The Lord Jesus Christ
II Jn 1:1-3
1 THE ELDER, To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, 2 because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (NKJ)
It is interesting that Jesus of Nazareth came to be known as the Lord Jesus Christ. The first use of this triad is in Acts 2:36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." (NKJ)
The term Lord Jesus Christ is used 86 times in the NT NKJ.
I think that we must realize that this formula for referring to Jesus is very significant or else it would not have been used so frequently.
Each of these descriptive titles has an entirely different meaning. We want to look this morning at the meaning of these words. We will begin with the last and work our way to the front. But even that arrangement is found 5 times in the NT.
- Christ is the equivalent of Messiah of the Old Testament.
- The word in Hebrew is actually ANOINT or THE ANOINTED ONE.
- We find it first when the priests are chosen and before they can begin their office they must be anointed with oil.
- The priest was not the only ones who were anointed though.
- Priests were anointed.
- Kings were anointed.
- In one case even a prophet is anointed.
- This may very well help us to understand the Hebrew idea that there would come One Anointed One.
- Jesus fulfilled all the aspects of the anointed ones in that He was that great Prophet that was to come, and He came to be our High Priest and also that He is King of kings and Lord of lords.
- But promise of a Messiah had its beginning long before the days of Moses.
- MESSIAH The Messianic Idea. The OT messianic revelation appears not merely in particular predictions. The whole of the OT is rather to be looked upon as bearing a prophetic character. The idea underlying the whole development of these Scriptures and the life dealt with therein is that of God's gracious manifestation of Himself to men and the establishment of His kingdom on the earth. This idea becomes more and more distinct and centralizes itself more and more fully in the Person of the coming King, the Messiah. The creation and Fall of man and the growing sinfulness of the race make clear the need for deliverance. The preservation of a part of mankind from the Flood, and the continuance of human history, have great suggestion of promise. The call of Abraham, with the promise "in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed" revealed the divine purpose, which had been previously indicated, yet more distinctly (see <Gen. 22:18>; cf. <12:3>; <9:26>; <3:15>). (from New Unger's Bible Dictionary) (originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (C) 1988.)
- MESSIAH Prophetic Passages. The number of passages in the OT regarded by the Jews in pre-Christian times as prophetic of the Messiah is much larger than that of the special predictions to which Christians have commonly appealed. It is stated by Edersheim to be more than 456, (from New Unger's Bible Dictionary) (originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (C) 1988.)
- Jesus therefore came as the Chosen Annointed One who would reveal God to mankind and fill the three aspects of that anointing in being Prophet, Priest, and King.
- Jesus is quite a different term.
- This name was given Him at His birth as it was a common name.
- The Hebrew equivalent is Joshua as seen in Acts 7:45 where the KJV translates the word Jesus when it is the Joshua of the Old Testament that is being referred to.
- Jesus simply means savior or deliver.
- In Matt. 1:21 the message from the angel says that the babe's name shall be Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.
- This He came to do.
- Matt 18:11 "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. (NKJ)
- 1 Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. (NKJ)
- Heb 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (NKJ)
- But His salvation is provided as a gift that we can either accept or reject.
- If we reject the salvation that He provides, there is no hope any where else. Acts 4:12
- He is the only way to God John 14:6
- If we reject God's provision for our salvation then God has not choice but consign us to an eternal hell.
- If we will confess our sin and admit that we have failed to meet God's requirements and accept Jesus's death on the cross as a substitute for the punishment that we deserve, He will save us.
- This last word is somehow the forgotten term.
- We are concerned that people come to know Jesus as Savior and so we should.
- But I feel that we stop short of the claims of the New Testament on the lives of believers.
- For many Christians Jesus is a fire escape.
- He is the way to get to heaven.
- He is the way to escape God's wrath and displeasure.
- This term Lord included the idea of master.
- That means that we are no longer our own, we belong to another and all that we do must come under the control of our Lord.
- A great illustration of this is given by Charles Colson.
Charles Colson told the following story in an address at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi:
I love the illustration about a man named Jack Eckerd. A few years ago I was on the Bill Buckley television program, talking about restitution (one of my favorite subjects) and criminal justice. Bill Buckley agreed with me. A few days later I got a call from Jack Eckerd, a businessman from Florida, the founder of the Eckerd Drug chain, the second largest drug chain in America. He saw me on television and asked me to come to Florida. He agreed Florida had a criminal justice crisis, would I come down and do something about it? And we did. We got the attorney general of the state, the president of the senate; we got on Jack Eckerd's Lear jet; we went around the State of Florida advocating criminal justice reforms, and everywhere we would go Jack Eckerd would introduce me to the crowds and say, "This is Chuck Colson, my friend; I met him on Bill Buckley's television program. He's born again, I'm not. I wish I were." And then he'd sit down. We'd get on the airplane and I'd tell him about Jesus. We'd get off at the next stop, he'd repeat it, we'd do the same thing again, and I'd talk to him about Jesus. When we left I gave him some of R. C. Sproul's books and I gave him C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, which had such an impact on me. I sent him my books. About a year went by and I kept pestering Jack Eckerd. And eventually one day he read some things including the story of Watergate and the Resurrection out of my book, Loving God, and decided that Jesus was, in fact, resurrected from the dead. He called me up to tell me he believed that, and I asked him some other things. When he got through telling me what he believed I said, "You're born again!" He said, "No, I'm not, I haven't felt anything." I said, "Yes, you are! Pray with me right now." After we prayed he said, "I am? Marvelous!" The first thing he did was to walk into one of his drugstores and walked down through the book shelves and he saw Playboy and Penthouse. And he'd seen it there many times before, but it never bothered him before. Now he saw them with new eyes. He'd become a Christian.
