WHAT CHRIST IS
In 1961 I led the saints in Taipei in a study of the riches of Christ to make a list of all the titles of Christ in the Bible. Eventually, we found close to three hundred items. Actually, the names and titles of Christ are not limited to only three hundred; they are unsearchable and inexhaustible. Therefore, in this message we will try to bring out the main points and draw out the extracts, using the twelve verses in the Scripture reading to thoroughly cover so many mysteries.
Christ Being God
On the side of truth, Romans 9:5 says that Christ is God, who is over all and blessed forever. Confucius of China was very good and was revered as the greatest sage, yet he never dared to say, nor has anyone else ever said, that he was above all and was God blessed forever. Rather, he said, “Anyone who sins against heaven can no longer pray to heaven.” This indicates that he admitted that he was man, not God. But when Christ was on the earth, He not only lived out God, but He also told people plainly that He was God. Furthermore, He proved that He was God by signs and wonders and by the words of life.
The words spoken by Christ were simple yet mysterious. They were not only lofty but also full of life supply. He said, “I am…the life” (John 11:25; 14:6). We have life, but we are not life; Christ, however, is life. Our life is fragile, but His life is transcendent. In Him is life (1:4); only He is life. This word which was spoken by Him is truly high and great. Furthermore, He said, “I am the light” (8:12); “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall by no means hunger” (6:35); and “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever” (4:14). Besides God, who can speak such words? The sages throughout the ages could not speak such words. In their mind there were even no such concepts as “the light of the world,” “the bread of life,” and “the water of life.” If we search through the writings of the sages, we cannot find such thoughts or concepts. In the six thousand years of human history, only the Lord Jesus repeatedly referred to life, light, the bread of life, and the living water, because He is all these things. What the Lord Jesus is, is the bread of life, the water of life, and the light of life. Therefore, often when He opened His mouth, He referred to these things. Men do not have these concepts in their mentality, so they cannot speak them. About two hundred years ago a French philosopher said that if the Jesus recorded in the four Gospels was a fabrication, then the fabricator was qualified to be Jesus. This is because the words spoken by Jesus were unparalleled before that time or since then. This is especially true in the matter of life. Therefore, His disciples testified, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (1:4). What Confucius could speak at most was concerning man’s “bright virtue,” but he could not say that in him was life and that the life was the light shining on people. However, the Lord Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (8:12). No philosopher or sage can utter such words. That the Lord Jesus was able to speak such extraordinary words that were unequaled before or after that time proves that He was not ordinary.
The Lord Jesus also did many miracles, or signs, on the earth to prove that He was God. However, He did not perform the miracles in a careless way. While He was on the earth, people often challenged Him to perform a miracle for them. He answered, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet” (Matt. 12:39). However, if necessary He would perform a miracle. The record in Luke 7 tells us that there was a widow in the city of Nain, whose only son died. During the funeral, she was weeping while she walked. She did not ask for a miracle but only wept. Perhaps she felt that neither heaven nor earth would respond to her cry. She never imagined that the Lord of heaven and earth would come at that very moment. When the Lord passed through the city and saw that situation, He was moved with compassion for her. Immediately He came near and touched the bier, saying, “Young man, to you I say, Arise” (v. 14), and the dead man became alive and sat up. The Bible shows us many such miracles. He even calmed the winds and the sea (Matt. 8:23-27). All these cases adequately prove that He is the life and the sovereign Master.
The Lord Jesus is the life, the light, and the sovereign Master. Therefore, His disciple John wrote in the very beginning of his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not one thing came into being which has come into being” (1:1-3). He is the Creator, the sovereign Master of heaven and earth, and the real and living One. Hence, no one who believes in the Lord has the sense of being cheated. Rather, nearly everyone regrets that they believed in Him only belatedly. I am glad that I believed in the Lord before I reached the age of twenty, and my faith has become stronger and stronger because the One in whom I believe is the Lord and God.
There are many religions in the world, and there are also numerous founders of religion. There are many philosophers as well as ancient teachers and sages. However, among so many notables, none have referred to themselves as the Lord, the sovereign Master, or God. Not only so, but nearly no religion requires people to believe in its founder as a lord. For instance, to believe in Buddhism is to believe in Buddha, not in a lord. But to believe in Jesus is to believe in the Lord because Jesus is the Lord. The universe has a Lord, and every creature in it has a Lord. Perhaps some would say that our parents who gave birth to us are our “lords,” but if our parents become sick, they cannot even be their own “lords.” Do not consider that the husband is the lord of a family, because when he encounters many situations, he is unable to act as the lord. There is only one Lord in the universe, and He is Jesus Christ. Only He can be our Lord because He is the life. He is the Lord of all, who is able to rule over all the environment. The Lord Jesus is the Lord and the life, and He rules over all things. Hence, He is God over all, blessed forever!
(Four Crucial Elements of the Bible, The—Christ, the Spirit, Life, and the Church, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)