Never Spoke A Man Like This Man

Thursday Evening - Part 7

Feb. 7, 2019


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] Let's turn back into the chapter that we read. The Gospel of John chapter 7. And we can read again at verse 45.

[0:20] The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees who said to them, Why did you not bring it? The officers answered, No one ever spoke like this man.

[0:32] The Pharisees answered them, Have you also been deceived of any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.

[0:43] And so on, particularly verse 46, the officers answered, No one ever spoke like this man.

[0:54] On the Sunday evenings in the Bible studies, which again, because of being away so much, I've only managed to attend one of them so far, you've been looking at the person of Jesus.

[1:07] And I want this evening to spend a little bit of time looking at the context of this passage, particularly looking at the person of Jesus and what we can see from what we have written here about him.

[1:24] Only John records the words that we have here, like so many other things that John is the only one who records. And the reason for that, I'm sure you're aware, is quite simple.

[1:35] John's Gospel is written long after the other three, the three synoptic Gospels, written probably in Ephesus, but maybe in Paphos when John was in exile, when John was an old man.

[1:49] And John is filling in many of the things that the synoptic Gospel writers have not recorded. But he has a further purpose.

[2:01] John's purpose from the very beginning of his Gospel is to prove the divinity of Christ. And we'll come to that in more detail as well. And we see again, I didn't read the beginning of this chapter, we see that at the beginning of this chapter, we see that this takes place in verse 2, round about the Jews' Feast of Booths, that that was attend, or known as the Feast of Tabernacles.

[2:29] Now, this is in the final year of Jesus' ministry, the third year, very often referred to as the Year of Opposition, or sometimes the Retirement Ministry in Galilee, we see before that, that after this Jesus went about in Galilee, he would not go about in Judea.

[2:48] And although he makes a visit here to Jerusalem, he then retires from Jerusalem as well after that, until he comes again close to Easter time.

[3:00] And this almost certainly takes place in the year AD 30, something at the end of 29. Again, the dates are arguable. But the date of the Feast of Tabernacles is well known to us, it lasted from 15th to the 22nd of October.

[3:17] And it was basically a harvest Thanksgiving. That was called the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles, because many of the Jews who came to Jerusalem would cut down palm branches and make shelters, and would live in these shelters for the days of the Feasts, sometimes on the tops of relatives' houses, sometimes round about them and so on.

[3:42] And it seems that Jesus' intention at the beginning was not to come to this particular feast. The Feast also celebrated the giving of the water at Meribah in Exodus 17.

[3:57] We'll come to that again when we see the bit on living water, that's why we sang Psalm 107. And you see at the beginning of the chapter that the brothers say to him, this is his blood relatives, if we can put it that way, Mary's other brothers, other sons, leave here and go to Judea that your disciples may see the works that you are doing.

[4:21] And Jesus says to them that he's not yet going. My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. And then he says, you go up to the Feast, I am not going up to this Feast, for my time has not yet fully come.

[4:36] After saying this, he remained in Galilee. Now, there's a slight problem with the ESV translation there. If you read it on the surface, the way it is there, it appears that Jesus is contradicting himself, or perhaps even tells a lie, because he says in Versailles, I am not going up to this Feast, for my time has not yet fully come.

[5:03] However, it's a controversy that is easily resolved, because if you look at the authorised version, you'll see that the position of the word yet is quite different. I am not yet going up to this Feast, and that's the way it should be.

[5:19] So there is a slight mistranslation there in the ESV. And so he remains in Galilee, but then he goes up to the Feast. And then we see from the rest of the chapter on that there is a huge debate when Jesus, people are looking for him and so on, and he's speaking openly in the temple.

[5:38] And we see from the beginning of verse 25 that we read, it's not this the man whom they seek to kill. Here he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him. Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ?

[5:51] And then we find that they are seeking to arrest him, but in verse 30, but no one laid a hand on him because his hour was not yet come.

[6:03] And then there are many mutterings in verse 31 that many of the people believed in. When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?

[6:14] Now generally, John uses the word signs rather than miracles. Although in one sense the two terms are interchangeable, John sees them as signs again of the divinity of Jesus Christ.

[6:30] And that is the term that he uses in Greek throughout his gospel, although it is occasionally translated miracles. And so we hear this muttering in verse 32, the Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him.

