What you’ll hear this morning, if it represents what you believe, separates you from 95% of the world. Is the essence, the core of what separates Biblical Christianity from every other worldview or religious system. Ravi Zacharias, a gifted apologist and ambassador for Christ, wrote a helpful little book about 15 years ago entitled “Jesus Among Other Gods”. Got the title wrong – Jesus is not one of many, not one to pick from among other gods, Jesus not better than others. Jesus is in a class of one, shares his glory with none other. Jesus is over all gods – he is incomparably superior, he is absolutely supreme in any category you choose to examine, Jesus is the best.
Jesus lays exclusive claim on you when you profess a desire to follow him:
Luke 14:26-27, 33“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple….So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
Jesus is not only supreme over the universe, the billions of galaxies, most or all of the other Christians in the world. Jesus must rule as the supreme authority in your life or you cannot consider yourself his follower. Jesus must have your loyalty before all others or you cannot rightly call him your Lord.
A. Christ the Creator v.15–17
God’s personal revelation to us – the visible representation of the invisible God (15a)
if God were to show up, would look like Jesus; wait, God did show up, it was Jesus, born of a virgin in an insignificant little town called Bethlehem, guarded and announced by the angel army
you want to see God? look at Jesus, study Jesus, know Jesus – have a book full of Jesus from cover to cover – see him and know him and you will see and know God
John 14:9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
existed before creation – only God fits that description (15b); see John 1:1-2; Gen. 1:1
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God.”
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
God – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – one God in three Persons, eternally existing apart from creation
created all things (16a) see John 1:3
both John and Paul make it explicitly clear: God, the Son, created all that is without any exceptions
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”
if Jesus had not created, you would not exist, nor would anything else; you owe everything you are and have to Jesus
the reason for everything – the center of the universe (16b)
we say it, put it on cards, even hang it outdoors on a sign – Jesus is the Reason for the Season; how sad and how small if that’s all Jesus is
Jesus is the reason for everything: All things were created throughHim and forHim.
this world and things in it and the rest of the universe do not exist first and foremost for your pleasure and use – they were made and exist for Jesus
you and I and everything else exist for Jesus’ pleasure and use – he, not you, is the center of the universe
more important than anything else (17a)
Jesus not only was there first, before anything else, he is of supreme importance – more important than anyone or anything else
Jesus is the one who calls the shots, he is the one who decides priorities, what is important – your preferences, choices, desires don’t matter unless Jesus says they matter
holds all things together (17b)
atoms and molecules don’t fly apart, universe stays in order, you and I continue to live and breathe because Jesus makes it so
think it’s up to you to hold it all together? think again!! that is Jesus’ job – he is the one who holds everything together — more on that next week, DV
B. Christ the Head of the Church v.18
the church is not a democracy, not a club, not something of man’s creation; is a body with parts mutually dependent on one another with Jesus as her head
just as your head governs the action of your body, so Jesus directs and governs the life of his body the church
Jesus is the first one in line, leading his body the church behind him; he is the pioneer, the forerunner, going first and we follow
that is true of our trek to heaven, is true also of Jesus going out to wage war on his enemies: he is the one on the white horse (Rev. 19) being followed by his armies
you’re walking through life with your head down, you look up, who is in front of you – is it Jesus? if not, find him and follow him!
the firstborn from the dead
Shunamite woman’s son, Jairus’ daughter, Lazarus, none of them “firstborn from the dead”; Jesus, though, is the firstborn of many others
all those joined to Christ by faith – who have repented of their sin, turned to Jesus as their only hope for salvation, are following him in faithful obedience – can be confident of their own resurrection from the dead
Jesus will exercise, will demonstrate his preeminence through the church; Jesus will not be preeminent in your life apart from you being vitally connected with his body, the church
as the head, the pioneer, the firstborn, Jesus did and does what he does so that he will be first in all things
C. Christ the Beloved of the Father v.19–20
pleasing to God (Matt. 3:17; 12:18; 17:5)
“this is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased” – Jesus is the highly favored and loved son, the favorite son
Eph. 1:5-6 “having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.”
you don’t have leg of your own to stand on before God – your acceptance by God lies solely in his acceptance of Jesus and you being one with Christ
total deity (Col. 2:9)
a perfect union between God and man with neither one giving up anything – Jesus no less God than God, no less man than any other man yet without sin
Jesus gave up nothing of his deity to take on human form – “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily”
his God-ness was cloaked in humanity but not diminished in any way – now it is on full display, check out Rev. 1!
a message the world hates – Jesus is exclusive – enemies of God are reconciled to him only through Jesus, there is no other way
John 14:6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
1 Tim. 2:5-6 “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,who gave Himself a ransom for all”
to be reconciled means to be at peace – we are at peace with God through the blood of His cross
those who are at peace with God will be at peace with one another – 1 John 4:20-21If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
D. Christ, the Redeemer v.13-14
delivered – by the blood of his cross from the power of darkness, transferred our citizenship to Jesus’ kingdom – don’t live in the darkness of sinful rebellion; you have a new King follow Him
redeemed – by his blood from the penalty of sin – glory in the greatness and the wonder of your redemption and your future inheritance purchased by the life and blood of Jesus
forgiven – graciously forgiven of your sin, set free from its power, cleansed from its filthiness because “while we were still sinners Christ died for us”
We all stand in need of grace and forgiveness – but don’t hide sinful desires under cloak of God’s forgiveness. To act willfully and take God’s forgiveness for granted is to despise the greatness of your debt to God and the value of the Lord Jesus himself.
Said earlier: Jesus is the reason for everything. Jesus is the best. Jesus is absolutely supreme in all things; one day he will demonstrate his supremacy, his preeminence over all creation. During this time of year, reminded by cards and carols and symbols of the baby in the manger, remember who that Baby really is: the Sovereign Creator, the Lord of the universe, the head of the church, and our Redeemer. Give him the place in your thoughts and hearts and priorities and actions he deserves.
One of the best things to know is there may have been a shortage of rooms in Bethlehem 2000 years ago; but there is never a shortage of room at the cross. Come to the cross, be reconciled, redeemed, forgiven by the One who gave his life a ransom for many.