What Jesus Offers
Jesus claims to be the path to God.1 He offers passage to the divine.2 If you listen and do what Jesus says, then the result will be a relationship with God and the gift of true life.3 This is not a scam; Jesus has the authority to offer us salvation.4 As a merciful creator and king, he extends his own support in our lives to help us along the way.5 Our whole being is fulfilled in serving God.6 This is not about a life of luxury.7 Jesus offers a difficult road.8
When you serve God you must first battle the tempter.9 The most difficult fight we face is the struggle to deny ourselves.10 Jesus offers help, but it is help to give ourselves up, not help toward self-happiness. Jesus offers the cross. He said that if we want life, then we must die like He did – give up everything in service. If it comes to physical death, then it must be so. However, for most, daily crucifixion includes giving up what we want and what makes us feel good. This isn’t about withholding all forms of pleasure.11 Its about re-defining what our purpose is. Its about ridding ourselves of selfishness and evil.12
Jesus offers joy.13 Those who make it their goal to be happy in this life only are never truly happy with what they have. With Jesus, we can learn joy in every life circumstance.14 True joy is found in helping and serving. He provides all the things we need to serve. In addition, Jesus provides comfort of mind.15 It may very well be that God will also provide comfort in life. Yet wealth in this life will not last into eternity.16 Eternal life, with all it’s joys and perfect peace, is independent of physical welfare in this life.17 Jesus doesn’t offer money; he offers the free gift of God through the Holy Spirit.18
What do I do?
Salvation cannot be earned by anything we do.19 God alone can save. Yet he does require that we take hold of His extended hand. There are several key concepts that are interwoven through scripture. First, Jesus says that we must believe.20 Without faith, it is impossible to please God.21 We must believe that He is, and that He rewards those who look for Him.
If we truly believe that God is, and that Jesus came to earth for us, then we will be compelled to love.22 Jesus says we must love God with all our hearts.23 If we fail to love God, then we display a lack of trust in His existence or saving actions. Everything we do must be compelled by love. This means that what we want is less important that what He wants. Our whole life is focused on making Him happy rather that ourselves.
If we truly love God, then we will devote ourselves to finding out what He wants. In other words, we will do what He says. Jesus says that if you love God, you will obey Him.24 We must not ignore His guidance.25 He is Holy and He alone can tell us how to be holy too. When we ignore His commands then we separate ourselves from His holiness and grace.
If we are devoted to God’s commands, then we must repent. Jesus says that we must repent from our service to the adversary and instead behave like God’s children.26 This repentance must cast out all obstacles keeping us from being like God.27 If we see any behavior in our lives that is’t like God’s character, we must get rid of it. Since we are incapable of full self control, He has let us be united with Jesus’ death. Repentance is described as a death. The old self dies, so that the new may live.28 This death takes place in uniting ourselves into Christ’s own death. The only way for Jesus’ sacrifice to apply to us is if our sins are placed on His death. This is achieved through baptism.29 Baptism isn’t about becoming part of a church – its about dying with Jesus. Everything involved with self-sacrifice is symbolized in immersion. We put the old self away upon immersion.30 We wash our sins in immersion.31 We appeal to God for a fresh start though immersion.32 Baptism is not man’s work, it is Gods, for God unites us with His death.33 When we go into the water, our old self dies and is buried in the water.34 When we come up from the water our new selves are resurrected – born again to God’s family.35 This is the most fundamental part of our Christian transform.36 Once we are baptized, the old self is gone, and the new repentant child of God begins to live. Every day we appeal to the mercy provided to us through Jesus’ death. Without baptism, we have not died to self, been buried, or raised again.
Jesus says that the fulfillment of God’s commands is to love our neighbor as ourselves.37 Essentially, everything God has commanded is designed to help us serve each other. He sent Jesus to be a servant and to give Himself up for us.38 So, in order to be like Him, we must do the same for each other.39 God rates our love for Him by how we treat each other.40 We must put aside all selfishness, hate, envy, and disrespect, and behave like Jesus who died for all.
How will I Know
Jesus promises to live in His disciples,41 to send His spirit to live in us,42 and provide the avenue for God the Father to live in us too.43 How can we tell if this is the case? Some say that you must behave miraculously in order to prove the Spirit is in you. Even though God’s Spirit can and has displayed signs and wonders, this is not mandatory. Since God is Spirit rather than physical,44 His living in us isn’t something seen on our skin. Rather, Christ’s Spirit is seen in our behavior of self-sacrifice and love.45 This is part of faith. God’s Spirit is not merely a gut feeling or casting aside of self-control. To the contrary, we believe God is present by faith and witnessing love and self control.
