Summary: Discovering who Jesus is and why it matters to your life.
Who Knows Jesus and Does It Matter?
Luke 4: 1-13
4:1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
4:2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
4:3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."
4:4 But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, ’Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ "
4:5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
4:6 And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
4:7 "Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours."
4:8 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ’You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ "
4:9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.
4:10 "For it is written:
’He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you,’
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
4:12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ”
4:13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.” (NKJV)
Before I ask “Do you know Jesus?” let me ask this question:
Does Anyone Know Who Jesus Is?
If anyone knows who Osama Bin Laden is, if any one knew who Hitler was or if anyone knew who Stalin was, it was their enemies. Jesus knew who the devil was and the devil surely knew who He was.
In ‘The Message Bible,’ the devil says: “Since you are the Son of God.”
It is always important to bring to mind (to remember is a poor word for this process) that Jesus Christ is God.
In all decisions about our lives, whether we see or hear or read or that we are thinking about, we must bring to mind that Jesus is God.
If you ever want to find out what a teacher believes about Jesus, ask them who they think Jesus is.
If their answer is anything less than that Jesus Christ is God the Son, they are not teaching the truth. The church has taught this from the beginning because it is the teaching of Scripture.
“I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.”
That is part of the Nicene Creed dated from the 4th Century after Christ. (381AD)
In 553AD, after its present formulation, it included certain things that excluded a person from being a church member. Among other things it said:
“If anyone does not confess that our Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified in the flesh is true God and the Lord of Glory and one of the Holy Trinity; let him be anathema.”
Definition of anathema: 1. a thing set up or laid by in order to be kept. Specifically, an offering resulting from a vow, which after being consecrated to a god was hung upon the walls or columns of the temple, or put in some other conspicuous place.
2. a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed, and if an animal, to be slain; therefore a person or thing doomed to destruction.
3. a curse.
4. a man accursed, devoted to the direst of woes. (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=331&version=kjv)
“Somebody or something that is greatly disliked or detested and is therefore shunned.” (Encarta Dictionary in Word 2003)
“If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”(anathema) (Gal 1:9)
Of course that is only part of the story. There is a big difference between preaching about Jesus and knowing Jesus!
John Wesley says he went to America and preached to the indigenous Indians but was unsure that he trusted Christ himself!
So that is why the Creed tells us it is those who confess that Jesus is the true God are those who are saved.