“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is…” (Hebrews 11:6a)
In the first devotion of this series, the answer to the question ‘Who is JESUS?’ is the Revelation of His Incarnation by the Holy Ghost. That is, God is the only Agent that can reveal that the babe Jesus lying in the manger is the very Son of God in the flesh; or to say that Jesus is God Himself, housed in a human body, yet without sin.
The statements and actions by Zacharias, Elisabeth, Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, the wise men, even John the Baptist himself, and the Apostles proved – as Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16:17 – this knowledge of who I am cometh not from flesh and blood, but only from My Father in heaven.
However, as we examined the previous-mentioned witnesses that Jesus was in fact, God in the flesh – we saw that the Process of Revelation is done only by the Holy Ghost.
The Apostle John unequivocally stated that Jesus, the Eternal Logos, became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1-3, 14).
This Process of Revelation is revealed in the Work of Regeneration by the Spirit of God. The Process of Regeneration begins in quickening (making alive) the dead sinner, dead in trespasses and sins; one that is totally depraved; one that is dead, spiritually dead and separated from God (Ephesians 2:1-3). This dead sinner must be quickened by Christ Himself:
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)
Then, the quickened sinner must be brought to repentance; which is brought on by Godly sorrow for his sin, as revealed to the sinner by facing the Law of God (Romans 3:19-23; 7:1-14). The Perfect Law reveals the sin of man. It slays him and points him to Christ, the End of the Law for Righteousness (Romans 10:4).
The quickened sinner must be brought (drawn and taught) by God:
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44)
“It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” (John 6:45)
He must come to see Christ as the Sacrifice for his sins (Romans 3:24-25); Christ as his Substitute (2 Corinthians 5:21); and Christ as his Savior (John 3:15; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24).
Then the quickened, drawn, taught sinner comes to Conversion and Confession of his Salvation in Christ:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10)
Christ taught this process to Nicodemus in John 3:1-20. Christ taught Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again”; first a natural birth, and second, a spiritual birth:
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
“Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (John 3:4)
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7)
“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
Birth is proof of life. Birth does not give life; life is given at conception. Only God can give life – physical and spiritual. When a sinner is quickened by God (John 6:63; Ephesians 2:1), he is given spiritual life. This life is manifested as Christ draws, convicts, and teaches the sinner that his Salvation is in Christ and in in Him alone (Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7); and brings the sinner to conversion, or confession that Jesus, God, is his Savior (Romans 10:9-10).
When this happens to you: then and then only do you have the indwelling of Christ and the witness that He is your Father and you are His son (Romans 8:14-16). Then and then only do you know (ginōsko; know by experience) that you are free from the law of sin and death by the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2). Then and then only do you know that the love of God has been shed abroad in your heart (Romans 5:5); that you are given a new heart, a new nature (Ephesians 4:24); that you are made a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Then and then only do you perceive that you have the mind of Christ and have the power to discern spiritual truth (1 Corinthians 2:9-16).
Saul, whose name was changed to Paul, stands as an example of one who was once blind, but was made to see by God’s power. (Read Acts 9:1-20.) So it is with all of God’s converted sheep. (See John 10:1-31; especially verses 27-31.) It is then and then only that His Sheep hear His Voice and follow Him.
Yes, when Christ gives the dead sinner life and brings him to conversion (John 9:1-25), then, like the blind man in John 9:25, 35, 36-38:
“He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?” (John 9:36)
“And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.” (John 9:37)
“And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.” (John 9:38)
Then you will know who Jesus is – He is the Son of God; God in flesh, yet without sin. Hallelujah! Amen and Amen!
Revelation comes in the Process of Regeneration to Conversion. Until this happens, you can see the miracles; even eat from the miracle of two fishes and five loaves of bread; and still not see who Jesus is:
“Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” (John 6:26)
“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” (John 6:27)
“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” (John 6:28)
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:29)
Note verse 29, “This is the work of God, that ye believe (trust, obey) on him whom he hath sent.”
Many professing Christians (so-called) today are in the same place as those in verses 26-27. They had no spiritual perception of who the True Manna from heaven was. They knew what bread was, but they could not perceive who the Bread of Life was, even Jesus Christ. The end of their journey was in verses 60-66:
“Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” (John 6:60)
“But there are some of you that believe not…” (John 6:64a)
“And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” (John 6:65)
“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (John 6:66)
Then Jesus said to the twelve disciples, “Will ye also go away?” (verse 67)
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
“And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:69)
They had been quickened and given revelation, but it was not completed until their spiritual birth on the Day of Pentecost, at the time of their conversion.
Therefore – Who is Jesus to you?
(This was originally posted on August 19, 2014)