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1 Corinthians 9:11
"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?"

 

 

 

 

 

Evangelism:
The Time Is Now!

Section 3, Chapter 2

Knowing Jesus Is Eternal Life

Back to chapter 1
Study Questions

What is Eternal Life? The Bible teaches that Eternal Life is Knowing Jesus. Jesus said in John 17:3,

"And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent."

In this passage Jesus tells us that just having an intellectual knowledge about who He is and what He did does not save us. He said that we must know Him personally to be saved. Jesus does not just want you to know about Him, He wants you to know Him personally.

What does it mean to know Jesus? It means two things: first, it means to confess Jesus as Lord; and, secondly, to believe that God the Father raised Him physically from the dead. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10:9-10,

"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."

What is the Significance of Jesusí Physical resurrection? It is God proving to us  ABSOLUTELY!

  1. That HE DOES EXIST.
     

  2. That the Bible IS His ONLY WRITTEN Word to Man.
     

  3. That Jesus REALLY IS His ONLY Son He sent into the World.
     

  4. That Death, eternal separation from God, IS Sinís penalty.
     

  5. That God ACCEPTS Jesusí death in our place for our sins.
     

  6. And that He WILL GIVE Eternal Life to anyone who receives His Son as Savior and Lord of their lives.
     

The Bible tells us that over 512 PEOPLE WITNESSED the fact of Jesusí Physical Resurrection; not one or two drunksí hallucination, but a well established historical fact. The Apostle Paul wrote,

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also."

Jesusí Physical Resurrection Proves ABSOLUTELY that the Judeo-Christian Bible is His ONLY written Word to man. Jesus said: "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John 5:46-47). In this passage Jesus states absolutely that Moses is the author of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible; that Moses was writing about Jesus Christ: our God and Creator. He further states that if we do not believe what Moses wrote about CREATION in SIX DAYS, the creation of the first men: Adam & Eve, Manís Fall, Godís Judgment of man through the world wide Flood and all other recorded events in the Bible that we will not believe His Words either. We wonít believe what Jesus said about Himself that He is God in the flesh. We wonít believe what He taught about Salvation, that He is the only way to God and Salvation. We wonít believe His words either. Jesus made it plain that what Moses wrote is as absolutely true as His own spoken words. Jesus took it further than that. He said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away." (Matt 24:35; 5:17-19). Jesus taught us that His words are ABSOLUTE eternal truths that will never change or pass away.

Even Jesusí disciples were skeptical about taking all events in the Old Testament literally.

Come on! You donít really believe Lotís wife turned into a pillar of salt do You? And a man being swallowed and living in the belly of a fish for three days and then living to tell about the experience? And the Genesis flood? Havenít scientists proven that the fossil layers rather than being the result of a cataclysmic world wide flood are the result of millions of years of gradual fossilization?

After men like ourselves laughed in Jesusí face concerning the things He claimed about Himself and Moses, that He and Moses were to be taken absolutely literally true, just as we would have done, they asked Jesus to give them absolute proof. Jesus told them in response, Okay! I will give you proof: kill me! I will stay dead for three days and then I will rise from the dead to prove to you that I am the Creator, God in the flesh, the resurrection and life itself, that I did come from heaven and that everything I tell you about Myself and Moses are absolutely true truth. They did kill Him on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Nisan 15 (April). Three days later on Nisan 17óThe Feast of First FruitsóHe did rise from the dead with more than 512 witnesses to that fact. What was the end result? The Apostle John tells us in John 2:22,

"When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they BELIEVED the SCRIPTURE [Old Testament], and the WORD which JESUS Had Spoken [New Testament]." (John 2:19, 22; Luke 24:36-48)

You see, even Jesusí disciples had doubts about the literal historical reliability of the Old Testament and especially Genesis. Nothing new under the sun. They also had doubts about taking literally what Jesus was claiming about Himself. But after Jesus rose from the dead, John tells us they no longer had a problem believing the literal teaching of Moses in the Old Testament or anything Jesus said or taught about Himself and man. They believed the Old Testament and the Words, New Testament, that Jesus had spoken. They came to realize that what Jesus Claimed about Himself was absolutely true truth.

What did Jesus claim about Himself? Jesus claimed to be God the Son, Godís ONLY Son. The Apostle Paul wrote,

"Who was declared the Son of God with power by the Resurrection from the dead." (Romans 1:4).

