Adrian Rogers - Who is Jesus? The God-Man
Would you find, please, Philippians chapter 2. We're talking, and have been for these last Sundays, on God in human flesh; Jesus, the God-man, God in human flesh. Just who is the Lord Jesus Christ? People are asking that question perhaps more than ever before. I received U. S. News and World Report, and on the front page is an artist's depict, depiction of what someone supposed Jesus may have looked like and the title is, "The Jesus Code: America Is Rethinking the Messiah Again". And I will not bore you or disturb your mind with the trivialities and the banality that's in that particular article.
Sometime ago, Peter Jennings, hosted a program entitled, "The Search for Jesus". And they had some so-called scholars there who pooled their ignorance looking for Jesus. I'd just as soon expect a group of blindfolded men in a dark cave with a jar full of lightning bugs to examine the noonday sun as these people were examining, searching for Jesus. Course the reason they didn't find Him, they were looking in the wrong place. Bryant Gumbel, on CNN, interviewed Larry King. And, at the close of the interview, he said, "Larry, if you could ask God one question," now remember Larry King is a Jew, "if you could ask God one question, what would it be"? He said, "I would ask Him if He has a Son".
That's a good question because you'll never answer the sin question until you answer the Son question; to know whether or not that God has a Son. Well who is Jesus, the God-man? Philippians 2, let's begin in verse 5 and read through verse 11, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and, being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in Earth, and things under the Earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father".
John Blanchard has estimated that of all the people who've ever lived from the beginning of creation to this time there have been about 30 billion people who have lived here on this planet. Out of those 30 billion, very few have had any major effects on human history. There is one person who stands out unique above all of the rest. That one person, Jesus Christ, has attracted a greater combination of attention, devotion, criticism, adoration and opposition than any other person of those 30 billion. Every recorded word that this man spoke has been studied and sifted and analyzed from generation to generation by theologians and by philosophers and by historians. And while we are sitting here talking, at this moment, there are millions of people studying what He said, at this very moment, multiplied millions, and there is no moment on the clock's face where there are not millions of people who at that moment are studying what this one individual had to say.
He is Jesus of Nazareth. He existed on this earth some 2,000 years ago and He preached and taught in a tiny little land called Israel. And yet the birth of this baby has divided the centuries to B.C., Before Christ, and A.D., Anno Domini, or the Year of our Lord. He divides world history. He never wrote a book so far as we know, but more books have been written about Him than any person in all of history. He never painted a picture, or wrote a poem or did a sculpturing, so far as we know, never wrote any music so far as we know; and yet His life has been the impetus and the inspiration for music and art and literature and films and video and other art forms. He never raised an army, and yet millions of people have laid down their lives for Him.
He never traveled very far from that tiny little area where He walked, and yet His influence is worldwide. He never spoke to more than a few thousand at one time in His earthly ministry, and yet today 30% of the world's population, 30% claim to be followers of this one man. His ministry lasted really only for 3 years, and yet today by radio and television and printed literature, His Word goes around the world. So far as we know, He never had any formal education, but thousands of universities and seminaries and colleges and schools are built in His name. And no one can claim to be educated who does not understand who this baby was and is.
The great noted historian, Kenneth Scott Latourette said this. Listen to it, "Jesus has had more effect on the history of mankind than any other of its race who ever existed. Nobody has had the influence that Jesus Christ of Nazareth has had. To explain Him is impossible. To ignore Him is disastrous. To reject Him is fatal. My speech is too limited to describe Him, my mind is too small to comprehend Him, and my heart is inadequate to fully contain this one whose name is Jesus".
Now, who is Jesus, the God-man? I want us to see several things about the Lord Jesus that's going to come out of this passage of Scripture here, because if you really want to know who Jesus is, you've got to go to the Word of God. Now first of all, I want you to notice that Jesus is, and jot it down, the supernatural Son of God. He is the supernatural Son of God. Look now in Philippians chapter 2 verses 6 and 7. It speaks of Jesus, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him," underscore that, "took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men". This speaks of His birth. He was made in the likeness of men. But He was not conceived like any other child. He was born of a virgin.
Isaiah chapter 7 and verse 14, "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and call His name Immanuel". Do you find that hard to believe that a virgin could have a child? Well may I tell you the first person to doubt it was Mary herself! When the angel announced this to Mary, Mary said, "How can this be"? And the angel answered in Luke chapter 1 verse 37, "For with God nothing shall be impossible". Can you say Amen to that? Now, if you have difficulty with the virgin birth, what you really have difficulty with is the omnipotence of God. Think about it. "For with God nothing shall be impossible".
