Summary: How do you view Jesus?
Intro. As I asked this morning, Who is Jesus to You? Harold Vaughan, concerning practical atheists, or as I have called them, Christian Atheists, said this, "There are few that deny God with their lips, but millions who deny God with their lives". Belief in God is at an all-time high while morality is at an all-time low. ... In reality most professing Christians have no more regard for the Bible than junk mail - they don’t even read it! We live as Christian Atheists, or practical atheists:
· Atheists live as if there were no God, so do practical atheists.
· Atheists do not pray, practical atheists seldom pray.
· Atheists do not hide the Word of God in their hearts; neither do pract atheists.
· Atheists boast they can get along without God. Practical atheists do little more than pay God a Sunday call.
· Atheists do not lay up treasure in heaven; neither do practical atheists.
· Atheists do not set their affections on things above; neither do practical atheists.
· Atheists don’t lead their families in devotions; neither do practical atheists.
· Atheists are concerned with those things that can be seen, heard, and felt; so are practical atheists.
· Atheists have little concern for others; so it is with practical atheists.
· Atheists live for today; so do practical atheists.
We have a problem at the way we look at Jesus!
Is He your “get out of jail free card’ when you get in trouble?
Is He your ATM, just stop by and pray a little “pin” prayer, to get what you need?
To some He is their “good luck charm.”
Some expect Him to be their Bodyguard, but not their Lord?
Is He your Fire Insurance? OR IS HE YOUR GOD? IS He your genuine Lord?
I. The Companions of Faithfulness – Just a short time after the event at Caesarea Philippi, this even occurred. It is Peter, James and John that are found closest.
A. Closeness has privileges! It does not mean that Jesus loved them more, but rather they were entrusted with more. It was Peter who wrote later:
2 Peter 1: 16 "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount".
B. Closeness has a Price - You can be just as close to God as you desire to be –
Psalms 73:28 "But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works". Psalms 145:18 "The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth". Isaiah 55:6 "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:" James 4:8 "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded".
II. The Crest of Fellowship
A. The Place – God did not name the mountain, but it could have been Mt. Hermon, over 9000 feet tall. In order to meet with God we must go to the heights.
1. We cannot stay on the level of the World and expect to meet with God.
2. We cannot stay on a level of complacency, or carnality.
Psalms 50:23 "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God".
3. We must Humble ourselves, lower our pride to travel to the heights.
Isaiah 57:15 "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones".
B. The Purpose - Luke 9:28 tells us that this was when Jesus went up into the mountain to pray.
C. The Privilege – Peter called this place the “Holy Mount”, Why? Because that is where he met with God!
III. The Cry of Frailty - If we get into the presence of God, we will see our frailty!
A. His Outcry - Mk 9:6 "For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid".
Peter cries out, even tho he did not know what to say. They became afraid, yet confident in the presence of God’s holiness.