Why Did He Come?

 

To Start a Religion? To Judge Sinners?

Let’s start with why He didn’t come. Contrary to what many believe, Jesus did not come to start a religion. In fact, the last thing that the world needed was another religion! Neither did He come to judge sinners. The only people that He spoke harshly to were those who were stuck in religion. Sinners felt welcome with Him and He showed them God’s love and called them to repentance.
 

To Be Our Substitute

One reason that He came was to live as our example. He came to model how we are to live in the Holy Spirit’s power. But His primary purpose for coming was to be our substitute. Mankind deserved the punishment of God because the entire race was under sin’s power. Jesus came and lived a perfect life so that He could become our perfect substitute. He took our sins upon Himself and offered Himself as our sacrifice. Christ did for us what we were incapable of doing for ourselves.
 

To Enable a Relationship

In the truest sense, Christianity is not a religion. Religion is about man trying to climb a ladder to God. True Christianity clearly reveals that climbing our way to God can’t be done. Rather, God climbed down to us in the Person of Jesus Christ. So, Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with God that was made possible by what He has done, not by what we can do.

What Does it Matter to Me?

 

It Matters a lot!

Scripture speaks of a second coming of Christ when He will come to judge sin (Revelation 19:11-16). On that day there will be two kinds of people: (1) Those who have accepted His sacrifice, meaning that He has already carried their judgment for them; (2) Those who have not accepted His sacrifice, meaning that they are willing to bear the judgment for their own sins.
 
The penalty for sin is God’s judgment. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We can have the free gift that Christ offers and escape the death that we deserve because of our sin.

How Can I Know Him?

 

Step 1 – Change Direction

First of all, REPENT. That means turn your back on a lifestyle of doing it on your own. Repentance means to change directions. It is not about telling God how sorry you are for each act of immorality and each lie that you told. You are in need of repenting for being the lord of your own life and denying Him that place of Lordship. At issue here is not so much the fact that you have sinned, but the fact that you are a SINNER by nature. One teacher put it this way, “It’s not about being sorry that you spilled the milk – it’s about being sorry that you are a milk spiller.” See Matthew 4:17 and Acts 3:19.
 

Step 2 – Trust in HIM

Secondly, BELIEVE. Believing is putting a whole-hearted trust in what Christ has done for me, rather than what I can do for myself. That is the foundation of the Gospel – the “good news” Jesus and His disciples proclaimed. In other words, Jesus Christ came in human flesh, died on a cross, was raised from the dead, and is now Lord. See Romans 10:9-10.
 

Step 3 – Live for HIM

Thirdly, INVITE HIM IN. Ask Him to come and live in you and through you. Give Him His rightful place in your heart. Make Him Lord (the boss) of your life and commit to live your life for Him.
 
WARNING!!!! Don’t try to live the Christian life in your own strength. If we could live it by ourselves, we wouldn’t need Jesus. Beware of turning the Christian life into a list of rules that, if followed, will make you right with God. When you receive Christ you are right with God. You don’t become holy by doing good works. You do good works because He has already made you holy.
 
The good news is that you can’t live the Christian life. Only Jesus ever lived it. The true Christian is the one who trusts in Christ to live the life through him. Otherwise, we have simply become religious and will end up like the religious leaders that Jesus rebuked when He walked the earth.
 
Our salvation begins with trusting Christ to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. That’s how we start and that’s how we finish. Keep that in mind when it comes to living out the Christian life.

A Prayer to Begin a Relationship with God

Before praying this prayer, please understand that it is not a formula that has to be prayed in an exact way to work. What is most important is what is going on in your heart.
 
Dear God. I realize that I am a sinner and that I deserve to be judged. I am asking you to forgive me for being the lord of my own life. I turn my back on my selfish lifestyle and I receive the forgiveness that you provided for me through your death and resurrection. I make you the Lord of my life from this day on. Please come into my heart and live your life through me. From this day on, I belong to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.