The One and Only Jesus

I just finished up my first week of jury duty. The first two full days were spent in voir dire for an SV case. Thankfully I did not make it on that panel of twelve. The next three days I found myself in a second court room, where I survived the voir dire process and was chosen as juror number three on a panel of six. There I was, the only woman, deliberating a DV case. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time in prayer. And drank a lot of coffee.

Do we realize how much our families, cities, counties, countries are crumbling and suffering? Do we really understand the depth of despair and decay in our world today? I don’t think we truly do, or can, unless we look around with the eyes of our Lord and Saviour.

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me

Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

(from the song “Hosanna” by Hillsong United)

People are angry and broken, doing unspeakable things to one another. Families are shattering. Marriage is no longer taken seriously. Fists are shaken at God, and His name and laws are yanked from our schools and courtrooms (no more “so help me God” to tell the whole truth).

Sin is no longer “wrong”. It is declared right and good… unless someone hurts you with their sin – then they must suffer and pay.

Many people are also insisting that God the Father is hateful and horrible, while Jesus is gentle and loving and would never make you feel bad about who you are and what choices you make. Yet we cannot separate Jesus from His Heavenly Father, for in His own words, He and the Father are one.

” ‘I and My Father are one.’ ” ~ John 10:30
These words made the muckety mucks of Jesus’ day so angry they desired to stone him. Have you seen people get that angry over God’s word nowadays? I have.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him…
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves…
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever– the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you…
He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.’ ” ~ John 14:6-7, 10-11, 16-17, 24-26
Jesus declares that He and God the Father are one and the same. Jesus’ words are God’s words, His thoughts are His Father’s thoughts, His love the Father’s love. He also includes the Holy Spirit as part of the Godhead. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – they all share the same words, the same truths, the same thoughts, the same wrath over sin, the same justness, the same requirements for righteousness, and the same grace ~ unearned, undeserved mercy and love and forgiveness and kindness.

C.S. Lewis put it so perfectly in this excerpt from his book, Mere Christianity:
“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 the 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 patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Every single word in the Bible is God’s word, and God’s words are true.

“The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” ~ Psalm 119:160

” ‘Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.’ ” ~ John 17:17

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ ” ~ John 14:6

You cannot pick and choose, deciding which parts you agree with and how you want your version of Jesus and/or God to be.

“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” ~ 1 John 2:2-5

We are all sinners. Every. Single. One of us. (Romans 3:23) And all sin is equally bad in the eyes of God. So you may feel better about yourself because at least you didn’t do this or that, but guess what? You are still a sinner, under penalty of death for that sin, however minor you may think it is. (Romans 6:23)

But all is not lost, for God made a way for us to stand before Him, sinless and spotless, clothed in the righteousness that can only be found in the one true Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, the Jesus who is God the Son.

” ‘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

God loves you and me. Equally. No matter what our sin was, is, or will be.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~ Romans 5:8

He sent His Son Jesus to love us to death, His death on a cross to pay our death penalty. Our debt has been paid, but we have to recognize we owe that debt, accept His payment on our behalf, and turn to Him as our Lord and Saviour. Then we are saved, by grace through faith in Jesus, and have hope eternal.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-10

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” ~ 1 John 1:7-10

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours

You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they’re the reason that You came
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

‘Cause You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever
You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever

(from the song “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” by Casting Crowns)

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This entry was posted in 1 John, Condemnation, Ephesians, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, God, God's Word, Grace, Hatred, Heart, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus, John, Lies, Life, Love, Marriage, Men, Mercy, October 2014, Others, Prayer, Psalms, Romans, Salvation, Sin Nature, The Father, The Gospel, The Son, The Spirit, The Truth, The Way. Bookmark the permalink.

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