Christians believe that God become a man. We believe that God, in the form of Jesus, walked on earth 2,000 years ago. This is what we call the incarnation: when the Word took on flesh. The big question though is why. Why did God do this?
Why did God bother to become a man? Was he bored in heaven?
“You see, if you don’t understand the gospel, then you will never understand why God took the pains to become a man. Why did God bother to become a man? Was he bored in heaven? No! He knew that was the only way he could save humanity. It was the only way he could save man.”
I Believe in Jesus’ Incarnation
Nic Kyalangalilwa delivers his third in a nine week sermon series unpacking the foundations of the Christian faith – working through The Apostles’ Creed, a statement of belief penned in the 4th Century AD.
The Apostles’ Creed is really the foundation of what a Christian believes.
“It’s really the foundation of what a Christian believes. This is what makes the difference between what we would call a Christian faith, and a non-Christian faith.”
This sermon looks at the third phrase: The incarnation; when God became flesh. Nic explains the identity of Jesus as fully man and fully God and why it’s so important that we accept the truth of this supernatural statement.
100% Man, 100% God
“Christianity is the only religion that actually believes that God divine became the creature; the creator became the creature. And while we look at Jesus as man, let us never forget that he is actually God in his full power. And if you were to cut Jesus in two you wouldn’t cut one section God and one section man. You will struggle to find the different because that was all integrated and intermingled together.”
Find the other sermons in this series here:
- I Believe… In God, The Father Almighty
- I Believe… In God The Creator
- I Believe… In Jesus’ Incarnation
Text: John 1:14
Date preached: 24 April 2016
Location: Le Phare Church, Bukhavu, DRC-Congo
Now, if you’ve been coming for the past few weeks you would know that we have been looking at the foundation of the Christian faith. And I believe that foundation can be summed up into what we call the Apostles Creed.
What Christians Believe
Now the Apostles Creed tries to summarise what Christians believe to be the ultimate truth. Many of you know that I am wearing glasses – and I wear glasses because my vision is not very good. If I take my glasses off I will not be able to see clearly, right? So for Christians this kind of Apostles Creed, or this truth that is in the Apostles Creed, are really the kind of glasses that we wear to help us see reality; to help us figure out what is important and what is not important.
the Apostles Creed is really a summary of what Christians believe the whole Bible is teaching.
Now the Apostles Creed is really a summary of what Christians believe the whole Bible is teaching them.
If you were to say let’s do a study in the foundations of the faith and we start from Genesis 1, you know, by the time you are 70 years old we will probably still not be finished! So we need small creeds like that to help us – in 6 or 9 weeks – to discuss the major pillars of the Christian faith.
So I will invite you to read with me again the Apostles Creed which we started with.
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the place of the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father,
I believe he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Our Actions Betray Our Beliefs
That’s what Christians believe.
I didn’t mention this last time and I am going to go back to it again. Sometimes we don’t realise what belief we have until we act upon it – until we look at our actions. And then we can go back and see that, “Oh! I thought I believed this but actually I don’t believe it. I believe it the other way around.”
Our actions tell us what actually matters to us.
Our actions betray our beliefs. Our actions tell us what is it actually that matters to us. We’ve heard stories about people who get married – a husband and a wife – and before man and before God they say, “I will be with you until death do us part.” Three years down the line, you hear the husband complaining that the wife has left the house because there’s no money – he lost his job.
Didn’t she say that she loved him? Didn’t she make everybody believe that she actually cared for him? Didn’t she for some time actually think that she really loved him and cared for him?
But when there was no money, she left.
So I would ask a question very simply. What did she believe in? Did she believe in love? Or did she believe in security? Did she marry him for love or security?
Why Do We Behave In A Certain Way?
You see when it’s time for action, then we know what it is actually that people believe in. And so our actions sometimes reflect our beliefs. And this whole series of teaching, really, although it’s to help us go through the foundations of the Christian faith, I would argue to some extent it’s really arguing, “Why is it we do a certain number of things?”
