True Esteem (Part Two) by Pastor Abidan Shah

TRUE ESTEEM (2) by Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson

Introduction: Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you knew someone and they turned out to be a whole lot more? It’s happened to me many times but last year it happened when Nicole and I would go to this store where when we first started going there, two guys would wait on us. One was a very outgoing salesman and the other was kind of soft-spoken guy who hung around. Then there was a third guy there who was typically behind the counter with another salesman. We thought that the obviously the one behind the counter with the other salesman was the owner, the outgoing guy was the main salesman, and the quiet guy was just a trainee. One day the “trainee” wasn’t there and so we asked if he had quit. They said, “Oh no, he is the owner’s son!” Who we thought was the least important person there turned out to be the most important person!It changed the way we interacted with him the next time! So also, many people have a very limited and even misguided view of Jesus. But, when we truly see him for who he is, it changes the way we think about him, worship him, and obey him. This is the second part of our message titled “TRUE ESTEEM” in our series on Philippians 2:5-11.

Philippians 2      5Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, andcoming in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient tothe point ofdeath, even the death of the cross. 9Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11andthatevery tongue should confess that Jesus ChristisLord, to the glory of God the Father.

Question: How do you see Jesus? If you and I are to have the mind of Christ, do you know what the mind of Christ is like? If you truly see him for who he is, it would change the way you think about him, worship him, and obey him. Do you know him?

Context: As you know, we are in our series called “MIND (RE)SET” where we are learning how to have the mind of Christ. The last message in this series was called “TRUE ESTEEM.” In this message we began to learn what the mind of Christ was all about. Listen again to Paul in verse 6“who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.” Meaning:Even though Jesus had the same form as his Father (spirit, eternal, and glorious), he did not consider “equality with God something to grasp after.” In other words, Father, Son, and Spirit are coequal in essence but different in roles. The Father is in authority and initiated creation and redemption but it’s the Son who actively created and came to redeem with his life and the Holy Spirit encompasses everything and gives life and power to the creation and to every believer. The Son never tried to usurp, subvert, or sabotage the position of the Father. By the way, this was not just in the past. This is how it will be in eternity. 

Quick Application:This is also the pattern for us in our relationships at church, family, and marriage. We can have unity and harmony only if we understand that we can be equal in essence but have different roles and functions. (1 Corinthians 15:28)

Now let’s go a step further, a step deeper– “but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, andcoming in the likeness of men.” That verse has caused more controversies, schisms, and heresies than any other verse I know. What does that mean that Jesus came in the “likeness of men”? Some people believe that when Jesus was on earth that temporarily he stopped being God. They claim that as God he was an all-powerful spirit being but as man he became a weak and finite human being. But, that’s not what was said about him in Matthew1:23“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His nameImmanuel,”which is translated, “God with us.” Later Paul said in Colossians 2:9“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

So, what happened 2000 years ago? First, let me tell you what it does NOT mean:

1. It does not mean that God the Son came and took on a human body but kept a divine mind.That’s a heresy called Apollinarianism that the church condemned at the Council of Alexandria in AD 362 and Constantinople in AD 381. Hebrews 2:17“Therefore, in all thingsHe had to be made likeHisbrethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertainingto God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

2. It does not mean that there were 2 persons inside Christ, a human and a divine. That’s also a heresy called Nestorianism that the church also condemned. Jesus never gave any indication that he had a split personality. John 10:10 Ihave come that they may have life, and that they may haveitmore abundantly.”

3. It does not mean that Jesus was a combination of a human and divine nature into a new third kind of nature. This was also condemned by the church as a heresy at the Sixth Ecumenical Council in 680-681. He had to be truly both at all times so he could represent us as man and earn our salvation as God.

So, what does it mean that Jesus became man? Listen again to verse “but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, andcoming in the likeness of men.” What I am about to go over is the traditional, historical, and biblical position held by the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox churches on the nature of Christ. We may disagree over other stuff like Baptism, Lord’s Supper, the role of Mary but not this. This is coming out of a Church Council that was held at Chalcedon from October 8 to November 1, AD 451. It also caused a schism between the churches in the east and the west.

