Issuu on Google+


JUST JESUS


JUST JESUS More of the Greatest Things Ever Said About the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived VOLUME II

Compiled & Edited by

DANIEL WHYTE III


__________________________________ Just Jesus: More of the Greatest Things Ever Said About the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived (Volume II) Cover Design by Atinad Designs. Š Copyright 2011 TORCH LEGACY PUBLICATIONS: DALLAS, TEXAS; ATLANTA, GEORGIA; BROOKLYN, NEW YORK First Printing, 2011 The Bible quotations in this volume are from the King James Version of the Bible. The name TORCH LEGACY PUBLICATIONS and its logo are registered as a trademark in the U.S. patent office. ISBN-10: 0-9849441-8-4 ISBN-13: 978-0-9849441-8-7 Printed in the USA.


DISCLAIMER Simply because we included a particular quote, does not mean we condone the lifestyle or the philosophy of the person who said it. The position that we took was to include any quote that gave glory to Jesus Christ no matter who or where it came from. Therefore, it would be unnecessary to write us concerning the lifestyle or philosophy of one of the contributors. This book is not about them. It is about Him—Jesus Christ.


To my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and to the gentlemen who introduced me to Him twenty-five years ago: Pastor Charles McKinney and Bro. Michael Lewis


CONTENTS

N Introductory Note to Volume II......................................15 Introduction to Volume I.................................................17 1. No Greater Love.............................................................27 2. The Most Important Three Days on Earth.............59 3. When Christ Returns..........................................................99 4. Defenders of the Faith.................................................109 5. The Miracle Worker.........................................................133 6. Living Our Lives in the Light of His.........................143 7. Jesus, in His Own Words................................................159 Jesus Christ: The Way........................................................163


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

N

I thank the Lord for saving my soul, and for placing within my heart a desire to give Him praise and honour in this way. I want to especially thank my three oldest children: Daniella (Danni), Daniel IV, and Danita, for their hard work in research and design of this second volume. I also want to thank my wife, Meriqua, and my youngest children: Danae`, Daniqua, Danyel Ezekiel and Danyelle Elizabeth for their assistance in this project as well. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!


“At the end of the day only one thing matters, and that’s Jesus, Just Jesus, and nothing else.”


AN INTRODUCTORY NOTE TO VOLUME II

N We are pleased to bring you the second volume of Just Jesus: The Greatest Things Ever Said About the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. As we did in the revised and expanded version of Volume I, we made a special effort to include quotes about Jesus Christ from people who have lived in the past 100 years, and thus may be more familiar to the reader. You will find that many of these quotes are highlighted in different type throughout the book. These quotes are from luminaries in the

e17


entertainment, music, literary, sports, religious, business, and political arenas. We hope that the inclusion of these quotes would make the book easier for you to relate to and more enjoyable to you as you read it. Remember, its all about Him! Daniel Whyte III Compiler and Editor

E

18


INTRODUCTION

N

“At the end of the day only one thing matters, and that’s Jesus, Just Jesus, and nothing else.” It is for sure that the main thing that matters in life, is whether or not one has a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. To borrow biblical terminology, what really matters is: “What think ye of Christ, whose Son is He?” This I know, anyone who has met this Man along the tragic road of life, and has received Him as their personal Saviour has never been the same. Not only do I know this from observing the lives of others

e19


who have believed on Jesus Christ, but I know this from personal experience as well. On December 19, 1979, I had the priviledge and joy of meeting the Man named Jesus Christ in my Air Force dorm room at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. My wretched life was immediately and dramatically changed overnight. At the risk of sounding trite, I have never been the same. I have compiled this book for two reasons: (1) To show my appreciation for what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for me and to give Him glory and honour through the printed page; (2) To challenge the gross commercialization that surrounds the “celebration” of His birthday during the Christmas season. My humble hope is that, at least, some Christians would be reminded that it is not about them, and it’s not even about others; it’s all about Him. I also recognize that this book cannot be limited to a holiday. Indeed, it is a book for all times, because He is a Man for all times. This book is all about Jesus Christ. It is a collection of some of the most eloquent and memorable statements about the One

E

20


Who died for the sins of the world. These statements were made at different times over the past 2000 years, and by many different people at many different places—but they all give praise to Jesus Christ. Now, let me briefly say a word about quotations or memorable statements. When God made each of us, He wired us differently. For example, there are some people who are moved more by music as opposed to just words. On the other hand, there are some people who are moved more by simply reading and hearing the words without music. Both are equally moved, motivated, or encouraged. I happen to be of the latter family, so to speak. I am not big on music. I can live without music, but I cannot live without words, particularly the Word of God. I am a word person. Therefore, words move me just as much as music moves music people. By God’s grace, I can hear the rhythm, cadence, and intervals in a written paragraph as one would hear the same in a music piece. Outside of the Bible itself, probably nothing moves me like a “truth well said,” and that is a quotation or an eloquent statement. Please notice with me what the author Ray Bard said about the

e21


power of words: You study pivotal people and events in history, searching for a common denominator. You hope to identify the recurrent elements of greatness, the keys to phenomenal success. You search for the secret of miracles. After several hundred hours of reading, you reach an utterly inescapable conclusion: words are the most powerful force there has ever been. Monumental events explode with energetic words, and great leaders are remembered for the things they say. Although a grand idea may carry the seeds of change, it takes powerful words to launch the idea skyward, words strong enough to carry the full weight of vision. You have seen Rodin’s famous sculpture The Thinker, and were intrigued the moment you saw it. But how your interest increases when you hear Rodin speak of it! “What makes my Thinker think is that he thinks not only with the brain, with his knitted brow, his distended

E

22


nostrils, and compressed lips, but with every muscle of his arms, back, and legs; with his clenched fist and gripping toes.” Seeing it now with our ears, we find Rodin’s Thinker far more interesting than when we saw it only with our eyes. Words are electric; they should be chosen for the emotional voltage they carry. Weak and predictable words cause grand ideas to appear so dull that they fade into the darkness of oblivion. But powerful words in unusual combinations brightly illuminate the mind. (Emphasis by the editor.) Yes, words are electric. If a sentence does not shock a little, it carries no emotional voltage. When the hearer is not jolted, you can be sure he is not moved. Remember the words of Napoleon: “Small plans do not inflame the hearts of men.” Words start wars and end them, create love and choke it, bring us to laughter and joy and tears.

e23


Words cause men and women willingly to risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Our world, as we know it, revolves on the power of words. Use words that are majestic, words that have the power to inflame people’s hearts and illuminate their minds. I cannot imagine anyone expounding upon the importance and power of words better than Ray Bard just did. Can you? Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the “prince of preachers,” said: “If you never quote others, you’ll never be quoted.” When I first heard or read that famous quote by C.H. Spurgeon many years ago, I rejected it because it seemed to suggest that one could actually learn how to be quotable no matter how uninspired one might be. However, now I can appreciate what Charles Spurgeon said. Here is, at least, one thing that Spurgeon might have meant by that statement:

E

24


if you do not take the time to read quotes, understand quotes, and use quotes in your preaching, teaching, and speaking, etc., you will never learn how to put an inspired thought in enough eloquent words that it would be memorable or quotable. What makes a great statement? What makes a statement memorable or quotable? Here is my definition of a quotable statement: a memorable or quotable statement is simply a profound truth succintly written or spoken in words that are easily remembered and that provoke people to think or to do. This was how we chose the quotes in this book about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As I said earlier, this book is compiled primarily to bring glory, honour, and praise to Jesus Christ. However, we see how this book can benefit the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, such as: pastors, evangelists, missionaries, Bible teachers, and other Christian speakers as well, when they are preparing a sermon, speech, or lesson. For nothing can prime the pump of a sermon or a Christian speech like a powerful quote from yesteryear.

e25


Also, to my utter amazement, as I began to do the research on this book at the largest seminary in the world—Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas—the librarians and I could not find one book that had nothing but quotations about Jesus Christ. By the way, I frankly think it is disrespectful to include Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, in any book, as just another subject among a bunch of other subjects and regular people of history. But that is just me. I apologize, but I had to get that off my chest. Hopefully, this book will fill that void in libraries across America, and around the globe. As I close this introductory section of this book, let me say that if you have truly been born again, by the grace of God, through accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, then your heart will almost burst with joy and praise as you read what some of the most important people of the past and present, most saved, some even lost, have said about the most important Person Who ever lived. I believe that your spirit will soar to higher heights in praise of the One Who died for us as you read these eloquent

E

26


and powerful quotations. The mighty words contained in this book are about the greatest figure Who ever graced the earth—yet our Saviour and Friend, Jesus Christ—Just Jesus! —Daniel Whyte III Irving, Texas

e27


1

NO GREATER LOVE

N

Love is the greatest virtue. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Faith, hope, and charity. These three, but the greatest of these is charity.” The greatest commandments are to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. No one demonstrated greater love than Jesus Christ—from tenderly inviting children to spend time with Him, to sacrificing Himself for the good of His followers (the people He called His “friends”) and for the ultimate good of the whole world. Love drove Jesus to do what He did. “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” JESUS CHRIST

e29


He loved us not because we are lovable, but because He is love. —C.S. Lewis English apologist, professor and writer The Greatest Man in History, Jesus, had no servants, yet they called Him Master. Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher. Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer. He had no army, yet kings feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. —Author Unknown Here we commemorate the greatest and deepest demonstration of true love the world has ever known. For God looked down upon sorrowing, struggling, sinning humanity and was moved with compassion for the contrary, sheep-like creatures He had made. In spite of the tremendous personal cost it would entail to Himself to deliver them from their dilemma He chose deliberately to descend and live amongst them that He might deliver them. This

e31


meant laying aside His splendor, His position, His prerogatives as the perfect and faultless One. He knew He would be exposed to terrible privation, to ridicule, to false accusations, to rumor, gossip and malicious charges that branded Him as a glutton, drunkard, friend of sinners and even an imposter. It entailed losing His reputation. It would involve physical suffering, mental anguish and spiritual agony. In short, His coming to earth as the Christ, as Jesus of Nazareth, was a straightforward case of utter selfsacrifice that culminated in the cross of Calvary. The laid-down life, the poured-out blood were the supreme symbols of total selflessness. This was love. This was God. This was divinity in action, delivering men from their own utter selfishness, their own stupidity, their own suicidal instincts as lost sheep unable to help themselves. —Phillip Keller Christ was placed midmost in the world’s history; and in that central position He towers like some vast mountain to heaven – the farther slope stretching backward toward the creation, the hither slope toward the consummation of all things. The ages

E

32


before look to Him with prophetic gaze; the ages since behold Him by historic faith; by both He is seen in common as the brightness of the Father's glory, and the unspeakable gift of God to the race. —Author Unknown He was created by a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, He the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute. —Augustine He was conceived by the union of divine grace and human disgrace. He who breathed the breath of life into the first man is now Himself a man breathing His first breath. The King of kings now sleeping in a cow-pen. The Creator of oceans and seas and rivers afloat in the womb of His mother. God sucking His thumb. The Alpha and Omega learning His multiplication tables. He who was once surrounded by the glorious stereophonic praise of adoring angels now hears the lowing of cattle, the bleating of sheep, the stammering of bewildered shepherds. He who spoke the universe into being now coos and cries.

e33


Omniscient Deity counting His toes… From the robes of eternal glory to the rags of swaddling clothes. The omnipresent Spirit, whose being fills the galaxies, confined to the womb of a peasant girl. Infinite power learning to crawl. —Sam Storms

A lot of people think Christianity is about always being perfect. It's actually the opposite of that. It's realizing that we're all humans, and that's why God sent his Son to this earth—to save people. —Billy Ray Cyrus Entertainer and musician I realized that [even if] you've been totally blaspheming Jesus your whole life, he still loves you and is going to touch your life. He's going to reveal himself to you and forgive you. —Jonny Lang

