Who do you think JESUS is?
A.W. Tozer said this is the most important question we can ask ourselves as our response determines our eternity. When you finally come to grasp the things Jesus said about himself and the things He did, you're ultimately forced to place him into one of three categories, according to C.S. Lewis. Jesus is either...
Liar, Lunatic, or Lord
Either Jesus is a liar, meaning all of the claims He made concerning himself (i.e. "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." ~ John 14:6) and all the wonders He did (healed the blind, lame, mute, deaf, raised the dead... you know... nothing big) were all well fabricated deceptions and empty words. Or, Jesus is a lunatic, meaning He was demented and not functioning right in the head. Or, Jesus is LORD, meaning all He claimed was true, all He did was real, and Jesus Christ really is the Son of God come to the world to save sinners. If He was simply a good teacher or a prophet, then it would naturally follow that what He said was true, including all that He said about Himself and His relationship with God... hence, making Him Lord.
We earnestly believe Jesus is LORD. The word LORD really means master, showing us that He doesn't simply want your recognition, He aims to be master of your life! When Jesus called to the disciples, He didn't ask them to repeat a prayer or start going to church. Jesus said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matt. 4:19 ESV). The disciples, in response, "Immediately... left their nets and followed him" (Matt. 4:20 ESV). The disciples left their jobs, their homes, their families, their lives behind in order to follow Jesus. In the same way, Jesus is calling to each one of us to follow Him. For us, to follow Jesus means to abandon all worldly pursuits and pleasures, declare them as vanity, deny our(self), value Christ above all else, take up our cross, and follow Jesus. We believe following Jesus can be broken down into two words: Faith & Obedience.
We believe God created man to live in a beautifully perfect relationship with Him. Sadly, mankind lost that relationship when Adam and Eve sinned in their act of prideful rebellion against God. In turn, all of creation fell, death and sin began to plague mankind, and everyone was eternally separated from God. In attempt to earn back that relationship with God, mankind foolishly thought (and most still think) that doing good works restores us back to God. What we didn't realize was our restoration required the sacrifice of a perfectly righteous man... [enter stage right] Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus, being the Son of God, lived a perfect life without sin, and therefore qualified as a perfect sacrifice, once for all. His death on the cross was the atonement for sin and His physical resurrection was the triumph over death, so that all who have faith in Jesus will be forgiven of sin, are permanently credited Jesus' perfect righteousness, are restored back to relationship with God, and will triumph over death when it comes.
This is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that the LORD has come to save us. Our response to this good news is faith, which is not to be confused with head knowledge or external behavior modification. Rather, faith is the heartfelt conviction that Jesus' sinless life, atoning death, and physical resurrection saves you not just from judgement, but back to God. This is the first step in what it means to follow Jesus.
Wrapped up in our heartfelt conviction of faith in Jesus is an acknowledgment that our lives now belong to Jesus, our Lord (master). We must admit that our thoughts are low, His thoughts are high, our ways our sinful, His ways are perfect. As the LORD of all who trust in Him, Jesus has given instructions in His Word (the Bible) on how to live a life that glorifies Him. As followers of Jesus, we aim to increasingly submit all of our lives to the LORDSHIP of Jesus, living in obedience to all that He has commanded us. Jesus has shown us how to think and live rightly in life's most important areas like marriage, parenting, the church, our jobs, government and politics, relationships, retirement, etc.
We do not believe doing what He has commanded earns salvation, because "by grace [we] have been saved through faith. And this is not [our] own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Eph. 2:8-9). We are saved by faith alone. Our faith is proven by how we live and what we do (James 2:17-18). If there is no fruit in your life (increasing "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" ~ Gal. 5:22-23), then it might be possible your faith is not real. Keep in mind though that only Jesus was perfect; we are in process. Jesus, through His Spirit, is working in the lives of His followers to reshape our affections and desires, to recalibrate our thinking, and to redefine our lives' purpose. Truly, Jesus sends His Spirit to help His followers live in obedience to Him.
So, will you place your faith in Jesus as Savior and obey Jesus as Lord?
Will you follow Jesus?
If you have made the decision to follow Jesus, we'd love to hear from you! Contact us via phone (570-729-7544) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out this video that artistically tells the story of the Gospel.
Don't forget to do the next step!