Who is He (and What is He to You)

You are listening to:Who is He (and What is He to You)

NLCF Worship Service |
Sermon Series: The Ins And Outs of God |
December 25, 2022 |
John 1:3-5


Who is he and what is he to you? Who is he and what is he to you? 

Who is he? And what? Is he to you? Amen, I know the Prophet Bill Withers was talking about a different situation, he thought. His woman was creeping on him, and so that was what he was talking. He said, yeah, you know, when you cleared your thought was that your queue? Who is he? And what is he to you? But I’m not talking about what the Prophet Bill Withers was talking about. I’m talking about none other than Jesus. Amen, and I have a question for you that he put to music which is who is he Jesus and what is He to you? 

Amen, that was the title of an entire sermon series that we did when we explored the book of John several years back and was the book of John and we went from John Chapter one all the way through John 21 and we explored all of those texts and I believe it was over 60 messages. That I preached on the book of John, verse by verse, paragraph by paragraph, Amen. And it just seemed fit today. That we just clamped down on these three verses because these three verses and John chapter one really answer that question. It really brings that question to the fore Amen and it also as we talk about the ins and outs of God this series. That we’re in. This is the beginning part, as the Apostle John opens up John Chapter one and John is not one for greetings. Amen, John doesn’t do the whole this is me, but grace and peace to you, John. Every book he writes he just jumps right in. Then he. He dives in hard Amen, and so it actually is fitting with that as well. In the beginning was the word and. The word was. With God and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him. All things were made without him. Nothing was made that has been made in him was life. And that life was the light of men, and the light shines in the darkness. But the darkness has not understood it. I, I’m just going to spend a few moments today talking about. This Jesus and the reason it’s important that we talk about Jesus and we talk about who he is because if you can get an appreciation of who he is and you can see him for who he is, it’s got to inform your decision around what he means to you. The stakes are high beloved. The stakes are really high. I had a conversation recently with some of my – a couple of my fraternity brothers and I was. In New York. And as I was just I was just saying. This this handling of Jesus. It it has an eternal weight. And I wouldn’t be a friend. I wouldn’t be a fraternity brother. I wouldn’t be. I couldn’t tell you that I loved you and not when I see you and have an opportunity to remind you about this eternal decision that needs to be made, I wouldn’t. I really wouldn’t be a friend. This has eternal consequences where you spend Eternity is pretty darn Important, so if I believe what I believe I’ve, I’ve got a I’ve got to — with some urgency when I interact with you, Slip this in Amen. I gotta talk about Jesus I have to because it’s only through Jesus, beloved that God says that we can have a relationship with him. He seeks an — he — come on. He seeks an eternal love relationship with us and he says the only way that you can get that done is through Jesus Christ. Why, because Jesus Christ is the one who allows you to be able to get the one thing that you don’t have, which is what? Righteousness For in this gospel, Romans once says, a righteousness from God from God is revealed from faith to faith as it is written, that just shall live by faith. Amen, in this gospel message that we talked about, we talked about this a couple of weeks ago or righteousness from God is revealed. Righteousness as we’ve said many times, is the what? — the currency of the Kingdom. It’s not your Money. Your pockets could be as fat as they as they as they have ever been and that currency in your pocket is not going to help you in eternity. Amen you cannot take it with you, but you can send it on ahead Amen what you can send on a head is what you do for Christ, because that’s what will last. Everything else will fade as the future becomes the past. Come on now. Righteousness is the currency of the Kingdom. You and I don’t have it, and we can only get it through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Neither is there salvation in any other, for there’s no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be. And John 17. Jesus says this, and this is. Eternal life that they may know you the one true God. And your son, Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Amen, and so this is important. And so how we handle Jesus is important and and so. On this day, where the world is celebrating. The birth of of Christ and and there’s no place in Scripture where we’re instructed to to observe the birth of Christ or celebrate it. But it is an opportunity because people’s hearts can be a little bit more tender during this time. To hear something about the Jesus that you should hold dear in your life. Here’s an opportunity for you to remind them who this Jesus is, and they say. Who is he? And more importantly, what? 