Jesus was not just a son of God, a created creature of God, or Michael the archangel as Jehovah Witnesses teach. Hebrews Chapter one makes plain that Jesus was not an angel. Jesus tells us in John 3:16 that He is the ONLY Son of God, meaning that He is of the essence of God, God Himself. When we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord the Apostle John and Paul tell us that God adopts us as sons and daughters (John 1:12, Eph 1:5). God, however, only has one Son that is of His essence: Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Jesus claimed to be our Creator, the person that Moses was writing about in Genesis. Being that this was true He would know if what Moses wrote was true. It is true: Jesus did create the heavens and the earth in six literal twenty-four-hour days. It is true that manís beginning started with Adam and Eve. The fossil layers of the earth are the result of Godís judgment of man through the world wide cataclysmic flood recorded in Genesis. Darwin died, he is still in the grave. Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus proved that what he said and taught is absolutely true. Creation is true. Evolution is false (John 1:1, 3:16; John 1:3, 10; Heb 1:2; Col 1:16-17).

Some cults try to say that Jesus had a beginning, that He was the first of Godís creation. They will site from the King James version of Revelation 3:14 which states about Jesus that he is "the beginning of the creation of God." By itself it appears to say this, but Revelation 3:14 is not the Bible but a verse they take out of the context of the Bible. The Total teaching of the Word of God does not support this assertion. The Bible tells us plainly that Jesus is from eternity past, that in fact He is the Father of eternity. The prophets Isaiah and Micah wrote about Jesus,

Isaiah 9:6 "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, God-Almighty, Father-of-Eternity, Prince-of-Peace."

Micah 5:2 "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity."

John 8:58 Jesus claimed about Himself in, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born I AM;" I AM is the Greek Septuagint formula for Yehovah: "Ego Eimi".156 Jesus said that he is Yehovah the God of the Israelites in the flesh. Jesus said in John 8:24 "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM, you shall die in your sins." Jesus said unless we believe that He is Yehovah God in the flesh, we cannot be saved. God had no beginning, He is from eternity past. The word "beginning" in Revelation 3:14 is the Greek word ajrchv , archey, which means the origin or Active-cause.157 It also means ruler, thus the NIV translates it "Ruler of the Creation of God." ("The-Origin-of-the-Creation-of-God" in the "Evangelism: the Time is Now New Testament"175). Jesus was the origin, active-cause of Creation. Creation began through Jesusí and by Jesus. This is consistent with Colossians 1:16-17 which tells us plainly that nothing came into being apart from Jesus.

"For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authoritiesó all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." (Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:3, 10; Heb 1:2-3)

Jesus claimed that He existed from eternity past as the second person of the Triune God and that by His Fatherís wishes He came down from heaven and did not put on man or possess a man, but that He became man through Holy Spirit conception of the Virgin Mary. Chapter 1 in this Section explains the significance of why His becoming man had to be through Holy Spirit conception rather than a manís conception.

Jesus claimed that He came to die on the cross for our sins. (Rom 5:8-10, Eph 1:7, 1 John 1:7, Rev 1:5, 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 Cor 15:3-4)

Jesus claimed that He rose from the dead physically alive three days later as Absolute Proof to these claims. (Jn 2:18-22; Acts 1:3; Rom 1:3-4; 1 Cor 15)

Jesus claimed that forty days later, in the presence of His disciples while they watched on, at least 120, that He ascended to heaven and that He would return in the same manner in which He left to judge the living and the dead. He claimed that judgment of our lives and actions will take place in a future time. His resurrection proves it is true and will take place. Count on it and prepare for it. (Acts 1:9-11, 17:30-31; 1 Peter 3)

Acts 17:30-31 "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

Will we be judged for our sins if we do not repent of our sins and turn to Jesus? Yes! How do we know God will one day judge the world through Jesus? He gave us absolute proof: He brought Jesus Christ back from the dead PHYSICALLY ALIVE!

