Series II-Rev. Robert Sabin
The Mystery of Christ
Just why is it important to know about Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ claimed to be the Savior of the world. Others claimed it for Him. To be the Savior, or to save mankind, He had to be who He was, who He claimed to be. Whom did He claim to be? Whom did others claim Him to be? The answer, we told you last week God Himself, the Creator of the Universe. Was He? We shall see.
Where shall we look? At the most authenticated literature that is known to the human race, the Word of God.
First of all, let me tell you that there are two clusters of scripture in the Bible in both the Old Testament and New Testament.
One cluster has to do with the person of God, the Creator. The other cluster of scriptures has to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. To some, these scriptures seem to be mutually exclusive. Not everyone you know believes Jesus is who He claimed to be. Some think He was our elder brother who preexisted with us in an antemortal world and then was born with us into this mortal existence to undergo
Harvestime Guest Pulpit Library a period of probation. Others think He is one of a one of a family of god beings. Others think He is an angel, the highest created being perhaps, but a demigod, not really the mighty God. And still others think He is a prophet, along with Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed and others. What does the Bible claim Him to be? Let us look first of all at that first cluster of scriptures, those scriptures that have to do with God’s absolute, indivisible oneness.
The Bible rings out in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, 0 Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD.” In Malachi 2:10, “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?” Isaiah 46:9, “For I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.” Isaiah 42:8, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another neither my praise to graven images.” In Isaiah 43:1014, The Lord said, “I am He:” not “we are they.” But “I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.” In Isaiah 44:6, Jehovah, the King of Israel says this, “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” No eternal progression of gods “no successive revelation of gods” “beside me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:8, “Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” Now who is speaking in all of these verses? Jehovah God. Whenever we find a capitol L-0-R-D, in the King James Version of the Bible, it represents the Hebrew tetragrammaton, that four letter, four consonant word in the Hebrew language, substituted by LORD in our King James Bible, which means Jehovah is speaking in all of these instances in the Old Testament telling us that He is absolutely one. In Isaiah 45:21 we read, “. . .who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.” Now that one God was absolutely alone in creation. Remember what we said? Malachi 2:10, “Hath not one God created us?” And Isaiah 44:24 declares unequivocally, “I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.” Malachi 3:6, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” So we find that the Lord was absolutely alone in creation. No collateral persons were with Him.
In a later message in this series, we are going to find out about a popular theory about God, where the theory came from, and if it really belongs in Christian theology. Now the Old Testament also declares to us that no other one was ever to be brought into being to be God. The Lord said, “I am the first; I am the last; beside me there is no God.” No one was ever to be brought into being as God. What about Jesus Christ? He claimed to be God, and the Bible claimed Him to be God. Colossians 1:17 says, “He is before all things.” John the Baptist said of Him in John 1:30, “He was before me.” John the Baptist was really older than Jesus Christ, and yet John said, “He was before me.” I John 1:1 says, “That which was from the beginning.” In Luke 10:18, the Lord Jesus Christ said He beheld “Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” I John 2:13 tells us that He is the one, “that is from the beginning.” In John 17:5, Jesus said He was “before the world was.”
How about these things? It looks as if we have two clusters of beliefs which are mutually exclusive. If one is true, the other cannot be. If God is one, and He is alone, and was never to be succeeded by another person who would be God, and if Jesus Christ claimed to be God, then either He is an imposter, or He must be indeed, that one God who revealed Himself in the Old Testament as Jehovah, the Creator of the universe.
Well, the conflict that seems to exist melts away; the mystery is resolved when we read what the Bible tells us about the Lord Jesus Christ. It tells us that the one true God, the Spirit, the Creator, the only divine person, invisible, was manifest in the flesh. I Timothy 3:16, “God was manifest in the flesh.” Colossians 2:9, “For it is in Christ that the complete being of the Godhead dwells embodied,” says the New English Bible. The King James reads, “For in him dwelleth all the full of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 1:19, New English Bible, “For in him the complete being of God, by God’s own choice came to be.” And the words of Paul in the King James Version, of II Corinthians 5:19, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.
“So, friends, the great God, the Creator of the universe, the only divine person, actually came into this world in the flesh or body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:23 makes it so plain: “Behold, a virgin. . .shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Remember the incident recorded in the 14th chapter of John? Jesus was talking with the disciples, speaking about the Father and saying, “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, skew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:7-9). Oh, friend, this Lord Jesus Christ possessed the attributes of God.
He was omnipresent. He said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). He said, “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13), declaring unto them that while He was here on earth, the Spirit that was in Him radiated out through Him to all known expanse. He possessed eternity. He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” In Revelation 22:13, He said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” How much like Isaiah that is when Jehovah was speaking and said “I am the first and the last.” Now Jesus says, “I am the first and the last.” Are these two persons that are eliminating each other as potential deities? Absolutely not! The same person is speaking at two different times in the history of His revelation to mankind. He speaks to them as Jehovah of the Old Testament and then speaks to them as Jehovah manifest in the flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). Some will declare, “If it was given unto him, somebody had to give it unto him.” In John 12:45, the Bible declares that Jesus said, “He that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
Friends, He was not only the One given the power, He gave the power. He was the Priest; He was the Sacrifice; He was the God; and He was the incarnate God, the man Christ Jesus. Friends, you do not have to try to find God in some mysterious theological terminology that you can never understand. You can behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. He had to be who He was to do what He did. What did He do? He came to save the world. Could He? Indeed He could. He was the One that the world had sinned against. He was the One that held the judgment against the earth. So He was the One who could save mankind, and He died for you.
This sermon comes from the book “Harvestime Guest Pulpit Library” printed by the Word Aflame Press in 1982. This may be copyrighted and may be used for study and research purposes only.