Charles Stanley - Our Savior, Who Is Christ the Lord
If someone should ask you, "Tell me what Christmas is all about," what would you say? Would you have a biblical answer? Would you just simply have a worldly answer? What's it really all about? Well, somebody says, "Well, it's all about Jesus". Well, like what about Jesus? What's it really all about?
I think there are a lot of people who do not understand what Christmas is about because they're confused. And the primary purpose for this message is to eliminate that confusion. So when somebody says, "Well, Jesus Christ is our Savior," what does that mean? Or that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, what does that mean? And so, there are lots of questions. And oftentimes we'll hear people say, "Well, we can't read the Bible anymore," and, "We can't even have a Bible on our desk". Or, "We can't have one at work," and so forth. You know why? They'll say, "Well, it's okay to believe in God, but this Jesus stuff doesn't count". So, you can't talk about Jesus here or there or wherever it might be. You know why, because they don't understand who He is. And secondly, many people do not understand what Christmas is all about.
So, this message is very simple. I want you to understand what's really involved when we talk about Christmas and who Jesus is. And some of the terminology that oftentimes just gets on the background and we forget what it's really all about. So, I want you to turn, if you will, to Luke chapter two, and in the first part of this chapter is about the birth of Jesus. And beginning in verse eight, I want us to start with that. He says, "In the same region, there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born,'" now, listen to this, "'There has been born for you a Savior, who is the Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased.'"
You know, people oftentimes don't understand what really happened. In fact, the most tragic part is they don't understand who Jesus is. And if I just picked up the Bible and read this few verses, neither would I, because it's not really all that simple. And I think one of the primary reasons many people are not saved is because they only have a smattering of the gospel, just a little bit. We say, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved". Well, I think that's pretty clear, but what's the difference between the Father and the Son? What's the difference between God and Jesus? Who is this Messiah that you talk about, and who is this Lord that you say that I must believe in? What in the world is all of that about? And so, there are people who honestly do not understand, do not believe and are confused. So we want to clarify that.
And when I think about this passage and I think about how awesome it is and I think about what people are thinking about this Christmas, and usually people are thinking about, bet you've already started, in fact, they started months ago. There are people who started Christmas shopping months ago. And ask them why. Haven't got anything to do with it, Jesus or the birth of Christ or anything. Christmas is all about Jesus. Jesus is all about saving you. Jesus is all about changing your life. Jesus is all about a brand-new beginning. Jesus is all about eternal life. Jesus is not about shopping, presents, drinking, carousing, partying, and all the other things that we let take so much of our Christmastime doing. So, when I think about it, I think about the nature of this gift, and that tells us something about how important it is. And usually would be true, the importance of something is determined by who does the introduction. That is who's making the announcement. The Scripture says, "An angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them. And then the angel said".
So think about this: whatever this message is, it wasn't some ordinary person who announced it. The birth of Jesus was announced by a heavenly angel sent by Almighty God to give direction and to give explanation what was going on. And so, very important that we understand who made the announcement. And when the Scripture says, "A multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying". So that's the way God sort of put a crescendo to the message. And I think about what people think in terms of a multitude. You know what a multitude is? A multitude is innumerable, as far north as you look, as far south as you look, as far east and west as you look, you can't count them. There is no end. When God announced the birth of Jesus, He put on the biggest display the world will ever know about announcing the Lord Jesus Christ's birth. That in itself ought to tell you something about His importance and His message of importance. "Today is born to you in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord".
And so, when we talk about identifying this gift, let's talk about several words used, and the first one is a Savior. Whoever this is, God said He was a Savior. A Savior from what? A Savior from our sins, those things that destroy people's lives. It destroys your life. A Savior for those people who, one of these days, are going to die, which is all of us. And we're going to spend eternity somewhere. Ignore the Savior, refuse to believe the Savior and you're going to be eternally separated from the One who created you, who is Almighty God. And you're going to be punished according to your sins. God gives us His warning. So, when I think in terms of a Savior, I just want you to follow me through several passages of Scripture, in thinking in terms of that.
So, turn, if you will, to First Peter and look, let's look in the first chapter here. And I want you to notice a couple of verses. Chapter one and verse eighteen, and listen to what he says, "Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers," that's just the way that you've been living, "but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ". Who is this Christ? He says, "This is the way you're forgiven of your sins, as a result of the shedding of His blood". The Scripture says, "For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last days for your sake who through," listen. He says the sake of you, "Who through Him are believers of God, who raised Him from the dead, gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God".
So, think about this: this Savior of ours is the Son of God who laid down His life on the cross, and that's the way we're forgiven of our sins, because of His, what we call His atoning death. And then if you'll turn to Ephesians chapter one for a moment, and these epistles have awesome verses. In the first chapter of Ephesians, the Scripture says in verse seven, "In Him," that is the beloved in Christ, "we have redemption," forgiveness, cleansing, "we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight". That is, in order for a person to have a right relationship with God, God had to do something. And He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world, not for the purpose of being an example, but for the purpose of dying. And He was born of a virgin. He didn't have an earthly father. He was absolutely sinless. The only way He could come into the world and be sacrifice for our sins is to be absolutely sinless.