Is he to you? 

And I know what he better be. If you want to be in a relationship with God and you want to have eternal life, which is the end game, you know what it is. It’s like the final jeopardy question. Now you can clear the Board in Jeopardy and you can do really well in double Jeopardy. But you can lose everything if you don’t get the final jeopardy question correct. And and the jeopardy I’m talking about, you have to put all your money up. You can’t do a calculation and say I’m just going to risk this in this final jeopardy. Whatever you’ve got, you got to put up, and if you don’t get this question right, you will lose everything. And the question is who is he? And what is he to you? And if you don’t even know who he Is then you’re not gonna be able to answer. The question at all, so we’re talking about Jesus and there’s so much theology here, and I’m not going to. I’m not going to hit you real hard with it. But I want to leave you with a couple of things that you can think about, and I want you to think about these things in relation to how you can in the upcoming weeks and days and months as we end the year to start thinking about how I can recommit my life to telling. Others about the Jesus that’s in me. Where are the stakes? They’re here. This is the final jeopardy question. And many of us in life do really well in jeopardy and double jeopardy. But if you if you if you don’t do well on final jeopardy, you can’t win Amen. And that’s what it’s all about. And so to see that that the apostle John says in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word God was God. He was in the. And he was with God. In the beginning that John very quickly is telling us he is, he’s emphasizing he’s putting the emphasis on his Jesus’s eternity with God. He’s putting an emphasis on his mutuality with God, and he’s putting an emphasis on his equality with God. Amen, he was with him in the beginning. He was God. He was like in the beginning. This eternity he was with God, that’s mutuality. He was God that’s equality, Amen. Those are. Really, really bold and powerful theological statements. And he says the same was in the beginning with God. It’s a reminder of the Trinity of God, Amen. He’s kind of setting up as he does in the in the book of John. To really answer this question, the entire book of John is really about one. Thing and is found in John Chapter 20 and verse 31. As he gets near the end, he reveals what is the purpose he says. But these things are written that he may. What believe that Jesus Christ, that Jesus is the. Christ and the son of God, and that by believing you might have. Life in his name. John says I’m going through all of this for one reason, that everything that I’m writing down here. Everything is so that you may believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and that by believing you might have life in it. And so he says, I gotta start out to tell you a little bit about him and I’m going to build it up. And then I’m going to show you a case of when he talks about his. I am statements and I’m gonna show you his miracles. And I’m doing all of this because I’m really trying to build up for you understanding of who Jesus is so that you can make the right decision on what he should mean to you. So in verses one and two, he’s saying he’s the word in the beginning was the what the word? So he’s he’s affirming that he is the word and then we get to our text in three through 5. And it’s very simple. He really is saying three things and it’s and these three things are at the the last of which has really been a theme all day. A thing that the Holy Spirit. Put together that the musicians picked up on that, the children picked up on and that God has orchestrated for our edification and benefit. And sorry if I’m excited about that, but I am. And guess who else should be excited? You you should be excited. You don’t sound excited, but it’s OK. I know your excitement is on the. 

Inside dear God. 

