November 21, 2017

Why I Need Jesus

By Mike Willis

I am a man. I am not an emotional cripple. I am not in severe financial straits. I am not about to go through a divorce. I am not having trouble with my children. As a matter of fact, from every outward point of view, I seem to have things going pretty well for me. I have a good education. I have a beautiful family - a lovely wife and a boy and girl. We live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. We drive reasonably nice cars. Despite all of these things, I plainly confess to you that I need Jesus.

Some people have the impression that anyone who needs Jesus is poor and uneducated, experiencing tremendous emotional turmoil and problems, or somewhat of an unstable person unable to cope with life's problems without a crutch to lean on. My friends, that is not true. I do not fall into any of those categories, yet I plainly confess to you that I need Jesus.

I am convinced that every man needs Jesus and precisely for the same reasons that I need Him. I would like to explain to you why I need Jesus.

I Need Jesus As My Savior From Sin

I am a sinner. I openly confess to you that I have transgressed God's holy word on many occasions. I have openly violated some of those prohibitions given in God's word (1 Jn. 3:4; 5:17) and neglected to perform some of the obligations imposed on me by God (Jas. 4:17). I have transgressed God's commandments just like Adam and Eve transgressed God's word in the Garden of Eden.

The Bible reveals the plight of sinners. Men who commit sin - and that is every accountable person (Rom. 3:23) - are separated from God by their sin (Isa. 59:1-2). The punishment for sinning is spiritual death (Rom. 6:23) - everlasting separation from God (2 Thess. 1:7-9). The Lord has prepared a place for sinners known as Hell. It is a lake of fire and brimstone in which the wicked will be cast to burn forever and ever. As a sinner, I faced Hell as the consequence for having violated God's word.

There was nothing I could do to save myself from sin. My regret for having sinned could not erase the fact that I have sinned. No amount of righteous living could hide the fact that I had sinned. God's justice demands the punishment of sin. To illustrate this point, consider the case of a man caught speeding on the highway. He may protest when the officer stops him, "But officer, I have been driving ten years without a traffic violation." That does not change the fact that he broke the law. He may promise, "Officer, I promise never to speed again." That does not change the fact that he broke the law. He has violated the law and must pay the fine for having violated it. In a similar fashion, I had sinned against God and stood condemned before the judgment throne of God as a sinner doomed to Hell.

I needed someone to save me from the consequences of my sin. Praise God, Jesus Christ came to save me from the horrible punishment of Hell, the just wages of my sin. Jesus came to this earth to "seek and save that which was lost" (Lk. 19:10), to "save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21). He suffered the death of the cross in order to shed His precious blood that I might be redeemed from sin (1 Jn. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). The blood which was shed on Calvary was shed to redeem me from sin.

Jesus is not just a savior, as if there were many other saviors and He was just one among many. He is man's only savior from sin. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (Jn. 14:6). Peter preached, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Yes, I need Jesus as my Savior from sin.

I Need Jesus As My Intercessor

I wish that I could tell you that I have learned my lesson and that I never sin any more. The truth of the matter is that, despite my concentrated efforts to avoid sin, I stumble into sin occasionally even after I have been saved by the precious blood of Christ. I need Jesus' blood every time I commit sin. I need Him to intercede for me to the Father.

He lives today in Heaven, making intercession for me to God. John described the work of Jesus as our Advocate when we stumble into sin. He wrote, "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 Jn. 2:1-2). Jesus "ever liveth to make intercession" (Heb. 7:25) for His children. I need Jesus as my intercessor to God.

I Need Jesus As An Example To Follow

Every person learns from the example of others. I have learned so many lessons from the example of my parents, elders, deacons, and other dedicated Christians. I find a model easier to follow than mere instructions. Jesus provided the model life for me to follow in every way.

