jesus was ascending to heaven He said to the disciples through an angel, “This same Jesus whom you have seen go to heaven will come in like manner as you have seen Him go to heaven.” Jesus said in John 14:1-3.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

The consummation of our hopes the glorious coming of Jesus Christ. The primary reason is not to destroy the wicked. The primary reason is to gather his children unto Himself so that we can live eternally with Him.

So, the Bible tells us many things about Jesus. It tells us that He is God, He is man, He is the creator. He was born from a virgin into this world. He was tempted in all things like we are, yet without sin so that He can help us. The Bible tells us that Jesus lived a perfect life for us. Jesus died the death that we should suffer. Jesus resurrected from the tomb so that He can give us life. Jesus is our intercessor. Jesus will be the judge and Jesus will soon come again. In other words, Jesus is our all, He is our everything. He’s not merely a prophet. He’s not merely a miracle worker. He is not merely a great man. He’s not what many people think He is. He is our Savior, our only hope in this world of sin and sorrow and suffering and the sooner He comes the better. I’m tired of living in this world of sin and sorrow and sickness and suffering and death. It’s time to go home, isn’t it? With our beloved Jesus.

Let us pray Father in heaven we thank you for giving us Jesus, the greatest gift that a person could ever desire. We know that when you give us Jesus you give us everything. I ask Lord that you will bless every person gathered here. If there is someone who has not given his or her life to Jesus. I ask that at this very moment you will come close to them and you will give, you will help them, through your power see the importance of giving their life to Jesus and that they might do it right at this moment in their hearts. We look forward to that great day when Jesus will come we believe that it’s very very soon and we want a place to be prepared for us. We want to spend eternity with Jesus and so we ask, that you will prepare that wonderful place, not so much that we’re interested in the streets of gold and the precious stones and all of the beautiful things, but we’re interested in just fellowshipping with our beloved Jesus who gave it all for us. Thank you, Lord. For hearing our prayer, for answering us, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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