...By Magnifying the Lord Jesus Christ
Missions Statement Message # 3
…By Magnifying the Lord Jesus Christ
This morning we are continuing to expand our church’s mission statement. The first we answered the question, “Who are we?” People, purchased for a purpose. Last week we focused on that purpose, the glory of God. We defined it, described it and attempted to see God’s glory on display throughout the Biblical narrative. This week we will begin to fill out the specifics of how we intend to glorify God. Even though we talked last week about God’s glory we didn’t spend much time learning how exactly we are to glorify God. The next three weeks will help us to that.
Today we center our attention on the first way our church plans to glorify God. We exist to glorify God by magnifying the Lord Jesus Christ. Every single one of those words is intentionally chosen. We could have chosen magnify the Lord, or magnify Jesus or even magnify Jesus Christ but I decided on all three because I didn’t want to leave any room for ambiguity. We are God’s called out people who have been purchased to glorify God and we do that first and foremost by magnifying the Lord Jesus Christ.
Big Idea — When the Lord Jesus Christ is magnified, God is glorified.
Let's begin with a question. Is there really a difference between the words “glorify” and “magnify”? Once we make that distinction we are going to consider 5 way in which we should magnify the Lord Jesus Christ so that God would be glorified.
I. What is the difference between glorify and magnify? John Piper’s writing have been a tremendous help in clarifying what it means to glorify. Piper makes an important distinction God’s desire to be glorified does NOT mean that He is not already glorious. We don’t make Him glorious. He already is. To glorify is not the same beautify.When we beautify something (an old piece of furniture, car, a face) we add or subtract to it to make it more attractive. We attempt to enhance and improve upon its original state. We DO NOT beautify God. We glorify Him. To glorify is to see something as it is. It is to comprehend (at least to a certain degree) God’s weightiness (His greatness). When we glorify we feel a sense of God’s utter significance. There is a magnitude and density to Him. He is not light, worthless or trivialNo! We see God for who He is and we make much of Him because He matters…He infinitely matters!Piper puts it this way, “we see AND savor Jesus Christ”. The word magnify is similar to glorify Think of it as boastingKnowing something, loving it and then showing it off. We are a culture that loves to boast (USA, sports team, desserts, etc)That shouldn’t change when we become believers. The only thing that changes is what we now boast in. Philippians 1:20 - 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored (magnified) in my body, whether by life or by death.One more important distinctionThere are two types of magnificationPiper = We magnify God’s glory like a telescope, NOT a microscope. Microscopes make small things look bigger than they are. We don’t magnify Jesus like a microscope. That would be blasphemous. Telescopes make unimaginably big but distant things look more like what they really are. Our lives are to be telescopes for the glory of God. We were created to see His glory, to be thrilled by His glory, and to live so as to help others experience the same thing.
as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
Summary Statement - so there is a difference between glorify and magnify. And our aim as Christians and as a local church is to magnify Christ. To boast in His greatness and beauty in such a way that everyone would see His worth and give Him the honor He is due. Now we want to turn our attention to 5 reasons why the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of our magnification.
