Biographical Sketch of Dr. Stuart E. Lease / Bible Messages by Dr. Stuart E. Lease
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GOD: THE SON
FATHER We do recognize that when You purchased us unto Yourself through the blood of Your Son, You provided for us in Him all things that are necessary unto life and Godliness through the knowledge of Him. And, tonight Father, as we give consideration to Your wonderful Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, may our hearts be strangely warmed and drawn to Him we pray in His precious Name. Amen.
I think a verse that lies behind all of our considerations, especially in this week of studies together, both morning and evening, is a verse that is over in I Corinthians 14:33, For God is not the author of confusion [Actually, the original reads, God is not of confusion], but of peace as in all churches of the saints. First and foremost, we should never be confused about God. This is why in the evening studies we are studying concerning God: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and beginning as we did with the Trinity. And then we should not be confused in regard to the application of Biblical truth when it relates even to false doctrine as were studying in the morning sessions together.
Now the portion that lies behind our consideration tonight is in Philippians chapter two and Im not going to expound this portion. Im simply going to be relating back to it from time to time a very familiar and a very outstanding Christological portion of the Word of God. When we say that, we mean a portion that refers to our Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians two and I want to read verses five through eleven, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery [or thing to be grasped or to be held on to, which is probably the very real sense here] to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation [The sense of the Greek there is that He emptied Himself, not of His attributes but of the independent exercise of them], and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Now weve been studying together concerning God the Trinity, God the Father, and now this evening God the Son.
I want to consider with you three things in relation to Him: Number one, His Person; number two, His Performance; number three, His Practice; and weve going to distinguish between the latter two. His Person. Remember that whereas there are three Persons in the One God-Head: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, there is One Person when you come to Jesus Christ with two natures. Two natures in the One Person, the human nature and the Divine. Now the Divine Nature is that pre-existent Person, the Christ Who existed from all eternity past and then became flesh and dwelt among us. But, since it is probably easier to understand first, His humanity and then His Deity, and since I want to emphasize the second and save it for last, I going to deal with first His humanity; and I think that the Word of God is clear that Jesus Christ was truly and became truly a human being.
Notice here in Philippians chapter two, ...He took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man... There are various evidences in the Word of God that would indicate and prove that He was human. You ought always to remember that the Gospel of John was written to prove that the human being, Jesus, was truly Divine. The Epistles of John were written to prove that the human being, Divine Jesus was really human when He was here; because the Gnostics had come along and theyve had said, Well, He cant really be Divine and be human. So there must have been either gradations inbetween or else He wasnt really human. He just seemed to have a body or He took upon Him a body of somebody else and indwelt that from the period of the time of His baptism to the time of His struggle in the garden of Gethsemane. No, Friends! Jesus truly came as a genuine human being when He took upon Him the form of a man.
Now the Word of God is clear however, that when He took upon Him this form of a man, He did not take upon Him the sin of man that is, in His human body, He was not a sinner. In the book of Romans, this is rather clearly delineated for us; and I think that it is essential that we see this in Romans chapter eight and verse three, For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (Notice that it does not say that He sent His Son in sinful flesh. It say that He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and Jesus Christ was the only one ever born without sin! This is why we believe in the Virgin Birth, and we teach that He was born of a virgin thus and therefore born without sin!) Now this evening, Im not going to go into why because He was virgin born, He was sinless [There are a number of theories for this. I have my own that I think is right, but Im not going to argue that tonight] but the fact that He was born of a virgin meant that sin was not transferred to Him, which ever theory you want to take on that. And, therefore while He was born as a man, He was born without sin. But, never forget the fact that He was born. The very simple statement in Matthew 1:18, Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise... simply, clearly, affirming and assuming that Jesus Christ was born into this world. In Luke 2:52 it indicates that Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. He grew. He had the appearance of a man. People looked upon Him as a man, and indeed He was a man. In John 1:14, John indicates, And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory...) [But then as John goes on to say, The Word was handled, the Word of life We saw it, we gazed intently upon it, and we handled the Word of life.]. So, He was genuinely was here as a Person.
It was clear too, from the Gospels and from the accounts of the New Testament, that He had a spirit, soul, and body thus He was composed as a man. He also had the limitations of men. He became weary, He became thirsty, He became hungry all these evidences, that He was truly a man.