Finally, Jesus claimed not just to be a way to salvation and God, but to be the ONLY WAY to salvation and God. In so doing He excluded all other religions and all other ways and gave absolute proof to this claim by coming back Physically Alive! from the dead with more than 512 witnesses to that fact. No other religious founder can make this claim. Jesus said concerning His being the ONLY way to God,

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.... I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:1, 9)

Why would a person be a thief and a robber if he were to go to God through any other means other than Jesus? Because no other way will lead a man to God and salvation. To attempt to go to God through any other means is to rob yourself of life itself. To encourage a man or woman to go to God through any other way other than Jesus is to assure they will not be saved. It is to rob them of salvation and life itself: Jesus! Jesus said "I-AM (ejgwv eijmi) the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6).

Jesusí physical resurrection Proves Absolutely that Death, eternal separation from God, is sinís penalty. The Apostle Paul wrote: For the wages of sin is death. (Rom 6:23). Jesus defining death said,

"It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched." (Mark 9:47-48)

The Apostle Paul wrote concerning the Bibleís meaning of death,

"And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power." (2 Thess 1:9)

Jesus and the Apostle Paul tell us plainly that the Bibleís definition of death is not nonexistence, but separation from God and being condemned to a living fiery hell forever where the worm, manís soul, does not die and where the fire will never go out, will never ever be quenched forever! How do we know that this is true? Because Jesus came back from the dead to prove to us that there is a heaven and a hell, that there is an after life beyond the grave. I encourage you to read A Divine Revelation of Hell by Mary K. Baxter.158

That is not very good news. The only way sinís penalty can be paid is by eternal separation from God in a fiery furnace? Isnít there any way out of this? Yes! Again, that is the significance of Jesusí physical resurrection from the dead. His Physical Resurrection proves to us not only is sinís penalty eternal separation from God in a fiery furnace forever, but it also proves to us Absolutely! that God accepts Jesusí death for our sins in our place. The Apostle Paul wrote concerning the significance of Jesusí Physical Resurrection: "He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification," (Rom 4:25; Acts 13:28-31, 37-39). Paul explains to us that Jesusí Physical Resurrection is God the Father giving us Absolute Proof that He accepts Jesusí death on the cross for our sins in our place.

Finally, Jesusí Physical Resurrection Proves to us Absolutely that God will give Eternal Life to Anyone who receives His Son as Savior and Lord of their lives. What does it mean to receive Jesus Christ as Savior? First, it means you cannot gain God's forgiveness for sins repented of through your own works. The Apostle Paul wrote,

"By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.... For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the Law." (Romans 3:20, 28)

What does the Bible mean by the works of the Law? This is referring to the Old Testament ritual of sacrifices the Jews had to go through over and over in order to gain Godís forgiveness for sins repented of and sins of ignorance. However, we now gain Godís forgiveness for our sins past, present and future by faith once and for all through the sacrifice and death of His Son. This means that there is nothing that we can do to gain Godís forgiveness for these sins through any works of ours. In Chapter 1 of this Section we explained that the reason for this is because the only thing which pleases God is that which is initiated by Him through His Holy Spirit, not through the soul or flesh. Man acting out of his own initiative is what got him in trouble in the first place. God only wants us to act out of His initiative. Another act out of our initiative only further complicates the problem, it does not solve it. Paul further explains to us that the reason why God gave us His law was not to try and be saved through obedience to it, but to reveal to us that we are hopelessly lost sinners: "Therefore the Law has become our conductor145 to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith." (Gal 3:24).

Second, in light of this, receiving Jesus as Savior means to accept Godís forgiveness for our sins through Jesusí death and shed blood alone. The Apostle Paul wrote,

Romans 5:8-9 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His BLOOD, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him."

The only way we can be saved from our sins is by God taking the initiative to save us and that is exactly what Paul tells us in this passage God did. He tells us that God Himself atoned for our sins through Jesusí death and shed blood. The only way we can be saved from our sins is by believing on Godís work of atonement for us through Jesusí death and shed blood on the cross, not by any works of our own. The Apostle Paul wrote concerning his own salvation:

Philippians 3:8-9 "More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."

What does it mean to Receive Jesus Christ as Lord? First, that Jesus loves you and that He has a present and eternal plan for your life and that He is the ONLY WAY to that plan. Jesus said,

John 10:10, 14:6 "I came that you might have life and might have it abundantly. . . . I am THE WAY, and THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE; no one comes to the Father, but through Me."