You’re just holding it in. Maybe you’re holding it in and holding it back because you want to see where I’m going with it. OK, I’m going somewhere y’all coming with me. Amen, let’s let’s let’s go someplace where he says through him. All things were made without him. Nothing was made that has been made. You can’t make a more definitive statement that Jesus. Is the create. Amen, he is the creator, and there’s a there’s a phrase in the the Latin. I believe it’s called ex nihilo, which means out of nothing. Amen Jesus created the world’s literally out of nothing. He spoke them into existence. I love that. In in Hebrews Chapter 11 it it tells us I gotta find it really quick cause I want to read it to you. It’s it’s it starts out in Hebrews 11. It says now faith is the substance of things. Hope for the evidence of things not. Seen verse three says through faith we understand that the world’s were framed by the word of God, so that nothing which are seen was made out of things which do appear Amen. He spoke it into existence, Amen. You have to understand and I and we need to be reminded that Jesus not only is the is he the word. But he is the. Creator and he spoke things out of what? And 1st Corinthians 8 and six days. But to us there is but one God, the father of whom are all things, and we and him and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him, for whom all things for the father and we in him, and one Lord Jesus, by whom are all things, and we by him he is the. Creator, Amen. That’s where it starts. But that’s not where it ends, because the second thing that God is through Jesus Christ is right there in verse 4. And I absolutely love it. And if I were you, I would be excited about it. In him was life. And that life was the light of men. Not only is he the creator, he is the life giver. He’s the life giver. He is the. Life giver this is this is crucial to understand and Jesus talks throughout the Gospels and particularly in John about his. Come on somebody. His connection to life. These things were written that he may believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and by believing he may have what I just told you, life. In his name, one of our favorite verses that Jesus says in John 10 and 10 and says I came that they might have life and have it. More abundantly Amen John 3 excuse me John 3 and 36 says he that believeth on the son half everlasting life and he that believeth not the son. Of God shall not. See life, but the wrath of God abideth. On him, he says you won’t even see life if you don’t have Jesus. You might be living, but it’s more like dead man walking, Amen. Amen. 

You’re you’re you, you you. 

You’re you’re showing some movement, but it’s it’s. It’s not real life. Jesus says I came to give you real life and I came to give you even more importantly abundant life Amen. And then first John John John says is that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled. The word of life for the life was manifested and we have seen it and bear witness and show unto you that eternal life which was with the father, and was manifested to us Jesus over and over and over. Jesus says, I’m about that. I’m about that life. Matter of fact, three of the seven I am statements that he makes in the book of John Concerned Life. He says I am the. Bread come on somebody. I’m the bread of life and he tells you that I’m the bread of life right after he has fed 5000 people. So just to make sure that you understood the point, he says literally, I am the bread of life. This is the bread that came down from heaven, your your forefathers. They matter and. Die, but he who feeds on this bread. Will live. Forever I’m the living bread that came down from heaven. I am the bread of life. Mary and Martha. Martha told them, she said, do you believe that your brother will rise again? He said, yeah, I believe that he’ll rise at the resurrection on the on the on that last day. Nah Nah girl let me tell you some. I am the resurrection. And the life he that believeth on me, though he were dead. Yet shall he live see and you do that after you. When you’re getting ready to raise somebody from the dead, not somebody that had been dead for an hour, not somebody that had been dead for a day, but somebody. That being what we call graveyard dead. Somebody that was dead for four days. Somebody when they when they say when you go to that grave, I don’t think you want to open that up because he’s stinking by now. And literally he told Lazarus to come forth and I guarantee you, if he had not called him by name, everybody in that cemetery would have got up. He said right now, not not not right now. I’m only looking for one. I’m just I just need one, Lazarus come forth because if he had just said everybody here, let’s get up. Everybody would have got up. Because he confirmed I am the resurrection and the life. And then in John 14 he says I am the way, the truth and the life no man. Cometh unto the father, but by me. So again Jesus says, I am the the life and I’m talking about life I’m talking about real life I’m talking about being the bread of life I’m talking about him being the resurrection and the life the way, truth and the life. And here’s where it gets interesting, at least in my exploration of the text. We love to talk about Jesus giving us. Life, because that’s pretty important because we’re we’re living. Excuse me and we’re. And we’re breathing, and that is great. He is the. He is the. Life giver, but that’s not all that God wants to do for you. God always wants to do more for you. Then you want done. You want, let’s be real though. We we want God to do a lot. But we got to get on his page in terms of what he wants to do, and so when I talk about he wants to do more for you than you want done. I’m I’m I’m just saying you. What God wants to do for you. You might not necessarily. Be asking for. We already talked about that. That’s that’s that Psalms 27. That’s that’s that when we say we should be praying. To dwell with him. Amen there that I might dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life. To behold the what the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple, that really is an affirmation of the pursuit of what holiness but most people are not in including the people in this room usually are not concerned with the pursuit of holiness. We’re only concerned with the. Pursuit of happiness. And God is not interested in the pursuit of happiness. He’s only interested in the pursuit of holiness. Now, Joy is another matter, because Joy comes from an intimate relationship with him. Joy is joy is abiding. Come on somebody and if you play it right, it’s abounding. Amen, and Jesus says I want you to abound in joy, but Jesus doesn’t say anything about you being happy. 

