Matthew 16:13-17 ESV
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Who Do People Say?
Many people today, even within the gatherings of the church, have different ideas of who Jesus is in character, in thought and in deed. Many people have a distorted view of who Jesus was and still is, too, because they are being taught “another Jesus” other than the one of the scriptures.
So, who do people today, even within the church gatherings, say Jesus is? Many of them say he was a good man or a prophet, or that he was the (or a) Son of God, but that he was and is not God. Many of them see Jesus as a “good deed doer” who just went around “blessing” everyone, and so everyone liked him and thought well of him. They see him, too, as accepting of all people and tolerant of all lifestyle choices, and they call this “love.”
Regarding his death on a cross for our sins, they see him as one who gave his life up for us so that we can be forgiven our sins and have the hope of heaven when we die, but that he requires nothing of us – no repentance, no obedience, and no submission to his Lordship. They think he sees obedience to himself as legalism and as works-based salvation, so they think that is why he no longer requires them to obey him.
They think, too, that they can continue on in their sinful addictions without guilt now that they are “saved” from their sins, and that heaven is guaranteed them. And, they believe Jesus, thus, is a God of love, mercy, grace and forgiveness, because he removes from them the punishment for their sin and then frees them to continue living in sin guilt free.
But, who do you say?
So, who do you say Jesus is? I believe scriptures teach that Jesus is God, our creator, and the only begotten Son of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is perfect, without sin, fully righteous and holy, pure, truthful and faithful. He is all powerful, all knowing, and he is ever present everywhere all at the same time. And, he always existed with God and as/is God (See: John 1; 1 John 1; Phil. 2; Heb. 1:8-9; Jn. 8:24; Jn. 10:30-33; Col. 2:9).
He is a God of love, grace and mercy, but he is also a God of righteousness and justice. Thus, when he died on that cross for our sins, it was not merely to forgive us our sins, to give us an escape from hell, and to promise us heaven when we die.
For, when he died he became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. When he died, thus, it was to deliver us out of our slavery to sin and to free us to become slaves of his righteousness (2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).
Jesus is also a God of his word, the judge of all humankind. As a God of justice, he will certainly do what he said he would do. And, he said that if we would come after him, we must deny self, take up our cross daily and follow (obey) him. For he said, if we hold on to our old lives, that we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose our lives (die with him to sin and self) for his sake, then we will have eternal life with him (Lu. 9:23-25; cf. Rom. 8:1-17).
Matthew 16:21-23 ESV
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
So, if Jesus was such a “nice guy” who just went around doing good deeds and blessing everyone, then why did they kill him? Makes no sense, right? Right! Because he is a God of love, mercy, and grace, he does not leave us still in bondage to our sins. He doesn’t leave us still in sinful addiction “struggling” every day with sinful practices, regularly giving in, feeling like we just can’t help ourselves and that there is no hope for us.
So, when he walked this earth, he confronted sin in sinful human beings, and he called for them to turn away from their sinful practices and to follow him in obedience to his will and to his ways. And, he is still saying the same thing today. And, that is why they hated him, i.e. it was the main reason, and because he claimed to be God, which is who he is, and because he didn’t follow all the religious practices of the Pharisees (the hypocrites). And, this is why they persecuted him and hung him on a cross to die.
And, many people today, even within the gatherings of the church, are still persecuting Jesus and his messengers, and they are still putting him to death in their hearts and lives. For, they are following after “another Jesus” that permits them to continue in their sinful practices and who says nothing to them about it, but who just loves on them and even smiles at them and delights in them even when they are vegging out on porn in defiance of Him.
So, they have actually adjusted their beliefs to incorporate this false Jesus with his cheap grace gospel so that they can commit adultery against their Lord and be “in bed” with other lovers without guilt, and even with the blessings of many church leaders and supposedly “God.” They have moved righteousness out of the way to make room for this cheap grace substitute to be the driver, the motivation, and the inspiration of their lives.
So, they have moved from having the possibility of life eternal with God to a position of still dead in their sins and bound for hell. And, they have embraced this cheap grace, which is “easy believism” that makes no demands on its adherents regarding morality, honesty, righteousness, integrity, honor, and faithfulness, etc. But, instead, it coddles them in their sin, and that is why so many are making room for this in their hearts, and it is why they are shutting out of their lives the Jesus of the Bible.
Matthew 16:24-27 ESV
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.”
This is a reprise of what was said earlier. We have to get this, for our future and our eternity depends on us believing this, which will be evident in how we live our lives. Jesus didn’t die on that cross merely to forgive us our sins and to promise us heaven when we die. He died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
If we buy into this cheap grace gospel, and we think that heaven is guaranteed us based on some confession of faith in Jesus Christ, then we must know that is not the truth. True faith in Jesus Christ will result in transformed lives of the Spirit of God away from lifestyles of sin to walking in obedience to our Lord one day at a time. Daily, by the Spirit, we are putting to death the deeds of our flesh, and we are putting on Christ and his righteousness in how we live our lives day in and day out.
When Jesus returns for his bride and to judge the people of this earth, he is going to judge us on the basis of what we have done. If we walked (in practice) according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. If we sowed to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (decay, death), not eternal life. If we make it our practice to commit adultery, lie, cheat and the like, we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8).
But, if we walk in the Light as he is in the Light, we have fellowship with him and with one another, and his blood cleanses us from all sin. If we walk according to the Spirit of God, and we are putting to death, by the Spirit, the deeds of the flesh, then we have eternal life with God. And, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life with God.
Praise Be Told!
An Original Work / December 28, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
He was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for all our sin.
Our chastisement was upon Him.
By His stripes, we now are healed.
He has witnessed all our trials,
And the sins we choose to wear.
Yet, while we were dead in our sin,
Jesus died, our sins to bear.
He himself bore all of our sins
In His body on a cross,
So that we might die to our sin,
And live for His righteousness.
By faith in the pow’r of Jesus
And His blood shed for our sins,
We can be forgiven our sin,
And have life with God in heav’n.
He will lead us and He’ll guide us
In the way that we should go.
He will comfort and protect us,
Because Jesus, we do know.
Though He disciplines for our good,
He will heal us – Praise be told!
Do not fear, your Lord is with you.
Just have faith in Christ your Lord.
Monday, July 22, 2019