[6:50] And it is then, if we jump to verse 45, that the officers come back to the chief priests and Pharisees who said to them, why did you not bring him? And the officers answered, no one ever spoke like this man.

[7:04] Now how much did the officers actually hear and who were the officers? To take the second question first, the officers are part of the temple guards.

[7:16] They are not something Roman soldiers. They are the temple guard, the Sanhedrin, that is the elders of Israel, the 70, who ruled over the temple were allowed by law to have a guard on their temple.

[7:30] It's the same guard as you see pilots speaking to them after the resurrection, or after the crucifixion, where he says, you have a guard, send a guard to guard the tomb, so that no one can steal the body, etc.

[7:43] And this guard then is sent to arrest Jesus. But they fail to do so. Now which of the discourses of Jesus did they actually hear?

[7:56] If you look at the passage that we read from 32 onwards, when the officers are sent out by the chief priests and Pharisees, then there isn't really that much of a discourse in what he says.

[8:11] He says, I will be with you a little longer and then I am going to him, he sent me, you will seek me, you will not find me where I am, you cannot come.

[8:22] And then there's argument about what that means. Now it would seem that those words in themselves would not be enough, perhaps to have the officers saying, no one ever spoke like this man.

[8:34] But when you come to the verses 37 onwards, where we see on the last day of the feast, the great day, this was the Friday, Jesus stood up and cried, if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

[8:48] Whoever believes in me as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. And John enlarges on that, that he is speaking about the coming of the Holy Spirit.

[9:03] Now again we have to put this in context of what was actually happening here. The custom was that on the last day of the feast, the harvest Thanksgiving, the feast of Tabernacles, that the high priest would draw from the pool of Siloam, you remember the pool of Siloam connected with the healing of the blind man, that he would draw from there a golden pitcher full of water.

[9:30] And that was then taken in procession to the temple. And in the court of the temple, the court of the burnt offerings, the pitcher of water was then ceremoniously poured over the altar.

[9:45] And this was as an offering, first of all, to God, and secondly to remind the people of the miracle that had taken place in Exodus 17, when you remember Moses hitting the rock and the water coming out the water of Meribah.

[10:03] And Jesus, it would seem when that instance has been done, he then cries out in a loud voice, if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

[10:15] And you can see now the connection between his words and what actually happened there. If you weren't aware of that, it looks like a very random saying. Jesus suddenly stands up and cries out to anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

[10:29] But then he says, whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.

[10:40] Now, what was he referring to in terms of living water? John clarifies, of course, that it was for the coming of the Holy Spirit. But yet there were also Old Testament references here as well.

[10:55] And it's interesting that this takes place exactly 500 years after the prophet Haggai had prophesied exactly what would happen here.

[11:10] If you turn back to Haggai chapter 2, it's on page 957 for those of you who have... I forgot to put this on a slide, I should have put it on a slide.

[11:24] Haggai chapter 2, page 957. And here you will see the prophecy that is given here from verse 6 onwards.

[11:40] For thus says the Lord of hosts, Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations so that the treasure of all nations are come in.

[11:54] And I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts.

[12:07] And in this place, I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts. Now again, to put that into perspective, Haggai is one of the restoration prophets.

[12:20] That is, one of the ones who was there when the second temple, the temple of Sarubhable, was being consecrated after the return from Babylon. Now again, I'm not going to go into all that in great detail.

[12:34] But this is 500 years exactly to the day when Jesus stands up and says, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

[12:48] And the Jews, those who are familiar with the scriptures of the Old Testament, would also have connected the vision in the sea till 47. And I don't know if you remember, I think it's a long time since anyone's preached from Ezekiel.

[13:05] But in Ezekiel, he has this vision of a great temple being built, a great new temple being in Jerusalem. And if you look at the dimensions of it, it's absolutely enormous.

[13:16] It would have covered more or less three quarters of the whole of Europe, the size of it, according to the dimensions it's given. But the thing that is interesting about it is that from the temple, there flows forth a river of water.

[13:30] And as Ezekiel gets closer and closer to the water, he sees that the further the river flows, the deeper it gets, and deeper and deeper until it begins to cover the whole earth away in the distance.

[13:45] And again, this was the river of living water that was prophesied that would come. Bear in mind also that not so very long ago in the Gospel of John, we have seen the Samaritan woman and Jesus at the well, where he had spoken to her about living water.

