Jesus Only
 Elder Wm. Doyal Thomas
Pastor - Philadelphia Baptist Church
Decatur , Alabama
"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only." (Matthew 17:1-8).
    Let me say at the outset, that our subject, Jesus Only, is not a movement toward the sect known as "Jesus People" who deny the doctrine of the Trinity, and further deny that the Godhead is inclusively active in the salvation of sinners. We are not straying from Biblical truth, nor from Baptist practice.
    What we are saying, very simply, is that there is no man who can stand alongside Jesus to be His helper nor His superior. Jesus Only is the personification of the Godhead and is the express image of God the Father, and is therefore Singularly, the Saviour. He needs no assistance. His work is not required to be augmented. He is the Lord, and beside Him there is no Saviour. (Isaiah 43:11).
    In Matthew 16:28, we read of the promise of Jesus Christ concerning the glory that is to be revealed at the second coming. "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom."
    He is talking to His disciples in the latter part of Matthew, chapter 16, concerning His soon coming death and resurrection. He is continually instructing His loved ones of what lies before Him as He is to be offered in sacrifice for their sins. He is gently, yet firmly and persistently, alerting them to the Father's purpose so that they will not be overcome with doubt and fear when these approaching events come to pass.
    In verse 27, He tells them that the "Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father ...". He is telling them plainly that they will one day see the glory of the Father as that glory is fully manifested. He loves them, and He tells them what will transpire.
    And then in verse 28, He tells them that some of those who stand in His presence at that moment will be privileged to have a grand and marvelous preview of that glory which shall be revealed at His second coming. And then six days later this preview is presented. And they, some of them, are there with Him, to witness this great event.
    In chapter 17, Jesus revealed his second coming. He opened the curtain of centuries of time into the future and allowed those with Him to catch a glimpse of that future glory.
    How will it be when His second coming is reality? Hear the apostle John as he tells us. "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." (Revelation 1:1-8).
    John, on the Isle of Patmos, is permitted to see again, and in greater detail the events and the Person of the Second Coming of Christ. And in Revelation 21:1-2, he also sees the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. And what joy floods his soul as he gazes upon that scene. And he, in ecstasy, is led to proclaim, "Even so, come".
    But, while Jesus yet walked with His disciples, none of them had been brought to the level of maturity that John experienced some sixty or so years later. Even though these called out ones were permitted to hear the Lord as He preached and taught, and to witness His marvelous power, and feel His great compassion, yet, they were still but babes.
    Observe Peter, and the others likewise, as they demonstrate their lack of growth and spiritual discernment. And so with you and me. We are as weak as water. We are as infantile as they.
    Peter suggested that three tabernacles be built. Three dwelling places for the law and for Moses; for the prophecies and for Elias; for Christ and His teaching. Peter did know that it was a blessing for he, James, and John to witness this wonder, but he missed much of the significance of this transfiguration scene. But so would you and I, had we been present that day.
    Now, we declare that Jesus only can, and did fulfill all that the law and the prophets had spoken. There is no fulfillment for either the demands of the law, nor for the promises and threatenings of the prophets in any other, save Jesus only.
    After Peter's outburst, God pulled the cloud over this panoramic scene until they were able to see Jesus only. They were not allowed to see any other, but they were caused to see Jesus, and He only was visible to them. "... and I will not give my glory to another." (Isaiah 48:11). "The law and the prophets were until John ..." (John 16:16). "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17). "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29).
Jesus Only In Salvation
    In the matter of the salvation of sinners, it becomes evident that none can be effectual except One who is able to complete the task. And among mortal men, there can be no one found to either begin or complete this formidable exercise. Only God can save. Only Jesus among men is God, and therefore qualified to do this great work. The God Man. The Saviour.
    "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one." (Job 14:4). "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil." (Jeremiah 13:23). "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10). "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23). "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." (Romans 2:10).
    From the teaching of the Scriptures there are some conclusions that we can draw, and we must if we are careful to read. What are some of these conclusions? Here is something for you and me to know.
    Conclusion: Man is a sinner. He is a sinner by nature, and this is genetic. Man is a sinner, and his state is manifested by his natural birth, and what follows. Man is a sinner by choice. He sins and loves it. He has no remorse. He hates God and loves the pleasures of sin. Man is a sinner by practice. He lives in sin and wallows as it were in the muck and mire as the sow who always returns again to the mud hole.
    Conclusion: Man seeks to appease God. He imagines that God is subject to the same vanities as man, and therefore is sure that God will accept what man would accept. Thus, man seeks to appease God by reformation and by the fruitless act of cleaning up the outside of the vessel, while inwardly the filth of sin remains.
    Consider carefully these thoughts. If it were possible for man to reform himself, it would only be outward, and would in no wise alter the genetic make-up of man, nor would it change the character. Man is a sinner, and he is sin. He does what he does because of what he is.
    And reformation, if it were possible, could only apply to present and future sins. No accounting for past sins which have already properly condemned man would be possible. Thus, past sins, unatoned for would still and forever assign one to the eternal burning. In order for one to be justified, condemnation must be removed; past, present, and future. And reformation of conduct will not, and cannot facilitate such as is required.
    Once in the Scripture is this question asked. "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). And Paul and Silas were not slack concerning this man's expressed need. They responded to the Philippian jailer with these words: "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house." (verses 31, 32). They preached unto them Jesus only!
    According to the teaching of Romans 3:24, the law does not justify one. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" Note also this declaration: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Romans 3:28). The expression "without the deeds of the law" simply says that justification is separate and apart from what the law can do. The law announces condemnation. It cannot also justify.
    "I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:21). "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." (Galatians 2:16).
    The purpose of the law was not to give life, or else it has failed. Rather, its divine purpose is to expose sin and to announce to the convinced sinner that he is condemned for failure to meet the demands of the just and holy Law of God.
    "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:19, 20). Paul said, "I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." (Romans 7:7).
    What has the law accomplished in the case of those of us who are saved? The law has exploded our vain hopes in our own abilities to appease God. It has revealed hell as our doom, except God intervene in our behalf. It has caused us to flee to Christ for mercy, and having been brought to Him we have received mercy.
    In our case, the law has served its purpose. In every case likewise, it serves its purpose, and that is to bring the elect to Christ. "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." (Galatians 3:24). We no longer ask, "What must I do to be saved?" Rather, we shout with gladness unparalleled, "It is done. Christ has died for us, our sins are covered, and the fiery law of God has corralled us and has brought us to Christ, our Saviour."
    Now we have seen Christ presented to us as one born of a woman; as of one born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law. He is the only One who has lived under the law to perfection. He is the only One who has died under the full penalty of the broken law in the room and in the stead of others. He is the only One who has satisfied every righteous demand of God's holy law.
    Listen: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?" (Psalms 22:1). He is presented, prophetically, as the suffering Messiah, the bleeding Lamb. And as our sins were, and are odious to our Holy God, so were they then when imputed to His account. And justice demanded that payment be made.
    In Isaiah, chapter 53, we learn that He was wounded for our transgressions; was bruised for our iniquities; that the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; that it was for the transgressions of His people He was stricken; that it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; and that it was by His stripes that we are healed.
    He is our substitute. He is the sin offering, and at the same time the scapegoat. He is the innocent One dying for the guilty many. For each of the many, He died. For each of the many, individually. As much for one of them as for any other of them. They are all His, and He loves them alike, and died suitably and successfully for every one of them, His elect.
    He surrenders to God's perfect demands, and renders payment. His precious soul drank the bitter cup dry, to the last dregs. He died for me. He loved me, and had determined to rescue me. Praise God!
    God looked upon that scene and announced, "I am satisfied". Upon the altar of sacrifice, the Lamb of God declared, "It is finished". And it is Jesus only who has died, the Son of man and as God the Son in order that He might fulfill the stipulations of the eternal covenant of redemption and thereby "set the captives free", as Isaiah had said of Him.
Jesus Only In Service
    Since salvation is free and unmerited favor of God to sinful men, it is found in Jesus only. It is in Him that we are united to God. It is in Him that we are made to be new creatures. (II Corinthians 5:21). It is in Him that we are created unto good works. (Ephesians 2:10). And it is in Him that we are called to serve.
    Are we slaves to carnal commandments, or are we the sons of God? Are we motivated by servile fear, or are we constrained by faith, and by love to serve Him? Are we required to "hold out faithful", as men ascribe, or is it God who is faithful who promised and will persevere in faithfulness so that we will persevere in His appointments?
    Have we received eternal life, or are we on probation? Do we love Him, or do we fear Him as some cruel taskmaster? Is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, or are we bound up to a tyrant? Now, will a loving child do less service than would a fearful slave? Is our loyalty to Moses and to the law; to the prophets and Elias; to some pope, or priest, or preacher, or to denominational commitments and restraints as imposed by men, or a body of men? Are we trusting in baptism; or circumcision; or tithing; or preachers; or churches; or sacraments; or to ceremonies?
    Do we depend upon our obedience, or upon Christ's perfect obedience? In service, your individual love and loyalty to Jesus only will suffice. It is He that ever liveth to make intercession. It is He that is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. It is He who has saved you, and He alone can keep you. It is He who will continue with you until the end, for He has promised never to leave you, nor to forsake you.
    "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6).
"On Christ the solid Rock I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand."

