So many of the cults, challenge who Jesus really is…Mormons believe Jesus is a son small “s” of the God Elohim and that Satan is also a son of God. Jehovah’s witnesses believe Jesus is a God not one with the Father as they have mistranslated the Bible to fit their theology which by the way was proven in court that those who translated the Bible for them did not know or understand Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic so they could not have translated the Bible. Muslims, say God doesn’t have a son and like Buddhist, Hindus and every other major religion see Jesus as only a prophet. This is why it is so important that we know what the Bible has to say.
Last week we cleared up part of these basic doctrines about Jesus
Jesus is God, He is the son of God and He is equal with God, He lived a perfect and sinless life, He paid the penalty for our sin on the cross and He rose again. Then we talked about our salvation is not about what we can do (our work) but instead but about what he did for us!
Once again, I’m trying to give you a simplistic view of theology.
Let’s start with this week…
Salvation is not only through grace by faith but also only through Jesus. What I hear a lot is don’t all paths lead to God…the answer to that would be, according to Jesus and the Bible, No!
Jesus himself said this John 14:6-10
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.
In this passage Jesus is making it clear that He is the only way to the Father because He and the Father are one
In John 3:14-18 Jesus says this
And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
These are Jesus’ words that only those who believe Jesus is “the” Son of God will not be judged but live eternally with Jesus….As I spoke last week Jesus’ words tell us it is not about our goodness but believing and living like Jesus asks us to live
Both Peter and Paul agreed whole heartedly
Peter is facing judgement and punishment from the religious leaders who have study the scripture their entire lives and he makes this statement Acts 4:12
There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name (Jesus Christ) under heaven by which we must be saved.”
I know this is hard when you see good people that may wind up in hell. There is a desire for goodness to be the thing that leads to salvation but no one can be good enough compared to God….but God in his goodness, in His great love made a way, a simple way to us to have relationship with Him that grants us entrance into heaven…merely believe Jesus at His word and the Father at his word that if we believe in Jesus, his death, and resurrection and that He is the way then we make to heaven….it can’t be our works only believing in the work He did on the cross!
Another essential of our faith is the Trinity….this one may hurt your brain
We believe in one God, eternally existent in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These were present on the earth at one time during the baptism of Jesus.
22and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Following are a couple more verses that hint at the Trinity.
Luke 1:35 In the conception of Jesus we see the Godhead (trinity).
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
Matt. 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (name not names oneness of the name and person of God)
2 Cor. 13:14, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.”
It is important to understand that while they are three persons they are still one!
The Bible says there is only one God: “I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God,” (Isaiah 45:5). Yet, the Bible teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each called God.
Genesis 1:26 26Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness .
The Bible says this additionally about God’s oneness
Isaiah 44:6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God. (Jesus in Revelation 1:17)
Isaiah 44:8 “Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.”
Isaiah 43:10,11 – Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord,and besides Me there is no savior. (Jesus)
Matthew 3:13 – 17; 2 Corinthians 13:14
It is tough to grasp this concept but think of it this way; when “theologians” use the word “person,” they are not saying that God is three individual beings walking around who are actually one being. That would be a contradiction. Instead, we define a person as having self awareness, identity, can speak, love, grieve, etc.Each has their own specific function but they are never independent or in opposition. These are attributes of personhood and we see all of these attributes, and more, in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Before I define or give clarity to the Trinity even more, let’s answer this question,
“Why is it so important that we understand the Trinity or triune God?”
1) Trinity makes the entire plan of redemption possible.
Redemption is initiated by the Father (Galatians 4:4), accomplished through the Son (1 Peter 3:18), and is applied by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). The doctrine of the Trinity is important because there is no salvation apart from the triune God. And the more we reflect upon God’s triune nature, the more we can learn to love and appreciate God for Who and What he truly has revealed himself to be.
2) Shows us the fullness of who God is…
God is our Father and creator. God the Son came in the flesh in the incarnation of Jesus. Jesus being all God and all man showed us the way that God responds to people and situations and the sacrifice God was willing to make for us. Through Jesus sacrifice and resurrection, he had paved the way for our redemption and the open door for the God the Holy Spirit to move in and through not just Kings and prophets but all mankind, drawing them through the redemption of Jesus to the Father
The resurrection speaks of the unity of God through the trinity
Who raised Jesus from the dead?
– God The Father raised Jesus from the dead
Romans 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;”
– Jesus raised Himself from the dead
John 2:19-21; John 10:17-18)
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
– The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
We must understand each person of the Godhead and their function and role in order to be most effective as Christians
Paul spells out what the gospel is and how important it is to embrace it and share it with others. He reminds the Corinthians of the gospel he preached among them… 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
“Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. 3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.
This is the essence of the gospel. Paul also warns us to be wary of the many “false gospels” that are being offered to the unsuspecting….many times the Gospel is compromised even by those claiming to preach it. Myles Munroe said this is why Jesus is delayed in His return because a Gospel is being preached in many church but not the Gospel of the Kingdom…salvation by works, hyper-grace where there no need to ask forgiveness, denial of the Trinity and many other theologies try to steal away the Gospel message
Paul makes it pretty clear in Galatians 1:8,9
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
The pure gospel of Jesus Christ—His death on the cross for sinners and His resurrection to everlasting life—is central to the Christian faith.
Once again salvation is only through Jesus, not our work but His work on the cross and rising from the dead, not our goodness, not through any other gods, prophets or writings (next week we will talk about the Bible)
If we don’t understand this, believe it, know where it comes from, it is easy to be swayed by a argument that sounds reasonable but doesn’t rely on the faith and reliance on Jesus!