(Note: This article is scheduled to appear in the July 1 edition of the Linn County News.)
What does Jesus Christ mean to you? Some see him as a good example of pious living. Others see him as a religious leader that founded Christianity. Still others see him as a misunderstood “do-gooder” who was wrongly accused and executed.
While there may be an element of truth in all of the above, Jesus is much more than these. Jesus was God, “who became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). As the second member of the Trinity, (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), Jesus came to earth and lived a sinless life, thus fulfilling the Father’s law to perfection. As if that’s not amazing enough, God credits Jesus’ perfect life to sinners who repent and place their faith in Him as Lord. Sinners, who are worthy of death and damnation, can receive forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ. But what about our sin? What happens to that?
God doesn’t simply forget about our sin. By his grace, through Jesus Christ, God pays for our sin upon the cross. It was while Jesus hung upon the cross that God the Father poured his righteous wrath out upon His very own Son, who stood in our place. God’s justice demanded a payment, and God’s grace made Him pour out the punishment on Himself.
The question for you is this: Are you a partaker of this amazing gift? Believing in the existence of God doesn’t make you a partaker in His salvation. Nor does simply having an intellectual agreement with the gospel. Jesus said: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23 KJV) A change of heart, mind, and direction is required. We are called to turn from our sin in repentance and place our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord over our life. Jesus must become more than simply a nice guy from the New Testament. He must become our “all in all.” He must become our Supreme Lord. He must become our Master. Are you willing to submit to Him as Lord? If so, eternal life can be yours. If not, eternal Hell will be yours. Regardless of whether you like it or not….that’s the reality of the matter. The question remains….what will you do with Jesus?