His very name, Jesus, was the name of a man. It was not just a name dropped down from heaven. It was heavenly-given of course, but there were many others at that time for the name of Jesus; in fact, it was very common mans name at that time. All these things being true, He was genuinely human overriding and accentuating all of this was the fact that He was the God-man that is, that He was God come in the flesh. In John 1 this is clearly set forth, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God [The Greek word there is pros meaning toward God and thus indicating full fellowship with God] and the Word was God. Now, dont let any Jehovahs Witness try to dissuade you from believing that that is truly God, with a capital G. Well point out tomorrow morning why and how it has to be that and how inconsistent they are in that kind of a twisting of the Word of God. But verse 14, The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us... [came down among us]. Now while He laid aside the fullness of His glory, yet He could not hide all of His glory, because ...we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Now one thing I want to emphasize, that while Jesus Christ as both God and man, when He took upon Him humanity, He took it upon Him eternally for all of eternity future; and He took upon Him humanity in such a way that it will never be separated from Him.
I remember trying to explain this to a geology class one day, and I thought now, How can I explain this, how can I get this across? Now some of us old-timers can understand my illustration. You young people may not. Maybe you will. Some of us remember back in the good-old-days when we had raw milk or pasteurized milk and the milk would be set out in the morning by the milkman; and when you would go and get it, all the cream had risen to the top. Remember that? We even had a Cream-Top Dairy in York or in Lancaster with that very name, because the cream rose to the top. I guess you can still get that at some places now, but not much. But now, almost all the milk is what?Homogenized. That means that the cream is united in such a way with the regular milk, the raw milk, that it cant be separated. Now I say it reverently that the two natures of Jesus Christ were homogenized, that is, united in such a way that they could never be separated. Thats a very important thing to remember. This is why we say, concerning Jesus Christ, that He was not just God and man He was the God-man because both of those two natures were united in Him.
Now if we had time this evening, we could take you through the Word of God and indicate that Jesus Christ bore the attributes of Deity. Just three of them to point out are very interesting. For instance, Jesus Christ was Omniscient. In John 2:24-25 Jesus did not commit Himself unto them because He knew all, and in fact, the word men is not in the Greek. It simply, He knew all and needed not that any man should testify of man: for He knew what was in man. Jesus knew everything.
Now theres an even more amazing verse, just across the page, in John 3:13, And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. Do you know what that indicates? Even while Jesus Christ was here on earth, He was still Omnipresent! Now, thats a hard thing to get hold of, but it still is true While present on earth, He was still present in heaven, indicating that He was Omniscient (He knew everything.) He was Omnipresent. Now He laid aside a portion of His power, but in Matthew 28:18, it indicates that all authority was returned to Him. All power [authority] was given unto Him, all power; and so He is the Omniscient God.
Now Jesus also is associated with the Trinity very clearly in the New Testament. In John 14:16 He refers to the Holy Spirit Who is coming, and He said, And I will pray the Father [that is, I, the Lord Jesus], and He shall give [send] you another Comforter [So, you have the Lord Jesus, you have the Father, and you have the Holy Spirit.]... In Matthew 28, He also gives the baptismal formula whereby He refers to Himself with the Father and the Sonbaptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And so, Jesus relates Himself with the Father and with the Holy Spirit. One other thing to remember and a very important one is that the Old Testament names for God are also referred to in relation to the Lord Jesus. We saw that the Hebrew word for Elohim comes over into the New Testament as God.
Now there are three specific times in the New Testament when Jesus Christ is referred to with God, with the definite article, haseos, meaning the true God. In Matthew the first chapter and verse 23, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Very clearly a reference here to Jesus Christ being God. In Hebrews 1:8, ...Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever... That too is the word, Theos with a definite article; but probably the most clear and definitive statement is the statement of Thomas to the Lord Jesus, after the resurrection of our Lord when he is invited to investigate personally the Lord Jesus in regard to His resurrection body, and in response to this invitation Thomas answers in John 20:28, My Lord and my God. The Greek there reads, The Lord of me and the God of me indicating clearly that Jesus was God. [Now Jehovahs Witnesses say, That was just an interjection. He just said, My Lord and my God.] Well, since some of you wont be able to get out tomorrow morning, let me just tell you why it cant be just that. In verse 27 Jesus invites Thomas to investigate and says, Be not faithless, but believing. Then in verse 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed... Now what did Thomas believe? What does he say in the one verse inbetween those two verses? That Jesus was Lord and God. Now remember that and youll tie the Jehovahs Witnesses up in a knot, on this verse which they have tried by all manner of means to get away from. Notice also in that same verse, Jesus Christ is referred to not only as God but also as Lord. This is true many times in the New Testament. The Greek word Kurios which is a translation used for both the Hebrew word, Jehovah and Adonai is the word again and again and referred to the Lord Jesus in fact, we call Him the Lord Jesus Christ.
