Intro: I would have us pick up from where the Lord’s message ended last Sunday. Let me quote that last passage again.
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse: from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” Isa. 11:1-3
This was a prophecy God promised to Israel that was fulfilled after 700 yrs. The Spirit of the Lord rested on Jesus when it came down at His baptism. The Holy Spirit only came upon Him because he was pure from birth and lived a sinless life even as a human being. Unlike us we need the Holy Spirit to be in us to give us a new heart for we are all fallen beings, born with a sinful nature, and on our own we cannot fully obey the Lord. Yet, even Jesus being human needed the Holy Spirit to empower him for ministry just like prophets of the Old Testament. Here’s how He revealed this to the Jews.
“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole country side. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it he found the place where it was written.” “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:14-21
I have entitled our message today as,
“Jesus Lived to Please only God, His Father”
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: “Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on the cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Therefore, my dear friends as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Phil. 2:5-13
Jesus knew everything that was prophesied about him. It did not come into his mind automatically to know the Word of God, but he studied and read the Bible. Of the ministries the Holy Spirit had to Him, the one he delighted was the “fear of the Lord.” It was not fear of death or any other kind of fear but the fear to please His Father in everything at all times. It was a joy for Jesus to give great joy and pleasure to His Father. This was a delight to him.
What place does this fear of the Lord have in each of our lives? I mentioned in last week’s message that the children that were saved had feared death sometime in their lives. People who have no fear of death, is because they do not believe there is a God so they don’t also believe in hell. Solomon gave us this truth before anyone can come to know God.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Prov. 1:7
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Prov. 9:10
And who gives this wisdom?
“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Prov. 2:6
That’s the reason we are not neglecting our young children when they come to church, that they are taught the Word of God. However, that’s only 45 minutes in the week. The rest of the time they are to be taught by their parents at home. Here’s how the young pastor Timothy got saved.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Tim. 3:14-15
Then we see that “Jesus humbled Himself.” Why did he have to do that since He is God who left heaven to live in a human body. He left His attributes as God in heaven and made himself nothing. “Nothing,” here means that compared to God, He considered Himself nothing by becoming human and taking the nature of a servant. In the eyes of the world servants are nobody? They are looked upon as the lowest in the rank of mans worth. What does a good servant do? He submits to the authority of his master and always has his master’s interest. If a servant in this world does not submit to his master do you think his master will be pleased? He will get fired. Humility is an attitude and behavior of showing respect and not thinking highly of one’s self. Jesus degraded himself by His choice for this was the will of His Father who has become His authority as was written of Him,
“And now the Lord says - he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord and my God has been my strength – he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” Isa. 49:5-6
This is how we Gentiles also came into the kingdom of God. Because Jesus humbled himself, by first leaving heaven to take on human flesh and then in total submission to God His Father gave Himself to be crucified on that cruel cross to receive the punishment, not for His own sin but for our sins as payment to redeem and save us from going to hell. God cannot justify saving anyone without the payment for sins. He is just and must carry out His law.
“For the wages of sin is death…” Even just for one sin.
So, for a sinner to be saved he must humble himself before Christ seeing that he is already guilty of sin and deserves the punishment of God. The opposite of being humble is to be proud. Pride is in our nature. Cain the firstborn of Adam did not submit to worship God His way. He is in fact the father of all religions. Religion teaches that you believe in God and do the best you can to be good and do good to your fellowmen. By this teaching one does not have to humble self because he can work it out to gain his salvation. If one is saved this way then he can take pride of himself because of what he has done. But according to the Bible this is how one is saved.
“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast.” Eph. 2:8-9
Salvation is by the grace of God given by God to those who bow their knees
to Jesus as Lord. Bowing is an act of humility. If Jesus humbled himself, do you think He will save anyone who is proud?
Humility goes before obedience. “He humbled himself and became obedient to death.” Jesus obeyed every command of His Father because He submitted Himself to do the will of God in everything. His ultimate obedience to His Father was to go to the cross. Do you think it was easy for him to submit? He was in anguish knowing the suffering and pain of being nailed to the cross and to take the punishment for the sins of the world. That is why He pleaded with His Father if there was a way He could skip going to the cross knowing beforehand that every sin man has committed is going to be laid upon Him and be punished for them all. He knew this because it was already written for Him as the will of God for Him.
“We all like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isa. 53:6
Was this very serious to Him? When Jesus went to pray he fell with his face on the ground. He pleaded three times. And the answer was there is none.
“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44
Every sin was punished by God and He bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors. That was the obedience of Jesus. If he was not willing to die for our sins then we all suffer the punishment in hell forever and ever. Can you even grasp what eternity is like? This is what one is saved from. Here’s what God said revealed to the apostle Paul.
“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who believed. This includes you because you believed our testimony to you.” 2 Thess. 1:8-10
Has Jesus come already? Yes, to those who have received Him into their hearts. Don’t you marvel at what He has done in your life? How you have experienced being forgiven of all your sins as if a ton of bricks has been lifted from you. And most of all you don’t have any more fear of death. You have this new life and freedom from the slavery of sin which you had no power to say no before you got saved? Isn’t this a miracle that God has done in your life? But this is only true to those who have truly been saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ that you only believe though you have not seen Him. We only see Him now through the eyes of faith by His Word.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” Heb. 2:9
What a privileged to be one of those who heard the gospel and the testimony of those who brought it to us how you and I can get saved.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12
Eternal life is a possession. You either have it or you don’t. And that possession is in the person of God the Son. Jesus did not remain human. After His death and burial He rose from the dead and returned back to His throne in heaven after accomplishing what He came for. He is now King of kings and Lord of lords. And here’s the good news that He did.
“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Cor. 15:3-4
Jesus Christ accomplished the will of God to saved sinners from their sins. He accomplished this because He feared the Lord. He humbled Himself and was fully obedient to do exactly everything what His Father commands. He did all these because he loved God His Father.
In the same way, this is how one gets saved. One gets conscious of God leading to fear God. This is what happened to a Gentile that was saved.
“At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God fearing: he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.” Acts 10:1-5
The account goes that Peter shared the gospel to him and to his household and they all got saved and after that got baptized. When Peter shared this with the believers in Jerusalem together with those he brought with him they gave this testimony, only then did the Jewish believers believed.
“So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?” When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.” Acts 11:17-18
Cornelius and his household got save by the grace of God. He feared God and then humbled himself to call Peter a Jew to hear from him the good news. After he got saved, he and his household obeyed the Lord in baptism and I believe from that time on became obedient to Christ their Lord.
Most if not all Filipinos believe in God, the God taught by religion. But not necessarily have the fear of God. Because they have been misled by wrong teaching of salvation and they do not fear the terror of God that He will send them to hell for theirs sins. One of the biggest deceptions that many have believed is that they will have a chance before they die to repent and be saved. In the meantime they can enjoy life and continue in their sins as long as they go to church and pray.
What is your testimony? Have you come to Jesus in the same way that Cornelius came to know Jesus Christ? God does not send angels to draw us to His Son anymore but He uses circumstances that will make you see your need for the Savior and hear from those He will send to bring you the good news. If you have not come to Jesus this way, repent of all your sins and confess Jesus as your Lord because you have surrendered your life to Him.
If you have already done this are you obeying Jesus as you should? Are you growing in your love for God to please Him in all you do. Your coming consistently to worship is the first step and evidence that you honor God by honoring the Son. For out of our worship God will reveal more of Himself and so we grow in knowing Him and loving the God who loved us with an everlasting love. May this be true for all of who have experienced God’s saving grace.
“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Cor. 5:15
Come to Jesus and receive eternal life and then “live for Jesus.”