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THE UNIQUENESS OF JESUS CHRIST

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Who, in your opinion, is the most outstanding personality of all time? I once directed some similar questions to a brilliant young medical student. He was from another land, and had been a devout follower of one of the great Eastern religions. My first questions were: “John, who in your opinion is the greatest leader that world, has ever known? Who has done the most good for mankind?”

After a moment of hesitation, John replied, “I am sure that Jesus of Nazareth has done more good than anyone who has ever lived. I would say that He is the greatest leader.” What make Jesus Christ unique? Unique Personality: Then I asked, “Who do you think is the greatest teacher?” No doubt he thought of Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Confucius and the other great philosophers of ancient and modern times. But he answered, “The greatest teacher is Jesus of Nazareth.” Finally I asked, “John, in your opinion, who has lived the most holy life of anyone who has ever lived?” To this question his reply was immediate. Obviously the world knows and he knew that in all recorded history, there has never been anyone like Jesus of Nazareth. Visit any part of the world today and talk to adherents of any religion. No matter how devout they may be or how committed to their particular religion, if they know anything of the facts, they too, will have to acknowledge that there has never been a man like Jesus of Nazareth. He is the unique personality of all time.

Worldwide Influence: He is the One who has changed the whole course of history. Even the date on your morning newspaper gives witness to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, lived on this earth nearly two thousand years ago. “B.C”. Means” before Christ”, “A.D.,” anno domini, is the Latin phrase meaning, “in the year of our Lord.” Trace the life and influence of Jesus Christ and you will observe that His message always effects great changes in the lives of people and nations. History is HIS STORY- the story of the life of one man. Remove Jesus of Nazareth from history, and it would be a completely different story. One writer described Jesus’ influence in this way: “Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today he is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever have sat, and all the kings that ever reigned put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life, Jesus of Nazareth.”

Though Jesus has influenced the whole world, I would call your attention especially to the effect He has had on society’s view toward women. Aristotle said, “Society would be completely disorganized if women were on equality with their husbands, just as it would be if slaves were on equality with their masters.” Socrates asked fellow Athenians, “To whom do you talk less than to your wife?” Plato recommended that women be cared for by the state. But Christ put an end to all this. The New Testament declares that in Christ there is neither male nor female, slave nor free. Wherever Christ has gone, the sacredness of marriage, women’s rights and suffrage have been acknowledged: institutions of higher learning have been established; child labor laws have been enacted; slavery has been abolished; and a multitude of other changes have been made for the good of mankind.

Personal Influence: It has been my privilege to visit hundreds of campuses where I have talked to thousands of college men and women about Jesus of Nazareth. Naturally, I have met professors and students alike who are militantly antagonistic toward Christ. Some of them contend that Jesus Christ is just a myth or that He is a great man and nothing more. One such skeptic was Dr. Cyril E. M. Joad, one of the world’s greatest philosophers, who was for years head of the Philosophy Department at the University of London. Dr. Joad and his colleagues, Julian Huxley, Bertrand Russell and H.G. Wells, have probably done more to undermine the faith of the collegiate world of the last generation than has any other one group. Dr Joad believed that there is no such thing as sin, that man was destined for a Utopia. With sufficient time he felt that man would have heaven on earth. Dr. Joad was militant in his antagonism against Christianity and wrote many books which have made a great impact upon the atheistic thinking of the students’ world during the last generation.

In 1948, the magazine section of the Los Angeles Times carried a picture of that venerable old scholar and with it a statement concerning the dramatic change that had taken place in his life. It told how for many years he had been antagonistic toward Christ Christianity. He had once denied sin, but now he had come to believe that sin was a reality. Two world wars and the imminence of another had demonstrated conclusively to him that man was indeed sinful. Now he believed that the only explanation for sin was found in the Word of God, and the only solution was found in the cross of Jesus Christ. Before his death, Dr. Joad became a zealous follower of the Savior. Another example is Lew Wallace, a famous general and a literary genius. He and his friend, Robert Ingersoll, covenanted together to write a book that would forever destroy the myth of Christianity. Mr. Wallace tells how for two years he studied in the leading libraries of Europe and America, seeking information that would enable him to write the book that would destroy Christianity. While writing the second chapter of his volume, he found himself on his knees crying out to Jesus saying, “My Lord, and my God.” The evidence for the deity of Christ was overwhelmingly conclusive. He could no longer deny that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. The One whom he had determined to expose as a fraud had captured him. Later Lew Wallace wrote Ben Hur, probably the greatest novel ever written concerning the times of Christ.