1. Jesus is truly human in body and soul just like he was/is truly God in form (essence, nature, and substance).

For example: Driving a very expensive car down a muddy country road. Also, a king becoming a beggar. (From Bruce Ware, The Man Christ Jesus)

2. Jesus is two natures, one divine and the other human, and they are distinct with distinct wills.

On the one hand,Matthew 4    1“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”On the other hand, Matthew 8    26But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

On the one hand, John 16:28“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.” On the other hand, Matthew 18:20“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

On the one hand, Luke 23:46And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ”Having said this, He breathed His last. On the other hand, John 10     17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”

3. Jesus is one person not two. John 17:11“Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You…”

4. The human nature was without sin. He became completely like us but he did not share our sinful nature. He was dying but not for his own sins. He was dying for our sins. In a sense, he was just like Adam. He was human without a human father. Where Adam failed when he was tempted, Jesus did not. The conditions of the fallen world are there but He stayed pure all the way to the cross.

Final question: Did God change? Was God more after the Incarnation? Revelation 13:8“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

The Incarnation of Jesus is a Paradox, a Miracle that is greater than the Creation of the World and the Resurrection of Jesus!

2 Corinthians 8:9“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”

Invitation: Take time to think about what God has done for you! How amazing and awesome he is! How compassionate and gracious he is! Humble yourself before him. Be saved if you’re not.

Believing is Seeing by Pastor Abidan Shah

BELIEVING IS SEEING by Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson

believing-is-seeingIntroduction: With the Christmas season here I’m preaching a short series titled – “BELIEVING IS SEEING.” During Christmas we are told to believe in the magic of Christmas, to see things with the eyes of a child and see fairy tales come to life. This series will show us that the real miracle of Christmas is Jesus. Once you believe in Him, He comes alive and you can see Him everywhere in Scripture, history, and our own lives.

John 5   39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life…45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Bridge: Have you ever said, “Seeing is Believing”? It means – “Before I can believe something I have to see it.” In other words, “Show me the proof/evidence and then I will believe or commit myself to that decision/action. Is that bad? Not really. To some extent, you do need to cautious before stepping out in the unknown. Imagine if people stepped out without first checking the traffic, financial investment, or medical procedures? It would be a disaster. But, when it comes to Jesus, believing comes before seeing. You have to receive Him by faith first that He is who He said He is and then you will begin to see how He is exactly everything He said He is.

Context: In the passage we will look at today, Jesus rebuked the Jewish religious leaders for refusing to believe in Him. They kept asking Him for more and more proof before placing their faith in Him. In fact, they were more interested in getting honor from each other than submitting to Him. They even took pride in the fact that they were studying Moses’ writings, the Torah. Jesus declared to them that if they believed in Him, they would realize that Moses’ writings are actually about Him. But before they could see that, they had to believe in Him. The reason they couldn’t is because they rejected Him.

Question: Are you having trouble seeing Jesus? You can see God. You can see Moses. You can see the Law/10 commandments. You can see David and Goliath. You can see Esther and God’s faithfulness. But Jesus…is hard to find. If you’re trying to see Him before believing in Him, let me save you the trouble because you can’t. Belief comes before sight. You have to receive Jesus by faith that He is who He said He is and then you will begin to see how He is exactly everything who He said He is. Are you saved? Once you are, the Holy Spirit will open your eyes and you will see Him everywhere in Scripture, history, and in your life

Let’s walk through the passage and see how believing comes before seeing.

I. THE VAIN SEARCH

39 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life…”

Background: In Judaism the Scriptures, especially the Torah, were considered to be the source of life. One of their main rabbis, Hillel, said, “the more study of the Law the more life.” He added – “If a man has gained a good name he has gained [somewhat] for himself” but “if he has gained for himself words of the Law he has gained for himself life in the world to come.” The Jewish religious leaders took pride in their study and knowledge of Scriptures. Jesus did not denounce or deride their study. He simply exposed their misunderstanding – “…and these are they which testify of Me.” Meaning: Yes, the Scriptures do tell you how to find eternal life but they point to Jesus as the source of eternal life. By the way, Jesus did not introduce this when He came. Those waiting on Him commonly believed this. John 1:45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

Studying the Bible without Christ is no different than reading a cookbook and thinking that it will satisfy you. The Bible has the words of eternal life because it points to the one who is coming to bring us eternal life. His name is Jesus.

Application: If you’re seeking eternal life, do read the Bible but then come to the main subject of the Bible – Jesus. Some people study the Bible to find wisdom, others to find strength, and yet others to find peace. All that is fine but it is Jesus who is wisdom, strength, and peace. By the way, if you love bible studies without Christ, you will never be satisfied. After each lesson the question should be – “Now how does this bring me closer to Christ?” Are you searching in vain?

II. THE UNWILLING LIFE.

40 “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”

Background: The Greek word for “not willing” is “ou thelete,” which is literally “you do not choose” or “you choose not to.” Meaning: This was not the “unwillingness of ignorance” but the “unwillingness of rejection.” They deliberately chose to reject Jesus.

