“For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” - Ephesians 2:8-9
There is nothing more important than understanding the person and the work of Jesus Christ.
Nothing. There is no other thing that has the power to change not only your life, but your eternity. The person of Jesus Christ, if you don't know, is the center of the Bible. Everything leading up in the Old Testament and everything written in the New Testament, the pinnacle of it all is Jesus Christ. It's all leading to Him. It's all about Him.
I have a great little book that I love, and a lot of you probably know or have already heard of It. It's called the Jesus Storybook Bible. Almost every time I'm going to teach a story in the Bible, I will read that book because it reminds me that Jesus was connected to every story. There's nothing in the Bible that isn't about Jesus.
Jesus is our greatest hope. But here's the tough part - many of you reading this might be thinking, “I don’t know how to apply that to my life. I don’t know what that means. On a day-to-day basis, I don’t even know exactly who He is. I don’t know how to receive Him into my life and follow Him.”
You guys, I want to answer those questions for you, for your kids, and for your friends. I want you to have these answers so you can give Him away. And so that you can know who He is, too.
First, I want to share a little about Jesus. Jesus existed before time. Before earth, He existed. He was not born onto earth and that was the first moment He existed. He always existed and He will always exist. But when He was born on this earth, He became fully man and fully God. These are mysteries that can be hard to wrap our heads around, but Jesus was fully both.
The powerful thing is that He would choose that before time, Trinity would choose to send Jesus to be the payment for our sins. When the Bible talks about the fall, the division, difficulty, thorns, and thistles we will face, it also makes a promise. The Bible says the offspring of woman will strike you on your head and you will strike his heel. The heel is Jesus’ crucifixion. There will be death. There will be hurt that befalls Jesus, but in the end, He will strike your head. He will win.
While the crucifixion is an unthinkable tragedy and difficulty, that strike on the heel is actually the ultimate blow to Satan. It's the way that sin and death are going to be defeated, because of the blood of the lamb.
Now, if you don't know very much about the Bible, blood sacrifices are throughout the Old Testament. When he sets up a relationship with Israel and He builds His people and He communicates with His people, He sets up a system in which their sins can be forgiven. All of this, it wasn't that the blood of actual lambs forgave sins, it's that it would all build to the one that could ultimately defeat and forgive sins.
When we read the Bible, we see a foreshadowing of Jesus throughout the Old Testament. In every Bible story we see that there is hope and there are promises that God makes with His people.
He is going to redeem us, make this world right, and come back for us. It's a giant story of rescue.
Jesus is the one that paid the price for sins. It cost Him so much. So therefore, I like Him so much. I like Him so much because He fought to get us back.
Jesus is the one that paid the price for sins. It cost Him so much, but He fought to get us back.
Guys, we messed this up. He could’ve done away with us. He could’ve purchased us and made us His slaves. But no, He says we were made to be children of God. We’re adopted sons and daughters, and He has placed us in His family forever.
This new identity changes everything. The identity and hope of heaven is only possible because of the blood of Jesus. Our God is loving, but He’s also just. He cannot tolerate sin. And we don’t want Him to! Letting people go without consequences is not goodness.
Goodness is having a standard. Goodness is protecting from evil.
We want a God that hates sin. We just don't want a God that hates our sin. Jesus didn’t diminish justice or the standard, but instead He met the standard. He answered the justice. He was the reconciliation back to God. And the Bible says that we get to be ambassadors of that reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
For those of you listening that have never received Jesus into your own life or trusted Him for the forgiveness of your sins, I’m going to share with you the simple way that you can follow Jesus.
Trusting Jesus is as simple as believing and praying these things, “I am a sinner. I need a savior. And I believe Jesus, that you are the answer to that, that you are the one with the power to forgive sins. I believe that you came to earth, that you became sin so that you could rescue us from it. I believe you paid the price for that sin in laying down your life. I believe that you are the son of God and that on the third day, you rose from the grave and you are seated beside the father right now. I want you and I want to follow you. I want to be in heaven with you one day. I believe that is possible because of your sacrifice. So I'm in.”
That's it guys. It’s as simple as that. We’re sinners, and Jesus paid the price. Therefore, we put our hope in Him. John 3:16 says, “for God so loved the world that He sent His only beloved Son, that whosoever shall believe in Him will have eternal life.”
This is our hope. It is secure. There’s no other way to the Father but through Jesus. If you’re listening and you just don’t believe that, just pray this, “Jesus, if you’re real, help me. Help my unbelief.”