17 March 2009

Christ the Son of Man (sermon)

by Dan Phillips

Some readers said they'd like to hear the sermon I had the joy to preach recently at Sun Oak Baptist Church. That church's pastor John Kane worked with techno-mage Richard Flink to convert it from tape to mp3, and now you can access it here, if you like. Thanks, brothers.

(BTW, the conversion left an "undocumented feature" or two... like some unexplainable piano music towards the end that was not present during the sermon. Think of it as... ambiance.)

In one of the question-and-answer sessions, Richard Phillips remarked that "Son of Man" did not refer to Christ's humanity, but to his deity. He said that the expression comes from the vision in Daniel 7.

I would "agree-but." That is, I agree that our Lord draws the phrase primarily from Daniel 7. I think Mark 14:62, with its clear allusion to Daniel 7:13, renders that fairly certain. I'd also agree that the expression in that chapter does not denote mere humanity. It is striking that every kingdom envisioned comes up from the roiling sea — every kingdom except the kingdom of the Son of Man, who comes with the clouds of heaven. That certainly is numinous, indicating the presence of God.

But there is a reason Son of Man is used. I take it to be yet another of many OT indications and signposts that Messiah will be both truly God and truly man — the very theme I try to develop in this sermon.

Folks often ask for the outlines I pass out. This time only, at no extra charge, here it is:

Dan Phillips's signature


Unknown said...

Thanks for posting the sermon brother. I look forward to listening to it this afternoon.

donsands said...

"I take it to be yet another of many OT indications and signposts that Messiah will be both truly God and truly man"

Looking forward to listening to your sermon.

"Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown."

Stefan Ewing said...

The New Testament Panorama course at our Bible School starts tonight.

The Old Testament Panorama assignment was on the character of Christ as shown in the OT: Seed of the woman; commander of the army of Yahweh; rightful heir to all of the Father's dominion; Davidic King; good Shepherd; the king who humbles himself (Zech. 9:9); etc., etc., etc.

Then our Easter sermon series began last weekend, on Who we think Jesus is, based on Matthew 21:1-11 (hence Zechariah again!).

This is absolutely providential timing. I'll be listening to this today in preparation for the class tonight.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this sermon link, Dan. I'm enjoying it with my breakfast. It's also nice to put a voice with your written words.

Stefan Ewing said...

By the way, Dan: You cite Philippians 2:5-11 in your sermon. That very passage came to my mind over and over and over again as I was writing that assignment. There's no getting away from it.

The Squirrel said...


He sounds like John Malkovich, doesn't he?


The Squirrel

DJP said...

DO NOT make me come OVER there.

Unknown said...

Great, just great. The one day I don't bring my headphones to work, you post sermon audio. Now I have to wait until I get home to listen to it. I am sure I will enjoy it after dinner. Thanks for this and PCRT live blogging as well.

FX Turk said...

"Sounds like" John Malcovich?

Dude: my brother Dan LOOKS LIKE John Malkovich, expect better.

You cannot meet Dan and not think that.

DJP said...

All right. Now I'm undone.

Rachael Starke said...


No kidding. All I know is I told some friends that were at PCRT to find Dan by looking for the guy that looks like John Malkovich and they said they saw him right away. :)

Hey, try living in the Bay Area and having every third person tell you you look like Sarah Palin.

DJP said...

You told some....

Oh my gosh.

DJP said...

Yeah, well at least even people who hate her admit that Sarah Palin is beautiful.


DJP said...

...and not primarily known for very effectively portraying unhinged degenerate psychopaths.

The Squirrel said...

Just listened to your message. Well done.

And I always think first of Malkovich's masterful portrayal of the heartbroken Athos in the 1998 remake of The Man in the Iron Mask, a movie I very much enjoyed.

The Squirrel

Stefan Ewing said...

I've listened to the sermon, Dan. I'll have to listen to it a second time to do it justice.

You made the point of the necessity of Christ's incarnation—as well as of His physical death and bodily resurrection—quite effectively.

Jeff said...

Dittos Squirrel.

Great work Dan.

Now I have to revisit my past two Sundays messages and flesh them out even further for this Sunday. Fortunately, we're not on a schedule.

Erik Hoffman said...

I'm listening to the sermon right now. Your point about "Her seed" from Genesis being a possible harbinger of the virgin birth is very interesting and insightful. This is something I've never considered before. Man, I've spent my entire life in the Word and never thought to ask myself why it says "her seed" and not "his seed". This shows two things:

1) God's word is like a multi-faceted jewel that can be new and living even to the seasoned veteran

2) I am a dimwitted dullard of a dolt

DJP said...

Well, glory to God. I remember vividly going to a conference and hearing the teacher present the section I'd just happened to read this morning. But I might as well not have. He brought out info right there in the text, staring at me, but I'd never seen it.

Humbling, and blessing. Glad to say it still happens frequently, 25 years later.

That text really is something, though, isn't it? Adam's standing right there, but God in effect brushes him aside and says "her seed." But in so doing, He also brushes her aside; for though hostility will exist between the serpent and the woman, the decisive battle won't involve her at all.

It will all be on her Seed.

Erik Hoffman said...

Yes, it is amazing. Even now I still have a look on my face like a deer in the headlights. Wow. All I can say is "wow".

Solameanie said...

Does this mean there will soon be a new film entitled "Being Dan Phillips?"

Just wondering. Sounds like a good popcorn movie.

Erik Hoffman said...