Why is it we actually behave in a certain way?
And I am hoping, my friend, I’m hoping that in general at the end of this series – or at the end of every time we talk about this – you will stop and ask yourself, “Why do I behave like this? If I behave like this does this not betray that I actually don’t believe what I say I believe?”
Jesus In The Apostles Creed
Today we are talking about Jesus and in the Apostles Creed it says:
“I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
and born of the Virgin Mary.”
Christians believe, in general, that Jesus was both human and divine.
Christians believe, in general, that Jesus was both human and divine. That Jesus was the son of Mary, but he was also the son of God. The question that I think many would disagree on is actually why did Jesus come? Why did God have to become a man?
Why Did God Become A Man?
And so you’ll see in the bulletin we talk about the incarnation – which is this great doctrine of the Christian faith that God became a man. Why did God become a man?
To Be A Great Teacher?
Now those who love the teaching of Jesus will say, “Jesus came on earth so as he could show us the way. That’s all you really have to do is look at the work of Jesus in the Bible and try as much as you can to live those words out. Because Jesus came to a people that was very much astray, that had lost their way, and he says ‘Come back and follow this way.’ This is the way back to God.”
And so for these people they don’t look at Jesus mostly as God, but they look it him as a great teacher.
To Free Us From Illness & Poverty?
Some people look at Jesus and all the wonderful things he was doing – the miracles – and they think that Jesus came to end the trouble and hardship in life. They argue that Jesus came to make our lives better. And so Jesus came to change sickness and illness and poverty.
So how many of us have heard this thing, “Come to Jesus and all your life will be well because you will not be poor anymore, you will not be sick, and you know – you will just at the click of a hand, at a prayer – everything will be just sorted.”
I’ve heard one person say to me that actually, if you remain poor it’s probably because you are a sinner and you are not a Christian, because Jesus didn’t come to make poor people. He came to free us from poverty.
What Do Christians Believe About Jesus?
So a good question I think we need to ask this evening – and we are trying to answer this evening – is what do Christians actually believe about Jesus? Is he just a simple teacher? Is he just a great guy who came to solve man’s problems? Is he just a revolutionary guy who’s come to change things around and shame them a little bit?
Well Christians believe that no, for you remember we’ve said: “I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord”. Christians believe that Jesus was God, the son of God. Jesus was the son of Mary – was a man. But Jesus ultimately is the king who came to rule.
Jesus ultimately is a king who came to rule.
So we will look at Jesus, the identity of Jesus, that is so well summarised in the passage that Elisha so well read to us in John 1:14, and he said: “And the Word became flesh” – and God became flesh.
The Identity of Jesus
Three points. First point: Jesus as a Man. Jesus as God, the second point. And Jesus as Lord. We will try and apply all these things.
1. Jesus As Man
Now this sometimes shocks people, but in the end Christians believe that Jesus was just a man. Not ‘man’ like everyman, but he was just a man like me and you to a certain extent. So that’s why it’s so important for us and in the creed we say he was “born of the Virgin Mary”.
Ultimately Jesus was the son of a woman. Jesus had blood and flesh like me and you. Ultimately the Word became flesh, God became man. The divine was finally enclothed in human flesh.
John says in John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. The Word didn’t just become flesh and stay out there. No! God became man; put on man’s likeness. He was the son of a woman. He had a human body, there was blood running through his veins, he had the same chromosomes as me and you would have, and you wouldn’t tell the difference.
Matthew 1 reminds us again, and if you want you can follow with me, but otherwise I’ll just read for you. Matthew 1 we have the angel coming and talking to Joseph. And the angle says to Joseph, well my dear friend, don’t be scared, this woman is going to have a child and that child will be a child of God.
