Introduction: The Uniqueness of Jesus
Who Is Jesus Christ?
What if you could predict that a major world event would take place five minutes from now? What if you could accurately describe what would happen? Would knowing the future give you unusual power? Would anyone believe you? Possibly some would, but how many would not?
Many people do not believe the Bible, yet it miraculously foretells hundreds of events, sometimes in minute detail, and usually hundreds – sometimes thousands – of years ahead. Some prophecies concern cities and countries, such as Tyre, Jericho, Samaria, Jerusalem, Palestine, Moab, and Babylon. Others relate to specific individuals. Many have already been fulfilled, but some are still in the future.
Jesus Christ is the subject of more than 300 Old Testament prophecies. His birth nearly 2,000 years ago, and events of His life had been foretold by many prophets during a period of 1,500 years. History confirms that even the smallest detail happened just as predicted. It confirms beyond a doubt that Jesus is the true Messiah, the Son of God and Savior of the world.
The following chart lists some of the amazing predictions concerning Jesus Christ, together with the record of their fulfillment:
Old Testament Prophecy: Isaiah 7:14
Fullfillment in Jesus: Matthew 1:18,22,23
Old Testament Prophecy: Micah 5:2
Fullfillment in Jesus: Luke 2:4,6,7
His Childhood in Egypt
Old Testament Prophecy: Hosea 11:1
Fullfillment in Jesus: Matthew 2:14-15
The Purpose for His Death
Old Testament Prophecy: Isaiah 53:4-6
Fullfillment in Jesus: 1 Corinthians 15:21; 1 Peter 2:24
Old Testament Prophecy: Zechariah 11:12-13; 13:6
Fullfillment in Jesus: Matthew 26:14-16; 27:3-10
Old Testament Prophecy: Psalm 22
Fullfillment in Jesus: Matthew 27
Old Testament Prophecy: Psalm 16:9-10
Fullfillment in Jesus: Acts 2:31
The printed version of this study contains 29 pages of preparatory notes not included in the online version of this study. Click here to order the printed study guide, The Uniqueness of Jesus.
Jesus Claims Concerning Who He Is
- In your own words, write the claims Christ made concerning Himself in the following verses:
Mark 14:61-62, John 6:38, John 8:42, John 5:17-18, John 10:30
- What did those who heard what Jesus said think He meant?
John 14:7, John 14:8-9
- What did Jesus claim to do in the following verses?
John 5:22, Matthew 9:6, John 6:45-47
- What did Jesus predict in the following verses?
Mark 9:31, Luke 18:31-33, John 14:1-3
- What characteristics of Jesus are attributes of an omnipotent God?
John 2:24, Matthew 8:26-27, John 11:43-45
According to the passages above, Jesus claimed to be God. He made the kinds of claims that only a person who presumed he was God would make. Both His friends and His enemies called Him God, and He never attempted to deny it. He even commended His followers for believing He was God.
The Importance of the Truth About His Identity
- Suppose Jesus Christ were not God. If He knew He was not God and that none of those claims were true, what could we conclude about Him?
- Suppose Jesus was sincerely wrong. Suppose He sincerely believed all these fantastic claims, even though they were not true. What could we conclude about Him?
- Why is it important to investigate His claims?
What Others Said About Who He Was
- What did His followers say about Jesus?
John the Baptist (John 1:29), Peter (Matthew 16:16)How did Jesus respond to what Peter said? (verse 17)Martha (John 11:27), Thomas (John 20:28)How does Christ’s response to what Thomas said (verse 29) apply to you?Paul (II Corinthians 5:21, Titus 2:13)
- His enemies:
The Jews (John 10:33)Judas (Matthew 27:3-4)Pilate (Matthew 27:22-23)The Roman Soldier (Matthew 27:54)
- Who do you believe Jesus is and on what do you base that belief? List the facts that particularly help you know that He is God.
- Why is it important that you personally recognize who Jesus Christ really is?
- Have you invited Jesus Christ into your life?
- What changes do you expect to experience in your life as a result of receiving Christ as your Savior and Lord?
The Earthly Life of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the greatest person who every lived. His moral character, His teachings, and His influence upon history demonstrate that He is indeed God. Through two thousand years of advancements in education, technology, philosophy, medicine, and science, mankind has never produced a person who is worthy to be compared with Jesus.