Sorry for the long post, but the following snippett from Dan's sermon is excellent and to the point. Dan made it so simple a child could understand it:

(Why did John make such a big deal about his witnessing Jesus' actual death?) If Jesus did not actually physically die, then there was no atonement. Because that is the plan that the triune God devised for the salvation of man. We created an infinite debt when our father sinned. A debt we could never repay. How do you pay back the affront to God and the breaking of His righteousness that our first parents committed? How do you pay that back? What's the price of that? Well, God told them right up front the price would be infinite...you can't pay it! You do this and you die! God said that. So what's the price? How could they ever pay it? They could never pay it. They're already hopelessly in debt. Where would they get the capital to pay it? With what would they pay for it? Well, they would do real good works, they'd do real good deeds? Sir; ma'am, you owe that anyway! That's you're debt. From conception to death, that's your debt. You're going to pay a debt by what you already owe? No, you need to get something that is beyond that to pay that debt. It's an infinite debt. None of us...our pockets are turned inside out...and "DEBTOR" is on our foreheads. How are we going to pay that debt? Well perhaps an angel could take pity on us and pay it for us. No! An angel couldn't pay it for us, because they're not related to us. They're not of our species. They can't step in and pay a debt, they don't have the currency we need. They can't pay a debt for us. Could an animal do it? No! The value of an animal's life is not infinite. An animal can't step in and fully pay the debt that I owe God. Angels can't do it, animals can't do it, we can't do it. But it must be a human who does it. A human must come and pay the bill that we left. He must fulfill all righteousness for us. How can a human do that? Well, that is exactly the plan of salvation, that God the Father covenented with God the Son to come and die for our sins, and give His human life that accomplished perfect righteousness as a man, and met all of God's demands, that He would give that innocent; not just innocent, but righteous life, in the stead of sinners. So it must be a real human who dies, and he must really die. He can't come to the point of death and say, "Okay, is this good enough? Can I...can I go now?" No, He can't say that, because the wages of sin is death. That's eternal, and God says, "I've given blood to make atonement for your souls." And when He says blood, he doesn't mean a pinprick. He means a bloody death, a violent bloody death in Leviticus 17:11. And so, John stresses the fact that He really died, because if He didn't really die a human death, then He did not make atonement, and what He just said a few minutes earlier, "It is finished", is not true, because for it to be finished, he would have to die.

I thought I'd type it out and post it here for all who didn't listen to the teaching.

Good stuff!

Stefan Ewing said...

That was the best part of Dan's sermon. I rewound and re-listened to that segment a couple of times (mainly because I was on a noisy bus).

FX Turk said...

DJP --

Nobody has ever told you that you look like Malkovich?


I don't believe it.

DJP said...

1. Now the world knows you don't read my blog daily, as I read yours.


2. Recently it seems like EVERYONE is telling me that. TOTAL STRANGERS are telling me that.

3. I don't for the life of me see it.

4. Clearly a photo essay is called for.

Solameanie said...


We could always say that Dan looks like Miles Standish, albeit with less cranial hair.

I'd best stop before I get zapped (or put in the ducking stool, since I'm on a colonial bent).

The Squirrel said...

For the record: I never said that Dan looks like John Malkovich, only that he sounds like John Malkovich. I said it as an aside, while saying how much I've enjoyed, and benefited from listening too, his sermons. (Dan's, not John Malkovich's)

I've never heard Miles Standish preach, so I don't know if Dan sounds like him, or not.

I'll just leave it there. I never promise to never mention it again :-)

The Squirrel

Susan said...

(Do we get a prize if we successfully filled in the blanks from your outline!?)

Susan said...

Sometimes I don't know which one is worse: Being told you look like John Malkovich...

...or being told you look like Charles Barkley. One of my friends (who is not even remotely African-American) had to endure my referring to his looking like Barkley. (Actually, I do know which one is worse.)

Susan said...

And before my words get misconstrued, let me clarify that I was referring to Barkley's character and not anything else!! (Even Barkley himself admitted that he had no character....)

Andrew Faris said...


I haven't gotten through your whole sermon yet. I just went to your section on Isa. 7:14 because it's something I've been thinking a lot about recently. So I apologize if you answer this question somewhere else in the sermon.

Anyway, here's my question: do you think that the Immanuel prophecy is fulfilled in a one-to-one, direct fulfillment sense by Jesus? Or is there a double fulfillment with either Hezekiah's son (the same mentioned in ch. 9) or Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz?

Thanks, and thanks for posting the sermon!

Andrew Faris
Christians in Context

DJP said...

I think my position comes out, and the rationale is just under the surface; but that sermon isn't focused on that passage.

I'm one for one. It's a prophecy of Christ's birth, period.

I did preach a sermon which places that passage in canonical context and treats it at some length. You can find it here. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Andrew Faris said...


Thanks for getting back to me on that. That's what I figured from the sermon, but I just wanted to be sure. I figured there was a little wiggle room in the way you phrased it and I didn't want to assume anything!

I'll give your other sermon a listen and get back to you. I appreciate you getting that to me.


Andrew Faris said...


The link you posted in your comment to me is broken. It took me to a page with a little gif that says "mp3".

Which really isn't that helpful, you know...

Just kidding.


Andrew Faris said...

But seriously. The link really is broken...just to be clear.

DJP said...

All right. Here.

For future reference, go here, and search my name.

Andrew Faris said...

Thanks brother. I'll give it a listen as soon as I can.