Another confirmed skeptic was the late C. S. Lewis, professor at Oxford University. For years he was an agnostic who denied and wrote many outstanding books advocating his belief in Him as Savior, in his famous book, the case for Christianity, he makes this statement: “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn’t be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on the level with a man who says he’s a poached egg – or else he would be the devil of hell; you must take your choice. Either this was, and is the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a demon; or you can fell at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But don’t come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He hasn’t left that alternative open to us.” What Great Scholars say? Who is Jesus of Nazareth to you? A myth? A mere man? Or the Son of God? Your life upon this earth and for all eternity is affected by your answer to this question. Some ask, “Is Christianity really established upon positive historical facts?” Dr. Clifford Herbert Moore, for many years a professor at Harvard University, states, “Christianity knew its Savior and Redeemer not as some god whose history was contained in a mythical faith, with rude, primitive and even offensive elements. The Christian’s faith is founded on positive, historical and acceptable facts.”

A long list could be made of such outstanding scholars who are devout followers of Christ. For example, Dr. William Lyon Phelps, who was a professor at Yale University for 40 years and was one of the most distinguished professors in the history of our country, expressed his confidence in the historical evidence concerning the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and regularly shared his personal faith in Christ as Savior. But some of the world’s greatest scholars do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, our Saviour. I am appalled when I talk about Christ to many of these men of learning, for I discover that nearly always they are ignorant of the basic truths of the gospel. Have you ever read any of the writings of Ingersoll, Thomas Paine and other well-known skeptics? You would be amazed to discover that, invariably, these men are taking issue with something that they do not fully understand. They have erected straw men, labeled them Christianity, and have then proceeded to destroy their own creations.

I have yet to meet a person who has honestly considered the overwhelming evidence concerning Jesus of Nazareth who does not admit that He is the Son of God. As I have said, I meet some who do not believe He is the Son of God. But as we have talked and reasoned together, they have been honest in confessing, “I have not taken the time to read the Bible or to consider the historical facts concerning Jesus.” Their resentment has been based upon an unfortunate childhood experience, upon the inconsistency of some Christian or perhaps upon the influence of a college professor; but always they have admitted that they have not honestly considered the person of Jesus Christ and his claims on their lives. Concerning Jesus of Nazareth Paul says in Colossians 1:15-20, “And He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation. For in him all things were created, both in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible … For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in him, and through him to reconcile all things to himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross: through him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven” “ In Hebrews 1:1, 2 we are told, “ God, after he spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in his son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the world.” In Colossians 2:3 Paul states, “ In whom (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

There are many things that Jesus can do for us that no one else can do, but I want to concentrate on four specific things. First of all, He is the only one who can pardon man from his sin. Second, He alone can give purpose for life. Third, only he can give peace to a troubled heart. Finally, Jesus alone can give us power to live an abundant life. Pardons Sin: The Bible tells us that God is a holy God and that man is sinful. There is a great gulf between the two and man cannot bridge this gulf. The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death – eternal separation from God; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Because man is sinful, he cannot bridge this gulf between himself and God, no matter how good he is. God bridges the chasm to man through his son, Jesus Christ. The Scripture says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Now, let us define our terms. What do we mean by sin? Sin is not necessary a matter of lying, stealing or immorality. Basically sin is an attitude. Sin is going one’s own independent way. It is a lack of relationship or fellowship with God. There is a throne in your life, and either God is on that throne or you are on it. If you are saying, “I am the master of my life, I will do as I please,” you qualify as a sinner. If Christ is on that throne, he has brought you back into relationship with himself. Picture, if you will, a floor lamp. Pull the plug out of the socket; contact with the current is broken, and the light goes out. Push the plug into the socket again; the light goes on. The current is constant, the variable is the plug. Man can be compared with that plug. Because we do not have fellowship with God, we walk in darkness. We have chosen to go our own way – we are guilty of sin. Now, what is God’s provision? In the Old Testament, the Israelites brought their sacrifices to the priest – the lamb, the dove and the bullock. These animals had to be perfect, without spot or blemish – the best in the flock. The sin of the one making the sacrifice was transferred to the innocent lamb. The animal was slain; the blood was sprinkled by the priest on the altar as a temporary covering for his sins. This pictured the coming of God’s one special lamb, whose blood would not temporarily cover man’s sins, but forever. God sent his only Son, the Lamb of God, without spot or blemish, to give his life, to shed his blood upon the cross for the forgiveness of our sins,” without the shedding of blood,” there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22).