E

34


When Jesus then is with the multitudes, He is not in His house, for the multitudes are outside of the house, and it is an act which springs from His love of men to leave the house and to go away to those who are not able to come to Him. —Origen

Jesus is the truth, the light, He's the way. He orders my footsteps, gives me what I need and tells me how to live. Jesus is life. And we need Him more now than ever. —CeCe Winans Singer and songwriter I believe, as followers of Christ, we are commanded to reach out to the least of these in the name of Jesus and show them they matter a great deal to God, who sacrificed His only Son to reach them with His love. —K.P. Yohannan

e35


Whatever may be the surprises of the future, Jesus will never be surpassed... The greatest among the sons of men. His suffering will melt the noblest hearts and bring forth tears from innumerable eyes. —from "Life of Jesus" by Ernest Renan I have to put my energy into working to do what I believe Jesus instructs his followers, which is to care for the weakest, the least of his people, which includes prisoners and the poorest of the poor and the oldest and most exhausted. —Anne Lamott Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him. —St. Augustine of Hippo My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it. —Brennan Manning So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him

E

36


this: "I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!" —Martin Luther God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus. —Max Lucado

When you realize that every breath is a gift from God. When you realize how small you are, but how much He loved you. That He, Jesus, would die, the son of God himself on earth, then you just weep. —Angela Bassett American actress Jesus said several times, “Come, follow me.” His was

e37


a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” His innate brilliance would have permitted him to put on a dazzling display, but that would have left his followers far behind. He walked and worked with those he was to serve. His was not a long-distance leadership. He was not afraid of close friendships; he was not afraid that proximity to him would disappoint his followers. The leaven of true leadership cannot lift others unless we are with and serve those to be led. —Spencer W. Kimball Run to Jesus instead of running to your addiction. —Joyce Meyer The genuine and simple religion of Jesus will one day be restored: such as it was preached and practiced by Himself. —Thomas Jefferson Love, no matter how you come at it, is a huge risk. It makes it easier for me to remember that God will never reject me because I am not good enough and that any community that has His heart will embrace

E

38


me as I am. Jesus invites us into a community where imperfect people can find acceptance, love, forgiveness, and a new beginning. —Erwin Raphael McManus

Hollywood is … a scary place. There’s a lot going on, there’s a lot of bad things, but there’s also a lot of good things. I’m able to live my dream, I’m able to do a lot of good things. Basically, I don’t even consider religion. Like, I’m a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins. I believe that I have a relationship and I’m able to talk to him and really, he’s the reason I’m here, so I definitely have to remember that. As soon as I start forgetting, I’ve got to click back and be like, you know, this is why I’m here. —Justin Bieber Canadian singer If we are not willing to wake up in the morning and die to ourselves, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we are really following Jesus. —Donald Miller

e39


Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken. —Rich Mullins

People aren't confused by the Gospel. They're confused by us. Jesus is the only way to God, but we are not the only way to Jesus. This world doesn't need my tie, my hoodie, my denomination or my interpretation of the Bible. They just need Jesus. We can be passionate about what we believe, but we can't strap ourselves to the Gospel, because we are slowing it down. Jesus is going to save the world, but maybe the best thing we can do is just get out of the way. —Casting Crowns Christian music band Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life. —Corrie ten Boom

E

40


If we cannot claim to live sinless lives, then the only thing that can keep us from despairing before a holy God is that we have an Advocate in heaven and He pleads our case not on the basis of our perfection but of His propitiation. —John Piper He who might have been placing a vial of wrath in the hand of every angel around His throne, with a commission to pour it out on this rebellious world until it was utterly consumed, is standing at the moment, at the altar of incense, presenting our prayers for mercy, and officiating there as our great High Priest. —Author Unknown At His baptism Jesus Christ embraced His mission and then heard His Father say, “I’m proud of You, My Son.” The transcendent cause was blessed, affirmed, and “spiked” by the Father’s vocal affirmation. If He held any doubts about His course in life, they were vanished in that one instance. Every temptation He would encounter and all of the hardships He would endure were immediately put

e41


into perspective. He embraced His mission, and He was affirmed by His Father, investing the moment with reverential awe. —Robert Lewis Infinite, and an infant. Eternal, and yet born of a woman. Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman's breast. Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother's arms. King of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph. Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter's despised son. —C.H. Spurgeon

I came to know Jesus Christ at age sixteen. It was time for a change. I wasn't a bad kid, but I needed a higher power to give me inner peace. I was introduced to Jesus Christ by my brother-in-law... We talked about Jesus a lot, and I became hungry and began to search the Scriptures myself. God in turn gave me the faith and trust that I have in Him today. —Earvin "Magic" Johnson American professional basketball player

E

42


God hath long contended with a stubborn world, and thrown down many a blessing upon them; and when all his other gifts could not prevail, He at last made a gift of Himself. —Henry Scougal [Jesus Christ’s] zeal never degenerated into passion, nor His constancy into obstinacy, nor His benevolence into weakness, nor His tenderness into sentimentality. His unworldliness was free from indifference and unsociability, His dignity from pride and presumption, His affectability from undue familiarity, His self-denial from moroseness, His temperance from austerity. He combined child-like innocency with manly strength, absorbing devotion to God with untiring interest in the welfare of man, tender love to the sinner with uncompromising severity against sin, commanding dignity with winning humility, fearless courage with wise caution, unyielding firmness with sweet gentleness! —Philip Schaff

e43


Remember that even Jesus’ most scathing denunciation—a blistering diatribe against the religious leaders of Jerusalem in Matthew 23—ends with Christ weeping over Jerusalem. Compassion colored everything He did. —John MacArthur American pastor and author Christ’s atoning work does not change God’s wrath to love, for God’s love is itself the source of the atonement. —George Eldon Ladd Christ died not in order to make God love us, but because He did love His people. Calvary is the supreme demonstration of Divine love. Whenever you are tempted to doubt the love of God, Christian reader, go back to Calvary. —A.W. Pink

E

44


Regardless of what anyone may personally think or believe about Him, Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of Western culture for almost twenty centuries‌ It is from His birth that most of the human race dates its calendars, it is by His name that millions curse and in His name that millions pray. —Jaroslav Pelikan One of the most amazing and significant facts of history is that within five centuries of its birth, Christianity won the professed allegiance of the overwhelming majority of the Roman Empire and even the support of the Roman state. Beginning as a seemingly obscure sect of Judaism, one of the scores, even hundreds of religions and religious groups which were competing within the realm, revering as its central figure one who had been put to death by the machinery of Rome. —Kenneth Latourette He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life. Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water. Jesus

e45


was weary, yet He is our rest. Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King. Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons. Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears. Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world. Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd. Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death. —Gregory of Nazianzus Though born amid most disgusting surroundings, the member of a modest working family, He bore Himself always with great dignity and assurance. Though He enjoyed no special advantages as a child, either in education or employment, His entire philosophy and outlook on life were the highest standards of human conduct ever set before mankind. Though He had no vast economic assets, political power or military might, no other person ever made such an enormous impact on the world’s history. Because of Him millions of people across almost twenty centuries of time have come into a life of decency and honor and noble conduct. —Phillip Keller

E

46


His birth was common. Men wouldn’t have had a common birth for such a King. But it was celebrated with hallelujahs by the heavenly host in the heavens above. His lodging was poor and men wouldn’t have put Him in a stable but it was attended to by celestial visitants. It was marked by a conflux of stellar bodies. He had not the magnificent equipage of other kings but He was attended by multitudes of patients seeking and obtaining healing of soul and body. He made the dumb that attended Him sing His praises and the lame leap for joy and the deaf to hear His wonders and the blind to see His glory. He had no guard of soldiers, no magnificent retinue of military men, but centurions took orders from Him...and so have millions across the earth. He didn’t control a vast empire of those who did all of His bidding, but the waves and the winds and the storms which no early power can control obeyed Him. And death and the grave durst not refuse to deliver up their prey when He demanded it. He didn’t walk on velvet tapestry but when He walked on the sea the water held Him up. All parts of the creation except sinful men honored Him as their creator.

e47


He had no vast incomprehensible treasure of wealth but when He needed His money to pay His taxes, a fish yielded it up out of its mouth. He had no barns and He had no corn fields, but when He wanted to fill the hearts and the stomachs of a multitude, He created the food right out of His own hands. And no monarch in history ever entertained that way. He didn’t have the fantastic group of people sorrowing like other people have on occasions that demanded sorrow on His behalf, but the frame of nature itself solemnized the death of its author, heaven and earth were mourners, the sun was clad in black and if the inhabitants of the earth were unmoved, the earth itself trembled under the awful load. And there were few to pay the Jewish custom of rending their garments at His death, so the rocks took their place and rent their own bowels. He didn't have a grave of His own, but other men’s graves opened to Him. He came not as the subject of death, but as the conqueror and invader of its territory and He rose victorious. —John MacArthur

E

48


God did not demand that we first demonstrate our allegiance to Him before Christ would agree to die in our place. To demand that we somehow show ourselves deserving of forgiveness in order to regain our status as His children would have been futile. What can ungodly, rebellious sinners offer God that would move the holy Creator of the universe to sacrifice His only Son on their behalf ? So God acted first, motivated solely by his own sovereign love, to grant mercy to His people as the ultimate expression of his grace. Christ died for us because the Father and the Son loved the unlovable. —Scott Hafemann In math, if you divide an infinite number by any number, no matter how large, you still have an infinite quotient. So Jesus' love, being infinite, even though it is divided up for every person on earth, is still infinitely poured out on each one of us! —C.H. Spurgeon The extent of God’s love at Calvary is seen in both the infinite cost to Him of giving His one and only Son, and in the wretched and miserable condition

e49


of those He loved. God could not remove our sins without an infinite cost to both Himself and His Son. And because of their great love for us, both were willing—yes, more than merely willing—to pay that great cost, the Father in giving His one and only Son, and the Son in laying down His life for us. One of the essential characteristics of love is the element of self-sacrifice, and this was demonstrated for us to its ultimate in God’s love at Calvary. —Jerry Bridges We are never nearer Christ than when we find ourselves lost in a holy amazement at His unspeakable love. —John Owen A person's life is his most precious possession. Consequently, to rob him of it is the greatest sin we can commit against him, while to give one’s own life on his behalf is the greatest possible expression of love for him. This, then, is the ultimate contrast: Cain’s hatred issued in murder, Christ's love issued in self-sacrifice. —John Stott

E

50


The daily experience of Christ’s love is linked to our obedience to Him. It is not that His love is conditioned on our obedience. That would be legalism. But our experience of His love is dependent upon our obedience. —Jerry Bridges

I know that regardless of whether we win a game, lose a game, whether there’s 8,000 fans booing me when I walk off that field, that there’s someone that, when I go home, I can talk to and have a conversation and a relationship with; and someone who will love me regardless of what I do. I really don’t see a reason why you wouldn’t want to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I mean, not only was He the greatest human being to ever walk the earth, He’s everything that I want to strive for. He’s everything that anyone should ever want to strive for. Everyone who’s on this earth was blessed because of Him. To come into this world and to deny Him the opportunity to have a

e51


relationship with you, is almost a slap in the face to Him. —Sam Bradford American football player Our Lord God must be a pious man to be able to love rascals. I can’t do it, and yet I am a rascal myself. —Martin Luther The heart of Christ became like a reservoir in the midst of the mountains. All the tributary streams of iniquity, and every drop of the sins of his people, ran down and gathered into one vast lake, deep as hell and shoreless as eternity. All these met, as it were, in Christ’s heart, and he endured them all. —C.H. Spurgeon O blessed Jesus, Your love is wonderful! It is the admiration, joy and song of glorified saints. The experimental sense of Your love on earth sweetens the bitterness of life and disarms death of all its terrors! It was love which moved You to bow the heavens, to come down and sojourn on earth, to humble Yourself, to take on You the form of a