He went back to his office. He called in his president. He said, "Take Playboy and Penthouse out of my stores. The president said, "You can't mean that, Mr. Eckerd. We make three million dollars a year on those books." He said, "Take 'em out of my stores." And in 1,700 stores across America, by one man's decision, those magazines and smut were removed from the shelves because a man had given his life to Christ. I called Jack Eckerd up. I said, "I want to use that story. Did you do that because of your commitment to Christ?" He said, "Why else would I give away three million dollars? The Lord wouldn't let me off the hook."
Isn't that marvelous? God wouldn't let me off the hook. I don't know any theologian who's better defined the Lordship of Christ than that. And what happened after that is a wonderful sequel and a wonderful demonstration of what happens in our culture today.
We are caught up with this idea that we've got to have big political institutions and big structures and big movements and big organizations in order to change things in our society. And that's an illusion and a fraud. Jack Eckerd wrote a letter to all the other drugstore operators, all the other chains, and he said, "I've taken it out of my store. Why don't you take it out of yours?" Not a one answered him. Of course not--he'd put them under conviction. So he wrote them some more letters. But then Eckerd's Drugs began to get floods of people coming in to buy things at Eckerd's because they'd taken Playboy and Penthouse out. And so People's removed the magazines from their shelves and then Dart Drug removed them from their shelves and then Revco removed them from their shelves. And over the period of twelve months while the pornography commission in Washington was debating over what to do about pornography, and while they're trying to come up with some recommendations for the president about what to do which will result in laws which if Congress ever passes them will be sued by the ACLU and will be tied up in the courts for 10 years--meanwhile, across America, one by one, stores are removing them. And the 7-11 chairman, who sits on Jack Eckerd's board, finally gave in two weeks ago and 5,000 7-11 stores removed it. And in a period of twelve months, 11,000 retail outlets in America removed Playboy and Penthouse, not because somebody passed a law, but because God wouldn't let one of his men off the hook. That's what brings change. --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 46-48.
- What concerns me is that for so long we have played down the claims of Jesus on the life of the believer that many feel that if they can make it to worship on a Sunday that they have completed all that God could possibly require of them.
- If Jesus is Lord then He is Lord of all we have.
- He is Lord of our time, of our goals and all we want to be.
- There must come a change that makes real the experience of Jesus in our lives.
- It is little wonder that the Christian world has so little effect on the rest of society, for we display that we are our own Lord.
- When Mahatma Gandhi was the spiritual leader of India, he was asked by some missionaries, "What is the greatest hindrance to Christianity in India?" His reply was,"Christians." I often wonder if that isn't true of us here in America.
- The present position of Christ in the gospel churches may be likened to that of a king in a limited constitutional monarchy. The king (sometimes depersonalized by the term "the Crown") is in such a country no more than a traditional rallying point, a pleasant symbol of unity and loyalty much like a flag or a national anthem. He is lauded, feted, and supported, but his real authority is small. Nominally he is head over all, but in every crisis someone else makes the decisions. On formal occasions he appears in his royal attire to deliver the tame, colorless speech put into his mouth by the real rulers of the country. The whole thing may be no more than good-natured make-believe, but it is rooted in antiquity, it is a lot of fun, and no one wants to give it up. -- A.W. Tozer in Great Sermons of the 20th Century. Christianity Today, Vol. 31, no. 6. See: Isa 9:6-7; Mt 8:27; Eph 1:22.
- Luke 14:33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. NKJV
- Phil 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ NKJV
- Mark 10:21-22 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. NKJV
Once a dying patient asked his doctor, who had come to make a house call on him, what death would be like. The doctor fumbled for a reply and then he heard his dog scratching at the door of the man's room. The answer came to him. The doctor looked at the patient and said, "Did you hear that noise? That is my dog which I brought with me tonight, and I left him downstairs before I came up to your room. He climbed those stairs for he knows that I am in here. He has no other ideas about what is in this room for he has never been here. All he knows is that I am in here and that is good enough for him. You don't know what is on the other side of the door of death, but you do know that your Master is there."
That should be good enough for all of us. We will never walk through the door or through the valley of death alone. He will always be there to go with us through the door to the other side. --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 150-151.
This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com