As one studies the most popular religions of the world, he becomes aware that no provision is made for the forgiveness of sin apart from the cross of Jesus Christ. Basically most religions embrace the philosophy of good works as a means to salvation. Man subscribes to the concepts that if his bad work outweigh his good works; he will go to hell, if there is a hell. Of course, he does not know until this life is over whether he will go to heaven or to hell. What a tragedy! How inadequate is such a religion or philosophy. God has promised that we can know him, and have fellowship with him now and for all eternity, through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. After I had finished speaking at a Midwestern university campus, a group of students remained to learn how they could become Christians. Among them was a young Hindu lad from India who was pacing up and down, very angry and impatient. As we talked he said, “I resent you Christians. I resent the arrogance with which you say that you have the only way to God. I believe that Christianity is one way, but only one way. Hinduism is another. Buddhism, Shintoism and others are all ways to God.”

I called his attention to the writings of the great Hindu leader Mahatmas Gandhi, who, for all of his devotion to his religion, states in his autobiography, “It is a constant torture to me that I am still so far from him whom I know to be my very life and being. I know it is my own wretchedness and wickedness that keep me from him.” This gifted young man said that he had once believed that Gandhi was God but, of course, he no longer believed this. In addition to being devout, he was unusually brilliant. He was completing his double doctorate – a doctorate in physics and a doctorate in chemistry. As we talked together, his anger began to subside, and he began to see that Christianity is different. He was that it was not just another man-made religion or philosophy, but that it made provision for man’s basic need, which is forgiveness of sin. He admitted also that he had not found the answer to his needs, though he was devout follower of his religion, diligent in the reading of the sacred Hindu writings, and faithful in his times of prayer and all the ritual of his faith. He had to confess that he had never found God. I called his attention to the differences in the lives of his Christian friends. He admitted that they had something that he did not possess. It was obvious that that “something” was the living Saviour who had come to live within them and had forgiven them of their sins.

For nearly an hour we discussed the difference between Christianity and the religions of the world. Take Buddha out of Buddishm, Mohammed out of Islam, and in like manner the founders of the various religions out of their religious systems, and little would be changed. But take Christ out of Christianity and there would be nothing left. Finally, the light came on. Now this young Hindu understood the great truth of pardon for sin through our Savior’s sacrifice on the cross. Quietly he bowed his head. This dear young scholar who had sought after God with all of his heart now prayed that Jesus of Nazareth, the risen, living Son of God, would come into his heart, would pardon his sin and become his Lord and Master. The Bible says “There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Only Jesus can pardon sin. Gives Purpose: Not only is Jesus of Nazareth unique as the only one who can pardon our sins, but he is also unique as the only one who gives purpose, peace and power to life. Let us consider purpose. You will remember, according to the Bible, in Colossians 1:16, it was through the Son that God made the whole universe, and to the Son He has said that all creation shall ultimately belong. One can readily see that God has created everything for a purpose. There is order, system and design to the whole creation. Man is the highest expression of God’s creation; Man is the only part of creation with intelligence. God created man with a free will, with a right of choice. He can say “yes” or “no” to God, and for the most part man has chosen to say “no.” Those who have said “no” have never discovered God’s purpose for their lives.

No building contractor would think of constructing a beautiful building without consulting the blueprint of the architect, the designer. How can we be so foolish as to try to build our lives without first consulting the great architect of life, the One who created us for a wonderful purpose? The Bible says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23). “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). There are great benefits to be derived from being where God wants you to be and doing what God wants you to do. God does not stand over us with a big stick. Rather, He has established His laws to govern the whole of creation and, if we violate these laws, we must pay the consequences; even as a man who violates the law of gravity must pay the consequences, or the man who violate the laws of traffic must pay the consequences, or the failure to adhere to the laws of traffic endangers not only the life of the one who violates the law, but also the lives of others. We do not break God’s laws – they break us.

Take, for example the mater of marriage. The Bureau of the Census reported in 1979 that 1,170 out of each 2,359 marriages in America end in divorce. That’s nearly one out of two! That one/two ratio was corroborated by a consumer report in the June 22, 1981 issue of U.S. News and World Report (Page 12). Yet it is a well-established fact that a Christian husband and wife who daily read the Bible and pray together will experience a remarkably high degree of stability in their marriage. Why the great contrast? Jesus Christ makes the difference. He brings real purpose to marriage. With these facts before us, who would dare take the gamble of marriage without Christ? You say, “I don’t understand. How can Christ make such a great difference?’ Simply in this way: If you are on the throne of your life, your ego and the ego of the one whom you marry will war against one another. Friction is inevitable. However, if Christ is on the throne of the lives of both husband and wife, He will not war against Himself and there will be peace. Discord will turn to harmony and hate will turn to love. Many times I have had the privilege of kneeling in prayer with men and women who have been on the verge of divorce. Their lives were in shambles, their homes places of discord and friction. But as they have given their lives to Jesus Christ, harmony, peace and love have come into their homes and hearts. Of course, the same truth applies to individuals as well, for no man is complete without Christ.

I have found through the years that people who know Jesus Christ have a purpose for life. Those who do not know Him are like a ship upon a rough sea without rudder and without sail, fritting with the tide. No matter how brilliant you might be or a how successful as an athlete, as a student, as a business or a professional person, unless you know Jesus Christ, you will never know real purpose in life. God has made us for Himself, and as St. Augustine said centuries ago, “Thou has made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” H.G. Wells, famous historian and philosopher, said at the age of 61: “I have no peace. All life is at the end of its tether.” The poet Lord Byron said, “My days are in the yellow leaf. The flowers and fruits of life gone, the worm and the canker, and the grief are mine alone.” Thoreau, great literary genius, said, “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.” Ralph Barton, one of the top cartoonists of the nation, left this note pinned to his pillow before he took his life: “I have had few difficulties, many friends, great successes; I have gone from wife to wife, and from house to house, visited great countries of the world, but I am fed up with inventing devices to fill up 24 hours hours of the day.” Pascal, French physicist and philosopher, put it this way, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which only God can fill through His Son, Jesus Christ.”

Dare I say that there is a vacuum in your life? I do not know you. But in all honesty, in the quiet of your own heart, if you do not know Jesus Christ, you are saying today, “Yes, there is a vacuum; I am not satisfied with my life.” And you never will be until you invite Christ to show you the very purpose for which He created you. There is no one else who ever lived who can do this- no religion, no philosophy, no man. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John. 14:6) As you are introduced to him, He will show you that purpose for which He created you. Gives Peace: Jesus alone can pardon sin, Jesus alone can give purpose to life. Third, Jesus of Nazareth is the only One who can give you peace. He is the Prince of Peace. There will never be peace in the individual heart or at the peace table of the world until the Prince of Peace reigns supreme in the hearts of men. In John 14:27, Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” In Matthew 11:28, He says “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden; and I will give you rest.”

Perhaps you are now experiencing fears and frustrations in your life. Perhaps you are worried about your grades, your social life, your finances, problems in your home. You say, “Of course. Everyone has these problems.” Yes and the Christian is not exempt. Becoming a Christian does not mean that you will suddenly be ushered into a utopian situation, but rather you will have One with you who said, “Peace, be still; lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, upon every occasion and at all times I am with you. I will never leave you, nor forsake you My peace I give you.” Some time ago I was asked to be one of the speakers at an international Christian Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. On this occasion I was speaking at a conference of which The famous presidential prayer Breakfast is a part. A young naval commander, who was representing the Pentagon at the breakfast, was my old fraternity brother and debate colleague of mine during my college days. He sought me out and we talked together. He told me the story of a tragedy that had recently taken place in his life through the loss of a child. He asked if I would come and talk with him and his dear wife.