E

52


servant, and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross! You pitied me in my lost estate. You sought and found me when I sought You not. You spoke peace to me in the day of my distress, when the clouds of guilt and darkness hung heavy on my soul and I was brought to the borders of despair. You have borne with all my weakness, corrected my mistakes, restored me from my wanderings, and healed my backslidings. May Your lovingkindness be ever before my eyes to induce me to walk in Your truth. May Your love be the daily theme of my meditations, and the constant joy of my heart! —John Fawcett It is not exceptionally worthy people that Jesus loves, but His love is exceptional in that He loves those of no value at all. In fact, He loves us in our sin. Only such a view of love correctly appreciates the sacrifice of Christ and respects the infinite chasm between what is deserved and mercy. —Jim Elliff Read through the Gospels, and you quickly conclude

e53


that Jesus was a dynamic, remarkably effective teacher. Never boring, always stimulating. Never obtuse, always clear. Never pompous or distant, always personal and lovingly concerned. —Roy Zuck Behold, what manner of love is this, that Christ should be arraigned and we adorned, that the curse should be laid on His head and the crown set on ours. —Thomas Watson The Savior moved from divine doctrine to dirty feet in a very short space of time. We would do well to remember this. —Derick Bingham

The fact is, there is a “course” that addresses every issue we will ever face. The Teacher loves to meet one-on-one with His students, so that He can tailor the course to our needs. He is willing to hold class every day that we are willing to meet. We already have the Textbook, which was written by the

E

54


Teacher Himself. Parts of it can be difficult to grasp. But the Teacher is always available —twenty-four hours a day—to help us understand. —Nancy Leigh DeMoss Author and ministry leader Eighty and six years have I served Christ, nor has He ever done me any harm. How, then, could I blaspheme my King who saved Me?....I bless Thee for deigning me worthy of this day and this hour that I may be among Thy martyrs and drink the cup of my Lord Jesus Christ. —Polycarp

I'm a Muslim, but I think Jesus would have a drink with me. He would be cool. He would talk to me. —Mike Tyson American boxer

e55


In Jesus and for Him, enemies and friends alike are to be loved. —Thomas a Kempis His poverty was so great that He was born in another man's house, and buried in another man's tomb. —John Boys We may force our Lord to punish us, but we will never have to force Him to love us. That’s His nature. —Thomas Watson It takes God a long time to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong. That is never God's view. There is only one true liberty -- the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right. Don't get impatient with others. Remember how God dealt with you -- with patience and with gentleness. But never water down the truth of God. Let it have its way and never apologize for it. Jesus said, "Go . . . and make disciples . . ." (Matthew 28:19), not, "Make converts to your own thoughts and opinions." —Oswald Chambers

E

56


Our Lord Jesus Christ, the word of God, of his boundless love, became what we are that he might make us what he himself is. —Iranaeus

At age twenty-nine I realized I was looking good on the outside, but was hitting a lot of peaks and valleys on the inside. After searching for the meaning of life for over ten years, I found the meaning in Jesus Christ. When I gave my life to Jesus Christ, I began to understand my true purpose for being here. It's not to go through life and experience as many things as you possibly can and then turn to dust and be no more. The purpose of life is to be found through having Christ in your life, and understanding what His plan is, and following that plan. —Julius "Dr. J" Erving American basketball player Our Lord told His disciples that love and obedience were organically united. The final test of love is obedience. —A.W. Tozer

e57


It is inconceivable that a person could fall in love with the Redeemer in the biblical sense and not long to be conformed to the object of that affection. —John Hannah Love to Jesus is the basis of all true piety, and the intensity of this love will ever be the measure of our zeal for His glory. Let us love Him with all our hearts, and then diligent labor, and consistent living will be sure to follow. —C.H. Spurgeon

I’ve always considered Christ to be one of the greatest revolutionaries in the history of humanity. —Fidel Castro Cuban revolutionary and politician O, Lord my God, I hope in thee; My dear Lord Jesus, set me free; In chains, in pains, on bended knee; I adore thee and implore thee to set me free. —Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots

E

58


The primary qualification for a missionary is not love for souls, as we so often hear, but love for Christ. —Vance Havner Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor. —C. H. Spurgeon The thing that makes a missionary is the sight of what Jesus did on the cross and to have heard Him say, “Go.” —Oswald Chambers They whom Jesus looks on mourn their misdeeds. St. Peter at first denied, yet wept not, for the Lord had not looked on him: St. Peter a second time denied, yet wept not, for the Lord hitherto had not looked on him: he denied a third time, and Jesus looked on him, and then he wept most bitterly. —St. Ambrose

e59


2

THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT DAYS ON EARTH

N

Ask anybody what the most important day in the history of the world is, and you will get varying answers—from the days major wars ended to the days nations were formed. But against the backdrop of the rise and fall, the flow and ebb, the triumph and tragedy of human history, three days stand out above all others. These days began with what many people call Good Friday—the day Christ hung from a cruel cross between two criminals, crucified on a hill called “The Place of a Skull” crushed by the weight of the sin of mankind. As a Man without a home, a King without a throne, He was taken from the cross and buried in a borrowed tomb

e61


sealed by Roman soldiers and a large stone. Yet, when his friends and followers retuned to the tomb on the first day of the week, they found the soldiers gone, the stone removed, and a shining angel saying ‘Jesus is not here.’ Mohammed's remains are in a mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The remains of Buddha were cremated and placed in several different monuments, some of which survive to this day. Abraham's remains lie in a cave in Hebron in the Judean hills. What is left of Confucius is in a large cemetery in Qufu, Shandong Province, China. L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, had his remains cremated and scattered in the Pacific Ocean. Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, is buried in Nauvoo, Illinois. The tomb in Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ was laid, is empty. There are no bones. No remains. No ashes. No adherents to any world religion can say its founder is still alive. But followers of Christ can. His tomb is empty. He appeared multiple times to His followers after He rose from the dead. He talked to them. He ate with them. They touched Him.

E

62


On that third day, Jesus Christ got up out of His grave. Nothing else like it had ever happened before or since. It is a fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and is alive today, and every person must face this truth. In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre (tomb). And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see

e63


the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. MATTHEW 28:1-9

E

64


What shall I do then with Jesus, which is called Christ? —Pontius Pilate The death of Jesus Christ is not the end of the story; it is the theme of the story—beginning to end. —Author Unknown Who delivered up Jesus to die? Not Judas, for money; not Pilate, for fear; not the Jews, for envy; but the Father, for love. —Octavius Winslow Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy, cast off that I might be brought in, trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend, surrendered to hell's worst that I might attain heaven’s best, stripped that I might be clothed, wounded that I might be healed, athirst that I might drink, tormented that I might be comforted, made a shame that I might inherit glory, entered darkness that I might have eternal light. My Savior wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes, groaned that I might have endless song, endured all pain that I might

e65


have unfading health, bore a thorned crown that I might have a glory-diadem, bowed his head that I might uplift mine, experienced reproach that I might receive welcome, closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness, expired that I might for ever live. —Author Unknown I gave Him a crown of thorns, He gave me a crown of righteousness. I gave Him a cross to carry, He gave me His yoke which is easy, His burden which is light. I gave Him nails through His hands, He gave me safely into His Father’s hands from which no power can pluck me. I gave Him a mock title, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’ He gave me a new name and made me a king and a priest to God. I gave Him no covering, stripping His clothes from Him, He gave me a garment of salvation. I gave Him mockery, casting the same in His teeth, He gave me Paradise. I gave Him vinegar to drink, He gave me Living Water. I crucified and slew Him on a tree, He gave me eternal life. It was my sinfulness that put Him there. It is His sinlessness that puts me here. —Derick Bingham

E

66


He sheds tears for those that shed His blood. —Thomas Watson

I had never believed in Jesus before and I wasn’t going to go for it. I never would have, but let me tell you, Jesus is alive… There’s a lot of people who think for sure, and some think maybe, or maybe not. But I know [that Jesus is alive]. Since then I’ve been telling everybody about Jesus! Why God did this to me, I don’t know; but I just praise Him every day. I dropped everything I was doing to tell the whole world that Jesus Christ is alive. God took me all over the world fighting, and I was just trying to exalt myself. Now I’m going all over the world to try and tell them about Jesus. —George Foreman World heavyweight boxing champion If Christ had not gone to the cross and suffered in our stead, the just for the unjust, there would not have been a spark of hope for us. There would have been a mighty gulf between ourselves and God,

e67


which no man ever could have passed. —J.C. Ryle Everyone is born a slave of sin. Jesus Christ said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” We cannot free ourselves from this oppressive master, for no one can live without sinning against God. But the sinless Jesus – not for His own sake, but for others – came from Heaven to deliver His people. Jesus allowed godless men to nail Him to a Roman cross, and three days later rose from the dead so that “we should no longer be slaves of sin.” And all those who trust in His work (and not their own) as the way to freedom will find emancipation from sin. “Therefore,” declared Jesus, “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” —Don Whitney If the death of Christ on the cross is the true meaning of the Incarnation, then there is no gospel without the cross. Christmas by itself is no gospel. The life of Christ is no gospel. Even the resurrection, important as it is in the total scheme of things, is no gospel by itself. For the good news is not just that

E

68


God became man, nor that God has spoken to reveal a proper way of life for us, or even that death, the great enemy, is conquered. Rather, the good news is that sin has been dealt with (of which the resurrection is a proof); that Jesus has suffered its penalty for us as our representative, so that we might never have to suffer it; and that therefore all who believe in Him can look forward to heaven. —James Montgomery Boice

God is not content to leave all people under His wrath. Nor can he simply sweep sin under the rug of the universe. Therefore His love and His justice conspire to make a way for sinners to be saved and God’s justice to be vindicated. The answer is the death of Jesus Christ. —John Piper Pastor and author To a Christian, Easter Sunday means everything, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. —Bernhard Langer

e69


The Bible says Judas delivered Him over, and Pilate delivered Him over, and Herod and the Jewish people and the Gentiles delivered Him over, and we delivered Him over. It even says Jesus delivered Himself over. But Paul said the ultimate thing (in Romans 8:32a). In and behind and beneath and through all these human deliverings, God was delivering His Son to death. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all.” In Judas and Pilate and Herod and Jewish crowds and Gentile soldiers and our sin and Jesus’ lamblike submission, God delivered over His Son (for our salvation). Nothing greater has ever happened. —John Piper Here's a side to the Christmas story that isn't often told: Those soft little hands, fashioned by the Holy Spirit in Mary's womb, were made so that nails might be driven through them. Those baby feet, pink and unable to walk, would one day walk up a dusty hill to be nailed to a cross. That sweet infant's head with sparkling eyes and eager mouth was formed so that someday men might force a crown of thorns onto it. That tender body, warm and soft, wrapped in

E

70


swaddling clothes, would one day be ripped open by a spear. Jesus was born to die. —John MacArthur The word of the Father by whom all time was created was made flesh and born in time for us. He without whose divine permission no day completes its course, wished to have one of those days for His human birth. In the bosom of His Father He existed before all the cycles of the ages. Born of an earthly mother, He entered on the course of the years on that very day. The maker of man became man that He ruler of the stars might be nourished at the breast, that He the bread might be hungry, that He the fountain might thirst, that He the light might sleep, that He the way might be wearied in the journey, that He the truth might be accused by false witnesses, that He the judge of the living and the dead might be brought to trial by a mortal judge, that He justice itself might be condemned by the unjust, that He discipline personified might be scourged with a whip, that He the foundation might be suspended on a cross, that

e71


He courage incarnate might be weak, and He security itself might be wounded, and He life itself might die. —Augustine The offspring of the woman, Jesus Christ, came into the world to save women who have dethroned God, taken His place, defined personhood as tissue, and willed the death of their own child. It can’t be reversed, but it can be forgiven. That is why Christ died. —John Piper

That Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, when faced with His terrible choice and lonely vigil, chose to lay down His life that our sins may be forgiven. I remember very well a sermon on Armistice Sunday when our preacher said: “No one took away the life of Jesus, He chose to lay it down.” —Margaret Thatcher Prime minister of Great Britain The Christmas message is that there is hope for a

E

72


ruined humanity – hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory – because at the Father’s will Jesus became poor, and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross. —J.I. Packer

Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won't also cost you yours. —Rich Mullins Recording artist Emmanuel. God with us. He who resided in Heaven, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit, willingly descended into our world. He breathed our air, felt our pain, knew our sorrows, and died for our sins. He didn't come to frighten us, but to show us the way to warmth and safety. —Charles Swindoll Christ is our attorney and His portfolio is His

e73


propitiation. He stands before His Father in heaven, and every time we sin, He doesn't make a new propitiation. He doesn't die again and again. Instead He opens his portfolio and lays the exhibits of Good Friday on the bench before the Judge. Photographs of the crown of thorns, the lashing, the mocking soldiers, the agonies of the cross, and the final cry of victory: It is finished. —John Piper Christ has ascended upon high. Think you He would have returned thither with unexpiated sin red upon His garments? Do you suppose He would have ascended to the rest and to the reward of an accomplished work? What! sit at his Father’s right hand to be crowned for doing nothing, and rest until His adversaries are made his footstool, when He has not performed his Father’s will! Absurd! Impossible! His ascension in stately pomp, amidst the acclamations of angels, to the enjoyment of His Father’s continued smile, is the sure proof that the work is complete. —C.H. Spurgeon

E

74


If God became incarnate, what kind of man would He be? If God became a man we would expect His human life to be sinless. Jesus was. If God were to become a man we would expect Him to be a model of purity. Jesus was. If God were a man we would expect His words to be the greatest ever spoken. Jesus’ words were. If God were to become a man we would expect Him to exert a profound power over human personality. Jesus did. If God were to become a man we would expect some supernatural acts. And Jesus did them. If God were to become a man we would expect Him to manifest the love of God. And Jesus did in dying on the cross. —Bernard Ramm By atonement, we mean that Christ lived and died as the substitute for His people, putting away their sin and turning away God’s wrath from them, that is, all those whom God chose, in Christ, from eternity out of pure grace. —R. Scott Clark God is faithful and just to forgive every sin and cleanse from all unrighteousness because of Christ's

e75


atonement alone. In other words, the believer does not confess in order to get something. What he seeks he already has. —Jim Elliff Calvary not merely made possible the salvation of those for whom Christ died; it ensured that they would be brought to faith and their salvation made actual. —J.I. Packer This death of God’s Son is the only and entirely complete sacrifice and satisfaction for sins; it is of infinite value and worth, more than sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world. —The Canons of Dort Think of it. In order for God to atone for man’s sin, someone had to subject Himself to death. Yet only one who had unlimited ability to atone for sin could do that, only a perfect man. He had to have unlimited ability to atone, because He would be shedding His blood for all humankind. He had to be perfect because God accepts only unblemished sacrifices.

E

76


Who could do that? Only God. And God the Son shed His own blood for us (Acts 20:28). —Josh McDowell and Bart Larson The blood of Jesus unfailingly cleanses the believer from his sin at all times. There could be no sin that the blood does not cover, confessed or not confessed. Though our sins were taken care of in the cross of Christ, and by His blood being spilled for us, it is applied immediately in time to every sin we commit the nano-second we commit it. —Jim Elliff I thought I could have leaped from earth to heaven at one spring when I first saw my sins drowned in the Redeemer’s blood. —C.H. Spurgeon

The cross is not a nebulous, indefinable symbol of self-giving love; on the contrary, the cross is the monumental display of how God can be just and still pardon guilty sinners. At the cross, God, having imputed the sins of His people to Christ, pronounces judgment

e77


upon His Son as the representative of His people. There on the cross God pours out the vials of His wrath unmixed with mercy until His Son cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” —Albert N. Martin American pastor The sweetest fragrance, the most beautiful aroma that God has ever detected emanating from this planet, was the aroma of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus that was offered once and for all on the cross. —R.C. Sproul

Nothing else is of equal importance. The message of the cross is the Christian’s hope, confidence, and assurance. Heaven will be spent marveling at the work of Christ, the God-Man who suffered in the place of us sinners. —C.J. Mahaney Author and ministry leader By His death on the Cross, Christ has become the

E

78


Lamb that was slain for us, our Redeemer, the One who has made peace between us and God, who has taken our guilt on Himself, who has conquered our most deadly enemy and has assuaged the welldeserved wrath of God. —Mark Dever See how red is your guilt, mark the scarlet stain. If you were to wash your soul in the Atlantic Ocean, you might incarnadine every wave that washes all its shores, and yet the crimson spots of your transgression would still remain. But plunge into the “fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins,” and in an instant you are whiter than snow. Every speck, spot, and stain of sin is gone, and gone forever. —C.H. Spurgeon

The single most important thread in working through your disappointments is that your heart and mind ponder and grasp what the cross of Jesus Christ is

e79


all about. There is no pattern without the cross. There is no Good News without it. That is what the gospel is all about. —Ravi Zacharias Christian apologist Furthermore, a close study of the text nowhere suggests that the stone of the tomb was rolled away from the tomb to let Jesus out. The earthquake and rolling back of the stone is recorded in Matthew (28:2) as a sign of a wonderful event, not as the event itself. There can be only one conclusion: the body of Jesus was gone before the stone was rolled away. It did not need to be removed for Him to escape the tomb; He had already escaped it. The removal of the stone was for the disciples, not for Jesus. —George Eldon Ladd I do implore you, do not look upon the sacrifice of Christ as an act of mere vengeance on the Father’s part. Never imagine, oh! never indulge the idea, that Jesus died to make the Father complacent towards

E

80


us. Oh, no, dear friends: Jesus’ death is the effect of overwhelming and infinite love on the Father’s part; and every blow which wounds, every infliction which occasions sorrow, and every pang which rends his heart, speaks of the Father’s love as much as the joy, the everlasting triumph, which now surrounds His head. —C.H. Spurgeon Was He scourged? It was that “through His stripes we might be healed.” Was He condemned, though innocent? It was that we might be acquitted though guilty. Did He wear a crown of thorns? It was that we might wear the crown of glory. Was He stripped of His clothing? It was that we might be clothed in everlasting righteousness. Was He mocked and reviled? It was that we might be honored and blessed. Was He reckoned a malefactor, and numbered among transgressors? It was that we might be reckoned innocent, and justified from all sin. Was He declared unable to save Himself ? It was that He might be able to save others to the uttermost. Did He die at last, and that the most painful and disgraceful of deaths? It was that we might live for evermore, and be exalted to the highest glory. —J.C. Ryle

e81


But who is this that cometh from the tomb, with dyed garments from the bed of death? He that is glorious in His appearance, walking in the greatness of strength? It is thy Prince, O Zion! Christian, it is your Lord! He hath trodden the wine-press alone; He hath stained His raiment with blood; but now as the first-born from the womb of nature, He meets the morning of His resurrection. He arises, a conqueror from the grave; He returns with blessings from the world of spirits; He brings salvation to the sons of men. Never did the returning sun usher in a day so glorious! It was the jubilee of the universe! —Author Unknown Christ took your cup of grief, your cup of the curse, pressed it to his lips, drank it to its dregs, then filled it with His sweet, pardoning, sympathizing love, and gave it back for you to drink, and to drink forever! —Octavius Winslow Christianity begins where all the religions of the world end, at death, and it starts with resurrection. —Author Unknown

E

82


We understand and acknowledge that the Resurrection has placed a glorious crown upon all of Christ’s sufferings! —A.W. Tozer We took our sins and drove them like nails through His hands and feet. We lifted Him high up on the cross of our transgressions, and then we pierced His heart through with the spear of our unbelief. —C.H. Spurgeon Without the belief in the Resurrection the Christian faith could not have come into being. The disciples would have remained crushed and defeated men. Even had they continued to remember Jesus as their beloved teacher, His crucifixion would have forever silenced any hopes of His being the Messiah. The cross would have remained the sad and shameful end of His career. The origin of Christianity therefore hinges on the belief of the early disciples that God had raised Jesus from the dead. —William Lane Craig We need not wonder that so much importance is

e83


attached to our Lord’s resurrection. It is the seal and headstone of the great work of redemption, which He came to do. It is the crowning proof that He has paid the debt which He undertook to pay on our behalf, won the battle which He fought to deliver us from hell, and is accepted as our Surety and our Substitute by our Father in heaven. Had He never come forth from the prison of the grave, how could we ever have been sure that our ransom had been fully paid? Had He never risen from His conflict with the last enemy, how could we have felt confident, that He has overcome death, and him that had the power of death, that is the devil? But thanks be unto God, we are not left in doubt. The Lord Jesus really “rose again for our justification.” True Christians are “begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” They may boldly say with Paul, “Who is he that condemns – it is Christ that died, yes rather that is risen again.” —J.C. Ryle

What happened as a result of the resurrection is unprecedented in human history. In the span of a few hundred years, a

E

84


small band of seemingly insignificant believers succeeded in turning an entire empire upside down. As has been well said, “They faced the tyrant’s brandished steel, the lion’s gory mane, and the fires of a thousand deaths,” because they were utterly convinced that they, like their Master, would one day rise from the grave in glorified, resurrected bodies. —Hank Hanegraaff Radio host and ministry leader Had the crucifixion of Jesus ended His disciples’ experience of Him, it is hard to see how the Christian Church could have come into existence. The Church was founded on faith in the Messiahship of Jesus. A crucified Messiah was no Messiah at all. He was one rejected by Judaism and accursed by God. It was the Resurrection of Jesus, as St. Paul describes in Romans 1:4, which proclaimed Him to be the Son of God with power. —H.D.A. Major For many years, the resurrection of Jesus Christ has

e85


been the central certainty of my life, as it has for thousands and hundreds of thousands of Christians. To me the great value of Easter Sunday lies right here. Amid all the question marks of this questioning age in which we live, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s great exclamation point. And if you are aware of the questions, the doubts, and uncertainties that surround us today, I think you will agree with me that we are very much in need of exclamation marks in this day. The belief of Christians this Easter Sunday morning is an island of faith in the midst of an ocean of doubt and uncertainty. —Ray C. Stedman The dead body of Jesus could not be found. There are four possible ways to account for this. 1. His foes stole the body. If they did (and they never claimed to have done so), they surely would have produced the body to stop the successful spread of the Christian faith in the very city where the crucifixion occurred. But they could not produce it. 2. His friends stole the body. This was an early rumor (Matthew 28:11-15). Is it probable?

