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Author:Rev. Sjirk Bajema
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Congregation:Reformed Church of Mangere
 South Auckland, New Zealand
 
Title:Jesus Christ Is Lord!
Text:BC 10 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday
Topic:God The Son
 
Preached:2007-12-02
Added:2009-05-02
Updated:2009-05-21
 

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Sjirk Bajema, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.


BELGIC CONFESSION OF FAITH X

(Reading: Matthew 22:41-46; John 10:22-42)

 

Jesus Christ Is Lord!

 

 

Congregation of our Lord Jesus Christ...

 

     There are many, many people who would say they are Christians.

          You not only have those in evangelical churches, there are also those in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, right through to those in Mormonism and other cults.

 

     If you were to ask them what that word “Christian” means, though, you would get a variety of answers.

          The question Jesus asked His disciples in Matthew 16 verse 15 would get all sorts of answers.

 

     Do you remember that question?

          The Lord asked them, “Who do you say that I am?”

 

     Well, which person do you say Jesus is?

          You in the pew, ‘Who is Christ to you?’

 

     We’re going to come back to that question.

          Because it’s how you answer that question that makes all the difference in your life.

 

     Church history has given many answers to this question.

          When in Matthew 16 Jesus asked His disciples that question, it was after He had just asked them about who other people were saying He was.

              In verse 14 there they had given some of the popular answers to that question.

                   They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

 

     Those men were the Jewish heroes of the time.

          While they may not have been universally confirmed as such in their lifetime – in fact, it was quite the opposite with these three – yet it gives an idea of what the people then thought of Christ.

 

     Throughout history we have seen people’s perceptions of who Christ is closely related to where they at – whether socially, economically, politically, or theologically.

          It seems that what people think of Jesus is being continually re-invented according to the time they live in.

 

     I quote here how P. Y. de Jong outlines the thinking about Jesus in the early New Testament Church.

          Because he points out that the testimony of Scripture was clear about both Christ’s humanity and deity.

              The early Church preached and taught this.

 

     But the devil doesn’t sit still.

          So he worked through two opposing strands to draw the churches away from the Word.

 

     One of these strands over-emphasised Christ’s humanity.

          For example, the Ebionites under Jewish influence denied Christ’s divinity in the interests of maintaining that God is one.

              In the same way the Alogi, who rejected John’s writings, regarded Christ as mere man although virgin-born.

                   Paul of Samosata taught that the Saviour became God after His baptism by being adopted by God.

 

     Then there’s the other side.

          They sacrificed the humanity of Christ so that they could stress His divinity.

              Here the Gnostics were quite influential.

     They believed that all matter and therefore any physical body was evil.

          And this further influenced the modalistic monarchians, such as Praxeus and Sabellius.

         

     All these names and phrases sound like something out of some science fiction story!

          But they were very real.

              Several times the Church came close to losing the plot altogether.

                   And it was because people’s perceptions at the time became for them who Christ must be.

 

     We have to realise that the orthodox church leaders, like the Alexandrian Fathers, and Athanasius, and Augustine, were not universally popular.

          You only need to read the life story of Athanasius to see the price he paid for standing up for the biblical view on Christ Jesus as perfectly God and man.

 

     And that’s where we turn to now.

          In the words of the first aspect this afternoon, we see that JESUS IS GOD IN WHO HE IS.

 

     When we look through Article X we see that the Confession deals with Christ’s deity in three ways.

          These are His names, His attributes, and His works.

         

     It is certainly found clearly in His names.

          He is called God, the Word, the Son, and the Lord.

 

     Where is He called “God” in Scripture?

          John 1 verse 1 begins the Gospel with it.

              “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.”

     And it’s more than confirmed in verse 18 of the same chapter.

          As John writes there, “No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”

 

     The name “Word” we also heard in John 1:1.

          And the same chapter says more.

              In verse 14 it states, “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us.”

 

     Then that verse continues, “we have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

          The name “Word” is often tied in with the name “Son of God” which, when joined with the phrase “one and only” or “only begotten” in Article X, clearly indicates Christ’s pre-existence and deity.

