What Do You Say?
Introduction:

WHAT DO YOU SAY? The Lord of Glory is asking this question right now, because when we meet Him after our physical death, our answer will be already firmly and unchangeably decided. So while it is still called today, what do you say about the most important question you will ever answer: who is Jesus of Nazareth?


A - The Old Testament Tells Us that God Is Our Savior

"21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together. Who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no God else besides Me, a just God and a Savior. There is none besides Me. 22 "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by Myself; the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall one say, `In the LORD have I righteousness and strength. Even to Him shall men come, and all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed."(Isa 45:21-24 KJ21).

COMMENTS: The LORD God alone is the Savior from sin to eternal life. All those who are against Him, and refuse to receive Him shall surely be ashamed when eternal life eludes them forever. If the passage above is thoughtfully read, it should be quite clear that there is only one God, and He alone can rescue from the certain death that lies within all who are born of woman. The LORD God is just and righteous to save and to condemn. There is only one God, and He alone is the Savior!


B - Jesus Wanted His Disciples to Recognize His True Identity

"13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" 14 And they said, "Some say that thou art John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 He said unto them, "But who say ye that I am?" 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 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."(Mt 16:13-17 KJ21).

COMMENTS: The truth of scripture is revealed to each person by God, not discovered by any of us because of our own ancestry, our training, or our intellect. Peter was a fisherman by trade, not a religious leader, but he was familiar with the Old Testament scripture as a Jew. He did not come to his declaration about Jesus solely on his own, and neither will anyone else. Through the Lord's will, Peter became an apostle for the gospel of salvation, but even the most seemingly insignificant person who becomes a Christian does so by accepting the truth when it is revealed to them as it was for Peter. And it is the LORD who asks, "what do you say?"


C - The "Lawyer" Was A Bible Student, But Is That Enough?

"25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 He said unto him, "What is written in the law? How readest thou?" 27 And he answering said, "`Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.'" 28 And He said unto him, "Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live. ""(Lu 10:25-28 KJ21).

COMMENTS: The Lord will require each of us to be responsible for our acceptance of the truth of the Word of God, as he asked the "lawyer" in the passage above, "How do you read it?" As the passage goes on, we find that this man, who was distinguished as a student of the Old Testament law, was still seeking to justify himself, rather than to accept the gift of eternal life from God through faith in Christ Jesus. Those two great commandments which summarize all the law, can only genuinely be followed after receiving the Holy Spirit through faith in the one true God.


D - Jesus Put Hard Questions Before Those Who Were Religious Leaders

"41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 2 saying, "What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He?" They said unto Him, "The son of David." 43 He said unto them, "How then doth David in the Spirit call Him `Lord,' saying, 44 `The LORD said unto my Lord, "Sit Thou on My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool"'? 45 If David then call Him `Lord,' how is He his son?" 46 And no man was able to answer Him a word; neither dared any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions."(Mt 22:41-46 KJ21).

COMMENTS: Jesus posed a question that pointed to himself. If David was speaking of his Lord who was the ever-existing God, how then could that one also be a descendent of David? The Bible scholars of the time were unable to answer this mystery: God would become a man in the line of King David, to provide the perfect sacrifice for all our sin. they did not recognize that Jesus was that man because they had nullified the law by elevating their traditions above faith. Many over the centuries have also missed this essential point that was realized in Christ Jesus, the unique God-man, because they have allowed unbelief in many forms, and the traditions and false teachings of men, to close their hearts to the message from the Holy Spirit. Those who pursue their own quest for knowledge of God will be working against the Lord unless they combine their search with faith. The LORD God provides a message that can be understood without the need for extensive education, as even the young Jewish woman Mary, overflowed with joy, knowing that God was her Savior. "and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior." (Lu 1:47 KJ21). The apostle Paul tells us that all other religious attempts to please God will be only emptiness and not counted as gain, but rather as loss, without faith in Christ. "7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted as loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but dung, that I may win Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith,” (Php 3:7-9 KJ21). So, any person may start with faith, then ask the Lord to help as one man asked, "And straightway the father of the child cried out and said with tears, " Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief!"" (Mr 9:24 KJ21).


E - Some Questions Are Asked With A Predisposition Of Unbelief

"24 Then came the Jews round about Him and said unto Him, "How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly." 25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and ye believed not. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me. 28 And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who gave them to Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. 30 I and My Father are one." 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, "Many good works have I shown you from My Father. For which of those works do ye stone Me?" 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy, and because thou, being a man, makest thyself God.""(Joh 10:24-33 KJ21).