One more reference which is very outstanding Remember back in Exodus 3:14 when Moses asked, Who shall I say sent me when Im sent to the children of Israel? And God said, I AM hath sent me unto you. In John 8:58 this very expression Jesus uses in regard to Himself, Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. indicating thereby that the Name of Deity of the Old Testament are the Names that apply to the Lord Jesus, thus indicating clearly that He was God.
One more thing that the Jehovahs Witnesses have said to me is, Prove to me that Jesus Christ is Jehovah God. There is a combination proof and theres more than one, one that is very clear. In Revelation 1:17 when John falls down at the feet of the Lord Jesus, Jesus lays His hand upon him saying unto him, Fear not; I am the first and the last... Revelation 1:17. Compare that with Isaiah 44:6, and you will see Jesus Christ has to be God. Thus saith the LORD [and thats the word that means Jehovah] the King of Israel and His Redeemer the LORD of hosts [thats Jehovah of hosts notice this]; I am the first, and I am the last [Jesus said that of Himself. And notice this]; and beside me there is no God. Thus, Jesus Christ, beyond the shadow of a doubt is the true Jehovah God! And, every Jehovahs Witness ought to worship Him if they want to bear the Name of Jehovah. This is regard to His Person!
Second, His Performance. In relation to this, I simply want to take the name, Christ for this refers to the three offices of performance which He fulfilled.
The term Christ is from the Greek word, Christos which comes from the Hebrew Messia or Messiah, and it means the Anointed One. Now in the Old Testament, there were three that were anointed: prophets were anointed, priests were anointed, and kings were anointed. Now Jesus Christ, in His Performance of His official office as The Christ, fulfilled all three of those; and this in response to prophecy. Way back in Deuteronomy 18:15 there is this stated to Moses in regard to himself being a prophet and then in regard to a Prophet Who would follow him, The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken. Confirmation of this is given in Acts 3:22 when this is quoted in relation to the Lord Jesus. Now remember the role of a prophet is to reveal God to men, or to speak for God to men; and Jesus did that when He came. He taught as no other man taught, and He revealed the Father.
Second, He was a Priest There was a Priest that appeared in the Old Testament, a rather unusual man, a man by the name of Melchizedek. The record concerning him is found in the first book of the Bible, in Genesis14 where he is referred to as Melchizedek, the King of Salem. Melchizedek, King of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was the priest of the Most High God. Now it is this unusual man who is referred to in the New Testament as the one from whom the Lord Jesus traces His priesthood. You see, the Lord Jesus was not of the line of Aaron or the Levites. He was in the line of the tribe of Judah, thus was qualified to rule as a king which is the third office but not as a priest. But, He takes this lineage as it were back to Melchizedek; and in the book of Hebrews 5 there is reference made to this great and unusual man in the Old Testament, indicating that ...Christ glorified not Himself to be made an high priest; but He that said unto Him, Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten Thee. In other words, You are the One Who is my Son in a unique relationship to me. And, ...Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Now I suppose I should stop just a moment in regard to that concept, the Son of God. Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God. While we are born into the family of God become sons of God by faith in Jesus Christ, we do not become Gods or we do not become God Himself. We do receive a divine nature, but we do not become God. Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God; and I want to say that that is more of a term of position than of derivative. Jesus Christ was never born He is the One Who derives His power and authority from the Father; but He existed from all eternity! He is the eternal Son of God. Now He was demonstrated to be the Son of God with power, especially when He was raised from the dead, as Romans 1:4 indicates. But that which was always factual was demonstrated to be actual when God raised Him from the dead and declared Him to be the Son of God with power.
Now this Son of God was thereby and therefore the One best qualified to be the High Priest for men to represent men to God which is the role of the priest. The priest, in doing this, offered prayer and sacrifice.
The whole book of Hebrews relates to this very fact that Jesus Christ when He was here on earth offered strong crying and prayer for us; and now, He ever lives to intercede for us. But, the great truth of the book of Hebrews is that He offered Himself as a sacrifice for us on the cross. Our great High Priest, Jesus Christ offered Himself. Thus He fulfilled the role of Prophet, to represent God to men; the role of a Priest, to represent men to God; and He demonstrated His credentials and power as King to rule for God among men. The Old Testament King was to fulfill that role, although he did not always do so. He was to rule for God for men. Now, Jesus Christ proved His credentials, in that He was a son of David and of the line of Judah; and in Hebrews 7, it indicates that this unusual man, Melchizedek also was a king. This Melchizedek, King of Salem, priest of the Most High God; and three times in verse 2 he is referred to as a king. So, Jesus has a tie-in with both David and the line of Judah and with Melchizedek as Priest and King. He has the right to rule upon the earth. One day Hes going to lay claim to that, and He is going to reign and to rule in righteousness upon the earth.