[14:05] Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Now, I'm not going to go into all these things again. I'm sure you're very familiar with them anyway. But to concentrate more on what the officers actually said, we don't know how much of the discourse they had.

[14:23] We have to assume that the officers would be familiar with the Old Testament scriptures. And they may well have made the connections, the Old Testament connections, between what Jesus says and the scriptures that they use so well.

[14:42] But you notice that again, as always, and nothing has changed over 2,000 years, that as soon as people begin to talk about Jesus Christ, there is a division of opinion.

[14:55] We see this from verse 40 onwards. When they heard these words, some of the people said, this really is the prophet. Others said, this is the Christ. But some said it's the Christ to come from Galilee.

[15:07] As not the scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was. So there was a division among the people over them.

[15:19] And again, you'll be very familiar, of course, that the name of Jesus brings division even nowadays. And again, that's something I'm not going to go into right now. But you notice the three opinions.

[15:31] This really is the prophet. What were they referring to? They were referring to the last prophecy in the Old Testament, the final words of Malachi about the coming of Elias, which of course, referred to John the Baptist, the coming of John the Baptist, but they are taking that as the prophets.

[15:49] Others say, this is the Christ. Now remember that the Christ is the New Testament word for the Messiah of the Old Testament. Both words mean the same thing.

[16:00] One word is Hebrew, one word is Greek. And they both mean the Anointed One. The Anointed One who was to come, who was prophesied from Moses onwards.

[16:11] If you go back in the Old Testament, and again, time doesn't allow us to go into all the prophecies, there are 334 direct prophecies in the Old Testament, which Jesus fulfills in the New Testament.

[16:27] There are other indirect prophecies that make it much more than that, but direct prophecies. So here's the argument. This is the prophet, this is the Christ, and then they say, but Christ is not to come from Galilee.

[16:40] Hasn't the scripture said that Christ comes from David, Bethlehem, etc.? They were quite correct. That's exactly where he did come from. He came, descended from David, and he was born in Bethlehem.

[16:54] But you notice that they haven't checked out the facts. There was a division among them. It's interesting that you see the same phenomenon. Remember when the wise men came to visit Jesus, and they go first of all to Herod to ask where does the child who is born king?

[17:11] That Herod consults the scribes and the scribes say, Bethlehem. And so they go off to Luke and Bethlehem. But you notice that apart from the wise men, the only one who actually believes that possibly the Christ, the anointed one, the king to come, he is to be born king of the Jews, who is born at Bethlehem, the only one who checks and takes it seriously is actually Herod.

[17:37] None of the others bothered to check it out. And that is of course why Herod later carries out the massacre of the children of up to two years, because it took probably two years before he realised that the wise men were not going to come back and tell him the truth.

[17:53] So here we see there was a division among the people over them. Some wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. And so the wise men came to the house and they were all in the house.

[18:05] But no one laid hands on him. Why not? Well again, the simple obvious reason is that no one laid hands on him because as he said so often, his time had not yet come.

[18:19] And we have to remember that the Christ here is fulfilling the foreordained decrees of God, the covenant of God, and the plan laid out from all eternity.

[18:33] That plan had specified exactly when Christ would come, when he would die, where he would die, how he would die, and what would happen as a result of death.

[18:47] This is the plan of salvation. And it had been laid out in the covenant, the mercies of God and the decrees of God from all eternity.

[18:58] Why did you not bring him? No one ever spoke like this man. Why not? Because no one ever could speak like this man.

[19:10] There was never a man like this man. And the term man here is perhaps it does not do justice to the nature of Christ.

[19:22] And one of the things that you've been looking at in your study is exactly what is the nature of Christ. How do we define the passion of Christ?

[19:36] Now this is a big subject, it's a big topic, it's what we call Christology, the study of Christ. And to deal with it in about 15 minutes is going to be impossible.

[19:47] But we can try and scratch the surface of some of it enemy. If someone asked you, as a believing Christian this evening and said to you, define for me the person of Christ in simple terms so that I can understand.

[20:08] I wonder what you would say. Probably most of us would say things like, well, you know, he's the saviour of the world, etc. and so on, and things that are commonly known.

[20:20] But the person would then come to you and say, no, that's not what I mean. What is it that is different about Christ? Describe the nature of the person of Christ.

