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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Robert Jeffress » Robert Jeffress - What Every Christian Should Know About Jesus Christ - Part 2

Robert Jeffress - What Every Christian Should Know About Jesus Christ - Part 2

Robert Jeffress - What Every Christian Should Know About Jesus Christ - Part 2
TOPICS: What Every Christian Should Know, Jesus

Hi, I'm Robert Jeffress, and welcome again to "Pathway to Victory". Every year at Christmas, we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, but in doing so, sometimes we forget that Jesus existed long before he came to earth as a baby, and he's still at work today. During this next half hour, I'll show you three distinct events in the life of Jesus and their importance in our lives today. My message is titled "What Every Christian Should Know About Jesus Christ," on today's edition of "Pathway to Victory".

Jesus, during his 33 years, suffered. He suffered the betrayal of his friends, the insults of his enemies, the misunderstanding of even his own family, but most importantly, Jesus suffered the agony of the cross. What did the death of Christ accomplish for us? Again, there was nothing unique about crucifixion. It's estimated that 30,000 people were crucified, during Christ's life here on earth, by the Romans, but what made his death unique is what it accomplished. 2 Corinthians 5:21, says, "God made Him, Jesus, who knew no sin, to become sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him".

In some inexplicable way, God took all of our sin, and he wrapped it around Jesus, and he took all of the righteousness, the perfection of Jesus and wraps it around those of us who trust in him, and the result was, we have eternal life. When God looks at you as a Christian, he no longer sees your sin. He sees the righteousness of his Son. How do we know that Jesus's sacrifice actually accomplished what it was meant to do? You heard Andy and the choir sing, just a moment ago, some of Jesus's final words on the cross when he said, "It is finished," "tetelestai," in Greek, literally, "paid in full". And, by the way, you can't separate the crucifixion from the Resurrection. The Resurrection is proof that Jesus's gift was acceptable to God.

If Jesus had remained in that grave then it meant, like, every other person, he died for his own sins, but Romans 4:25, says, "He was raised for our justification". His Resurrection proves that God accepted his offer for us. Jesus suffered. You know, grief counselors will tell you that, if you're tryin' to help somebody who's going through a difficult time, whatever you do, don't ever say, "I know what you're going through," because, more often than not, you and I don't know what they're going through. There's only one person who's qualified to say, "I know what you're going through," and that's Jesus Christ. The fact is he has suffered and experienced everything we've experienced. I heard one commentator say this week, "When Jesus took on human flesh, he wasn't putting on a Halloween costume. He wasn't pretending to be something he wasn't. No, he actually became flesh, and he experienced every heartache we experience".

Dorothy Sayers describes it beautifully when she writes, "For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is, limited, suffering and subjected to sorrows and death, God had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game God is playing with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He cannot exact anything from man that He's not exacted from Himself. He Himself has gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain, humiliation, defeat, despair and even death. When Jesus was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it all worthwhile".

What does that mean to us? It means, when we talk to Jesus, we're not talking to some distant deity who doesn't understand what we're going through. In Hebrews 4:14-16, the writer says, "For we don't have a high priest who can't sympathize with our weaknesses, was One who was tested in all points as we are, and, yet without sin. Let us come boldly with confidence to the throne of grace, that we might receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need". Thirdly, Jesus prioritized his relationship with God during his 33 years here on earth. If we're a disciple of Jesus, if we're a follower of Jesus, we're gonna follow that same priority, making God the priority of our lives.

Let me just mention three ways he prioritized his relationship with God. He prioritized his Father's word. There's no indication that Jesus, when he was in that manger, had a knowledge of Scripture just automatically poured into his heart; there was a data dump of Bible verses into Jesus's being. He learned the Scriptures. We see that in Luke chapter 2 verse 47. He grew in his understanding of God. He memorized and meditated on the Scripture. It was an important part of his life, and you see that illustrated in Luke chapter 4, verses 1 to 13, in his temptation by Satan in the wilderness. Now, you know, in epic battles between good and evil in the world of Marvel Comics or "Star Wars," universes, whenever good and evil clash with one another, it's described in terms of energy pulses that change the landscape of the earth or lightning bolts that come from fingertips. It's very dramatic. But Jesus used a weapon, when confronting evil, far more powerful than energy pulses and lightning bolts. He used the Word of God.