Jesus was the virgin born, supernatural, Son of God. He could not have been a son of Adam, for in Adam all die. Had He been a son of Adam, He would have had the sin nature of Adam. If you doubt the virgin birth, you've got some king-sized character problems. First of all, you have a problem with the character of the Word of God: you're saying the Word of God is not true. Secondly, you have a difficulty with the character of Mary; you're saying that Mary was a harlot. Thirdly, you have difficulty with the character of Jesus: you're saying that Jesus was illegitimately born with a sin nature. But I'll tell you where you've got the biggest character problem. You've got the biggest character problem with your own character if you denounce, or refuse the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. You have no real hope of Heaven.
Somebody's imagined the Lord Jesus there in the temple being questioned by the theologians and the doctors. He's 12 years of age. But they ask Him this question, "Son, how old are you"? And Jesus might have smiled and said, "Well, on my mother's side I'm 12 years old, but on my Father's side I'm older than my mother and as old as my Father". Friend, what a marvelous person is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is, put it down, first of all, the supernatural Son of God. He was, He took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men by a virgin birth.
Number two: not only is He the supernatural Son of God virgin born, but it follows as night follows day He is, therefore, the sinless Son of God. Look in Philippians 2 verse 8, "And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross". Underscore the word obedient. The Lord Jesus said in John 8 verse 29, "I do always those things that please My Father". And God the Father said of God the Son in Matthew 3:17, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased".
Do you always please the Father? Of course not. But Jesus always pleased the Father. The Bible tells us in Hebrews chapter 4 and verse 15 that Jesus was without sin. Satan tempted Him, but Satan never won a victory over the Lord Jesus Christ. All of the artillery of Hell was aimed at the Lord Jesus Christ. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. Satan had no trophies that he could put on his wall. Jesus looked at those who were accusing Him and said, "Which of you can convict me of sin"? I wouldn't ask that to my friends, much less my enemies. But Jesus, the supernatural Son of God, is the sinless Son of God.
Thirdly: not only is Jesus the supernatural Son of God and the sinless Son of God, Jesus, therefore, is the sovereign Son of God. Look in Philippians chapter 2 and verse 6, speaks of Jesus, "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery," now here's the point, "to be equal with God". Equal with God. Not only is He the Son of God, but He is God the Son. Here's a key verse and I want you to put it on your margin, Hebrews 1:8. God the Father is speaking. Now listen to it, "But unto the Son He saith, 'Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.'" "Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever". The Son is God the Son. Now this is the reason that He was rejected by the Jews of His day because He was the Son of God and that did not fit in with their theology.
Jesus, in John chapter 8 verse 58, was talking back and forth. They were bantering with Him and they say In John chapter 8 verse 41, "We be not born of sin. We know who our father is". Do you understand the inference there? "You are illegitimate. You were born out of wedlock". And they were boasting that Abraham was their father; that is, they were descendants of Abraham. And then here's what Jesus said in John chapter 8 and verse 58, "Jesus saith unto them, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM.'" Now, don't miss that. I AM is the most sacred name for God that the Jews knew. When Moses was leading the children of Israel out of Egypt into the Promised Land, Moses said, "I need some credentials. Who can I say sent me"? And Jehovah God said, "Moses, you tell them that I AM sent you".
Now, that's a very interesting name, I AM. Not I was, not I will be. He is the great I AM. There never was a time when He was not. There never will be a time when He will not be. He is the self-existing Creator God, and He said, "Now, Moses, you just tell them with all their silly gods that I AM sent you". Now, Jesus says in John 8 verse 58, "Before Abraham was, I AM". He didn't say, "Before Abraham was, I was, that I got here first". He's just saying, "I've always been". That's the reason they took up stones to stone Him. The Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept the eternality of the Lord Jesus Christ, that He is God in human flesh. And so in their so-called New World Translation, they take this verse without any manuscript authority at all and they say, and they have to force it to say this because they cannot let it say what it literally says and believe what they believe, so they say, "Before Abraham was, I have been". But that isn't what it says. It may sound alike to you, but what it says, and any Greek scholar will tell you this, "Before Abraham was, I AM".
That's the reason they took up stones to stone Him. They said, "Blasphemy! Blasphemy"! You see, Jesus made some great claims about Himself. And when you look at the Lord Jesus Christ, you're on the horns of a trilemma. Either He was deceived and thought He was God, or He was a deceiver and knew that He was not God but pretended to be, or else He was deity. Deceived, deceiver, or deity. There's no other choice. Now, do you think that Jesus was a mad man, a megalomaniac like a guy with a fried egg on his head and a strip of bacon over each ear? Or do you think that Jesus was a shrewd, cunning, conniving, religious fraud? Or was He who He said He was? "He thought it not robbery to be equal with God", Philippians 2:6. The disciples said in John 14 verses 8 and 9, "Show us the Father and it will satisfy us". And Jesus said, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father".
