by Charles F. Stanley
Scripture: Matthew 16:13-17
I. Introduction: The most important question we face today is not political, military, or economic. Though these are significant, they pale in comparison to the most critical question you will ever answer—Who is Jesus Christ? You cannot afford to ignore Him because your response not only influences your character but also determines your eternal destiny.
II. There is no middle ground when it comes to deciding who Jesus is. Either He is the divine Son of God, or He is a fraud.
III. While many people believe that His life began in Bethlehem, He existed long before that.
- A. As a member of the Trinity, Christ is the eternal Son of God who has no beginning and no end (John 1:1).
- B. Jesus and His Father are linked, so that what is done to one is also done to the other. Therefore, to reject Christ is to reject God (See John 8:29; 10:30; 14:9).
IV. The best way to discover the truth is to find out what the Bible says about Him. Jesus once asked His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:15-17). When Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus explained that the Father had revealed this truth. Like Peter, we need the Lord’s help to comprehend who Jesus is.
V. The Attributes of Christ
- A. Creator—The Son of God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Col. 1:15-17).
- B. Sovereign—He rules over the universe at all times (Ps. 103:19).
- C. Omniscient—The Lord knows all things—past, present, and future.
- D. Omnipotent—Christ demonstrated His divine power by performing miracles and raising the dead.
- E. Omnipresent—Though Jesus took a human form, today the Holy Spirit is ever-present throughout His creation.
- F. Merciful—Jesus is our Great High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses and offers mercy (Heb. 4:15-16).
- G. Lamb of God—Christ was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. His blood brought us forgiveness and continues to cleanse us.
- H. Both God and Man—The Son took on human flesh while still retaining His deity.
VI. Both the Old and New Testaments contain the names of Christ that reveal aspects of who He is. For example:
- A. Emmanuel, which means “God with us,” signifies how He came to earth. Even today, He lives inside every believer.
- B. Deliverer indicates His mission on earth—to rescue us from sin and give us new life.
- C. Chief Cornerstone conveys His supremacy, for no other name provides for our salvation.
- D. King of kings and Lord of lords denote the truth that He is the One who judges and reigns over all. One day, every knee will bow before Him.
VII. The Activities of Christ. Jesus’ ministry didn’t end when He ascended to heaven. He is still actively working on our behalf.
- A. Christ is seated at the Father’s right hand making intercession for us.
- B. Jesus is living within believers through His Holy Spirit, meeting our needs and revealing truth.
- C. He’s preparing a place for us in heaven and will come for us so that we can be with Him forever (John 14:2-3).
- D. The Lord Jesus is also preparing for His return to reign on the earth.
- E. Christ is revealing the Father to us. He shows us that God is our Father and invites us to converse with the Father as He does.
- F. He’s giving us abundant life (John 10:10). Christ wants us to live with peace, joy, and strength in whatever He calls us to do.
- G. Jesus is our Helper through the presence of His indwelling Holy Spirit.
VIII. The Marvel of Christ’s Life. During His earthly ministry, the majority of the world took no notice of Jesus. Yet no one had a greater impact on this world than He. Think of it this way:
- A. Though Christ was born in a stable, kings came to worship Him.
- B. His birth is the event that divides time into B.C. and A.D.
- C. Although many people have hated Him, Jesus’ followers love and worship Him.
- D. He is both the author and subject of the Bible.
- E. Jesus never wrote a song, but thousands have been written that praise His name.
- F. He didn’t travel far from home, yet He influenced the entire world.
- G. Though Christ never built a house, He’s building one for each of us in heaven.
- H. He didn’t practice medicine, yet He’s the Great Physician.
- I. Jesus never marshaled an army, but He’s brought down kingdoms.
- J. The devil couldn’t deceive Him.
- K. Death could not destroy Him.
- L. The grave had no power to hold Him.
IX. Conclusion: Simply learning what the Bible says about Jesus is not enough. Once you’ve heard who He is and what He came to do, you must respond. What will you do with Jesus? To hear the truth and ignore or reject it results in eternal separation from God. The only appropriate response is to believe in Him, receive His offer of salvation, and proclaim Him as Lord.
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