Foundation Stones of the Faith
Jesus: The Living Word
Intro: Frank Pollard was a well known Baptist minister for many years. He was for a number of years the preacher on the radio program, The Baptist Hour. In 1979 Time magazine voted Frank as one of the seven leading Protestant preachers in America. You can imagine that he was a popular conference speaker and those who introduced him at conferences often made reference to the Time magazine honor. How would you deal with such an introduction right before you got up to speak? I heard Frank preach several times and each time that the Time magazine honor was mentioned he would say something like this: “As relates to that Time magazine honor, I want to remind everyone that same year Time magazine also named the Ayatollah Khomeini as Man of the Year. I don’t take that too seriously.”
Time magazine has had to explain more than once that their choice of man of the year or later person of the year was not based on the greatness of the person, but on the impact that person had on the world. Almost every US president has been named at least once, but so have men like Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Certainly they all made an impact on the world.
Who would you say was the most influential person in the history of the world? One of our members recently said, “The answer must be Jesus.” And today she would be right. You and I would probably agree that the person who has influenced the world the most has been and continues to be the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ: time has been divided into the time before his birth and the time after his birth. His followers have shaped history by their deeds and teachings and He has had influence on every society since the time of his birth.
Key Thought: Jesus Christ is the most important person who has ever lived.
When John the Apostle began to write his gospel he wasted no time in letting his readers know he was writing about Jesus Christ.
John 1:1. John began in a way that would capture the attention of all readers, regardless of their background.
For the Jewish reader: He began in a way that would remind them of Genesis 1:1. Both begin: “in the beginning…” When God began the world Jesus was already with him. John calls Jesus the word. In Genesis 1:3 the Bible says “…and God said…” Jesus was the utterance of God in creation. The Jewish readers should have paid attention to what John was saying.
For the Gentile reader: John used a word from Greek philosophy to capture their attention. The Word comes from the Greek “o logos”. This was used by the Greeks to mean several things, but the long and the short of it is this: the logos was the sum of God’s creative power, it orders and governs the visible world. The Greeks had been looking for the logos. John intended to tell them about the true logos – Jesus Christ.
He is the agent of creation.
John 1:3. `The logos is not some impersonal force. He is a person. He is the person who created the universe.
NAS Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created by Him and for Him.
Paul reaffirms that Jesus is the agent of creation. He also shows us that the universe and all that are in it have a purpose. We are created for Jesus Christ, to know him, worship him, and serve him. In return we receive the blessings of His fellowship.
Many people see life as an aimless journey. God wants our lives to have purpose and that purpose is found in Jesus Christ.
He is the source of life.
John 1:3-4. As creator he has given each of us physical birth, but verse 4 goes on to tell us he wants to give us spiritual life, too.
The life Jesus gives is:
- Eternal life.
NAS John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
- Abundant life.
NAS John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.
Abundant life means life that is full and meaningful.
He is God in the flesh.
John 1:14. Jesus, God’s Son, took human flesh and dwelt on this earth for 33 years. He was God in human flesh.
NAS Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Because Jesus lived a truly human life, he is sympathetic to our weaknesses. He was tempted yet without sin.
He is the source of truth.
John said two things that Jesus revealed in his earthly ministry:
- God’s love and truth.
John 1:17. When God gave the law, he used Moses, a mere man. When God wanted to show the world grace and truth, he used his Son, Jesus. Grace refers to God’s undeserved love. Truth refers to a true knowledge of God.
- The very nature of God.
NAS John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. 7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father ‘?
How can we know what God is like? Study the life and teachings of Jesus. He is the “spitting image” of the Father.
(he is the agent of creation, the source of life, God in the flesh, and the source of truth)
He is the Savior.
John 1:11. Jesus came to the Jewish people, but as a nation they rejected him.
John 1:12-13. You become a child of God by accepting Christ. When you do, you will be born into the family of God.
Conclusion: This Jesus we talk about is the one who gives life even in the most difficult circumstances. I want to share a story that my friend Hazel Wilson shared with me. Hazel was the deaf interpreter for my last pastorate in Mesa.
Hazel’s story of leading a deaf lady to the Lord on her death bed: (the grammar has been changed to protect the reader)
I want to share with you about my friend Dorothy. Dorothy is a 59 year young deaf lady who had lung cancer. I met her at Wal-Mart we talked, she was excited that I knew sign language and we signed and signed. She would call me and ask if my granddaughter McKenzie and I would meet her for ice-cream and we always did. It was good, too. This went on for 3-4 months. We talked about church, but she was not happy with her husband’s church because they would not help her at all. So, I shared gospel with her and she asked questions, I would find the answers for her from the Bible, we had some great meetings. Anyway, every time she would go to the hospital her husband called me and I would go visit through her treatment. One Saturday I had to attend the worship team’s rehearsal to learn to interpret one of their songs and Dorothy’s husband called to tell me that she was in the hospital and asked if I would visit. I wasn’t going to visit because I was tired BUT the Lord had other things on HIS mind. So I went to the hospital, and got to meet her daughter, we prayed and that night Dorothy accepted Jesus as her LORD and SAVIOR. yea!!!! Meeting her daughter was an experience she was not happy to meet me and told me that if my GOD was so great why didn’t he make her mom well? I said HE will. Her daughter was yelling and saying bad things and Dorothy told her to shut-up and listen to me. We listened till she ran out of steam. I looked at Dorothy and what I saw made me fall on my knees, she had a glow about her; the room was lit up. The nurse came in said she would turn lights down but there were no lights on. I saw her face and I knew Jesus came for her (she passed away), wow that was so awesome. I will never be same again, her daughter stopped walking around and looked at her mom, she bent in front of me and said I want to go where my mom is, so I got to share the gospel with her and she prayed to receive Christ. That was her mom’s prayer. GOD is so awesome. Hazel Wilson
©Copyright Rik Danielsen 2018
For personal use only. If you want to use any or all of this material for group Bible Study or Sermons, please give credit where credit is due. No part of this material may be republished either in print or electronically without the written permission of Dr. Rik Danielsen. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foundation Stones of the Faith Jesus: The Living Word