What Matters Most

I do hope that many men (and my sisters who are following) will enjoy my posts.

But for all the blogging I hope to do…

And for all the posts I look forward to reading from you…

The question that matters most is this; what do you believe about Jesus Christ?

Why is this important?
We are born enemies of God, at war with each other and at war with our true selves.  Human beings are not “good” by nature.  Look at the world with its hurt, hate and violence.  There is something wrong with this world and there is something wrong with us.

It wasn’t always like this.  We were created for a personal relationship with God, unity with each other and to care for the earth.  In the beginning “everything was designed for good.”[i]  But then we intentionally turned away from God, hurt each other and the entire creation began to suffer.  We sinned, meaning we replaced the truth of God with a lie and began to make ourselves the masters of the universe.

This wasn’t a onetime event because sin permeates the atmosphere of the world and is coded into the human spirit.  Who hasn’t lied?  Who hasn’t cheated?  Who hasn’t cursed a neighbor?  How many of us simply walk around like “practical atheists” talking and living without giving God a second thought?  Others make themselves feel better by saying “I don’t hurt anybody” or “I have a good heart” (whatever that means).

We are dying and sin is the reason we ultimately experience death.  We are sin sick.  But we aren’t simply trapped in sin like Neo in the Matrix; we cooperate with sin like a drug addict who is one hit away from an overdose.  “Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.”[ii] 

But death is only the beginning.  God’s holiness, purity and goodness demand that He deal with the corruption and disease of sin.

We may think ourselves “good” but God determines what is good.  Because of sin we are separated from God in this lifetime and unless something is done we face the judgment of hell; eternal torment and separation from God.

But "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."  The good news is that our Creator made the way for peace with Him and to join up in His operation to restore the world through faith in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God.

How?  Jesus Christ died to pay the debt to God that we could not pay and in effect to die in our place.  In dying for our sins, Jesus purchased our forgiveness making it possible for us to have peace with our Creator.  We are brought into a Father and child relationship with God thanks to Jesus.  “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”[iii]

In rising from the dead Christ gives us the gift and hope of eternal life.  Death can no longer separate us from God and the Christian looks forward to the second coming of Christ.  We are living this life to live forever with God, with fellow believers, in a new heaven and a new earth.  And if we die before the Second Coming of Christ we know that we will be at rest in the Lord.

God the Holy Spirit lives in us connecting us to the Father, the other people of God and the needs of the world.  “Jesus's resurrection is the beginning of God's new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven.”[iv] 

Because Jesus is Lord generational curses are broken, demonic powers are subjugated, and we have His Spirit working within us.  The Scriptures become our source of faith and rule of conduct.  We are His agents working within fallen human culture toward the transformation of person and place.

This is the Gospel or the good news of Jesus Christ!

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”[v]

Now this is the hard part; you can’t earn forgiveness because it is a gift from God.  This gift is called grace or unmerited favor because God didn’t have to save us, Jesus Christ didn’t have to die for us.  There is nothing we can do to earn this gift.  You don’t get right and come to God.  You can only come just as you are and not one “good deed” can earn or deserve God’s grace.  It is His gift.

So how do we receive this gift?

We must repent or turn in our hearts toward Jesus Christ believing that He died for our sins and rose again from the dead to give us victory over sin and death.  We confess Jesus as Lord (King of the Universe and ruler over our lives) as a result of turning to Him by faith no longer trusting in our own goodness.

Repentance begins when we realize that we are powerless to help ourselves.  We don’t get cleaned up and come to God.  We come to God as we are by faith in Jesus Christ.

RELIGION: I obey, therefore I am accepted by God.  THE GOSPEL: I am accepted through the costly grace of God, therefore I obey.”[vi]

After we repent and embrace this message in believing trust, the Spirit of God begins to produce the life of God in us.  “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”[vii]  When God looks upon us He no longer sees the sin because we stand in the rightness of His Son.

The resurrection is the proof that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ and the Lord of the universe.[viii]  Jesus is Lord so sin and death do not have the final word over our lives or God’s creation.  "The resurrection completes the inauguration of God's kingdom. . . . It is the decisive event demonstrating that God's kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven.  The message of Easter is that God's new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you're now invited to belong to it."[ix]

Through His Lordship we now belong to something much greater than ourselves, together with all believers throughout the world and history.  We are new creations given spiritual authority and the promise that nothing can separate us from His hands.[x]

My brother (or my sister), will you believe this good news?  Will you confess your need, take off the masks that hide your brokenness, give up the shallow substitutes and the illusion of independence?  In light of God’s holiness, in light of our sinfulness, we need to look to God’s goodness and sacrificial love in Jesus Christ who died for our sins and rose again to give us eternal life.

I pray that you will come to know the Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ if you don't already.  If you do, I hope this page is aid to your faith.

In addition to the video clip from James Choung above, here is an audio message from Ray Comfort concerning "Hell's best kept secret.”

[i] James Choung
[ii] CS Lewis
[iii] 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
[iv] NT Wright
[v] 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NLT
[vi] Tim Keller
[vii] 2 Corinthians 5:21
[viii] Colossians 1:15-20    
[ix] NT Wright
[x] John 1:12, 10:28

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