1. In 2 Peter 3:18, the Bible teaches us to grow in the knowledge of Christ. 2. According to John 5:39, to grow in our knowledge of the Lord we must "search the scriptures" because they testify of Him. 3. Many times the Lord’s physical life on earth is emphasized so much that the other periods of His existence are overlooked. 4. This is unfortunate because the Bible speaks of the Lord’s existence in 5 different periods. 5. In our lesson we are considering a number of passages that show this to be the case.
I. FIRST, THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT CHRIST EXISTED BEFORE THE BEGINNING
A. The Lord's eternal existence is declared by: 1. the apostle John (John 1:1-3) 2. the apostle Paul (Colossians 1:16-17) 3. the Lord Himself (John 8:58 – "Before Abraham was, I am."). B. These verses teach us that the Lord: 1. was already in existence at the beginning 2. existed as God (a member of the eternal Godhead) 3. was Creator.
II. SECOND, THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT CHRIST APPEARED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
A. (Genesis 18) The Lord appeared to Abraham. 1. (vs.1) "And the Lord appeared unto him [Abraham] in the plains of Mamre." 2. We learn from vs.2 that 3 men came to visit Abraham. 3. Abraham fed his visitors, and they revealed that Sarah would have a son. 4. (vs.16-22) "The men" went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood before "the Lord" and had a discussion with Him. 5. We are informed in Genesis 19:1 that 2 angels went to Sodom. 6. Who was the third visitor? "The Lord" B. (Exodus 23:20-23) God told Moses that "an Angel" would guide and protect the Israelites as they traveled to the Promised Land. 1. Who was this Angel? 2. According to 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, this Angel was Christ.
III. THIRD, THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT CHRIST CAME TO THIS WORLD IN THE FLESH
A. His coming was prophesied. 1. (Genesis 3:15) He would come as the seed of woman. 2. (Genesis 49:8-12) He would come from the tribe of Judah. 3. (Isaiah 7:14) He would be born of a virgin. 4. (Micah 5:2) He would be born in Bethlehem. B. Eventually, Jesus was born (John 1:14; Galatians 4:4). C. Why did Jesus come to earth and live as a man? 1. (Galatians 4:5) He came to redeem us. 2. (Hebrews 2:17) He came so He could serve as our High Priest.
IV. FOURTH, THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT CHRIST EXISTS IN HIS GLORIFIED STATE AT THE PRESENT TIME
A. We learn from Acts 1:1-9 that Jesus was with His disciples for 40 days after His resurrection – then He ascended to heaven. B. (Ephesians 1:19-23) When Jesus ascended to heaven, the Father set Him at His right hand. C. There He reigns as: 1. King of kings 2. Lord of lords 3. the head of His body, the church. D. He serves as our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) and High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16). E. He will remain in this state until the end of time. 1. On the judgment day He will descend from heaven, and the earth will be destroyed (2 Peter 3). 2. After judgment takes place, eternity will begin.
V. FIFTH, THE BIBLE TELLS OF THE LORD'S EXISTENCE IN THE AGES TO COME (SEE 1 Corinthians 15:24-28)
1. I hope that our study has challenged us to want to know more about our Lord and Savior. 2. Do you know Him as "Savior?" (To be more specific, have you allowed Him to save you from your sins?) 3. Are you serving Him faithfully as "Lord?"