He laved a perfect life. He was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). Hence, I can learn from Jesus' perfect example how I should live. (a) I can follow His example in resisting the temptation to sin (Matt. 4:1-11). I can profit from seeing how He relied on Scripture and resisted the Devil. (b) I can learn from His willingness to suffer in order to do God's will. The episode in the Garden of Gethsemane in which Jesus offered His prayer to God with "strong crying and tears" (Heb. 5:7) saying, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39) demonstrates an example for me to follow in submitting to God's will regardless of the suffering which I must endure to do so. (c) His example in bearing mistreatment is a model for me to follow. While He hung on the cross, men reviled Him but Jesus never answered them with bitter railings (1 Pet. 2:21-22). Instead, He prayed to the Father in behalf of those who crucified Him saying, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Lk. 23:34).

The impact of Jesus' example on my life has been present from childhood. My parents taught me very early in life to use His example to help me make moral choices. In those areas in which I had to make moral choices they taught me to ask, "What would Jesus do in this situation?" His example has helped me to avoid many evils in life including drinking, drugs, smoking, and other similar things. I still need Jesus as an example to follow.

I Need Jesus To Find Meaning To Life

Many people are very dissatisfied in life. They are caught up in the routine of living with no purpose in life. Others are chasing rainbows in life which they can never catch and which would be worthless if they were able to catch them. Those who have caught them find them to be full of vanity (Ecc. 1:2). Many of those who have the most to live with have the least to live for. They are extremely unhappy. Their homes are falling apart. Some resort to suicide. Life is meaningless to them.

Jesus gives meaning to my life. I now understand that my time on earth is but a brief span between two vast eternities. I am here because I was created by God. I have the ability to choose between good and evil, having free will. I will be held accountable for every moral choice which I make (2 Cor. 5:10). The most important thing for man to do is summarized as follows: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil" (Eccl. 12:13-14). Hence, I understand that the most important thing for me to do in life is to live faithfully before God.

Many years ago, I decided to follow Christ, accepting Him as my Savior and King. I have never been disappointed with that choice. He is the "water of life" and I found that after drinking of this water of life I never thirsted again (Jn. 4:13-14). He is the "bread of life" and after eating this bread of life, I have never hungered again (Jn. 6:35). He satisfies my every yearning in life. Yes, I need Jesus as a means of finding meaning to life.

I Need Jesus For Daily Strength

There are things which I must face in life that seem impossible to face alone. Perhaps the reason so many people are resorting to alcohol, pills, and psychologists to cope with the problems of life is because they are trying to face their problems alone, without Jesus. I have found that I can face any problem in life with the strength which I find in Christ.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians from a Roman jail, imprisoned for having committed no crime whatsoever, except that he believed in and preached Jesus. He wrote, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4:13). Regarding his first trial, Paul wrote, "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me . . . . Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me. . ." (2 Tim. 4:16-17). He found strength in Christ to overcome the problems of life.

My God is a refuge to me, a protector in times of trouble. "When I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me" (Psa. 56:3-4). "I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about" (Psa. 3:6). "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea" (Psa. 46:1-2). Through the years of my life, I have found Jesus to be my best Friend:

I have found a friend in Jesus, He's everything to me,

He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;

The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see

All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.

In sorrow He's my comfort, in trouble He's my stay,

He tells me every care on Him to roll,

He's the Lily of the Valley, the bright and morning star,

He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

O He all my griefs has taken, and all my sorrows borne;

In temptation He's my strong and mighty tow'r;

I have all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn

From my heart, and now He keeps me by His pow'r.

Tho' all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,

Thru Jesus I shall safely reach the goal,

He's the Lily of the Valley, the bright and morning star,

He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,

While I live by faith and do His blessed will;

A wall of fire about me, I've nothing now to fear,

With His manna He my hungry soul shall fill.

Then sweeping up to glory to see His blessed fare,

Where rivers of delight shall ever roll,

He's the Lily of the Valley, the bright and morning star,

He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

I need Jesus as this source of daily strength.

I Need Jesus For Good Mental Health

Jesus helps me cope with the mental and emotional problems of life. Paul wrote, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue,, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Phil. 4:6-8).

