Charles Stanley - Is Jesus Christ God?
What do you think of Jesus Christ? That's the most important answer you'll ever have to give. If you only think that He's a man, simply a man, and that's all He is, then one day you will be greatly shocked. Who is this person called Jesus Christ? Many people believe in God, and they'll tell you they do, but Jesus, that's a whole different story. He's just one of those other prophets or teachers who roamed the world of His day and talked about other things that people may be interested in and healed some people and so forth. But Jesus's not all that important, it's God who is important. That's the way the world thinks. And I want to ask you how do you think? What do you think of Jesus Christ? The most important question you'll ever answer in your life.
And in John's Gospel, he has given us a picture of Jesus unlike any other place in the Scripture. And so, oftentimes people will read and they'll say, "Well, I believe this or I believe that". But the question is, what do you really and truly believe about Jesus? And the answer is that Jesus Christ is God. Now, you probably say, "Well now, I don't believe He's God. I believe He's maybe a prophet". No, He's God, and I want to show you why He is. Because all the proof that we need is in the Word of God, and you could just remain in the Gospel of John if you wanted to. He's everything He promises to be, and He is God. Turn, if you will, to John chapter one. And we could read quite a number of verses, but I'll just limit this to these first five verses of the Gospel of John because He answers this question throughout the Gospel. And we're answering the question: who is He?
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. And all things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that came into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The light shines in the dark, and the darkness did not comprehend it". Who is Jesus? Well, I want us to think seriously about it because your whole eternity depends upon what you think about Him. And most folks will say, "Well, as long as I believe in God and I try to live a pretty good life, that should be sufficient. That's not what the Word of God teaches.
So, I want us to think about it in this light and answer the question: who is He? And so, I'm going to ask four questions that are legitimate questions and ought to give us an answer. We're answering the question who is Jesus Christ? The first question is: who did Jesus say He was? Who did He say He was? Jesus said in John chapter ten verse fourteen... and I'm going to give you the Scriptures for all of these, so you'll remember them. Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me". So Jesus says, "I'm the good shepherd". Secondly, Jesus said, "I am the door of the sheep". In John chapter ten verse seven. If anyone enters the door, or, "Enters through Me, he will be saved". John chapter ten verse nine. Jesus said, "I and the Father are one". Look at that, "He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me". In John chapter twelve verse forty-five. And then in John chapter eight verse twelve, Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life". And then in the fourteenth chapter of John and the sixth verse, Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me".
So, this is what Jesus said about Himself. All of those verses are quotes of Jesus. This is what He said about Himself. And then we're asking questions. Who did Jesus say He was? The second question is: were His actions consistent with who God is? Because we're trying to find out who is this Jesus? So, were His actions consistent with who God is? In John the eighth chapter the twenty-ninth verse, He said, "I always do the things that are pleasing to Him," to the Father. No one can say that but Jesus: always do the thing that please Him. A second verse is John ten ten, Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly". That's certainly consistent with who God is. For example, look at the miracles He performed. He fed five thousand. He healed the sick. He raised the dead. He walked on water. Think of all the miraculous things He did.
So, when we ask: who is Jesus? He's certainly a miracle worker, but He's more than that. Because the one thing He did that stirred up the Pharisees and the Sadducees to absolute hatred and bitterness toward Him when He said, speaking to them, that He forgave someone of their sin. Who can forgive sin? We're talking about who He is. What's consistent with who God says He is? Then, no one can take His life from Him. Listen to John chapter ten verse eighteen, no one could take His life from Him. He has authority to lay down His life, and He says, "I have authority to take it up again". Is that consistent with who God is? Yes, it is. In the sixth chapter of John, the thirty-eighth verse, Jesus said, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me".
So, the question is: were these actions consistent with God? Every one of them was. We're answering the question: is Jesus God? So far, you have to admit yes, He is. No one could follow all of this unless He is. The third thing I want us to notice is this: what was His relationship to God the Father? We're talking about Jesus being God. What was His relationship to God the Father? Now, remember, in Genesis chapter one, the twenty-sixth verse, when He said, "Let Us make man in Our own image". Who is Us? It's certainly not angels. Angels aren't creators. Not the devil, "Let Us make man in Our own image". God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the three Persons of the Trinity that make up the Godhead. That's what the Scripture teaches.