He seeks to rule in the hearts of men today who have believed on Him. The tragedy of many Christians however, is that their life parallels that of the monarchy in England. I remember one of my professors said, You can state the history of England in a brief sentence. It is the limiting of the power of the monarchy. When William the Conqueror came in, he was the absolute ruler; but century after century eroded the power of the monarchy in England to the point where today the Queen of England reigns but she does not rule. How strikingly parallel that is to many Christians Christ reigns, but does not rule. He has the right to be King of your life. Crown Him as such, now. Of course He cant be King unless and until He becomes your Savior, and you have believed on Him.
Finally, His Practice. In the past, His great practice for us was of being Savior. In Matthew 1:21 it indicates that they should ...call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. In the book of Hebrews, again in chapter nine, it indicates that Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many... and again and again it indicates that by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are [being] sanctified in Hebrews 10, as you follow down through this chapter and verse 14. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, and His great work of salvation was completed when He cried out as He did as recorded in John 19:30, It is finished; and the work of our redemption was completed by our Savior when He was here upon the earth.
Now at the present time, His Practice is in heaven, where He appears as Our Advocate. In I John 2:1, My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. We have in the Person of the Lord Jesus, at the right hand of the throne of God, One Who ever pleads our case. He represents us there. You know its rather interesting, we have two divine Attorneys; and that word Advocate can be and was used in the days of the Greeks as an attorney, a representative, a legal counsel. We have the Holy Spirit Who is our Resident Attorney. By the way, this is the same Greek word here, Paraclete. We have Him resident here. We have the Lord Jesus resident at the right hand of the Father. Our case is a foregone conclusion Were going to win, because the Judge now is the Father. In the future day, the Lord Jesus, our Attorney, will become the Judge.So now, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus...
He is also referred to in the Word of God as our Intercessor. In Romans 8 verse 34, Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us. Not only does He represent our case, He represents our concerns; and He is concerned about us, and He intercedes on behalf of us. Hebrews 7:25 indicates this truth as well, Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. And thus, we have One to Whom we can come, One Who is interested in us.
Now finally His Practice: Past as Savior, Present as Advocate and Intercessor; and in the future He is returning for believers as Our Deliverer, and returning to earth as Sovereign King. These are going to be two separate events. There are some who confusedly teach that both of these are going to happen simultaneously; but the Word of God is clear that Jesus Christ is coming back first for His own to receive us unto Himself. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 sets forth this truth. It is set forth in a very capsule form in the expression in Hebrews 9:28, So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin [that is, without the sin question] unto salvation [and that means deliverance for the children of God].
But, Hes coming back also as King. In II Thessalonians chapter one, theres reference to this return of Christ in glory verse seven of chapter one, And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels. You see, when He comes in the Rapture, Hes going to be in the air, and were going to meet Him there. The world will not necessarily see that; but He is going to return in power and great glory. Hes going to be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Now the account of this in the book of Revelation is found in Revelation 19:11-16 in which Jesus Christ is referred to as returning on a great white horse, and Hes riding forth in judgment I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And in verse 16 it indicates, He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
It is this One Who will return as the Sovereign Ruler, not only the earth but of all the Universe; And before Whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God, the Father! We read that passage from Philippians 2:5-11 that indicate that some day every knee will bow and every tongue confess. You know, someone has very wisely said, It is not a question of whether you will bow before Him, but when! Either you will bow before Him now as your Savior and acknowledge Him as your Lord, as your Sovereign now; or one day you will acknowledge Him as your Judge. It will not bring you salvation when you bow before Him in that day. It will simply add to your righteous condemnation, because He is the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Shall we pray?
Our FATHER We trust that if there is anyone who is listening to this message this day who has never received Jesus Christ as personal Savior, Jesus Christ the God-man, God Who became flesh and dwelt among us and gave His life for us on the cross may such an one respond, even in this very moment and say, Lord Jesus, be merciful to me a sinner, save me. Thank you for dying for my sins on the cross. Thank you for paying the price for my redemption so that I might have eternal life through Your Name; and so that I might serve You now and look forward to seeing You when You return to receive us unto Yourself and return with you when You return to rule and to reign in righteousness upon the earth. We pray in Jesus precious Name. Amen.
Dr. Stuart E. Lease
August 14, 1974 pm
Ocean City Baptist Church, Ocean City, NJ
Summer Bible Conference