Again, as we have already shared, Jesus is the only way to God for Salvation and He is the only way to God for his will and plan for our lives. To confess Jesus as Lord means to look to Him and Him alone for the answer to our life and needs, nothing else. Jesus told us in the Gospel of John Chapter 10 that to look to anything else: religion, astrology, TV psychics, government, man or anything besides him is to be a thief and a robber. This is because to look to anything else will not save you from Your sins and will not reveal to you what Godís will and plan for your life is. Jesus is the one who created you, therefore ONLY He knows why you were created and the plan and purpose that He has for Your life. To look to any thing else or anyone else is to rob yourself of life and the knowledge of why God created you. It is a thief and a robber because it leads to hell. Jesus is the ONLY way to God and heaven and the only way to His purpose and plan for Your life. Therefore, first, to confess Jesus as Lord means to look to Him and Him alone for His will and plan for Your life and to forsake all other ways. This is the Bibleís definition of an idol: anything we look to for answers to our needs besides Jesus and anything we look to besides Jesus for salvation (Col 3:5-6). Jesus is the ONLY way to God, to salvation and to Godís will and plan for our lives.

Second, receiving Jesus as Lord means to repent of your sins. The Apostle Paul wrote,

"Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Cor 6:9-10)

"Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, lewdness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal 5:19-21)

"For this you know with certainty, that no fornicator or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience." (Eph 5:5-6)

"For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries." (Hebrews 10:26-27)

The Bible is clear, that whether Christian or not that those who refuse to repent of their sins will not inherit the kingdom of God. What does it mean to repent of our sins and what is involved in repenting? John the Baptist gives us the answer to this in Matthew 3:1-17. John the Baptist preached: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt 3:2). John then went on to explain what he meant by repent. Repentance involves: first, confessing our sins to God, Matt 3:6; second, making right the wrongs we have confessed, Matt 3:3; and then third, bringing forth fruit, continued changed behavior in evidence that one has truly repented, Matt 3:8.

If a person has not truly repented, if he has not brought forth fruit in keeping with repentance, whether he confesses his sins to Jesus or not, this in itself does not give evidence of repentance for salvation, for John teaches us that if a person has not brought forth fruit in keeping with repentance, that Jesus will cut down that person and throw them into the unquenchable fire of hell. John stated in Matthew 3:10,

"And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

However, one also needs to understand clearly that repenting of your sins will not save you or make it possible for you to enter into the Kingdom of God either. Repenting of our sins does not gain Godís forgiveness for our sins. Once we have repented of our sins, the only way we can gain His forgiveness for our sins is by coming to Him for the forgiveness of our sins through His Sonís death and shed blood on the cross. Only Jesusí death and shed blood on the cross gains us Godís forgiveness for our sins, not repenting of our sins.

If just repenting of our sins could save us, then all people of all religions who have repented of their sins as they understand them would be saved. But if a person does not repent of his sins, neither will he be able to receive Jesusí Salvation for his sins through His death and shed blood on the cross. Hebrews 10:26-27 makes this very plain,

"For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries."

In order for a person to be able to receive Jesusí Salvation, he must first acknowledge his sins, that he is a sinner, and repent of his sins. This was why God first sent John the Baptist to preach to the people to repent of their sins before He sent His Son Jesus. Why did he send John the Baptist to preach repentance of sins before revealing His Son Jesus Christ to the world? So the people would be able to receive Jesus when he came and His forgiveness for their sins through His death and shed blood on the Cross. Matthew in the Gospel of Matthew 3:1-3 tells us about John the Baptist,

"Now in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, ĎRepent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.í For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying, ĎThe voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight!í" (see also Isaiah 40:3)

God knew that men would not turn to or listen to what He had to say through His Son Jesus as long as man was living in willful sin. God knew that man would not turn to the light, but rather that he would run from the light. Jesus said in John 3:19-21,

"And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

What is the light? The Apostle John tells us in the Gospel of John 1:4 that Jesus is the Light. He wrote John 1:4 "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." Jesus said about Himself in John 8:12 "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." God first sent John the Baptist to preach to men to repent of their sins and then baptized them in water to let them know that God was forgiving their sins and getting ready to cleans them of their sins through Jesus. He had John the Baptist do this so they would not be afraid to turn to His Son Jesus Christ when He manifested Himself publicly.

