How to know Jesus

The Bible is abundantly clear that we have all sinned against God. Since the first sin in the garden of Eden, we have all been born into a sinful nature that has cursed humanity. God says that if we are guilty in just one part of the law, we are guilty of the entire law. God is perfectly Holy and He demands perfect Holiness. Have you ever stolen anything, even just a stick of gum or a pen? Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever coveted someone else’s belongings? Ever lusted after another person? Ever hated anyone? Jesus said that lust is adultery and hatred is murder that are committed within the heart. Ever put anything else in your life before God, an interest, career, family, anything? God deserves first place in our lives. Even if you have only stumbled in one of these areas only once in your life, you are guilty of the entire law, the 10 Commandments, and therefore are sentenced to eternal death. Hell was created for the devil and the angels which followed him in rebellion against God. But all who live in sin are in the same rebellion against the one true Holy God. Romans 3:23 says that there is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The Bible also says that the law was given to us in order to show us our sinfulness and shed light on our desperate situation. We aren’t sinners because we have sinned. We sin because we are sinners. We are born into sin. It’s in our nature as humans, as members of fallen humanity. But God being perfectly holy and just cannot allow sin to go unpunished. He is loving and He is patient, but He is definitely a just and vengeful God.

What hope do we have then? Are we all destined to suffer God’s wrath on sin in Hell for eternity with no escape?

The best news ever heard is the answer to this question….no.

From even before the very first sin, the fall of man that originated from Adam and Eve, God had a plan in action. The law states that without the shedding of blood, there can be no remission of sin. Sin is deadly. It demands blood. Death is its only sentence. So Jesus, being fully God and fully Man, came down from His throne in Heaven on a rescue mission. He lived among us as a humble Carpenter from Nazareth. He taught the religious leaders God’s truth. He healed the sick. He raised the dead to life. He fed thousands from 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes. He turned water into wine. He calmed storms with a single command. He is the one that created everything that there is and He is the one that has full and complete authority over all creation. He also loves us more than we can comprehend, and…….He loves YOU.

In His complete and perfect love as the complete and perfect God, Jesus chose to take our shame and our sin upon Himself so we could be reconciled to God. He went willingly to the cross as the Father laid the sinfulness of all humanity upon His shoulders. He bore our pain and suffering, our fears, our failures, and our punishment for sin that we deserve. He took all that on for us so that we could have the hope of life. So we could be brought from death and eternal punishment in Hell to joy and life everlasting in His presence forever. Jesus died on the cross one dark Passover day in Jerusalem. He was whipped, beaten, nailed to the cross and then He gave up His life, bearing it all for us…….for YOU.

Thank God that’s not the end of the story. If Jesus had simply died and was buried and that was it, He would’ve just been another victim of the cross among thousands of others. Overlooked as just another religious leader that passed away with the sands of time. But, three days after He died, Jesus rolled away the stone that covered His tomb and stepped out in victory. He is alive!!! Sin could not defeat Him! Death could not hold Him! He is God! He is Lord over all! He is THE Savior! And He loves YOU!!!

So now what? What do we do in response to that? To that dramatic and heroic victory of the Lord God Jesus Christ over sin and death. What do we do in response to God reaching down into our mucky and miry pit to lift us out into eternal life?

In response to a jailer that held two of Jesus’ apostles, Paul and Silas, who asked the same question of them, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” The Bible clearly states that we are saved by faith in Jesus’ completed work on the cross. He took our sins upon Himself and died so that the debt that we owe could be paid and we could be saved from God’s wrath on sin. Then, He rose from the dead proving His authority and victory over sin and death and that sin’s requirement of death had been satisfied on our behalf. Sin’s death sentence has been served and Jesus holds out His hands today saying, it is done, it is finished, follow Me and trust in Me unto life everlasting.

Romans 10:9 states, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” All He asks is that you put your faith in Him as Lord and follow Him. He calls us to deny ourselves, turn from our sins and give our lives to Him. To realize Jesus is Lord and continue in sin is to continue in rebellion against Him. Make no mistake, we are saved by faith in Jesus as Lord, not just a theological acknowledgment of who He is. James 2:29 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” If we truly believe and have faith in Him, then we believe His words to us. And if we believe His words to us then we must confess that what He says about Himself is true, that He is Lord. And if we agree with Him that He is Lord and confess Him as such, then we must follow Him and obey Him as Lord and trust in Him by faith as Savior. By faith we are saved, not by works. But faith that doesn’t result in action and good works is a dead and false faith. If we truly and honestly believe in Jesus as Lord, it will have an impact on how we live our lives. We will live with a focus on our Lord and His ways rather than a focus on ourselves.

Turn from sin today and turn toward the Lord Jesus Christ, fixing your gaze upon Him. Fall in love with Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength because He first loved you. Enough to die for you in order to save you. Step out of the boat and onto the waves. Don’t let the storms around you make you lose sight of Him and His love for you. Walk out in faith. Trust in Jesus. Follow His footsteps on the water.

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