Only Jesus is Lord (part two of five)

by Sean Foster on September 22, 2013

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Acts 4:10-12

Let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.

This Jesus is
“the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.”

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’

I Corinthians 15:3-6

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

Last week we started a new series. We are looking at the five sola’s, or five alones that came out of the Protestant Reformation. These sola’s are beliefs that are core to our identity. They are core to who we are as Christians. They are essentials.

Now we have all heard through advertising that there are certain things that are must haves. Just a few weeks ago with Students and particularly University and College students about to return to school, television, newspapers and radio advertised must haves for every student. You must have this tablet. This computer is a must have, an essential if you are going to succeed at school this year.

Women are told that it is essential that their wardrobes have that little black skirt in the closet. It is a must have.

Guys are told that there are must have tools.

And the list goes on.
• Must have shoes
• Must have clothes
• Must have toys
• Must have apps for your phone.

Employers, when they search for new workers to be part of their company, they have a must have list of qualifications of the people they will hire.

In the dating world, guys have a must have list of qualities they are looking for in a woman; and women have a must have list of qualities they are looking for in a man.

Must haves, are essentials. They are non-negotiable.

Now the same is true of our relationship with Christ, there are must haves. There are essentials that are core to who we are as Christians.

We are a people who believe that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; and that the Bible has the unique authority to speak to these truths; and all of it, is done to the glory of God.

So, last week, we looked at soli Deo Gloria. It is all to the glory of God. And we looked at what it means to make that statement, or to make that confession, that we believe that all glory belongs to God, alone.

This week we look at sola Christus, Christ alone. Which means, that we believe that we are saved, in, and through and by Jesus Christ alone. He is Lord.

This belief…. This doctrine of the Church goes all the way back to the beginning to when the church was first established. It was a central teaching of the Apostles. In John’s Gospel, John records these words of Jesus: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

You see, the early church took these words seriously, and literally. Jesus was central to their lives and to their salvation.

In chapter 4 of the Acts of the Apostles, Luke shares a story where Peter is testifying before the Sanhedrin, the ruling court in Jerusalem. And they are interrogating Peter about a man who he healed. They wanted to know how the miracle happened and how he was saved.

Peter responds, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health. And then having their attention Peter shares the good news with them: that Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name under heaven that is given to humanity by which we can be saved.

Christ alone!

Salvation is only in and through and by Jesus Christ, alone.
• Salvation in Christ alone,
• Redemption in Christ alone,
• Forgiveness in Christ alone,
• The Kingdom of heaven came to the world, through Christ alone.

Christ alone is core. We are Christians, little Christ’s, Followers of Christ. It is central to the belief of the church, and always has been.

So today, I want to walk us through some only Jesus statements. Statements that are only true about Jesus alone.

Only Jesus was fully God and fully human. We confess that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And what this teaches us, is that there is something unique about Jesus. He is not just another gifted teacher, as some thought. He is not a prophet, as some believed, and still believe today. Jesus was, is God in the flesh. He was fully God and yet fully human.

And that teaches us something else about Jesus. The fact that he was fully human, gives God, who took on flesh and lived among us a unique experience that God did not have before. He was fully human, which means that Jesus our God, understands us. He walked among us. He suffered our sufferings. He knew what it was to grieve. He knew pain. He knew hardship, and injustice. He knew what it was to hunger and thirst. He became like one of us.

There was a show, and I’m not sure if it still exists today, I believe it was called Undercover Boss. The premise of the program was that the owner of a large company, or some upper management person of a large company would go under cover and take on the job of one of the entry positions in the company.

The idea was to discover some of the faults of the company to see if there were ways to improve the company. However, what ended up happening is that these under cover upper management people found that they had really good employees. And they gained an appreciation of the work that was done to make the company a success. And because they were undercover, they also heard and listened to the beefs and complaints of the workers. As a result of what they learned they were able to make improvements for the workers.

Now, I know that it is not the perfect illustration, but it is important to realize that God did something really special for us, because of his great love for us. God sent his Son from his heavenly splendor to live among us. There is not other God like this. Only Jesus!

Only Jesus lived a sinless life.
• He did not gossip and talk about others.
• He did not act in greed.
• He did not curse his neighbor.
• He did not cheat, deceive, or take advantage of others.
He lived a sinless life, which means that only Jesus can deal with our problem of sin.

Now, I realize that most people do not like that word sin, and yet, we see it all over the place. The world is not what it should be. You and me, we are not what we should be.

G. K. Chesterton said that sin is the only theological concept that can be proven 100%. Just look at the world he writes.
• It is the reason why parents run out of patience for their children.
• It is the reason why people use promiscuity to deal with their loneliness.
• It is the reason why greed and the thirst for power are like epidemics in our world.
• It is the reason why people bicker and fight.
The list goes on and on.

No matter how hard we try. No matter how many good deeds we do. No matter how much we try to modify or change our behavior, we cannot fix our hearts. Only Jesus.

You see, the real problem with sin, is that by definition, we can’t fix it! I can’t fix it! Because Jesus lived a sinless life, Jesus was able to take on our sin. Jesus took on our sin and took it to the cross. And took it to the grave. Jesus became a ransom for us.