[20:36] And so you would perhaps struggle, like I have done many times and probably will struggle again tonight, to describe how divine nature and human nature came to exist together.

[20:52] Was Christ both man and God at the same time? Was there more God and less man? Was there more man and less God?

[21:03] How do we define what Christ, the nature of Christ, what he actually was? Books and books and books have been written about this.

[21:15] And of course there is a complete consensus of opinion when we come to break down the person of Christ. No man ever spoke like this man because no one could speak like this man.

[21:29] There was no one ever, and there never will be anyone who will have the nature of Christ. The divine nature of Christ and the human nature of Christ.

[21:44] The two things together. Now how do you understand that? How can you understand Jesus Christ being God and man at the same time?

[22:01] That really is a mystery. But it's when we start to break down and look at the person of Christ that we can see more and more detail of the depth of that union together.

[22:18] This is what is known, I'm going to give you a technical term here, the theological term in case you, I'm sure you've heard it before but so that you remember it. This is called the hypostatic union.

[22:33] There is no other, no other case of it and there never will be any other case of it. This is what theologians call the hypostatic union. The person of Christ who is both at the same time divine and at the same time human.

[22:52] People say very often, well, explain to me, how can that be? How is it possible that the second person of the Godhead who could descend to earth, take on himself a human nature, live among sin and sinners for 30 years before he begins his ministry, be conceived in what appears to be an apparently normal way to the human eye that he is born, although we know that he's conceived by the Holy Spirit, that's a different thing, we'll come to that in a minute, and then proceeds through a three-year ministry in which he eventually goes to the cross and yet never sins.

[23:42] There's the amazing thing about it. And people then say, well, if he never sinned, he was never human. He was never fully human because all human beings fall into sin at one time or another.

[23:57] And there is the first error that we come up against, because the nature of Christ never changed from the nature he had in the Trinity.

[24:10] Say that again. The nature of Christ never changes from the nature he had in the Trinity. The divine nature is still there with him from his conception right through to his resurrection.

[24:29] He never loses it. It is what theologians will call the divine essence, the essence of God is there. You see, we often have a picture of the Trinity as the Father up here sort of in charge, like you think of fathers always being in charge of things, and then the Son, you know, under the Father's authority, and then the Holy Spirit somewhere over there, you know, who's not called into action except occasionally until the day of Pentecost.

[24:57] And that picture that we have is quite, quite wrong. Remember what the Catechism says, there are three persons up in the Godhead, and each one is equal in power and in glory and in substance.

[25:12] All three make up one God. That's why throughout the Old Testament, if you look at the words that are used in the Old Testament for God, particularly in Genesis and in the early chapters, you find that the word that's used in Hebrew is Elohim.

[25:30] The word Elohim is plural. That's why it's translated in Genesis one and various other chapters as, let us make, let us make man in our own image because it is a Trinitarian act.

[25:49] And there are many who argue about, of course, the existence of the Trinity. That's another theme altogether. If you want to see the Trinity in action, go to Jordan.

[26:02] Have a look at the baptism of Jesus where you hear the voice of the Father, the person of the Son and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove. All three taking place at the baptism in the Jordan.

[26:16] Never man spake like this man. No one could speak like this man because there was no other person who had the divine nature. What did that mean?

[26:27] It meant that at all times in his divine nature, he has all the attributes of God. That's astounding when you think about it.

[26:38] That the baby in the womb was omniscient, omnipotent and had every other attribute that the Father and the Spirit had.

[26:49] That's quite something when you think about it. But of course, none of these attributes were being exercised in the womb. Now, this is where it becomes really difficult for us to kind of understand this.

[27:02] And we then say, well, at what point does the person of Christ begin to exercise the attributes of the Godhead?

[27:13] You notice that scripture does not record for us anything of our Lord's childhood until he is 12 years old. And only then we see him in the temple questioning, but we are told that he increases in stature and in wisdom.

[27:29] And we don't see him again until his baptism at the age of 30 when he is beginning his ministry. What was he doing all that time?

[27:42] Of course, people will say, well, he was a carpenter. He learned the trade of his father, a carpenter, and he was, as the word says, subject to his mother and his father during his time of his growth until he takes up his ministry.

