Who Is Jesus Christ?
Is Jesus Christ a Liar, a Lunatic or Lord?
This is the 50th lens that I've created, and it's the most important one I will ever create. I am a born-again Christian who loves God. Jesus died for my sins over 2000 years ago, and without His grace, mercy and forgiveness, I would have no hope.
As I have heard somewhere recently, "I have no hope except that I believe Christ died for my sins. I expect to swing out into eternity on that!"
You, too, can have the relationship with God you were created to have.
Interested? Keep reading...
The Beginning: Who do you say that I am?
Let's start at the beginning. You must be able to answer the age-old question about Jesus:
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic-on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
How to Know God Personally
What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?
You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.
The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ...
God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.
"God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
[Christ speaking] "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" [that it might be full and meaningful].
Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life? Because...
All of us sin and our sin has separated us from God.
We Are Sinful
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
We were created to have fellowship with God; but, because of our stubborn self-will, we chose to go our own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin.
We Are Separated
"The wages of sin is death" [spiritual separation from God].
This diagram illustrates that God is holy and people are sinful. A great gulf separates us. The arrows illustrate that we are continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through our own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion -- but we inevitably fail.
The third law explains the only way to bridge this gulf...
Jesus Christ is God's only provision for our sin. Through Him we can know and experience God's love and plan for our life.
He Died in Our Place
"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
He Rose From the Dead
"Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures...He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred..."
He Is the Only Way to God
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.'"
This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.
It is not enough just to know these three principles...
We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives.
We Must Receive Christ
"As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."
We Receive Christ Through Faith
"By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast."
When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him."
Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. You receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.
These two circles represent two kinds of lives:
Which circle best describes your life?
Which circle would you like to have represent your life?
How You Can Receive Christ
You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer
Prayer is talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be."
If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, then you can pray this prayer right now and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart?
The Gospel - John Piper
Loving You From a Distance
The Passion of the Christ (Widescreen Edition)
The Passion of the Christ focuses on the last twelve hours of Jesus of Nazareth's life. The film begins in the Garden of Olives where Jesus has gone to pray after the Last Supper. Jesus must resist the temptations of Satan. Betrayed by Judas Iscariot, Jesus is then arrested and taken within the city walls of Jerusalem where leaders of the Pharisees confront him with accusations of blasphemy and his trial results in a condemnation to death.
The Gospel of John
An epic in the spirit of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, this widely acclaimed motion picture is a meticulous recreation of the turbulent era of Jesus and the events that changed the course of history! Narrated by Golden Globe nominee Christopher Plummer (Best Supporting Actor, AMERICAN TRAGEDY, 2000), it’s the bold and powerful story of Jesus as told by his disciple John. The best-loved but least understood of the gospels, John presents a uniquely human portrait of courage and passion encompassing Jesus' entire three-year ministry, the final years of his life. Intimate and reflective, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience the incomparable life and times of Jesus Christ.
How to Know That Christ Is in Your Life
Now That You Have Received Christ
Did you receive Christ into your life by sincerely praying the suggested prayer? According to His promise in Revelation 3:20, where is Christ right now in relation to you? Christ said that He would come into your life. Would He mislead you? On what authority do you know that God has answered your prayer?
The Bible Promises Eternal Life
"The witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:11-13).
Thank God often that Christ is in your life and that He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). You can know on the basis of His promise that Christ lives in you and that you have eternal life from the very moment you invite Him in. He will not deceive you.
An important reminder...
Do Not Depend on Feelings
The promise of God's Word, the Bible - not our feelings - is our authority. The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. This train diagram illustrates the relationship among fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience) (John 14:21).
The train will run with or without a caboose. However, it would be useless to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, as Christians we do not depend on feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word.
Now That You Have Received Christ
The moment that you received Christ by faith, as an act of the will, many things happened, including the following:
- Christ came into your life (Revelation 3:20 ; Colossians 1:27).
- Your sins were forgiven (Colossians 1:14).
- You became a child of God (John 1:12).
- You received eternal life (John 5:24).
- You began the great adventure for which God created you (John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Can you think of anything more wonderful that could happen to you than receiving Christ? Would you like to thank God in prayer right now for what He has done for you? By thanking God, you demonstrate your faith.
To enjoy your new life to the fullest...
The One Year Bible NLT
The One Year Bible, which helps customers read the entire Bible in one year in as little as 15 minutes a day, has a fresh, new look. The One Year Bible guides readers through God's Word with daily readings from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. The hardcover and TuTone editions include a FREE iLumina Gold Special Edition CD-ROM.
Suggestions for Christian Growth
Spiritual growth results from trusting Jesus Christ. "The righteous man shall live by faith" (Galatians 3:11). A life of faith will enable you to trust God increasingly with every detail of your life, and to practice the following:
- Go to God in prayer daily (John 15:7).
- Read God's Word daily (Acts 17:11); begin with the Gospel of John.
- Obey God moment by moment (John 14:21).
- Witness for Christ by your life and words (Matthew 4:19; John 15:8).
- Trust God for every detail of your life (1 Peter 5:7).
- Holy Spirit - allow Him to control and empower your daily life and witness (Galatians 5:16,17; Acts 1:8).
Life Application Study Bible NIV
The NIV edition of today's #1selling study Bible has been updated and expanded. Over 300 new Life Application notes, nearly 350 note revisions, 16 new personality profiles, updated charts, and a Christian Worker's Resource have been added. The Life Application Study Bible not only explains difficult passages and provides valuable background on Bible life and times but also shows how God's Word speaks to every circumstance and situation of life.
Fellowship in a Good Church
God's Word instructs us not to forsake "the assembling of ourselves together" (Hebrews 10:25). Several logs burn brightly together; but put one aside on the cold hearth and the fire goes out. So it is with your relationship with other Christians.
If you do not belong to a church, do not wait to be invited. Take the initiative; call the pastor of a nearby church where Christ is honored and His Word is preached. Start this week, and make plans to attend regularly.
Life Application Study Bible, NASB
Turn to the Life Application Study Bible. Its wealth of study aids helps you translate scriptural truths into practical action. You’ll find hundreds of application notes filled with insights for godly living. Character sketches help you learn from the strengths and accomplishments, weaknesses and mistakes of key Bible characters from Aaron to Zerubbabel. A dictionary-concordance enables you to research important words and concepts. Thorough book introductions and timelines offer an overview of key concepts and help you put the biblical narrative into perspective.
NIV Audio Bible Dramatized CD
Hands-Down the Finest Audio Bible You Can Own The NIV Audio Bible is more than a Bible you listen to. It's an experience that helps you enter into God's Word . . . So God's Word can enter into you. Read by professional readers.