Summary: A basis for believing that Jesus is the true God
Islington Baptist Church May 13, 2001
Series: Why follow Jesus and not any other religion, philosophy, or way
Key text for this week: I John 5:20
Follow Jesus because of who he is: He is the only true God; He is Lord
For the past 3 weeks we have been considering the following question: Why follow Jesus and not any other religion, system, philosophy, or way?
It’s a question the Bible calls us to be prepared to answer at any time; for as I Peter 1:15 says “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”
So far in our series we have considered 3 very important reasons for why a person must follow Jesus and not any other religion, system, philosophy, or way.
1. Follow Jesus because He is the only way to the Father.
In spite of the many voices who assert that there are many ways to God, the fact remains that “There is no other name given to men by which they must be saved”. As Jesus himself said “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me” (That was our key verse: John 14:6)
2. Follow Jesus because His sinless and perfect life qualifies him to declare the way to the Father.
Unlike the founders and gods of other religions, Jesus suffers from no moral credibility or sin issues. Jesus is the only person who has ever been sinless. The fact of his sinless and perfect life qualifies Jesus to definitively teach the way to God. Since his character, purity, morality, and credibility are beyond reproach, we can be supremely confident in the way of salvation that he teaches.
3. Follow Jesus because he offers a better way of salvation
3 reasons for why the way of salvation Jesus offers is better….
a. His work addresses and provides remedy for man’s core problem: his sinfulness
b. Complete assurance of your salvation can be had.
Our friends who belong to other religions have no iron clad assurances that they will ever get to the stated goals of their religions. They have no true confidence and according to the teachings of their religions, no basis for confidence either.
When a person comes to Jesus as the only Savior and Lord, the Bible “bends over backwards” communicating to them that their sins have been totally forgiven and that eternal life is truly theirs.
c. The salvation and forgiveness of sins that Jesus offers is not conditioned upon ones efforts and work.
The strivings of a sinful person to save themselves and merit the favor of God is a futile act. It is not by personal works that a person is or can be saved, it’s by the grace of God and the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Today, as we consider the “Why follow Jesus?” question, we are going to ponder this answer: Follow Jesus because of who he is: the only true God and Lord
In beginning with today’s subject I would like to read to you and excerpt from Ravi Zacharias’ new book “Jesus among other gods”
When Napoleon was exiled on the rock of St. Helena, he, the conqueror of civilized Europe, had time to reflect on the measure of his accomplishments. On one occasion he called Count Montholon to his side and asked him, “Can you tell me who Jesus Christ was?” The count declined to respond, but Napoleon had something to say.
“Well then, I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself have founded great empires; but upon what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, and to this very day millions will die for Him…. I think I understand something of human nature; and I tell you, Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I, are but men: none else is like Him; Jesus Christ was more than a man…. I have inspired multitudes with such an enthusiastic devotion that they would have died for me…. But to do this it was necessary that I should be visibly present with the electric influence of my looks, my words, of my voice. When I saw men and spoke them, I lighted up the flame of self devotion in their hearts…. Christ alone has succeeded in so raising the mind of man toward the unseen, that it becomes insensible to the barriers of time and space. Across of chasm of 1800 years, Jesus Christ makes a demand which is beyond all others difficult to satisfy; He asks for that which a philosopher may often seek in vain at the hands of his friends, or a father of his children, or a bride of her spouse, or a man of his brother. He asks for the human heart; He will have it entirely to Himself. He demands it unconditionally; and forthwith His demand is granted. Wonderful! In defiance of time and space, the soul of man, with all its powers and faculties, becomes an annexation to the empire of Christ. All who sincerely believe in Him, experience that remarkable, supernatural love toward Him. This phenomenon is unaccountable; it is altogether beyond the scope of man’s creative powers. Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame; time can neither exhaust its strength nor put a limit to its range. This is it, which strikes me most; I have often thought of it. This it is which proves to me quite convincingly the Divinity of Jesus Christ.