And so, we think in terms of Jesus being a sacrifice. Then, if you'll turn on over to Colossians chapter one, and look at these verses. They're all talking about Jesus and who He is and why He came and so forth. And if you'll look in, beginning in the thirteenth verse, the Scripture says, "He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved son," in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. There are only two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness. Now watch this, whether you understand it or not, you are either walking in darkness or you are walking in the light of the gospel of Christ. If you have never trusted Him as your Savior, no time for God, don't understand who Jesus is, you're walking in darkness. You're not happy. You put up with a lot of things. You hurt. You go through situations and circumstances that you don't really like in life. In fact, you find yourself mired up in trying to find happiness and peace and joy.
So, what is he saying? He says, "In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins". He's the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. And so, the Scripture's very clear about who Jesus is. He's the Son of God. Watch this, there is only one true God. Now, there are lots and lots of gods in the world, always have been. But there's only one true God. And so, He's our Savior. And the Scripture talks about not only our Savior, but the Scripture talks about Jesus being the Christ. And in our Scripture here, for example, He says, "There's born for you today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord". Okay, now wait a minute. Savior, Christ, who is Christ? That word means the Anointed One, the Anointed One, the Lord Jesus Christ who walked among men, Jesus Christ, the same.
Look, if you will, in Colossians chapter two and verse three. The Scripture says, speaking of Christ Himself, "In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive arguments". That is, when you understand who Jesus is, you begin to understand what life's all about. You begin to understand who God is. You begin to understand what the Holy Spirit is about. Things begin to fall in place when you understand who Jesus is, and this is what He's saying, "In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge". Don't let anyone delude you.
And I think there are many Christians who get saved, they understand about Jesus being their Savior, but they never learn how to walk. They never understand, they don't take the time to understand, "Okay now, I hear about these other terms: Messiah, Lord, God, Holy Spirit, Christ. How does all this fit together"? The reason if fits together is because of the oneness of the Godhead: God Almighty, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit; three Persons of the Godhead. So they say, "Well, do y'all believe in three gods"? No. It is God who expresses Himself: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And so, when you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, you get more than just forgiveness of your sins. You get a Heavenly Father. You have, listen, you receive the power of the Spirit of God within you to enable you to become and to do all that God would have you to become and do.
And then, of course, there is the word, the Lord. So, think about this. In this announcement, and the announcement came with, "There has been born for you a Savior," okay, forgives my sins, "who is Christ the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Lord". Now, what's the difference between those three? Are these three different persons? No, they're not. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the Christ and Jesus is the Lord. But I want you to look, if you will, in John chapter eight for a moment. And I want you to see that there's no confusion in the Bible about all this. In John chapter eight, and look, if you will, as Jesus in this eighth chapter, especially eighth chapter here, explaining who He is and how He's working with the Father, listen to what He says in the nineteenth verse. He said in verse eighteen, "I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me".
So they were saying to Him in verse nineteen, "'Where is Your Father?' Jesus answered, 'You know neither Me nor My Father, if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.'" And so, somebody says, "Well, I don't get it, how you can have a Father over here and Jesus here and the Holy Spirit here"? Because they're all one. And so, the disciples understood that. And He was explaining right then what all that was about. And then, let's go to John chapter ten and look, if you will, in this thirtieth verse. Listen to what He says. He says in verse twenty-eight, "And I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish, and no one will be able to snatch them out of My hand". Once you're saved by the grace of God, you're eternally saved. "My Father, who has given them to Me," this is Jesus speaking, "given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of my hand". Listen to this, "I and the Father are one. If you have seen Me, you've seen the Father".
Jesus Christ came as our Savior, sent by the Father to do His work, primarily to die on the cross, shed His blood, make it possible for you and I to be saved. We aren't just saved, we're sealed by the Holy Spirit. That is, He put a stamp on us, so to speak. Now we're the child of God. God the Father has His part. Jesus has His part. The Holy Spirit has His part. And if you'll notice in our passage, he talks about the Lord. So, I want you to turn to Romans chapter ten for a moment because this is a passage, oftentimes, we want to lead somebody to Christ. And this tenth chapter, listen to what he says. He says in verse nine, "If you confess," that is, you're willing to agree to, you state it, you say, "I believe this," "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, he says you will be saved". Then he says, "For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness," or godliness, "and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, 'Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.'" And then he says in the thirteenth verse, "For whosoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved".
You've got God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Somebody says, "Well now, if I believe in Jesus, do I have to believe in the Holy Spirit"? Put it this way: you believe in Jesus, you will believe in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One who gave you the capacity to understand what Christ is all about, and His death at the cross. And so, we have, think about this, we have God the Son in Jesus, who also is Messiah. And we have the Lord. We have all of these words referring to the same Person. So, you know what? Nowhere in the Bible does it say, "Well now, let me explain in detail all of this. You read the Word of God, do you know why you and I understand it? Because the Spirit of God enables us to have understanding.