As we talked together that evening, they both invited Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord. As Christ came into their lives, they experienced a wonderful peace. Their lives were changed. The following year l was invited to return to Washington where again l had the privilege of participating in the international Christian Leadership Program. Again my commander friend was present, representing the Pentagon. Tragedy of tragedies, he told me that shortly after my pervious visit another of their children became ill. She had cancer of the nervous system, which resulted in her death. I shall never forget that day as Frank and l talks together. With a warm, understanding smile, he said, “Though l do not understand it, as dearly as we loved our little child and much as we hated to see her go, during the presence of her illness and after she was gone, the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ was so real! We do not understand it, but through it all we had a peace that passes all knowledge”. Gives Power: Heartache and sorrow will come into your life too, but Christ, the Prince of Peace, waits to sit upon the throne of your life and to give you His pardon, His purpose and His peace. Yet even pardon, Purpose, and peace are not all that Christ can give, for Jesus of Nazareth is the only One who can give you power to live a new life. Frequently men and women will say to me, “l would like to become a Christian, but if l do, l am sure that l will never be able to live the life. You don’t know the mistakes that l have made, the resentments that l have, the tendencies to sin, the immorality, the heavy drinking, the cruel tongue and many, many other problems. l do not believe l could live the Christian life.”

But as these people have given their lives to Christ, they have discovered that the Christian life is a supernatural life. You and l cannot live it, no matter how good we are Jesus Christ literally comes to live within us, and He lives His life in through us Therefore, it is no longer what we do, but what He does, because He is the One who provides the power and we are merely the instruments through which He releases that power. This is what Jesus taught a man named Nicodemus who came to see Him one night (John 3:1-21). Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews. He was a good, moral and ethical religious leader. He asked Christ, “Rabbi, (meaning Teacher), we know that you have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these sins that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, l says to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” Nicodemus did not know what He meant. He asked if he must enter his mother’s womb the second time to be born. Jesus replied, in essence, No, you are born once in the flesh, but in order to enter the kingdom of God you must be born of the Spirit.” You see, we are born with a physical body to live on a physical plane. But the kingdom of God is a spiritual being. If we are to have fellowship with Him, we must become spiritual creatures.

Picture a caterpillar crawling in the dirt. It is just an ugly, hairy worm. lf you could communicate with this caterpillar, you might say, “why do you crawl in the dirt? Why don’t you fly like the butterfly?” No doubt it would reply, “It is impossible for me to fly for l am earthbound; l can only crawl in the dust.” Then you might suggest, “Let us perform an operation. We will attach some butterfly wings to your body.” But that would do no good. Then you could say, “Why don’t you take a course in aviation? Then you will be able to fly. But all that this is to no avail. So it is with people who try to become Christians by good works, such as good conduct, church attendance, reading the Bible, praying, etc- rather than the way of the new birth, as Jesus commanded. One day the caterpillar weaves about its body a cocoon, and later, out of that cocoon, emerges a beautiful butterfly. We do not understand fully what has taken place. We only know that a butterfly soars in the heavens. So it is in the life of a Christian; this new birth takes place when Jesus of Nazareth, the risen Lord and Savior, comes to live within you.

Intellect, Emotions and Will: I said earlier that there is a throne in every life. If you are on that throne deciding what to do with your life, it is quite likely that you are not a Christian. Christ knocks at the door. In Revelation 3:20 He says, “Behold l stand at the door and knock” (the door of your heart, your will, your intellect, you emotions). He promises, “If you will open the door, l will come in and have fellowship with you and you with me. “The Bible says that as many as receive Jesus, to them God gives the power to become His sons. And if any man is in Christ or if Christ is in any man, he is a new creature; old things are passed away and all things are new. Commitment to Christ involves the surrender of the intellect, the emotions and the will - the total person. Let us say for the sake of illustration that you had heard many fine compliments about a certain person of the opposite sex. You could hardly wait to meet that person. The actual meeting was even more exciting. Intellectually you liked what you saw – you liked his looks, his personality, his many other qualities. You liked everything about him. Was this enough to launch a marriage? No. There is more to marriage than mutual respect and admiration. As you spent more and more time together, you became better acquainted. Then it happened. Cupid found his mark, and you were in love. Is this marriage? No. There is more to marriage than the intellect and emotions. One day you become engaged and the wedding day arrives. How exciting!

