Jesus for Life
DID JESUS COME
To understand why Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came
down from heaven to earth, we need first to understand
that God is perfect holiness and justice.
God tells us in Exodus 34:7
"He does not leave the guilty unpunished"
and in Habakkuk 1:13 we read
"Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrong".
As we read the Bible, we come to see clearly there is no
way that any person on earth could, on their own, have
any chance to stand before God and live. God totally
abhors sin. And God tells us in the Bible that since Adam
all human beings have sinned.
'If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not in us'
1 John 1:8 (NIV)
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Isaiah 64:6 (NIV)
Many people think that they can earn their way into
heaven by living a good life, or by turning up to church
But whatever our ancestry, background or upbringing,
whatever rituals and ceremonies we have performed,
whatever religion we have followed, however sincerely we
have tried to live a good life, the same facts remain.
God tells us in the Bible that we are spiritually dead -
we are morally corrupt - that we are guilty before God.
That we are powerless to save ourselves and that, left as
we are, our case is hopeless.
As the benchmark for holiness, God gave us His ten
commandments through Moses on Mount Sinai:
And God spoke all these words:
"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of
Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
"You shall have no other gods before me.
"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of
anything in heaven above or on the earth
beneath or in the waters below.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them;
for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God,
punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the
third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but
showing love to a thousand generations of those who
love me and keep my commandments.
"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God,
for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless
who misuses his name.
"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six
days you shall labour and do all your work, but the
seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it
you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or
daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor
your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six
days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the
sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the
seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed
the Sabbath day and made it holy.
"Honour your father and your mother, so that you may
live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
"You shall not murder.
"You shall not commit adultery.
"You shall not steal.
"You shall not give false testimony against your
"You shall not covet your neighbour's house. You shall
not covet your neighbour's wife, or his
manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or
anything that belongs to your neighbour."
Exodus 20:1-17 (NIV)
As if these commandments are not hard enough to keep,
without one single failure, for a lifetime: then Jesus
that God considers even anger or aggressive words or
thoughts to be just as sinful in God's eyes as murder:
"You have heard that it was said to the people long
ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders
will be subject to judgment.'
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother
will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to
his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But
anyone who says, 'You fool!'
will be in danger of the fire of hell.
Matthew 5:21-22 (NIV)
and, concerning adultery, Jesus went on to say -
"You have heard that it was said,
'Do not commit adultery.'
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman
lustfully has already committed adultery with her
in his heart.
Matthew 5:27-28 (NIV)
God is totally pure, holy and good.
He cannot tolerate sin
of any kind.
of any kind.
Impure thoughts are just as sinful as impure actions.
I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and
be holy, because I am holy. ..... I am the LORD who
brought you up out of Egypt to be your God;
therefore be holy, because I am holy.
Leviticus 11:44a and
And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to
pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name,
the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on
whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on
whom I will have compassion. But," he said, "you cannot
see my face, for no one may see me and live."
Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where
you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I
will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you
with my hand until I have passed by.
Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back;
but my face must not be seen."
It was not always so, that man could not see Godís face.
It was mankindís sin that caused this separation from
God. We understand that in the Garden of Eden, God
and Adam and Eve were friends, before the fall -
ĎThen the man and his wife heard the sound of
the LORD God as he was walking in the garden
in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God
among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God
called to the man, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden,
and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
And he said, "Who told you that you were naked?
Have you eaten from the tree
that I commanded you not to eat from?" í
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming,
"The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
maintaining love to thousands, and
forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.
Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished;
he punishes the children and their children
for the sin of the fathers
to the third and fourth generation."
Exodus 34:6-7 (NIV)
We find God's own view of mankind's sinfulness in
The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the
earth had become, and that every inclination of the
thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the
earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
So the LORD said,
"I will wipe mankind,
whom I have created, from the face of the earth
-- men and animals, and creatures that
move along the ground, and birds of the air --
for I am grieved that I have made them."
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
It is the gift of this same grace that Noah received
that we also may be invited to receive by God.
For, as we read in 1 John 4:16
And He so much wants us to come to Him. God,
speaking to us through His prophet Jeremiah, says:
"I myself said,
"'How gladly would I treat you like sons
and give you a desirable land,
the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.'
I thought you would call me 'Father'
and not turn away from following me.
But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,
so you have been unfaithful to me,
O house of Israel,"
declares the LORD.
A cry is heard on the barren heights,
the weeping and pleading of the people of Israel,
because they have perverted their ways
and have forgotten the LORD their God.
"Return, faithless people;
I will cure you of backsliding."
"Yes, we will come to you,
for you are the LORD our God.
Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills
and mountains is a deception;
surely in the LORD our God
is the salvation of Israel.
From our youth shameful gods have consumed
the fruits of our fathers' labour --
their flocks and herds,
their sons and daughters.
Let us lie down in our shame,
and let our disgrace cover us.
We have sinned against the LORD our God,
both we and our fathers;
from our youth till this day
we have not obeyed the LORD our God."