Now suppose you were to say to me, "Adrian, show me God," and I would say, "You're looking at him". You'd say, "Go get the guys with the straightjackets. We're going to need to haul him off". He's God. He is God. He is the supernatural Son of God. And being the supernatural Son of God, He is the sinless Son of God. And, friend, He is the sovereign Son of God. He is God in human flesh. And you see Him in His ministry as the sovereign God. Now next, Jesus is the sacrificial Son of God. Look if you will now in Philippians 2 verse 8, "And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient". Thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but now in fashion as a man, "He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross".
Now His death was not incidental. It was not accidental. He did not die as a victim. He did not die as a martyr. He died in obedience to the Father that you and I might be saved the death of the cross. This was in the heart and mind of God before this planet was swung into space. The Bible says of the Lord Jesus in Revelation 13:8, "He was slain before the foundation of the world". Now you see, He had to be the supernatural Son of God born of a virgin to be the sinless Son of God. But He had to be, as the sinless Son of God, He was the sovereign Son of God to do what He did that He might be the sacrificial Son of God. You see, the blood that was shed on that cross was the blood of God because He is the God-man. As I told you in the other sermons in this series, someone might say that God doesn't have blood because God is Spirit. Yes, but God became flesh.
John 1 verse 14, "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us". And Jesus had blood coursing through His veins. But whose blood was coursing through the veins of the Lord Jesus Christ? Not Mary's blood. Mary was a sinner. You know, some people don't like the idea that Mary was a sinner. Of course she was a sinner. But she's a virtuous woman, a wonderful woman, but she was a sinner. She said of the Savior in Luke 1 verse 46, "My soul doth magnify God my Savior". She needed a Savior. Sinners need a Savior. Mary needed a Savior. Whose blood was in Mary's body? She had Adamic blood in her body coursing through her body. Whose blood was in that baby in her womb? Don't get the idea that the blood of the mother and the blood of the fetus circulate, is interchanged. Of course not. A mother may have one blood type, the child a complete different blood type.
Who determines the blood type? The father, not the mother. That's the reason in some paternity cases they can scientifically prove that a man did not father a child by examining the blood, a specific child. What I'm trying to say is that the blood type is determined by the father, not the mother. Joseph was the caretaker father, not the true father. That which was conceived in the womb of Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and, therefore, His blood was rich, red, royal blood, the blood of God. Now let me give you the proof text, Acts chapter 20 verse 28. Paul is talking to the Ephesian elders about taking care of the church, and he says, "Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of G-O-D, the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood". Did you get that? "Feed the church of God, which He," God, "hath purchased with His own blood".
Jesus is, dear friend, the supernatural Son of God. Being the supernatural Son of God, He's the sinless Son of God. And He is the sovereign Son of God. Therefore, that He might be the sacrificial Son of God. But we're not finished yet. The Lord Jesus Christ is also the surviving Son of God. They put Him on the cross. They nailed Him up there, and they said, "He is finished". But He wasn't finished. Jesus said, "It is finished". The plan is finished. "It is done; I paid the sin debt". And now look in Philippians 2 verse 9, Jesus, the surviving Son of God, "Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name". The grave could not hold Him. He is the Lord of life and He is the Lord of death. He said in John 10:18, "I have power to lay my life down and I have power to take it up again".
Jesus is the first begotten of the dead. You say, "What, weren't other people raised from the dead"? Well, in the truest sense they were resuscitated. They may have been dead physically, brought back to life, but the first thing they did after they were brought back to life was to begin to die again. Jesus, in His resurrected life, ever lives to make intercession for us, Hebrews chapter 7 verse 25. C.S. Lewis said this, "He has forced open a door that had been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten back the king of death. Everything is different because He has done so".
Who is Jesus? Jesus is the surviving Son of God. Confucius died; he's dead! Buddha died, he's dead! Muhammad died, he's dead! Jesus died and rose again. He's the living Son of God. He's shown to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection of the dead. I'll tell you what else Jesus is: Jesus is the soon-coming Son of God. Look if you will, in Philippians 2 verses 9 through 11, "Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in Earth, and things under the Earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father".
He is the soon-coming Son of God. And when He does, knees will bow. Satan will bow on his thorny knees and confess that Jesus is Lord. Saddam Hussein will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord. Madonna, the so-called rock star, will bow and confess that Jesus is Lord. And all of the people on the planet Earth, and all who have lived or will live will bow one day and say that Jesus Christ is Lord. He is coming again. Now His coming is literal, actual. Some missed His first coming because they did not believe the prophecies. Jesus is literally, actually, visibly, bodily coming back to this Earth. Acts 1 verse 11. Jesus was there on the Mount of Olives. And I've visited the Mount of Olives many times and I've wonder if I have stood in the same spot where Jesus stood before He ascended up into the glory, and those blessed feet that still bear the marks of the nails as we told you last week, ascended up from that Mount of Olives, and He's taken up into the sky as we see in the Passion Play.
