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ST Lesson 7

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KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE

Ralph Sorter

LESSON 7 – OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST

            We need to ask ourselves the very question Pilate asked the crowd at His trial: “What will you do with Jesus who is called Christ?”  Some have answered that question, “He was a great teacher,” and thus, stripped Him of the title “Christ” (which means Messiah).  Others have stated that He is just one of several sons of God.  Still others have stripped Him of his deity, but say He was a perfect man.  The majority of Christianity states that He is fully God and fully man…that He is the only begotten Son of God who pre-existed the world and now sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, having paid the redemption price for the souls of man.

            Just who is Jesus…and what exactly has He done in order to save us from our sins?  These are the two most important questions about Jesus, and they refer to the person and the work of Christ.  Both subjects are intimately related…and together they constitute the core of Christianity.

1.      To most of those who knew Jesus during His life on earth, what was His identity?  (A man very much like any other man; yet they later came to know Him as the Son of God.)      Why do you think Jesus was made a man?  Heb. 2:17-18
Define the word “incarnate.”  (God made flesh.)  Jn. 1:14

2.      What where some of Jesus’ experiences on earth that prove He was fully man?  (Inhabited His mother’s womb as any other baby did; was cared for as an infant; was a carpenter before His ministry (Mk. 6:3); He got physically tired; He needed sleep; He experienced hunger & thirst and had to eat & drink; He felt pain He felt love & compassion and wept with people, yet He expressed anger; He bled when whipped and crucified; He died.)  Phil. 2:5-8

3.      How do we know Jesus was male, not female?  (Angel told Mary & Joseph they would have a son; He was a 1st born son; He was circumcised the 8th day; Herod had all first born males killed in order to try to kill Jesus; He was called a Rabbi & preached in the synagogues.)

4.      What did it take in order for His disciples to think of Him more than just a man?  (Miraculous powers & signs.)  Jn. 1:43-49; 2:11

5.      Why is the doctrine of Jesus’ preexistence important? 
Insight: If you take away His preexistence, then you strip Him of His deity – He is not God; He is not one with the Father.   Jn. 1:1-4
How do the following passages support His preexistence?  Jn. 3:13, 31; 8:53-58; Gen. 1:26; Col. 1:13-18; Heb. 1:1-2

6.      Why is it important to believe Jesus never committed any sin?  (He could not be the perfect, spotless sacrifice to atone for all mankind who believes in Him.)  1 Pet. 1:18-19;
Heb. 9:13-14

How do these passages support His sinlessness?  Heb. 4:14; 1 Pet. 2:21-24; Jn. 8:46; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Jn. 3:5     
If you say Jesus sinned, how does that affect who He is?  (It says He is not God…He is not holy and righteous.)  Heb. 2:10-18

7.      One of the proofs of Jesus’ deity is through prophesy of His coming.  What is the earliest prophesy of Jesus in the Old Testament?  Gen. 3:15
Insight: By the way…the oldest book in the Bible, the Book of Job, prophesies about the Redeemer.  Job 19:23-27

8.      What works of Jesus prove that He is deity?  (He knew the thoughts of man; He escaped from their grasp in the midst of crowds; He healed the sick, raised the dead, caused the blind to see and the lame to walk; He cast out demons; His wisdom was so great that no one could out-smart Him; He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven.)  Lk. 4:18-21

9.      Did those closest to Jesus believe He was God?  Jn. 20:26-28; 1 Jn. 5:20; Rom. 9:5; Titus 2:11-14

10.  Explain the basic concept behind the Trinity. (One God, three personalities; they share the same qualities, the same nature, and the same authority.)  Jn. 5:17-21; 17:20-26; Col. 2:9; Heb. 1:1-3

11.  When Jesus left Heaven and came to earth as man, did He become something “less” than He was in Heaven? 
Insight: He did not subtract something from His divine nature, but He added something to it, i.e., by taking on the form of a bond-servant and being made in the likeness of man.  Yet He chose to limit His use of His powers in order to fulfill the plan of the Father.

12.  What was THE greatest work Christ came to earth to accomplish?  (Atonement.)
Insight:  Above all other things He accomplished on earth, His greatest was to create a relationship of “at-one-ment” with the Father again.  He did this by being our propitiation, “histerion” (one who stands in the place of another to turn away wrath.)  1 Jn. 2:1-2; 4:10

13.  How was Christ’s death redemptive? 
Insight: He paid the ransom price of death in order to set us free from the slavery and penalty of sin; in that event the wrath of God was satisfied; His life was given up in exchange for sinners who should have died eternally.

14.  Was Christ’s redemptive work complete when He died on the cross?  (No; for redemption to be complete, He must give us hope of life after our physical death; and that was accomplished with His resurrection.)  Phil. 3:9-11

15.  Was His redemptive work complete with His resurrection?  (No; the last thing that guarantees our own complete redemption is His glorious ascension that transformed His body into the glorified nature that it now is, and we will be.)  1 Jn. 3:2

16.  How did Christ’s resurrection demonstrate His Lordship?
Insight: When He died, all that He claimed to be was put on the line, but when God raised Him from the dead, they were shown to be true.  Rom. 1:3-4

17.  What effect did Christ’s resurrection have on His enemies according to 1 Jn. 3:8;
Heb. 2:14-15
     
Do you think Satan had any idea that Jesus would raise from the dead after the crucifixion?  (No.)  1 Cor. 2:8; Rev 1:17-18
Insight:
Christ’s enemies are our enemies, too; but we do not fear them because Christ shares with us His own victory over them.  Acts 26:15, 18; 1 Jn. 4:4; Rom. 16:20

18.  How are we connected to Christ’s resurrection according to Col. 2:12-13 & 1 Pet. 3:21?

Conclusion:

            Sweet Jesus…Son of God, Redeemer, Savior and King…had You not left Your throne in Heaven and subjected Yourself to becoming a servant…how lost we would be.  You left the perfect atmosphere of Heaven and came to this corrupt world to prove the Father loves us, and to pay the ultimate price to redeem our sin-sick souls…death on a cross.

            But through Your death, the sting of our own death is taken away…Satan’s victory is robbed and our soul is delivered from his kingdom of torment.  Through Your resurrection power we have already begun to overcome the reign of death.  Through You we have found an island in the midst of a sea of hopelessness.  It is so not by anything we have done…but because our life is built upon the risen Christ…and the gates of death and Hades will never overpower it.  By Your stripes we are healed.  Because You rose in glory, we, too, shall possess glorified bodies.  And the serpent that separated us from You in the Garden will soon be crushed under our feet through Your power and we will be reunited with You forever in our glorious, eternal home.  Sweet Jesus…thank you for making it all possible!  Hallelujah…what a Savior!

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