[28:00] And the question is often asked, you know, why? Why did it have to be at 30 years that he took up his ministry? What would you answer to that, I wonder?

[28:13] I should be asking the questions here and see what answers would come back. But the answer is actually quite simple. The Levitical High Priest, none of the priests could begin their ministry until they were 30 years of age.

[28:30] And therefore, although Jesus is not a Levite, remember the offices that Jesus will fulfill. And then again, you can go back to your Catechism to see that Jesus fulfills the office.

[28:44] In the presence of Christ, he fulfills the offices of prophet, priest and king. It is as priest, high priest, that he will go to the cross.

[28:56] It is as high priest that he will offer the atonement to sacrifice, satisfy the justice of God. The letter to the Hebrews lays that out in great detail.

[29:10] Why did you not bring him? Because they couldn't. The time was not right. Something in the words that this person has spoken has had an impact on them.

[29:26] And when you think very often, when people are disputing about Jesus, and what kind of person Jesus is, and I noticed this in the study as I was going through some of the questions, even though I haven't been there, that it deals very superficially with some of the things that are sent in the Gospel of John.

[29:46] The more you look at the words of the Gospel of John, the deeper of a deeper insight you get into the law of Jesus Christ as a person. In many of the things that he says, in verse 33, I will be with you a little longer than I am going to him who sent me.

[30:04] You will seek me and you will not find me where I am. You cannot come. Now you and I can understand that perfectly easily because we know about the cross, we know about the resurrection, and we know everything that follows from that.

[30:19] How baffling must that have been to the Jews? How baffling? Remember in another part in John 10 he says, my father and I are one.

[30:32] No wonder the Jews were about to take up stones to stone him for blasphemy because he is claiming to be equal with God. And again, if you and I had been in the crowd listening to Jesus speaking, it's very probable that you and I would have had the same reaction.

[30:52] Where would you have been outside the judgment seat of Pilate? Would you and I also have been shouting crucifixion?

[31:04] I think we would have, along with all the others who were there. There are some who think that it was a sort of rent-a-croud that the Pharisees had and the chief priests at the cross had to be at a trial who were brought along deliberately to shout these things so that Pilate would carry out the crucifixion.

[31:26] But there must have been many of the ordinary people there. The same ones who had been calling Hosanna in the triumphal entry into Jerusalem a few days before who would probably have been caught up in the emotion of the thing would also have called crucifixion.

[31:44] And to be honest, if you look at yourself and your own human nature before you were converted, that's exactly what you would have said as well.

[31:56] We will not have this man to rule over us. And that's exactly what the Pharisees said to the officers after that. Have you also been deceived?

[32:07] Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in them? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed. And yet that's the same crowd that they will manipulate to call out crucifixion.

[32:22] What did they mean by not knowing the law? Well again, if you look back a couple of chapters before, this is where Jesus had healed the man at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath and told him to carry his bed.

[32:37] And thus it would seem to them that he had no respect for the law at all. But Jesus himself had answered that. He had answered it before in verse 19.

[32:50] Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keep the law, he says. Why do you seek to kill me? The crowd answered, you have a demon who is seeking to kill you.

[33:01] Jesus answered them, I did one work. That was the healing of the man and you all marble. Moses gave you circumcision, not that it is from Moses but from the fathers, and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.

[33:14] If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man's whole body well to not judge by appearances but judge with right judgment.

[33:31] And although the time scale and the way the order of the chapter, it would seem that the officers didn't hear that particular speech, but they may well have done. They may well have been among the crowd and heard that particular speech as well.

[33:47] And so Jesus shows so clearly how the Pharisees in this crime are living by the letter of the law but not by the spirit of the law. The time is running on and I want to have a more in-depth look at the person of Christ and to leave something with you that hopefully you can take away with you.

[34:11] And this is called the Athanasian creed. Now I don't know if you're familiar with this, the creed attributed to Athanasius, the fourth century bishop of Alexandra, who was the strongest defender of the doctrines of the Trinity and the divinity of Christ.

[34:31] It defines the doctrines of the Trinity and the nature of Christ in very concise language. Please note that the term Catholic with a lower case C is not a reference to the Roman Catholic Church, but is a reference to the universal Christian faith, since that is how the term was originally used.

[34:52] You are all Catholics, but you are also Protestants. And it's very important that we are aware of that difference. You're not Roman Catholics, there's the difference, but you belong and believe in the Holy Catholic faith.