So, a person says, "Well, I believe in God and I think that's enough. Well now, put it this way: you believe in God and you think that's enough. Identify your god. Tell me who He is. Identify your god. You say, "Well, I believe in God, and that should be enough". It depends on who your god is. Is your god the Eternal Creator who sent Jesus to be our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit to be our enabler? Is that the god you're talking about"? The One True God is the God who hates sin, loves the sinner, provides the best, enables us to live out this life in the power of the Spirit, and who's written our name in the Lamb's Book of Life, from which there are no erasures, and who will call you Home one day, and before whom you'll give an account for your life. And you will be rewarded according to the life that you've lived. You cannot escape the truth of that statement. That is who God is. So, when you say, "Well, God and Messiah and Savior," we're talking about the same Person. They are simply aspects of the same Person.
Now, watch this. You can't, listen, you can't walk in darkness on the one hand and light on the other. In other words, if you're walking in darkness, you're walking apart from the will of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. God has the best provided for us. And what I want you to see is this: when we quote this verse, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him would have everlasting life". Watch that, "For God the Father so loved the world," all of us sinners, "that He gave His only Begotten Son," that's Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity. Does that mean one's higher than the other? No, because they all make up the Godhead: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Willing to forgive us of our sins, watch this, not based on how good we are, not based on what we promise, but based on the fact that He was the virgin-born Son of God who came into the world to be a sacrifice on the cross, shedding His blood, and making it possible for all of us to be forgiven of our sin.
The blood was a reminder, listen, we're saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. I mean, God could have sent all kind of things. But He, listen, watch this, He came Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ in order to die on the cross, shed His blood, which was payment for your sin and my sin. And now when you and I are willing to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and our Lord, we are forgiven of our sin, not based on what we do, but based on what He did. And then to enable us and to encourage us throughout our Christian life, He sent us the Holy Spirit to live within us, to give us understanding, and to give us the faith, the capacity to trust Him.
You say, "Well, do you understand everything about God"? No. I'll tell you one thing, I understand enough to praise Him and thank Him and live for Him every single day because He's everything He said He would be. And He did not say that I'd have to understand everything. I understand enough to know when I sin, get rid of it. I understand enough to know when I'm blessed, where it came from. I understand enough to know that when I die, I'm going to heaven. I understand enough to know that I don't have to fret and worry about things in this life. This life is short lived. And one of these days when He calls your name, and I would say this. You may be hiding out somewhere today. One of these days, God's going to call your name and you're going to wonder where that came from. It came from a God who warned you about a coming judgment, warned you that one day you'd have to give an account for your life, warned you that one day, you will pay for your sins.
Listen, God doesn't want anybody to be lost. This is why He's got all this in the Scripture. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father. I and the Father are one. God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. What more could God do in expressing His love than give us His Only Begotten Son? Nothing. He did it. So, I want you to see it's really not complicated. When you receive Jesus as your Savior and you understand that, you're receiving the Father. And you're receiving the Holy Spirit. I was saved at the age of twelve. I didn't understand any of this. But you know what? I didn't have to. At twelve years of age, I just needed to know that I'd sinned against God, which was not a question. I needed to know that I'd sinned against God, and that He died on the cross for my sins. And He said that if I'd confess that, yield myself to Him, He'd save me; and He did. And then the enlightenment of who He is and what He's all about came with time.
So it'll be with you. You won't understand everything at first, but I want you to see this: there are no contradictions. There's no difference in the Messiah and the Savior, and Jesus and Lord. Now, do you understand why you can't say, "I believe in God, but I don't want anything to do with that Jesus". Listen, watch this why: because Jesus said, "I and the Father are one". To reject Jesus is to reject the Father. Then where do you go? What's behind the Father? What's behind the Father? Nothing. The world thinks they have all kind of explanations. Let me just say this to you: there's one explanation. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit make up the, listen, make up the creation of this world. They're the ones who created it. And then because of our sin, He sent Jesus to die a bloody death on the cross as an expression of His love for us, He was the only sinless one there's ever been. He came to the cross. He laid down His life. He made it possible for all who believe in Him to be forgiven of their sin. And then to top it all off, He gave the Holy Spirit to walk within us every single day to enable us to face life and face it triumphantly.
And your salvation is based on your response to Jesus as your personal Savior. All will be accountable to Him. And if you'll think about how simple He made it to a twelve-year-old boy, He told me that I was a sinner. Jesus died for my sins. He shed His blood on the cross, and if I were willing to accept Him as my personal Savior, I'd be forgiven. And God would work in my life. That's what I did. That's why I'm where I am, because of the grace of Almighty God. It's yours for the asking, if you will. And Father, I pray that every person who hears this message will have understanding which requires faith, but a faith that results in eternal life. In Jesus's name, amen.