His divinity and humanity are without parallel. His life, death, and resurrection were mandatory for man’s salvation. With His ascension into Heaven, He completed His mission and made possible man’s restoration to his original destiny.
Bible Study: The Entrance of Jesus Christ Into the World
- On the basis of His statement in John 17:5, where was Jesus Christ before He came into the world?
- Read Matthew 1:18-23. In your own words, summarize the circumstances that surrounded Jesus’ birth.
The New Testament passes over the next thirty years of Jesus’ life almost in silence. Apparently the Gospel writers were more anxious to portray the character and ministry of Jesus than to give us a chronological biography.
The Character of Jesus
- From these verses, describe the character of Jesus. ( Luke 23:33-34, John 2:13-17, John 13:1-17, Romans 5:8-1 )
- How does Jesus’ attitude contrast with the attitude of His contemporaries toward the following? Adults (Matthew14:15-21), Children (Mark 10:13-16), Those who offend (Luke 9:51-56)
- Why did the following people love Christ? The widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-15), The sinful woman (Luke 7:36-50), Mary and Martha (John 11:30-44).
- From the beginning of His life, Jesus demonstrated unfailing grace, amazing wisdom, and astounding understanding and knowledge. He consistently pleased God.
- Read Matthew 7:28-29. What other reactions do you think the people had to His teachings besides amazement?
- How do you feel about Jesus and why?
The crowds found His compassion constant, and He was humble and meek before His enemies. He treated the poor with respect and the children with love and tenderness. His character was pure, selfless, and sinless.
Jesus also proved His divine character through His immeasurable love, an unconditional love unique in history. He willingly offered Himself as a sacrifice for all sin and evil, and He gave the free gift of everlasting life to every person who would accept it. Only God in the flesh could have embodied all these characteristics.
Bible Study: Jesus Christ as a teacher
- What did Christ teach about the new birth? (John 3:1-8)
- What did Christ teach regarding His claims about Himself? (John 10:11, John 13:13-14, John 15:1-5, Matthew 5:17, John 11:25-26) Which of these claims do you think is most important? Which means the most to you personally? Why?
- What did Christ teach about His demands of His followers? (Mark 8:38, Mark 10:29-30, Matthew 9:9, Matthew 11:29, Luke 9:23, John 13:34-35) Which of these demands do you find the easiest to follow; and how do you think Jesus wants you to deal with the difficult ones?
- Many view Jesus as the greatest teacher in history. No other man has been quoted as often or has inspired as many books and articles. His teachings have given us clear, profound insights into the deepest questions of life. People flocked to hear Him speak. The disciples left everything to follow Him. What kind of teach could inspire such loyalty? (See John 6:66-69 for help in formulating your answer.) From the following verses, list characteristics of Jesus that made Him such an excellent teacher. (Mark 6:34, Luke 21:29-38, Luke 4:14-30, John 3:1-8, 7:50-51, 19:38-42)
- Carefully read Matthew 7:7-12 from the Sermon on the Mount. How did Jesus use the following teaching methods to emphasize His lessons?
Repitition of ideas — Practical application — Clear summarization
- What was even more important than Christ’s effective teaching methods? (Matthew7:29)
Where did He get His authority? (John 12:49-50)
Summarize how Jesus’ earthly life confirmed His deity.
- Give at least three reasons you can trust Jesus’ teachings.
- List three ways these teachings can change your life.
- Plan how you will implement these changes.
The Death of Jesus Christ
When did you last talk about death? Did you enjoy your conversation?
People don’t usually like to talk about death, do they? But the Bible has some very important things to say about it.
According to God’s Word, death means “separation,” not “cessation of existence.” Physical death is the separation of the spirit (the immaterial part of us) from the body. As a result, the body decomposes. Spiritual death is the separation of man from God. Both physical and spiritual death are the results of sin.
The results of this separation are not only sins like murder, immorality, and stealing, but also worry, irritability, lack of purpose in life, frustration, the desire to escape reality, and fear of death. These and many other conditions are evidence that we are cut off from God, the only One who can give us the power to live an abundant life.
The most important question in life becomes, “How can I be reconciled to God?” In our own power, we can never bridge the gulf between us and God. But God has provided a way to bring us to Him.