You've heard me say this before, but it bears repeating: When Satan tempted Jesus at a level of temptation none of us has ever experienced, how did Jesus repel those temptations? By quoting Scripture, and the Scripture he repeated each of those three times came from the book of Deuteronomy. You know, most Christians can't even find the book of Deuteronomy, much less know how to use it and how to use the precise verses that will help us combat Satan's temptation, but priority of God's Word was a part of Jesus's life. He prioritized his Father's Word. Secondly, he prioritized his Father's presence. Being with his heavenly Father, connecting with him was vital for Jesus's survival. We often talk about Mark 1:35. It's a verse that records what happened the next day after Jesus's busiest recorded day in ministry, how he administered late into the evening.

The Bible says, on the next morning, Mark 1:35, "In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, he left the house, and went to a secluded place and was praying there". I just came on this verse, this week, that shows that that wasn't a one-time event. Luke 5:16, says, "Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray". Now think about it: If spending time in the early morning before anything else was a priority for Jesus, it was necessary for his spiritual survival, how much more important was it for ours? He put a priority on connecting with God. By the way, he didn't do it just alone. Jesus found an equally effective way to connect with God, it's not an either/or; it's both/and was in worship with other Christians. That's how he connected to the presence of God. Luke 4, tells us, immediately, after that temptation in the wilderness, you know where he went?

Luke 4:16, says, "He went to Nazareth and entered into the synagogue as was his custom". It was his habit to be involved in worship once a week with other believers. That was vital for his connection to his heavenly Father. We're glad to have everybody who worships with us online and watches "Pathway to Victory". That's great, but it's no substitute for in-person worship. We all need the connection, the energy to God that comes from being with other believers. Thirdly, Jesus prioritized his Father's will, and one time, the disciples were concerned that Jesus wasn't getting enough to eat. He said, "Don't worry about that". John 4:34, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work". Obeying God, saying, "Yes," to his commands, and "No," to his prohibitions, that was the cornerstone of Jesus's life, and it should be of ours as well.

You know, let's be honest. For most of us, our problem is not that we don't know what God wants us to do. It's deciding whether we are going to do what God wants us to do. We know what God's will, we may not know our future, but we know God's will for us. Jesus made obeying God the cornerstone of his life. George W. Truett, who was pastor here for 50 years, once defined success this way: He said, "Success is knowing the will of God and doing it". Doing it. That was the cornerstone of Jesus's life. We've talked about Jesus before Christmas, in heaven, from eternity past, what he was doing. We've talked about what he did during his 33 years here on earth. What is he doing in heaven today? Remember, after 40 days, in his resurrected body, Jesus gathered his disciples on the Mount of Olives? He made this prophecy. He said, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and to the remotest part of the earth". And then Jesus ascended into heaven. The disciples were gawking at that.

And remember, in verse 11, the two angels said, "Why are you staring into heaven? This same Jesus is returning one day". Now, we know what we're supposed to be doing until he comes again. We're to go and to make disciples, but what is Jesus doing in heaven right now? Two things I wanna mention to you: First of all, Jesus is advocating our case before his Father. He's advocating our case before his Father. Hebrews 7:25, says, "He always lives to make intercession for them". Now, I wanna confess to you, the way I've understood that in the past and perhaps even preached it was thinkin', "Well, yeah, Jesus is in heaven, praying for us". But then I began to think of it, "Okay, if Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, the Father, why would Jesus be bowing his head and praying for us when his Father's right next to him? I mean, it doesn't make any sense to me".

And I came to realize, that word, "intercession," isn't a synonym for "prayer". It literally means "to intervene for". He is intervening for us in heaven right now. And to fully understand what that means is, 1 John 2:1, John says, "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous". That word, "advocate," can mean "lawyer". Jesus is our lawyer. He's arguing our case before God, the Father. Now, when do you need a lawyer? When you're being sued, right, Doug? You need a good attorney if somebody's tryin' to drag you into court, put you into jail. You want an advocate. You want a lawyer. We have an advocate. Why do we need a lawyer? Because we have somebody who's prosecuting us day and night before God the Father. His name is Satan.

In Revelation 12:10, he's described as "the accuser of the brethren, who day and night is accusing God's children before God, the Father". Right now, at this very moment, Satan is not down here on earth. He's not sitting next to you, whispering into your ear. That's the work of demons. Satan, the Bible says, is before God, the Father, slamming us, prosecuting us, accusing us, arguing why he ought to be able to take us to hell forever, but while he is prosecuting us, we have an advocate seated next to the judge of the world. His name is Jesus Christ, and day and night, he is pleading our case before the Father, reminding the Father of what he accomplished on our behalf. Jesus is advocating our case before the Father. Secondly, Jesus is building a home for us in heaven. Now, we don't have time to get into this.