              The Jews in John 10 tried to kill Him because they knew very well that He meant this!

 

     The name “Lord” is equally significant.

          This name tied Him directly to the name of the covenant God of Israel.

              It was so sacred to the Hebrews that they didn’t pronounce it but put another word in its place.

     This holy name was given to Christ.

          Matthew 3 verse 3 is quite clear as John the Baptist prophecies of Jesus that the way must be made ready for the coming of the Lord.

              He quotes Isaiah 40 verse 3 there – a verse where the name YAHWEH is given.

 

     We also read this in Matthew 22 verse 44 where Jesus quotes David from Psalm 110 to the same effect.

          There He was absolutely clear about being YAHWEH – the God of the covenant.

 

     So Christ’s deity is clearly shown by His names.

          And it is also shown by His works.

              Article X states, “Moses says that God created the world; and St. John says that all things were made by that Word which he calls God.

                   “The apostle says that God made the world by His Son; likewise that God created all things by Jesus Christ.”

 

     These are clear references from Scripture.

          Genesis 1 verse 1 tells us that in the beginning God made the heavens and the earth.

              John 1 verse 3, Colossians 1 verse 16, and 1st Corinthians 8 verse tell us that it is through God the Son that all things were made.

 

     Then the Confession moves on to speak of the attributes of Jesus Christ.

          It states, “Therefore it must needs follow that He who is called God, the Word, the Son, and Jesus Christ, did exist at that time when all things were created by Him.

              “Therefore the prophet Micah says: His goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.

     “And the apostle: He hath neither beginning of days nor end of life.

          “He therefore is that true, eternal, and almighty God…”.

 

     An attribute is a quality or property that belongs to a certain person.

          So when we are hearing about what belongs to God the Son, one in essence with the Triune God, we would expect this to be quite phenomenal.

 

     In fact, what is briefly described here as it calls Jesus “true, eternal, and almighty,” opens us up to a whole range of the most amazing qualities you find in Him.

          We can turn to John 1 again.

              Verse 4 speaks about the ‘life’ that is in the Lord.

                   This is the life that we know of later in John 14 verse 6 where Jesus says He’s the way and the truth and the life.

 

     Then there is His self-existence.

          Hebrews 7 verse 16 in describing the position Jesus has as the ultimate High Priest says that this isn’t on the basis of His ancestry but because He has an indestructible life.

    

     Turning further in Hebrews we come to another attribute in the famous 8th verse of chapter 13.

          For there it is says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

              So this is about His immutability – His unchanging character.

 

     Then there is His love, His holiness, His knowing all things, and His being everywhere present.

          He is so much!

 

     And as for the summary in Article X, that He is “true, eternal, and almighty,” we have much Scripture for as well.

          That Jesus is ‘true’ is said in Revelation 3 verse 7.

              There to the church of Philadelphia the Spirit of Christ wrote, “These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David.”

 

     That Jesus is ‘eternal’ we can have confirmed in Colossians 1 verse 17.

          For there the apostle declares, “He is before all things…”.

 

     And for Jesus being ‘almighty’ we have the words of Revelation 1 verse 8.

          For there we read the Lord saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

 

     Congregation, JESUS IS GOD IN WHO HE IS.

          Are you now convinced?

              Or perhaps you definitely knew it before anyway!

                   So now you won’t mind at all as we turn to seeing, in the second place, JESUS IS GOD THROUGH WHO ARE HIS.

 

     Dear friend, I asked you a question at the beginning.

          Do you remember it?

              I asked, “Who is Christ to you?”

 

     At that time, as we went through all those wrong doctrinal views of Jesus, you might have thought you’d get the answer right.

          But I’m not going to ask this question of what you known in your head.

              This is now about how you answer it in your heart!

 

     So who is Christ to you?

          What answer does your heart tell me?

         

     Did you know I can tell what your answer is?

          You’re wondering a bit now, aren’t you?

              How can the preacher know what’s in my heart?

 

     Well, all I simply need to do is find out who you “invoke, worship, and serve.”

          They are the words Article X ends with.

