…who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… (Hebrews 1:3, NKJV)
Jesus told His apostle Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jno. 14:9). And so, we look at Jesus in order to understand God. The Son of God reveals the brilliance of God’s glory by His every word and deed. Jesus is the impress of God’s real nature; the express image of who God really is. This does not refer to His physical features, for “God is Spirit” (Jno. 4:24). Jesus is the impress of the mind, the character, the will and the purposes of God. “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (Jno. 1:18). In order to hear and know God you must listen to the word of Christ and follow Him (Heb. 1:1-2; Matt. 11:28-30; Eph. 4:20-24).
37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him. (John 10:37–38, NKJV)
Jesus does not expect you to blindly follow Him. Faith is not blind; it is built upon evidence (Heb. 11:1). With eyes wide open, faith sees and accepts the evidence that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. The works of Jesus give powerful testimony that He is the Son of God. When questioned whether He was the Christ, Jesus directed John to what He was doing: 2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples 3 and said to Him, “are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” 4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (Matt. 11:2-6). Even His enemies did not dispute His great miracles (Jno. 11:47). Secure your faith in Jesus as the Son of God by believing His works.
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:1–3, NKJV)
Isaiah’s vision of the Lord sitting upon His heavenly throne presents a magnificent scene of the Lord Almighty in all His majesty, power, splendor and holiness. Heavenly beings attend Him and praise Him for His holiness, acknowledging His creation magnificently displays His grandeur and brilliance. How very unlike the gods that men have made for themselves throughout the ages. Their false gods rise no higher than the human imagination and vices from which they sprang. In vivid contrast, the earth proclaims the majesty of the Almighty and His holiness. This becomes more dramatic when we learn from the apostle John that Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus; He is the Lord sitting on the throne, lifted up and holy (John 12:37-41). Jesus is worthy of our faithful praise and service, for He is the Lord Almighty.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12, NKJV)
Jesus illuminates this world with truth. As the light of the world, Jesus exposes the world with His light. The powerful truth of Christ’s word lays bare the darkness of sin in all its futility, foolishness and falsity. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (overcome) it” (Jno. 1:5). Sin does not overwhelm the light of Christ. As the light of the world, Jesus judges the world. In the last day, His word will judge all who reject Him (Jno. 12:48). By walking in His light you avoid the future condemnation of sin. As the light of the world, Jesus saves the world. He shows the way out of sin; the way to the Father. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (Jno. 1:4). Rejoice and thank God each day that Jesus is “the true Light which gives light to every man” (Jno. 1:9). His true light of truth is “already shining” (1 Jno. 2:8). Follow Jesus. Walk in the light of His truth and be led to eternal life.
31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:31–33, NKJV)
God sent His angel Gabriel to the village of Nazareth, there to speak to a virgin named Mary. The angel announced to Mary God’s great plan to send His Son into the world to save and to reign. God’s plans would rise above the ordinary to the extraordinary. This virgin would conceive and bring forth a Son (fulfilling Isaiah 7:14). Mary’s son would be great; superior in every way (Jesus has all preeminence, Col. 1:18). Mary’s son would be God’s Son; both human and divine (fulfilling Isaiah 9:6). This Son would be a king, the sovereign ruler over the people of God. Later, Jesus would tell Pilate He was born to be a king (John 18:37). This Son would reign continually over an enduring kingdom (fulfilling Daniel 2:44). Only Jesus is worthy to accomplish God’s great redemptive plan. Therefore, He is also worthy of our reverential service and unending praise.
30 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. 31 For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? (Psalm 18:30-31)
God’s way is perfect, complete and sufficient for your salvation. His word is tested, tried and proven to be accurate. It is the perfect law of liberty into which you must look and then do (Jas. 1:23-25). The overriding reason that God’s way is perfect is because He is the only eternal, self-existing God. He alone is our strength and refuge – our rock against all adversity. The god of Islam is not such a god. The millions of gods of Hinduism are all impotent to save. The god of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is not Jehovah of the Bible. The god of Mormonism was once a man – not the eternal I AM. Only the God who reveals Himself in the Bible (and by His Son, Jesus, Jno. 1:18) is Lord; He alone can save you and protect you from sin and its eternal death. The gospel of His Son Jesus tells you how to be saved. Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life” and is the only way to the Father (Jno. 14:6). Trust God to save you and protect you by coming to Jesus and following Him – the perfect way to the Father.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
The marriage of grace and truth is complete in Jesus Christ; the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. We need God’s grace and God’s truth; Jesus provides both (Jno. 1:17). God’s grace (unmerited, undeserved favor) offers salvation to every sinner through the cross of Jesus (Titus 2:11). The “word of the truth of the gospel” announces salvation that is obtained “by grace…through faith” (Col. 1:5; Eph. 2:8-9). Like David we cry out, “Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me” (Psa. 40:11). God answered by sending His Son (the Word) to be the Savior of the world and to give us “grace and truth” (Jno. 1:17). Christians stand in the grace of God in Christ because they believe and obey His truth (Rom. 5:1-2). Grace and truth come together in Jesus. You need both to be saved. We all do. That’s why we need Jesus.
10 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. 11 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” 12 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.” (John 5:16–18)
Jesus was not a Sabbath-breaker. If he was, then he was a sinner; he was not (Exodus 20:8-11; 1 Peter 2:22). However, Jesus did break Sabbath traditions which came to be viewed as binding on people as the law itself. Here is our clear lesson: Human traditions and the will of God are not equivalent. To make them so invariably elevates man’s will above God’s will (Mark 7:1-13). We must not bind on others those things that God does not bind. Neither should we think because we hold some religious tradition that it necessarily pleases God. The religious tradition you hold as binding must come from God, not human beings (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:4).
25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. (John 12:25-26)
When you serve Jesus Christ you value His will more than life itself. Are you willing to lose your life for Jesus? Perhaps the more pertinent and pressing question is, Are you willing to live for Jesus? If so, then follow Him. Being His servant is far more than saying you love Jesus; it is following His word first and always. By following Jesus the Father will hold you dear and your life is preserved for eternal life.
1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4)
There continue to be those who ignore and deny the truth of the Lord’s return. It will be a day of divine justice against evil. Others dispute the nature of that day. These attempt to predict when that day will take place. They make fanciful calculations using the Bible which dazzle their disciples, but only give false comfort and hope. Christ’s apostles said the day of the Lord will come without warning (“as a thief in the night”) and “they shall not escape”. It will be unexpected and inescapable. Do not be unsettled by those who claim knowledge of when the Lord will come. The Scriptures do not tell us. Not to worry; faithful Christians are always ready for His return (see 1 Thess. 5:5-11).