Archive for October, 2008

Why Did Jesus Come?

Posted in Do You Know Jesus? with tags on October 19, 2008 by evangelist
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
– Luke 19:10

In order for us to place our faith in Christ, in order to trust Him, we need to know why He came. Why should we trust Jesus? Seeing our need will answer the question asked today, “Why did Jesus come?”

The Holiness of God

We must start by seeing God for Who He is. He is perfect in majesty and holiness, pure and immutable, incapable of sin and deceit. He is Almighty God, the Creator of all that is. And as a holy, holy, holy God, He created mankind to have fellowship with Him. Not because He needed fellowship, but because He desired it. He, for His own purposes and good pleasure, wanted to fellowship with us.

He created the world for us to live in and tend. He gave us everything we needed for life and godliness. Everything He created was good and perfect.

But then, after creating mankind as male and female and giving them a command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:16-17), Satan came in the form of a serpent and tempted Eve to eat of the fruit (Gen 3:1). He started with the same old lie, “Did God really say?” He went on to tell Eve and Adam that they would be like God if they ate the fruit and that God was afraid that they would become His equals and that was the only reason for the command (Gen 3:4-5). Eve added to the Word of God, by the way. She answered the serpent that God has said not to eat or even touch the fruit (Gen 3:2-3). Did God tell her not to touch the fruit? No. He said only not to eat it. She added to the Word, doubted the Word, denied the Word, and driven by the lust of her flesh (it was good for food), the lust of her eyes (it looked good), and the pride of life (it would make her “wise”) she took and ate the fruit……and then gave some to Adam (who was right there with her the whole time) and he willingly ate as well (Gen 3:6).

Mankind had violated God’s Word. They had disobeyed. They had sinned. And as such they ceased to be holy and perfect. They suffered spiritual death and bondage to sin and then suffered under the curse that the whole world groans under to this day.

Because God is holy and all of mankind, represented by Adam, sinned when he ate the fruit (Rom 5:12), now we all were separated from God. Hence the Bible is true when it states “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23).

As God had specifically warned Adam and Eve, to eat the fruit was to die. And we know that “the wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23). Adam did not die physically at that instant. But he did die spiritually and because that fellowship with the Father was broken and the commandment violated, Adam would now face death physically. And just as we all die, Adam died (Gen 5:5).

That Which is Lost

In seeing what happened in the Garden of Eden, we see that mankind fell into sin and if we were to have fellowship with God, as He intended, then we would have to be restored, or reconciled to Him (Col 1:21). In that sense then, we were indeed lost in the Garden. We lost fellowship and unhindered access to God. We lost eternal life in His presence forever, we lost life and health, we lost our freedom being now dead in sin, we lost our way!

And that is why Jesus had to come! He says that He came to “seek and save that which was lost.” You see, God knew before He ever started creating that Adam and Eve would sin. He knew before the world began that to redeem fallen man would cost the life of His only Son. He knew that it was up to Him to save us because we could not save ourselves. He knew, because this was what He had planned all along to proclaim His glory through the ages!! When Adam and Eve ate that fruit, God was not taken by surprise. He did not make them eat it. But He knew they would. God is not the author of sin. But He allowed it and now uses it for His purposes. Imagine God is powerful enought to take anything that happens in our life and use it for His own glory and for our good! (Rom 8:28).

So Jesus was sent to seek out, find, and save that which was lost. And that is why we must know why He had to come before we can see our need to trust Him. If we tell people to trust Christ they will likely ask, “Why should I trust Christ?” And the answer is, because we need to trust Him if we are to reconciled to a holy God and have our sins forgiven.

The Word of God tells us of our need. The Law of God shows us how far short we fall of His standards and His righteouesness. We see that we have sinned and that we cannot pay for our sin! The Law points us to to our need for Christ (Gal 3:24).

“Oh, but wait,” you say, “will not the lost man pay for his sin in hell forever?” Well there you have it. If we are required to pay the sin debt we owe, it will never be paid! We will pay forever, but never finally satisfy the justice, wrath, and holiness of God. Our sin is so heinous because He is so holy that if we are required to pay for it on our own the debt will never be paid off. Not for all eternity (Mark 9:43, 45).

