Good Morning to all you men and women of God! We welcome you all to the beautiful day that our Lord has made. It is not because you wanted to be here, you are here because God wanted you to be here.

Today we will be learning one of the most important topic from the word of God which is immensely important for our reason to be called as a Christian.

“Now when Jesus came into the parts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of man is? And they said, Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 16:13-17

Here, Peter, for himself and his brethren, said that they were assured of our Lord's being the promised Messiah, the Son of the living God. This showed that they believed Jesus to be more than man. Our Lord declared Peter to be blessed, as the teaching of God made him differ from his unbelieving countrymen. Christ added that he had named him Peter, in allusion to his stability or firmness in professing the truth. The word translated rock, is not the same word as Peter, but is of a similar meaning. Nothing can be more wrong than to suppose that Christ meant the person of Peter was the rock. Without doubt Christ himself is the Rock, the tried foundation of the church; and woe to him that attempts to lay any other! Peter's confession is this rock as to doctrine. If Jesus be not the Christ, those that own him are not of the church, but deceivers and deceived. Our Lord next declared the authority with which Peter would be invested. He spoke in the name of his brethren, and this related to them as well as to him. They had no certain knowledge of the characters of men, and were liable to mistakes and sins in their own conduct; but they were kept from error in stating the way of acceptance and salvation, the rule of obedience, the believer's character and experience, and the final doom of unbelievers and hypocrites. In such matters their decision was right, and it was confirmed in heaven. But all pretensions of any man, either to absolve or retain men's sins, are blasphemous and absurd. None can forgive sins but God only. And this binding and loosing, in the common language of the Jews, signified to forbid and to allow, or to teach what is lawful or unlawful.

“And after these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Judæa, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the feast of the Jews, the feast of tabernacles, was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judæa, that thy disciples also may behold thy works which thou doest. For no man doeth anything in secret, and himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou doest these things, manifest thyself to the world. For even his brethren did not believe on him.” - John 7:1-5

The plainest reason why the Son of God is called the Word, seems to be, that as our words explain our minds to others, so was the Son of God sent in order to reveal his Father's mind to the world. What the evangelist says of Christ proves that he is God. He asserts, His existence in the beginning; His coexistence with the Father. The Word was with God. All things were made by him, and not as an instrument. Without him was not anything made that was made, from the highest angel to the meanest worm. This shows how well qualified he was for the work of our redemption and salvation. The light of reason, as well as the life of sense, is derived from him, and depends upon him. This eternal Word, this true Light shines, but the darkness comprehends it not. Let us pray without ceasing, that our eyes may be opened to behold this Light, which we may walk in it; and thus be made wise unto salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ.

Who is Jesus Christ?

1- Bible teaches that Jesus is God. 

Jehovah is used 7000 times in the Old Testament. The same is used in New Testament but Jehovah is called as Jesus. 

There are so many similarities, I can refer:

-          Isaiah 40:3 can be compared with Matthew 3:3

-          Isaiah 40:11 can be compared with Titus 2:13

-          Isaiah 44:6 can be compared with Revelation 1:7

-          John 1:1-2 can be compared with Genesis 1:1

2- Jesus is shown to be God by his qualities.

Jesus Christ possess the qualities of deity.

  1. a)Jesus pre-existed.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” - John 1:1

  1. b)Jesus existed and possessed life giving power.

Second thing we find in John is that Jesus existed and had a control over death.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” – John 8:58

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” - John 1:4

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.” - John 5:21

  1. c)He is an unchanging God .

Jesus Christ is same how he was yesterday and today as well as he will be the same tomorrow.

Immutability means unchanging.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.- Hebrew 13:8

“But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.” - Hebrew 1:8

As we grow we start accumulating more knowledge and we change. However qualities of God never changes. 

  1. d)The fullness of God is in Jesus Christ.

“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” - Colossians 2:9

3- Jesus is God because of His abilities.

Abilities of God…

  1. a)Jesus said he can forgive sin.

And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” - Mark 2:5-7

  1. b)Jesus said He had power over death.

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” - John 2:19

Life of Jesus - his ability to control nature.    Jesus controlled storm.

Jesus turned water into wine.

-         He fed five thousand people.

-          Jesus raised widow’s son to life.

-          He made blind to see.

-         He made lame to walk.

-          Jesus healed the leapers.

4- Jesus is God because of His crucifixion and burial and His ressurection. 

Jesus knew that His time has come. He spoke about it before anyone even had any idea about what is coming. It is this three days that Jesus was referring to when He spoke of the sign of Jonah. 

Jesus kept His promise to send and sacrifice the perfect Lamb to bear the sins of those who trust in Him. Jesus had to die because He is the only one who can pay the penalty for our sins.

If Jesus didn’t die and resurrect, then He is not God. If Jesus truly died and rose from the dead, His power over death proves that He is the Son of God. The evidence demands the verdict: Jesus truly died on the cross, Jesus truly rose from the dead and Jesus is God.

The reason the tomb was found empty was that the man who was buried there had risen from the dead. Jesus would not only vacate His grave but appear to numerous people individually and in groups. And His resurrection from the dead would be the sure proof that He was who He claimed to be the risen Son of God, our only hope of salvation.

There is a beautiful hymn “The old rugged cross” written in 1912 by George Bernard which speaks about the importance of the cross and the lyrics to this hymn goes like this:

“On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,

The emblem of suffering and shame;

And I love that old cross where the dearest and best,

For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,

Till my trophies at last I lay down,

I will cling to the old rugged cross,

And exchange it someday for a crown.

Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,

Has a wondrous attraction for me;

For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,

To bear it to dark Calvary.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,

Till my trophies at last I lay down,

I will cling to the old rugged cross,

And exchange it someday for a crown.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine

Such a wonderful beauty I see

For 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died

To pardon and sanctify me.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,

Till my trophies at last I lay down,

I will cling to the old rugged cross,

And exchange it someday for a crown.

To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,

Its shame and reproach gladly bear;

Then He'll call me someday to my home far away,

Where His glory forever I'll share.

So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,

Till my trophies at last I lay down,

I will cling to the old rugged cross,

And exchange it someday for a crown.”

If we read from the gospel of John the story of Jesus and Thomas, we find great information in it.

“Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:24-29

It is important to note that Jesus did not have to fulfill Thomas’s request. He was not obligated in the slightest bit. Thomas had spent three years intimately acquainted with Jesus witnessing all His miracles and hearing His prophecies about His coming death and resurrection. That, and the testimony Thomas received from the other 10 disciples about Jesus’ return, should have been enough, but still he doubted. Jesus knew Thomas’s weakness, just as he knows ours.

Our faith is not only because of the several testimonies we hear at Church or on internet online or religious television channels, but because Jesus is God. 

“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” - Matthew 16:15

To all our readers, I want to ask you one thing. What do you think Jesus is? If you still have doubts that you do not know Jesus, we ask you to pray and ask Jesus to speak with you and reveal Himself to you. Indeed, Jesus is God. Jesus doesn’t needs our approval since He is the absolute truth and He is God.

We hope you enjoyed today’s service. We look forward seeing you again next Sunday. Until then, God Bless you!

2016 Sermon Topic