In John chapter ten verse thirty, Jesus said, "I and the Father are one". He said, for example, in the eighth chapter, "If you knew Me, you would know My Father also". And, when I look at the fourteenth chapter of John, there are a number of verses there that I want us to look at, but look at verse sixteen of the fourteenth chapter for a moment. Jesus said, "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper". Another in the Greek is allos, that means another just like, just like Himself. "I will ask the Father, He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever". In that one verse are all three Persons of the Trinity. So, who is God? There's God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
Now, I'll tell you why this is so important in a moment. He says, "That is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you". Then, for example, in John chapter one verse one, the Word, Jesus, was, "In the beginning, He was with God," and the Scripture says, "And the Word was God". The testimony of John is that Jesus was God in human flesh, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit's coming after the resurrection, but there are three Persons of the Trinity. Now, I'm going to say it again. I want to show you why this is so important. Then, for example, He says in John chapter one verse three, He was the Creator with the Father, "All things that came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being".
So, Jesus says that He was the Creator. Well, wait a minute. The Bible says that God created — yes, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And we have the three Persons of the Trinity, "Let Us make man in Our own image". Then look, for example, in Colossians chapter one, because all the way over here in Colossians, Paul, all the things that he wrote, and in this first chapter of Colossians, listen to what he says. He says, for example, in the first chapter and the fourteenth verse, "In whom," speaking of Jesus, "we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins". And then he says, "He," Jesus, "is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him are all things created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together".
So, the testimony of the Apostle Paul is the same as the testimony of John. Now, let me show you why this is so important. In the mind of the world, there's God. In our mind, we know that is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. So, when you talk to your friends about God, they say, "I believe in God". And in their minds, there's God out there somewhere. But He's so distant and He's so foreign and so unimaginable and so indescribable that He's just this big blob of spirituality of some sort out there somewhere. And they pay Him very little attention. But they can say that they believe in God. So, what's his name? "Well, I don't know". Well, what kind of god is he? "He's God". Now, watch this. You see, if He is this invisible something out there somewhere they believe in, that they cannot describe, that He is impersonal, that they pray to Him, whatever He is, when they get in trouble, but He's out there. And they're afraid, they cry out to God. And if you ask them if they believe in God, "Yes, I believe in God". Describe Him. "Well, you know, you can't describe Him, but I do believe in God".
And so, when you think about what the world thinks about God, it's sort of this big spiritual blob out there somewhere and they just don't want it to be personal enough that they have to give an account. When I think about people, for example, who do not believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, don't believe that they're subject to Him, watch this, they want a God who is impersonal enough that they can sin and not feel bad about it. When you eliminate Jesus, you eliminate the Holy Spirit, you cannot have the one true God without the Son and without the Spirit. And so, you ask yourself this question: do you believe in God? "Yes". Do you believe in His Son? And remember what Jesus said. Watch this carefully, "I and the Father are one". And if you do not believe that Jesus Christ is God, you do not believe in the one true God. Or you believe that Jesus Christ is a liar. And if He's a liar, what about God? Maybe He doesn't exist. If you do not believe the biblical concept and truth about God, you end up being confused.
And so, one of the reasons people don't want to believe in Jesus, that makes it too personal. There are too many verses about Jesus, "I and the Father are one," He said. Jesus said, "If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father". I wonder what happens to this nebulous, indescribable, invisible God out there who has been in the background of your life, all the life, and now you're getting ready to die, and you think maybe, maybe I'll meet God. My friend, you better know Jesus before you die. Because if the only god you have, if the only god you have is this indescribable, non-biblical god, then you don't have a true God. And so, I want you to think about this: why did He say He came into the world? And He answers this. Jesus came into the world that we might, "Have life, and have it more abundantly". He came for a specific purpose. And you look at His whole life, the life that Jesus lived.
What is it about Jesus you don't like? You see, most people want a god that will pacify them and that will agree with them and won't scold them, won't keep them up at night and just not tamper with their business. They want a convenient personal god they describe that helps them get what they want in life, but no accountability whatsoever. That is not who God is. You may have a God, but if He's not a God that matches what we just read in the Word, which is God's Word, you don't have the one true God. Who is this God that you believe in? Is He real? If He's not the God of the Bible, Jesus Christ, you don't have a true God. It's your imagination.
You say, "Well, what about all those other millions of people in the world"? They have their imagination also. And you see, the Bible's made it very clear. And John who walked with Jesus, the last disciple to die, the youngest one of them but when he wrote the Gospel, he wrote the Gospel inspired by Almighty God to describe for us so intimately, so beautifully who Jesus was and what He's like. And the only way you can have a relationship with Him is to begin by asking Him to forgive you of your sins and surrender your life to Him. You've got to believe in Him. So as long as you have your personal God out here who doesn't mess with your conscience, doesn't bother you when you commit adultery or live in sin and you're drunken and all the things that go on in a person's life, as long as that doesn't bother you, that's your god. But I'll tell you one thing, there's going to be death. There's going to be a judgment. You're going to give an account and guess to whom? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that I want you to understand you need to surrender your life to Him here and now because He is God.
