Have you ever felt like you need to follow certain rules to make God happy with you? Like if you can just manage to go through life being a good person, doing what’s right, and helping other people, you can expect God to bless you? Here’s the good news – as a Christian, you don’t have to act a certain way to stay in God’s good standing with grace. (What?!) And Jesus is the sole reason for that.
Much of the world operates on the do good, get good; do bad, get bad philosophy. That’s where Christianity is different. Your right standing with God, and every blessing He provides, is yours by grace through faith.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. // Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB
Jesus is the way we receive salvation by grace through faith instead of trying to earn forgiveness through our works.
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is Lord. He’s the third member of the trinity: the son. Fully God, he took on a human body and was born of a virgin through the Holy Spirit.
And they all said, “So You are the Son of God?” And He said to them, “You say correctly that I am.” // Luke 22:70
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. // Philippians 2:5-7 NASB
Is Jesus in the Old Testament?
Jesus isn’t mentioned by name in the old testament, but He is there. The Old Testament points to Jesus in many ways, especially through prophecies about his birth, life, and death.
All that the Old Testament prophesied about the Messiah, Jesus fulfilled. That includes that He would be born of a virgin in Bethlehem, that He would be a descendant of David, and that He would be rejected, crucified, and resurrected, among others.
In the New Testament, Jesus confirmed that the Old Testament was about Him:
Then beginning with Moses and with all the Prophets, He explained to them the things written about Himself in all the Scriptures. // Luke 24:27 NASB
Why Did God Send Jesus?
As we said before, salvation is yours by grace through faith. But that doesn’t mean it’s free.
Our sin did separate us from God. As humans, we’re really great at sinning, and completely incapable of changing that under our own power. Not only can we not change, but our sins against Holy God have earned us death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. // Romans 6:23 NASB
We had a debt we could not pay – but a Heavenly Father who loved us perfectly, even in our sinful state. So the Lord himself took on a human form to take on our debt and die for our sins. With Jesus’ blood covering our sins, we are no longer separated from God.
And to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant [uniting God and man], and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks [of mercy]… // Hebrews 12:24a AMP
How Is Jesus “Real” if He’s Not Alive?
Jesus is 100% alive today. After dying and paying for our sins, He was resurrected on the third day. After He rose from the dead, He appeared to the disciples and others over 40 days, until He ascended into Heaven.
And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were watching, and a cloud took Him up, out of their sight. // Acts 1:9 NASB
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. // Revelation:17-18 NASB
How Can I Develop a Relationship With Jesus?
Jesus passionately loves you and died for you for that very reason – so you can have a personal relationship with the Lord. He’s always near you, ready for you to take the next step.
First, to have a relationship with Jesus, accept Him as Lord. