I have been thinking on where to start the story. A story of redemption, grace, and truth. In many ways, the story didn’t begin until September 8th, 2012. Everything prior was a prologue. A catalyst for the moment I rededicated my life to Christ. My eyes and ears were opened anew to life. A journey of true freedom began. This is my story just as it is His story. And it begins with the Word of God.
John 1 (NIV – New International Version Translation)
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He [Jesus] was with God in the beginning.
3Through him [Jesus] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood [or overcome] it.
6There came a man who was sent from God: his name was John. 7He [John] came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10He [Jesus] was the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15John testifies concerning him. He cries out saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ” 16From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
The Beginning of Understanding
This first chapter of John is the most lyrical description of who Jesus is in all of the New Testament. It is beautiful in every way and accounts for His origin (John 1:1), His reception here on Earth (John 1:11), and what He brought to all mankind (John 1:17).
Who is Jesus?
John 1:14 explains that Jesus is the Word of life that existed since the beginning of time. Jesus, the Word, the Son of God – fully God, fully human – came to Earth. This planet. Two thousand years ago. God the Father incarnate, the invisible God, was represented by his son Jesus. Some like to define Jesus as a historical zealot against the Romans and Jewish establishment. Some like to say he was just a great man, but one who lived a perfectly moral life and set the standard for all to come. Some say he was a prophet, or an awakened spiritual being to the universe. To others, Jesus was a teacher, healer, and savior who came to give life to those of His time.
But the reality is, Jesus is more. He is the absolute light of the world (John 1:9), now and forever. Jesus is God. He is the Goodness, Fairness, and Justice in Heaven. He is Lord. He is part of the Holy Trinity. He is one with His Father, the King of Glory, the King of Majesty, the King of All Kings, the Creator, the Conqueror of Death, the Almighty, the Everlasting One. And He came for you. He came to redeem your heart unto fullness. He came to give you a brand new life.
What Did Jesus Do While He Was Here?
HIS LIFE OF HEAVENLY DEMONSTRATION:
Jesus ministered all over the land of Judea for 3 years, teaching and discipling people in the way of Heaven and truth. He lived a perfect life, a pure life, an example without sin. He performed great miracles of feeding 5,000 people, healing the sick and blind, casting out evil spirits, and raising people from the dead. The miracles were evidence of His divine power and a manifestation of God’s love for us. He was a humble servant and served not as the authority among men, but as the authority of God to serve men in the spirit of love and truth. By his actions and His verbal teachings, Jesus taught the everlasting absolute truth of this world: the answer to life is to love God with all your heart and then to love your neighbor as richly as you love your self.
Jesus taught the full truth of the Kindgom of Heaven to show the power, glory, and truth of being rooted in God and the Kingdom. He desired for all to direct their hearts back to God, and to not simply believe, but mature in our acceptance and understanding of the full Word in our hearts, so that our spiritual heart becomes strong in trust, faith, resolve, and love. The Word is about Heaven. Of Hell. Of humanity. Of sin. Of justice. Of faith. Of belief. Of God. And of love. Knowing this absolute truth in the depth of your heart and soul gives you a rich life with God to stand on, and you will come to know even more truth and love as you continue to press on. Fully knowing the truth with all your heart makes you free from this world and able to acknowledge, understand, and trust God for the spiritual reality and purpose in which we live.
You can read about Jesus, his teachings, his miracles, and his death and resurrection in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
HIS DEATH AND ACCOMPLISHMENT OF BRINGING GOD’S SPIRIT:
Jesus’ life is significant not just because His life and death fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies of what the Messiah was to do, be, and accomplish, but because He established a new covenant between man and God. Jesus suffered on the cross to pay for the sins of humanity once and for all, completing the Old Testament death laws for penalty of sin. After three days, God the Father raised Him from the dead and through Jesus’ sacrifice, the way was paved for us to stand before God in this life and the next. This is the new covenant (John 3:16): that God so loved the world that He gave [as a gift] his one and only son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish [be lost, rendered useless, or utterly destroyed] but have everlasting life [real, genuine, animated, fullness of, and of infinite vigor and vitality, now and forever].