E

86


Could they have overcome the guards at the tomb? More important, would they have begun to preach with such authority that Jesus was raised, knowing that he was not? Would they have risked their lives and accepted beatings for something they knew was a fraud? 3. Jesus was not dead, but only unconscious when they laid him in the tomb. He awoke, removed the stone, overcame the soldiers, and vanished from history after a few meetings with his disciples in which he convinced them he was risen from the dead. Even the foes of Jesus did not try this line. He was obviously dead. The Romans saw to that. The stone could not be moved by one man from within who had just been stabbed in the side by a spear and spent six hours nailed to a cross. 4. God raised Jesus from the dead. This is what He said would happen. It is what the disciples said did happen. But as long as there is a remote possibility of explaining the resurrection naturalistically, modern people say we should not jump to a supernatural explanation. Is this reasonable? I don’t think so. Of course, we don’t

e87


want to be gullible. But neither do we want to reject the truth just because it’s strange. —John Piper Many times great difficulties precede special works of God. You can even say that God wins His greatest victories in the midst of apparent defeat. This can be clearly demonstrated in the life of our Lord on earth. When Jesus was crucified and placed in the tomb, it looked like the forces of unrighteousness had triumphed. However, it was in this time of apparent defeat that our victory for our salvation was won. This time of apparent defeat was followed by the resurrection of Christ. —Bill Thrasher Celestial spirit that doth roll The heart’s sepulchral stone away, Be this our resurrection day, The singing Easter of the soul O gentle Master of the Wise, Teach us to say: “I will arise.” —Richard Le Gallienne

E

88


Remember that grace and truth cannot finally be crucified. Remember that all the high things that make humanity beautiful cannot be forever laid in the dust, spattered with blood. And most of all, remember that He who rose from the dead, rose to pour out His Holy Spirit into human lives, and, by that Spirit, to make available to any individual all the fullness of Himself, twenty-four hours a day. —Ray C. Stedman The resurrection of Christ is the Amen of all His promises. —John Boys Imagine, for a moment, the reaction of Hell to the death of Christ. Jesus was bound with the bands of death. What celebration and joy! God was defeated! Vengeance was the Devil’s. But they reckoned without the wisdom of God. For Christ could not be held down by the bands of death. In fact through death He was paralyzing the one who had the power of death, and He was setting His people free. What seemed to be defeat was actually victory. The Resurrection morning was Hell’s gloomiest day. Satan saw the wisdom of God and tasted defeat. —Sinclair Ferguson

e89


Christ’s resurrection was the work of the Triune God. The Father raised Him from the dead. So did the Spirit. And the Son took back the life which He had laid down. For the comfort of believers, these three are and always will be One. —William Hendriksen Scholar and writer We gather together on the first rather than the seventh day of the week because redemption is even a greater work than creation and more worthy of commemoration and because the rest which followed creation is far outdone by the rest which ensues upon the completion of redemption. Like the Apostles, we meet on the first day of the week and hope that Jesus may stand in our midst and say, “Peace be unto you.” Our Lord has lifted the Sabbath from the old and rusty hinges where on the law had placed it long before and set it on the new golden

E

90


hinges which His love has fashioned. He has placed our rest day not at the end of a week of toil but at the beginning of the rest which remains for the people of God. Every first day of the week we should meditate on the rising of our Lord and seek to enter into the fellowship with Him in His risen life. —C.H. Spurgeon Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there. —Clarence W. Hall Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer; Death is strong, but Life is stronger; Stronger than the dark, the light; Stronger than the wrong, the right... —Phillips Brooks, “An Easter Carol”

We live and die; Christ died and lived! —John Stott Evangelical leader

e91


Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, "Christ is risen," but "I shall rise." —Phillips Brooks Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness. —Floyd W. Tomkins And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him. For He departed, and behold, He is here. —St Augustine Angels, roll the rock away; Death, yield up thy mighty prey: See, He rises from the tomb, Glowing with immortal bloom. —Thomas Scott, "Easter Angels" Jesus took my place on the cross to give me a place in heaven. —Unknown

E

92


Jesus Christ unifies sinners under His own death and resurrection. —Ergun Caner Author and professor Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die, I risk my whole eternity on the resurrection. —C.H. Spurgeon Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in spring-time. —Martin Luther Once more to new creation Awake, and death gainsay, For death is swallowed up of life, And Christ is risen today! —George Newell Lovejoy Christianity does not hold the Resurrection to be one among many tenets of belief. Without faith in the Resurrection there would be no Christianity at

e93


all. The Christian church would never have begun; the Jesus-movement would have fizzled out like a damp squib with His execution. Christianity stands or falls with the truth of the Resurrection. Once disprove it, and you have disposed of Christianity. —Michael Green It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. —Charles Dickens The Church does not superstitiously observe days, merely as days, but as memorials of important facts. Christmas might be kept as well upon one day of the year as another; but there should be a stated day for commemorating the birthday of our Savior, because there is danger that what may be done on any day, will be neglected. —Samuel Johnson Believer! is not this the source – the proper source of your joy – that Jesus lived, and suffered, and died for you – that He paid “all that great debt” you owed

E

94


to law and justice, and washed away the foul stain of your guilt, in His own most precious blood? —John MacDuff We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Savior was born, it is the 25th of December....Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give thanks to God for the gift of His dear Son. —Charles H. Spurgeon I feel as if Jesus Christ died only yesterday. —Martin Luther If the Resurrection is not historic fact, then the power of death remains unbroken, and with it the effect of sin; and the significance of Christ's Death remains uncertified, and accordingly believers are yet in their sins, precisely where they were before they heard of Jesus' name. —W.J. Sparrow-Simpson

e95


Fear not to go down with Jesus into the grave. —William Romaine You never hear Jesus say in Pilate's judgement hall one word that would let you imagine that He was sorry that He had undertaken so costly a sacrifice for us. When His hands are pierced, when He is parched with fever, His tongue dried up like a shard of pottery, when His whole body is dissolved into the dust of death, you never hear a groan or a shriek that looks like Jesus is going back on His commitment. —Charles H. Spurgeon It is better for me to die in behalf of Jesus Christ, than to reign over all the ends of the earth. —St. Ignatius of Antioch

If Jesus preached the same message ministers preach today, He would have never been crucified. —Leonard Ravenhill Evangelist and author

E

96


Rejoice, that the immortal God is born, so that mortal man may live in eternity. —John Huss No man understands the Scriptures, unless he be acquainted with the cross. —Martin Luther It horribly skews the meaning of the cross when contemporary prophets of self-esteem say that the cross is a witness to my infinite worth… The biblical perspective is that the cross is a witness to the infinite worth of God's glory, and a witness to the immensity of the sin of my pride. —John Piper At the heart of the story stands the cross of Christ where evil did its worst and met its match. —John Wenham Come, and see the victories of the cross. Christ’s wounds are thy healings, His agonies thy repose, His conflicts thy conquests, His groans thy songs, His pains thine ease, His shame thy glory, His death thy

e97


life, His sufferings thy salvation. —Matthew Henry Christ is to us just what the cross is. All that Christ was in heaven or on earth was put into what He did there… You do not understand Christ till you understand His cross. —P.T. Forsyth The biggest fact about Joseph’s tomb was that it wasn’t a tomb at all—it was a room for a transient. Jesus just stopped there...on His way back to glory. —Herbert Booth Smith

Apart from the resurrection of Jesus, the eschatological orientation of the church...appears as the spoke of a wheel without a hub. —Richard R. Niebuhr Theologian and commentator The resurrection asserts a truth which is by no means

E

98


always written legibly for all men on the face of nature. It tells us that the spiritual is higher than the material; that in this universe spirit counts for more than matter. —H. P. Liddon It was inevitable that Jesus Christ should be crucified. It was also inevitable that He should rise again. —H. R. L. Sheppard

e99


3

WHEN CHRIST RETURNS

N

Jesus Christ told His disciples that He would return to take His followers to Heaven, to destroy evil forever, to reward those who remained faithful to His words, and to form a New Heaven and a New Earth—the way it was meant to be since the beginning of time. It has been 2,000 years since He told these things to His disciples. Since that time, scoffers and false teachers who say Christ will never return have come and gone. Still, Christ’s promise stands—“I will come again.” And why shouldn’t He? After all, way back in the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve that the ‘seed of a woman’ would come to crush Satan’s head and pay the sin debt once and for all. Christ came and fulfilled that promise.

e101


Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. JESUS CHRIST Matthew 24:29-31

E

102


In His coming the “last day” to which the Old Testament looked forward arrived, but they have not yet run their course; the Christian church is still living in this eschaton. Jesus’ first coming inaugurated it; His second coming will consummate it. The coming of Jesus was, therefore, the beginning of the end. —R.T. France Scholar and Anglican cleric I do not know when Christ will come. I am no prophet, though I love the subject of prophecy. I dislike date-fixing, and I think it has done great harm. I only assert positively that Christ will come again one day in person to set up His kingdom, and that whether the day be near—or whether it be far off, it will take the Church and world exceedingly by surprise. —J.C. Ryle

e103


The immense step from the Babe at Bethlehem to the living, reigning triumphant Lord Jesus, returning to earth for His own people – that is the glorious truth proclaimed throughout Scripture. As the bells ring out the joys of Christmas, may we also be alert for the final trumpet that will announce His return, when we shall always be with Him. —Alan Redpath

All we could ever imagine, could ever hope for, He is… He is the Prince of Peace whose first coming has already transformed society but whose second coming will forever establish justice and righteousness. All this, and infinitely more, alive in an impoverished baby in a barn. That is what Christmas means – to find in a place where you would least expect to find anything you want, everything you could ever want. —Michael Card Singer and songwriter When Christ returned to heaven, He withdrew His physical presence from our sight. He didn’t stop

E

104


being with the disciples but by the ascension fulfilled His promise to be with us to the end of the world. As His body was raised to heaven, so His power and reign have spread to the uttermost parts. —John Calvin The world will not be converted when Christ returns. It will be found in the same condition that it was in the day of the flood. When the flood came, men were found “eating and drinking, marrying and given in marriage,” absorbed in their worldly pursuits, and utterly regardless of Noah’s repeated warnings. They saw no likelihood of a flood. They would not believe there was any danger. But at last the flood came suddenly and “took them all away.” All that were not with Noah in the ark were drowned. They were all swept away to their last account, unpardoned, unconverted, and unprepared to meet God. And our Lord says, “so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” —J.C. Ryle Jesus’ coming is the final and unanswerable proof that God cares. —William Barclay

e105


The center of Christianity is the coming of the Son of God into the world as a real man to destroy the works of the devil and create a new people for His own glory. The very heart of our faith is that He did this by obeying the law of God, dying for the sins of His people, rising victorious over death, ascending to God’s right hand with all His enemies under his feet. The second coming of Christ is the completion of His saving work. If you take it away, the whole fabric of His saving work unravels. —John Piper A true Christian has a good hope when he looks ahead: the worldly man has none. A true Christian sees light in the distance: the worldly man sees nothing but darkness. And what is the hope of a true Christian? It is just this, – that Jesus Christ is coming again, coming without sin, – coming with all His people, – coming to wipe away every tear, – coming to raise His sleeping saints from the grave, – coming to gather together all His family, that they may be for ever with Him. Why is a believer patient? Because he looks for the coming of the Lord. He can bear hard things without murmuring. He knows

E

106


the time is short. He waits quietly for the King. —J.C. Ryle

I know the strength that Christ gives me. I know what He did for me. I know that He is my way out and my way in. He’s my way out of all this havoc and my way into paradise. He suffered for me and for everybody. It’s so simple. God loves us so much. He said, “I’ll tell you what. I’m going to make it real simple for you. I’m going to send my Son, Jesus Christ. He’s going to take on all your iniquities and all your sins. He’s gonna die in your place so you can have everlasting life. All you’ve got to do is accept Him as your Saviour. —Smokey Robinson American R&B and soul singer-songwriter and record producer The apostolic church thought more about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ than about death and heaven. The early Christians were looking, not for a cleft in the ground called a grave but for a

e107


cleavage in the sky called Glory. —Alexander MacLaren Jesus will come bathed in radiant splendor, enveloped within an atmosphere of indescribable brilliance, surrounded by the ear-piercing praise of angels and saints. Scintillating light shining from His eyes. Irresistible power pouring from His hands. None will deny His beauty or escape its transforming energy. —Sam Storms Biblical prophecy provides some of the greatest encouragement and hope available to us today. Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent, so both testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ. One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ’s second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ – an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event.