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Mary, A Virgin, Became Jesus’s Mum
Now what we have here, my dear friend, is simple and I don’t think there’s anything special to understand! There was a small little girl some place in Palestine 2000 years ago who was going to be the mother of God. She was going to bear in her womb God!
How I know there’s a bit of a miracle around this – because you will say, “how does the virgin bear a child?” Now we’ve known many young girls who’ve been very promiscuous with men and then eventually they are pregnant and they are like, “I don’t know! It just happened!” It never really just happens. It has to have a man and a woman.
But this woman just woke up one day and an angel says, “You are going to have a child!” And there she was! It’s a miracle because we insist here that it’s because of the Holy Spirit. It’s through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Many of this struggle with this idea of actually looking at Jesus as just a man.
So we see God becoming a man through the power of the Holy Spirit, but in the end it’s just a man.
Jesus Was Just A Man
And many of this struggle with this idea of actually looking at Jesus as just a man. Did Jesus cry when he was a baby? Yes! Did Jesus give his mother a hard time when he was a baby? Of course! He was just a baby like everybody else! Did he feel hungry? Yes! Did he cry? Surely.
You see we need to remember this, and I think the Bible is very clear, that he was just a man. A different man – because he was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit – and why is that important? Well it is important because he was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit, and therefore he was conceived sinless, unlike me and you.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says: “he made him who knew no sin”, so the Bible insists that Jesus knew no sin. That’s why he wasn’t born from Joseph and Mary. He was just born from Mary and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Was Sinless From Birth
Jesus was sinless from birth. That’s why we stress that he was born out of the Spirit.
So Christians believe that Jesus was just a man. A man who was born in a miraculous way. A man who was born of the power of the Spirit.
In 1 Peter 3:18 we see how Christians dealt with this idea of Jesus being a man, to try and understand the value of it. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”
So what do we get here? Again he is righteous, without any sin. He never sinned, he never did anything wrong. Important for us to believe that. Important for us to believe that God became man and he became a sinless man. He was a man, but he was a sinless man.
Hebrews 4:15 says the same thing again. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
Normal Babies Are Not Sinless
So although Jesus was a man, he never sinned. He wasn’t conceived with original sin – like all of us – from birth: we are born from two sinful beings.
And I know there will be people in some circles who think that children are little babies and they are sinless and they are cute and they are nice… and it’s OK to think like that. If you want. But if you do believe what the Bible says that the wages of sin – the salary of sin – is death, that little baby shouldn’t die, because they haven’t sinned. Isn’t it? Don’t little babies die? Don’t they?
So they are sinful beings just like me and you.
But Jesus was born and he was sinless. He lived his life perfectly as a sinless being. Obeyed his father fully. And in the end, as you will see, laid it down on the cross.
Jesus Was 100% Man
Let me stop here and say what do we believe as Christians? Well as Christians we believe that Jesus was 100% man. It’s an amazing thing to say how does God become a man. It’s an amazing thing to say well can God actually be 100% man? But that’s what Christians believe – that’s what the Bible teaches.
Now this is a great source of conflict for Christians, that God became man. At a personal level, when I’m going through difficult times: when I’m suffering, when I’m finding life very hard. it’s such a comfort to remember that God who created the world also tasted of this.
Jesus endured everything I endure. And that should be a comfort for me.
Jesus Can Sympathise With Us
Hebrews 2:17 says, “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect,” Jesus was just like me in every respect, “so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God”.
Jesus endured everything I endure. And that should be a comfort for me.
Hebrews 2:18: “because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
The humanity of Jesus becomes an encouragement to us, it becomes a reason for us to find comfort in our difficult times, in our temptation, in our hardship. Because in Hebrews 4:15 he says: “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with [us]”.
When I cry, Jesus knows how it feels to cry because he cried.
So when I cry, Jesus knows how it feels to cry because he cried. When I am betrayed and insulted by people, he know what it felt like. And so I can take comfort in that.
Why Doesn’t God Stop My Suffering?
