16 Jul Why We Believe What We Believe: Doctrine of Christology (Part 2)
“A defining question for a Christian is, “who was Christ?” and I don’t think it’s sufficient to conclude that he was a great thinker or a philosopher, because actually He went around saying He was the Messiah. That’s why He was crucified: He said He was the Messiah. So, either He was the Son of God–or He was nuts.”
Who do you say Jesus is?
In this episode Michael concludes his teaching on the Doctrine of Christology.
This teaching was originally given to students and faculty at Mood Bible Institute.
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Luke 22:70, Matthew 22:41, John 10:24-38
When the High Priest presses Jesus and asks him: “Are you the Christ?” Jesus basically says, “Yes, I am.”
What this means to the Jewish ear is far different from what it means to us. This is the messianic, Davidic line, the King who would reinstate the fortunes of Israel.
There is a theological precedence that the Davidic King would come and be a royal, regal heir- Messiah. He will be the one, the Jews thought, would restore boundaries, route their enemies, and be their King. That’s what they hoped for.
Even John the Baptist scratches his head, “Are you the King of the Jews? Are you the one?” (Luke 7:19)
Jesus belongs to the Davidic family and this proclamation would be frightening to the Jew who wasn’t ready to accept Jesus as Messiah.
Caeserea Philippi: There’s a huge rock from which flows beautiful, clear, glass water even today. It’s from there that Jesus speaks these words to His disciples.
Who do you say that I am?
When the softball’s thrown your way, who do you say He is?
When the pressures of the culture and the context in which we live push us away from clear, gentle, truthful, unapologetic explanations of Jesus Christ; who do you say He is?
Peter’s confession of Jesus as Messiah is fascinating because we know Peter, this isn’t the kind of thing he would typically say.
When you came into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, it was not because you concluded it on your own account. It was because God in His great kindness reached down from eternity past and He chose you before the foundation of time.
Before the foundation of the world, He called you to Himself, and at some point in your journey you said, “Oh, Jesus is the Christ,” no different than Simon Peter’s experience: God revealed it to us.
We don’t come to this conclusion. We don’t seek Him out and decide, “oh, I think of all the options, Jesus is the best one.”
He calls us to Himself.
It was not the proper time [prior to His resurrection] for Jesus to reveal His Messiahship to the world, but God revealed it to Peter.
1. He’s the Son of Man
2. He’s the Messiah
3. He’s the Son of God
As the son of God, Jesus is uniquely positioned to reveal the Father.
Mark 1:1, Mark 1:11, Luke 1:35
This identification is crucial. The Son of God is a phrase used many times. In Luke 1:35, Gabriel appears to Mary and declares that the One to be born will be the Son of God. In Matthew 4:3 the devil accuses Jesus: IF you are the Son of God,…
In John 1:34, John the Baptist declares that Jesus is the Son of God.
Unclean spirits and demons knew who he was – Mark 3:11
The disciples stumble across this truth: Matthew 14:33
After Saul’s conversion: Acts 9:20
The angels, the devil, the demons, those who worshiped Him, and even the disciples declared: This is God’s Son.
The Son of God can be summarized:
- He has an eternal relationship with the Father. When we study Systematic Theology or Biblical Theology, we study the difference between the preexistence of Jesus Christ and the eternality of Jesus Christ.
- Preexistence simply meaning that He existed before he became incarne (latin to English: “in flesh”).
- Eternality, He’s always existed. These thoughts hinge together as we understand the Trinity and the Doctrine of Christology.
- Jesus is the perfect revelation of God to man. John 14:7, John 10:30
- A lot of times we think, “What would God think? What would God say? What would God do?”
- Jesus Christ is the perfect, complete revelation of the Father.
4. He’s the Lord
Greek: Kurios (κύριος) can simply be a respectful term for Lord or Master: “Yes, Sir; No, Sir-”
But the way this word is used in the Scriptures gives meaning far more than just a term of respect. The way it’s used becomes a Christological term.
Acts 2:36, Philippians 2:5-7
The name that is above EVERY name.
