Prayer: Those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. – Psalms 9:10 (ESV). You have made us, rescued us, and are forming us, Lord. We will trust in You for the security of our salvation and our strength to endure temptation, our Lord and Savior. Give us an obedient heart and a confident spirit, God. – Amen
Main Scripture: Read Philippians 1:6.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, NKJV).
Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16, NASB).
For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught (Proverbs 3:26, NASB).
…if your innate goodness and improvement is the ground of your confidence, let me break some really bad news to you. You’re never going to have confidence. But if God's work in you is the ground of your confidence, you are secure in Him. “Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come. Grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.” – Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III
John Calvin comments, explaining how faith gives us confident access to God: “Faith produces confidence, which again, in its turn, produces boldness. First, we believe the promises of God; next, by relying on them, we obtain that confidence, which is accomplished by holiness and peace of mind; and, last of all, comes boldness, which enables us to banish fear...” – R. C. Sproul
It was not confidence in them apart from the work of God in them. He says God began it and God will carry it on. He does not depend on the strength of their principles, or the force of their resolutions, nor the excellence of their habits—he relies upon God, who will perform what He has begun. Did not Paul begin it? No, no! For if he had begun it he would have to carry it on and that could not be. – Charles Spurgeon
God will complete every work that He has begun in us. His desire is to make our joy complete. Psalm 94:19 says, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Mankind seeks joy. Seldom do we seek that author of all joy, Jesus.
One of the prerequisites to having joy in our lives is to believe in the giver of joy by trusting completely in Him. If we know Him, we know that we know that He has completed us. We are positionally a finished product. Knowing that we have received eternal life from Him provides continual joy.
Belief in Jesus and acceptance of his sacrifice for our sin gives us the gift of eternal life (Romans 10:9-10). All this is true only if we can have complete confidence that Jesus is who He says he is. The evidence for Jesus as savior begins in the Old Testament and continues through to the end of the New Testament. Therefore, what was predicted in the Old Testament became reality in the New Testament.
The picture of redemption through Jesus Christ begins at the beginning. In Genesis 3:15, God describes to Satan, who has possessed a serpent, his fate when God says: “he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
Bible scholars have found more than 400 predications of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus in the Old Testament. For example, The Old Testament foretold that the Messiah would be a Jew, born in Bethlehem in the royal line of David the king, and of the tribe of Judah.
Seeking Jesus began shortly after the fall of mankind. Those who believed in Him were not disappointed (Hebrews 11:24-26). The Messiah they sought came at the predicated time in history.
But you, Bethlehem Ephrata, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me, the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting (Micah 5:2, NKJV).
Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, NKJV).
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment, he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth (Isaiah 53:7-9),
The prophecies say that Jesus was not only to be the son of David; he was also to be Son of God. This truth is clearly described in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
I will be his Father, and he shall be My son (1 Chronicles 17:13, NKJV).
He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. Also, I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth (Psalms 89:26-27, NKJV).
For to which of the angels did God ever say: "You are my Son; today I have become Your Father? Or again, I will be his Father, and he will be my Son (Hebrews 1:5)?
Jesus came as God in the flesh. Matthew 1:22-23 (NKJV) recorded this truth when it says: “So, all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’"
Jesus gave the prophecies validity when He is quoted in John 8:58 as saying: "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
Despite his wonderful words and compassionate miracles and his evident goodness, Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah was at the end of His human existence rejected by His own people. The rulers envied and hated Him. However, none of this happened by accident, it was all part of God’s eternal plan.
Isaiah 53:3 (NKJV) explains: “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
The climax of the earthly life of Jesus was his death by crucifixion. It is said that in times before Christ, it was sometimes the practice to tie or nail certain criminals to a stake or tree after they had been put to death. Crucifixion of living persons appears to have come only with the Romans. It was unknown among the Jews. Yet, a thousand years before Jesus was born, his living crucifixion was clearly foretold:
Isaiah 49:7 (NKJV) says: “Thus, says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, to Him whom man despises, to Him whom the nation abhors, to the Servant of rulers: ‘Kings shall see and arise, Princes also shall worship, because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel; and He has chosen You.’”
Isaiah 53:7 (NKJV) states: “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.”
The suffering and shame of Christ were full of redemptive purpose. He suffered for our forgiveness and salvation. The Old Testament words could not be clearer when Isaiah pronounces in Isaiah 53:4-5 (NKJV) by the words of the Sprit: “Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
Psalms 16:10-11 (NKJV) speaks of the risen Christ when it tells us: “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will how me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy.”
The words "soul" and "hell" are the usual Hebrew words for “a person” and “the grave”. Not only was Messiah to be raised from the dead, His body would not be contaminated by corruption during the time He was in the grave!
This evidence from the Psalms forms the cornerstone of the preaching of the apostles. It could not apply to anyone other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
After forty days, the risen Christ ascended to heaven. This too was made known long ago in the Old Testament. How could so wonderful an event be foretold? It was so unusual. Psalms 110:1 (NKJV) says this about the risen Christ: “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool."
This was the crowning glory of the evidence. It completes the Old Testament trail that led to Jesus of Nazareth. It both sealed the certainty that Jesus was Son of God and it proved the Old Testament scripture to be the totally reliable word of God. That Jesus had ascended to heaven and was seated at God's right hand. That was the final evidence that Christ was Messiah. The resurrection of Jesus brought the opportunity for joy all those who would believe in Him.
Lessons within the Lesson:
Why is it important that Jesus was a human being?
Why is it important that Jesus was God?
What does it mean to be the Redeemer?
What is the significance of the Resurrection?
 J. Ligon Duncan III, He Finishes What He Starts, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law message, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS, May 13, 2007.
 R.C. Sproul, Confidence and Boldness in Christ, Ligonier Ministries, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law message, All Rights Reserved. Website: ligonier.org|
 Charles Spurgeon, Charles Spurgeon, The Pastor’s Joy and Confidence, Public Domain, ibid., P. 7.
 Bible Knowledge Commentary/Old Testament Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, of the Copyright Law message, Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries; Bible Knowledge Commentary/New Testament Copyright © 1983, 2000 Cook Communications Ministries. All rights reserved.
 Information adapted from Rev. Robert J. McGee, The Complete Notes of the Doway Bible and Rhemish Bible, Fair Use Authorization, Section 107, Ibid.