Intellectually, you believe that he or she is the most wonderful person in all of the world. Emotionally, your heart beats twice as fast when you are together; but now something even more important is about to take place. As the two of you exchange vows before the minister or the one of authority, you commit your wills, one to the other. The marriage is not a true marriage if there is no mutual giving of one to you other. There you have it a marriage relationship involves the intellect, the heart and the will. So it is in becoming a Christian- one must give himself wholly to Christ – intellect, emotions and will. Someone may say, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe that He died for my sins. Why I have believed God. I believe that He died for my sins. Why, I have believed this all of my life. Am I not a Christian?’ Not if that person has refused to yield his will to Him. Another may say, “I remember when I heard a wonderful sermon at a youth retreat or during a special series of meetings in our church. My heart was stirred and I had a great emotional experience. I even responded to the invitation to go forward for counsel. Am I not a Christian? Not if that person has never relinquished the throne of his life, his will, to Christ. Still another may say,” I go to church regularly; I read my Bible and pray daily. I try to live a good life. Am I not a Christian?” Not unless he has surrendered his will to Christ.

The surrender of the will is the key to becoming a Christian and the secret to living a victorious Christian life. An outstanding young athlete and social leader wanted to become a Christian, but like so many, he was afraid to surrender his will to the will of God. He had worked out detailed plants for his life but was reluctant to become a Christian, for fear God would change those plans. As we talked together, I explained that God loved him dearly –so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for his sins and that God had a wonderful plan for his life. I asked, “Don’t you think you can trust One who loves you this much and who is infinitely wiser than any man?” “I had not thought of it that way,” He said. “I will trust Him.” As we prayed together, he invited Christ into his heart as Savior and Lord. Yes his life was changed. But you may be sure that he has no regrets, for he is now devoting all of his time to challenging others to become Christians also.

Your Opportunity: At this moment, if you have not already received Christ as your Savior and Lord, Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart (Your intellect, your emotions, your will-your total personality). Will you, in the quiet of this moment, surrender your will to Him? Invite Him to come into your life to live His life in you to pardon your sin, to give purpose to your life, to give you His peace and power. Though the Lord is “Not willing that any should perish”, (2Peter 3:9), He will not force His way into your life. He comes only by personal invitation. Just deciding to do something is not enough. All decisions are valueless until accompanied by action. Bow your head just now and in this moment of decision, pray: “Lord Jesus, come into my life. Pardon my sin I surrender my will – the throne of my life- to you. Show me your purpose for my life. Give me your peace and power that I may please and honor You. Amen!” According to Scripture we are promised, “As many as received him to them He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12). When you receive Christ, you become a child of God. We are also told in 1 John 5:11, 12, “God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life.” When you receive Christ, you have eternal life here and now. As you receive Christ into your life, you begin the great adventure for which He created you. And as you continue in obedience to His commands, you will experience the fulfillment of His promise of an abundant life. May I encourage you to study the Word of God, the Bible, diligently and to become active in vital Christian fellowship of a local church?

Who Christ is, and what He has done: Christ is the exact likeness of the unseen God, he existed before God made anything at all, and, in fact, Christ Himself is the Creator who made everything in heaven and earth, the things we can see and the things we can’t; the spirit world with its kings and kingdoms, its rulers and authorities; all were made by Christ for His own use and glory. He was before all else began and it is His power that holds everything together. He is the Head of the body made up of His people – that is, His Church - which He began; and He is the Leader of all those who arise from the dead, so that He is first in everything; for God wanted all of Himself to be in His Son. It was through what His Son did that God cleared a path for everything to come to Him – all things in heaven and on earth for Christ’s death on the cross has made peace with God for all by His blood.

This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies and hated Him and were separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now He has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through the death on the cross of his own human body, and now as a result Christ has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are standing there before Him with nothing lift against you- nothing left that He could even chide you for: the only condition is that fully believe the truth, standing in it steadfast and firm, strong in the Lord, convinced of the Good News that Jesus died for you, and never shifting from trusting Him to save you. This is the wonderful news that came to each of you and is now spreading all over the world (Col. 1:15-20, TLB). Jesus Christ is unique and makes the difference. (Source: excerpt adapted from the Writings of Bill Bright, in his book: Handbook on Christian Maturity)

Written By Dr. Lewis Akpogena
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