What God Did For Us
Jesus: The Link (Part 3)
Colossians 1:9-20 For this
reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you
and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all
spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of
the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and
increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to
His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience;
joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the
inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of
darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have
redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the
firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the
heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or
rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He
is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of
the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so
that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was
the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him
to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His
cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Years ago I discovered an incredibly helpful invention.
[Illustrate with two pieces of chain and a coupling link.] The invention
is the coupling link. With it, you easily can add a link to a piece of chain.
So, with it you can make two broken chains a single chain. The link has an
opening that can be opened or closed easily. If it is open, it can easily fit on
to a chain. If it is closed, it becomes a strong part of the chain. The link
makes what would be impossible easily possible.
This evening I want to begin by reading several scriptures. Though these
scriptures come from different contexts and make many points, I want you to
notice two things. (1) All of them are in some way about the work of Jesus as he
benefits us. (2) All of them state in some way that Jesus is our "link" to God.
In Jesus we can be again "connected" to God, and that would be impossible if it
were not for Jesus.
Please read with me on the overhead or in your Bible. Notice the "coupling"
Jesus makes possible between us and God the Father. The Father can be in Jesus'
disciples because Jesus is in those disciples.
- Please pay attention to the fact that Jesus allows us to have God the
Father in us.
- John 1:14-18 And the Word became flesh,
and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten
from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and
cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has
a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'" For of His fullness we
have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through
Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one
has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the
Father, He has explained Him.
- John 3:16-21 "For God so loved the
world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into
the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through
Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe
has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the
only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light
has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light,
for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and
does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he
who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be
manifested as having been wrought in God."
- John 10:34-38 Jesus answered them,
"Has it not been written in your Law, 'I said, you
are gods'? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the
Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified
and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the
Son of God'? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;
but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works,
so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the
- John 12:44-50 And Jesus cried out and
said, "He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me
but in Him who sent Me. He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. I have
come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not
remain in darkness. If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I
do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the
world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who
judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.
For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself
who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to
speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I
speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me."
- John 14:9-21 Jesus said to him,
"Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not
come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can
you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the
Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do
not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His
works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me;
otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to
you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and
greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever
you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in
the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me,
you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you
another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of
truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know
Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I
will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while
the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you
will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father,
and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps
them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My
Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."
- John 16:25-28 "These things I have
spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no
longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of
the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you
that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father
Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came
forth from the Father. I came forth from the Father and have come
into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father."
- John 17:1-5 Jesus spoke these things;
and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father,
the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as
You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given
Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may
know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have
given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the
glory which I had with You before the world was."
- John 17:20-26 "I do not ask on behalf
of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;
that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You,
that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent
Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may
be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may
be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and
loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they
also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see
My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation
of the world. O righteous Father, although the world has not known You,
yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have
made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love
with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
- Hebrews 1:1-4 God, after He spoke long
ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in
these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all
things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His
glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things
by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins,
He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having
become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more
excellent name than they.
- Luke 9:23-26 And He was saying to them
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must
deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever
wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My
sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he
gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever
is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when
He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy
- Luke 10:21-23 At that very time He
rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I
praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these
things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.
Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All
things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the
Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone
to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."
Turning to the disciples, He said
privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the
things you see."
- Mark 8:34-38 And He summoned the crowd
with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone
wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and
follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever
loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it
profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will
a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me
and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will
also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the
- Matthew 10:32,33
"Therefore everyone who confesses Me
before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But
whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is
- Matthew 10:25-30 "It is enough for the
disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master.
If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will
they malign the members of his household! Therefore do not fear them, for
there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will
not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and
what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but
rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to
the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all
- I know we just read through these, but I hope you saw something
emphasized repeatedly in these readings.
- In some way, these readings each focus on three parties: we humans,
Jesus Christ, and God the Father.
- There was a repeated emphasis on this fact: God the Father dwelled in
Jesus, and Jesus can dwell in us.
- Therefore we can have God in us because Jesus is in us.
- It is what God did in Jesus that makes it possible for God to live
- Let me seek to illustrate the problem and the solution in this way.
- The problem:
- God is absolute holiness and has no association with anything that has
evil in it.
- Everyone of us has evil in us.
- Thus the problem is how can the holy God have association with people
who have evil in them?
- It is easy for us to respond, "God can have association with us if we
are forgiven," but that does not solve our problem because we cannot
- The solution:
- God made it possible for us to have association with Him because of
what God did through Jesus' death and resurrection.
- God the Father can forgive us because Jesus atoned for us--he paid the
full price for our evil in his total innocence.
- Thus Jesus becomes the link that makes it possible for unholy us to
associate with the holy God.
None of us associate with God because we are worthy. All of us associate with
God because we are forgiven. We do not create our forgiveness. God does through
what He did in Jesus' death and resurrection.
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 08 January 2006
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