I listened to a sermon the other day, presumably for Resurrection Sunday. It was by Alistair Begg. It was about the question of Jesus' resurrection: What If It's All True? If Jesus didn't die and was raised up again, then there is no such thing as forgiveness of sins by our God. I just want to share a part of this sermon. Throughout there was a word so prominent, like I'd never heard it before...trust.
If you are a Christian today you believe in the risen Lord or you wouldn't believe at all. But the Jesus who died on the cross is the Jesus who died an atoning death for your sins.
By His death and resurrection, writes Paul in Romans 4, Jesus has achieved salvation for all who trust in Him.
He was delivered over to death for our sins, and raised again from the dead to secure our justification.
He has achieved salvation for those who trust Him.
He did not achieve salvation for those who say, "Yeah I believe there was a Jesus."
He did not achieve salvation for those who say they think the Sermon on the Mount is a good document.
He did not achieve salvation for the person who says, "I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and be a much better person than I have the past 20 years of my life."
He has achieved salvation for those who TRUST in Him.
Here's a question for you:
Have you ever come to Jesus Christ and trusted Him?
In the words of an old song from childhood:
He did not come to judge the world,
He did not come to blame,
He did not only come to seek,
But it was to save He came.
When we call Him Savior,
When we call Him Savior,
When we call Him Savior...
We call Him by His name.*******
He is the only one who can break us of the bonds of our inherently sinful natures. Only He can set us free from sin and spiritual death. Life is not perfect on this earth. Our physical bodies will still deteriorate and we will still die, we will still have life's struggles, but Jesus asks us to trust in Him, call out to Him and seek Him.
If we put our trust in Jesus now we can have peace. We focus on Him. We learn to trust in Him. We know our eternal security is real and it's those eternal rewards, in Christ, that we look forward to. Then, with others who have done this, as life goes on, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)
Begg continued by saying the reason Jesus died, and we've heard this over and over, is because we have sin in our lives. None of us is righteous, nor are we good in our own strength. But when we call on Jesus Christ to become our Lord and Savior, He removes the unrighteousness within us and our sinful natures and He creates a new person. We still aren't perfect because we live in these human, fleshly bodies. We have our own minds, our own wills which Jesus works to transform. But the only way that will happen is by giving our lives to Him today.
I can only plant seeds of His truth. I cannot turn a person's life over to Jesus Christ myself. That is up to each individual. It is my responsibility to do what Christ would want us to do and that is share the gospel of Jesus Christ, His life, His death and His resurrection for our sins, of which we are all guilty.
The Bible tells us:
1John 1:8-10 - If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Matthew 11:28-30 - Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.