Why We Need Jesus
Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 KJV)
If we were to play a game of chess, we each take a turn. You make a move and then I make a move. I can’t make three moves in a row because that is against the law. I make a move and then you make a move, it is reciprocal.
We can see throughout the Bible that it is also reciprocal with God. First there was creation. God created us, then we sinned against God, and then God did something very very gracious in order to redeem us, but it’s now up to us to make the next move.
God’s First Move: Creation (God Created Us)
God created man and woman, Adam and Eve. They walked with God and were open to God. God placed them in the Garden of Eden. The world they lived in was perfect. There was no sin, no lies, no pain, no murder, no shame, nothing bad.
God commanded man to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17 KJV)
Why would God command not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil?
God wanted what was best for us because He loves us. Like a good father who tells his child right from wrong to protect them.
God loves us. Love is not something forced. If someone was forced to “love” you, you would say that is not love at all. God’s love for us gives us a free will to do as we want. Everyone has the right to choose to do as they please. That’s why we are not robotic, God didn’t make us robots. God loves us by his own will and He wanted us to love Him out of our own free will in return for Him.
Just like someone who loves their spouse. You would want your spouse to love you in return by force, but by their own free will in return for the love you have for them.
We should want to love God because His love for us is so great. But many do not know God to know the love He has for us.
God loves us. He created us.
Then Adam’s Move: Sin (We sinned against God)
Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan by eating from the tree that God forbid them to eat. Then God banished them from the Garden of Eden.
So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. (Genesis 3:23 NLT)
Now they were cast out of paradise and no longer open to God, but closed towards God. Then Adam and Eve began to have children, and those children sinned. And their children had children who sinned and the earth became full of sin and every one was born under the power of sin.
This is where we are right now, in a world that is completely different than what God created.
The problem is that we have ignored God and gone our own way, living in sin. The problem is sin.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23 KJV)
I realized I was in the same trouble Adam was in.
When we compare ourselves with each other, things may seem ok. You may think to yourself and say “I’m not as bad as someone who has committed murder, so I think I’m a good person.”
As I looked back over my own life, I realized I had placed my own standards on my life for what a good person looked like, and not looking up to God’s standards for what righteousness actually is. I was deeming the lies I had told as insignificant, because I said them without having any intentions on hurting anyone. I had spent most of my latter teenage years drunk because it felt good. I did all of these things for my own pleasure to please myself. I was ignorant of God’s righteousness, living in my own self-righteousness.
We have a tendency to classify and justify sin. Some lies, we think as big lies, while we deem other lies as insignificant or as white lies and that is not good.
If you lie to an adult you may get into an argument. If you lie to your boss, you may get fired. If you lie to your spouse, you could get divorced. If you lie to a judge you could go to jail.
But what if we compared ourselves to God?
Have you ever lied? The bible tells us that no liar will enter the Kingdom of God.
Lying lips are abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 12:22 KJV)
Have you ever looked at someone with lust?
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Mathew 5:28 ESV)
Have you ever used the Lord’s name in vain?
You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. (Exodus 20:7 NLT)
The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV)
God’s Second Move: In Order to Redeem Us (The Good News!)
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 KJV)
God sent Jesus. Jesus was without sin, he was righteous. When Jesus was about 30 years old He was baptized in water to fulfill all righteousness. When Jesus came out of the water he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Mathew 3:15-17 ESV)
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Luke 3:21-22 KJV)
Then Jesus went into the wilderness and fasted for forty days. Satan came to tempt Him during this time but Jesus resisted Satan and lived without sin. Then Jesus went out into the world healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out demons. Jesus preached that we must be born again.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3 KJV)
Then Jesus was betrayed and crucified on the cross.
Just before Jesus died on the cross he called out, “It is finished” (John 19:30 KJV)
Jesus didn’t commit any sin or He would be guilty. On the third day, after Jesus died, God raised Jesus from the dead.
God sent Jesus to show us the way, so that we may live once again open to God and live righteously without sin.
To live open to God and live righteously we need to be obedient to God’s word.
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16 ESV)
When you’re a child you have to obey your parents. If your parents tell you to do something and you do not do it, you’re not being obedient. If you don’t obey your parents you will get punished. They might ground you to your room or make you do things you don’t want to do, like maybe pick up the trash on the side of the road.
When you become an adult if you don’t obey the law, you will get a ticket and have to stand before a judge and then pay your fine for your wrongdoing.
Ignorance is No Excuse.
If you go to another country and you start driving on the wrong side of the road you’ll get pulled over. You could say, but in my country this is the correct side of the road we drive on. The officer would tell you that you’re driving on the wrong side of the road and therefore you broke the law and the officer would give you a ticket. You would have to pay your fine for breaking the law.
If you did something wrong and had to stand before a judge and that judge said you were guilty, it wouldn’t matter of all the good things you have done, you will have to pay the fine for your wrongdoing.
If you’re in court and someone pays your fine for you, the judge can let you go, even though you are guilty.
It is the same with God.
There will come a day when we will have to stand before God. He sees all the good and bad we have done our whole life. If there was a video of ourselves of all the bad things we have ever done, even the ones behind closed doors that no one else knows about, and that video was shared with the entire world, we would be guilty. We would feel ashamed of ourselves.
For God is righteous. God can put everyone in hell and still be a good, loving, righteous God because He is not the problem, we are. We have sinned against God.
The Good News: The Gospel (God’s Grace)
God can forgive your sins and let you go because Jesus paid your fine when he died on the cross, He took the keys to Hades and of death, and rose on the third day. God can justly let us go on judgement day and allow us to live and dismiss our death sentence because of what Jesus did.
Just before Jesus died on the cross he called out, “It is finished” (John 19:30 KJV). In other words the debt has been paid. So just as a criminal can be let go by a judge, after the fine is paid, and the judge can be just, God can forgive your sins and take the death sentence off you, so you don’t have to end up in hell. Because the judge himself, who is Jesus, served your sentence and therefore he can legally release you.
For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him. (2 Chronicles 30:9 ESV)
We have sinned, so God sent Jesus.
Now it’s our turn to move.
So what do we need to do?
We need to repent of our sins.
We need to be baptized in water.
And receive the Holy Spirit.
Lets pause here for a minute and think about what God did.
Can you imagine this for a minute?
Imagine sending your one and only son off to another place as a sacrifice. Knowing that where you are sending him, he would be become beaten, betrayed, and killed by a slow death by being hung on a cross, in order to redeem the lost.
God is bigger than we can ever fathom. His love is pure and gracious.