Jesus Is King

Below is a lightly edited transcript.


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How Do We Navigate Suffering?

THRIVING IN EXILE

Discover how your Christian identity can enable you to walk through the difficulties in your life well while at the same time point people to the one place they can find lasting hope.

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During the Christmas season, it is really easy to get lost in all the over-commercialization and materialism of the season and miss what Christmas is all about. Because this year has been so difficult I think many of us will feel a greater pull towards that as a means of escape. So when I was praying and considering what to do for our Christmas series I wanted to take a few weeks and take our eyes off of our circumstances and simply focus on Jesus. But the passages we are going to look at in this series are not what we would consider traditional Christmas passages. However, they do give us a great picture of who Jesus is and why he is worthy of our worship and devotion. Turn in your Bibles to Psalm 2. The theme we are going to see emerge is Jesus is worthy because he is King. 

Psalms 1 and 2 both serve as an introduction to the book of Psalms. The two overarching themes of Psalms are God’s law or Word and God’s anointed One – the Messiah. Psalm 1 deals with God’s Word and Psalm 2 deals with God’s anointed one. Psalm 1 begins with what Psalm 2 ends with. Blessed is the person who…Psalm 1 tells us we are blessed when we submit to God’s Law or his revelation. Psalm 2 tells us we are blessed when we submit to God’s chosen one. 

What Psalm 2 does it paints a picture for us of Jesus as our King. At Christmas time we often focus on Jesus as a baby in a manger and that is great and I think it’s a right thing to do, but Jesus is no longer a baby in a manger. With all the loss, uncertainty, and hardships that we have faced and are facing this year, I want us to get a picture in our minds of Jesus as he is. Jesus is King reigning from his throne in heaven and one day the King will return to earth and his reign will be without question and that is our great hope. It’s my prayer that at the end of these next three weeks we would have a high view of the glory of God in the person of Christ Jesus and he would consume our focus, our adoration, and devotion. 

So if you are physically able I would like to invite you to stand as we read Psalm 2 this morning. If you are a guest with us this morning, thank you so much for coming! I would like to invite you to visit fresnochurch.com/connect on your smartphone and fill out the brief connection form. For every first-time guest that fills out that card, we will donate to a local charity in town. Let’s read our text, Psalm 2. 

The Nature of Humanity 

As the Psalm writer, who we learn in Acts 4 is David, looks out over creation he asks the question “Why are you rebelling against God? Why are you fighting and scheming against God and his anointed one?” The word plot in verse one is the same Hebrew verb as meditate in Psalm 1. It means to moan, growl, muse, meditate, devise, plot, or speak. You get the idea that coordinated thought processes are going into rebelling against the authority of God.  When Peter and John pray in Acts 4 they say that the unbelieving Jews, Herod, Pontius Pilate, and the Gentiles are the heathen that are spoken here in Psalms 2. Christ being crucified on the cross was the epitome of the nations’ rage. They are wanting to throw off God’s authority from their lives. This is the nature of the human heart. The paradox of the human heart is that we long for the justice and peace of the good King, but rebel against his rule and set ourselves up as kings. We might not be the literal heathens raging David is talking about but, Ephesians 2 tells us that apart from Christ every human being stands condemned. 


The paradox of the human heart is that we long for the justice and peace of the good King, but rebel against his rule and set ourselves up as kings.


Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Romans 3:9b-11 For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.

Bad news, we all made the naughty list. Psalm 2 is an example of the natural bent of the human heart for its autonomy. And as we are about to see, this is a pointless and empty pursuit. As the Psalmist continues he shows us our second thought this morning and that is…

The Futility of Rebellion 

Psalm 2:4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.

It’s almost like God looks down at man’s rebellion and says “That’s cute.” Then he goes on to say…

Psalm 2:5-6 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

Rebelling against God’s authority and his reign expressed through his Son, through his anointed one – Jesus – is pointless. 

Romans 14:11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

Jesus will reign despite what the world does. No matter what conflict may unfold we can have confidence that victory will be given to our Lord! Jesus sits upon the throne of grace and power. No matter what evil seems to thrive, no matter what darkness seems to move forward, God has set his king in heaven and none will resist his reign. It’s not up for debate. God has his champion. The throne is occupied. Christ Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is sitting comfortably in that spot. While verse 1-3 gives us a picture of man’s own rebellious heart and foolish desires verse 4-6 shows us that no matter what, Jesus wins! Because God has a King. In verses 7-9 we see…


No matter what evil seems to thrive, no matter what darkness seems to move forward, God has set his king in heaven and none will resist his reign.


The Ruling of the King 

Now in verse 7, when God tells Jesus, “today I have begotten you” he is not talking about the creation of Jesus, but the coronation of Jesus. Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of God, has existed from eternity past and will continue to exist through eternity future. He has no beginning and no end. The Bible tells us that he did not count his equality with God a thing to be grasped, but he let go of it and became like us. He became a man. When Jesus carried his cross and was held up for all the world to see, he, the sinless, died for the sinful, satisfying forever the wrath of God toward those who would call Jesus the Christ, the Messiah. Then three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, and upon his ascension back into the heavens, the Bible says, God would highly exalt him, giving him the name that is above every name. Today, right now, as we gather in this room or online, Christ sits at the right hand of the Father as his Anointed One, ruling and reigning. When was the eternal Son of God declared to be the only begotten Son of God? The book of Acts tells us when he rose from the dead.

Acts 13:32-33 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.