II. 5 reasons why we as a church should make it our aim to magnify the Lord Jesus Christ.
A. We Magnify The Lord Jesus Christ Because He Shares In The Glory Of God Throughout this passage Paul refers to glory 13x. Now Up to this point in our mission statement series we’ve talked about the glory of God. We want to be about the glory of God. The best way for us to do that is to magnify the LJC. That is because, God’s glory is most clearly put on display in His beloved Son. When Jesus delivers, and liberates, and transforms sinners who are dead in their trespasses and sins — God gets the glory. You might say, “Jesus is the One who does the work salvation and God gets the glory, right?”Yes! That is true. God orchestrates salvation, Jesus accomplishes salvation. And at the same time, Paul has no problem referring to God’s glory as Jesus’ glory. Look at 4:4, the glorious gospel of God is also called “the gospel of the glory of Christ”. Why does Paul say that it is the gospel of the glory of Christ? Especially considering that God doesn’t share His glory with anyone. God has made this clear…Isaiah 40:25 - 25 To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. God has no equal.Isaiah 42:8 - 8 I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.Paul can say that God’s glory is Jesus’ glory…because Jesus is God!Look at the end of 4:4 it is the gospel of the glory of Christ…who is the image of God.Jesus Himself is God! When the NT writers say that Jesus is the image of God they mean that Jesus possess, emanates and reveals the full glory of the nature and being of God. The biblical understanding of Christ being the ‘image of God’ is that He is the complete and exact representation of God.He exhibits all of God’s attributes and perfections. Illustration - App Icon on iPhone. John 1:1 - 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He possess all the infinite fulness of God. There is no deficiencies in Christ. His attributes and perfections are infinite. He is limitless and without measure. His attributes are immutable and unchangeable. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.He is not capable of being something, other than He already is. 10.That is also why John says…John 1:14 - 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 11.Charles Spurgeon says, “In our Lord Jesus we see the glory of God in the wondrous blending of the attributes. Behold his mercy as he dies for sinners; but see his justice, for he sits as judge of quick and dead. Observe his immutability, for he is the same yesterday, to-day and forever, and see his power, for his voice shakes not only the earth but also the heavens. See how infinite is his love, for he espouses his chosen; but how terrible his wrath, for he consumes his adversaries. All the attributes of Deity are in him: power that can lull the tempest, and tenderness that can embrace little children. The character of Christ is a wonderful combination of all perfections making up one perfection; and so we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, for this is God’s glory, that in him nothing is excessive and nothing is deficient. He is all that is good and great: in him is light, and no darkness at all. Say, is it not so seen in Jesus our Lord? What a beautiful magnification of the Person of Christ. Spurgeon was right…we see God’s glory most clearly in Jesus Christ. 12.Spurgeon never separated the glory of God from the glory of Christ. Listen to what else he said, “Paul knew not merely God, but God in Christ Jesus; not merely “the glory of God," but "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." The knowledge dealt with God, but it was Christward knowledge. He pined not for a Christless Theism, but the God in Christ. This, beloved, is the one thing which you and I should aim to know.”
I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Summary Statement - We magnify the Lord Jesus Christ because He shares in the glory of God. He is God.
We magnify the lord Jesus christ because he is the lord4:5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord…This right here is our Christian creed. This is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. We preach Jesus Christ as Lord because there is no greater reality than that truth. We preach Jesus Christ is Lord because there is no other way anyone can be saved. Survey of the Lord Jesus Christ in the NT Peter preached at the Day on Pentecost to the Jews — Acts 2:36 - 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”Peter preached to the Gentiles the same message — Acts 10:36 - 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),Paul did not shrink from preaching Jesus Christ as Lord — Acts 20:21 - 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.All throughout the book of Acts the disciples risked their lives preaching Jesus as Lord — Acts 15:26 - 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.The book of Acts ends on this note — Acts 28:31 - 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.The great book of Romans begins with some of the highest Christology in the whole Bible — Romans 1:1–4 - 1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, We have been justified and have peace with God because of Jesus Christ our Lord — Romans 5:1 - 1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.We have received reconciliation — Romans 5:11 - 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.We have eternal life because of JCL — Romans 5:21 - 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 6:23 - 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Nothing can separate us from the love of God because of JCL — Romans 8:39 - 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.We glorify God through JCL — Romans 15:6 - 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.We glorify God by magnifying the Lord Jesus Christ for His saving work. —1 Corinthians 6:11 - 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.This is why we preach Christ. And boast in Christ — Galatians 6:14 - 14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Summary Statement — We magnify Jesus Christ because He is God. We magnify Jesus Christ because He is the Lord. But we also magnify the LJC because…
