Did you know that Jesus, God in the flesh, chose to die in your place—so that you may have life eternal?
That surely is a hard concept to wrap one’s brain around, the fact that someone else would die for us. However it is the truth—Jesus sacrificed Himself because He loves us. It is also truth that humans, with an average life span approximated at 72 years world wide, die. But when we die, what happens? Are the lights now “permanently out”? Is it really “game over”?
Through Jesus’ teachings, Christians know our hope remains in Him for a life after death. Jesus knew His appointment to earth was as the final sacrifice for all sin. He fulfilled that appointment as only the King of kings, the most victorious of all, could. And He did it all for you!
Matthew 5-7 is known as The Sermon On The Mount. Jesus’ own words comprise all three chapters, save for the first two verses in chapter five and the last two verses in chapter seven.
Matthew 5:1-2 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:
In His sermon, Jesus does not hold back regarding His position on the law—He proclaims God desires heartfelt faithful obedience from His kingdom followers over rote followers of the many manmade religious laws. On this hillside near Capernaum where enormous crowds gathered, those in attendance included some believers and some curiosity seekers coming to find out what this popular man, Jesus, represented.
Was this “man” really the Messiah, The Chosen One, the Savior that Israel had been waiting for since the prophets of old? History reveals this sermon would eternally change many hearts for God.
Christians know as fact that God declares us favored in His eyes. We also know we are here by His grace, to worship and proclaim His mighty name. And though some may try to tempt, persuade, lure or belittle the faith of a Christian, no one can ever take Christ’s light away from us.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Knowing attacks would rage against the Christian body to cause harm, God in His wisdom gave us rules of conduct which Christians are to follow, so that Christians will not imitate the ways of evil.
So, how are we to live our Christian faith and declare His praises even while under verbal attack by those of other faiths, doubters, and especially those with pure hatred of Christ followers in their heart?
I would love you to read five important Bible verses where God offers us instruction to this question:
Easter is the holiest of celebrated Christian holidays, though Christmas draws much attention from non-believers and even some who conform to different faiths (specifically in interfaith marriages). However, it is the resurrection of Jesus—The One who was crucified then came back to life three days later—that is central to the Christian faith.
Through Jesus’ resurrection mankind receives salvation—our deliverance from sin. And, through studying the Bible, we understand God’s word as a true love letter. It’s a love letter because from the beginning God promises that though we sin and fall short of His glory, He provides a redeemer.
The Bible reveals the coming of our redeemer, Jesus, in the Old Testament, to prepare us to open our hearts and believe the truth once our savior actually walks amongst us in the New Testament.
I pray you believe in the life, death, and the resurrected life of Jesus the Christ. You can learn more about Jesus by reading the following obituary:
I believe Jesus is The Christ—The Anointed One, The One God sent to save us from our sin. Why do I believe this? Because Jesus willingly gave His life in my place through horrific suffering on The Cross, so that I may be sanctified with The Father. Jesus was our sacrifice for eternal life in heaven.
Romans 5:6-8 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus’ coming was prophesied in the OT and He came in God’s perfect timing. Jesus’ mission on earth was to demonstrate acts of great love, and He left instructions (the Bible) that we are to emulate His great love by offering it to others.
If you are wondering how you too can believe, let me share just seven of the many biblical verses with respect to trusting God.
Do you desire to receive all the blessings God planned for your life? I sure do. The trouble is many Christians either have not been taught, or, do not realize—It’s ok to ask God for blessings!
This concept of asking is often considered selfish by some believers. They say we should be praying for God to bless those less fortunate than ourselves, not ask for “more”.
Wrong! A man named Jabez, who is mentioned in only two verses in the Bible, thought differently. Jabez dared to ask God for more, “And God granted him that which he requested.”
The February 26 vote is in for the Methodist church. This particular vote was on whether or not to ordain gays and lesbians in relationships, allow clergy to officiate at same-sex marriages and hold such ceremonies in a church— all practices which have been noted as not following biblical views. A New York Times article describes the vote as:
After three days of intense debate at a conference in St. Louis, the vote by church officials and lay members from around the world doubled down on current church policy, which states that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” The vote served as a rejection of a push by progressive members and leaders to open the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
I agree that there was much debate, as it was stated in other articles. And yes, the Bible is direct that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” However, I do not see the Methodist vote as closing the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. From the beginning regarding marriage, the Bible has always stated truth:
Last week my post—When did “a cross” become “The Cross”?, revealed the true message of The Cross. “Through Jesus’ resurrection—He once was dead then came to life three days later—a cross turned into The Cross!”
“Literally, a cross is itself not power. But, The Cross, the means by which Jesus sacrificed Himself to death and now symbolizes eternal life for Christians-that, dear believers, holds power. It is truth we Christians need to remember daily.”
It was on The Cross that Jesus shared His final words. Often, people are intrigued to know the dying words of someone about to take their last breath. In fact books have been written on this very topic. Famous last words of five well known men include:
*I’m excited that I’ve recently partnered with Holyart and they are sponsoring today’s post. Thank you, Holyart!*
To understand the significance of The Cross, one must first imagine the horrific scene on Calvary hill. It was immediately outside Jerusalem’s walls where Jesus hung, His earthly body nailed to a cross.
In those days, a cross was a means by which convicted criminals were put to death. Crucifixion was perfected by the Roman empire as a manner of execution; the convicted were humiliatingly stripped bare then nailed to a cross hung outside the city walls for all to gawk at as one died.
Jesus, the most innocent man in all the world, was found guilty of crime and sentenced to death on a cross.