People who deny the doctrine of a literal hell fail to realise that in doing so they cheapen both the awfulness of sin and the glory of God! We can never pay what we owe. That is why being under the wrath of God for eternity is referred to as the second death (Rev 21:8) – we will all die physically unless the Lord Jesus comes back, and we will all either live forever with God in the new heavens and earth, or we will die forever in the lake of fire! Always dying and never being dead. Flames. Worms. Torments. Darkness and blackness, with pain that drives to the gnashing of teeth to try and seek some relief. But there is no relief. No drop of water. No break. It is forever. Such is the nature of sin in opposition to the absolute holiness of God.

The Substitute

In seeing our need for salvation, for a rescue from the power of sin and death and hell, we see why Jesus had to come. God has to save us for we cannot save ourselves. We cannot be good enough for all we can do outside of Christ is sin (Rom 14:23). We cannot buy eternal life or the fogiveness of sins. We cannot afford the bill that is due! We cannot think that God will balance our good and bad behavior on a scale and if the good outweighs the bad then we will get into heaven. Jesus said there is none good but God (Psalm 14:3; Rom 3:12; Matt 19:17). So there is not a man (except for Christ) in the history of the world that has been good after Adam fell in the garden.

The truth is we cannot keep the law of God. James is clear. To break one commandment is to break all the law (James 2:10). Think of it. If you break one law out of a hundred you are still a lawbreaker. You are still a sinner. And the wages of sin is still death.

So we see why we must trust in Christ, because we need a substitute! Someone to pay the debt that we cannot. Someone to keep all the law without breaking a single one. And that is why Jesus had to come.

He came to be a man. God knew we could not save ourselves so He sent His Son to become one of us. As a man then He kept all the Law of God. He came to “fulfill all righteouesness.” He was holy just as the Father is holy. He, as the spotless Lamb of God, obeyed all the Law, from outward precept to inward motive. He was a righteous man.

As such then He could stand in for us when it came time to be tried for our sin. He could give us (impute to us) His obedience. He could give us His righteousness. And He as a man could also pay our bill. He could offer Himself as a sacrifice and die for our sin. That is just what He intended to do when He came to seek and save that which was lost. He took our sin upon Himself. He paid for our sin before God. He bore the wrath and justice of God that our sins made us deserve. He carried the burden that we could not. He paid the bill we could never afford. And He paid it in full!!

So we see then what the Word of God calls propitiation. Jesus offered Himself on our behalf, taking our sin upon Himself by becoming a substitute for us in death, and at the same time imputed to us all of His righteousness so that we could be declared right with God (1 John 4:10; Heb 2:17; Rom 3:21-26).

How are we declared right with God? When Jesus seeks us and saves us, draws us to the Father (John 6:44), convicts us of our sinfulness (John 16:8) and our need for a Savior, gives us grace and faith (Eph 2:8-9), and we see our need and trust in Him. When we obey the gospel message, we repent, turning from our sin and turn in faith to Christ, we trust Him to save us, to forgive us, to take our sin away and give us eternal life. When we believe in Jesus Christ we are declared right with God (Rom 5:1)! Because of Who He is, and what He has done on our behalf, we can be made right with God.

That is amazing grace!! Tomorrow we will see how it is that Jesus took our sin upon Himself by the death that He died on the cross. Until then here is something to think about – have you seen your need for a Savior? Have you seen your sin and its cost – a bill you cannot pay? Have you repented from your sin and turned to Christ in faith, trusting Him to save you and forgive you – to pay your debt and give you a right standing with God? Have you believed and obeyed the gospel, the good news, that Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost?

If so, rejoice is so great a salvation provided by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

If not, don’t be fooled into thinking that you can bargian your way into heaven. We have nothing to bargain with – God requires absolute goodness and holiness and we are neither good nor holy outside of Jesus Christ. If we take such a gamble we have to see that we have nothing to gamble with, we have nothing good to offer (Isaiah 64:6)!! We are already dead, we are already in debt so far that we will never pay our way out. We must be rescued. Someone must come and save us for we cannot save ourselves! Do you see your need? If you see your need, look to Christ!! Look to Him – He in the only One who can save you!!

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Who is Jesus?