Sharing the story of Jesus isn’t just so that we remember history and try to believe that a historical figure was God, as if believing history is what is important. Far from it; that fact is already settled, and even God himself declared that Jesus was his beloved son in Matthew 3:17 and Matthew 17:5. What is even more is that Jesus predicted his own death and resurrection, willingly going to the cross to die for us and to accomplish God’s saving work of love and grace through himself. God raised him from the dead 3 days later to show that Jesus reigns victories over death, sin, and fear. All who believe in Jesus will never die! We can get over that fear! We don’t need to preserve ourselves! Our souls and spirits will be ushered upon death into eternal life, not being destroyed. We will be in the full presence of God and know the infinite fullness of truth, power, and reality in which we live – the reality of spiritual power and absolute pure love, which is God. We can know much of this truth now through revelation and relationship with Christ, but unfolds forevermore in our hearts in forever increasing glory for all of time. We can LIVE in that truth. We can accept the truth and the way of life, which grants us immeasurable power and love, greater than any human effort. This is why we share the story of Jesus! Because it is good news for us today, for Jesus is the God of the living, and not of the dead. What good is a dead savior? Jesus is alive and those who love Him a brought from spiritual death into spiritual life, today and forever. And we can reign with Him with every step and with every breath.
After Jesus died and reconciled us to God, God’s life-giving spirit became ready to wholly pour out unto the world for those who believe in Jesus. That was the promise of God in sending a Messiah, a Savior, Through Him, now and forever. The Holy Spirit is proof, a marking of God, that everlasting life is assured and true for us. We don’t ever have to doubt. Instead, in trust and faith, we have access to His life-giving spirit and can live each moment today abundantly through Him! We can experience personal salvation, personal relationship, personal fellowship, and personal transformation with God as our inner spirit is brought from the darkness of sin, death, and fear into the everlasting truth and light of God.
Why Did Jesus Come?
He loves us. He loves us. He loves us! Hosanna! Yehoshua, Jehova is salvation! Jesus came to reveal and reconcile us to the Father and to absolutely know of the Father’s love and fulfillment of God’s promises. He also revealed The Way for His children to receive true life and rise above the troubles of this world in this life and the next. Through Jesus we have access to God the Father, who’s love and structure (truth) for abundant life transforms all who seek to know Him and his holy ways. Additionally, Jesus was sent (died and was resurrected) so that we might have everlasting eternal life with God. Jesus helped reveal these truths by teaching the people the Way of God (known as truth) and the path to Heaven (granted by grace). He came to save a lost world, because it was a world of his own making. He came in love to deliver us to Him and to usher in a new kingdom and age for His children in Heaven and on Earth.
Who then can be saved? Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 – Jesus came because by man’s own standing, man would always fall short of the glory of God (true purity and righteousness). But with God’s help and our reconciliation by God to God and our sanctification to things of God, we can made unto Him, or made into Him. With God, all things are possible for purity and righteousness.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8:11 – Written by the Apostle Paul explains that through belief in Jesus, God the Father will also give you the life that God has given Jesus in the resurrection.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16 – The reason is explained later in John chapter 3. Put in other terms, God so loved us that he sent His perfect son Jesus to conquer sin and death (not simply excusing us from it) so that we too have victory and can access the presence of a holy God now and eternally. Hallelujah!
Become A Child of God
John 1:12 explains how we are not to simply know Him and be saved through Him, but to actively become something new through Him.
12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
God gave the right, to those who believe in Jesus, to become children of God. Humans who are made in the image of God are already spiritual beings. We have a spirit, a soul (mind, will, and emotions), and a body. However, without the spirit and life of God within us, we do not have the fullness of God’s power. Without it, we try and live through our soul and our own spiritual efforts, which has limited power to bring us into the fullness of life, joy, and peace that God has for us. And so we ask that God’s spirit comes and dwells within us.
His spirit gives free access to the life in God. Through God, sin is defeated and we do not have to obey our sinful nature or desires. Thus we embark on a new spiritual and righteous life enabled and born of God’s empowering spirit. He seeks to wean us of our self dependency and pride, usher us into deeper intimacy with Jesus, and redirect out life paths to ensure our greatest good and God’s greatest glory. While we will still need to choose to walk with God and continually seek Him when we are lost, our new life is of God and not our own measure. When we are close to God, we know this is true because we could never be this good or pure in our own strength, but rather inspired and abiding in God’s love.
Seek The Lord
I know these words of savior, truth, and grace, and even God may not have any meaning to you. You may not even have a preconception of them. Or, if you do, it is likely far from the correct perception. That’s ok. Continue to read, listen, and learn.
The fullness of the truth comes through experiencing God’s love! In the experience, we begin changing. We begin becoming whole. We build a relationship with God, just like any relationship we have in this life. But God is a spiritual being and so we learn so much more about relationship through the process of seeking Him.
When we experience Him, we then love others through it. We all are actively taught by the Bible and by our relationship and journey knowing and seeking the Creator. So join in! This is the beginning of a new you who cannot be found apart from God. Your personal story with Him is yet to be written.