E

108


For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ’s first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second! —Author Unknown

Precisely because we cannot predict the moment, we must be ready at all moments. —C.S. Lewis Professor, apologist and writer The second coming of Christ shall be utterly unlike the first. He came the first time in weakness, a tender infant, born of a poor woman in the manger at Bethlehem, unnoticed, unhonored, and scarcely known. He shall come the second time in royal dignity, with the armies of heaven around Him, to be known, recognized and feared, by all the tribes of the earth. He came the first time to suffer – to bear our sins, to be reckoned a curse, to be despised, rejected, unjustly condemned and slain. He shall come the second time to reign – to put down every enemy beneath His feet, to take the kingdom of this

e109


world for His inheritance, to rule them with righteousness, to judge all men and to live forevermore. How vast the difference! How mighty the contrast! —J.C. Ryle

E

110


4

DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH

N

At various times throughout history, men have felt the need to write or speak in defense of the Person of Jesus Christ. In this section, are quotes from these men who have used reason and debate to present well thought out explanations as to why they believe Jesus Christ is who He says He is. These words are answers to critics, skeptics, doubters, and naysayers. Defending the claims of Jesus Christ using reason is a practice often called apologetics. Not only do followers of Christ engage in apologetics, but Jesus Christ Himself told people to look at His works, not just believe His words. On the next page, the apostles speak about defending the faith and the person of Jesus Christ.

e111


But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. THE APOSTLE PETER (I Peter 3:15) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. THE APOSTLE PAUL (2 Corinthians 10:5) Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. THE APOSTLE PAUL (Titus 1:9) Beloved...it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. SAINT JUDE (Jude 3)

E

112


Why don’t the names of Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius offend people? The reason is that these others didn’t claim to be God, but Jesus did. —Josh McDowell Apologist and author There are but two essential requirements: First: has anyone cheated death and proved it? Second: Is it available to me? Here is the complete record: Confucius’ tomb: occupied. Buddha’s tomb: occupied. Mohammad’s tomb: occupied. Jesus’ tomb: empty. Argue as you will. There is no point in following a loser. —G. B. Hardy I question whether the defenses of the gospel are not sheer impertinences. The gospel does not need defending. If Jesus Christ is not alive and cannot fight His own battles, then Christianity is in a bad state. But He is alive, and we have only to preach His gospel in all its naked simplicity, and the power

e113


that goes with it will be the evidence of its divinity. —C.H. Spurgeon It is of primary importance that the preacher should be clothed with the garment of salvation; that he should be filled with a sense of the immense worth of the truth, the guilt, depravity and danger man is in; the unsearchable love of Christ in the bloody purchase, and his ability and willingness to save redeemed penitents. Without this robe, he will preach a distant Jesus, by an unfelt gospel, and with an unhallowed tongue. —John Leland

The modern world detests authority but worships relevance. Our Christian conviction is that the Bible has both authority and relevance, and that the secret of both is Jesus Christ. —John Stott Evangelical leader and author

E

114


Truth is truth, whether it’s spoken by the lips of Jesus or Balaam’s donkey. —George Macdonald We should preach the Gospel in a way suitable to the enquirer...Is it really becoming to urge people who know nothing about the being of God to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? —W. Kuhrt

The Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition, devotes 20,000 words to the person of Jesus Christ and never once hints that He didn’t exist. —John Ankerberg Evangelist and television host Jesus’ death by crucifixion under Pontius Pilate is as sure as anything historical can ever be. For if no follower of Jesus had written anything for one hundred years after his crucifixition, we would still know about him from two authors not among his

e115


supporters. Their names are Flavius Josephus and Cornelius Tacitus. —John Dominic Crossan Here is a strong argument for the truth of the Gospels, for Christianity: Christ could not possibly be fictional, for if no one in the world even now, after 2,000 years of knowing Him, can write convincing fiction about Him, if no one can imagine ‘what would Jesus do’ in a convincing way, as they can imagine what Alexander or Buddha or Augustine or Lincoln or Churchill would do, then how could a few Jewish fisherman 2,000 years ago write such incredibly original, unprecedented creative fiction based on nothing? This character could not possibly have been invented because He still cannot be invented. He can only be real. —Peter Kreeft The Christian can then teach the unbeliever that all wisdom and knowledge must take Jesus Christ as its reference point. The believer’s thinking, just as the unbeliever’s is grounded in a self-validating startingpoint. This ultimate truth must be an expression of

E

116


God’s mind; He alone speaks with unquestionable authority and self-attesting veracity. Thus Jesus categorically claimed to be the truth. —Greg Bahnsen

Whether one is Christian or Muslim, there is no getting away from the challenging figure who is Jesus of Nazareth. —Andy Bannister Canadian apologist If Christ is truly God, His claim to be the only way has to be taken seriously. If on the other hand, He is merely one more person in a pantheon of pretenders, His proclamations can easily be pushed aside. That is precisely why the resurrection is axiomatic to Christianity. Through the resurrection, Christ demonstrated that He does not stand in a line of peers with Buddha, Baha’u’llah, Krishna, or any founder of a world religion. They died and are still dead, but Christ is risen. Ultimately, resurrection and reincarnation are mutually exclusive because the

e117


former is a historical fact, while the latter is but a Hindu fantasy. —Hank Hanegraaff

Capturing the beauty of the conversion of the water into wine, the poet Alexander Pope said, “The conscious water saw its Master and blushed.” That sublime description could be reworked to explain each one of these miracles. Was it any different in principle for a broken body to mend at the command of its Maker? Was it far-fetched for the Creator of the universe, who fashioned matter out of nothing, to multiply bread for the crowd? Was it not within the power of the One who called all the molecules into existence to interlock them that they might bear His footsteps? —Ravi Zacharias Speaker and apologist We find Christ in all the Scriptures. In the Old Testament He is predicted, in the Gospels He is revealed, in Acts He is preached, in the epistles He

E

118


is explained, and in Revelation He is expected. —Alistair Begg Once we truly grasp the message of the New Testament, it is impossible to read the Old Testament again without seeing Christ on every page, in every story, foreshadowed or anticipated in every event and narrative. —Michael Horton As the prophesied Messiah, Jesus Christ is the central theme of Scripture. The Old Testament looked ahead to Him; the New Testament looks back to His first coming and on to His second. Canonical Scripture is the divinely inspired and therefore normative witness to Christ. No hermeneutic, therefore, of which the historical Christ is not the focal point is acceptable. Holy Scripture must be treated as what it essentially is – the witness of the Father to the incarnate Son. —The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy Faith in the biblical sense is substantive, based on the knowledge that the One in whom that faith is

e119


placed has proven that He is worthy of that trust. In its essence, faith is a confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and in His power, so that even when His power does not serve my end, my confidence in Him remains because of who He is. —Ravi Zacharias It has been noted that every passage of Scripture – whether it’s in the Old or New Testament – either predicts, prepares for, reflects, or results from the work of Christ. —C.J. Mahaney The resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions. Through the resurrection, Christ demonstrated that He does not stand in a line of peers with Abraham, Buddha, or Confucius. He is utterly unique. He has the power not only to lay down His life, but to take it up again. —Hank Hanegraaff The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other

E

120


area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation. —John MacArthur The Bible is the portrait of Jesus Christ. —John Stott Almost no educated person these days doubts that Jesus lived. Some accept it on faith, others on the testimony of a brace of ancient chroniclers, both Christian and Roman. —Time, October 30, 2002

Any honest account of Muhammad’s life can be summed up in the words complexity, expediency, and depravity. By any measure, the life on earth of Jesus Christ,

e121


the Son of God, far exceeds Muhammad’s in integrity, grace, and wisdom. —Ergun Caner Professor and writer The Gospel that represents Jesus Christ, not as a system of truth to be received, into the mind, as I should receive a system of philosophy, or astronomy, but it represents Him as a real, living, mighty Savior, able to save me now. —Catherine Booth The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar. —F.F. Bruce Christ is the Word of God. It is not in certain texts written in the New Testament, valuable as they are; it is not in certain words which Jesus spoke, vast as is their preciousness; it is in the Word, which Jesus is, that the great manifestation of God is made. —Phillips Brooks

E

122


Mary's virginity protected a great deal more than her own moral character, reputation, and the legitimacy of Jesus' birth. It protected the nature of the divine Son of God… Jesus had to have one human parent or He could not have been human, and thereby a partaker of our flesh. But He also had to have divine parentage or He could not have made a sinless and perfect sacrifice on our behalf. —John MacArthur The gospel is not speculation but fact. It is truth, because it is the record of a Person who is the Truth. —Alexander MacLaren The real truth is that while He came to preach the gospel, His chief object in coming was that there might be a gospel to preach. —R.W. Dale Christian doctrine is unique in that it is an intellectual response to the historical activity and revelatory disclosure of God. Doctrine is rational reflection upon God’s saving activity in Jesus Christ. Foundational to the idea of “doctrine” is the fact

e123


that we need to be told what God is like. It is not ours to determine what kind of God we will believe and obey. It is God’s to determine to show Himself to us. Doctrine is our effort to articulate what He has made known. Doctrine is the divinely authorized attempt to describe God in accordance with how He has revealed Himself in creation, in history, in Jesus Christ and in the Scriptures. In doing so, doctrine also serves to expose false interpretations of reality, false concepts of God. It is the aim of doctrine to make sense of the individual’s and the church’s experience of God as He has made Himself known in Jesus Christ. —Alister McGrath To the Christian, doctrine is unavoidable. Ours is never a choice between doctrine and no doctrine, but between sound doctrine and false doctrine. This is nowhere more urgent than when we are talking about the Christ, who is the object of our faith. —R.C. Sproul As the Father useth this expression I AM, so also doth Christ, for it signifieth continuous being,

E

124


irrespective of all time. —John Chrysostom Jesus illuminates not only the object, but the faculty; doth not only open the mysteries of the kingdom, but opens blind eyes to behold them. —Robert Leighton

Jesus was bad to the bone when, at the age of twelve, He hung out and challenged the temple rabbis to a debate on the Bible, God's Word. Jesus IS the Word, so they didn't stand a chance. —Miles McPherson American pastor and former NFL Player He used to talk to farmers about corn and mustard, wheat and tares, sheep and goats, and such like matters, all purely agricultural, and which they thoroughly understood. He used to talk to fishermen about matters widely different, and such as belonged

e125


to their craft—nets and fishes; to gardeners about vines and fig trees; to women about domestic matters, such as come within their province— kneading dough and sweeping houses. By means of these familiar figures He teaches lessons unheard of before—lessons of Divine wisdom, of supreme value, of sweet interest, of infinite love, and of eternal importance. —Griffith Thomas

No serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus. —Otto Betz Professor God is best known in Christ; the sun is not seen but by the light of the sun. —William Bridge Wisdom can be none other than the eternal Son of God. The Apostle Paul calls Him “the wisdom of God”. In Him “are hidden all the treasures of

