Is Jesus Relevant Today?

Perhaps Hitler is deserving of judgment, they reason, but not them or others who live “decent lives”. It’s like saying that God grades on the curve, and everybody who gets a D- or better will get in. But this presents a dilemma.

As we have seen, sin is the absolute opposite of God’s holy character. Thus we have offended the one who created us, and loved us enough to sacrifice His very Son for us. In a sense our rebellion is like spitting in His face. Neither good deeds, religion, meditation, or Karma can pay the debt our sins have incurred.

So, why is Jesus alone able to save us from our sins? Aren’t there others qualified to save us? Although there have been many people and prophets who have lived good lives, the New Testament eyewitnesses of Jesus tell us that he was morally righteous in every way. Theologian R. C. Sproul tells us that since Christ lived a sinless life, he alone qualified to be our savior.[10]

A Gift Undeserved

The biblical term to describe God’s free forgiveness through Christ’s sacrificial death is grace. Whereas mercy saves us from what we deserve, the grace of God gives us what we don’t deserve. Let’s review for a minute how Christ has done for us what we could not do for ourselves:

  • God loves us and created us for a relationship with Himself [11]
  • We have been given the freedom to accept or reject that relationship [12]
  • Our sin and rebellion against God and His laws have created a wall of separation between us and Him [13]
  • Though we are deserving of eternal judgment, God has paid our debt in full by Jesus’ death in our place, making eternal life with Him possible.[14]

Bono gives us his perspective on grace.

“Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff..I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge..It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.”[15]

We now have the picture of God’s plan of the ages coming together. But there still is one missing ingredient. According to Jesus and the authors of the New Testament, each of us individually must respond to the free gift Jesus offers us. He won’t force us to take it.

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Endnotes

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