That’s your. 

That’s your game. That’s my game, that happiness game. That’s an American game. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights, among which are the life, life, liberty and the pursuit of holiness. No, that’s not what it says. It’s the pursuit of happiness that has messed up more folks because we say it right there. In our founding documents, God is. Not interested in you pursuing happiness. He’s only interested in you pursuing. Holiness, so again we want to talk about life and he is the life bringer. But this this last thing that that is really where we’ve been. We’ve been talking about as a thing today. Again, he is the creator, no doubt about it, and we love the fact that he is the creator and he is also the life giver. But the third thing, the life. A giver, but the third thing he is that is confirmed here in this scripture is he is the light bringer. Light, not just life. But light. But light and he confirms that he is the. I love the fact that if you looked in John 11 and 9, Jesus says Jesus answers and says are there not 12 hours in a day. If a man walk in the day he stumbles, not because he seeth the light of this world. Revelation 21 and 23 says, and the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it for the glory of the Lord did light it, and the lamb is the light. Thereof you better start getting excited about that Lord. Now let us thy servant depart in peace. I’m talking about Simon the the older gentleman, that that that had been praying to see. The Lord’s Salvation to see his Messiah before he passed away. And he said, Lord, now letteth thy servant, depart in peace according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation. And which thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of the people Israel. Jesus is the light. And he affirms himself in his I am statement in John Chapter 8 and verse 12. He says, what and? Verse 8 and 12. He says, when Jesus again spoke to the people, he said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness. But shall have the light. Of life. You see where God is building it here? I’m the I’m the creator. Yep, I am the life giver. Yep, but I’m also the light bringer, and being the light bringer is really important, because if you looked at John Chapter 3, you’ll be reminded of this truth. This is the verdict. Light has come into the world, but men love darkness. Rather than light. Because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly what he has done has been done through God. Do you know when most Dirt gets done? It’s night. Because people like that. Cover of darkness. Amen, it’s the cover of darkness because when the lights come on then you can’t be exposed and so when you creep you try to. Come on somebody you try to creep at night. When I would. Go over to sister Kim’s house when we were. In high school. I would like. For the lights to be. Turned down because I. Knew that Nana at any minute, any minute, could come from upstairs. And some of our activities, if they were exposed to Nana and the light. I might not. Be here today, but the fact that the lights were dim gave us a few more seconds to scramble, Amen. Before we got. Busted, I mean, I didn’t want to do anything that’s really Sister Kim. I was. I was praying and reading my Bible and she. Led the innocent lamb astray, but. You know how that, dear God, you know how it is? But you you want that you want that night? You want that you want that light. You know what, the prophet, Teddy Pendergrass told us? Turn off the light. And do what? And light a candle. And if you don’t do it fast enough, what would teddy do? He’ll scream at. You right turn him off. You want those lights off because we love darkness rather than light. And Jesus is saying not only am I the life ringer, I’m the light and that light illuminates what you do. That light is there. Jesus is the light and it reveals the truth about God that he’s holy. He reveals the truth about man that he’s sinful and he reveals the truth about the world. That it is chaotic. Amen, let me say that again like that, Jesus is the light and it reveals the truth about God. He’s holy man, he’s sinful and the world that it is chaotic. That’s why when you go back to Creation, you’ll see it says in the beginning God created the heavens and the. Earth and the. Earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of the Lord was hovering over the waters. And God said, let there be. Light and there was light, and God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness again, that if you go back to creation you can see it. So clearly that that that there was chaos. It was the world was formless and empty. And God in. His infinite wisdom and his infinite love said let there be light cause I’m. Going to bring order out of chaos. Because the darkness only has chaos, but you also better understand that when the light shows up, the darkness has to flee. It has to. You’ve gotta remember that and that’s why it’s so important to hear the young people say out of Matthew Chapter 5 that Jesus says I’m the light of the world. But then he pivots and the sermon on the. Mountain, he says that what you are the light. Of the world, Amen. He’s saying I want to. Be able to transfer. It’s not sunlight. But it is moonlight. Because we’re supposed. To reflect the light, that’s what Satan got wrong. He thought he was the sunlight, he said. Nah