Why Jesus? Well, if not Jesus, then who? He is the One and Only. He is the Word who became flesh “and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1: 14
Why Jesus? Well, because, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1: 1-5
I remember the first time someone ever asked me “are you saved?” It was actually one of my students during my VERY short stint as a High School Spanish teacher at a small Christian School. I’ll never forget the moment. I had wrapped up class, and one of my students stayed behind helping me with some papers. Suddenly, she, totally unabashedly, blurted out the question with the confidence that only the Holy Spirit can provide, “Mrs. Dieter, are you saved?”
I don’t even know where the question came from? I think we had been talking about my Mom who was in the middle of cancer treatment back in Panama. That might’ve prompted the question in her heart, but to me, it was completely unexpected.
I remember taking a step back and feeling unsettled. I did not know how to handle such a question. Never in my entire life had I faced this thought. In a few microseconds, my mind raced through almost 30 years-worth of living. I had known Jesus all my life. I had grown up in the church. Back in Panama, I don’t think I ever missed Sunday mass. But somehow, the question baffled me.
Finally I gave her an uncharacteristically guarded “yes” seasoned with a sprinkle of disbelieve in my voice which, if it made my young student feel bad, it never showed. We finished gathering all my messy worksheets and she walked away with a smile, leaving me behind with troubled thoughts about faith and salvation.
As I realized later, I had never even considered I might have not been saved. How could I not be saved? I had done everything needed all throughout my life! Of course I was saved. I had no idea what “having a relationship with Christ” really meant; but what did that have to do with being saved? As a matter of fact, could anybody really truly know they were saved? Isn’t salvation a process that involves all your life and has to do with striving toward perfection? Since nobody is perfect, who can be 100% sure that they are going to spend eternity in Heaven? So who is saved? How can anybody know? I was entering a zone of extreme confusion where all my previous convictions where shaken and I became frustrated and angry. It was as if fog had been obstructing my vision all my life and it was finally clearing up right in front of my eyes. What I saw, however, was different to what I had known before and praying for discernment became a new staple in my meditations.
The Lord, in His perfect plan and design for my life, grabbed me by the hand and led me through the confusing waters of revelation and landed me on the side of the truth of His Word, where there is no more fog to blur the vision. Of course this doesn’t mean I understand it all. I am extremely far from it. It only means that I finally have the Holy Spirit dwelling in me and with Him as my Guide, I am restored. I have been adopted into the family of God, and as His child, I am also His heir.
The Holy Spirit leads me through the pages of His Word and shows me that, yes, nobody is perfect, Only Him. Therefore, we all need a Savior.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
“All have sinned,” that means me too. And because I am a sinner, I am condemned to death. “For the wages [payment] of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Death is eternal separation from God.
But God loves me so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear my sin and die in my place. “ . . . He hath made Him [Jesus, Who knew no sin] to be sin for us . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus had to shed His blood and die. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). “ . . . without shedding of blood is no remission [pardon]” (Hebrews 9:22).
“ . . . God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Although I cannot understand exactly how, God said my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true. God cannot lie.
In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: “ . . . ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved . . . .’ ”
Simply believe He is the one who bore your and my sin, died in your and my place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior.
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).
Whosoever includes you and me. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but will be saved.
In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed: “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
Just pray: “Oh God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen.”
Just take God at His word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church, no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it!
God’s power will save you, and enable you to live a victorious Christian life. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Many years have gone by since that Divine appointment. I remember that shortly after that encounter I figured out that being a High School teacher was definitively not my calling. I left that Christian School after having worked there for merely three months. I never saw any of my students again. I never heard from that brave young lady who so boldly confronted me with the truth and unknowingly directed me toward the path to a relationship with Christ. As I remember her with my utmost gratitude today, I wonder what she might be doing now. But whatever she is doing, and wherever she might be, I pray the Lord has a tight grip on her life still, and that He gives her awareness of the lives she helped change, particularly mine.
“Whosoever therefore shall confess [testify of] Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32)
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10: 9
Let us then declare it! Why Jesus? Because “Jesus IS Lord”!
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).