And then Acts 1:11 says there were some angels there, "Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus," not death, not some event in history, not salvation, "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into Heaven". It is literal. This same Jesus is coming again. Those feet left the Mount of Olives. Those feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. Those dimpled feet that lay in the straw of Bethlehem, those bare feet that walked among the shavings in Joseph's carpenter shop, those sandaled feet that walked the dusty shores of Galilee, those miracle feet that walked on water, those nail-pierced feet, those glorified feet that ascended from the Mount of Olives are the same feet that will come again. And when He does, those feet will crush the serpent's head, and Satan will be bruised beneath His feet. And my desire is to bow at His feet.
Acts 1:11, "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go". And we all ought to fall at His feet. Last of all, Jesus is the saving Son of God. This is who the Lord Jesus is. Look again if you will in Philippians chapter 2 and verse 8, "And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross". Why Christmas? Because of Calvary. Why did Jesus come? Luke 19:10, "For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost". John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.'" He is the solitary Savior.
I've often said Jesus is not a good way to Heaven. Jesus is not the best way to Heaven. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. And when you say that, a lot of people get their hackles up, but I still want to tell you, apart from Jesus, there is no salvation. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life". He's not just one more Savior. If He's not the only Savior, He's no Savior because He said He was the only one. And if He said He's the only one and He's not the only one, then He's a liar, and a liar is nobody's Savior. The Bible says in Acts 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved". And I've got some wonderful news for you, friend. He can save anyone.
I got a letter here, "To Adrian Rogers. I hope you're doing very well. I just wanted to write you a few lines for the first time to tell you how much I enjoy your sermons". And then he said some very nice things about me that I won't repeat, but I'm grateful. And then he said, "I accepted Christ as my Savior about two years ago". And then he goes on to talk about how he listens every Sunday morning. "I sit waiting for your show with my Bible, pen, and paper. You see, I cannot do much anymore. God is my strength and my salvation every day, praise the Lord. I am an inmate in the Arkansas State Pen on death row. I look forward to that great and glorious day when Jesus Christ comes to take His saints up into Heaven. I also have gotten my dad to listen to your shows. He even records them. I just wanted to give my thanks to you for all your wonderful preaching. With all my heart I thank you. May God bless you". And he signs his name.
I don't have permission to use his name so I'll not use it. But I got to thinking about that. And that's one of the reasons I'm so grateful for this ministry that goes out. I'm so grateful for the Word of God. And, friend, I want to tell you whether you are on death row or Wall Street or Madison Avenue, you need Jesus. He's the saving Son of God. There's no one that He cannot save. There's no one that He will not save. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. And all of the king's horses and all of the king's men were not able to put Humpty together again. Humpty never met Jesus.
I want to tell you, friend, whoever you are, Jesus is what the world needs today. You can thank God for Christmas. Think if there had been no Christmas what that would mean. Think if there'd been no birthday of Jesus what your birthday would mean. Every birthday you have would mean that you're one year nearer death. Every birthday that you have would mean that you're one year nearer the grave. And every birthday that you have would mean you're one year nearer a Christless eternity. But because of the birthday of Jesus, think what your birthday means. Each birthday you have means you're one year closer to Heaven, one year closer to seeing His dear face, knowing the Lord Jesus Christ.
Who is Jesus? Jesus is my dearest friend. He is more real to me than you are. I talk to Him far more than I talk to you. And I'm not ashamed to tell you that I love Him with all of my heart. He is the Son of God who left Heaven, came to this Earth, suffered, bled, and died, walked out of that grave a living, risen Savior. And He's the one who sent me to tell you that He loves you and He wants to save you, and that He will save you today if you'll give Him your heart.
Bow your heads in prayer. If you're saved, begin to pray for those round about you who may not be saved. And if you're not saved, or certain that you're not saved or not certain that you are saved, let me lead you in a prayer. And I promise you today that He will save you and He will keep you saved if you'll trust Him. Pray this kind of a prayer:
Dear God, I know that You love me, but sin has separated me from You. I need a Savior. I need to be forgiven. I need to be cleansed. I need a fresh start, and I need power in my life. Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive my sin. Save me, Lord Jesus. Lord, I don't deserve it. I can't earn it. I just receive it because You love me. Jesus, You died for me. Save me, Lord Jesus.
Did you ask Him? Then pray this way:
Thank You for doing it, Jesus. I receive it by faith. I love You, Jesus. Begin now to make me the person You want me to be. And, Lord Jesus, help me to have enough courage to make it public. Don't let me deny You. Don't let me be ashamed of You. Lord, just give me the strength, and I'll make it known that I'm trusting You. In Your name I pray, Amen.