In John 3:19-21, Jesus explains to us that as long as a person is living in sin, that person will not turn to the light, that person will not turn to Him. That is why when we preach the Gospel we must explain clearly to people what the Bible means by sin and their need to repent of their sins in order to receive Godís salvation for them through Jesus Christ. Until they confess and repent of their sins, they wonít be interested in Jesus or His salvation.

How is this proved? What did men, who did not repent of their sins, do when Jesus manifested himself publicly? When Jesus came, he loved man, healed man of his sicknesses and diseases, raised the dead and fed man. What did man do in response? Man tried to get rid of God by killing His humanity in the person of Jesus Christ by nailing him on a cross. Why did they do this? Because in the presence of Jesusí sinless life they could not live with themselves in light of their sin. They did not want to repent of their sins, so the only way they could live with themselves was by getting rid of Jesus by killing His humanity. This is why godless men in our society today are doing all they can to eradicate Christianity from our society, education and government.

This is why God sent John the Baptist first with the message to repent of their sins so that when Jesus came they would not flee from Him or try to get rid of him, but would be able then to turn to Him and receive the salvation from their sins that He purchased for them. Those who obeyed Godís message through John to repent turned to Jesus. Those who did not were the oneís who had Him crucified.

Therefore, in preaching the Gospel, we start by calling men and women to repent of their sins. Repenting of our sins, however, does not save us because the wages of sin is death. Only death will pay sins penalty forus. That was why Jesus came: to die and shed his blood for our sins. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23, "For of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." The writer of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 9:22 "And without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." There is nothing here in these passages about forgiveness of sins coming about through repenting of our sins. Forgiveness of our sins repented of only comes about when we receive Jesusí death and shed blood on the cross for our sins by faith. However, in order to receive Godís forgiveness for our sins through Jesusí death and shed blood on the Cross, we must first confess and repent of our sins.

As we have already shared in an earlier chapter, Jesusí death and shed blood for our sins does not become ours until we receive Jesus into our hearts as savior and Lord. This is because when we do this 1 Corinthians 6:17 tells us that we become one spirit with Jesus. Becoming one spirit with Jesus means that whatever is true for Jesus is now true for us also. This means that His death on the cross becomes our death for our sins. It also means that as in the likeness of His death we shall also be raised from the dead in the likeness of His resurrection, not to death and eternal judgment, but to a resurrection of life, eternal life and eternal joy in heaven forever. Paul wrote in Romans 6:3-5,

"Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection."

Paul explains in Colossians 3:1-4 that for the person who has received Jesus as Savior and Lord that this is an already present tense positional reality. He writes,

"If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory."

Often I am asked if I believe a person is saved simply by believing on Godís promises about Salvation even if they continue to live an immoral life. I do not believe that a person who is living in wilful immorality is saved for the following reasons: First, because the Bible is plain that those who live in immorality whether saved or not cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Secondly, because a person who has not repented of his sins is not interested in Jesusí Salvation for him. Only a person who is sorry for his sins and has repented of his sins is looking to God for the forgiveness of his sins.

When Martin Luther, the Reformer, discovered that Godís forgiveness for his sins was through faith in Godís atonement for his sins through Jesusí death and shed blood on the Cross alone, it was as a result of his long past having repented of his sins but not being able to gain Godís forgiveness for those sins through his own works. What he discovered was that Godís forgiveness for his past sins repented of came through accepting by faith Godís forgiveness of his sins through Jesusí death and shed blood alone. By Faith means making a willful choice to accept Godís forgiveness for our sins through Jesusí death and shed blood on the Cross, not because we feel it is true, but despite our feelings. I may not feel it is true, but despite how I feel, I choose to believe Godís Word: that He forgives my sins repented of through Jesusí death and shed blood on the Cross. This is what the Bible means when it says that we are saved through Faith (Eph 2:8-9). Faith is choosing to believe that Godís promises are true, not feeling Godís promises are true. I choose to believe it is true despite the fact that my feeling are telling me the opposite. We know that the Word is true, despite how we may feel, because Jesus proved it is true by coming back from the dead. Jesusí resurrection from the dead is our proof, not our feelings (John 2:22).

A person who is living in wilful unrepented sin and who intends to keep on living in sin does not turn to Christ or seek Godís forgiveness for his sins. He spends his life justifying evolution, atheism or whateverism he or she is into to try and explain away the existence of God in order to live with themselves in their sinful lifestyle. He looks for reasons to explain away God and Christianity, just as our immoral politicians are doing today to justify their moral and political agenda. Isaiah wrote,

Isaiah 32:6 "For a fool speaks nonsense, and his heart inclines toward wickedness, to practice ungodliness and to speak error against Yehovah."