play, you’re not the sunlight I’m the I’m the sun you’re the you’re supposed to be reflecting the light they come. Satan was like no, I’m the son. He said now you got you gotta roll because you’re. Not the sun. You’re supposed to reflect what I what I the, the. Like that I give and he says. Now I want you to do the job that he couldn’t do. I want you to be light reflectors. I want you to be the moonlight to my sunlight. I don’t want to have anything in between the the sun and. The moon so that it might be a good. Clean strong reflection Amen. Nothing in between and that is really what God is trying to do. He is the light. And he said what he said. He said what he said when he declared that he was the light of the world. He was standing in what’s known as the Court of Women in the Temple. And at that time of the festival, it was the Feast of Tabernacles, and they set up these huge candles. That was 75 feet high and they were supposed to remind the people of the pillar of fire. You remember in the Old Testament they that that they moved the the children of Israel moved by the Pillar of fire by night. And the pillow of cloud. The day that there were this Feast of Tabernacles, they they raised these 75 foot high candles, huge candles, four of them to remind the people of the the pillar of fire. And it was said that all over Jerusalem you could see these candles being lit all over. Jerusalem, and in anticipation of these of these candles. Being lit, the the men and women of Israel danced and they sang songs and they praised all night long and it was because there was supposed to be a reminder of the festival that God had promised to send a light into a darkened, sinful world. And at that exact time when they are celebrated. And they think that they have a light that will light all of Jerusalem. That’s when Jesus stands up and said not only will I like Jerusalem, I am the light of the world. I’m the light of the. Now I want you to. Look at something here. Look at the pattern. Of creation. To see what God really wants to do in your life. You got to understand again, he’s the word of God. And we’re focused in this passage. He’s the creator. He’s the life giver. He’s the light bringer. If you look at creation. The first thing he does obviously is it’s in Genesis in Genesis 2 and seven. It says this. The Lord formed the man from the dust of the ground creator. He formed man from the dust of the ground and he breathed into his nostrils the. Breath of life. Life giver. But here’s the part that we miss. And this is what God is trying to do in your life, and then you pivot and the next time you really see God dealing with them, he is. He’s in verse 16 and it says. And the Lord God commanded the man. And he said, what you are free to eat of any tree in the garden. But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And for if you eat of it, that’s when you shall surely die. You’re not if you. If you’re not getting. It it’s creator then it’s life giver. Then it’s light bringer what light is is to be in a relationship with God, where God commands you and you obey him. That was the intimacy that they had, it’s a. It’s a process, God. Says now that I got you to. Life now I want to instruct you. Now I want to command you. Now I want you to be in a place that at the end of Chapter 2 it says the man and his wife were both both naked and felt. No shame they had a intimacy with God because they were responding to his instructions. He said it’s not good for man to be alone. He started to talk to him and he started to give him instructions. About naming animals and doing all of these things, that’s what the light is. He wants to be the creator of your life, he. Already he is. He wants to be the life giver. He already is. But he really wants to bring light to your life and light to God is the instruction that he gives you where he says what he wants done and you and I simply obey. That’s light. That’s the like God wants to bring. That is why Jesus described it. He says I came that they might have what life and have it more abundantly when he’s talking about abundant life. Abundant life is the mixture, it’s the mix. It’s the connection of life that he gives. And then the light that he sheds. He wants to be light in your life. He is the light. Bring your aunt when he brings the light he wants you to respond to the light. If you are seeking in a dark place, if you want to get out of darkness when a light comes on, no matter where it is, you start to move towards the light. But if your deeds are evil and your heart’s not right, when the light comes like a Roach, you run the other way. When the light comes on, you scatter. But if you are looking to be illuminated by the light, if you’re looking to get out of darkness, if you’re looking. And you’re seeking his face and you’re looking to be in his presence when you see the light. Come on, you say, ah, that’s what I’ve been waiting for. I’ve been waiting for some instructions from God. I’ve been waiting to to get to to get. Instruction around how I can be more intimate and how I can be on his page. I I I love to see the light it could because your heart is right and who can stand in his holy heal he that has what clean hands and a pure heart that that’s what he’s talking about how he wants to bring you light not just life not just creation. He wants to. Bring you light because he is the light. 