The Need for the Death of Jesus Christ
- Carefully read Romans 3:10-12, and 3:23. How many times does the writer, Paul, use terms like, all, none, or their equivalents?Why do you think He repeated these terms?What does this tell you about moral, respectable people?
- What is the result of sin? (Romans 6:23)
The Result of the Death of Jesus Christ
- Read II Corinthians 5:21 carefully. How good does it say Christ was?But what happened to Him when He died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins? What was the result for you?
- What did Christ teach concerning His death? (Mark 8:31-32)
- How did Christ feel about such a death? (Hebrews 12:2)
- Describe the effect of Christ’s death with respect to God’s holiness. (Romans 3:25, John 4:10)
- Why did He die for us? (1 Peter 3:18)
- How did Christ’s death affect your relationship with God? (Colossians 1:21-22, Romans 5:10-11)
Significance of the death of Christ
- What is the only thing we can do to make sure that the death of Christ applies to us so we can be saved (Acts 16:31)?
- Can we work for salvation (Ephesians 2:8,9)? Why not?
- Read John 3:18 carefully. What two kinds of people are described here?
- What is the only reason any person will be condemned?
- According to what the Bible says here, are you condemned?
- According to I John 5:11-12, do you have eternal life? (Do not confuse I John, the Epistle, near the end of the New Testament, with the Gospel of John.)
- According to that same passage, how can you know?
- Have you made the decision to accept Christ’s death on the cross for you, and have you received Him into your life as Savior and Lord? If you would like to receive Him as your Savior right now, pray a prayer like this one from your heart:
Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank you fo forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Jesus’ crucifixion demoralized His followers. The terror stricken little band scattered; Jesus’ enemies were celebrating their victory. But three days after the crucifixion a miracle occurred: Jesus rose from the dead.
Within a few weeks His once cowardly followers were fearlessly proclaiming His resurrection, a fact that changed the course of history. Followers of Jesus Christ were not people who promoted an ethical code of a dead founder, rather, those who had vital contact with a living Lord. Jesus Christ still lives today, and He is anxiously waiting to work in the lives of those who will trust Him.
The new life and fresh courage demonstrated by the early Christians is vividly described by J.B. Phillips in the Preface to his Letters to Young Churches:
The great difference between present-day Christianity and that of which we read in these letters is that to us it is primarily a performance; to them it was a real experience. We are apt to reduce the Christian religion to a code, or at best a rule of heart and life. To these men it is quite plainly the invasion of their lives by a new quality of life altogether. They do not hesitate to describe this as Christ “living in” them.
Mere moral reformation will hardly explain the transformation and the exuberant vitality of these men’s lives — even if we could prove a motive for such reformation, and certainly the world around offered little encouragement to the early Christians! We are practically driven to accept their own explanation, which is that their little human lives had, through Christ, been linked up with the very life of God.
Many Christians today talk about the “difficulties of our times” as though we should have to wait for better ones before the Christian religion can take root. It is heartening to remember that this faith took root and flourished amazingly in conditions that would have killed anything less vital in a matter of weeks.
These early Christians were on fire with the conviction that they had become, through Christ, literal sons of God; they were pioneers of a new humanity, founders of a new kingdom.
They still speak to us across the centuries. Perhaps if we believed what they believed, we might achieve what they achieved.
Five Proofs that Jesus actually rose from the dead.
- The resurrection was foretold by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. What did Jesus tell His disciples in Luke 18:31-33?If Jesus had clearly predicted that He would rise from the dead, then failed to do so, what would this say about Him?
- The resurrection of Christ is the only reasonable explanation for the empty tomb. What did Jesus’ friends do to make certain His body would not be taken? (Mark 15:46)What did Jesus’ enemies do to make sure His body would not be taken? (Matthew 27:62-66)But on Sunday morning the tomb was empty!
Note: If Jesus had not been killed, but only weakened and wounded by crucifixion, the stone and the soldiers would have prevented His escape from the tomb. If Jesus’ friends had tried to steal His body, the stone and the soldiers would likewise have prevented them. Jesus’ enemies would never have taken the body since its absence from the tomb would only serve to encourage belief in His resurrection. Only His resurrection can account for the empty tomb!
