The apostle Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia that God sent His Son to rescue us, so that we’d no longer be slaves to this world but sons and daughters of the King—so that we’d be heirs of His everlasting kingdom (Gal. 4:4-7).
Jesus came to earth as a human being to identify with our struggles and to redeem us from sin through His sacrifice on the cross. Jesus did that for us so that we could spend an eternity with Him in heaven. Dr. Stanley uses Scripture to answer common questions about Jesus.
This sermon was recorded before COVID-19. For the protection of our staff members and the community, we are currently following safety guidelines by practicing social distancing. We appreciate your understanding.
AN INTRODUCTION TO JESUS
KEY PASSAGE: Matthew 1:18-21
SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:26 | Ezekiel 18:20 | Matthew 5:5 | Matthew 5:11-12 | Matthew 5:43-44 | Matthew 10:34 | Matthew 18:20 | Matthew 20:27 | Matthew 25:31-46 | Mark 8:34-37 | Luke 1:34-35 | Luke 24:47 | John 1:1-5 | John 8:56-59 | John 10:27-30 | John 12:42-45 | John 14:6-9 | John 14:13 | John 17:24 | Acts 3:5-7 | Acts 4:10-12 | Romans 3:23 | Romans 6:23 | Romans 8:28 | Philippians 2:9-11 | Colossians 1:14-16 | Hebrews 1:1-2 | Hebrews 9:27
Who is Jesus?
Our understanding depends upon what kind of relationship we have with Him and how much we know about Him. Some people know very little yet have an instant dislike of Jesus that originates deep within their souls. Many others claim Him as their Savior and Lord but can’t really give an explanation for why they believe in Him. Since there is so much confusion and ignorance regarding Christ’s identity, we as His followers have a responsibility to accurately understand who He is so we can help others know Him too.
Jesus lived before He was even conceived in His mother’s womb.
Christ didn’t come into existence when He was born as a baby. He preexisted in eternity past, but at the appointed time, He came to earth in human form while still retaining His deity.
- Genesis 1:26 At creation God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” The plurality of the personal pronouns reveals that all three members of the Trinity were together at the time of creation—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- John 1:1 Christ’s preexistence is also confirmed in the New Testament by John, who refers to Him as the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
- God, and the Word was God.”
- John 8:58 When Jesus spoke to the Jewish leaders, He claimed to have been alive before Abraham. “Before Abraham was born, I am.”
- John 17:24 In His prayer, Christ affirms His Father’s love for Him before creation. “You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
The Father and the Son created all things.
The constellations above and the earth below were created and placed in perfect order by the triune God. The following verses testify to Christ’s role in creation:
- John 1:3 “Apart from Him nothing came into being.”
- Colossians 1:16 “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible . . . all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
- Hebrews 1:2 “In these last days (God) has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”
Jesus was born of an earthly mother and a heavenly Father.
Without the virgin birth, there would be no salvation for mankind (Luke 1:34-35). To pay for man’s sin, God required a perfect sacrifice, but every person since Adam has been born with a sin nature. However, since Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin, He didn’t inherit a sin nature. He was the only person who ever lived a perfect life, and therefore, was the only one qualified to die for the sins of the world.
Jesus was both God and the Son of God.
Throughout His ministry, Christ equated Himself with His Father.
- John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”
- John 12:44 “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me.”
- John 12:45 “He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.”
- John 14:7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”
One of the purposes for Christ’s first coming was to give mankind greater understanding of God. He came to earth as a visible man displaying “the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15).
Jesus’ teaching was often perplexing.
Many of His statements didn’t make sense, and we still struggle to accept and believe them. However, if we obey his teachings, we’ll become living testimonies of Jesus to all who see us.
- Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great.”
- Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
- Matthew 20:27 “Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.”
- Mark 8:34 “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”
- Mark 8:35 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”
- Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”
- Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Sometimes following Jesus results in severed relationships with those who will no longer accept us because of our commitment to Him.
All these commands and blessings require a humble heart willing to surrender to Christ so He can use us in whatever way He desires. When we display these qualities, we are exemplifying the character of Christ.
Jesus’ name is like no other
Although many take Christ’s name in vain, God’s Word attributes power and honor to His name.
- Philippians 2:9-11 “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.” Believers recognize this, acknowledging Him as Lord; but at the great judgment, even those who rejected Him will bow and confess that He is Lord.
- Luke 24:47 The gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins which we preach is to “be proclaimed in His name to all the nations.”
- John 14:13 Jesus told His disciples, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do.”
- Matthew 18:20 He also promised that “where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
- Acts 3:6 When Peter healed a lame man, he said, “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”
- Acts 4:12 “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Jesus will return to earth as the reigning King and Judge of all mankind.
- Matthew 25:31 When Christ comes to “sit on His glorious throne” and judge the earth, He will separate the nations as a shepherd separates sheep from goats.
- When you hear the name of Jesus, what thoughts and perceptions come to mind? What emotions do you feel?
- Have you tried to explain who Jesus is to someone who is ignorant or antagonistic toward Him? What happened? Did you feel adequately equipped to give an answer?
- What new truths have you learned that provide a greater understanding of the Lord Jesus? As you contemplate His majesty, offer a prayer of praise and gratitude to Him.