E

126


wisdom and knowledge”. If you want to get to know the God of wisdom, study the life of Jesus Christ. As a boy, He “kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men”. When He began His public ministry, He taught with such penetrating perception and amazing authority that people asked, “Where did this man get this wisdom, and these miraculous powers?” He confronted the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees with such crisp thinking that they could not answer Him. They had the finest theological minds of the day, but their mouths were stopped before the wisdom of Jesus Christ. God gave the world the most complete and comprehensive demonstration of His wisdom possible when He sent His Son to earth. —Richard L. Strauss The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid. —Martin Luther The Word became flesh! God became human! The invisible became visible! The untouchable became touchable! Eternal life experienced temporal death! The transcendent one descended and drew near! The

e127


unlimited became limited! The infinite became finite! The immutable became mutable! The unbreakable became fragile! Spirit became matter! Eternity entered time! The independent became dependent! The almighty became weak! The loved became hated! The exalted was humbled! Glory was subjected to shame! Fame turned into obscurity! From inexpressible joy to tears of unimaginable grief! From a throne to a cross! From ruler to being ruled! From power to weakness! —Sam Storms Remove Christ from the Scriptures and there is nothing left. —Martin Luther Take away the cross of Christ, and the Bible is a dark book. —J.C. Ryle It would require much exotic calculation...to deny that the single most powerful figure—not merely in these two millenniums but in all human history— has been Jesus of Nazareth. —Reynolds Price

E

128


There is one key which will open the Book to you and reveal its golden treasures. That key is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Foundation, the Center, and the Mainspring of all Divine Truth. This is what He said, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.” If we would avoid error in interpreting and applying the Scriptures, we must understand that everything in the Bible speaks of and relates to Christ. Divorce any doctrine from Christ and that doctrine becomes heresy. Divorce any precept from Christ and that precept becomes self-righteous legality. —Don Fortner The doctrine of the Incarnation means that two distinct natures (divine and human) are united in one Person: Jesus. Jesus is not two people (God and man). He is one Person: the God-man. Jesus is not schizophrenic. When the Word became flesh He did not cease to be the Word. The Word veiled, hid, and voluntarily restricted the use of certain prerogatives. But God cannot cease to be God. In other words,

e129


when the Word became flesh He did not commit divine suicide. —Sam Storms To Christ the Bible is true, authoritative, inspired, to Him the God of the Bible is the living God, and the teaching of the Bible is the teaching of the living God. To Him what the Scripture says, God says. —John Wenham The name Emmanuel takes in the whole mystery. Jesus is “God with us.” He had a nature like our own in all things, sin only excepted. But though Jesus was “with us” in human flesh and blood, He was at the same time very God. —J.C. Ryle An advocate is one who is called along the side of another, for his comfort and help. He is a lawyer to plead our cause in court. The judge with whom our Advocate pleads is His Father and ours. A crime is urged against us, deserving the sentence of death. Now it is the place of our Advocate to plead for His clients. Behold, Jesus Christ, the sinner's

E

130


Advocate, as He pleads our cause in heaven. —Don Fortner

Non-Christians seem to think that the Incarnation implies some particular merit or excellence in humanity. But of course it implies just the reverse: a particular demerit and depravity. No creature that deserved Redemption would need to be redeemed. They that are whole need not the physician. Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for; to make them worth it. —C.S. Lewis Professor, apologist and writer Only as the Holy Spirit takes the place of the human father in Jesus’ conception can it be true that the one conceived is both fully God and fully man. Christ must be both God and man to atone for sin, but for this to occur, He must be conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a human virgin. No one else in the history of the world is conceived by the Spirit

e131


and born of a virgin mother. Therefore, Jesus alone qualifies to be Savior. —Bruce Ware What a paradox that a babe in a manger should be called mighty! Yet even as a baby, Jesus Christ revealed power. His birth affected the heavens as that star appeared. The star affected the Magi, and they left their homes and made that long journey to Jerusalem. Their announcement shook King Herod and his court. Jesus’ birth brought angels from heaven and simple shepherds from their flocks on the hillside. Midnight became midday as the glory of the Lord appeared to men. —Warren Wiersbe His being does not consist of material substance, which is created. As uncreated, He is pure spirit. No human eye can hope to “see” Him except to the degree that He chooses to reveal Himself in some mediated form compatible with the finitude of man or in the incarnation of His Son. The glorious good news is that the invisible God became visible in the person of Jesus. —Sam Storms

E

132


The best way to reconcile two disagreeing families is to make some marriage between them: Even so, the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us in the world that He might hereby make our peace, reconciling God to man and man to God. By this happy match the Son of God is become the Son of Man, even flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bones; and the sons of men are made the sons of God. —John Boys The modern intelligent mind, which has had its horizons widened in dozens of different ways, has got to be shocked afresh by the audacious central fact that as a sober matter of history, God became one of us. —J.B. Phillips The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation. —J.I. Packer

e133


5

THE MIRACLE WORKER

N

What made the residents of first century Palestine stop and take notice of Jesus Christ? It was not His looks or anything about His personality. The Bible testifies to that in Isaiah 53. Rather, it was the things He said, and the things He did. While He walked this earth, Jesus worked miracles which demonstrated His power over disease, nature, people, animals, and death. He made a meal for over 5,000 people out of a little boy’s lunch. He called a man who had been dead for days out of his tomb. He walked on water. He simply appeared in locked rooms without opening a door. The miracles Jesus worked made people stop and think, ‘This Man is ...God.’

e135


This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. JOHN THE APOSTLE (St. John 21:24 & 25)

E

136


It is by far the most amazing miracle in the whole Bible – far more amazing than the resurrection and more amazing than the creation of the universe. The fact that the infinite, omnipotent, eternal Son of God could become man and join Himself to a human nature forever, so that infinite God became one person with finite man, will remain for eternity the most profound miracle and the most profound mystery in all the universe. —Wayne Grudem Professor, theologian and author Though miracles of all types did speak of Christ’s divine origin and were instrumental in authenticating His and His apostles’ message, Christ surprisingly did not appreciate those who sought for a sign. Herod was among them. In fact, Jesus said, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign”. —Jim Elliff I will cling to the rope God has thrown me in Jesus Christ, even when my numb hands can no longer feel it. —Sophie Scholl

e137


The central miracle asserted by Christians is the incarnation. They say that God became man. —C.S. Lewis Professor, apologist, and writer Any sensationalism inevitably is frustrated by the law of diminishing returns. People are never satisfied. They always want one more sign, one more miracle, one more show. To have maintained His influence over the people by the use of miracles, Jesus would have had to produce greater and greater sensations. Because the natural, carnal heart can never be satisfied, this year’s miracle would have become next year’s bore. His followers would only have been lovers of sensation, not lovers of God. —John MacArthur Peter knew a sounder basis for faith than that of signs and wonders. He had seen our Lord Jesus Christ receive honor and glory from God the Father in the holy mount; he had been dazzled and carried out of himself by visions and voices from heaven;

E

138


but, nevertheless, even when his memory and heart are throbbing with recollections of that sublime scene, he says, “We have something surer still in the prophetic word.”… It was not the miracles of Christ by which he came to know Jesus, but the word of Christ as interpreted by the Spirit of Christ. —Samuel Cox

One encounter with Jesus Christ is enough to change you, instantly, forever. —Luis Palau Christian evangelist Ultimately, no sign, miracle, wonder, or gift will persuade a person to believe if God has not opened his heart to receive the word... Many who see signs will at first appear to believe, yet will still be unconverted. “Many believed in His name, observing the signs which He was doing,” said John. “But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them.” Why not? John says it was because Jesus knew their hearts. Seekers may be entranced by the miraculous

e139


and look as though they are true believers, yet still be unchanged in their hearts. —Jim Elliff Some would suggest that Jesus was “seeker sensitive” in that He worked His miracles in order to attract large crowds to which He could share the gospel. But in several passages it is plain this is not His motive. Clearly, Christ did not intend these miraculous works for public exploitation. There is little to indicate Christ worked miracles in order to draw a crowd. He was opposed to selling the gospel by appealing to their love for the sensational. ...He sharply rebuked the five thousand for seeking Him for merely physical satisfaction. Jesus did not teach us to draw people to Him by appealing to their senses. Instead He claimed full responsibility for drawing all to Himself by way of the cross; therefore, exalting Christ, “and Him crucified,” is to be the primary object in worship, as well as evangelism. —Bill Izard Men can see the greatest miracles and miss the glory of God. What generation was ever favored with

E

140


miracles as Jesus’ generation was? Yet that generation crucified the Son of God! —Tom Wells The truth is, those who claim miracles today are not able to substantiate their claims. Unlike the miracles in the New Testament, which were usually done with crowds of unbelievers watching, modern miracles typically happen either privately or in religious meetings. The types of miracles claimed, too, are nothing like New Testament miracles. Jesus and the apostles instantly and completely healed people born blind, a paralytic, a man with a withered arm – all obvious, indisputable miracles. Even Jesus’ enemies did not challenge the reality of His miracles! Moreover, New Testament miracles were immediate, thorough, and permanent. Our Lord and His disciples never did a miracle slowly or incompletely. —John MacArthur The miracles Jesus performs...do not compel faith; but those with faith will perceive their significance. —D.A. Carson

e141


Miracles are special acts of God that disrupt the normal course of events; they are acts of God that confirm the word of God through a messenger of God. Jesus of Nazareth lived a miracle-filled life to communicate to the world that He was the promised Messiah that had arrived on a rescue mission. —Derwin L. Gray Nowhere on the pages of the Gospel record did anyone ever deny the reality of Jesus’ miracles. Who could deny them? There were too many, and they had been done too publicly to be dismissed by even the most skeptical gainsayers. Of course, some desperately tried to attribute Jesus’ miracles to the power of Satan. No one, however, ever denied that the miracles were real. Anyone could see that He had the power to cast out demons and do miracles at will. No one could honestly question whether He truly had power over the supernatural world. —John MacArthur

Some years ago I saw how a simple countryman was being shown a red glass bottle filled with milk. They asked him what

E

142


was in the bottle. He said: ‘Wine, brandy, whisky.’ He could not believe that it was filled with milk until he saw the milk being poured out from it, because he could not see the white colour of the milk flowing to the redness of the glass. So it is with the Person of the Saviour. He became Man and His Godhead was hidden in His Humanity. People saw Him tired, hungry, and thirsty, and they said: ‘If He is God, why is He tired, hungry and thirsty, and why does He pray to God?’ They saw only His human side, and could not believe that He was really Divine. But those who followed Him and lived with Him knew that He was more than human and that He was God. —Sadhu Sundar Singh Indian Christian missionary The gospel which they so greatly needed they would not have; the miracles which Jesus did not always choose to give, they eagerly demanded. —C.H. Spurgeon

e143


6

LIVING OUR LIVES IN THE LIGHT OF HIS

N

Jesus Christ did not come to earth only for us to benefit from His life. But He desires for us to live our lives like He lived His. Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. JESUS CHRIST (John 13:13-17)

e145


There is more light in Christ's words than in any other human words. This is not enough, it seems, to be a Christian: in addition, one must believe. —Andre Gide French novelist There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth. You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place. —Joyce Meyer Our mind is where our pleasure is, our heart is where our treasure is, our love is where our life is, but all these, our pleasure, treasure, and life, are reposed in Jesus Christ. —Thomas Adams

It was Jesus Christ himself who taught the importance of having a meek and gentle spirit...America has lost the concept of

e147


biblical meekness, but that is what is involved in following the leaders of your organization. Even if I disagree with some of the things in the NFL and the Commissioner, I am still to submit in meekness...I do that as a testimony to God's Word and I do that for God's glory. —Tony Dungy NFL football coach I, William Shakespeare, of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the county of Warrick, gentleman in perfect health and memory. God be praised, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say, first, I commend my soul into the hands of God, my Creator, hoping and assuredly believing, through the only merits of Jesus Christ, my Saviour, to be made partaker of life everlasting, and my body to the Earth whereof it is made. —William Shakespeare

Jesus makes God visible, makes change possible, makes happiness attainable, makes

