NO OTHER PERSON IN HISTORY HAS HAD MORE INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD THAN JESUS AND NO OTHER PERSON HAS BEEN MORE WIDELY DEBATED
Regardless of who you are, where you grew up, or your religious background (if any), chances are you have an opinion of Jesus. In fact everyone does. It could be that your opinion goes no further than the fact that you don’t know who He is and it really doesn’t matter anyway; nevertheless, you have an opinion.
With so many ideas circulating about Jesus you might find yourself asking, who is Jesus, really?
Here at First Baptist Church, we believe that the answer to that question can be found by understanding what the Bible says about Jesus, which includes the things He said of Himself.
JESUS IS REAL
Jesus is not just the nice guy that we heard stories about when we were younger. He is more than someone we talk about when we go to church. He is real! In other words, Jesus was actually born and possessed a physical body. He lived a real life and died a real death. He walked on real earth and breathed real air.
Simply put, His life took place in the context of real history. This truth is key in our understanding of Jesus. If Jesus were nothing more than a fictional character from a book or movie then it wouldn’t matter what He said. It wouldn’t matter what we think about Him, and it wouldn’t matter if we believed the things He taught.
But, Jesus is real and therefore what we do with Him is very important.
JESUS IS GOD
What we do with Jesus is important; not simply because He is real but also because He is God. Jesus is unlike any other man that has ever lived. He is God!
This doesn’t mean that He was any less human than we are. In fact, at times Jesus was tired, thirsty, and hungry like every other person that has ever lived. Yet, something sets Him apart from all others, and it is that Jesus is God. “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body” (Colossians 2:9, NLT). In other words, Jesus is fully God and fully man.
Needless to say, this sets Him apart as the greatest man who has ever lived, and it is for this reason that Jesus was able to live the perfect life that we are unable to live.
JESUS IS THE WAY
Not only is Jesus real, not only is He God, but Jesus is The Way. He is the only way to heaven. He is the only way to find peace with God. He is the only way to be forgiven. He is the only way to have a real hope and lasting joy. Jesus is the only way.
Each of us, whether we are willing to believe it or not, have a sin problem. This means that every person who has ever lived has fallen short of God’s standard: perfection. “You see, all have sinned, and all their futile attempts to reach God in His glory fail” (Romans 3:23, Voice).
Now, if sin only made us bad people, this wouldn’t be a problem. But, sin doesn’t make us bad. It is evidence that we are dead! The result of our sin is death; separation from God forever, “The payment for sin is death” (Romans 6:23, ICB). We deserve to be separated from God forever. But, God loved us so much that He provided a way for us to have a personal relationship with Him rather than facing the punishment we deserve.
That Way is through Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, ESV). We live in a world that claims there are many ways to God, that your way is good for you and my way is good for me. But, the Bible is clear. Jesus is not an option among many. He is the ONLY way and what you do with that truth will determine your future and final destiny.
JESUS IS EVERYTHING
For those of us at First Baptist Church, we believe that Jesus should be the center of everything we do. Jesus is the one who provides salvation, offers hope, brings joy, and gives us a reason to live. He is our example and “all things were created by Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16, ESV).
The focus of our lives should begin and end with Jesus. Everything we do, from the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed should be centered around the real and living person of Jesus Christ. This is why we were created. It is the reason we are alive.
“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever” (Westminster Catechism). “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36, ESV)!
by Nick Harsh