Who Do You Say That I am?
“Now… Jesus… 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?"—Matthew. 16:13-15
With that brief question, Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they could ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some very bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.
Who do you say Jesus is? Your own response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle but more importantly, it will determine your eternal destiny.
Consider what the Bible says about Jesus Christ:
Jesus is God
While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was simply deranged. Still, others couldn't decide or didn't care. But Jesus said, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh, perfectly equal with His Father in heaven.
God is a pure, personal Spirit of infinite perfections. He is the limitless, all-glorious, all-knowing and all-powerful Being who exists eternally in three distinct Persons. These Persons are; the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. Each of these Persons is fully GOD and there’s only One God. The union of the Being of God contrasted with the distinction of the Persons naturally defies human comprehension and remains a most glorious and vast mystery.
Many people misunderstand Jesus’ claim to be God. They're content to think of Him as little more than an historic moral teacher. Yet His enemies did not make this mistake. They understood perfectly what Jesus was claiming to be, which is why they attempted to stone Him and in the end they had Him crucified on the charge of blasphemy. If the biblical claims of Jesus are true then He is unarguably: “God of God, Light of Light; very God of very God.” John 5:18; 10:33, John 19:7, Nicene Creed
Jesus is holy
God is absolutely and perfectly holy therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil.Isaiah 6:3,James 1:13 Holiness is moral perfection and the opposite of sin and wickedness.
Because Jesus was fully God, He embodied every element of God's character. Colossians 2:9 says, "In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form." Jesus therefore was perfectly holy, "He was without sin…” (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn't prove any accusation against Him.John 8:46
God is the epitome of holiness, and He requires the same holiness of each of us.Matthew 5:48 The words of God are very clear, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:16)
Jesus saves from sin
Our failure to obey God — our lack of holiness — sentences us to eternal punishment.2 Thessalonians 1:9, Romans 2:8 The truth is we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. Humans are by nature, rebellious toward God.Ephesians 2:1-3 The Bible calls our rebellion ‘sin.’ And absolutely everyone is guilty of it: "There is no man who does not sin" (1 Kings 8:46). "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We are all sinners and utterly incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, "Can the…leopard [change] its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil."
That doesn't mean we are unable to be kind and helpful. We might even be involved in religious or humanitarian activities. But we're utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own, by His standards. The Bible says, "There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one" (Romans 3:10-12).
Sin is breaking God’s Holy Commands. Some examples of His commands are: Do not steal; Do not take the Name of the LORD in vain; Do not bear false witness, etc.Exodus 20 God judges anyone who breaks one of His commandments guilty, liable to death eternally in hell – a place of unending torment, seperated from God’s love and everything good. This can sound quite harsh. God, who cannot at any time be unjust, must punish all wrongdoing. God’s perfection and purity is eternally infinite and therefore sin against Him always incurs infinite justice by an unending penalty.
"The soul who sins will die" (Ezekiel 18:4). That can be difficult to understand because we tend to evaluate our sin on a relative scale, presuming some sins more or less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all sin is the result of sinful thinking and evil desires coming from deep within us. According to the bible, we are NOT good people who have committed sin; we’re all thoroughly sinful people doing what comes most naturally to us – sinning. That's why simply changing our patterns of behaviour can't solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. What we need is God’s forgiveness for the sins we have committed and His righteousness to cover us. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires become God-centred.
Jesus is the only One who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: "There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other Name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Even though God's justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a perfect Saviour who paid the penalty by dying for sinners: "Christ...died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus’ death on the horrific Roman cross was to be a substitute for everyone who turns to Him and believes in Him. The death of the perfect Jesus Christ (God in flesh) in our place enables us to be forgiven without God lowering His perfect standard of justice.Romans 3:26 John 3:16 says, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." Jesus Christ alone is "our great God and Saviour" (Titus 2:13).
Jesus justifies sinners
Jesus Christ is the perfect substitute for His people through His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the grave. The process by which He rescues those who believe, is called justification; which is a judicial declaration by God that the sinner is fully redeemed from their debt of sin and given the righteousness of God to cover their sinfulness.2 Corinthians 5:21
God the Father is utterly JUST and Jesus (God the Son – God in flesh) is utterly PERFECT. Humans are neither just nor perfect, thus we’re the ones in desperate need of rescue from God’s just wrath. Because of God’s perfect justice, He will never acquit the guilty and so a substitute must be found to stand in sinner’s place – a perfect and holy substitute.
God has provided that perfect substitute in Jesus Christ, who took all of the rightful wrath sinners deserve by dying on the cross and thereby paid the eternal debt they had incurred because of sin.
Romans 3:21-25a, “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness…”
Jesus alone saves! Through Jesus’ perfect and sinless life He fulfilled all righteousness and on the cross He paid every debt for all who’d believe in His Name.Matthew 3:15 Therefore any and all who will come to Him and believe Jesus, will be justified by God’s free grace.Romans 10:13; Acts 2:21
This justification is given to sinners based on nothing in them, or done by them. Jesus is a perfect Saviour, saving to the uttermost all those who believe in Him.Hebrews 7:25
Jesus is the only true object of saving faith
Some people think it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere. But without a valid object, faith is useless, even deadly.
If someone gives you poison — advising you that it’s medicine — all the faith in the world won't save your life when you drink it, no matter how sincere you are. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you're trusting in something/someone other than Him, sadly your faith is both useless and will prove to be VERY deadly.
Some people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6). He didn't claim to be one of many paths to God; He claimed to be the only true way to God.
Jesus is Lord
It’s fashionable today to believe that mankind is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God; to love, worship, serve, and enjoy an endless relationship with Him.
The New Testament reveals that Jesus is the Person who created everything.John 1:3; Colossians 1:16 Therefore He rightly owns and rules everything, which means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him nothing less than absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.Psalm 103:19
Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved." Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority.Philippians 2:10-11 Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His physical resurrection — the pinnacle of the Christian faith and proof of all Jesus’ claims.Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31 Jesus did indeed die and yet death could not hold Him. He rose triumphantly, providing victory over death, sin and hell for everyone who follows and trusts Him as their God and Saviour.
True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are at the core a sinful person, confessing your sins to Him, asking His forgiveness, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin by pursuing holiness.Isaiah 55:7 Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" (John 14:15); and "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine" (John 8:31). He means us to obey all that He taught.
It isn't enough to believe certain facts about Jesus Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God, but they don't love or obey Him.James 2:19 Their faith is not genuine or saving. True saving faith always responds with affection and obedience.Ephesians 2:10
Jesus is the Sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His Lordship and submitting to Him. That doesn't mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There won’t be any area of your life that you desire to withhold from Him.
Jesus is the judge
All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will one day face Him as their Judge: "God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:30-31).
2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power."
How will you respond?
Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The Living and true God, the Holy One, the Saviour, the Justifier, the only true object of saving faith, the Sovereign Lord and Righteous Judge.
Who do you say Jesus is? It is the inescapable question. Jesus alone can redeem you and free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to right relationship with God, and give your life eternal value. Will you repent and trust entirely in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour?
If you desire to know more about this message please use the contact details below to get in touch; we’re more than willing to help.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||John 5:18; 10:33, John 19:7, Nicene Creed|
|2.||↑||Isaiah 6:3,James 1:13|
|5.||↑||2 Thessalonians 1:9, Romans 2:8|
|9.||↑||2 Corinthians 5:21|
|11.||↑||Romans 10:13; Acts 2:21|
|13.||↑||John 1:3; Colossians 1:16|
|16.||↑||Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31|