- The resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for the appearance of Jesus Christ to His disciples. List all the individuals or groups who actually saw the risen Christ, according to I Corinthians 15:4-8.If Christ has not risen from the dead, what could we then conclude about all these witnesses? (I Corinthians 15:15)What else would be true if Christ had not risen from the dead? (I Corinthians 15:17)When Christ appeared to His followers, what things did He do to prove He was not a hallucination? (Luke 24:36-43)
- The dramatic changes in the lives of His followers. Look up these verses and describe the differences in these people:
Peter (Luke 22:54-62; Acts 4:1-22)
Thomas (John 20:24-28, Acts 1:12-14)
Paul (Acts 7:54-8:3, Acts 16:16-40)
- The resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for the beginning of the Christian church. Within a few weeks after Jesus’ resurrection, Peter preached at Pentecost, and the Christian church began. What was the subject of his sermon? (Acts 2:14-36)
If the body of Jesus were still in the tomb, how do you think Peter’s audience would have responded to this sermon? But how did they respond? (Acts 2:37-42)
The Results of the Resurrection.
- What does the resurrection tell us about the following:Jesus Christ (Romans 1:4)
The power God can exercise in our lives. (Ephesians 1:19-20)
What will eventually happen to our bodies. (Philippians 3:21)
- How would your life be affected if Christ had not risen from the dead? (I Corinthians 15:12-26)
- If we can believe the resurrection, why is it then logical to believe all the miracles Jesus performed?
The visible return of Christ.
- Describe the way in which Christ will return to Earth. (Matthew 24:30, Acts 1:11)
- How does this compare to the first time Christ came to Earth?
- What will happen to the Christian when Christ comes for him? (I Corinthians 15:51-52, Philippians 3:20-21)
- What will be the condition of the Earth when Christ returns? (Matthew 24:6-8)
- What will happen to those who are not Christians when He returns? (II Thessalonians 1:7-9)
- What is our present hope? (I John 2:2-3)
Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus is the same today, and He can transform your life.
- How would your life be different from what it is if Jesus had not risen from the dead?
- How do you think His “resurrection life” can be seen in you on a daily basis?
- How can your life be different if you allow Jesus to transform it?
Jesus Christ Living in the Christian
Are you a member of a church? Are you committed and active in your church? Do you have a close relationship with Jesus Christ?
Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation emphasize the fact that merely to be a church member offers no guarantee of a right relationship with Jesus Christ. Notice in Revelation 3:20 that the reference is to individuals, not to a group as a whole: “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with Me.”
When you invite Jesus Christ to come into your heart and life to be your Savior and Lord, confessing your sin and need for forgiveness, He answers your prayer. He enters your heart and life. Why?
One reason is so He can empower you. The Christian life is more than difficult; it is humanly impossible to live. Only Jesus Christ can live it through you as He dwells within you. he wants to think with your mind, express Himself through your emotions, and speak through your voice, though you may be unconscious of it.
But as worldly Christians examine their lives, they often find themselves filled with many areas of activity — studies, finances, social life, home life, business, travel — with no real purpose or meaning. The reason for this is that they are controlling these areas themselves instead of allowing Jesus Christ to control them.
There is a throne in each of our lives. Until Jesus Christ comes into our lives, our self, or ego, is on the throne. But when Jesus comes in, He wants to assume His place of authority on His throne. We must step down and relinquish the authority of our lives to Him. As you can see from the diagram below, when Christ becomes the controller of our lives, He becomes Lord of every activity, and that results in purpose and harmony.
Thus the Christian life is not a person trying to imitate Christ; rather, it is Christ imparting His life to and living His life through the person. The Christian life is not what you do for Him; it is what He does for and through you. The Christ-controlled life always produces the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23.
The need for Jesus to live in the Christian.
- What was Jesus unwilling to entrust to men? (John 2:24-25)
- What kinds of things are in our hearts? (Mark 7:21-23)
- How did the Apostle Paul, one of the world’s greatest Christians, evaluate his human nature? (Romans 7:18)
- What is our condition apart from Jesus Christ? (John 15:4-5)
The fact that Jesus Christ lives in the Christian.
- Restate Revelation 3:20 in your own words.
- What guarantee does Jesus Christ give in this verse, and how can we believe Him?
- How do you know that Jesus Christ has entered your life?
- How do you know that Jesus will never leave you even when you sin? (Hebrews 13:5)
- If you do sin, how can you renew your fellowship with Him? (I John 1:9)See diagram.