Posted in Do You Know Jesus? with tags on October 19, 2008 by evangelist

Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

(Matthew 16:16)

We, in order to be saved, must believe in Jesus. We must place our trust in Him. If we are to do that, we need to know Who Jesus is! This then is a basic introduction and reminder for us about Who this Jesus is.

Who is Jesus?

Jesus is identified by many names and titles in Scripture, including the Word, the Way, the Messiah (Christ), the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Truth, Immanuel (God with us), the Savior, the Redeemer, the Lord, the Life, the Lamb of God, the Mediator between God and men, and others. So let us see what a few of these names and titles tell us about Who He is.

 Immanuel – God with Us

Jesus is God. That is where we must start as we look at Who He is. Contrary to liberal and non-Trinitarian claims, Jesus absolutely identified Himself to His disciples and to the crowds to which He preached as God in human flesh.

We understand that the Bible presents us with the doctrine of the Trinity, and while the word trinity never occurs in the Scripture we do know that it is a good word used to explain the truth that Scripture clearly presents. The One Almighty Living God exists as Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As such, Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity.

 Second London Confession on God:

 1. The Lord our God is the one and only living and true God; Whose subsistence is in and of Himself 

Who is infinite in being and perfection; Whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but Himself; 

Who is a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions 

Who only has immortality

Who dwells in the light which no man can approach,

Who is immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, in every way infinite, most holy, most wise, most free, most absolute;

Who works all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory;

Who is most loving, gracious, merciful, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth;

Who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin;

Who is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him;

And Who, at the same time, is most just and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin and Who will by no means clear the guilty.

2. God, having all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and from Himself, is unique in being all- sufficient, both in Himself and to Himself, not standing in need of any creature which He has made, nor deriving any glory from such.

On the contrary, it is God Who manifests His own glory in them, through them, to them and upon them. He is the only fountain of all being; from Whom, through Whom, and to Whom all things exist and move.

He has completely sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do through them, for them, or to them whatever He pleases.

In His sight all things are open and manifest; His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and not dependant on the creature.

Therefore, nothing is for Him contingent or uncertain.

He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands.

To Him is due from angels and men whatever worship, service, or obedience, they owe as creatures to the Creator, and whatever else He is pleased to require from them.

3. In this divine and infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word or Son, and the Holy Spirit. All are one in substance, power, and eternity; each having the whole divine essence, yet this essence being undivided.

The Father was not derived from any other being; He was neither brought into being by, nor did He issue from any other being.

The Son is eternally begotten of the Father.

The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.

All three are infinite, without beginning, and are therefore only one God, Who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties, and also their personal relations.

This doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and our comfortable dependence on Him.

In God’s plan of redemption, it is Jesus who came to be born as a man through the virgin Mary. He had no earthly father in the sense of genetics or conception. God is His Father. Being born of a virgin, He has not inherited the sin nature and the curse upon all mankind descending by natural means from Adam. He is thus fully human yet without a sinful fallen nature.

Jesus then is truly God in human flesh, Immanuel, God with us. He became a man in order to pay the penalty for mankind – we are conceived sinners, born sinners, and will die sinners, and the wages of sin is death. So Jesus came to be a man and therefore pay man’s penalty – death.

As fully God and as fully man at the same time, Jesus is One Person but has two natures. Therefore He was tempted as we all are, yet He did not sin. This allowed Him to serve as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He did not die for His own sin, but for ours. As since He was righteous and sinless, He gave to us His obedience while taking the penalty for our sin upon Himself. What a glorious transaction this is!!

So we start by understanding that the Bible plainly tells us that Jesus is God.

Son of God

By using this term to describe Himself, Jesus was saying to his audience that He was equal with God. In other words, He was God. So as we have already seen the Bible establish, He is God, fully divine. He chose to limit His divinity while incarnate as a man, but is nonetheless still fully God and fully man.

When He used this title the crowd on one occassion they took up stones to stone Him for blasphemy – the crime of claiming to be God – punishable by death. When He was crucified it was because the religious leaders accused Him of making Himself to be God.

Son of Man

This was Jesus’ favorite name for Himself. He used it to describe Himself more than any other name or title, using it 83 times in the Gospels. What does it mean to be the Son of Man? It is a title that only the Messiah could claim (Dan. 7:13-14). This title specifically speaks about His suffering as a man. Suffering hunger and thirst, tiredness (physical needs), pain, torment, and eventually death on the cross. It speaks of how He had to humble Himself to become a man in order to be our substitute upon the cross.