What was keeping them from coming to Jesus? It was not serious questions from scriptures about the messianic prophecies or difficult passages. Jesus answered some of those already. For example, when Philip told Nathaniel – “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph,” he replied, 46 “…Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Meaning: Nathaniel was a sincere searcher. 48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Meaning: Nathaniel was willing. He was waiting for someone to show him the way.

There are people who have all kinds of questions about creation, flood, miracles, problem of evil, problem of pain, salvation in other religions, etc. None of those are wrong as long as you are open to the outcome of giving your life to Jesus. But, if you’ve already made up your mind that you will not receive Christ for ulterior motives, then no amount of answers and bible studies will help you.

Application: What is your hang-up? Why are you unwilling to follow Jesus? Are you willing to be made willing?

III. THE SERIOUS CHARGE

Background: Just when you want to say – “Maybe…these people just didn’t understand who Jesus really was. Maybe…they needed a little more teaching and a little more time,” listen to how Jesus exposed them.

41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. Meaning: These people were the opposite of God’s love kind of people. They had hate, anger, bitterness, and meanness in their hearts. Furthermore, 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. Meaning: Jesus said – “I’ve come with my Father’s authority” and they rejected Him but some others said – “I’ve come with my own authority” and they accepted them. In other words, they were willing to accept anyone but Jesus.

As a pastor, I come across people like that quite often. They are not lost people living in ignorance but lost people living in denial. Their meanness shines forth and their hatred cannot be covered up. They say one thing but they have something else in their hearts.

Now come some very sobering words in this passage44 “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” Meaning: Your unwilling heart is keeping you from believing in Me (Jesus).

45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.

How does Moses accuse them? The same Law that shows us our helplessness also reveals us our condemnation. You can either see the Law and look to the one who can redeem us by grace or we can ignore the Law and be crushed under its weight. John 1:17 “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

Application: What is keeping you from turning to Christ? Can you see your condemnation? Are you willing to turn to the One who can bring you grace?

IV. THE LOGICAL STEP

46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Background: These are very deep words and we will study them in the upcoming week – “How did Moses write about Jesus even before He came into this world 2000 years ago?” For now – Here’s the simple understanding of that statement – “When you see yourself under the condemnation of the Law (10 commandments) and find yourself guilty, then next step is to fall helplessly before God. You have to admit to Him that you are guilty and that you cannot save yourself. You need His grace. At that moment, God will open your eyes and you will read Moses (Law/10 commandments) in a whole new light and see that Christ is all over the place.

The moment you are willing to believe, you will start seeing Christ.

My dad did and left Islam and gave His life to Christ.

Application: Are you willing to take the next logical step? Are you at the next logical step

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET SAVED

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET SAVED by Pastor Shah, Clearview, Henderson

What Happens When You Get Saved-

We are in our 6th week of the series on salvation and guess what? Someone else got saved and baptized! So here’s another message on salvation titled – “WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET SAVED.” If you asked the average Christian to explain what happened when they got saved, you won’t get just one answer. You will be shocked at the different answers you will hear. Some will say that their sins were forgiven, others will tell you that they are going to heaven, someone else will talk about a feeling of peace that came over them, and yet others will tell you the name of the church they joined. There is some truth in all that but salvation is so much greater!

Hebrews 2:1-4   1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

Overall Background: The Book of Hebrews is right up there with the Book of Romans for me. It was written to help Christians who were having doubts regarding their salvation. They were wondering if all this “getting saved” stuff was just a mistake. The Book of Hebrews was written to prove that Jesus Christ was the culmination of everything in the Old Testament. He was indeed God’s Son that we were all waiting for. His sacrifice is all we need for our salvation. By the way, did you notice how salvation is described in verse 3 “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation.” Meaning: This is not just any salvation but “so great a salvation!” Our salvation is worth so much more than we think!

For e.g.Søren Kierkegaard was a philosopher, theologian, and social critic. He told a story of some thieves who broke into a jewelry store but they did not steal anything. They simply rearranged the price tags. They took the price tags from expensive jewelry and put them on cheap jewelry and took the price tags from cheap jewelry and put them on expensive jewelry. The next morning, they simply came and paid next to nothing for million of dollars worth of jewelry.

Sadly, that’s what we have done to getting saved. We have taken the price tag from “so great a salvation” and put it on worthless things and taken the price tag from worthless things and put it on our salvation. But our salvation is truly so great.

