LENT 2020 - Jesus Said: I AM, Part III
Friday, April 3 2020
If you haven't done so yet, I encourage you to read
LENT 2020 - JESUS SAID: I AM, PART I
and LENT 2020 - JESUS SAID: I AM, PART II
5) OBJECTIVITY IS CRUCIAL:
It is very important that we believe in objective truth that is more than our own subjective feelings or desires… What we feel or what we desire does not make God what He is.
When God says “I AM WHO I AM”, He summons us to humble objectivity. He puts an end to the notion that everybody’s view of God is as good as everybody else’s. God is who He is and nobody’s opinion of Him makes any difference. Therefore, our calling as His creatures is to strive to know Him for who He is, not for who we would like Him to be.
6) WE MUST CONFORM TO GOD, NOT HE TO US:
If children should learn their manners from their parents and not the parents from the children; if players should learn their moves from the coach and not the coach from the players; if soldiers should learn their strategy from the general and not the general from the soldiers; then surely it is plain that creatures should conform all their lives to the will of their Creator!
Oh, how few of God’s creatures follow this path of reasonableness. The vast majority of God’s creatures go their own way with little or no thought of conforming their lives to the daily will and character of an absolute God… If God simply is who He is and not who we make Him out to be, then it is we who must conform to God and not He to us.
Now… what does all this talk about the Divine Name “I AM WHO I AM” have to do with Jesus? It has everything to do with Jesus, because as John Piper concluded in his sermon…
7) THIS INFINITE, ABSOLUTE, SELF-DETERMINING GOD HAS DRAWN NEAR TO US IN JESUS CHRIST:
In John 8:52-58, Jesus is answering the criticism of the Jewish leaders who believe He is demon-possessed, and who ask Him: “Are you greater than our father Abraham?… Who do you think you are?” Jesus says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see My day; he saw it and was glad.” The Jews then said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” JESUS said to them, “Truly, truly! I say to you, before Abraham was, ‘I AM’.”
Could Jesus have taken any more exalted words upon his lips? When Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, ‘I AM’”, He took up all the majestic truth of the Name of God, [YHWH] wrapped it in the humility of servanthood, offered Himself to atone for all our rebellion, and made a way for us to see the glory of God without fear.
Even the Jewish leaders, as angry as they were as they picked up stones to stone Him for blasphemy under their law, understood that Jesus’ “I AM” declaration that day was a claim to be the same “I AM” — the same YHWH — revealed by God to Moses so many centuries ago.
In JESUS CHRIST, we who are born of God have the unspeakable privilege of knowing YHWH as our Father, of knowing “I AM WHO I AM” — the God:
- Who exists
- Whose personality and power come only from Him and are controlled only by Him
- Who never changes
- Who is an inexhaustible source of energy
- Who we ought to strive to know, objectively and humbly
- to Whom we must conform, and not He to us
- Who has drawn near to us in Jesus Christ
(a huge thank you to John Piper for so much valuable thought re: “I AM WHO I AM” - https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/i-am-who-i-am)
Lastly, in Romans 10:9, the apostle Paul declares: "If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus (Yeshua) is Lord”... you will be saved." Immediately thereafter, in Romans 10:13, Paul backs up this declaration by quoting the Old Testament: “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD (YHWH) will be saved.” (Joel 2:32) Evidently, calling on Jesus (Yeshua) as Lord is the same as calling Him YHWH, because Jesus (Yeshua) is YHWH (LORD).
WOW! Try to wrap your mind around that! According to the Old Testament, salvation comes from calling on the name of YHWH. In the New Testament, salvation comes from confessing the Lordship of Jesus. Obviously, Jesus is YHWH — obviously JESUS is the Great “I AM”.
Dear friend: how will YOU stand before JESUS today? how will YOU respond to Him as “I AM”? May you believe in Him — may you confess His name and lordship for your salvation — may you trust Him with your mind and heart and soul — may you know Him and love Him and honor Him as the Great “I AM” of your life all your days.
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