Then of course, listen to John three sixteen which you know so well, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life". But in your life at this moment, what kind of relationship do you have with Jesus? Because the Word of God bears witness that Jesus Christ is God who walked in flesh. Watch this, this is the awesome expression of Holy God. Not only was it sufficient for Him to give the truth through the prophets all the way back to Moses and all the things that happened with the prophets, but He sent Jesus to walk in human flesh, to be tempted by the devil. But to perform all of these miracles so that man does not have any excuse for not believing in Him as the Son of God. That is an example of God's awesome love for us, why He came into the world motivated by love.
And you say, "Well, you know what, I don't know that I think God's all that important". Wait till you come to die. And the only person who is going to be important is not your doctor, he can't keep you there another moment. Not your family, you're going to leave them. The only person that's going to matter is Jesus Christ. The only person's going to matter is Jesus because only He can forgive sin. Only He can write your name in the Lamb's Book of Life. Only He can take you from this life into heaven. You can have everything else in the world you want. Everybody thinks you're fantastic. You have all power, whatever it might be. If you don't have Jesus, "Except a man be born again, he'll not see the kingdom of God". That means unless you have a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ and accept Him as your savior, you're going to be lost.
Who is Jesus? God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, a Person of the Trinity. When He said, "Let Us make man in our own image," who is He talking about? God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. There isn't anything you and I need that's not in the Word of God. He answers all the questions that I need to have answered. If a person does not believe in Jesus but they have a god, mark it down, there's, watch this, there's something about Jesus that interferes with their lifestyle. Something about Jesus that bothers their conscience, something about Jesus that demands of them something they don't want to give. Something about Jesus that sort of cramps their style of living. And so, they decide, "I do believe in God. Don't ask me to define Him. Don't ask me to describe Him. It's none of your business. I do believe in God. You have your God, I have mine". You'll die with your god and be sorry that you rejected Jesus Christ as your Savior. He's the only Savior.
Now, let's think about something for a moment. Because in light of all of that, suppose Jesus is not God. Then, we have no assurance of life after death. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is our one awesome assurance of life after death, and that we will experience the resurrection. So, when people don't believe in Jesus, then I ask the question: what are you going to do when you die? Where are you going? What's going to happen to you? Every once in a while, somebody will say, "Well, I'll just disappear". Oh no, you won't. You may like to disappear, but you can't. What happens to you when you die? Well, I don't know. Don't you think it's important enough to find out what you should do? It's appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment. You should know what's going to happen. You don't have to know all the details. What you have to know is this: that Jesus promised eternal life for those who would trust Him as their Savior.
Listen to this, if Jesus Christ is not God, we are all hopeless and helpless in this life. But, Jesus is God, and listen to this, Jesus is God. All He said, all He did has resulted in the forgiveness of our sins, the gift of eternal life, and heaven is our home. There's one God. And if somebody asks you who is God? God is Jesus, God is the Father, God is the Holy Spirit: three Persons of the Trinity. So, Jesus said to them, to make it very clear, "I'm going away. And if I go away, I will send the Comforter to you — the Holy Spirit". He'll be in you, with you and upon you. And so, what happened? Jesus rose from the dead, spoke to those disciples, and then at Pentecost, He sent the Holy Spirit to do what? To enable you and me who come along afterwards to live a godly life. He didn't leave us.
You think about how absolutely thoughtful God was. It's not enough for them to have seen Him even walk among them, but the Holy Spirit to live within them. He says we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise unto the day of redemption. If you don't have Jesus, what do you have? You say, "Well, I have my god". Let me ask you this: describe "my god" to me. I'll tell you how to describe him. You describe him in a way that suits what you want, what you hope for. But you can't describe Him by facts, by the truth. Your god is a false god. Your god is an empty god, if your god is not Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Lord, our God, amen. And it is my prayer that you'll be honest. I'm not being critical. I'm just saying here's the truth. You can't deny the truth. Everything we've said is the truth.
And the question is what will you do with the truth? You have two choices: accept it or deny it and go your way having put behind you what you heard. You will regret it for all eternity if you do not make a decision. And my prayer is that you would say, "Yes, what you've said is true. I do believe that what you said is true. And by faith, I will accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior as the one true God, surrender my life to Him and watch Him work in my life". He will do an awesome work in your life. And all of us who are believers can bear testimony that Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but there is the Spirit of God and the Father who is God. That's our prayer for you: that your life would be radically changed by believing, trusting the Word of God that Jesus Christ came into this world, laid down His life at the cross, and made it possible for us to be forgiven.
Father, how grateful we are You did not leave us to guess or wonder or dream or fear. You gave us a very clear answer to the question, who is God? And I pray that every person who hears this message will be honest enough to examine their life, their belief system and what they really believe and who they really trust in for their future. And I pray that many people will turn from that false belief and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. And this we ask it in Jesus's name, amen.