Of the world. 

And I’ll, I’ll note this as we close, because verse five gives us what I would describe as a note, both of tragedy and triumph. The scripture says it this way. As soon as I find it, I’ve been moving around. He says the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. I believe in the King James says that light cannot overcome it. Both of those concepts are there when we talk about light. It’s try tragedy and triumph. John 319 through 21 really really talks about the fact that, again men. The verdict is in light has come into the world where men love darkness rather than light. They don’t. They don’t. Some folks don’t understand the light, they they can’t. They can’t lay hold of it and they can’t comprehend. The fact that why they can’t is because the scripture tells us in Second Corinthians, I believe that the God of this age has blinded men’s eyes so that they cannot see the glorious light of the gospel. And because men are blind and can’t see, they need somebody to show them the light. Jesus gave you and me the responsibility to show people the light of life, to show people the the light that will get them out of darkness. That’s why these stakes are important. So when you understand that Jesus is the Creator and he is the life giver and he is the light bringer, it should affect then. How you interact with everybody around you. You have the light. Don’t be stingy with it. 

Spread it share. 

Show it because the. Eternal Stakes are here that if we don’t show light, they’ll never have life. They’ll never have real life. They’ll never have abundant life. People around us will be dead men walking, and we just can’t go out like that. We can’t. We got to be able to show the light. Of Jesus Christ and everything that we do. Because the Jesus that somebody sees may be the only Jesus that they ever see that Jesus that’s in you. 

So who is he? 

What is he to you? If you understand he’s the creator and the life life giver and the light bringer it, it’ll help. And and when you understand again that you’re working from a deficit because the God of this age, the enemy is actively and has actively blinded people to the light, so it’s not as if you can just show up, and they’re going to see you got to do some work. Because they’re blind. That means you’re gonna have to interact with people to literally show them the light, and he says they can’t understand that they can’t lay hold of it. But the other thing is, they cannot. Overcome it, either in a good way that means that Jesus says I am the light of the world, and whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness, he’s you. You’ve got a powerful light, but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people that you should show forth. The praise of him. Who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light? What you have in the gospel message where we. Show righteousness where we we show people the path that that can get them, the righteousness that they need. It’s a powerful gospel, Amen. They can’t, they can’t. They can’t necessarily understand it but but but they can’t overcome it either. It’s it. It’s coming and we shine that. In darkness it has to flee. So understand that the gift that God has given us in the gospel message that we not only share, but that we live is is a powerful, a powerful light that can change lives not just for now but for eternity. 

Who is he? 

And what? Is he to you? 

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