Jesus Christ
"Who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15)

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The Good News

"God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go either wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata - of creatures that worked like machines - would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.

God's Love

The Bible teaches us that God is love and that He loves us. He desires that we experience an abundant life. This would include such things as love, peace, purpose, and fulfillment. Jesus, speaking about His purpose for coming to earth, said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" John 10:10b NIV. In the beginning, when God put man on earth, God and man had a relationship which produced an abundant life.

Man's Problem

But God did not create man like a robot who would automatically love and have fellowship with Him in return. He gave man a will and the freedom of choice.

Man could keep God's commandments or he could live his life apart from God. Man chose to go his own way. This resulted in a separation between God and man. God is completely holy and perfect, while man is sinful and imperfect. The Bible says, "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way" Isaiah 53:6 NIV. People continue to go their own way today. And this applies to all men. Each one of us is guilty. All of us have made decisions and done actions and had thoughts that were contrary to what God desires. We have been like wandering sheep.

The result of turning away from God and doing things that are displeasing to God is spiritual death-eternal death. The Bible also says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23 NIV. For now we will just look at the first half of this verse.

Paul states here that the consequences or payment we receive in return for our sins is eternal death. So you can see that on man's side we have eternal death, and on God's side there is eternal life. The last part of this verse talks about the free gift of God being eternal life, and that will become clearer as we develop this diagram. For now, we seem to be stuck on the death side.

Read Hebrews 9:27 . You can see as we look at this verse that each of us will die physically, and after we die physically we will face judgment. The Bible teaches that there will be a day of judgment when God will judge the actions and thoughts of every man and woman. In Revelation 20:15 the Bible says that "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." NIV

So you can see that on man's side we have sinned, and the penalty of those sins is eternal death. Also we see that the consequences of our sins is for us to face the judgment of God. This gives a pretty dismal picture of our situation on this side of the chasm that separates us from God.

Man's Remedy

Human beings think they can devise their own way to obtain God's favour and blessing. They usually devise codes of conduct and requirements that need to be performed in order to please God. These include giving to charity, helping others, praying, attending church, or being baptized. However, God's Word states that all these efforts are useless in the sight of a holy God to obtain God's salvation. (Next read Ephesians 2:8-9 ). From this verse we understand that good works will never suffice to meet God's requirements but that God's salvation is a gift that is obtained by grace alone through faith alone.

God's Remedy

In spite of the fact that we have turned our backs on God and have disobeyed Him, God still loves us and desires that we know Him personally so that He can bless us.

Only one adequate bridge can cross the gulf that exists between man and God, and that bridge is through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross.

The Bible also says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8 . NIV

The Bible teaches that when He died on the cross, He died in our place. He paid the penalty and took the judgment for our sins so we could be forgiven for all our wrongdoings. The slate could be wiped clean.

Man's Response

Christ has made it possible for us to cross over to God's side and experience the full life He wants us to have. But we are not automatically on God's side. We need to take action; we need to ask God's forgiveness and ask Jesus Christ into our lives.

"The time has come," Jesus said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Mark 1:15 NIV. Repentance means to reverse direction. We must give up our efforts to reach God by man's remedies and accept God's remedy for our sins.

The Bible also says, "Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God" John 1:12 NIV. We "reach out" to God through prayer and receive the gift of eternal life.

Now let's add another verse here Revelation 3:20 that goes right along with John 1:12 . This is Jesus Christ talking.

So the door on which Jesus is knocking is the very center of our lives-the heart, the core, the innermost part of our lives. He is knocking and would like to come into our lives. So He wants us to open the door and invite Him in.


Let's take a look at John 5:24 . This statement of Jesus summarizes all we have talked about. "I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word [the things we have been discussing here] and believes Him who sent Me [believe means to receive, that is, to invite Christ into our lives] has eternal life [a present possession] and will not be condemned [judgment] ; he has crossed over from death to life." NIV