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JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Mr. John Samuel Cagan
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, January 14, 2018


Please turn with me to the book of Ephesians, chapter two. It’s on page 1251 in the Scofield Study Bible. Stand as I read Ephesians 2:19, 20.

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:19, 20).

You may be seated.

Here in these verses the Apostle Paul tells us that the church is the household of God. Then he tells us that the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, but Jesus Christ Himself is the “chief corner stone.” Dr. J. Vernon McGee said this means “that Christ is the rock on which the church is built” (Thru the Bible, Volume V, Thomas Nelson, p. 241; note on Ephesians 2:20). Dr. A. T. Robertson said, “akrogōniais...the primary foundation stone” (Word Pictures, Broadman, 1931; note on Ephesians 2:20). Jesus Christ Himself is the foundation of all our work, and all our lives. “Jesus Christ himself” is the very foundation of our church. I am lifting out those words from the end of Ephesians 2:20 as our text this evening.

“Jesus Christ himself” (Ephesians 2:20).

Jesus Christ Himself is the subject of this sermon. The Christian faith contains nothing so wonderful as Jesus Christ Himself. There never was and never will be anyone else like Jesus Christ. He is absolutely unique in human history. Jesus Christ Himself is the God-man. Jesus Christ Himself came down from Heaven and lived among men. Jesus Christ Himself suffered, bled and died for our sins. Jesus Christ Himself rose physically from the dead for our justification. Jesus Christ Himself ascended back to the right hand of God to intercede for us in prayer. And Jesus Christ Himself will come again to set up His Kingdom on earth for one thousand years. That is Jesus Christ Himself! “Jesus Only, Let Me See.” Stand and sing it!

Jesus only, let me see,
   Jesus only, none save He,
Then my song shall ever be –
   Jesus! Jesus only!
(“Jesus Only, Let Me See” by Dr. Oswald J. Smith, 1889-1986).

You may be seated.

The subject of Jesus Christ Himself is so deep, so vast, and so important that we could never explain it all in one sermon. We can only touch on a few points this evening concerning Jesus Christ Himself.

I. First, Jesus Christ Himself is the central theme of the whole Bible.

Is it unreasonable for us to tell you that Jesus Christ Himself must be central in your thinking? No, it is not unreasonable. Why, think of it, Jesus Christ Himself is the great theme of the whole Bible – from Genesis to Revelation! After Christ rose from the dead He met two disciples walking toward Emmaus. What He said to them applies also today.

“Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

From the five books of Moses, and throughout the rest of the Bible, Christ explained to them “in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” What could be plainer? The main theme of the entire Bible is Jesus Christ Himself! Since Jesus Christ Himself is the main subject of the Bible, is it not reasonable for you to make Jesus Christ Himself the main subject of your thoughts and of your life? I say to you, think deeply this evening about Jesus Christ Himself! Sing it!

Jesus only, let me see,
   Jesus only, none save He,
Then my song shall ever be –
   Jesus! Jesus only!

I believe that knowing Jesus Christ Himself, in a real conversion, is the most important thing that can ever happen to you. If you truly trust Jesus Christ Himself you will need very little counselling. I believe that a true knowledge of Jesus Christ would do away with the need of almost all Christian counselling! When a person knows Christ, in a real conversion, he will find that Christ,

“...is made unto [him] wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (I Corinthians 1:30).

If we got rid of “decisionism” in our churches, if we made sure people were truly converted to Christ, it would do away with nearly all of the counselling done in the churches today! Let Jesus Christ Himself be the counsellor! Sing it!

Jesus only, let me see,
   Jesus only, none save He,
Then my song shall ever be –
   Jesus! Jesus only!

II. Second, Jesus Christ Himself is the essence, the central element, the very heart of the Gospel.

The prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus Christ Himself as the heart of the Gospel,

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

“The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The vicarious, atoning death of Christ, in thy place, paying the price and suffering the wrath of God in thy place – that is the heart of the Gospel! It is Jesus Christ Himself receiving thy sins upon Himself in the darkness of Gethsemane. It is Jesus Christ Himself in that Garden, who said,

“My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death” (Mark 14:34).

It is Jesus Christ Himself who,

“being in an agony…sweat…as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).

