By Olen Holderby
We begin with the question What is Jesus Christ to your soul, right now? I do not ask what he was to your soul; nor did I ask what he going to be to your soul. I did ask What is he to your soul now?
Some can happily answer, “He is all the world to me!” Others, to be honest, will be forced to say, “He is nothing to me.” There may be some who would say, “I do not really know.” Which is it with you? Whatever may be your answer, the Bible plainly reveals what he must be to the human soul. Let us notice some of that information.
Jesus can be the Savior to your soul (Matt. 1:21). This is said of no other person; there is salvation is no other name than his (Acts 4:11-12). He is not your Savior simply because he is willing to be; nor is he your Savior because he is able to be. He is your Savior when you answer his call (2 Thess. 2:14), when you respond to his invitation (Matt. 11:28ff), and when you obey his will (Heb. 5:8-9).
Jesus can be your deliverer, the giver of victory (1 Cor. 15:57). That deliverance is “according to the will of God” (Gal. 1:4); and, that deliverance is unto redemption (Eph. 1:7).
Jesus is to be the way for each of his followers (John 14:6). This is not merely a route which you take, but it is a way of life, a walk for each one. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). Jesus is this way by virtue of his example (Phil. 2:5); and, by virtue of his authority (Matt. 28:18; Jas. 4;12). “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
Jesus can be your permanent guest, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith…” (Eph. 3:17). That word “dwell” cannot be just a visit, but means, “To inhabit as one’s abode,” a home in the heart. This is accomplished through faith; and faith comes by hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:17). Paul said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Col. 3:16). So, as we fill our hearts with more and more of his precious word, his abode therein is more secure. Do we really need 2 Timothy 2:15 to tell us that?
Also, Jesus can be your peace. Any who do not desire peace is somewhat less than normal. As we worry about nothing and cast all our care upon him, “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Pet. 5:7). He was/is peace between Jew and Gentile (Eph. 2:14); and he can be peace in the heart, if he is welcomed there.
Jesus can be all these and more to your soul. If he means anything less to your soul, you need to reexamine the road which you have taken. What is he to your soul right now? If he does not mean everything to you in this life, he will mean nothing to you in eternity. Work on it, for it is your soul (Matt. 6:21).
Jesus Christ And Human Needs
We must remember that it was God that created man (Gen. 1), and that he well knows the needs of man (Rom. 9:20). When Jesus came into this world, the needs of the world were not so much physical or material, but were spiritual and moral. “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life …” (John 6:27). What were/are some of those needs of man; and, how does Jesus fulfill those needs?
The foremost need of man is that he know God. We are urged to seek him (Acts 17:16-31). When Jesus came into this world both Jew and Gentile were ignorant of God (Rom. 1:18-32; 10:1-3). This ignorance had pushed man into extremely sinful conditions; all men needed a revelation from God, a revelation which they could see and understand. Jesus claimed to be this revelation (John 14:7-11); and, all the attributes of God were summed up in him (Col. 2:9). Nothing was missing; the words he spoke and the works which he did were revealing God to man: his love, his compassion, his hatred of sin, and his desire to have man back in his company once more. All of these are recorded that we might believe he was who he claimed to be (John 20:30-31). Jesus fully meets this need of man to know God if man would only get the message and follow the example!
Man also needed a way to come to the Father, and Jesus fully met this need (John 14:6). We discussed this point some in the previous section, but we add that his life was a perfect depiction of life with God, showing to man the life necessary for him to come to the Father. So, Jesus fully met this need of man.
Another need of man is a Savior from sin; our previous section has also noticed this. Jewish law could not provide this (Gal. 2:16); and, Gentile philosophy had left them destitute of God (Eph. 2:12). So, the “lamb of God” was to be sacrificed for sins of the whole world, not Jews only (John 1:29).
..if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). So, this salvation from sin is not unconditional; there are terms to be met (Acts 2:38; 8:22; 1 John 1:7). Jesus has, then, met this need of man.
Man had need of spiritual and moral light. Could Jesus meet this need of man? “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” and “The entrance of your words gives light. It gives understanding to the simple” (Ps. 119:105, 130). Jesus claimed to be the water of life (John 4:10-14), the bread of life (John 6:31-35), and the true vine (John 15:lff). Jesus would be light and understanding to all that looked to him; and, his word would be the instrument and understanding through which that light and understanding could be had.
Man also has the need for a leader and protector (Jer. 10:23). Jesus was king, though of a different realm (John 18:37); He is called “King of kings” (1 Tim. 6:15). He is head of the church (Eph. 5:23); and with all authority (Matt. 28:18).
This takes care of the leadership; but Jesus would, also, be the Protector of man. He is said to be the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:11-14, 27-30), and this fact suggests the protection man needed. So, Jesus fully meets this need of man.
Man also needed to have assurance that he could and would live after this life. This appears to be the universal desire of man. Jesus made some promises to man on this matter (John 6:39, 40). Could he do this? When he went down into the grave, then came forth there from, he proved his capability to do so (Luke 24:5-8). Apart from him there is only death and despair; the real Christian’s hope is some-thing better (1 Cor. 15:19, 20, 22, 23). Man now has the proof that he will live again; Christ has once more met the needs of man, fully and finally.
Has Jesus met all your needs? Why not? How sad the man who rejects the instructions of the Son of God; or, who will continue to postpone his acceptance until it is too late. Our relationship to him involves all these things. As one has said, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
Guardian of Truth XLI: 16 p. 3-4
August 21, 1997