Who is Jesus Christ?
Do you know Jesus Christ? How you answer this question reveals more than you may realize about you and the direction your life is headed. Some people have never heard of Jesus at all. Others have heard about him (perhaps as a child in Sunday school or from a devout relative) but cannot imagine that Jesus could have an impact on their lives. Does either description sound like you? Then keep reading to learn more about the Good News of Jesus Christ and why knowing him is the most important relationship you can ever have. But before talking about the good news of Jesus Christ, it is necessary to learn about the bad news.
What is the bad news?
When God created mankind, the world was a beautiful and holy place, without pain and without evil. However, Adam (the first man, and the father of the whole human race) disobeyed God, and plunged humanity, including you, into a bitter war against God. God, being a good and holy God, could not let evil go unpunished. As a result, God promised that Adam and all of his descendants would surely die.
You are a child of Adam, and if you do not know Jesus Christ, you too are at war with God. You may say, "I am at war with God? Really? I don't feel like I'm his enemy." We say things like this because we like to think of ourselves as "pretty good people." The Bible, however, reveals that God's standards are much higher than ours.
When God judges a person, he does not look merely at the outside. God sees the heart. What does God see when he looks at your heart? In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus taught that when a man has a lustful thought about a woman, God sees that as adultery in the heart. Likewise, Jesus said that a hateful thought or word is as bad as murder in God's eyes.
In the book of Romans, Paul summarizes humanity's situation like this: "There is no one good, no not one." No one meets God's standard of perfection, and that is why everyone, including you, will surely die and then, as the Bible teaches, you will face the judgment of God.
Some think that it is possible to make up for the sins that they have committed by going to church, praying, giving money to the poor, or doing enough good works. Others believe that they can make up for their sins by participating in religious rituals such as baptism, confession, penance, or the Eucharist.
However, the Bible says that even the good works people try to do are filthy dirty from God's perspective. Besides that, no amount of good works could ever excuse a criminal from the judgment he deserved for his crime. A bank robber may give the money he steals to charity, but no judge in his right mind would then excuse the bank robber from his jail sentence! Even if the bank robber paid back the money in full, there would still be a punishment for his crime.
In the same way, no matter how much you try, you will never be able to escape the judgment of God. Does this concern you? Then keep reading to learn about the Good News of Jesus Christ.
What is the Good News of Jesus Christ?
God is a just judge, and he will punish all sin. Nevertheless, God does not delight in the death of humanity. In the Gospel of John, the Bible says that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." What does that mean?
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, true God of true God. Without ceasing to be God, he became a man and was born of the virgin Mary. Because he was a man just like you and me, he experienced all the hardships of this life. But because he was God in the flesh, Jesus never disobeyed God his Father. He always did what was right, and even though Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, Jesus never sinned. That is why God said, "This is my beloved Son. With him, I am well pleased."
Because he never sinned, Jesus was the one man who never deserved to die. Yet when he was just over 30 years old, Jesus was rejected by his own nation and nailed to a wooden cross to die a horrifying and shameful public death. Why would God let this happen to his own Son? If Jesus never sinned, why did Jesus die?
This is the great wonder of God's love. Jesus did not die for his own sin. Instead, Jesus was paying for your sin and mine. When we try to make up for our sins against God by trying to do good works, it is like trying to write a check to cover the overdraft charge on a checking account. We were deeply in debt to God, but Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. Jesus got the death that we deserved, and God's justice was satisfied.
But the story does not end there. Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day, proving that he was truly the Son of God and proving that God had accepted his payment for our sins. Jesus then appeared to many witnesses and preached the Good News until he ascended into heaven to be with his Father, where he will remain until he returns to earth again, when, as he promised, he will raise all who believe in him from the dead to live and reign with him forever and ever.
How can you receive the forgiveness of your sins and eternal life? Jesus has already paid the penalty. You must repent (acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you are turning away from your sins) and trust Jesus (depend on him as the True God, and the only one who can save you from your sins). If you trust Jesus Christ, God will forgive your sins and give you eternal life.
Knowing Jesus Christ is the most important relationship you could ever have. If you would like more information about how you can know Jesus Christ and receive forgiveness and eternal life, please contact us or visit one of our worship services. We would love to know you and help you in your desire to know Christ better.