The Gospel

Why Jesus?

Why do Christians talk so much about Jesus?

What is so special about Him? 

Why do they call Him LORD JESUS CHRIST?  

Why is He so unique and important? 

A RELATIONSHIP - NOT A RELIGION. 

20 years ago I was agnostic.  I thought Christianity was just another religion - a set of rules and rituals to get God to like us.   I thought Jesus was one of many religious leaders and teachers.   But I found I was wrong. Christianity is not about rules and rituals.  It is not about man building a ladder to heaven and trying to climb it.  It is about a PERSON - JESUS CHRIST.   It's not about RULES, but a RELATIONSHIP with Person.   It is through knowing God through Jesus that we find REALITY (forgiveness and abundant and eternal life).  Some turn it into rules but they are not living the Christian life - a new dynamic life with God.

CHRISTIANITY IS CHRIST. This makes Christianity fundamentally different from other religions- because it is centred on a Person. If you take Buddha out of Buddhism or Mohammed out of Islam, it still stands -you are still left with the basic teachings and laws that make up the religion of how to get right with God. But if you take CHRIST out of CHRISTIANITY there is nothing left. If He is not what He claimed to be then it all falls apart. All the religious gurus of history were just teachers or prophets but JESUS did not just teach the way to God. 

Jesus said HE was the only WAY to God: "I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH and THE LIFE, no man comes to the Father but by Me"  (John 14:6).

He put Himself in the middle of His teaching.  He pointed to Himself. 

He said: "I AM THE DOOR TO ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN - you must  come to God through Me in order to be saved!" (John 10:9) - saying that to come into true LIFE with God you must have a personal relationship with JESUS. 

He said: 'Most assuredly, I say to you, He who believes (trusts) in Me (knows Me personally) has eternal life' (John 6:47). 

"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). 

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life" (John 3:36). 

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but has passed from death into life" (John 5:24). Here Jesus makes the astonishing claim that we only receive eternal life and forgiveness by knowing and trusting Him. 

In other words He is no mere man, He is claiming to be God: "In the beginning was the Word (JESUS), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... and the Word became flesh (a man) and dwelt among us" (John 1:1,14).

This is the special claim of Christianity: that man is too weak, small and sinful to bridge the huge gap with the Perfect and Infinite God, that by his philosophy and efforts he could never find God.   So instead for us to have any chance GOD had to become a MAN to show us what God was like and to restore us to God.  He actually did this in the Person of Jesus Christ.   The Son of God was born as a man, God became a man and lived among us.  His name was Jesus of Nazareth.   Imagine a colony of ants was about to be run over and you wanted to save them.   You shout and plead but they do not hear.   The only way to really communicate is to become an ant.  So God became a man in the Person of Jesus Christ. 

*IF GOD BECAME A MAN 

How can we be sure the Man Jesus was and is also God? 

Let's look at it from this point of view: 

IF GOD EVER DID BECOME A MAN what would He be like? 

How could we recognise Him? 

He would be fully human but we should be able to predict many special things about Him that would mark him out from all other men.

We will see how Jesus alone fulfils these requirements: 

1.   His arrival would be prophesied or announced beforehand. 

There were over 300 prophecies about a Coming Messiah - the Son of God (Isa 9:6) describing every important aspect of his birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection.  Jesus and Jesus alone fulfilled all of these. 

2.   He would have a supernatural birth. Jesus uniquely was born of a virgin (Isaiah7:14) conceived in the womb of Mary by the power of the Holy-Spirit. 

3.   His arrival on earth would be heralded.  Jesus' birth was heralded to Israel by an angelic choir appearing to the Shepherds of Bethlehem.  It was heralded to the nations by the appearance of a new star that led a large delegation of king-makers to come and worship. 

4.   Although he would have to be fully human, there would be an acute sense of difference about Him. He would be perfect - without sin. 

Jesus was fully human.  He grew up like all of us, growing physically and mentally. He had our basic needs for food, drink, sleep.   He was tempted. 

Yet unlike the rest of us, including the great religious leaders, He was sinless and flawless in character.

His witness to Himself was: "Which of you convicts me of sin?" (John 8:46) 

His Friends who for 3 years lived close to him said He was: "the spotless lamb of God" (1Peter 1:19), "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth" (2:22). "He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him is no sin"  (1John 3:5).

Paul said: 'He knew no sin' (2Cor 5:21). 

His enemies said: 'This man has done nothing wrong' (Luke23:41). 

Pilate said: 'I find no fault in him' (John 18:38) 

Judas fell into deep remorse because he had: 'betrayed innocent blood' (Matt 27:3,4). 

The Centurion said: 'Certainly this man was innocent' (Luke23:47). 

Writers down history including sceptics agree he is the perfect man, without flaw or sin. 

Napoleon said: "Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius?  Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love and at this hour millions of men would die for him. I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man."

5.   He would work many miracles showing Divine dominion over the forces of nature and sickness. The Gospels describe Jesus healing all kinds of sickness, even raising the dead and showing dominion over the laws of nature.  Water to Wine, Stilling a Storm, Multiplying food, Walking on Water, Cursing a Fig-Tree.  Predicting the Future.   Such powers only belong to God. 

6.   He would speak the greatest words ever spoken. 

This is generally agreed about the words of Jesus.   He said: 'I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness' (John 12:46).   See Luke 21:33: 'Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away' - clearly fulfilled 2000 years later. 

7.   He would claim to be God and back that claim up. 

He was killed for blasphemy - His repeated claims to be the Son of God, the I AM, equal with God. He backed his claims with miracles. 

8.   He would open the way for man to come back to God and satisfy the spiritual hunger in man. 

Jesus said, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst'  (John 6:35).

'He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.' (John 7:38). 

'Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you...let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful'  (John 14:27). 

'Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest'  (Matthew 11:28). 

'I came that you would have LIFE' (John 10:10) 

9.  His death would have a supreme significance and He would overcome death. On the Cross Jesus paid in full for our sins, making salvation possible. JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD ON THE 3rd DAY - an established fact of history.     HE IS ALIVE TODAY and wants to come into your life. "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.  Do you believe this?" (John 11:25,26).

10.  He would have a dramatic, lasting and universal effect on history. We measure history now in relation to his birth BC/AD. 

Historians say:  "20 long centuries have come and gone and today he is the centrepiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress.  I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built, all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life" , and: "Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet."

Man cannot save himself from sin and death - the idea is preposterous! 

Our salvation depends on God coming down to us. 

The God-man would stand out as unique. 

As we look down history we find that there is One and only One man who qualifies and whose life can only be explained in this way. 

Thus JESUS CHRIST is truly LORD! 

He was telling the truth that no man comes to the Father but by Him, and he who believes in Him has eternal life. Put your trust in Him. Commit your life to Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour and receive His gift of forgiveness, eternal life and the Holy-Spirit (new life). 

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