COMMENTS: In chapter 10 of the gospel of John, Jesus speaks clearly enough for those who will believe, but the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus for blasphemy that only seemed to be a legitimate charge because in their unbelief, they could not accept the truth that He is God. This attempt to stone him took place before he later surrendered himself to them at the proper time as predetermined by God. Then at that time, to fulfill prophecy, they held court to judge Him, then handed him over to Pilate for execution on the cross.


F - The High Priest Was Convinced That Jesus Claimed To Be God

"63 But Jesus held His peace. And the high priest answered and said unto Him, "I adjure thee by the living God that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus said unto him, "Thou hast said; nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." 65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, "He hath spoken blasphemy! What further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy!"(Mt 26:63-65 KJ21).

COMMENTS: The Jewish high priest had no doubt that Jesus claimed to be God, even though there are critics today who say that Jesus never made that claim for himself. Therefore, the high priest declared Jesus guilty of blasphemy, because his own unbelief blinded his heart from seeing the fulfillment of prophecy right before him. No amount of education, tradition, or position of high authority could bring the high priest to the truth that only God can reveal to the heart that is not hardened. As the author of Hebrews would say, "To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation."


G - Some Will Always Want More Evidence, When Enough Has Already Been Given

"67 "Art thou the Christ? Tell us." And He said unto them, " If I tell you, ye will not believe. 68 And if I also ask you, ye will not answer Me nor let Me go. 69 Hereafter shall the Son of Man sit on the right hand of the power of God." 70 Then said they all, "Art thou then the Son of God?" And He said unto them, "Ye say that I am." 71 And they said, "What need we any further witness? For we ourselves have heard it from his own mouth. ""(Lu 22:67-71 KJ21).

COMMENTS: The passage in Matthew 26, and the one in Luke 22, both are couched in such a way as to allow the skeptic in any age to continue in their unbelief, just as did the religious leaders who actually fulfilled scripture by their rejection and their condemnation of Jesus to death. Because all have sinned as scripture declares, There is no living person who has the ability in any way within himself to become fully justified before a Holy God. We MUST accept the sacrifice that God himself provides as the only means to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If anyone does not accept that open invitation to the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus, that person will suffer the everlasting shame that was referenced in Isaiah 45:23 "... all that are incensed against Him shall be ashamed."


H - Peter's Confession Should Be The Confession Of Every True Christian

"67 Then Jesus said unto the twelve, "Will ye also go away?" 68 Then Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life, 69 and we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.""(Joh 6:67-69 KJ21).

COMMENTS: Some speak of Jesus and seem to be following, until various reasons cause them to turn away. but those who follow in authentic faith have the same attitude as indicated in Peter's answer. Or, said in another way, "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."" (Ac 4:12 KJ21).


I - Jesus Did Many Other Signs Besides Those Recorded In Scripture

"30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, ye might have life through His name."(Joh 20:30-31 KJ21).

COMMENTS: The apostle John wrote his gospel from a heart of devoted love to his Savior, to present truth of salvation to eternal life, that many readers might be saved by faith in Christ alone. John declares above, that much more could have been written, and goes on in John 21:25 to say, "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." But an ever increasing volume of truth will not penetrate a heart hardened to the LORD. That will come only through the acceptance of the unfailing and everlasting love of the God of all grace. Be careful not to miss the identity of the Savior revealed through scripture! “"Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and it is they which testify of Me.” (Joh 5:39 KJ21).


J - Jesus Came To Us, That We Might Come To Him!

“9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater, for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son. 10 He that believeth in the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. 11 And this is the record: that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life. 13 These things I have written unto you that believe in the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1Jo 5:9-13 KJ21).

"And we know that the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true; and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and Eternal Life."(1Jo 5:20 KJ21).

COMMENTS: The apostle John wrote a letter with the same earnest desire as that carried in his gospel, and that is clearly expressed in verse 20 above. Jesus came that we might have an understanding that He is the true God and Eternal Life. There is no other Savior from the penalty of sin! My prayer for anyone who reads this while yet outside of Christ, is that the Holy Spirit will open your heart to the truth of scripture, canceling any erroneous system devised by man, and through the truth that you receive eternal life to be forever secure in Christ! Glory to the LORD Christ Jesus, amen.


--- Reflections in prayer ---

Lord Jesus, I thank you for opening my heart to the truth that you are God my Savior, and there is no division between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because God is one! My search to understand the purpose of this physical life, apart from your truth, was fruitless and vane. You have said that all must come to you like a child, and that you are the only way, truth, and life. All praise goes to you LORD, for the work of salvation and the new birth you have given me because of your great love. Help me Christ Jesus to hold fast to that saving faith, and to be used of you to spread your gospel to others as you enable me by your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Published 22 April 2008