I like to say to people, we were talking with a friend yesterday and he said, “yah, I had this girl who came to my house and she was telling me – if God is really God, now why is it that he doesn’t intervene in my life and cut down all the suffering? Why is it that God doesn’t just say a word and everything ends?”
God Didn’t Intervene In Jesus’s Life Either
And my friend was asking me, “How do I answer such a person?” And I said “Tell that person to look at Jesus! That was the son of God, the only son of God, the only beloved son of God, who walked on earth and God didn’t intervene a single time!”
And know that your pain is not… it’s not like God doesn’t understand you pain. He does!
The son of God was born in a manger. Here we have those small little insects that bite children. He wasn’t born like you and me in a nice, comfy hospital. No those things were biting him!
There’s a guy who says, “Jesus wasn’t crying like every baby was crying. The cry wasn’t a cry of joy. The cry was that he was bitten by the insect. So the little baby was crying just like “hey! I’m being bitten!” Now that’s not Biblical, but it’s a good picture for us to know! God didn’t intervene.
So when I suffer I know it’s uncomfortable for man to suffer. But I also know I’m not suffering alone. God knows. God feels my suffering.
Why Do We Talk To Our Friends?
Sometimes when we are suffering we go to talk to a friend. Why do we go to talk to a friend? Why do you go to talk to a friend about your difficulties and your suffering? Some people actually think that their friends will help them. But many of us, we are just looking for somebody who will say, “I feel you. I care. I see. I understand.”
So in my time of suffering, in my time of hardship, I know that somebody else has felt what I have felt.
Knowing that Jesus was a man also helps me to know that God loves me. That he endured the greatest sacrifice. Like Paul says in Philippians, God left all his glory so that he would be just a mere man, so he could save me, so he could help me.
And I know that he went through extreme hardship so that he could save me.
Love That Costs Us: Lobola Payments
Now me and you know this, you know? But when you want to get married here in Africa they make you pay a lot of money for the wife. Not because you are buying a slave, because some people think like that. You know when the wife is difficult they are like, “Didn’t I pay lobola money for you?”
You are not buying a slave.
But why do you pay all that money for her? Well, there is probably only one man married here – sorry brother! A very unfit illustration. But anyway I’ll ask him: “Why did you pay all that money for your wife?” A real responsibility – is that all? You could have bought a car! If you wanted. She’s lovely?
Why do you think they pay all that money? Well, it’s partly because it’s an expression of how much we care for them, isn’t it. It’s how much we care for them; it’s how much we love them.
And so they ask you for ten cows, you try and negotiate for four, and then you work for a whole year to get four cows because you love he that much.
You go through all the trouble, the hardship, to get the cows.
I Know He Loves Me
So God became man and endured all the suffering of becoming a man, a life of uncertainty. And that was for me! I know he loves me!
The other thing that, my dear friend, if Jesus was a mere man, then I do know, that he paid for me as a man. As a man not only did he love me, as a man not only is he a source of encouragement for me, but as a man I also know – and we will see that in a few seconds – that when he was on that cross it was in my place; as a representative of me, because he was just a man.
The second thing is Jesus as God.
2. Jesus As God
John 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So he is very clear that the Word that we are talking about here is not anything in the fancy – no, no, it’s God.
And so that’s why it’s so shocking when you read John 1:14 and it says and God became a man, and God took flesh.
God Becoming Man Is A Shock!
Now my dear friend, we live so far away in history and so it’s very difficult for us to understand this because we’ve inherited 2000 years of Christian thoughts and thinking. And so when this comes, it doesn’t come as a shock. But in those times, God did not become man! Gods were very high up! And man was a lesser creature.
God did not become man! Gods were very high up! And man was a lesser creature.
I grew up watching Hercules on TV. I don’t know how many of you have watched it. But the series started with, “There was a time when the gods were very cruel and distant, and they pleased themselves by making life difficult for men.”