Note: Salvation differs from fellowship. Salvation is having our sins forgiven and receiving eternal life. Fellowship is our daily relationship, or communion, with Christ. Through sin we may often lose our fellowship in the same way a child loses fellowship with his father through disobedience. However, the child does not lose his relationship as a son, nor do we lose our relationship with God. He is still our heavenly Father. (See John 10:27-29)
Jesus Christ at Home within the Christian.
When Jesus Christ lives within us, what can He do for us as we face the following problems?
- Emptiness (John 6:35)
- Anxiety (John 14:27)
- Unhappiness (John 15:11)
- Lack of power (Philippians 4:13)
- What must we do so that Jesus Christ can live His victorious life through us? (Romans 6:13, & 12:1-2)
- Read and meditate on John 3:16. On the basis of this verse, why do you think we should give control of our lives to God?
- Right now, surrender control of your life to God. Be willing to give Him every area — your family, job, finances, even your health. Pray this simple prayer.
Dear Father, I need you. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You for forgiving my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled in Ephesians 5:18, and as You promised in Your word that you would do if I ask in faith. I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Church of Jesus Christ
What is the strongest organization on Earth? It is the church. Composed of every person who has received Jesus Christ into his or her life, the church is also called the Body of Christ or the Bride of Christ. It is the one organization for which He gave His life (Ephesians 5:25).
The Bible describes the church in two senses:
- The universal church, which refers to all true Christians
- The local church, which is an individual group of Christians who gather for worship, instruction, and mutual encouragement.
Bible Study: The Universal Church
- Paul frequently compares the church to a body. Who is the only head? (Ephesians 5:23) Who are the members? (I Corinthians 12:27)
- How does Christ see the church? (I Corinthians12:12-13)
- As members of His body, how should we feel toward each other? (I Corinthians 12:25-26) Name some specific ways we can express these feelings.
- Read Acts 1:6-11 carefully. According to verse 8, what is to be the church’s great concern?Where does the Bible say Jesus went physically? (Verse 9)Describe in your own words how Jesus will come again for His church. (Verse 11) Who knows when that will be? (Verse 7, and Mark 13:32-33)Although Jesus is spiritually present in our hearts, He is also with God the Father in Heaven. In the future, He will return to judge the world and rule the nations (Matthew 25:31-32). In the meantime, the church is to be His witness on Earth and bring as many people as possible into a personal relationship with with Him.
- In light of this, what should be one of your main purposes while here on Earth?
The Local Church.
- What are Christians not to do? (Hebrews 10:25)
- We are saved by faith. But the church has two simple, yet meaningful ordinances that we are to observe: baptism and communion. According to Matthew 28:18-19, why should we be baptized?What is the purpose of the communion service? (I Corinthians1:23-26)
- Write your own one-sentence description of each of the following local churches:
Thessalonica (I Thessalonians 1:6-10)
Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-17)Just as some New Testament churches are dynamic and others are powerless, so it is today. Not all churches are vital, and great variety exists within a single denomination. To stimulate your Christian growth, you should attend a church that exalts Christ, teaches the Bible, explains clearly what a Christian is and how to become one, and provides loving fellowship.
- What could happen to your spiritual growth if you do not attend church regularly or attend a church that is powerless?
- Give at least two reasons why it is important for us to be part of a local church.
- If you are not active in a local church, plan right now to get involved. Ask your Christian friends to recommend dynamic churches. Write the church names here:
- Pray over the list.
- Ask God to help you select the best one for you.
- Visit each until your prayerfully decide on one.
- Then look for ways to serve the Lord in your church.
The following questions will help you review this Step. If necessary, reread the appropriate lesson you have previously printed or saved
- List ways the memory verses have helped you in your daily life during this study.
- What do you think is the most important way in which Jesus Christ is different from other people? What does this mean to you?How does it affect your life?
- Who is Jesus Christ to you? What has He given you?
- Why do you suppose Jesus’ enemies did not want to believe His claims about who He was?
- Why did Jesus’ friends who had watched Him die, believe in the resurrection?
- What does it mean to you now to have Jesus living in you?
- How does your present relationship with Christ help you develop a rich fellowship with your local church?
- How can you improve your relationship with other Christians?
- How does your fellowship in your church help your relationship with God?
- Write down ways you could make the relationship more vital.