[35:09] And I don't know how many of you listen to Modocamble's services in the Wednesday prayer meeting in Barlas. I'm not a Barmas free church, but he's working on the Holy Spirit at the moment.

[35:23] And there he made reference to the Athanasian creed. And the first part of the creed, which is this whole page, is all about the Trinity.

[35:35] But the second part of the creed, which is the next bit, is about the Lord Jesus Christ. I made matters easy for you by making copies.

[35:48] So pass those around to everyone. Because it is really worth having a look at this. It is the forerunner of all the creeds that we have. The Nicene creed and the various others are based on this.

[36:02] And this gives you, I'm not going to say it's in simple language, but it gives you in very concise language, the nature and the person of the Lord Jesus Christ right now.

[36:15] And we'll just go through it for a minute or two. Again, I'm aware of the time.

[36:26] And this was the creed then that was laid down by Athanasius. And he says, Furthermore, it is necessary to have a lasting salvation that he, that is the believer, you and I, also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[36:47] But the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. God of the substance of the Father be gotten before the worlds.

[37:02] And again, so many people think that Christ is a Jesus is only begotten when he's born of Mary. That's a very common error, but begotten before the world. And a man of the substance of his mother born in the world, perfect God, perfect man of a rational soul and human flesh subsisting.

[37:25] Equal to the Father as touching his Godhead and inferior to the Father as touching his manhood. Who, although he is God and man, yet he is not two, but one Christ.

[37:41] One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

[37:57] For there's the rational soul and flesh as one man. That's you and I. We are soul and flesh. The rational soul and flesh as one man, so God and man is one Christ.

[38:11] Who suffered for our salvation, descended unto hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sits at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the quick and the dead.

[38:28] And his coming all men will rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

[38:41] This is the Catholic faith, which accept a man believed faithfully, a man or woman. He cannot be saved. And that is the basis of every creed and every doctrine of theology about the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

[38:58] It's all there. It's all there. And it's all there in all the detail that you need to know. And even though you may not be familiar with terminology like the hypostatic union and the essence of God and various other things like that.

[39:14] That doesn't really matter. It's here. Everything you need to know is here. It's remarkable that the creed has survived from the fourth century Bishop of Alexandria.

[39:29] When the church was strong in Alexandria and strong in Rome, they were the two main centres of Christianity. And there were many attempts after this to dispute and disprove this creed and to add things to it and to take things away from it.

[39:48] But the creed has survived. And it was then the Nicene Creed after that in the sixth century that cements this together and so on. And you have various others. And we're not so familiar with this because we tend to think more of the Apostles Creed.

[40:03] But the Apostles Creed is basically a summary of the whole of the Anastasia Creed. You find it online. If you want to Google it, you'll find the whole thing online and you can look at it.

[40:15] I know that tonight I've probably raised more questions than I've answered. And I'm quite happy about that because that again would make you think about things and think about the person of Christ and to look into it in more and more detail.

[40:31] And as you're studying on Sunday evening and Bible study again, I won't be here. I'm afraid I'm away for the next several weeks. So I'll be missing. But again, you can reflect on some of these things.

[40:42] And perhaps the creed will help you a little bit in dealing with some of the questions. Although again, this is only my opinion. I think some of the questions are a wee bit superficial.

[40:55] Why did you not bring him? No one ever spoke like this man. And it is to this man that you and I must look to be saved. This is a Catholic faith, which except a man believed faithfully, he cannot be saved.

[41:10] Amen. And may the Lord bless these thoughts to us as he thinks in this prayer. Our Father in Heaven, we thank you that we can come to understand something of the person of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

[41:27] And although we have to confess there are many things that are difficult to understand and some that are impossible for us to understand. Nevertheless, we give you thanks for your provision in providing a Christ, in providing a Messiah, and a Saviour who would come to save his people.

[41:45] We thank you for your word this evening. Grant that it would be blessed to us. And may our sin go with us as we conclude our service in Jesus' name. Amen.

[41:58] Let us conclude then by singing in Gaelic two final verses of Psalm 118.

[42:58] Amen.

[43:24] Amen.

[43:54] Amen.

[44:24] Amen.

[44:53] Amen.

[45:22] Praise of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all now and forever. Amen.