Why is it so very important for us to accept Jesus as the loving, forgiving, eternal life giving son of God He tells us through His word He is? Why is it important to know Jesus, and to take Him at His word, rather than to listen and accept Him as only the wise, gentle, good man that many lost wanderer’s would have us to believe ? “I believe that Jesus was one of the best men to ever walk on the earth.” I’ve heard many say. “But the son of God?” “No way.” They proclaim. “He was just a great man who walked a straight line, loved everyone and told the truth.”
Wait! If we believe Jesus was the greatest most honorable man to walk the face of the earth in His own physical life time, and was about truth, then how can we overlook the fact that if this is all He was .. then He was a liar?
I’ve heard many similar opinions expressed about Jesus being the greatest man to ever walk the earth, implicating that the Bible and His name have been eternal-ized down through the years only for that reason. I am overwhelmingly inclined to agree that Jesus was the greatest man to ever walk the face of this earth. But, to envision Him only as some preeminent glorified Jesus freak, or motivational speaker, of His time, is totally absurd. How could He even be thought of, or referred to as a man of truth, if He himself was nothing more than a liar?
If we do not take all of His word as truth from God Himself, then how can we call Him a good man? When He Himself said: “I am the way the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by me.” How do we say He was not telling the truth and yet still say He was a man of truth?
Jesus said many times, in many ways, in no uncertain terms, that He is the Son of God. If we do not accept this as truth, then we can not say He was the greatest man to ever live, nor a prophet, nor a pacifist, or a gentle man of truth at all. Indeed, if we did we would only be basing our opinion of who He is, or was, on part of the information freely given to us throughout His Word. In fact, what reason would anyone in the twenty-first century have to believe in anything this man said two-thousand years ago, if we do not believe that all the things recorded by eye witnesses, and those who actually heard Him speak were truthful testimonies?
I pose this thought for all who have listened to the many confusing voices, and opinions, and can’t get past the what ifs? and if so’s? enough to realize the all so liberating truth that either Jesus is who He tells us in His word He is, or He’s just .. a man. And, not a very good man at that. At least no better than any of us. Anyone who has any doubt in their mind as to who Jesus was, and who He is in our lives, should find much awakening, and liberation of the soul in the reality that Jesus has been written about, and esteemed through thousands of years of time as the greatest person ever to have lived.
It’s no surprise that even those who do not accept all of Jesus’ words as being truth look at His ministry on earth as being one of superb spirituality, and life changing greatness. Sadly, those who do not base what they know of Him on a sincere personal relationship beginning with a faith filled study of His word overlook the fact that, all we have in writing, that He did was recorded by eye witnesses. All of whom, (being Jewish) did so at great risk to their own personal lives and well being. Certainly there is something greater at work in the words of the Gospel, or else none of it would be remembered, let alone preserved historically, or, religiously for two-thousand years.
What other person in the history of the world was written about more? Who else in the history of the world is esteemed as any greater man? What other religion has spanned the vastness of time in such a way that the entire world is either drawn together in its promises of love and salvation, or offended to the point of murder, war and hatred at the mention of His Name?
Incidentally, who does the Bible tell us that Jesus is?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Of course that verse alone doesn’t tell us that Jesus is the living Word, or God. Which is why all of His Word is so very important for us to read, while listening for His Spirit’s expiatory voice.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. Revelation 19:13
We only have to search His word with an open heart, and mind, to see the many places He tells us He is God. But, that is for another time and place, as the focus of this study is to help Roll Away The Stone of doubt, false guilt, and shame from hearts, and minds, hindered from knowing the Prince of Peace.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. John 1:17
Sadly, though the truth of who Jesus is is spelled out for us throughout scripture, and that by Him alone can we be reconciled to the Father, many still can not see, or accept the redemption of His Finished Works on the Cross for them because of the simplicity of the truth therein. In reality, many can’t see the “Forrest” of salvation, for the openness of the “Tree”. The simplicity of Christ and Him Crucified. What an amazing gift of Grace. He came as human as you and I. And with His own life, fulfilled every demand of payment the Law held as a curse over each heart and soul.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Galatians 3:10
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Galatians 3:13
My excerpts, of course, are by no means exhaustive, and should be searched and studied further in the Bible by the readers themselves. Trust me. “Like Prego…It’s in there”.
We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you. 2 Corinthians 1:12 NLT
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3 NKJV
AS FOR myself, brethren, when I came to you, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony and evidence or mystery and secret of God [concerning what He has done through Christ for the salvation of men] in lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom; 1 Corinthians 2:1
For I resolved to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2: 2 ABV
There has never been anything more simple and freely given to mankind than the redemptive plan of God through the “final atoning passover lamb.” One simple offer of eternal life and love through His Son Jesus Christ.
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 16:25
Man can not save himself, through any amount of self righteousness, religion, rituals or self sanctifying methods.
It would be a sad eternal mistake to be blinded by the very truth that can save one from eternal death simply because one refuses to accept the simplicity God has put before us as a free gift of his grace unto eternal life. Wouldn’t it?
For the wages of sin is death; “BUT” the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
There is nothing we can do to be saved beyond believing in Jesus, as being the Son of God, and His Finished Works on the Cross for us as individuals.
I urge each of you. If you have not already accepted this simple offer from God as truth, to stop worrying about the all too many voices, and views, of what is required of us unto salvation, and just choose to let Him save you. Mans righteousness to God is like dirty laundry. Our righteousness can help another human being here on earth, and well should, but it can not save our souls.
Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; And thy righteousness may profit a son of man. Job 35:8ASV
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. Isaiah 64:6 ESV
There is no way a person can save them self. But, through Christ, we can choose eternal life.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and “His” righteousness, and all these other things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
With a little deeper study we easily find the “Righteousness” of God spoken of here to be none other than Jesus, and the Kingdom of God which He ushered to earth at the cross.
Jesus said ..”Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”.
You may ask. Where can I find this truth?
Jesus also said: “I am the way the truth and the Life” and no man cometh to the Father except by me”
Although many chapters, and verses reveal Jesus as God’s righteousness, Isaiah prophesied it 700 years before the birth of Jesus, so what better place to look?
As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11
And as far as the Kingdom of God, and where we might find it, Jesus said in many places while He was here walking the earth that the Kingdom was at hand.
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Matthew 12:28
He also in very plain words told us where to find the Kingdom of God…At least, if we “Rest” in His Finished Works at the Cross.
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Faith) Luke 17:21
The one thing that all of us who either are believers , or are seeking to cut through the “What ifs” and “if So’s’ to find truth should remember is this:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Our faith in his finished works at the cross is the only thing that overcomes the worlds hold over us.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. 1 John 5:4 HCSB
© paul willis – 2013
Roll Away The Stone Chapter 1