Why Only Christ
WHY IS JESUS THE ONLY SAVIOR?
Sermon by Clifford C. Cone
7 November 2008
B. Stir Interest
ü World religions are sometimes interesting to study, we can learn how each different people group understands their god or gods or lack thereof.
ü The Hindus and Buddhists seek to achieve Nirvana, which is escape from the cycle of reincarnation, based on karma.
o To a Hindu nirvana is the final death after they achieve all good karma, through good works, in the highest level of their caste system (a ruler or king), then they are reunited with Brahman, where their soul is joined with the energy of the universe.
o Buddhists seek nirvana regardless of their current level in their caste system; that is, anybody can attain nirvana by good works, attaining enlightenment and then cease to exist.
ü With regards to another world religion I discovered this quote, listen closely, “Belief in life after death gives meaning to our life… Furthermore, we know that in the afterlife we will receive justice for all the wrongs we suffer here. It may seem that the sinful and corrupt are often happier or wealthier than the righteous, but that is only for a short time. In the afterlife they will get their due. Belief in life after death encourages a person to lead a good life on earth… In fact, belief in the afterlife is the strongest incentive for a person to lead a life of virtue here.”
ü Most of us can assuredly say, “Yes I agree with that.” As a matter of fact it sounds very much like a summary of good Christian ideals; but, in fact, I found it while doing research on Islam!
C. Orient to Topic
ü We see that there are some rather different views on life and death in our world, but they are all lacking in one point.
ü Only one religion can claim that their God came from Heaven, lived on Earth as a man, died, and lived again and returned to Heaven! Christianity.
ü And through personal belief in the Savior, who can save all men, each of us can be delivered from the punishment of sin.
ü It is only through Jesus Christ!
D. Challenge to Audience
ü First, do you know this Jesus as the Christ, the Savior of the world?
ü Second, why is Jesus the only Savior? (TITLE)
E. Sermon Text: John 1:1-18
F. Opening Prayer
G. Overview of Presentation as Transition to 1st Main Point
ü So today, we will discover why it was not Buddha or Muhammad, but only Jesus who could ever be the Christ. First…
I. Jesus is the Creator
Prep: In John 1:14, we see that “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” This Word is Jesus Christ, therefore Jesus is the Creator. He was the Creator…
A. From the Beginning (vv. 1, 15)
1.John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word.”
a. This means exactly what is says, “In the beginning was the Word,” Jesus Christ.
b. There is nothing that was before Him; therefore Christ Himself was not created.
c. We can disagree about the exact date of Creation, but no matter what date we decide on, Christ was there prior to it.
2.In John 1:15, John the Baptizer declares, “He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.”
a. Even though John the Baptizer was born on this Earth before Jesus, John says that Jesus existed prior to him.
b. Not only was Jesus before him in existence, but is ranked higher than John.
Ø According to Strong’s, the word combination “preferred before” uses the Greek words that mean to come into existence ahead of; whereas, the next combination “was before” is derived from the Greek words meaning to be first in rank.
Not only is Christ the Creator from the beginning, He is the Creator…
B. Of Everything (v. 3)
1.Verse 3 tells us that, “All things were made by him.”
Ø From what I understand, “all things” means “all things,” not just some things, but everything.
2.Continuing in verse 3 we read, “without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Ø So not only does the text tell us Christ made all things in the positive, to make certain we understand, we are told in the negative that nothing was made that was not made by Christ.
So we see that Christ is the Creator from the Beginning of Everything, but that is not all, He is also the Creator…
C. With God and equal to God. (vv. 1,2)
1.According to verse 1, “the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
2.Also in verse 2 we read, “The same [Christ] was in the beginning with God.”
So not only did Christ exist in the Beginning, Create everything, but He is equal with God Himself.
Transition: Therefore only Jesus could ever be the Savior because He is the Creator; but that is not all, we also see that…
II. Jesus is the true Light of the world.
Prep: As we saw in verse 3, Jesus made everything, we also see that…
A. His light is life (v. 4)
1.In verse 4 we see that, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”
a. The life in verse 4 is different than the created life of verse 3.
b. Strong’s states that the “life” in verse 4 is “of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God.”
c. This type of life cannot be created but only exists in God Himself.