Romans 1:2-4 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Jesus fulfills the promise of the royal Son of David who would rule on Jerusalem’s throne in power. The moment of fulfillment is the resurrection. It’s the moment of enthronement. And because he reigns in power, God tells Jesus everything is yours. The Father is saying “Everything that exists is under your rule.” Then in verse 9 of Psalm 2, God proclaims certain doom if they remain his enemy. Even though they gather with all of their might and strength, it’s insignificant compared to the omnipotent power that Jesus has. All their power is nothing. They will be dashed into pieces like a fragile piece of pottery. But God does not leave them there. In verses 10-12 we see…


Jesus fulfills the promise of the royal Son of David who would rule on Jerusalem’s throne in power.


The Invitation to Blessing 

The judgment we see in verse nine is real but the invitation into blessing we see as this Psalm concludes is just as real. 

Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

This is why King Jesus is worth all of our devotion and worship. While he has every right to judge us for our sin, he has given us mercy, he has given us his life, he has given us his righteousness, he has given us his peace, he has given us his love, he is a refuge for us. He is the strong tower that we can run to when we are in trouble. He is our shelter when the storms of life come crashing down. He is our strength when we are weak. He enables us to persevere when we are weary and can’t go on. He is our King. 

And he commands our allegiance and in return, he takes the mess of our lives and gives us everything. So be warned my friend, apart from Jesus there is no hope. But with Jesus, you will have the most real and lasting hope that is beyond anything this world can offer. His invitation to eternal blessing is available… 


With Jesus we will have the most real and lasting hope that is beyond anything this world can offer.


Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Wave the white flag of surrender before the true King. The Jesus we are celebrating this season is no longer a baby in a manger. He is King on his throne ruling on behalf of the Father, God almighty. In conclusion, I want to look at…

HOW JESUS BEING KING AFFECTS OUR LIFE

1. We Serve The Lord With Fear

Psalm 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear,

The word fear can be translated as “reverential awe.” It recognizes that we deserve the judgment in verse nine but because of the love and mercy of our King we get to live the blessed life, we get to experience true joy, true satisfaction, true fulfillment as we take refuge in our King. Since he is our king, we serve him. At your job, you are serving Jesus. In your home, you are serving Jesus. Men, when you sacrificially love and serve your wife and children, you are serving your King. Moms, when you sacrifice day in and day out for your children and husband, in ways that seemingly go unnoticed, you are serving your King and he sees you. Parents, when you sit in this service and you feel like you get maybe half of what is going on because you are trying your dead-level best to keep your kids from running down the aisle, you are serving your King and your struggle brings him glory. 


Even the most simple, mundane parts of your life are meant to display the worthiness of God.


1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Even the most simple, mundane parts of your life are meant to display the worthiness of God. Everything we do can be an act of service to him. Recognizing Jesus as King means we serve him. It also means…

2. We Live On Mission 

The judgment we see in this passage is real. Our hearts should not be one of derision because we deserve that judgment. Apart from the grace of God, we would be facing that judgment. Our hearts should not be one of derision but mission. The world needs to hear the invitation of the Savior – of Jesus. This is why Christ has ordained His church to be a light in the darkness because His grace is reaching out to the very people who would be His enemy. 

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

People need to hear this invitation. They need to hear that there is a King who suffered, bled, died and rose from the dead so they could have their sins forgiven. Because Jesus is King we live on mission. The Great Commission is our mission. 

3. We Joyfully Follow 

Psalm 2:11b and rejoice with trembling.

Jesus holds our ultimate allegiance. Not a political party. Not a country. Not a creed. Not a sports team or a hobby. Not a job or source of income. None of these things have died for us. They promise fulfillment but leave us wanting. Only Jesus brings authentic satisfaction and fulfillment. So with a heart full of contentment and love, we joyfully follow our King. Because of all that Jesus has done for us, we gladly pledge our lives to him. 

4. We Humbly Submit 

Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son,

In the middle east, this was a sign of respect and submission. The closest Western equivalent I can think of is kissing the ring of a ruler in the Middle Ages. When Jesus asks hard things we trust that he is good and knows what is best and we walk through those difficult paths with the promise that he is always with us.

Psalm 23:4a Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;


Submit to the King and live a blessed life. 


Or perhaps you’re fighting or wrestling with sin or temptation. Imagine the effect a true and full understanding of Christ’s rule might have on that struggle. It might look like this: “King Jesus, this fleeting pleasure pales in comparison to the joy and satisfaction of worshiping unhindered and unobstructed before your throne. Today I choose you and obedience to you over this sin, because better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere.”

Or maybe you’re consumed with sins of self-absorption or self-reliance or self-rule. Humbly submitting to Christ’s rule might look like this: “King Jesus, you sit on the throne and are the only one worthy of all glory and honor and praise, so I turn my eyes off myself and onto you and look full into your wonderful face.” Because Jesus is our King he is worthy of all our worship and devotion. This Christmas season submit to the King and live a blessed life. 


Would you do me a favor? Would you subscribe to my weekly newsletter? Every week I send out a few updates from the blog and everyone who signs up gets chapter one of my book Thriving In Exile for free. Just plug in your email right here and you will be set. Thank you!!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

How Do We Navigate Suffering?

THRIVING IN EXILE

Discover how your Christian identity can enable you to walk through the difficulties in your life well while at the same time point people to the one place they can find lasting hope.

Purchase the paperback version of Thriving in Exile today and I’ll send you the ebook free! Just click the button to purchase your copy of the book then and I’ll send you the E-Book free of charge. Message me below a copy of your order to get your free copy.

Published by Nick Minerva

Nick Minerva lives in Fresno, California with his wife, Sarah and their four children. He currently serves as the Associate Pastor of Fresno Church where he has been on staff for over 10 years.

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