That’s the context in which you hear: and God became a man. And not a half man like Hercules. Hercules was like a mistake – a hybrid between you know a woman and Zeus. No. He was fully man but also fully God. God became a man.
Christianity Is Unique In This Belief
This is the only religion that actually believes that God divine became the creature; the creator became the creature. And while we look at Jesus as man, let us never forget that he is actually God in his full power. And if you were to cut Jesus in two you wouldn’t cut one section God and one section man. You will struggle to find the different because that was all integrated and intermingled together.
This is the only religion that actually believes that God divine became the creature.
Hebrews 1 tells us:
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”
Now verse 3 is a shocking verse! It says:
“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature”. You want to look at the nature of God? Look at Jesus.
Colossians 1:15 says:
“He is the image of the invisible God”. You can’t see God but you can see God in Jesus.
Immanuel: God Among Us
So God walked the earth. There was a time when God was walking down here and people would say, “Hey I’m sure it was a great time. It was a wonderful time – to have God on earth!” And yet, Christians still believe that Jesus was no less God when he was on earth. He was 100% God. God walked on earth. The Immanuel – God among us.
Jesus was no less God when he was on earth.
So Christians believe that. And I do know that some of us here the Jehovah’s Witnesses corner you down and the Branhamists corner you down and you are like, “Well I’m not really sure anymore what to say.”
No, no. The Bible is very clear – Jesus was God. And me and you have to believe it – that’s what Christians believe.
And that’s why it says “I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son”. The son of God, the only son of God. Jesus is divine.
Why Is This Important?
Now why is it important for us to believe that Jesus was God? What communication are we seeing?
God Has Been Revealed To Us
First of all we know, Hebrews reminds us again, that God revealed himself in the past in many ways, but no one really knew who God was. Now we have this wonderful privilege of actually knowing who God is, because the son reveals God to us! Because the son has walked down on earth!
God is not a mystical experience anymore. We don’t have to go up in the mountain and seek God! God has come to us.
So God is not a mystical experience anymore. We don’t have to go up in the mountain and seek God! We don’t have to go up and hide in the sea some a very far end corner and try and be in touch with God. No, God has come. God has come to us.
So you want to see God? Look at Jesus. You want to hear what God has to say? Look at what Jesus says – it’s there in the book that you are holding. God is not a mystery anymore. God is clearly revealed to us.
Now let’s be honest, we will never get to know God 100%. But we do know enough of God for our life here and our life in heaven – and that has been revealed to us through Jesus.
A lot of people want to know God and they don’t want to look at Jesus. Well I say you are mistaken. There’s no God outside of that guy. You have to take that guy seriously.
We Can Know God Personally
The second thing that is so important about this is actually that we can know God personally. When Jesus walked on earth he didn’t need people between him and his disciples. They could actually walk with God, they could shake his hand and they could hear him speak.
I can come to know God if I come to know Jesus.
This is a great privilege that we get. God became a man, God walked on earth, and so we don’t need people to be intermediary anymore: we can actually know this God personally. I can come to know God if I come to know Jesus. You can come to know God – just like you know me, or you know your friend. Because God has come.
And so my dear friends, this also gives us a great responsibility. Because the question is, what do we do with this Jesus? Because what we do with Jesus will determine our interaction with God and our relationship with God.
What We Do With Jesus Is Important
You see in some churches – now we are talking about blessing and we are talking about being filled with the Spirit and we are talking about all the wonderful things – and we are forgetting to talk about Jesus. Well if you forget to talk about Jesus, the God you are talking about is no different from the God of the Muslims and the Hindus and the Baháʼís and any other kind of God.
If you forget to talk about Jesus, the God you are talking about is no different from any other kind of God.
It’s just a figment of your imagination – a construct, very vague, that we can’t define. But the Christian may define this God as the personal God who’s revealed himself through his son Jesus Christ.