Only Jesus has truly dealt with what separates us from God.

Only Jesus was raised from the dead. If you go back to the time of the first century, one of the facts about that time historically is that Jesus was the only one who was believed to be the Messiah. I mean, you have to remember that the people had been waiting for the Messiah for a long time. People were hopeful that God would send his Messiah to save and redeem them from the oppression of the Romans. According to historians there were 5 or 6 messiah candidates. And all of these so-called messiahs called the people of Israel to deepen their faith. And they all believed that God was using them to restore the Kingdom of Israel to the people.

Now, anyone want to guess what happened to these so-called messiah candidates? Yes, they all died at the hands of the Roman army. Rome would not tolerate those who opposed or challenged their power or rule. They would seek out and kill publically as an example: this is what happens to those who call themselves Messiah. Not only would the so-called messiah be killed, but the followers of these so-called messiahs were also killed.

So, when Jesus, the One whom many people believed to be the one true Messiah; when he is arrested and convicted and then executed dead on a cross and buried in a tomb,…. the followers of Jesus were probably thinking, He wasn’t the Messiah. We have been following the wrong guy.

As you well know from the Gospel accounts and descriptions, this was a terrible disappointment to the disciples and followers of Jesus. This is the biggest reason for why we find these disciples and followers running for their lives and hiding. First, they thought they would be next to be killed, and second, they were embarrassed; we have followed the wrong person. Jesus could not have been the Messiah. Not if he was convicted in a kangaroo court. Not is he died on a cross. Not if his dead body was sealed in a tomb. We were following the wrong guy….

But then something happens that seemingly no expected even though Jesus told them it would. And it can’t be argued, because it is part of the secular historical records. These very same people who followed Jesus before he was killed on the cross, they started to come together again. And they didn’t just come together to catch up and reminisce on old times. No, a radical change happened. These people
• left their jobs
• sold their possessions.
And they devoted themselves and their lives to the message: that Jesus died on a cross, that he was buried in a tomb, and then on the third day, he was raised to life. And not only that, they say him. They physically saw him resurrected from the dead.
• They ate with him.
• They talked to him.
• They walked with him.
• They were able to physically touch him.

Listen to how Paul shares this in his letter to the Corinthians, which Debbie read to us today. He wrote: For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive.

I mean, hear what Paul is saying in what he writes. Jesus is the Messiah. He defeated sin and death and if you don’t believe me, you can ask those who saw him physically resurrected, physically alive. Most of those who saw him after his resurrection are still living today.

Jesus is not just another one of these so-called messiah’s who was killed by the Roman army.
• Yes, Jesus was killed.
• Yes, he died on the cross.
• Yes he was buried in a tomb.
But Jesus is the only one who was raised from the dead. Jesus is the only one who was resurrected.

Only Jesus, the Son of God, could do this.

Only Jesus.

Sola Christus!

Jesus is the only one in history who was raised from the dead and did not die again. Jesus defeated death!

Now, one more thought before I conclude today. I want to end by saying that only Jesus is Lord.

After Jesus resurrection, Jesus followers started to talk about him,… in a particular way. They didn’t just call Jesus, Jesus, they called him Lord Jesus.

Now you might think, what’s the big deal? Isn’t that just a word of respect. Well, yes, but it’s more than that. In the first Century people were not casual about calling someone Lord. Lord was a term that was reserved for God.

Now at this point in the history of the Jewish people, they are surrounded by Romans. And Romans believed in many gods. They were polytheistic. But the Jews worshipped one God and one God only. They worshipped the God, Yahweh. Now the Greek word for Yahweh, is Kurios. And if you translate the word Kurios into English, we use the word Lord. Kurios, or Lord, was a word that was reserved for when someone was speaking to, or about the one true God. Kurios, or Lord, was not a casual word for them. So, when the followers of Jesus after His death and resurrection say that Jesus is Lord, they are saying: He is the one true God.

Now, I was thinking about how I might illustrate this, and I was thinking back to my childhood days in public school. In the winter time at Cameron Street Public School, when the snow was cleared from the playground, there would be a huge pile of snow.

We kids would want to be king of the hill. We would climb to the top of the mountain, and try and stay there. But it wasn’t easy. Kids would push you down just as you were getting to the top. And those on top would be pulled down or knocked off. But to be king of the mountain, you had to keep the other kids off the top.

Now, you may be thinking what a barbaric game, but when you grow up in Collingwood, a pile of snow is almost as good as a ride at Wonderland.

But here’s the deal with the game. To be King of the Mountain, there could only be one person on top of the hill.

When it came to that word Lord, …. in that first century, there could only be one.

Only Jesus is Lord!

These early Christians, using that word Lord was a statement.
• Jesus is Lord.
• Jesus is God.
• Jesus is the only one we follow.
• Jesus is our Master.
• Jesus is the one we obey.
• Jesus is the one, we are prepared to die for.
That’s what it meant.

Only Jesus is fully God and fully human.

Only Jesus lived a sinless life.

Only Jesus was resurrected from the dead – once and for all!

Only Jesus is Lord.

The reformers believed sola Christus. Only Jesus we are saved.

A-men.

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