It is Jesus Christ Himself who was arrested there in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is Jesus Christ Himself who was dragged before the Sanhedrin, beaten in the face, mocked and shamed. They spit in the face of Jesus Christ Himself! They pulled swatches of hair out of the beard of Jesus Christ Himself. It was Jesus Christ Himself who was taken before Pontius Pilate, beaten across the back with a Roman scourge, crowned with thorns, Blood dripping down His forehead into the blessed face of Jesus Christ Himself, His face beaten beyond recognition,

“His visage…marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men” (Isaiah 52:14).

“And with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

It is Jesus Christ Himself who was taken from Pilate’s court, dragging His Cross to the place of execution. It was Jesus Christ Himself who was nailed to that cursed wood. It was Jesus Christ Himself who suffered not only the pain of the nails driven through His hands and feet – but who suffered a far greater pain when God “laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus Christ Himself “bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (I Peter 2:24). Dr. Watts said,

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
   Sorrow and love flow mingled down:
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
   Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
(“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” by Isaac Watts, D.D., 1674-1748).

Stand and sing it! Now sing our chorus!

Jesus only, let me see,
   Jesus only, none save He,
Then my song shall ever be –
   Jesus! Jesus only!

You may be seated.

III. Third, Jesus Christ Himself is despised and rejected by the human race.

The evangelistic prophet Isaiah made that clear when he said,

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3).

Dr. R. A. Torrey said, “The failure to [have] faith in Jesus Christ is not a misfortune, it is a sin, a grievous sin, an appalling sin, a damning sin” (R. A. Torrey, D.D., How to Work for Christ, Fleming H. Revell Company, n.d., p. 431). The prophet Isaiah described the sin of despising and rejecting Christ, the inward depravity that causes lost people to hide their faces from Christ. The greatest proof of man’s total depravity is that they think so little about Jesus Christ Himself. The greatest proof that lost mankind deserves eternal punishment in the lake of fire is that they deliberately and habitually hide their faces from Him.

In an unconverted state people despise Jesus Christ Himself. In their state of total depravity, they do not esteem Jesus Christ Himself. Until you are pricked in your conscience, until you feel convicted of your sin, until you feel that your heart is dead toward God, you will continue to despise and reject Jesus Christ Himself.

In our church we see that happen in the counselling, after the sermons. We hear people tell about many things. They talk about Bible verses. They talk about “realizing” this thing or that thing. They tell us about what they felt and what they did. They usually end by saying, “Then I came to Jesus.” That’s all! They can’t say one more word about Jesus! They have nothing to say about Jesus Christ Himself! How could they possibly be saved?

Great Spurgeon said, “There is a wretched tendency among men to leave Christ himself out of the gospel” (C. H. Spurgeon, Around the Wicket Gate, Pilgrim Publications, 1992 reprint, p. 24).

Knowing the plan of salvation cannot save you! Learning more of the Bible cannot save you! Hearing more sermons cannot save you! Feeling sorrow for your sins cannot save you! It didn’t save Judas, did it? Dedicating your life cannot save you! Your tears cannot save you! Nothing can help you unless you are led to stop despising and rejecting Jesus Christ – unless you are moved to stop hiding your face from Him – unless you are drawn to Jesus Christ Himself! Sing it again!

Jesus only, let me see,
   Jesus only, none save He,
Then my song shall ever be –
   Jesus! Jesus only!

You may be seated.

IV. Fourth, Jesus Christ Himself is the only source of eternal salvation.

They took Jesus’ dead body down from the Cross and buried it in a sealed tomb. But the third day, He rose physically from the dead! Then he came to the Disciples and said, “Peace be unto you” (John 20:19).

“And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord” (John 20:20).

“Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord” (John 20:20). Jesus Christ Himself gave them joy “when they saw the Lord.” You can never know deep peace, and the joy of the Lord, until you know Jesus Christ Himself!

Oh, I tell you this evening – I can remember the very moment when I trusted Jesus Christ Himself! What a holy experience! I rushed to Him! Or, rather, it seems that He rushed to me. I was washed clean from sin by His precious Blood! I was made alive by the Son of God! Sing that chorus!

Jesus only, let me see,
   Jesus only, none save He,
Then my song shall ever be –
   Jesus! Jesus only!

You may be seated.

Come to Jesus Christ Himself! Do not leave the Saviour out of your life. Do not leave Him out of your testimony. Do not commit what Spurgeon called that “wretched tendency…to leave Christ himself out of the gospel.” No! No! Come now to Jesus Christ Himself. Listen carefully to these words as I sing them.

