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                                             Jesus as your Rock and Redeemer... a lighthouse in the storm

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"Who Do You Say That I Am"

Printed here with permission from Grace To You;  ---by John MacArthur

"Who do you think that I am?" With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well. Consider what the Bible says about Him

JESUS IS GOD

While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn't decide or didn't care. But Jesus said, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.

Many people today don't understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They're content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That's why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).

C.S. Lewis observed, "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to" (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).

If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!

JESUS IS HOLY

God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).

As God, Jesus embodied every element of God's character. Colossians 2:9 says, "In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form." He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn't prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)

God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR

Our failure to obey God--to be holy--places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion "sin." According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: "There is no man who does not sin" (1 Kings 8:46). "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil."

That doesn't mean we're incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we're utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, "There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one" (Romans 3:10-12).

God's holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: "The soul who sins will die" (Ezekiel 18:4). That's hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That's why simply changing our patterns of behavior can't solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy

Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: "There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Even though God's justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: "Christ ... died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18). Christ's death satisfied the demands of God's justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." He alone is "our great God and Savior" (Titus 2:13).

JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH

Some people think it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless

If you take poison--thinking it's medicine--all the faith in the world won't restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you're trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.

Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6). He didn't claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God--then and forever.

JESUS IS LORD

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved." Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection--the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" (John 14:15); and "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine" (John 8:31).

It isn't enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don't love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn't mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.

JESUS IS THE JUDGE

All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: "God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:30-31).

Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power."

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.

Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you--free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

1991 by Grace to You. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Printed copies of this tract are available for purchase. Call 800 55-GRACE for information.

The Following is from Grace to You, the Ministry of John MacArthur http://www.gty.org

I believe that you will find good answers to the questions you have regarding faith, the Bible, and the Christian walk in the teaching/expositions of John MacArthur.


                                     
How can we know if our faith is real? ---John MacArthur

The Bible provides a clear understanding of genuine saving faith-true faith produces good fruit. In His parable of the soils and the seed, the Lord Jesus taught that, while unbelievers are unfruitful, those who are saved would bear fruit. In this parable, three of four soils produced fruitless plants, vivid pictures of receptions of God's Word that never resulted in salvation.

In contrast, fruit-bearing plants thrive in the good soil that pictures a redeemed heart. Jesus said, "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty" (Matthew 13:23). All believers are fruitful, even though not equally fruitful.

The Bible also describes what good fruit looks like. The following chart lists the characteristics of genuine saving faith. In essence, it serves as a guide for spiritual fruit inspection. If you are unsure about the reality of your faith, please take the time to study this chart, taking care to read each of the accompanying Scripture passages.

The Character of Genuine Saving Faith

2 Corinthians 13:5

I. Evidences That Neither Prove Nor Disprove One's Faith

  • Visible Morality: Matthew 19:16-21; 23:27.
  • Intellectual Knowledge: Romans 1:21; 2:17ff.
  • Religious Involvement: Matthew 25:1-10
  • Active Ministry: Matthew 7:21-24
  • Conviction of Sin: Acts 24:25
  • Assurance: Matthew 23
  • Time of Decision: Luke 8:13, 14

II. The Fruit/Proofs of Authentic/True Christianity:

  • Love for God: Psalm 42:1ff; 73:25; Luke 10:27; Romans 8:7
  • Repentance from Sin: Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; Romans 7:14ff; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 John 1:8-10
  • Genuine Humility: Psalm 51:17; Matthew 5:1-12; James 4:6, 9ff.
  • Devotion to God's Glory: Psalm 105:3; 115:1; Isaiah 43:7, 48:10ff.; Jeremiah 9:23, 24; 1 Corinthians 10:31
  • Continual Prayer: Luke 18:1; Ephesians 6:18ff.; Philippians 4:6ff.; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; James 5:16-18
  • Selfless Love: 1 John 2:9ff, 3:14; 4:7ff.
  • Separation from the World: 1 Corinthians 2:12; James 4:4ff.; 1 John 2:15-17, 5:5
  • Spiritual Growth: Luke 8:15; John 15:1-6; Ephesians 4:12-16
  • Obedient Living: Matthew 7:21; John 15:14ff.; Romans 16:26; 1 Peter 1:2, 22; 1 John 2:3-5

If List I is true of a person and List II is false, there is cause to question the validity of one's profession of faith. Yet if List II is true, then the top list will be also.

