It was good seeing you last weekend.
I have to confess that I don’t know how to clearly give an account of the great news of the kingdom of the heavens and of the Lord Jesus, the anointed saviour sent by God to save, make complete, all those who put their entire trust in Him.
Sadly that which passes today for ‘the gospel’ has often become sales talk jargon used to sell a particular religious group adherence. So I would strongly recommend forgetting all that.
We know that Jesus of Nazareth came into the world to save sinners.
So we have to really see that we are sinners.
Satan would call it something else. He is so reasonable and understanding about our shortcomings. Not about anyone else’s, he’ll make sure we see the sins of others alright.
Jesus however, by His presence, allows us to see our own sin.
How we react to this determines whether we go on to embrace Jesus or run away from Him.
Quite simply, Jesus has come as the answer to our sin, to my sin, to your sin. Sin that if left ‘untreated’ would result in an eternal separation from God.
God hates sin. With a vengeance. Sin is what separates us from Him.
We are all made in the image of God, to be with Him, to talk with Him, to interact with Him. God is love, and He sure loves us all.
But He can’t look on sin. Problem.
God’s solution was that He sent His Son, to be born as a man, the man Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus was in the form of a man, but without sin.
He lived with a mam and dad, brothers and sisters.
He saw his ‘father’ die, worked as a carpenter, was just one of the guys in Nazareth. No halo.
But He came for one thing. To die for my sin, and your sin.
This is how God loves us, He gave up His only ‘begotten’ son to die for each of us.
So Jesus allowed Himself to be rejected by those He came to save. To be humiliated, spat upon, mocked publicly, stripped, whipped, beaten, paraded though the streets to the place of His execution carrying the thing on which He would be killed.
He did this, the will of His Father, for me and for you, to take away our sin and the punishment for that sin.
It just had to be done.
The dead body of Jesus was laid in a tomb ‘cave’ and sealed with a stone and a guard of soldiers from the afternoon of the 6th day to the morning of the 1st day of the new week.
Death could not hold the Son of God. He lay down His life and He took it up again.
Jesus broke the power of death and sin in His death and resurrection to eternal life so that we could share in this victory of His through becoming joined to Him.
This Jesus is now available to all who will believe upon Him, throw themselves on Him, call out to Him, fixing their eyes on Him.
When Jesus was about to be betrayed He said to those who followed Him, I am going away, and you will no longer behold me (as on a stage, a spectacle clearly visible), but you will see me.
Jesus is no longer a public spectacle for all to observe, speaking, healing, casting out demons, drawing attention to Himself in so doing.
But those who desire Him can see Him, if we will set ourselves to look for Him.
So, what must we do to be saved?
Believe on Jesus of Nazareth, that He is the Son of God, anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit to save.
Believe, put trust in, the name of Jesus Christ for remission of sins.
Remission of sins may not be something we have a good grasp of. Remission is not the same as forgiveness. God was forgiving sins since the creation of mankind. He forgave His people Israel when they repented and returned to Him.
If I lend you £20,000 because you desperately need it, you might avoid me whenever you can. If I come to your door, you might hide behind the curtains. You might cross the street if you see me coming. You have a conscience about the debt you owe me.
If I forgive you, because I know you can never repay the debt, you would be very happy that you no longer owed me the money. But you may still feel guilty about the fact that I never got the money back. You might still continue avoiding me.
If however, my son, who loves you, sees your debt, and works and saves very hard so he has the £20,000; and he then gives me the £20,000 to pay your debt to me; you are free from the debt. I have my money owed to me. You owe me nothing. You no longer feel you need to avoid me. Your conscience is clear. And you love my son for what he has done for you!
Be immersed (baptized) in water in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (discharge from the debt) of sins. The word of God became flesh so that as the Lamb of God He would hang on the cross, be cursed for our sakes, and shed His blood in full payment for our sins. For this reason remission of sins is in the name of Jesus the Christ.
This is a core part of God’s counsel. Jesus said that if we are not born of water and of the Spirit we cannot see, or experience, the Kingdom of God.
Repent. That is ditch our own ideas, plans and ambitions so we can have God;s thoughts and ways. God gives grace to the humble but opposes the proud.
Reach out to Him, calling on His name, and be immersed in water in the name of Jesus, the Christ for the remission of – release from - sins.
We have His promise that He will immerse us in His Holy Spirit, making us new living spirits that are compatible with Him,
Jesus is the One who gives the Holy Spirit to those who are obedient to Him, if we see who He is and ask Him.
The relationship we have available to us with Jesus is that of loving Husband and submissive, obedient wife.
We should be aware that Jesus will not share us with others. He is a jealous Husband.
We have to face the fact that it is either Jesus as Lord and first, or not Jesus at all.
Jesus speaks, I listen.
Jesus moves, I go with Him.
I know Jesus loves me and is committed to me.
All I may need, Jesus will provide.
Jesus knows all that He is about to do, and I can relax.
Jesus asks us to follow Him, to ‘stick with’ Him.
If we put Jesus ‘on’, like a garment, daily, we’ll know His company and effect. This we do by asking Him for more of His Holy Spirit, daily.
K, it is possible for you to know Jesus.
This is the will of God for you, so that you are not lost, but be found in Jesus, the Lord and Christ.