We magnify the lord Jesus christ because he is the focal point of the gospelThis passage reverberates with gospel glory. Paul points to serval truths that demonstrate how Jesus really is the best news to weary and needy souls. Jesus triumphs — 2 Corinthians 2:14 - 14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.Before, we were enslaved by the enemy. We were fighting for the wrong team. Enemies of God. But because of the gospel we are now on the winning team. No longer slaves to sin. No longer suffering shame and defeat. We are victorious with Christ. Paul uses this vivid image of a Roman triumphal procession to show how Jesus has overcome the battle of our souls. During that time, if a general was victorious in battle he would lead a huge parade through the streets of Rome. The procession would include leading citizens, priests and the chained captives who were exhibited as trophies of conquest. Some commentators say Christians are the joyful soldiers , marching alongside Jesus and celebrating His victory. Others say Christians are actually the captives who have been won back from the enemy. I believe we are the captives, but either way you look at it, Christians are on the winning team. And we are a display of Christ’s victory over sin, satan and death. In Romans Paul says we are more than conquerors. We are super conquerors through HIm who loved us (Rom. 8:37)Jesus renews the heart — 2 Corinthians 3:3 - 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.We will talk about this more in a bitJesus liberates — 2 Corinthians 3:17 - 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.Jesus is our great Liberator! He is our Emancipator! We didn’t just have a ball and chain. We were locked down in the dudgeon of hell with no hope of escape. Spiritually dead. Totally incapable to freeing ourselves. But God made us alive together with Christ (Eph. 2)Jesus said, …you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) And a few verses later Jesus says, “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)Jesus transforms — 2 Corinthians 3:18 - 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.Jesus enlightens — 2 Corinthians 4:6 - 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.Jesus unleashes infinite power — 2 Corinthians 4:7 - 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
Summary Statement — All these texts point to the Lord Jesus Christ’s beautiful gospel. By His life, death and resurrection He has conquered the grave, set us free from captivity, He renews our hearts, transforms our inner man, and liberates us from the power of sin and death. That is worth magnifying and telling others about, amen!? No one else has the power nor the grace to do all that Christ accomplished on our behalf.
We magnify the lord Jesus christ because he is the mediator of a better covenant In chapter 3 Paul’s arguing that the NC gospel message he preached to the Corinthians was far superior to what his antagonizer and opponents preached. See, they were trying to discredit Paul, his ministry and his teaching. And Paul here responds with, you have all the evidence you need by the message I preached and the life I lived while I was among you. You see the NC message that Paul preached was far superior to the OC
God writes on tablets of stone v. 3
Christ writes on human hearts v. 3
Moses’ ministry is of transient glory that is veiled v. 7
Paul’s ministry is of surpassing glory that is revealed
Without the Spirit the letter kills v. 6
The guarantee of Spirit also gives life v. 6
brings condemnation and termination v. 9, 11
brings righteousness and permeance v. 9, 11
Paul didn’t misunderstand the nature of the OC. He understood that it was God’s good and perfect gift to the people of Israel to enable them to live in a right relationship their God.But the OC was never meant to earn salvation. If anyone tries to be to right with God through the Law it becomes a ministry of death. Not because the Law was bad but because it was intended to show us our sin and need of a Savior—not provide salvation by keeping the Law in its entirety. So Paul says, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all. Why? Because it couldn’t produce the heart change. A.T. Robertson puts it this way: “Christ as the Sun of Righteousness has thrown Moses in the shade”The gospel is permanent and therefore the glory that lasts is far greater than that of the OC. And so Paul magnifies Christ because of the miraculous heart change that has taken place as a result of the New Covenant. Jesus’ gospel work established, confirmed and ratified the NC. We see this heart change in v. 32 Corinthians 3:3 - 3 And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.Then in v. 6 Paul connects the new heart change with the NC2 Corinthians 3:6 - 6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. It is the transformative NC work in our hearts that magnify Christ. Moses was given the 2 tablets of stone which God wrote on with His own fingers. Those tablets and the other 613 commandments could never be fully kept. Centuries later through the prophet Jeremiah God vowed to engrave His covenant law on the hearts of HIs people (Jer. 31:33). Through the prophet Ezekiel, God once again promised to take His people’s stony hearts and give them a heart of flesh and put His Spirit in them (Eze. 11:19; 36:26-27). These prophecies are fulfilled by Christ writing on human hearts through the agency of the Holy Spirit. Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says Hebrews 8:7–13 - 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. 8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” 13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.Paul mentions 3 ways in which the NC displays the glory of Christ over and above the OC. In 3:9 he says the NC Far Exceeds the OC in glory. 2 Corinthians 3:9 - 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.Then in v. 10 he says the NC Surpasses the OT glory 2 Corinthians 3:10 - 10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it.Finally in v. 11, he says the NC (unlike the OC) is a Permanent glory. 2 Corinthians 3:11 - 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory. Christ, in His great work of the NC, accomplishes an exceeding, surpassing and permanent glory.