III. The Conduct of the Gospel:

  • Proclaim it: Matthew 4:23
  • Defend it: Jude 3
  • Demonstrate it: Philippians 1:27
  • Share it: Philippians 1:5
  • Suffer for it: 2 Timothy 1:8
  • Don't hinder it: 1 Corinthians 9:16
  • Be not ashamed: Romans 1:16
  • Preach it: 1 Corinthians 9:16
  • Be empowered: 1 Thessalonians 1:5
  • Guard it: Galatians 1:6-8
(Adapted from John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, p. 2190)---http://www.gty.org

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                              Assurance of Salvation

if you would like further information, I have just learned of a very helpful website... you can read of the wonderful gift of salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  You can read much more than I have for you on our page... by going here:   www.somebodycares4u.com

Or  you can read this first and then go to that site---whatever you do... I pray that you will obey even the slightest promptings of the LORD through His Holy Spirit.

 

If you have a Bible please follow along, we will print out the verses for those who may not.

The first thing you need to know is that all of us have sinned.
Romans 3:23
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

You ask, "What is sin?"
Well sin is breaking God's law. Just as a criminal is one who breaks the law of a state,

a sinner is one who breaks the law of God.
1 John 3:4
"Every one who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness."


Just as there is a penalty for breaking the law of the state, did you know that there is a penalty

for breaking God’s law?
The penalty of sin is death.
Romans 6:23a
"For the wages of sin is death,"

Death means separation and there are two kinds of death, physical and spiritual.
If I Were to physically die, right now, my body would fall to the floor but the real me,
what the Bible calls my soul and psychologists call my ego, would go somewhere else.
So physical death is the separation of the body and the soul. The Bible says that there
is a second death, a second separation in which the soul can be separated from God
and the place it is separated to is hell. That's bad news, let us give you some good news.

Christ paid for our sins!
Romans 5:8
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
1 Corinthians 15:3-4
"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."

Look at this illustration. Lets suppose a 10 year old boy disobeyed his father, and his father said to the boy, "When you get home tonight your going to get a spanking." So I go home with this boy and say to his father, "Would you spank me instead of the boy?" and lets suppose he did. If the father spanked me instead of the boy, would the boy get the spanking? No! When Jesus died on the cross He took my hell and He bore the punishment for all my sin and that means I don’t get it. That means that God is satisfied with what Jesus Christ has done on the cross, and we can have forgiveness of our sins and go to heaven instead of the hell we deserve.

                                                              --the whole thing amounts to this--

1- I've sinned
2- The penalty for sin is death
3- Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for my sin
         God, however, asks you to do something.

4- You must trust Christ
Romans 10:13,14
"for Whoever will
call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?"
Call (an expression of faith) Believe The word translated “believe” means to rely upon, to depend upon, to have faith in, to trust (that Christ is God who died and arose) Hear (understand) Preacher (someone to tell you)

Wouldn't you like to trust Jesus Christ right now?
If yes, pray (which is just talking to God) through this outline, remembering two things.

1-Praying a prayer doesn't get you to heaven.

2-Don't say anything you don't mean and say it to God. Understand what you are about to do. You are going to tell God that you are going to trust Jesus Christ to get you to heaven, not good works, not going to church, not baptism, you are going to trust Jesus Christ.

1-I've sinned
2-The penalty for sin is death
3-Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for my sin
4-I trust Jesus Christ to forgive my sins

                This simple plan of salvation is from Calvary Bible Church.   http://www.CalvaryBible.org

If you have trusted Christ as LORD and Savior, then get into a good Bible believing church and begin fellowshipping with believers in Jesus. 

If you would like information to locate a church in your area, then please write to us: joyfulwife@achristianhome.com and we will do our best to put you in touch with a pastor in your area.  God Bless you in your walk of faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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