Jesus said the following:

Luke 24:46-47 "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem."

Jesus tells us that we are to preach repentance of oneís sins first so that that person can then turn to Jesus for His forgiveness of their sins. Otherwise, as long as man is living in wilful sin, he wonít be interested in God or his Salvation through Jesus Christ. He will not turn to the light, but will flee from the light because he loves his sin and doesnít want it exposed.

What Jesusí death on the cross frees us from is paying sinís penalty: death, eternal separation from God in an eternal hell. What it does not do, however, is give us a license for sin. The Apostle Paul wrote,

Galatians 6:7-8 "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life."

Jesus died for our sins so that we would repent of our sins and then return to Him and live for Him without fear. Before the cross, man had no incentive for repenting of his sins and living for God because he had no way of knowing God would forgive his past and present sins. But now that Jesus has paid sinís penalty for us and has proved this to be absolutely true through His resurrection from the dead, we have every incentive to repent of our sins and return to God through Jesus and absolutely no excuse for not repenting of our sins and returning to Him.

Only a person who is sorry for his sins, acknowledges and turns away from his sins, wants and is able to receive Jesusí salvation. Jesus shows us this is true in Luke 19:8-10. Luke records,

"And Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, ĎBehold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.í And Jesus said to him, ĎToday salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.í"

If this man had not been willing to repent of his sins, he would not have turned to Jesus or wanted His forgiveness. Only a person who has repented, past tense, of his sins looks to God for forgiveness. What gave Jesus evidence of this manís salvation? First, because Zaccheus confessed his sins, Matt 3:6; second, because he corrected the wrongs he had done, Matt 3:3; and then third, by his bringing forth fruit in keeping with repentance which was to submit to Godís atonement for his sins and for his salvation: Jesus Christ, Matt 3:8. Paul wrote about the Jews who rejected Godís atonement for their sins repented of through Jesusí death and shed blood:

Romans 10:3 "For not knowing about Godís righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God."

It is not enough to repent of our sins for salvation, we then need to also repent of relying on our own works for salvation and submit ourselves to Godís work of salvation for our sins: Jesusí death and shed blood on the cross. This many Jews would not do and so even though they had repented of their sins, they had not repented of the most important sin, relying on their own acts of righteousness for salvation and then submitting themselves to Godís act of righteousness for their sins: Jesusí death and shed blood on the cross.

The third thing receiving Jesus as Lord means is to obey His will and plan for your life revealed through His Holy Spirit. Jesus said,

Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, ĎLord, Lord,í will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven."

The Apostle John wrote,

1John 2:3-4 "By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ĎI have come to know Him,í and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

When we receive Jesus as Savior from our sins and as Lord of our lives, He comes into our lives and saves us and makes us one spirit with Him. This means that whatever is true for Jesus is now true for us. This means that His death becomes our death for our sins. The Bible is plain that we can only die once for our sins and that once a person dies, pays sinís penalty, that the law can no longer make claims over that person. This is also what Paul means by being freed from the Law. What are we freed from? The Lawís penalty of death for our sins and all Old Testament rituals related.

But why did Jesus die for us in the first place? Just to free us from the penalty of sin and the ritual of the Law? No. First, Jesus died for our sins to give us a reason to repent so we would return to Him. Second, Jesus died on the cross for our sins to free us from spending our lives and time working with the hope of appeasing and gaining His forgiveness for our sins. Third, He died for our sins because He has a plan and purpose for our lives and wants us to focus on that, not on spending our lives trying to gain His forgiveness and acceptance through religious works and ritual. All one has to do is read the Torah and all the time required in ritual for their sins to be thankful you were not born a Jew in Old Testament times. The writer of Hebrews wrote:

Hebrews 2:14-15 "Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery through all the time to-live."

Jesus through His death on the cross freed us of spending our lives and all our time in fear in religious ritual trying to appease God so we could instead focus on His will and plan for our lives.

You see our sins, Isaiah the prophet tells us, put a barrier between us and God so that He cannot relate to us and we cannot receive from Him. Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 59:1-2,

"Behold, Yehovahís hand is not so short That it cannot save; Neither is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your Elohim [God], and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear."