Just as I am, without one plea,
   But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
   O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
(“Just As I Am” by Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871).

Jesus died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sin. Jesus shed His holy Blood to cleanse you from all sin. Come to Jesus. Trust Him and He will save you from all sin. Listen to the words of Sheila Ngann.

      Finally that Sunday I felt sick, not physically, but so sick of my sins. I felt so ashamed and guilty. I wanted to drop down on the floor and break into tears. I went to the inquiry room that Sunday and I was so ashamed to even show my face to Dr. Cagan, especially to Dr. Hymers. I was crying and I couldn’t stop. I just felt so disgusted with myself, with the life I was living.
      Then Dr. Hymers showed me Jesus’ beautiful face, covered with His Blood. Thinking of it still makes me break into tears. I will never forget that face, that face who lovingly died for me. I wanted to end the agony. Then Dr. Cagan asked me, “Will you come to Christ?” I replied without hesitation, “Yes, I will come to Him, I will come to Him!” I threw myself to Jesus that day. I completely surrendered myself to Him. I walked out of that room a different person. I know I never experienced that before. Never, not even with the Catholic church. That day Jesus saved me. He accepted me no matter how much I rejected Him in the past. Jesus Christ embraced me wholly. That day Jesus washed my sins away.

I trusted Jesus Christ in the same way. I was miserable without Him. But He saved me by His Blood. Listen to what happened to me.

      While Dr. Hymers was preaching, my pride was trying desperately to reject it, to not listen, but as he preached I could literally feel all my sin on my soul. I was counting down the seconds till the sermon would be over, but the pastor kept preaching, and my sins became endlessly worse and worse. I could no longer kick against the pricks, I had to be saved! Even as the invitation was given I resisted, but I just could not take it anymore. I knew that I was the very worst possible sinner I could be and that God was righteous to condemn me to Hell. I was so tired of struggling, I was so tired of everything I was. The pastor counseled me, and told me to come to Christ, but I would not. Even as all my sin convicted me I still would not have Jesus. These moments were the worst of all as I felt as if I could not be saved and I would just have to go to Hell. I was “trying” to get saved, I was “trying” to trust Christ and I couldn’t, I just could not will myself to Christ, I could not decide to become a Christian, and it made me feel so hopeless. I could feel my sin pushing me down into Hell yet I could feel my stubbornness forcing my tears away. I was stuck in this conflict.
      Suddenly the words of a sermon preached years before entered my mind: “Yield to Christ! Yield to Christ!” The thought that I would have to give up to Jesus so distressed me that for what seemed like forever I simply would not. Jesus had given His life for me. The real Jesus went to be crucified for me when I was His enemy and I would not yield to Him. This thought broke me; I had to let all of it go. I just could not hold onto myself any longer, I had to have Jesus! In that moment I yielded to Him and came to Jesus by faith. In that moment it seemed as if I had to let myself die, and then Christ gave me life! There was no action or will of my mind but with my heart, with a simple resting in Christ, He saved me! He washed my sin away in His Blood! In that single moment, I stopped resisting Christ. It was so clear that all I had to do was trust Him; I can recognize the exact instant when it ceased to be me and it was only Christ. I had to yield! In that moment there was no physical feeling or blinding light, I did not need a feeling, I had Christ! Yet in trusting Christ it felt as if my sin was lifted off my soul. I turned from my sin, and I looked to Jesus alone! Jesus saved me.

Dr. Hymers, please come and close this service.


WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include what country you are writing from. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (click here). You can write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

(END OF SERMON)
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Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
      “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (by Dr. Isaac Watts, 1674-1748).


THE OUTLINE OF

JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Mr. John Samuel Cagan

“Jesus Christ himself” (Ephesians 2:20).

I.    First, Jesus Christ Himself is the central theme of the whole Bible,
Luke 24:25-27; I Corinthians 1:30.

II.   Second, Jesus Christ Himself is the essence, the central element, the
very heart of the Gospel, Isaiah 53:6; Mark 14:34; Luke 22:44;
Isaiah 52:14; 53:5; I Peter 2:24.

III.  Third, Jesus Christ Himself is despised and rejected by the human race,
Isaiah 53:3.

IV.  Fourth, Jesus Christ Himself is the only source of eternal salvation,
John 20:19, 20.