              And it ends with these words for a very good reason.

         

     You see, “invoke” refers to who you call upon.

          Because answering the question about who Christ is to you the right way means that you pray to Him – every day!

 

     You know that in church we end our prayers in Jesus’ Name.

          That’s because it’s through what He has done and where He now is at God’s right hand that you can pray to God.

              If Jesus hadn’t come to earth and died for your sins you wouldn’t be here.

 

     Well, has He?

          Do you call upon Him?

              Are you expecting Him to hear you because He is God?

 

     And then there is the word “worship”.

          The meaning of this word relates to God’s worthiness.

              So you see Jesus as the ultimate V.I.P..

     To be with Him is the most precious and important privilege of all.

          And everyone can see that!

              They know that Jesus is God through who you are!

 

     Do they?

          If one of your work mates or fellow students were to see you now in church would they notice how significant this is to you.

              Or would they catch you stifling that yawn?

                   Oops, should’ve got a bit more sleep last night!

 

     And then there’s your own private and family worship.

          Do you do that – do you read God’s Word and pray to Him together everyday?

             

     And if you do – do you take that seriously?

          Because you could be going through the motions.

              Well, it’s a tradition isn’t it?

     You’d feel lost without it.

          But what do you feel inside when you do it?

 

     The Bible is clear that not all who call themselves Christians actually have a saving faith.

          In fact, come of the most cleverest and richest people are deceiving themselves that they are alright with God.

             

     In Matthew 11 Jesus said this.

          In verse 25 there He says, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”

              And then in verse 27 He goes on, “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

 

     Has Jesus made known to you the Father?

          In the words of John 1:12 have you come to believe in His name?

              Yes, the name we heard just now in different forms.

     The name that has turned your life upside down!

          The name that now names you!

              JESUS IS GOD THROUGH WHO ARE HIS.

 

     This is why the last word “serve” is so vital.

          This is what really shows you up.

 

     Listen to what John MacArthur says about false teachers in the church today.

          And then think about whether you could be that false teacher, too, in how you are.

 

     He says that false teachers are subtle because they aren’t obviously known.

          So they seem very much like faithful teachers.

              But while they profess to know God and recognise His Lordship, in what they do they deny Him.

 

     How can you see that?

          Well, they call Jesus “Lord, Lord,” but they don’t do what He commands.

              They disguise themselves with the appearance of spirituality, artificial piety, and friendliness.

                   But look closely at any of them and you’ll see someone who despises divine authority.

 

     MacArthur points out that these sorts of people think they are their own masters.

          They won’t admit it, but that’s their true perspective.

              They prove it when they tamper with or try to tone the gospel to make it more acceptable to unbelievers.

     They show it by seeking the approval of men rather than God.

          They declare it by trying to reinvent the church so that it will be more pleasing to the world.

              All those trends overrule the authority of Scripture in the church and so they deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

                   That’s how Jude 4 describes it.

 

     But, now, what about you?

          Do you try to serve yourself rather than Jesus?

              At work or school do you try to be part of the crowd?

     Your neighbours looking over the fence at you wouldn’t have a clue you’re Christian.

          In fact, the noise you make, and the way you carry on, would put that idea right out of their heads!

              You’re no different than anyone else.

 

     Congregation, in our Bible studies we’re coming to the apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy.

          It’s the most powerful personal challenge.

              Paul lays it on the line as he’s just about to die in the service of the Lord.

     Dear friend, is that what you’re dying for?

          Amen.

 

 

PRAYER:

Let’s pray…

     Dearest Lord Jesus, We thank and praise You for who You are, what You have done, and what You’re doing right now.

          Because Your Word has just been preached.

              It will cut into people’s hearts – either confirming them in the truth or exposing the lie.

     So we pray for humble hearts.

          We pray for the heart of true worship.

              Because that’s a believing heart.

                   For Your Name’s sake we pray, Amen.

 

 

    




* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Sjirk Bajema, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
The source for this sermon was: www.rcnz.org.nz

(c) Copyright 2007, Rev. Sjirk Bajema

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