E

148


resources ample, makes suffering understandable, makes sin forgivable, and makes Heaven available. —Anne Graham Lotz Author and Christian speaker It pleases the Father that all fullness should be in Christ; therefore there is nothing but emptiness anywhere else. —William Gadsby For a beggar to live at court is not so much as the King to dwell with him in his cottage. —William Gurnall The branch of the vine does not worry, and toil, and rush here to seek for sunshine, and there to find rain. No; it rests in union and communion with the vine; and at the right time, and in the right way, is the right fruit found on it. Let us so abide in the Lord Jesus. —Hudson Taylor

e149


To me, a faith in Jesus Christ that is not aligned to social justice – that is not aligned with the poor – it’s nothing...God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them. —Bono Lead singer of U2 Those who die in Jesus live a larger, fuller, nobler life, by the very cessation of care, change, strife, and struggle. —Alexander Maclaren

I am not the King. Jesus Christ is the King. I'm just an entertainer. —Elvis Presley Singer

E

150


Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus. —Elton Trueblood Jesus Christ did not say, 'Go into the world and tell the world that it is quite right.' —C.S. Lewis

All I know is this works. It not only worked for me, but I've seen it work for literally thousands and thousands of people. I have seen the transformation on people's faces when they receive Christ. I've seen the glory come on them, the light. —Joyce Meyer Author and Christian speaker I don’t know how else to explain it except to say that I suddenly felt the call to truly trust Christ. I had one foot in and one foot out. You’re either hot or you’re cold, and I wanted to be hot. That day I decided that I wanted to be different. I wanted to put my faith in Jesus once and for all...I’ve been on

e151


that journey for a number of years now, and I can honestly say that it’s the best decision I ever made. —Avery Johnson Basketball coach

(My) great joy and glory that, in occupying an exalted position in the nation, I am enabled, to preach the practical moralities of The Bible to my fellowcountrymen and to hold up Christ as the hope and Savior of the world. —Theodore Roosevelt 26th U.S. president Those who have minutely studied the character of the Saviour will find it difficult to determine whether there is most to admire or to imitate in it – there is so much of both. —Author Unknown

E

152


This is really the most important factor in my life, my faith in Jesus Christ. When you accept Christ, He becomes first in your life. It's this priority that gives me peace. —Tom Landry American football player and coach How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, His precepts! —Benjamin Franklin Jesus offers peace from God to all who are the recipients of His grace. He makes peace with God for those who surrender to Him in faith. And He brings the peace of God to those who walk with Him. —John MacArthur Jesus is no security against life's storms, but He is perfect security in them. —Author Unknown

e153


I’d just like to first start off by thanking my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who gave me the ability to play football. —Tim Tebow American football player Christ's life outwardly was one of the most troubled lives that was ever lived: tempest and tumult, tumult and tempest, the waves breaking over it all the time. But the inner life was a sea of glass. The great calm was always there. —Henry Drummond

I looked back on my life and just reflected and I thought, ‘I can’t go on. I can’t make it.’ The only way I could have gotten through these events is with confidence, trust, and faith in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. —C. Vivian Stringer women’s college basketball coach

E

154


What self denial! What self abasement! What self emptying! He, whom no infinitudes can hold, is contained within infant’s age, and infant’s form. Can it be, that the great “I AM THAT I AM” shrinks into our flesh? —Henry Law The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions, and the nearer we get to Him the more intensely missionary we must become. —Henry Martyn To abide in [Christ] expresses the continual act by which the Christian sets aside everything which he might derive from his own wisdom, strength, merit, to draw all from Christ. —Frederic Louis Godet To be in Christ is the source of the Christian’s life; to be like Christ is the sum of His excellence; to be with Christ is the fullness of His joy. —Charles Hodge

e155


When you turn your heart and your life over to Christ, when you accept Christ as the savior, it changes your heart. —George W Bush 43rd U.S. President The Church of God apart from the Person of Christ is a useless structure. However ornate it may be in its organization, however perfect in all its arrangements, however rich and increased with goods, if the Church is not revealing the Person, lifting Him to the height where all men can see Him, then the Church becomes an impertinence and a sham, a blasphemy and a fraud, and the sooner the world is rid of it, the better. —G. Campbell Morgan The more I get to know Jesus, the more trouble he seems to get me into. —Shane Claiborne If I am not today all that I hope to be, yet I see Jesus, and that assures me that I shall one day be like Him. —Charles H. Spurgeon

E

156


My family, frankly, they weren't folks who went to church every week. My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew but she didn't raise me in the church, so I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead. —Barack Obama 44th U.S. President He became what we are that He might make us what He is. —Athanasius If you love Him and serve Him and try to be loyal to Him and obedient to Him, He’s not going to let you fail. That’s the thing that has happened to me. —Bobby Bowden College football coach

e157


It's the spiritual aspect that gives the edge and an extra burst of energy to draw from. My victories are not achieved by my might, nor by my power, but by the Spirit of Christ who strengthens me. —Evander Holyfield professional boxer When all is said and done and my life is over, all that will have truly mattered is that I made a choice in this life to believe in and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. —Kerry Livgren If, in the end, you have not chosen Jesus Christ it will not matter what you have chosen. —Neal A. Maxwell The amount of time we spend with Jesus — meditating on His Word and His majesty, seeking His face — establishes our fruitfulness in the kingdom. —Charles Stanley Christian pastor and writer

E

158


The fundamental basis of all Christian missionary enterprise is the universal authority of Jesus Christ, “in heaven and on earth.” If the authority of Jesus were circumscribed on earth, if He were but one of many religious teachers, one of many Jewish prophets, one of many divine incarnations, we would have no mandate to present Him to the nations as the Lord and Savior of the world. If the authority of Jesus were limited in heaven, if He has not decisively overthrown the principalities and powers, we might still proclaim Him to the nations, but we would never be able to “turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God”. Only because all authority on earth belongs to Christ dare we go to all nations. And only because all authority in heaven as well is His have we any hope of success. —John Stott He is the King of kings, the radiance of His glory, the Lord of the spaceless, fabulous, infinite universe, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, unspeakable, holy, dwelling in light, unapproachable, changeless... and yet He condescended to be enclosed in lowly human flesh, to be born a despised Judean, in a filthy

e159


stable, in the womb of a simple Israeli woman and without fanfare or pomp. —Author Unknown So if the world hates us, we take courage that it hated Jesus first. If you’re wondering whether you'll be safe, just look at what they did to Jesus and those who followed him. There are safer ways to live than by being a Christian. —Shane Claiborne

Radical obedience to Christ is not easy... It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us. —David Platt American pastor and bestselling author

E

160


7

JESUS, IN HIS OWN WORDS

N

We have read much of what men have said about Christ. But what did Christ say about Himself? I am the Light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. I am one that bear witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me beareth witness of Me. I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.

e161


I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this? I am the true Vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.

E

162


I am the living Bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread which I shall give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world...Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. This is the Bread which came down from heaven. I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

e163


I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Fear not; I am the First and the Last: Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

E

164


JESUS CHRIST: THE WAY...

N

Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” In the early days after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven, the people we now call followers of Christ simply called their new faith “The Way.” The Way? Yes, the Way to joy, peace, eternal life, union with God, and a relationship with Jesus Christ Himself. Do you want to know The Way to all these things? Keep reading. Dear Reader Friend, you have just finished reading a book that represents compelling evidence that Jesus Christ... ...was born and lived upon planet Earth and set the greatest example for mankind...

e165


...that He died for our sins... ...that He rose again for our justification... ...and that He had the greatest impact upon men and women, boys and girls throughout all ages and around the world... My simple question is, do you know Him as your personal Saviour? If for some reason you do not, here is how you can know Him today: First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7: 20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…” Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to

E

166


hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible also says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Fourth, accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Fifth, accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jesus Christ, John 3:16).

e167


Sixth, with these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Seventh, if you are willing to trust Christ as your Saviour, please pray with me the following prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner. For Jesus Christ’s sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life. Amen.

E

168


WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU ENTER THROUGH THE DOOR

N

Jesus Christ said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” If you entered the “door” by giving your heart and life to Jesus Christ by praying the prayer on the previous page, congratulations! Now, here are some things you need to do to jump-start your walk with Jesus Christ—the same Jesus that so many others have walked with before. Jesus Christ said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9). I am convinced that there are many people who have entered through the “Door,” that is, they have been

e169


truly saved, but, sadly, no one ever sat down with them and told them correctly what they should do after they have entered through the “Door.” Getting saved is most important, but what you do after you are saved is very important as well. Following are seven things that you definitely need to do after you are saved: 1. Get Baptized. Matthew 28:19 says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” It is very important that you obey the Lord and follow Him in Believers’ Baptism. Even if you were baptized at another time in your life, if you are just now truly getting saved, you still need to be baptized again because you were not saved the first time you were baptized. You see, we don’t get baptized to be saved; rather, we get baptized because we are saved. 2. Join a good church. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:

E

170


and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Let’s face it: everything that says church on it is not necessarily a church of the Lord Jesus Christ. For there are many false churches and teachers in the world. Below are some marks of a good church: A. The pastor preaches from the Word of God—the Bible—and he strives to practice what he preaches. B. The church stands on the basics of the Christian faith. The basics of the Christian faith are: • The Bible is Inspired by God • The Deity of Jesus Christ • The Blood Atonement for Sin by Jesus Christ • Salvation by Faith in Jesus Christ • The Imminent Return of Jesus Christ C. An emphasis is placed on reaching out to others with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

e171


D. The love of Jesus Christ is shown. These are just a few marks of a good church. Pray and follow the Lord’s leading. 3. Allow yourself to be trained. Matthew 28:20 says, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” This will mean that you will have to humble yourself and listen to your pastor and those he appoints to help you. You see, becoming a Christian is something totally new to you and there are many important things that you will have to learn from others who are trained and have the experience. 4. Pray daily. Luke 18:1 says, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint.” You will find that regular prayer unto God will be one of your greatest sources of strength, power and blessing. 5. Read your Bible daily. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the

E

172


word of God.” As they say, “When you pray, you talk to God. When you read your Bible, God talks to you.” Do you want to live a vibrant, strong, useful and successful Christian life? Then you will want to read and meditate on your Bible daily. 6. Witness for Christ daily. Acts 1:8 says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Jesus Christ commands us to witness for Him. One of the greatest joys you will ever have in this life is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with another person. A greater joy is to see them come to know your Saviour as their Saviour. So plant the seed everywhere you go and allow God to use you to “turn many from darkness to light.” 7. If you are willing to follow Jesus Christ as one of His disciples, pray with me the following prayer: Holy Father, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ please forgive and cleanse me of all sin. Create within me a pure heart and a right spirit. Please help

e173


me to do the things that I just read, and grant me your grace to be a Christian that will glorify your name. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen. Congratulations on entering through the “Door” of Eternal Life by believing in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Trusting Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour is the most important thing you will ever do. Now that you are saved, let’s live for the One who died for us. God bless you as you serve Him.

E

174


NAMES

PEOPLE PICTURED ON THE FRONT AND BACK COVER OF THE

N

Front Cover: In order from left to right, starting with the top row and going down. 1. Tony Dungy 2. Bono 3. Elvis Presley 4. Avery Johnson 5. Tom Landry 6. Angela Bassett 7. Earvin Johnson 8. Tim Tebow 9. Margaret Thatcher 10. Julius Erving

e175


11. Sadhu Sundar Singh 12. Theodore Roosevelt 13. C. Vivian Stringer 14. Smokey Robinson 15. George W. Bush 16. Justin Bieber 17. John MacArthur 18. Barack Obama 19. George Foreman 20. Bobby Bowden Back Cover: In order from top to bottom. 1. John Stott 2. John Piper 3. Joyce Meyer 4. Charles Stanley 5. Evander Holyfield 6. Josh McDowell 7. Luis Palau

E

176



JustJesus2