Do you know Jesus?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the Word became 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.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
1 John 4:9
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Do you know Jesus? This is the most important question every human being needs to answer. The answer to this question determines the eternal destiny of each person, whether they believe this to be true or not.
We are, once again, in the season when millions around the world – Christians as well as non-Christians – celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. But do they all know Him? Do you know Him? To know Jesus is to know who He is, why He came to earth, and to be rightly and personally related to Him. The Bible tells us who Jesus is; in fact, from Genesis to Revelation it is all about Jesus. Jesus Himself tells us who He is. Consider the wonderful "I am" statements of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. The Bible vitally also tells us how we must relate to Him.
Who is Jesus?
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
The Bible says that God is spirit – John 4:24. He is invisible and He is immaterial. No one has seen God but Jesus, the Son of God, has revealed God the Father. Jesus, the Son, is of one essence with the Father. Hence Jesus said to his disciple Philip, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).
Jesus is more than a baby in a manger. He is the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth – by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth (Colossians 1:16). In John 1:3 we read, regarding Jesus, "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." John 1:1 tells us that Jesus (the Word, meaning the very Expression of God) was with God in the beginning and was God. In John 1:14, the Bible says that the Word was made flesh. The pre-existing Son of God left the glories of heaven and came to be born and to live in a human body. This is the miracle of the incarnation. In 1 John 4:3, the Bible declares that any spirit that rejects the truth of the incarnation of God the Son is an antichrist spirit.
Why did Jesus come?
Jesus said that He came to do the Father's will (John 6:38). In Hebrews 10:7 we read of one the messianic prophesies of Christ: Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me—to do Your will, O God. The eternal Son of God came as the Father's Solution to the greatest problem that has ever faced mankind and continues to plague mankind. It is not climate change; it is not social injustice; and it is not the coronavirus with all its variants. It is an altogether different kind of virus and far more deadly: it is the virus of sin. It is a virus that is common to all mankind. None has escaped its infection. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a). No one can save themselves from the sin virus. The only one who can save us is the Great Physician Who gives eternal life, the Lord Jesus Christ – the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23b). However much we try to live a good life and engage in good works, the Bible says that all our righteousness is as "filthy rags" before a very holy God. All our seemingly righteous acts are tainted with sin. We, therefore, need a Saviour. God's only appointed Saviour is Jesus.
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
The Bible teaches that Christ came to rescue sinful man from the power of sin and from the eternal consequences of sin.
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
1 Timothy 1:15
Jesus Christ went to the cross at Calvary because we could not save ourselves. We are utterly powerless to do so. At Calvary, on Christ the sinless One was laid "the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). 1 Peter 2:24 states of Jesus: Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by Whose stripes you were healed. Christ Himself is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2). He alone could satisfy the justice of God by His sacrifice on the cross.
Our blessed Lord Jesus came, in the grace and mercy of God, to destroy the works of the devil. He took on flesh that He might be our Representative, and a merciful and faithful High Priest on our behalf (Hebrews 2:17-18). In a world marred and darkened with sin, Jesus came to be the Light. In John 8:12 Jesus said of Himself, "I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." To walk in darkness means to remain in sin, ignorance and separation from God. In John 12:46, Jesus said, "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness."
In a world filled with lies and deception, Jesus came to bear witness to the truth. He said in John 18:37: "For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Our blessed Saviour came on a vital rescue mission to seek and to save the lost, and to give eternal life to sinners otherwise dead in trespasses (Luke 19:10, John 6:51).
Jesus came to call sinners to repentance (Mark 1:15). He came to die; to give His life as a ransom for sinners. His death was no accident. The Bible tells us that He was "slain from the foundation of the world" – Revelation 13:8. This means that, from the beginning, it was the very gracious plan of our omniscient God to save fallen man through the sacrifice of Christ.
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honour. “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.
Not only did Jesus willingly lay down His life, He rose again on the third day as He foretold: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19).
Consider the very many names and titles of Jesus recorded for us in the Bible, what they reveal about His Person and His mission. He is the Bread of life; He is the Fountain of living waters; He is the Light of the world; He is the Dayspring on high; He is the Sun of righteousness. He is the image of God; He is the Word; He is the Son of God; He is the Son of man. He is the Holy One. He is eternal life; He is the Captain of our salvation; He is the Man of sorrows. He is the Balm of Gilead; He is the Great Physician; He is The Intercessor; He is the Great High Priest. He is the Wisdom of God; He is the Power of God. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is the Alpha and Omega; He is the King of glory. He is the Desire of the Nations; He is the King of kings, He is the Lord of lords. He is the Redeemer. He is the Great Shepherd. He is the Head of the Church. He is the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. He is the Unspeakable Gift. He is Altogether Lovely!
Do you know Jesus? Christ alone can satisfy the deepest need of anyone alive and our greatest need is to be reconciled to God. For all are sinners before God – sinners by nature and sinners by practice. There is no eternal life for unrepentant sinners. There is no other way to be reconciled to God the Father. Jesus said of Himself, "I am the Door" (John 10:9). Christ is the only "Door" to salvation. All others are false and lead to an eternal hell. The wonderful truth is that it is God's loving will for you to be saved. In 2 Peter 3:9 we read that God "is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
You can be saved and you must seek salvation. The Bible teaches that we are saved by repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Christ Jesus – Acts 20:21. To repent begins with recognising that you are a sinner, deserving the justice of God. But God, in His great mercy, has made provision for your forgiveness in the shed blood of His only begotten Son.
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.
If you sincerely repent, that is, change your mind about sin and turn from it and trust in the atoning work of Christ on the cross, you will be saved. God promises to forgive you, and grant you His holy Spirit to guide you into all truth and enable you to live as God intends, in righteousness and holiness before Him.
If you profess to know Him then the question is: does Jesus know you? The Bible teaches that not all who call themselves Christians are truly so. It is therefore wise and we are exhorted to examine ourselves to see whether we are in true faith – 2 Corinthians 13:5. Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). Are you doing the will of God? Do you know the will of God as recorded in Scripture? Jesus said, "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him." (1 John 2:3-5)
Beloved, I plead with you: heed the warning words of scripture:
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is short-sighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:5-11).
The things referred to in the first sentence of this passage speak of diligently pursuing and abounding in holiness of life through the enablement of the Holy Spirit. As our Lord Jesus set His face like flint to go to Calvary and to endure the sufferings of the Cross that we might live, shall we not also, by His grace, be resolute in our hatred of all that God hates, namely all sin? Shall we not seek to prove our total love and devotion to our infinitely worthy Saviour by whole-hearted and joyful obedience to His word?
Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.