The Lord

Jesus is Lord. We do not make Him Lord. We do not crown Him King. He is Lord. This is the plain testimony of Scripture. Jesus is Lord (master) over all of Creation. As such we are His slaves, purchased with His blood, and we owe Him perfect obedience and love and honor! At that final day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess what is true – Jesus Christ is Lord. But only those who confess it NOW, in this life, will have the hope of salvation in the life to come.

Messiah – the Christ

The term Messiah means literally the “annointed one” and is translated as Christ in teh New Testament. He is the Messiah, the one appointed and annointed to save His people. He is the One who was promised all through the Old Testament. In fact, the OT points to Christ, showing us in shadows and types Who this Messiah would be and what He would accomplish. The crowd on the day of the Triumphal Entry professed that He was the Messiah! And a few days later that same crowd cried out “Crucify Him!”

Redeemer

Jesus as the Redeemer has paid the price to buy us for Himself. Many have stated that He paid the devil, but this is not true. If we examine the Scriptures we understand that God does not owe the devil anything. The question must be asked, what did Jesus save us from? As we have discussed here before, Jesus saved us from sin, self, death and hell – but above all, He saved us from God! Yes, it’s true. He suffered the wrath of God for our sin. Wrath that we would have suffered had He not died for us! Wrath that the lost man will bear for eternity if he dies without trusting Christ. So Jesus redeemed us, He paid the price God’s justice, holiness and wrath demanded! He bought us and we are His.

Savior

Jesus is our Savior. He has saved us from our sin. He has offered Himself once for all as the sacrifice that the Father’s holiness and justice demanded and He has become our Savior. In fact, as we study later why Jesus came, we will examine the fact that He came to “seek and save that which was lost.” He has SAVED us from sin, self, death, and judgment. We could not save ourselves, so He saved us!

Mediator

Jesus also is the Mediator of the New Covenant, the Covenant in His shed blood. He is the only Mediator between God and men – the only One who could stand between the two and make peace with the sacrifice of Himself. He intercedes for those for whom He has died. He Mediates the Covenant of God’s Everlasting Grace. Where we would have stood on our own condemned to death for our sin, He now stands as a substitute, giving His own life to atone for ours and presenting that to God the Judge, who declares us right with Him (justified) when we trust Christ to save us.

Prophet, Priest, and King

Jesus is a prophet, declaring to us the Word of God as He presents Himself to us, the very living Word of God. Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek, a new and everlasting High Priest who offered Himself as the supreme sacrifice for His people in order to reconcile them to God. And He is the King of Kings, the ruler of all Creation, in Whom the whole world and creation consists! He is above all and everything was created by Him for His good pleasure.

Rabbi

The disciples referred to Jesus as “Rabbi”, a phrase which means teacher. They were His “disciples”, learners or followers. He was the teacher. Thus He teaches us from the Word about our need for Him and our only hope of salvation.

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

Jesus is the only Way to God. The early church in fact was known as “those of the Way.” I kinda wish that had stuck! He is also the Truth. God cannot lie, there is no deceit in Him, He is light, pure, holy, spotless, and immutable. He is also the Life. To know Him is to have eternal life. Without Him there exists but death and judgment. With Him there is life eternal.

Confessing our Faith

The Confession of Faith states this in summary about Jesus, telling us Who He is:

1. It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, His only begotten Son, in accordance with the covenant made between them both, to be the Mediator between God and man; to be Prophet, Priest, and King, the Head and Savior of His Church, the Heir of all things, and the Judge of all the world. To the Lord Jesus He gave, from all eternity, a people to be His seed. These, in time, would be redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified by the Lord Jesus.

2. The Son of God, the second person in the Holy Trinity, being true and eternal God, the brightness of the Father’s glory, of the same substance and equal with Him;

Who made the world, and Who upholds and governs all things which He has made, did, when the fullness of time had come, take upon Himself man’s nature, with all its essential properties and common infirmities, with the exception of sin.

He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her and the power of the Most High overshadowing her, so that He was born to a woman from the tribe of Judah, a descendant of Abraham and David, in accordance with the Scriptures.

