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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Why Do We Need Jesus ?


Why Do We Need Jesus?









Being a Christian is about being in a relationship!  A relationship with God!  Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind and soul.  And the second commandment is to love others as we love ourselves.  Let’s listen:  “Jesus said: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (Matthew 22:37-39)  



It’s hard to love God if we don’t know Him.  So in order to love God with all our heart, mind and soul we need to be in a relationship with Him.  Scripture says that we were created to be in a relationship with God, so we may feel that something is missing in our lives-an emptiness deep inside- until we find that relationship.



But Jesus is the only One who can satisfy our spiritual hunger because He breaks down the barrier (our sin) between us and God and makes it possible for us to have a relationship with God.   Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35) and “I (Jesus) am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No person comes to the Father (God) but by Me.”  (John 14:6)  



Jesus, being the bread of life, satisfies our hunger for a life after death.  We all want to live beyond death.  And only in Jesus Christ do we find eternal life.  Scripture says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)  Our relationship with God (through Jesus) starts now and survives death and goes on into eternity. 



Jesus, being the bread of life, satisfies our hunger for forgiveness.  Even though we may not think that we need forgiveness, the Bible tells us that we do.  It tells us that everyone in the world has sinned.    “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)   And the Bible also tells us that sin brings about death.  “The wages of sin is death,…” (Romans 6:23)   It all sounds pretty grim since we all have sinned and sin leads to death.



 But wait, - the rest of that verse “The wages of sin is death,” goes on to say, “but the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)     Even though sin causes death, God intervened and sent Jesus to give us a gift – through His death the amazing gift of eternal life.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)



How do we know that Christianity is true?  Well, we can test the claims of Christianity because it is a historical faith and it is based on six thousand years of firm historical evidence. Christianity has spread around the world because it is like a fire – it is alive and driven by the Holy Spirit.  When a person asks Jesus to be his/her Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live in that person and comfort and teach her/him and give a new freedom.  The new believer isn’t left to try to be a good Christian on his own!





And who is Jesus Christ?  Christians believe in the mystery of the Trinity – the three in one – there is God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit.   So Jesus is part of the Godhead as the Son of God.   



Jesus is the Son of God and He came to earth with great power and with signs and wonders. He healed the sick and raised the dead along with teaching and loving people.  Thousands followed Him back then, not only because He healed the sick but also because they believed that He was the Messiah that they had been waiting for.  The Old Testament prophets had prophesied that a Messiah would come and would save the people from their sins and Jesus was the Messiah that had been promised. 



Jesus said that the reason that He was born was to die for us.  Scripture says that He came “to give His life as a ransom for many.”  The word “ransom” comes from the slave market.  A kind person might buy a slave and set him free- but first the ransom price had to be paid.  Jesus paid the ransom price to set us free with His blood on the cross.  (Mark 10:45)  He died for us.  The word “for” means “instead of”.  Jesus took the penalty in our place so that we could be totally forgiven and free from any guilt.  And Jesus rose from the dead and left His spirit with us. 



And Jesus also came to free us from the fear of death.  Scripture says: “by his (Jesus’) death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil-and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Hebrews 2:14-15)  We need no longer fear death because death is not the end for those whom Jesus has set free.  Instead death is the gateway to heaven, where we will never sin again.



And not only did Jesus’ death give believers freedom from these bad things –(guilt, fear and slavery to sin) but His death gave us freedom for good things.  Jesus’ free gift of salvation given because of His death gives us the freedom to know God.  The things which we do wrong cause a barrier between us and God: “your iniquities have separated you from your God.”  (Isaiah 59:2).  Jesus’ death removed the barrier that existed between us and God.  Now we can have a relationship with God and we become the sons and daughters of God. 



Jesus’ death gives us the freedom to love.  “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)  As we look at the cross we understand that Jesus loved us enough to die for us.  And when the Holy Spirit comes to live within us we experience that love.  And we receive a new love for God and for other people.  We are set free through the Spirit to live a life of love.  



The Bible makes it clear that we have to do something to accept the free gift that God offers through Jesus Christ.  Scripture says:  “If we confess our sins He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1John 1:9)  Believing involves an act of faith, based on all that we know about Jesus.  It is putting our trust in a Person. 



The way people take this step of faith varies, but one way in which you can take this step of faith can be summarized by just three words and these are the words: -  1) “Sorry”  2) “Thank-you” and 3) “Please.”



1)    “Sorry” You have to ask God to forgive you for all the things you have done wrong and try to turn from everything you know is wrong in your life.  This is what the Bible means by “repentance.”

2)    “Thank-you” We believe that Jesus died for us on the cross.  You need to thank Him for dying for you and for the offer of His free gift of forgiveness, freedom, and His Spirit. 

3)    “Please” God never forces His way into our lives.  You need to accept His gift and invite Him to come and live within you by His Spirit.



If you would like to have a relationship with God and you are ready to say these three things, then here is a simple prayer which you can pray and which will be the start of that relationship. 



Lord Jesus Christ,



I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life. (Take a moment to ask forgiveness for anything that is on your conscience.)  Please forgive me. 



Thank you that You died on the cross for me so that I could be forgiven and set free.  Thank you that You offer me forgiveness and the gift of Your Spirit.  I now receive that gift.



Please come into my life by your Holy Spirit to be with me forever.



Thank you Lord Jesus.  Amen. 







If you pray that prayer, Scripture says that you become a Christian.  If you prayed that prayer and meant it you opened the door of your heart to Jesus and He came into your life.  Scripture says that you have been “born again” into the kingdom of God. Congratulations!



What do you do now?  First of all tell someone.  Write to me and let me share your joy. Next read the Bible.  Once we have received Jesus and put our trust in Him we become children of God.  He is our heavenly Father.  And like any father He wants us to have a close relationship with Him.  We develop this relationship as we listen to Him (many times through the Bible) and as we speak to Him in prayer.  The Bible is the Word of God and you might find it helpful to begin by reading a few verses of John every day.  Then speak to God each day through prayer.  And ask God to lead you to a Christian church.  It’s important to be a part of a group of Christians who get together to worship God.   





(The ideas from this blog are taken from “Why Jesus?” an Alpha book by Nicky Gumbel)

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