Jeremiah 3:19-25 (NIV)
God tells us that now we have no excuse, because we all
know God - He has written His law on all our hearts:
"The time is coming," declares the LORD,
"when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,"
declares the LORD.
"This is the covenant I will make with the house of
Israel after that time," declares the LORD.
"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
No longer will a man teach his neighbour,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."
Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NIV)
And in Peter's second letter, God tells us:
First of all, you must understand that in the last days
scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil
desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he
promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes
on as it has since the beginning of creation."
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word
the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of
water and by water. By these waters also
the world of that time was deluged and
destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and
earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of
judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:
With the Lord a day is like a thousand years,
and a thousand years are like a day.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise,
as some understand slowness.
He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish,
but everyone to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.
The heavens will disappear with a roar;
the elements will be destroyed by fire,
and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way,
what kind of people ought you to be?
You ought to live holy and godly lives as you
look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.
That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens
by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
But in keeping with his promise
we are looking forward to a new heaven
and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
So then, dear friends, since you are looking
forward to this, make every effort to be found
spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in
mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, ......
2 Peter 3:3-15a
Pray to God that He will call you to be one of His
children, and that He will move your heart to true
repentance and faith in Jesus.
God the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ, God the Son,
to earth to die on the cross for our sins and on the third
day he raised him from the dead, so that we can have the
possibility of coming into a right relationship with God.
As Luke reports from Peter's speech to the Jewish crowds
in Jerusalem after Pentecost:
"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a
man accredited by God to you
by miracles, wonders and signs,
which God did among you through him,
as you yourselves know.
This man was handed over to you by God's set
purpose and foreknowledge;
and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death
by nailing him to the cross.
But God raised him from the dead,
freeing him from the agony of death,
because it was impossible for death
to keep its hold on him.
Acts 2:22-24 (NIV)
And continuing his speech in Acts 2:36-39
"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has
made this Jesus, whom you crucified,
both Lord and Christ."
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart
and said to Peter and the other apostles,
"Brothers, what shall we do?"
"Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ
for the forgiveness of your sins.
And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The promise is for you and your children
and for all who are far off -
for all whom the Lord our God will call."
Acts 2:36-39 (NIV)
John the Baptist, sent by God to
prepare the people for Jesus' arrival said of Jesus :
The next day John saw Jesus
coming toward him and said,
"Look, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world!"
John 1:29 (NIV)
Here is a trustworthy saying
that deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners
1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)
Jesus himself said:
"the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28 (NIV)
And, in John's Gospel, Jesus says:
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If
anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.
This bread is my flesh,
which I will give for the life of the world."
John 6:50-51 (NIV)
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my
sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I
know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that are
not of this sheep pen [Gentiles].
I must bring them also.
They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be
one flock and one shepherd.
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my
life - only to take it up again. No one takes it from me,
but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to
lay it down and authority to take it up again.
This command I received from my Father."
John 10:14-18 (NIV)
And we read in Isaiah,
speaking of the long-promised Christ:
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace
was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
After Peter and John had healed a man crippled from
birth (near the Jerusalem temple gate called Beautiful),
they were arrested, imprisoned overnight and then
brought before the Jewish rulers and elders
and teachers of the law:
The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law
met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and
so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men
of the high priest's family. They had Peter and John
brought before them and began to question them:
"By what power or what name did you do this?"
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them:
"Rulers and elders of the people!
If we are being called to account today
for an act of kindness shown to a
cripple and are asked how he was healed,
then know this, you and all the people of Israel:
It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,
whom you crucified
but whom God raised from the dead,
that this man stands before you healed.
"'the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the capstone.'
Salvation is found in no one else,
for there is no other name under heaven given to men
by which we must be saved."
Acts 4:5-12 (NIV)
Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.
The younger one said to his father,
'Father, give me my share of the estate.'
So he divided his property between them.
"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
I will set out and go back to my father and say to him:
Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I am no longer worthy to be called your son;
make me like one of your hired men.'
So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son,
threw his arms around him and kissed him. "The son said to him,
'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.
For this son of mine was dead and is alive again;
he was lost and is found.'
So they began to celebrate.
after King David's adultery with Bathsheba, King David wrote:
For I know my transgressions,
But the good news is that Jesus' death and resurrection
has saved us from the consequences of our rebellion against him -
if we turn from our sinful lives and give him control of our lives.
'Christ died for our sins'
1 Corinthians 15:3 (NIV)
'So Christ was sacrificed once
to take away the sins of many people'
Hebrews 9:28 (NIV)
'Christ suffered for you ......
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree'
1 Peter 2:21 and 24
'Christ died for sins once for all,
the righteous for the unrighteous'
1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)
But now a righteousness from God,
apart from law, has been made known,
to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
This righteousness from God
comes through faith in Jesus Christ
to all who believe.
There is no difference,
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,
through faith in his blood.
Romans 3:21-25 (NIV)
God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
we were still sinners, Christ died for us.