Thus two whole, perfect and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion;

So that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man, yet He is one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.

3. The Lord Jesus, His human nature thus united to the divine, once in the person of the Son, was sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit above measure, having in Himself all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. It pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell in Him so that, being holy, harmless, undefiled, and full of grace and truth, He might be thoroughly furnished to execute the office of a Mediator and Surety, a position and duty which He did not take upon Himself, but was called to perform by His Father. And the Father also put all power and judgment in His hand, and gave Him commandment to exercise the same.

4. This office and duty of Mediator and Surety the Lord Jesus undertook most willingly. To discharge it, He was made under the law, and perfectly fulfilled it, and He underwent the punishment due to us, which we should have borne and suffered. He was made sin and was made a curse for us; enduring the most grievous sorrows in His Soul with the most painful sufferings in His duty. He was crucified, and died, and remained in the state of the dead, but His body did not undergo any decomposition. On the third day He rose from the dead with the same body in which He had suffered, with which He also ascended into Heaven, and there sits at the right hand of His Father making intercession, and shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the world.

5. The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience and sacrifice of Himself which He, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up to God, has fully satisfied the justice of God, has procured reconciliation, and has purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of Heaven for all those whom the Father has given to Him.

6. Although the price of redemption was not actually paid by Christ until after His incarnation yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefit arising from His payment were communicated to the elect in all ages from the beginning of the world through those promises, types, and sacrifices in which He was revealed and signified as the seed which should bruise the serpent’s head, and also the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, for He is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

7. Christ, in His work of Mediator, acts according to both natures, each nature doing that which is proper to itself. Yet, because of the unity of His person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature.

8. To all those for whom Christ has obtained eternal redemption, He certainly and effectually applies and communicates this redemption, making intercession for them, uniting them to Himself by His Spirit, revealing to them in the Word and by the Word the mystery of salvation. He persuades them to believe and obey, governing their hearts by His Word and Spirit, and overcome all their enemies by His almighty power and wisdom. This is achieved in such a manner and by such ways as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation, and it is all by free and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in them to procure it.

9. This office of Mediator between God and man is proper only to Christ, Who is the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church. Free Will of God, and this office may not be transferred from Him to any other, either in whole or in part.

10. This number and order of offices is essential. Because of our ignorance we need His prophetic office. Because of our alienation from God and the imperfection of the best of our service, we need His priestly office to reconcile us and present us to God as acceptable. Because of our aversion to, and utter inability to return to God, and for our rescue and keeping from spiritual enemies, we need His kingly office to convince, subdue, draw, uphold, deliver, and preserve us until we reach His heavenly kingdom.

And the Chalcedonian Creed of A.D. 451 affirms:

We then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers handed down to us.

 

 

Believing Jesus

Posted in Do You Know Jesus? with tags on October 19, 2008 by evangelist

We know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

Faith is not just a mental agreement to a set of facts. In the case of saving faith this remains true – saving faith must have an object. We all believe IN something, and what we believe works its way out in how we behave. So when we are talking about saving faith, what is the OBJECT of that faith?

Simply put, the only right object of our faith is the Person of Jesus Christ. HE is what we believe. HE is Who we trust. HE is Who we listen to and obey. HE is Who we are commanded to preach.  
Jesus is the Object of our faith. This is an easy enough proposition to prove from Scripture. In fact, there is more material suporting this claim than we can possible study in one day. But here are a few verses that make the point that we are to place our faith in Jesus Christ if we are to be saved.

Jesus, in His Own Words

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life. – John 3:16

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. -John 3:18

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” – John 3:36

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. – John 6:35

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:40

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. -John 6:47

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” – John 7:38

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26

I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. – John 12:46

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. – John 14:1

The Apostles, in Their Own Words

To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” – Peter in Acts 10:43

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” -Paul and Silas to the Philippian Jailor and His Family in Acts 16:31

“John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” -Paul in Acts 19:4

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” – Paul in Romans 9:33

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” – Paul in Romans 10:11

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, – Paul in Ephesians 1:13

For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, -Paul in Philippians 1:29

However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. – Paul in 1 Timothy 1:16

Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ” Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.” – Peter in 1 Peter 2:6

He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. – John in 1 John 5:10

This sampling then shows that if we have saving faith, faith that works, then it is faith IN the Person of Jesus Christ. He is the Object of our faith!