God’s spirit does intervene for us.46 The Spirit is a pledge for our salvation.47 He guides us into truth.48 He intercedes for our souls in prayer.49 Yet never do we lose control of ourselves.50 Never does the Spirit force us to perform miracles. Never does the Spirit tell us to do something differently than previously stated.51 The presence of God’s Spirit and our knowledge of truth is based on faith. We believe His spirit lives in us because of the resurrection.
Jesus said if you keep His words then you will know the truth, and the truth will free you.52 Ultimately we know we are saved by our adherence to His word.53 The more we study and read His words the stronger foundation of faith we will have to know we are living as God wants us to. His words contain everything we need to be the right people and do the right things.54 Some people want more assurance than what God has given thorough His word. Jesus faced those people too. If you want a sign, Jesus said to look at His resurrection.55 If the resurrection does not prove God’s power to save, desire to dave, or path to save, then nothing will.
- John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” WEB
- Ephesians 2:18 –For through him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. WEB
- John 5:24 – “Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” WEB
- John 5:21-22 – “For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires. For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son” WEB
- Hebrews 4:16 –Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need. WEB
- Ecclesiastes 12:13 – This is the end of the matter. All has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. WEB
- Luke 18:22 – When Jesus heard these things, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have, and distribute it to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Come, follow me.” WEB
- 1 Peter 4:1-2 – Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. WEB
- Ephesians 6:11-12 –Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. WEB
- Mark 8:34 – Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. WEB
- 1 Timothy 4:3-5 – …foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified through the word of God and prayer. WEB
- 1 Peter 2:1 – …Putting away therefore all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisies, envies, and all evil speaking… WEB
- John 15:11 – I have spoken these things to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be made full. WEB
- Philippians 4:11-12 – for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content in it. 12I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need. WEB
- Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. WEB
- 2 Peter 3:10 – But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. WEB
- James 2:9-11 – But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position; and the rich, in that he is made humble, because like the flower in the grass, he will pass away. For the sun arises with the scorching wind, and withers the grass, and the flower in it falls, and the beauty of its appearance perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in his pursuits. WEB
- Acts 3:6 – “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, that I give you In the name of Jesus Christ” WEB
- Ephesians 2:8 – for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, WEB
- John 7:38 – He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water. WEB
- Hebrews 11:6 – Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him. WEB
- 1 John 4:9-10 –By this God’s love was revealed in us, that God has sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. WEB
- Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'” WEB
- John 14:15 – If you love me, keep my commandments. WEB
- Hebrews 12:5-6 – “My son, don’t take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.” WEB
- Luke 13:5 – “unless you repent, you will all perish…” WEB
- Mark 9:43 – If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having your two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire, WEB
- Romans 6:6-7 – our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. 7For he who has died has been freed from sin. WEB
- Romans 6:3-4 – Or don’t you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. WEB
- Colossians 2:11-12 – …putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ having been buried with him in baptism, WEB
- Acts 22:16 – Now why do you wait? Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. WEB
- 1 Peter 3:21 – This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you—not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, WEB
- Colossians 2:12 – having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. WEB
- Romans 6:3-4 – Or don’t you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, WEB
- Romans 6:4-5 – just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; WEB
- Acts 2:37-38 – “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, WEB
- Matthew 22:39-40 – ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.
Romans 13:9-10 – whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love doesn’t harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law. WEB
- Matthew 20:28 – the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. WEB
- John 13:14 – If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. WEB
- 1 John 3:10-17 –In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn’t do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn’t love his brother… We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. He who doesn’t love his brother remains in death….By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart of compassion against him, how does the love of God remain in him? WEB
- John 15:4-5 – Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. WEB
- Ephesians 3:16-17 – he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; 17that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; WEB
- 1 John 2:23-24 – He who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24Therefore, as for you, let that remain in you which you heard from the beginning. If that which you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son, and in the Father. WEB
- John 4:24 – God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. WEB
- Galatians 5:22-25 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit. WEB
- Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. WEB
- Ephesians 1:13-14 – you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is a pledge of our inheritance, WEB
- 1 John 5:6 – Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth WEB
- Romans 8:26-27 – In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can’t be uttered. He who searches the hearts knows what is on the Spirit’s mind, because he makes intercession for the saints according to God. WEB
- 1 Corinthians 14:32-33 – The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, 33for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.
Ephesians 5:18 – Don’t be drunken with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, WEB
- Galatians 1:7-8 – there isn’t another “good news.” Only there are some who trouble you, and want to pervert the Good News of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any “good news” other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed. WEB
- John 8: 31-32 – “If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. 32You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” WEB
- 1 John 3:24 – He who keeps his commandments remains in him, and he in him. By this we know that he remains in us, by the Spirit which he gave us. WEB
- 2 Timothy 3:15-17 – you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. WEB
- Matthew 12:39-40 – no sign will be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. WEB