Now let us apply this – and I think my time has gone and if you have a question please feel free to come and talk to me later on.
Jesus Christ, Our Lord
Now there’s a wonderful thing in the Apostles’ Creed that says I believe in Jesus Christ, the son of God, and then it says, “our Lord”. So I believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord. And I think that is very interesting because in that you see Jesus – which is a mere man, it’s the name the angel said you give him so that’s the human part – and then there’s this thing that says Christ.
Christ wasn’t the middle name of Jesus. Or the family name like we have – the Singwass or the Belingwas or whatever. But Christ was actually a title. And so it almost says, “I believe in Jesus Christ, the king, our Lord. I believe in Jesus Christ, our king”.
So he is almost emphasising this point.
And so why did God become man? Well so as he could become king. Why did he want to become a king? Well that’s where this wonderful story of the gospel becomes very clear. And you will never get this until you actually go back and try and figure out what is this gospel? This wonderful news. What’s the story that Christians preach?
Going Back To The Gospel
Well here’s the story that Christians preach: That God created the world, and he put men to be under his authority. God was the king and man was under him. But man and his wife decided that they didn’t want God to be king, so they did what God had asked them not to do. They disobey him.
We All Disobey God
From that day onwards all of mankind disobey God. Now, you can ask yourself. You can say, “Well I’ve been in church for years and I don’t disobey God”. Well I will say you are lying!
If we are honest we know we always break God’s law.
How much time this morning, from morning when you wake up to now has been devoted to thinking about God? Now here’s the law of God. The law of God says love your God with all your mind and all your strength and all your spirit with all your heart, and love your neighbour as yourself (Mark 12:30-31).
How many of us have loved God so much since we woke up according to that verse: with all our mind, with all our heart, with all our strength, with all our being? How many of us?
If you are honest, you probably give God 5 minutes of your time, somewhere when you wake up – and when you are in church again, maybe. And sometimes you will be in church and thinking about things that are happening at home.
We Will Die Spiritually For This Disobedience
How many of us have actually loved our friends as ourselves? You see if we are honest we know we always break God’s law. We never really keep up to God’s standard. And we are no different from Adam and Eve.
God said if you do this you will die. And that’s what happened my dear friends, spiritually: they were disconnected from God. And that’s what happens to all of us. Spiritually, we are disconnected from God.
We Will Also Die Physically, Maybe Eternally
So that was man who decided to rebel against God and who now died spiritually. But this spiritual death is not the only thing, for there will be physical death.
Now physical death – I have to say it – is a proof that you are dead spiritually. And it’s just a small taste of the death that will happen forever which is called eternal death. So one day we will die physically and one day – if we continue like that – we will die eternally.
That’s the part of the gospel that is that bad news – because the gospel means good news.
The Good News
The good news is what? The good news is that God in his goodness, God, out of his own initiative, became flesh. Because God realised that man could not get himself out of this situation.
Man could not get himself out of this situation.
It doesn’t matter how much religion men did, it doesn’t matter how much good men did, it doesn’t matter how much work men did. Man can never be right with God. He could never get into a position where all his heart, all his mind, all his strength are focused on God – and he is perfectly obeying God. He will never get there.
Jesus Did What We Could Never Do
So God had to intervene. God became flesh – sent his only son, Jesus Christ – to be born of a woman, to endure the suffering of a life on earth, the instability and the frailty of humanity. Brought Jesus on earth. Jesus was perfect. We’ve read this so many times: for although he was a man he never sinned (1 Peter 2:22).
Jesus lived perfectly, he loved his father fully.
Jesus did what me and you could never do. He lived perfectly, he loved his father fully. All his mind, all his heart was on his father all the time. He loved his neighbour so much that he was willing to give his life for them. And Jesus went to the cross.
Jesus Died For Us
And on that cross he didn’t die for his sin because he didn’t have any sin. The only human being who ever lived who never deserved to die, was on that cross. Punished as a vile criminal.