Jesus Only In Second Coming

    Promises of the second coming of Christ abound throughout the Scriptures. Reference to this great event are about 2,000 in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, there are 318 such references, which averages once in 25 verses. The books of Galatians and Philippians are the only exceptions to these references. Every chapter of I Thessalonians ends with this promise. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is a prophecy concerning this next, great and stupendous event.
    Man has many problems in the world, and politics and government provide no final answer. Society provides no answer. Education provides no answer. Philosophy provides no answer. Atheism provides no answer. Modernism provides no answer. Humanism provides no answer. Do-goodism provides no answer. Man's religion provides no answer.
    Man's vain imaginations have led him to build again a "Tower of Babel". A world church is desired by depraved men to counter world atheism. This may be a noble motive, but all it is, is religion without Christ. It is union without unity.
    Clouds of despair hover with deepening darkness over man. Men's hearts fail them for fear and uncertainty. Because of sin, man gropes in the gloom and dread of the unknown, trying desperately to set himself upon the right course, to no success. One failure passes on to the next failure, and there is no answer to be found among men.
    In Jesus only, the believer finds the Blessed Hope and assurance of that day when the second coming, with all its attendant circumstances, both blessing and judgments will be brought to fruition.
    "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28). "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed." (Luke 17:28-30). "But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." (I Thessalonians 5:4-6).
    But when He is come, world government will be in His Omnipotent and Omniscient hand. Peace will rule universally over all the earth, over all men. Harmony of all things will exist and discord will not be a factor, nor will it be allowed. Unity among all the King's subjects will be evident; and Righteousness will reign, with justice prevailing in all things.
    And after these things, there shall be no more death. There shall be no more tears. There shall be no more distresses. There shall be no more wars. There shall be no more sin.
    The only sight we'll behold is Jesus only, God, and the express image of God.
    Dear one, always rejoice, for Jesus only saves sinners. Jesus only will never fail us. And Jesus only will welcome us home, to the Father's house, there to eternally eat at the King's table, as the King's sons.

(The Baptist Herald - April, 1991)

Return To Elder Thomas Page

Return To PBC Home Page
Return To PBC Home