"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." John 1:14
TEN FACTS ABOUT JESUS
1: WAS JESUS THE SON OF GOD?
Matthew 16:13-14 Jesus . . asked His disciples, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that Thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets."
You see, the people were willing to believe that Jesus was some prophet raised from the dead or Elijah returned from heaven or just anyone except the Son of God, the Saviour of men. But notice what Jesus said concerning His relationship to God:
John 3:16 "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
It is related that a lawyer once told a judge he had a number of reasons why his client was not present in court. The first was that he was dead. The judge told him he need not state the others. because his first reason was sufficient. The evidence of the sonship of Christ could be set forth under seven headings, and proof for anyone of these would be sufficient to settle the question:
1. The testimony of the prophets
2. Jesus' power to heal the sick and raise the dead
3. His peerless teaching
4. His own resurrection
5. The testimony of His friends
6. The admission of His enemies
7. The lives transformed by His power
We cannot here give further consideration to these evidences, except to say that God testified. "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).
Thus it is clear that the Scriptures teach that Jesus is the Son of God.
2: WHAT WAS THE RELATIONSHIP OF JESUS TO GOD?
John 10:30 "I and My Father are one," said Christ.
John 1:1, 14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," the Apostle John declares (Hebrews 1: 8: Isaiah 9:6).
People frequently ask, How can God and Christ be one? A simple answer is that they are one in purpose and in planning, one in love and action, in mind and character; yet each is a distinct personality.
We need have no anxiety over the Godship of Jesus Christ. God shares His throne with the Son. God has given to all morally responsible beings some authority and dominion. He gave dominion to Adam and He gives great responsibility to the angels, but none occupies the place of the Son. "Let all the angels of God worship Him" (Hebrews 1:6).
God, the Father, always holds His proper place.
1 Corinthians 15:28 "When all things shall be subdued unto Him [Christ], then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him [the Father] that put all things under Him [Christ], that God may be all in all."
The Scriptures make plain that Christ is one with God and is called God.
3: DID CHRIST LIVE BEFORE COMING TO THIS WORLD?
John 17:5 "Now, 0 Father, glorify thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was."
Micah 5:2 "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler of in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
The pre-existence of Christ is a doctrine that was most definitely taught by Jesus and mentioned by Him in His last prayer before Gethsemane. "I came down from heaven," He said in John 6:38.
"From the days of eternity," said one writer, "the Lord Jesus Christ was one with the Father; He was 'the image of His greatness and majesty, 'the outshining of His glory.' It was to manifest this glory that He came to our world."
According to the Scriptures, Christ existed with God before the creation of the world.
4: WHAT PART DID CHRIST HAVE IN THE WORK OF CREATION?
Hebrews 1:1-2 -"God . . 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" (Ephesians 3:9).
John 1:1-3 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made."
This "Word" who created all things, was Christ, as verse 10 clearly shows. This mighty Creator is our Saviour. And He has power to create a new life in us. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [or creation]" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The Bible record indicates that Christ cooperated with God, the Father, in the work of creation.
5: IN WHAT WAY WAS THE BIRTH OF JESUS SUPERNATURAL?
Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel."
Matthew 1:18, 22-23 "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. . Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying. Behold, a Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son."
This is known as the incarnation. Christ was not a new being, but He appeared in human form. "The Word was made flesh" (John 1:14). "Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:6-7). "They shall call His name Emmanuel. . God with us" (Matthew 1:23).
So, you see, the Scriptures teach that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born in the flesh of a virgin.
6: WHAT EXAMPLE DID JESUS SET FOR US IN HIS STRUGGLE WITH TEMPTATION?
1 Peter 2:21-22 "Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth."
John 15:10 "1 have kept My Father's commandments."
Hebrews 4:15 "[Jesus] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,"
Because the Son of God lived a sinless life in the flesh, He accomplished five things:
(1) He demonstrated that, by the indwelling power of God, the law of God could be kept by converted man;
(2) His righteous life in the flesh is now available to cover man's past sins;
(3) He is able to sympathize with man in his struggle against sin;
(4) He has successfully revealed God to man;
(5) He is in a position to impart overcoming power to all who are tempted.
Romans 8:3-4 "What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
So the Son of God overcame in the flesh, demonstrating that God's law can be kept, and He is ready to dwell in us by His Spirit and fulfill His will in us. As we yield to the Spirit, we receive power to obey God (Romans 8:6-9).
The Scriptures declare that Jesus overcame temptation and lived a sinless life.
7: WHAT WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY THE DEATH OF JESUS?
Romans 5:8 "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
A stranger was seen reading names on tombstones in a Civil War cemetery. He stopped before a forsaken grave, removed his hat, and stood a long time gazing silently. Finally he took out his pocket-knife, whittled a small board to a sharp point, and cut something on the face of it. Down on his knees, he placed the sharp end of the board at the head of the grave and, bearing down his weight on the other end, he forced it solidly into the ground. Again he quietly gazed downward. Brushing the tears from his eyes and face, he rose, slowly turned, placed his hat upon his head; and, with reverent steps, he moved quietly away.
On the small board he had cut the words, "He died for me." In war days of years gone by, that stranger, a man with wife and children, had been called to the army. When he was just ready to leave, a young man came to him and pleaded that he might go in his stead, so that the wife and children might be spared their loved ones and their provider. The man finally yielded. The fortunes of war were cruel. The young man was killed. So, years later, the stranger came and stood by the grave; something kept saying, deep down inside, he died for you, he died for you." And so he did. And so did Jesus die for us.