The only human being who ever lived who never deserved to die, was on that cross.
Why did he die on the cross? Why did he get punished on the cross? Well my dear friends it’s because of me and you. You see God became man to save me and you. God endured the suffering of the cross because of me and you.
And on that cross he took my punishment; he took the death that I deserved, he took the judgement that I deserved for my rebellion and your rebellion; my rejection of God and your rejection of God.
Jesus Rose Again and Reigns Forever
The good news is he didn’t remain dead. He rose again on the third day and now he lives as a king who reigns forever. What he was before, he is now the king forever. And the wonderful new is he sends his invitation! And he says, “You, come back home! I’ve done it for you. Come now and be with me. Come now and reign with me, because I’ve paid the penalty for you!”
Jesus says, “Come back home! Come now and reign with me, because I’ve paid the penalty for you.”
The Only Way To Save Humanity
You see if you don’t understand the gospel, then you will never understand why God took the pains to become a man. Why did God bother to become a man? Was he bored in heaven? No! He knew that was the only way he could save humanity. It was the only way he could save man.
And so God became a man so that men could become divine. So that men could be co-sons of God. The son of God became a man so that men could become co-sons of God.
The son of God became a man so that men could become co-sons of God.
And now his invitation is really saying, “Come and reign with me. Come and live under me”. And that’s the message of the gospel. The message of the gospel is very clear – that Jesus is inviting us to live under him, under his authority. Not to continue to be rebels, but he says, “I’ve died for you, now come and be under me”.
Three Things Jesus Does
And when you come under Jesus then there’s three things that Jesus does. And sometimes people forget this but it’s very important.
Jesus Becomes a Prophet
Then Jesus becomes a good prophet, and a prophet is a teacher: a prophet is the one who tells you what God thinks. But only once he’s been accepted as Lord. Then he can show you what God says; he can reveal God to you.
Jesus Becomes a High Priest & Reconciles Us To God
Then Jesus becomes the great guy who reconciles us with God – he becomes our high priest as we read in Hebrews. As he leads us into all righteousness he mends our relationship between us and God and reveals us with this knowledge.
So my dear friend, I’m going to stop here and ask you, what do you believe about Jesus? I don’t know what you believe about Jesus. I don’t know what you were told when you were born or when you came to the Christian faith. I don’t know what you were told. But I do know that Christians believe that the Bible says that Jesus was 100% man – he is 100% God. And God became a man so as he could save man. And call men to live under him.
Your King & Your Friend
Is Jesus Lord of your life?
Did God waste his time on earth to try and save you? Or have you accepted his invitation?
You see I like to look at this – and a friend of mine told me this and I just loved it and I’m going to use it. He says, “In the gospel we have the command of the king but we also have the invitation of a friend.”
In the gospel we have the command of the king but we also have the invitation of a friend.
The king commands us to come under him, and if you don’t come under him you will face judgement. The friend says, “Come, I’ve done it for you. Be part of this great new life.”
The choice is yours.
Every one of us will have to face that choice; everyone will have to make his own decision. You have to choose. Whether you are going to continue to live on your own, or if you are going to remember that God became flesh and you are going to embrace his gift of life.
I would like to invite you to bow your heads.
Talk To Jesus About What You Believe
I believe in Jesus Christ, the only son of God. My Lord. I believe he was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He was born of a little girl called Mary. God took on human flesh so that I, the sinner, I the stray child, could put on the heavenly body. I could become by right a child of God.
John says that to all who receive him, to all who accept and believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. God walked on earth 2000 years ago so I could live under him.
What do you believe?
You may not believe this – then why don’t you talk to Jesus and tell him what you think? You may believe this, but maybe it doesn’t reflect into your daily life. Maybe Jesus is not Lord of your life, maybe the things that you do don’t show that he is the one who reigns. Well tell him. Tell him.