I have used these principles to help me handle the problems of life. (1) "Be careful for nothing." Jesus has taught me not to worry about tomorrow (cf. Matt. 6:25-34). (2) Pray to God. I should cast all of my burdens on the Lord since He is big enough to handle them and He cares for me. (3) I should think on things honorable, lovely, and pure. My mind should not be a spiritual garbage dump. When I do these things, the Lord has promised to "keep" (to guard) my heart and mind. I need Jesus for good mental health.

I Need Jesus For Present Contentment

Like others, I face circumstances which I do not like in life. Nevertheless, I have learned to be content whatever circumstances I am in through Jesus. Paul wrote, ". . . I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need" (Phil. 4:11-12). I remind you again that Paul wrote these things while locked in a Roman jail.

The lesson of contentment is not an easy one to learn. Paul was afflicted with a physical ailment and prayed to the Lord to remove his "thorn in the flesh" on three separate occasions. The Lord replied, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul then accepted his suffering saying, "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Cor. 12:9).

I have not perfectly learned contentment, but I am growing. I am better able to accept the situations in life which I do not like, knowing that Jesus is the one controlling this world. I seek to learn more of the Lord's will for my life in every circumstance I face, seeking to grow more like my Lord in each of them. Without this concept of the world's operation, I would lose heart. I would despair and become discouraged if everything was mere happenstance with no purpose behind it. I need Jesus in order to have present contentment.

I Need Jesus To Win Victory Over Death

Like all of mankind, I fear death (Heb. 2:15). I have not yet experienced the loss of my parents, a mate, or any of my children. I have been in the presence of those who have faced each of these deaths. Frankly, I do not know who I could cope with death if I did not have Jesus. Jesus has brought "life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10). When death strikes, I believe that my hope for the resurrection of the body and the future reunion with my Christian loved ones will sustain me through that dark hour. I know that Jesus can raise the dead because He raised Lazarus, the widow of Nain's son, and Jairus' daughter. In addition to that, He Himself was raised from the dead to show that He has power over death, that He is "the resurrection, and the life" (Jn. 11:25).

I look beyond death to the home in Heaven which He has prepared for me. Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you" (Jn. 14:1-2). I look forward to receiving that inheritance which is "incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith" (1 Pet. 1:4-5). Because of this hope, I can face death, knowing that there is victory over death in Jesus. I need Jesus to win the victory over death.

Conclusion

My friend, these are some reasons why I need Jesus. Through the centuries, billions of people have seen all of these needs satisfied in Jesus Christ. There are millions living today who find in Jesus the answer to every spiritual need. You need Jesus, too!

Jesus is ready to become your Savior even today. He has already died for your sins, demonstrating His great love for you. (Jn. 3:16). He is pleading with you to accept Him as your Savior today. He pleads, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light: (Matt. 11:28).

How does one "come" to Jesus? Jesus told us how to come to Him and His answer must be our guide in coming. One must hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and believe it. Jesus commanded the disciples, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:15-16). One must repent of his sins. When Peter told the Jews who had crucified Jesus what tod o to be saved, he said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38). One must confess his faith in Jesus. When Philip preached Christ to the Ethiopian eunuch, the eunuch asked, "See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:36-37). A person who desires salvation must make the good confession. Then, he must be baptized (the word "baptize" means "to immerse") in water for the remission of his sins. Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved . . ." (Mk. 16:16). Peter told those Jews who had crucified Jesus to "repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins . . ." (Acts 2:38). Consequently, we conclude that one comes to Christ when he hears the gospel of Christ, believes it, repents of his sins, confesses his faith in Jesus and is immersed in water.

This is but the beginning of the Christian life. From the moment of conversion, one should grow in faith. He should devotedly serve Jesus Christ. He should read his Bible, pray, worship regularly with other saints, remember the death of Jesus regularly in the Lord's supper, and otherwise grow into full spiritual maturity in Christ.

Jesus stands ready to meet your every spiritual need. Why would you want to spend your life with these needs unmet and then stand before Jesus doomed to an eternity in Hell when He is so willing to save you today? Will you open up the door of your heart and let Jesus come into your life?

Guardian of Truth XXVII: 9, pp. 258-260, 267
May 5, 1983

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