Jesus’ life was being offered to save, not to condemn.
God showed His true character and nature in John 3:16 when Jesus explained His role.
Jesus said that His life was being offered to save, not to condemn. But we still have free will that God established at the beginning. God’s words offer us the same choice of choosing life or death that He presented to man in the Old Testament. We can choose Jesus and have everlasting life or we can reject Jesus and suffer the penalty of condemnation for our sins.
John 3:16-18 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Acceptance of God’s gift through Jesus requires an expression of faith through words spoken by the individual. Words are extremely important and powerful. Jesus points out just how important our words are in Matthew 12:36-37 when He says that we are either justified or condemned by our words. They are the difference between life and death.
Matthew 12:35-37 (NKJV)
35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
Faith-filled words, based on God’s Word, bring life, righteousness, and salvation as described in Romans 10:8-11.
Romans 10:8-10 (NKJV)
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
In this case, the word, confession, does not mean exposing and asking forgiveness for your sins. It means to proclaim your heartfelt faith with your mouth. Your spoken faith is your agreement with and your belief in the fact that God sent Jesus and raised Him from the dead. Speaking out that faith with our words justifies us, and speaking by that faith brings us salvation.
The Good News
Jesus commemorated His sacrifice in advance with His disciples at the “last supper.” Knowing what was about to take place, He plainly stated the purpose of His impending sacrifice. He gave them a physical example of His body and His blood by comparing it to the bread they ate and the wine they drank at the meal. He told them that eating His body and drinking of His blood would cover all of their sins (Matthew 26:27-28).
Matthew 26:26-28 (NKJV)
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Jesus was telling them to spiritually consume His entire being making Him one with them. This observance is known as communion. It was to be repeated so that they and future generations would remember and understand the sacrifice that He made for every individual on the earth.
The apostle Paul, a devout and learned Jew, was a persecutor of the new Christian believers following the resurrection of Jesus. He actively sought them out to kill and destroy them. But God had other plans for Paul. God wanted Paul to be His voice to the Gentiles. Jesus appeared to him and gave him a challenge in Acts 26:14-18, much like God did with Abram in the Old Testament.
Paul’s challenge was to accept Jesus as God’s salvation, abandon his persecution of the Christians and proclaim the goodness of God through Jesus to the entire world. His mission was to open their eyes and take them from darkness into the light of truth. By doing so, they would be removed from the power of Satan and turn to God.
He was to accomplish this by preaching the forgiveness of sins through Jesus. This preaching of God’s Word is the proclamation of the Gospel which means, Good News. This Good News is what Jesus did for us and the inheritance that God has provided through faith.
Join me in the pages of Ideolatry to discover more about God’s goodness and grace.
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