 This morning we will see what our salvation is worth from 7 different perspectives:

1. FROM GOD THE FATHER’S PERSPECTIVE:

Galatians 4:4-7   4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Previously, we were children of wrath. Previously, we were under the Law. Previously, we were just God’s creation. But now we are His children with all the inheritance.

6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Our adoption has changed the way we communicate with God. Previously, it was as if we were talking to the man upstairs but now as to our Heavenly Father.

7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Some people have a hard time with that – how can you say that I have all that God has when there’s only $5 in my bank account? Having all that God has is more than just having all the gold and silver in this world. It is having God’s power in you – the power to bring life where there is death, the power to bring hope where there’s defeat, the power to bring joy where there is sadness.We are recipients of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Earthly gifts include money, land, protection, etc. Spiritual gifts include peace, grace, joy, wisdom, discernment, maturity, insight, etc.

 FROM GOD THE FATHER’S PERSPECTIVE WE ARE HIS CHILDREN. We have everything that belongs to Him.

2. FROM GOD THE SON’S PERSPECTIVE:

Ephesians 1:7“In Him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through His blood…”

“Redemption” means payment of a ransom. According to the Old Testament law, if a person were to lose his inheritance or be sold into slavery, he and his property could be redeemed if a family member could come and pay the money. We were in slavery to sin but Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins. He redeemed us through His own blood. I Peter 1:18-19 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

What else? 7 In Him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Meaning: Once you are saved, you are forgiven for everything past, present, and future. It is not a license to sin. Now you are a slave of Christ. You have to ask permission from Him to sin.

 FROM GOD THE SON’S PERSPECTIVE WE HAVE BEEN REDEEMED BY HIS BLOOD. We belong to Him.

3. FROM GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT’S PERSPECTIVE:

Ephesians 1:13-14 13“…in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

“Holy Spirit of Promise” – When Jesus was with His disciples, He had promised them that when He left, He would send to them another Helper. John 14:16-17 14 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. The moment we are saved, He comes just as promised.

What does He do? 13 “…you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise…” Meaning: The moment we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes and puts His seal upon our lives. The seal says that now we belong to God. No one can break that seal. What else does He do? 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Meaning: It’s His responsibility to guide us and bring us to our inheritance. All I have to do is let Him have control of every area of my life.

FROM GOD THE SPIRIT’S PERSPECTIVE WE CARRY HIS SEAL. We are His responsibility.

4. FROM SATAN’S PERSPECTIVE:

1 Peter 5:8   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Why is there this hatred? Ephesians 2:1-2 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.

“Prince of the Power of the Air” – This is a title for Satan. He is the one who has temporary rule over this world. He is doing all in his power to keep people in his control. He is behind the evil that goes on in this world.

When we are made alive from trespasses and sins, we are set free from Satan’s control and brought into the Son’s control.

Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”

How does he handle this? He doesn’t like it. You are his target. Watch your back.Hence you have to put on the whole armor of God.

FROM SATAN’S PERSPECTIVE WE ARE HIS ENEMIES. We are his targets.

5. FROM THE WORLD’S PERSPECTIVE:

I Peter 4:3-4 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles— It’s another way of saying “the way of the world.”

What did it include? When we walked in lewdness, (shameless behavior that is not stopped in a person’s life) lusts, drunkenness, revelries, (long parties than are filled with drinking and immorality of every kind) drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

So what now that you don’t do these things anymore? 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. Your old friends cannot understand why you don’t want to hang with them anymore. They cannot understand what has happened to you. They think you are such a bore.

For e.g. I was never a bad kid. Praise God that he guided and protected me. Nonetheless, I had my friends who would do things that were not good. When I went back for a visit, they were there waiting for me to go hang with them. After the first few attempts they said to me – “Man, you’ve changed. You’re not the same anymore.”

1 John 2:15-16   15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

FROM THE WORLD’S PERSPECTIVE WE ARE NO LONGER ONE OF THEM. We are different.

6. FROM THE CHURCH’S PERSPECTIVE:

Romans 12:4-8 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

2 things stand out in that verse: First we are a body. The church is not just an individual or a family. It is a body. Second, we are members of one another. We are connected to each other.

When a person gets saved, it’s as if a part of the body that was previously paralyzed has come alive. Now, it is up to the rest of the parts to welcome the new part.

6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Are you missed when you are not at church? Do people notice that you’re not here?

FROM THE CHURCH’S PERSPECTIVE WE ARE ONE BODY WITH DIFFERENT GIFTS.

7. FROM OUR OWN PERSPECTIVE:

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

FROM OUR OWN PERSPECTIVE WE ARE A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST.

Do you have all that we just talked about? Are you Saved?

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