Summary Statement - We magnify Jesus because He is shares the glory of God. Because He is the Lord. Because He is the focal point of the gospel. Because He is the mediator of a better covenant. And finally (at least for our time today) we should magnify the Lord Jesus Christ because He illumines the lost
We magnify the lord Jesus christ because he illumines the lost
2 Corinthians 4:3–6 - 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
At one time you had a veil over your eyes. You were blinded to the glory of Christ. You didn’t see Him as beautiful. Before you became a believer, the god of this world had a spell over you. You were held captive by Satan.He kept you in the dark by denying and demeaning Christ's glory. But the god of this world cannot compare with the One True and Living God.What happened when Christ broke through the darkness? When He removed the veil? He didn’t just lift the veil. He removed it completely. He broke through the darkness of your mind and heart. Oh how sweet is Christ’s eye opening, light shinning grace. It is Amazing Grace! This is why we joyful sing with John Newton, “I once was lost, but now I’m found. I was blind but now I see” That is every true Christian’s testimony.The text says Jesus shines a light so powerful it cannot be denied or resisted. The word 'shone' indicates a shining so brilliant so clear so transparent it can’t be denied.It is used of the brilliant glistening, whiteness of Christ’s transfiguration when, “His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light” (Matthew 17:2).The word 'light' means to 'lighten up' as the stars (Job 3:9).The blind (v. 3) can't make themselves see. Nor can the dead make themselves alive. God freely and sovereignly gives light — just as He did in the original creation of the universe (v. 6a).This is a breakthrough light. The allusion goes all the way back to creation when God said, “let there be light” on the dark world. The other allusion goes back to Isaiah 9:2 - 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. What light was Isaiah point to…it is Christ. Those who see this light, see Christ. Salvation and 'seeing' Christ are actually synonymous in the Scripture. 1 John 3:6 - 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.John 6:40 - 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”Edwards describes the initial "sight" of Christ in conversion as follows: “The change made by this spiritual opening of the eyes in conversion would be much greater, and more remarkable every way than if a man born blind should have the sense of seeing imparted to him at once, in the midst of the clear light of the sun discovering a world of visible objects. For though sight be more noble than any of the other external senses yet this spiritual sense is infinitely more noble and the object infinitely more important.”What are we supposed to do with this light? 2 Cor. 3:18 tells us 2 Corinthians 3:18 - 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.The term, 'behold' means to view attentively. It is in the present tense which means we are to continually be beholding. "It was used primarily, not of an indifferent spectator, but of one who looks at a thing with interest and for a purpose. For example, a general viewing an army with the careful observation of details.” (Trench)We are to be captivated by Christ beauty and loveliness.Our growth and maturity as believers involves seeing more and more of Christ’s glory. We are no longer slaves of Satan but he still works to diminish Christ’s glory! Don’t for one second think that once that veil is lifted Satan is done working on you. He might not be able to fully pull the veil back over your eye but he will do his best to diminish Christ’ glory in your eyes. He will work non stop to try and convince you that Christ's person and provisions are not adequate and that He must be supplemented! He will try to wow you cheap substitutes. He will try to diminish the light and make you susceptible to magnifying created, lesser things.
Paul said “I desire to know nothing else among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." Why was Jesus so consuming in Paul’s mind. Why did he say things like, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain?” Christ is the beginning, middle and end goal of all of life, both here and in eternity.
John 17:3 - 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
We are in the long line of countless believers who have set their eyes and hope in Christ. Psalm 16, “I have set the Lord always before me. The Lord is always in my vision. My eyes are never off Him. Therefore,” he said, “my heart is glad. I am not shaken, and I dwell securely.”
I can guarantee you that if Jesus is preeminent in your life. If He is central to all that you are and all that you do, God will be gloried, you will be satisfied and everything else in life will fall into the appropriate place.