The Real Jesus

Most of you have seen the He Gets Us ad campaign which shows that to be like Jesus, we must be warm and fuzzy, non-controversial, good people, who accepts and understands everyone, regardless of who they are, what they do or don’t do, sin included.

While the Bible certainly calls us as Christ followers to be loving towards all people, and our behavior and treatment of people can show the world that we are Christians, God never called us to ignore, embrace or excuse sin. Jesus never did. He always lovingly told people the truth about their sin and need for a Savior, so much so that many hated Him for it.

Christianity gives us a noble way to live, and the Bible offers us great behavioral models to pattern our lives after. Women like Mary, Ruth and Esther. Men like Abraham, Moses, David, Paul and of course Jesus Himself. But the essence of Christianity is not noble ethics, social acceptance or giving us great behavioral models. The essence of true Christianity is that God is offering to forgive our sins through what Jesus did for us on the cross.

God is very clear in the Bible that mankind’s greatest problem is sin, and He has the only solution for it, and that is Jesus. The most distinctive thing that biblical Christianity proclaims is that sin can be forgiven. God is interested and anxious to forgive your sin, my sin and everybody else's sin who is willing to come to God the way He tells us to. No other religious leader ever offered this but Jesus.

If you study the Bible, you will soon learn that sin is a central theme from cover to cover. The Bible begins in the Book of Genesis by telling us about sin entering the human race through Adam and Eve. The Bible ends in the Book of Revelation by telling us about God's plan to eradicate sin once and for all from His creation. Every page in between deals with the issue of mankind, sin and God's response and remedy for it, which is salvation and forgiveness through Christ alone. The word sin is actually mentioned more times in the Bible than the word love.

Why is sin even a problem for the human race? Well one reason is that sin separates us from God. Isaiah 59:2 says, "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” That is why for many of us God seems so far away, so distant, so remote.

But God is not distant, and this is the great news of the Bible! God provides the way for us to have forgiveness of sins and to bring us into a personal relationship with Himself through Jesus. The Bible declares this without apology. Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the Way. He didn't say I am a way. He said, I am the Way. I am not a truth. I am the Truth. I am not a life. I am the Life. Nobody comes to the Father except by me. Nobody. Not you, not me, nobody. The reason God raised Jesus from the dead is again to verify that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is telling us the truth. To validate that Jesus is the only true way to God, to validate that His shed blood is the only true payment for sin.

You might be saying, So What? Well, it’s pretty simple. During Jesus’ recorded 3-year ministry here on earth, He healed many people, was certainly kind and loving, but Jesus did not come to be nice or to make friends. Jesus came to die on a cross so that a lost, broken and sinful world could be saved.

Jesus does not care what you have done or where you have been. You don't need to fix or clean yourself up. He alone has the authority to forgive your sin, to reconcile you to God, to give you a whole new life. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." That is what Jesus did in my life and He can do for you. (Listen to Lon's story)

Remember the woman caught in adultery? Jesus rebuked those who rejected, accused and mistreated her, but the last thing Jesus said to her was, “Go and sin no more.” John 8:11.

That’s the real Jesus.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18

“If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God,  in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:21-24

How can you have a real and personal relationship with Jesus?

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