I was just talking to Cindy yesterday after I saw a banner ad on a news story I was reading and I asked, Why are we so captivated by Hollywood? What is it about men and women and movie stars, television stars, rock stars, people who–in my estimation–do very little for a living? Why are we so taken by them?
We started theologically unpacking this. Some of them, if you were to look at them in a lineup, you wouldn’t expect to be stars–but once they’ve been on the screen or released an album, then they’re suddenly beautiful?
What happens between just being a normal human, and becoming a celebrity?
There is a natural desire in the heart of man to worship something, and there is something unnatural in us that perverts that desire.
Many celebrities seem unstable, irresponsible, uncommitted to values most would esteem to be of high importance (marriage, family)–and yet, we worship them.
But Jesus is Lord.
At the name of Jesus every knee will bow and those who are in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 4:10, Romans 14:11)
We’re reminded of Lewis’s Narnia where Mr. Beaver says,
“Course He isn’t safe, but He’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
He’s the Son of Man, He’s the Messiah, He’s the Son of God, He’s Lord, and…
5. He’s God.
If Jesus is called Lord in the supreme sense, much more than merely a term of respect, Sir, He is made to be God.
John 20:28 is Thomas’s confession of faith when he sees Jesus Christ. Perhaps the most crucial text: John 1:1. Three observations:
- Jesus was preexistent
- Jesus was with God
- Jesus was God
Make no mistake about this: Jesus Christ is God.
Christians many times have this distorted view of the Trinity. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are God. There are no little parts of God. Jesus is not a chip off the big God shoulder. Each is required for our salvation, each is the person, the work of God is manifested through His Trinitarian existence.
Dr. Russell Conwell, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia. He was the founder of Temple University and Temple Hospital. On the back of Conwell’s pulpit was a plaque that read:
“We Would See Jesus.”
No one could see it except the person standing at the podium.
Men and women who call yourselves followers of Jesus Christ: Would we see Jesus in you?
In your speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, would people see Jesus Christ?
In your faith, and your grace, and your mercy that you show to one another; would those who are hurt and lost, and angry, and bitter souls see anything of Jesus in you and me?
In your diligence, in your rest, in your lifestyle would they see Jesus Christ?
And I’ve got to ask myself the same question. Would anybody look at me and see any hint of Jesus Christ?
Christology becomes practical very quickly. We would see Jesus: the exact representation of God the Father.
Our finite minds can’t begin to comprehend what God the Father is like.
The Trinitarian Doctrine is beyond our comprehensive grasp, but we don’t have to worry about that because we’ve been given the Person and work of Jesus Christ: the exact representation of God.
What does God look like? Look at Christ
What does God do? Look at the works of Christ.
How does God interact with man? Look at Jesus’ interactions with people in the New Testament.
We have a Savior who is both fully God and fully man.
It’s impossible to relate to an infinite God as finite beings; yet made in His image, He provides a way: Jesus Christ.
Fully God, fully man, incarnate, so we can come to Him just as a man, yet fully God.
PRAYER: Father, we come to you through the Person and work of your Son. We marvel at the Scriptures, how He’s depicted, what He does, the miracles He accomplishes, the words He speaks, He dismantles the religious systems of the day with a sentence, He reads the minds and hearts of people and their fear, and their sin, and their shame, and their desperation. And you love perfectly on the cross, you love perfectly on Calvary in our place on our behalf instead of us. So for wherever we are right now, thanks that you hear us; thanks that you love us; thanks that you know everything about us and yet care. For those who need to do work with you, to confess their sin, to admit their failings, to acknowledge it, give them the courage to do it and then give them the reassurance that you do forgive and you do love. We marvel at who you are Lord. Help us to be a marvel to the people around us. When they look at us in some way they far beyond our capability they would seeJesus. They’d see the work of Christ in our life, that we’re not the way we used to be; that we’re a little different than the rest; that we’re kind, we’re compassionate, that we love, that we care. We pray in Christ’s name Amen.