What, Then, Shall I Do With Jesus?
We have now come to know more about the Lord Jesus and who he is. We know now that he is the eternal Almighty God who revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ. Now we must seek an answer to this question:
"What, then, shall I do with Jesus?"
This is a very important question. The answer to this question will decide whether I shall enjoy the New Life, the Eternal Life, or not. The first person who asked this question was the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, before whom the Lord Jesus was brought for trial. His verdict was that Jesus was completely innocent. But Pontius was afraid of the crowd that asked that Jesus should be killed. He was afraid to stand for justice. He asked for a dish of water, and washed his hands, and said,
"I am not responsible for the death of this man!"
Then he allowed Jesus to be crucified innocently. He refused to face the question with courage and take the correct steps. Do not follow Pilate's example. We are all just as responsible for the death of Jesus as Pilate was, because Jesus died to pay our "debt" of sin also.
In order to know what to do with Jesus, let us remember what you have learnt up till now:
1. God Really Loves You
God created this world and the whole universe with love. He created the human race in love. He provided for each man and woman "life in all its fulness" (John 10:10). God shows his love to us:
"God is love. And God showed his love for us
by sending his only Son into the world,
so that we might have life through him."
(1 John 4:8-9.)
But why do so few people experience his love and this new life? It is because --
2. All Have Sinned
Since the days of Adam and Eve every single person on earth, from every nation and tribe, has been contaminated by sin. As the Bible says,
"Everyone has sinned
and is far away from God's saving presence."
To sin means:
- to disobey God's commandments;
- to go your own selfish way;
- to put the living God out of your life;
- to miss the purpose for which God has created you.
The result of this sin is that the relationship between the sinner and God is broken. We cannot serve him as we should.
"It is your sins that separate you from God
when you try to worship him." (Isaiah 59:2.)
Even our best deeds and greatest sacrifices are not good enough to make peace with God, because "even our best actions are filthy through and through" (Isaiah 64:6).
3. God Knows Every Sin and Will Be Our Judge
Many people believe that it does not matter if they do wrong, as long as they are not found out! They forget that the living God also knows everything. He even knows every thought and desire of our hearts. Perhaps you have come across the following words of Jesus:
"Whatever is covered up will be uncovered,
and every secret will be made known.
So then, whatever you have said in the dark
will be heard in broad daylight,
and whatever you have whispered in a closed room
will be shouted from the housetops."
God reveals to us in the Bible that one day every person who ever lived on earth will appear before him to be judged:
"Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sits on it.
Earth and heaven fled from his presence and were seen no more.
And I saw the dead, great and small alike,
standing before the throne.
Books were opened, and then another book was opened,
the book of the living. T
he dead were judged according to what they had done,
as recorded in the books."
4. God's Plan to Build a Bridge
Sin has made a great separation between God and man. To bridge this gap somebody very special was needed: He had to be a holy sinless man, but he also needed to be God. Jesus Christ is both God and man. By taking the punishment for the sins of all mankind in his body, Jesus Christ removed the cause of the separation between God and man. As the Bible says,
"For there is one God,
and there is one who brings God and mankind together,
the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself to redeem all mankind.
That was the proof at the right time
that God wants everyone to be saved,"
(1 Timothy 2:5-6.)
The Lord Jesus came into the world to solve man's basic problem of sin. He came to open a way to salvation and a new life for you and me. In a sense, he came to earth not to live and enjoy life, but to die! When he died on the cross, he suffered the punishment for our sins. He paid our debts of sin with his blood.
So, if sin is the human problem, as we have seen, then Christ is God's answer to this problem for you and me. As long as anybody refuses to have anything to do with Christ, as Pontius Pilate did, as long as he tries to explain away Christ as just another teacher, so long will his misery and suffering remain.
But it is not enough to know these facts and believe them.
5. God's Gift Must Be Accepted by Faith
If you are offered something as a gift, it will only become yours if you reach out and accept it. If I deposit the sum of one thousand dollars in a bank for you, that money will only become yours if you go to the bank and collect it.
So it is with this gift of salvation: each person must individually decide for himself to receive it and then go forward to accept it. It is possible, by God's love for you, to receive a New Life in Christ today. But then you must:
- Confess you sins. This means that you will agree with God that you have been disobedient to him. Ask him to forgive you.
"You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess
them and give them up;
then God will show mercy to you."
- Turn away from your sins. This is the second step. Jesus says:
"Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!"
The faith that leads one to Christ must grow out of a heart that has seen its sinfulness. You must be willing to turn away from all sin and to allow Christ to lead you on to a life of victory over sin.
- Trust the Lord Jesus to save you. You know now that nobody can save himself from sin. Only Jesus can save you. Receive him as your Saviour, and your sins will be forgiven:
"All the prophets spoke about him,
saying that everyone who believes in him
will have his sins forgiven through the power of his name."
There is no other way to get your sins forgiven by God. God's way is so simple that even a child can do it: simply put your trust in Jesus Christ alone.
- Surrender yourself to the Lord Jesus. He must be your Saviour. But he must also be your Lord and King. Surrendering to him means that you are prepared to obey him without question. No longer will you live for yourself. Make Jesus Christ the centre of your life. Paul found great joy when he stopped living for himself. He says:
"For what is life? To me, it is Christ."
The people of those days were used to killing animals as sacrifices for their sins. Since Jesus was the last and final sacrifice, God was no longer interested in dead sacrifices. God wants rather that we should give ourselves completely to him, as completely as the old sacrifices were given. The Bible says:
"Offer yourself as a living sacrifice to God,
dedicated to his service and pleasing to him.
This is the true worship that you should offer.
Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world,
but let God transform you inwardly
by a complete change of your mind.
Then you will be able to know the will of God -
what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect."
- Be prepared to confess Jesus as your Lord. Do not try to hide the fact that you belong to him. Do not be ashamed that you have asked him to take over the control of your life.
"If you confess that Jesus is Lord
and believe that God raised him from death,
you will be saved.
For it is by our faith that we are put right with God;
it is by our confession that we are saved."
6. Accept God's Gift Through Prayer
This is not a difficult thing reserved for a few people with special gifts of meditation or "Bhakti" or self-sacrifice. Even a child can accept this wonderful gift of God through faith. Express your faith in prayer. You do not need many words. God already knows your heart and desires. You may say something like this:
"Thank you Lord, that you love me.
I need you.
I admit that I am a sinner.
I lived for myself and disobeyed you.
Forgive me all my sins and my self-will.
Thank you that Jesus died for my sins.
Thank you that he took the punishment for my sins in my place.
Thank you that my sins are forgiven now for his sake.
Please take over my life
and be the Lord of all that I am and all that I own.
Thank you that you have accepted me as your child
because you promised to do so.
Help me to live for you.
Is this more or less what you would like to say to God? Then do so right now. (Time for personal prayer).
In our next lesson you will be helped to be sure of what happened to you.
Test Yourself No. 13
Look again at the Bible verses quoted in this lesson and then answer the following questions. Then compare your answers to the answers you will see when you click here: [answers]
1. How did God show his love to us? (1 John 4:9.)
2. What is the result of our sins? (Isaiah 59:2.)
3. Who is the only One who can bring God and man together? (1 Timothy 2:5-6.)
4. How do we receive forgiveness of our sins? (Acts 10:43.)
5. If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, write or type the