2.Verse 9 states, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
Ø His light shines on every man and available to all.
Prep: Although the Light of Christ is available to all, not all will accept it.
B. His light is often rejected or not recognized.
1.Jesus was rejected by His own kinsmen, the Israelites.
Ø John 1:11
2.Jesus was not recognized by the people He created.
Ø John 1:10
3.Jesus is not recognized by those in darkness.
Ø John 1:5
Ø John 3:19,20 “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
Illustration from “Sunday School Times”: There is an allegory written for the little ones, but serviceable to the grown folks:
Once upon a time a Cave lived under the ground, as caves have the habit of doing. It had spent its lifetime in darkness. It heard a voice calling to it, “Come up into the light; come and see the sunshine.” The Cave retorted, “I don’t know what you mean; there isn’t anything but darkness.” Finally the Cave ventured forth and was surprised to see light everywhere. Looking up to the Sun the Cave said, “Come with me and see the darkness.” The Sun asked, “What is darkness?” The Cave replied, “Come and see.” One day the Sun accepted the invitation. As it entered the cave it said, “Now show me your darkness!” But there was no darkness.
Where the Light is there is no darkness.
C. His light is power. (vv. 12,13)
1.To those that believed in Christ, He took away their darkness (sins) and they became sons of God.
Ø John 1:12
2.These sons were born by the will of God.
a. John 1:13
b. God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” 2 Peter 3:9b.
Transition: So we see that only Jesus could ever be the Savior because He is the Creator and He is the true life-giving Light of the world, in addition to this…
III. He is completely God and man.
A. First, we see that Jesus is completely God.
1.Christ was declared to be God.
Ø Verse 1 states: “the Word was God.”
2.Christ has the power of God.
Ø Verses 12 and 13 refer to the sons of God being born by the will of God, which was by the power of God which was in Christ.
3.Christ has the glory of God.
a. John 1:14b, c “we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
b. The glory that is referenced here is the same glory Isaiah the Prophet spoke of in Isaiah 6:1-4
Ø 1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
4.Christ had grace and truth.
a. John 1:17b declares, “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
Ø All grace and truth is only from God.
i. Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”
ii. Genesis 6:8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the lord.”
5.Christ was in the bosom of the Father.
a. Also in John 1:18b, “the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Ø “in the bosom” (a child in the lap of his father).
i. Born from him (of his lineage with his characteristics)
ii. Loved by him
Ø Furthermore, we see that being in His Father’s bosom, Jesus “hath declared him.”
i. “hath declared” comes from the same Greek word that we get our English word “exegete.”
ii. It means “to tell fully” or “to make fully known”
iii. (Like a child telling and making understood everything about his father, perfectly in truth as a perfect reflection of his father)
Prep: Based on these verses we see that Jesus was declared to be God, has the power of God, has the glory of God, has the grace and truth of God, and was from the bosom of God; therefore, He must be God…
B. Next, we see that Jesus is completely man.
1.Christ had flesh.
a. Verse 14, “And the Word was made flesh”
b. He had a body.
2.Christ lived with man.
a. Verse 14 also states, “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”
b. Christ lived among men and mankind.
3.Christ was seen by men.
a. John the Baptizer cried out to the people when he saw Christ.
b. Verse 15a, “John bare witness of him, and cried, This was he of whom I spake.”
Ø Like John, who believed, we are also to be witnesses for Christ.
We can see in verse 18 that “No man hath seen God,” but Christ was seen by men. He had a body, and He lived with man; therefore, Christ was a man.
So based on our text, we can answer the question, “Why is Jesus the only Savior?” He is the Creator, He is the Light of the world, and He is fully God and fully man. So what does all this mean to you?
First: if you do not know Jesus as your Savior, you are one who dwells in the darkness. Jesus brought the Light of life into this world so that, according to verse 7, “that all men through him [Christ] might believe.” You have been presented with the truth, what are you going to do with it, there are only two options: Receive Christ as your Savior, or Reject Him like those who love darkness.
Second: if you know Christ as your Savior, are you witnessing to others like you ought? There are many other religions out there actively seeking to lead people in the wrong direction, Are you actively seeking to lead them to Christ, the only true Savior?