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Explaining Our Faith

I am often asked to give a reason for my faith in Jesus.  Perhaps the best way to explain comes from this quotation:
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(Philippians 2 verses 5-11; New American Standard Bible)

Essentially, most religions acknowledge Jesus as:

  • a Good Man
  • a Prophet
  • a Great Teacher

And this is the biggest challenge facing true Christianity - people being ""nice"" about Jesus but missing the power of His sacrifice.  All other religions are ""bloodless"" when it comes to their central saving figure.  For salvation to truly work as a concept, it was necessary that Jesus be more than a good man, more than a prophet, and more than a great teacher.  Jesus HAS to be the Son of God.  As it says in these Scriptures, ""although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped...""  This is the WHOLE point of the Gospels.  Jesus IS God, but deliberately, knowingly and purposefully CHOSE to lay aside His Divine rights in order to live His life as a normal human being to show what could be achieved.  He ""emptied Himself"" and took the punishment for ALL and EVERY sin as if He had committed them Himself.

This means that His sacrifice was acceptable to God the Father as a replacement for the punishment due to anyone who hasn‘t lived a perfect life - yup, that‘s all of us!

The BIG ISSUE facing modern mankind is the whole concept of sin and punishment.  Again, this is to miss the whole point.  God is perfect.  His Presence is too much for us to be in without also being of like Nature.  In short, to spend time in His Presence, we need to become of like-Nature.  This is why there is so much talk in Evangelical Christian circles about being ""Born Again.""