Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Divinity and Works of Christ (Jn. 14:11-15)

This is my personal summary of Rev Dr Stephen Tong's sermon on 20 May 2012 in STEMI Expository Preaching at True Way Presbyterian Church Singapore. It was preached in Chinese with English translation.

Passage: John 14:11-15

God sending Jesus into the world is the height of God’s revelation. Jesus spoke about the relationship between His person and His works. He said “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.” (Jn. 14:11)

Liberals will say “Jesus” but not “Lord Jesus”. Their understanding of Jesus stopped there. They did not see Him as the Christ. Their christology is problematic.

When Jesus said one of His disciples would betray Him, all 11 disciples asked, “is it me, Lord” but the last person, Judas said, “is it me, Rabbi?” Like the Liberals, Judas never addressed Jesus as Lord.

The liberal philosophers respect Jesus and recognise Him as the example for all mankind. On one hand they elevate His morality but on the other hand they reject His divinity. Jesus was seen as a historical person, who was elevated as Lord in the church, but seen as a great man by the world. So, is Jesus a mere man who is called Lord, or is He Lord who became man?

This segregates into two kinds of Christianity. First type believes Jesus is the eternal God who came to earth. The second type believes that Jesus was such a perfect human being that people called Him Lord.

Does He become Lord just because people believe Him to be so then? Or do the humanity and divinity of Jesus truly found in the personhood of Jesus? Is His humanity due to incarnation or is His divinity due to people’s high regard of Him? The Bible tells the answer.

When Jesus was on earth, did He want people to believe in Him? Certainly. In Jn. 14:11 He said to believe in God and also to believe in Him. He spoke the truth with confidence. Indeed, He also said to “at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves”. What Jesus did and what He said about Himself cannot be separated. The mistakes of the liberals is to accept the perfect morality of Jesus Christ but not His lordship.

Jesus said a good tree will bear good fruits and bad tree will bear bad fruits. A good tree cannot bear bad fruits and a bad tree cannot bear good fruits. If you have abundant life, you will have abundant fruits. Fruits are the marks of life. This principle can be applied to Jesus Himself. Jesus is God, therefore He could manifest divinity in His morality. So you cannot accept His perfect moral life but reject His divinity.

His works manifest who He is. His living is perfect because He is perfect. Because He is God, He displays the perfection of God. God is Love and Jesus manifests the love of God. God is just and Jesud did everything in justice. God is holy, so Jesus hates sin and loves righteousness.

In Heb 1, God the Father praised God the Son. “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy” (Heb 1:9). God in Heaven anointed God the Son with the oil of joy, this anointing is the Spirit of God. This is a very important verse on Trinity. When Jesus was baptised, the heaven opened and God the Father said, “This is My Son in whom I am well pleased”. And the Holy Spirit descended upon God the Son. He was anointed by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said the same thing in 3 different ways. If you believe in Me, you believe in the Father who sent me. If you see Me, you do not see me but the Father who sent me. When you listen to Me, you listen to the Father.

The divinity of Christ is not the result of His behavior. It is the reason for His morality. The historical Jesus is also the eternal Christ you ought to believe.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (Jn. 14:12-14)

What are the greater things the disciples would do? What did Jesus mean by “I will do whatever you ask in My name?” To be continued…


Post a Comment

<< Home