Charles Spurgeon preached concerning faith in the person of Christ often. Here is one excerpt from a message linked in full below titled “Faith’s Dawn”:

Now, observe we have called this faith true faith, and we will prove it to have been so. First, it was faith in the person of Christ. It is a great mistake to fancy that to endorse sound doctrine is the same thing as possessing saving faith, for while saving faith accepts the truth of God, it mainly concerns itself with the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and its essence lies in reliance upon Jesus himself. I am not saved because I believe the Scriptures, or because I believe the doctrines of grace, but I am saved if I believe Christ; or, in other words, trust in him. Jesus is my creed. He is the truth. In the highest sense the Lord Jesus is the Word of God. To know him is life eternal.

“Even the demons believe,” though their fate was sealed when they rebelled against God and were cast out of heaven with their master, Lucifer, the devil. They cannot be saved by believing on Jesus. For them it is too late. But they know the truth. They believe the truth. I pray that you believe now,  before it is too late

The Demons Believe.

Do You?

 

 

 

 

Are You Scared?

Posted in Halloween with tags on October 1, 2008 by evangelist

 

What could be more terrifying than all the horrors of Halloween? What is scarier than all the ghosts, goblins, vampires, witches, demons, and devils? How about the reality that faces us all:

 

 
 

DEATH

 

On this night when we are surrounded by all things ghoulish let’s not forget that death is real. Why do people die? Death is a result of sin. Everyone who sins will die and since every one of us has sinned then every one of us will die.

 

 

“The soul who sins will die.”

 

“All have sinned

and fall short

of the glory of God.”

 

(Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 3:23)

 

 

We have all fallen short of the glory of God. He is so glorious and so holy, perfect, and pure that no one who sins can stand in His presence. He has declared that the penalty for sin is death and eternal judgment in hell. All the terrors of Halloween are nothing in comparison to the wrath of God toward sin.

 

 

“The wages of sin is death.”

 

“It is appointed for

man to die once,

and after that comes judgment.”

 

(Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:27)

 

 

Is there any escape from certain death and judgment? Yes! The good news is that God has provided a gift of free grace. To reconcile us to Himself He has sent a substitute for sinners. He sent Someone else to pay the penalty for sin. Who did He send? He sent us His only Son, Jesus Christ.

 

 

“For God so loved

the world that He gave

His only Son,

that whoever

believes in Him

should not perish

but have eternal life.”

 

(John 3:16)

 

Jesus lived a perfect life, He never sinned, and He was not deserving of death. He knew that we could not pay the debt we owe for our sin so He willingly paid the penalty in full for those who believe by offering Himself as a sacrifice on the cross.

 

 

“God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

(Romans 5:8)

 

 

Jesus suffered the full wrath of God when paying the penalty for sin. To show that He was satisfied with the payment, God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. Hundreds of people saw Him alive after His resurrection.

 

 

“Whom He raised from the dead, Jesus,

who delivers us from the wrath to come.”

 

(1 Thessalonians 1:10)

 

 

To be rescued from sin, death, and hell Jesus invites us to come to Him and commands that we repent of our sin (to turn away from it and reject it) and believe in Him. We confess our sin to Him and trust Him to forgive us.

 

 

“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.”

 

(Romans 10:9)

 

In order to help us follow Him and obey His Word, Jesus promises to give us the Holy Spirit to guide us, teach us, comfort us, convict us of sin, and convince us of the truth of His Word.

 

 

“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth.”

 

(John 16:13)

 

 

Halloween is scary. Death is scarier. The thought of paying for our own sin is unimaginable! Have you obeyed the command of the Lord Jesus? Have you repented and believed in Him? If so, you have nothing to fear because He promises to forgive you and give you eternal life with the Father.

 

 

“Jesus said to him,

‘I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

No one comes

to the Father

except through Me.’”

 

“I am the resurrection

and the life.

Whoever believes in Me,

though he die,

yet shall he live.”

 

(John 14:6; John 11:25)

 

 

What Next?

 

If you have questions or would like to discuss this further,

please feel free to contact us.