2 Corinthians 5:8, says, the moment we die, we go to be with the Lord. "To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord". That's the third heaven, where God is, wherever that is, but that third heaven is not our final home. The final home for all believers will be the new earth and the new heaven, and the centerpiece of that newly re-created earth will be a new capital city called the New Jerusalem. It's gonna be 1,500 miles long, wide, and high. Revelation 21, John says, "I saw that city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven to earth". Jesus right now is in heaven, preparing a place for us, John 14. That new Jerusalem is what I call "the ultimate in prefab housing". It's being built someplace else, and it's being built by the greatest carpenter of all time. Jesus Christ is overseeing that, John 14, says, and one day, it's going to come out of heaven to earth. He's building a home for us.

Now, I've got about six minutes left, and this is the most important part of the sermon. What does all of this information about Jesus Christ mean to us today? How does it affect us today? You know, there's a term in our culture called "parting gift". We talk about parting gifts. I looked it up. The origin of that phrase actually is from TV game shows in the '60s and the '70s. When a contestant lost, didn't make the final cut, and didn't win the grand prize, and it was time for him to exit, the host would say, "Well, we've got some parting gifts for you as you leave the stage". From my own game-show stint, 40 years ago, we still have, Amy and I, some of our parting gifts: some microwave cookware, Shasta beach towel that didn't hold up that great, but we still have it anyway. But we understand parting gifts to mean a consolation prize that you receive.

When Jesus was ready to leave the world stage, instead of receiving a parting gift, he gave a parting gift to all of us, and instead of being a consolation prize, it was the grand prize of them all. He describes it in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful". What kind of peace does Jesus give us? First of all, he gives us peace about our past. He offers us peace about our past. I read, this week, some sage advice that came from an Army Ranger. He said, "If you're ever an Army Ranger, in a Black Hawk helicopter, about to land in the dead of night and capture the next Osama bin Laden, here's what you need to do: legs in, rear tight, mind blank, goggles down, bolts checked, straps pulled, grenades tested, and relationship to God figured out".

It's great advice. When you're facing the end, make sure your relationship with God is right. All of us have sins in our background that we're fearful that what if God decides to judge us for those sins? But the death of Jesus Christ means our sins are forgiven and forgotten forever. That's what Jesus's coming means to us. Psalm 103, verse 12, says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far God has removed our transgressions from us". We never need to fear of the condemnation of God. He offers us peace about our past. He offers us peace about the present. Jesus never promised us that we would be exempt from problems. He said, "In this world, you will have tribulation," but he also said, "I will be with you through those problems. I'm not going to abandon you". Matthew 28:20, "Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the age". Hebrews 13:5, "I will not leave you as orphans. I will neither leave you, nor will I desert you".

And, finally, Jesus offers us peace about our future. Let's all admit it. Sometimes we wonder what's going to happen to us when we die. When we die, do we just close our eyes and enter into a nothingness we're not even aware of, or is there something beyond death? And if there is something beyond death, if there is a heaven and a hell, how can I know for sure that I'm not going to end up in hell and I'm gonna be with God forever? How do I know that for sure? I'd been reading the new autobiography of novelist James Patterson. James Patterson's not a Christian, agnostic, at best, but in his story, he tells about a good friend of his, who was a very devout Catholic. The friend was terminally ill, only had a few days left to live, and Patterson went to visit with him, and his friend wanted to call for the priest to have one final talk with him.

So the parish priest entered the hospital room, and the patient, on seeing the priest, just stared at him, really glared at him with a stone-cold expression. Patterson said it really got to be uncomfortable after a few moments, and, finally, the patient started shaking his rigid finger at the priest and said, "You'd better be right". What are you trusting in? Who are you trusting in for your eternal future? If it's some priest, some pastor, some philosopher, they may or may not be correct.

There is only one reliable source to entrust your future to. It's the only one who's ever lived in heaven and come back to tell us what it is and how to get there. His name is Jesus Christ. He's the one who said, "'Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You believe in God, believe also in Me. For in My Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would've told you. For I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.' And Thomas, one of the apostles, said, 'Lord, we don't know where you are going. How can we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.'" Jesus Christ not only pointed the way to heaven. Jesus is the way, the only way to heaven. That's what every Christian needs to know about Jesus Christ.
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