Therefore, in order to receive Godís will and plan for our lives, the sin barrier had to be removed first; our fear of death and not being accepted by God through enough religious works had to be removed. To solve this problem God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins. The purpose of turning to the cross then for Godís forgiveness of our sins repented of is so that we can again enter back into relationship with Him and then receive His purpose and plan that He has for our lives. Therefore, thirdly, receiving Jesus as Lord means to submit to His will and plan for your life revealed through His Holy Spirit. Only God knows those who are his, but if a person says he knows Jesus and is saved but then does not actively seek and live out the His purpose and plan for their life, that person, according to Jesus, does not know Him and is not saved. Jesus said recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 7:20-23:

"So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, ĎLord, Lord,í will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ĎLord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?í And then I will declare to them, ĎI never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.í"

According to Jesus then, to know Him and be truly saved means to repent of Your sins and then obey His will and plan for Your life revealed through His Holy Spirit. What is Godís will for our lives? First, to repent of our sins. Second, to turn to Him for the forgiveness of our sins through His Sonís death and shed blood on the cross and to accept His forgiveness by faith, not by any works of ours. Third, after we have done these two things, His will for us is to stop doing anything to gain His acceptance and accept that we are accepted through Jesusí death and shed blood on the cross. Next, to seek Him about what His will and plan is for each of us individually; and third, to then focus our lives, time and energy on fulfilling His will and plan for our lives.

This brings up the next important question which is how do we make Jesus Savior and Lord of Our lives so our sins can be forgiven and so we can enter back into relationship with God and receive His will and plan for our lives? The way we do this is by literally receiving Jesus Christ into our hearts as Savior from our sins and as Lord of our lives. Jesus said,

Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I WILL come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me."

The door refers to our hearts. The Heart is the volitional part of man. It is that part of man that controls his life and free-will destiny. Jesus says, Surrender that to Me. (Proverbs 6:32)

Receiving Jesus Christ then into your heart means:

  1. To Repent of any known sin in your life.

  2. To Accept Godís forgiveness for your sins through Jesusí Death & Shed Blood alone, not by any works of yours.

  3. To Obey Jesusí leading in your life through His Holy Spirit.

We Receive Jesus Christ into our hearts by faith. The Apostle Paul wrote in the Bible,

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For 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."

What does the Bible mean by faith? It does not mean blind faith, meaning faith without proof or verification; it means knowing that once we ask Jesus to come into our heart as Savior from our sins and as Lord of our life, that He does come in and save us, not as a feeling, but because He gave us absolute proof that He will do what He promised when He came back physically from the dead. And what is Jesusí promise? That He will come into your heart when you ask Him to. Luke, the physician, wrote in the Bible about Jesusí Physical Resurrection,

Acts 1:3 "To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God."

If you have never received Jesus as Savior and Lord before but would like to, then pray right now the following prayer by faith:

Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and repent of my known sins. I ask You now to come into my heart as Savior from my sins and as Lord of my life. Heavenly Father, thank You for forgiving my sins through Your Sonís death and shed blood on the cross and that I now have eternal life. Now take control of my life, and through Your Holy Spirit lead me into your will and plan for my life; in Lord Jesus Christ of Nazarethís name , amen.

Did you just pray and ask Jesus into your heart? If you did, you can know by faith right now that He is in your heart and that you are saved from your sins, that you have eternal life and have entered into the beginning of the purpose and plan that Jesus has for your life.

The Bible teaches that to have Jesus Christ in your life is to have eternal life. The Apostle John tells us that God the Father gives us the following testimony about what determines whether we have eternal life or not. He writes,

1 John 5:11-13 "And the witness of God is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life."

God the Father makes plain that to have His Son Jesus Christ living in us is to have eternal life. Because you just received Jesus into your heart as Savior and Lord, you have Jesus living in you and God the Father says to you that you have eternal life and will go to heaven. Isnít that a wonderful truth? You may ask how do we know this is true? Because God the Father brought Jesus back from the dead to prove to us it is true. That is the significance of the resurrection, it proves to us that anything that God says is absolutely true truth that we can base our lives on. You are saved! Accept it!

Study Questions
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Bibliography & Notes
Section 3 Chapters

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