Matthew 26:27-28 "He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of It; for this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission [forgiveness] of sins."
One writer has said that "Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. . He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. 'With His stripes we are healed.' "
You see, since the holy law of God is as sacred as God Himself, only one equal with God could make atonement for its transgression. That someone was Jesus, wonderful Jesus.
The human mind may never fully fathom the science, philosophy, or theology of the atonement, but we can accept it; and all who will accept the sacrifice of Calvary will have the joy of a changed heart.
The Bible very plainly teaches that Jesus died to make possible the forgiveness of our sins.
8: WHY IS THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS SO IMPORTANT TO US?
Revelation 1:17-18 "I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, 1 am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Romans 5:10 "If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, mulch more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life" (1 John 5:12).
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is a doctrine that distinguishes Christianity from all other world religions. Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, and the founders of other religious movements are dead. Jesus alone points to an empty tomb as evidence of divine power and of conquest over death. No fact connected with the life of Christ is so firmly supported as the fact of the resurrection.
A group of infidels in England, during the eighteenth century, became convinced that all efforts to overthrow the Christian religion would fail as long as people generally believed in the resurrection of Christ and in the conversion of the Apostle Paul. . One of their number, Dr. Gilbert West, a brilliant lawyer, was asked to publish a tract upon the alleged resurrection of Christ while another, Lord Lyttelton, was to write a pamphlet exposing the conversion of Paul as a myth.
Sometime later these two men met. West inquired of Lyttelton whether he had completed his assignment. Lyttelton replied in the affirmative; but he stated that, in examining the evidence. he had himself become convinced of the conversion of Paul and was writing to support it. Then Lyttelton asked if West had finished his work on the resurrection. In reply, West confessed to a similar experience. In weighing all the facts, according to the recognized laws of legal evidence, Dr. West became satisfied that Jesus Christ really rose from the dead. The result was his celebrated book, Observations on the History and Evidence of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:17-18 "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished."
The resurrected Christ is a living Christ. It is only the power of the living Christ, the power of the resurrection, that can change the life of man and save him. Paul sought to know the power of His resurrection as a daily experience, that he might at last be raised in the resurrection of the dead (Philippians 3:10-11). The resurrection of Christ is thus a sample and pledge of ours. "Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming" (l Corinthians 15:23).
The Scriptures teach that Jesus rose a victor over death, to save us by His life and to assure us of our resurrection from the grave.
9: WHERE IS JESUS NOW AND WHAT IS HE DOING?
Forty days after the resurrection Jesus ascended to heaven and His disciples were left behind. Here is a vivid picture of the scene:
Acts 1:9-11 "While they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 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."
Christ ascended to heaven, to become our mediator and high priest. Said Paul:
1 Timothy 2:5 "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (Hebrews 8:1; 7:25).
We need a representative in heaven who understands our problems. Jesus does. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Hebrews 4:15).
Hebrews 2:17 He was "made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful. . high priest."
We may come in reverent boldness to the throne of mercy, grace, and power (Hebrews 4:16). According to the Bible, Jesus ascended to heaven and is now mediating in our behalf.
10: WILL JESUS COME AGAIN?
John 14:2-3 "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 unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (Revelation 19:11-16).
Hebrews 9:28 "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."
The second coming of Christ is the climax of the gospel. It is the time of reward. Without it the cross loses its meaning. The cross is the seed sowing of God's love, the second coming is the harvest time. It is the homecoming of God's people.
The Scriptures testify that Jesus will come again. Let us be ready to meet Him.
THE CONVERSION OF AN INFIDEL
The following testimony of an unbelieving man who finally yielded to the claims of Christ will stir your heart:
"I was reared an infidel. . I was nourished on the vaunting skeptics of the ages. But I observed with futile amazement with which every skeptic, from Celsus to Wells, stood around the cradle of the Christ. I wondered why this helpless Babe was thrust into the world at a time when Roman greed, Jewish hate, and Greek subtlety would combine to crush Him. And yet this most powerful devastating combination ever known in history served only to advance the cause of the Infant who was born in a stable.
"I marveled that this poverty-stricken uneducated plebeian who exercised no authority, commanded no army, held no office, received no honors, wrote no books, and who died in early manhood the most contemptible of deaths, a malefactor on a cross between two criminals, I marveled that His name is yet the most esteemed name on earth, even among the skeptics themselves.
"No unbeliever could tell me why His words are as charged with power today as they were nineteen hundred years ago. Nor could scoffers explain how those pierced hands pulled human monsters with gnarled souls out of a hell of iniquity and overnight transformed them into steadfast, glorious heroes who died in tortures.
"No doubter could tell me how this isolated Jew could utter words so simple that a child could understand them and so deep that the greatest thinkers cannot plumb their shining depths. The life, the words, the character of this strange Man are the enigma of history. Any natural explanation makes Him a more puzzling paradox, a fathomless mystery.
"But I learned that the paradox was plain and the mystery solved when I accepted Him for what He claimed to be, the Son of God, come from heaven and Saviour of men, but above all, my own Saviour."
This testimony, by a man who learned to know Jesus, appears in a remarkable little book written by Earle Albert Rowell, himself a converted infidel. The book gives an account of Mr. Rowell's experiences in speaking to large gatherings of skeptics, agnostics, and infidels throughout North America.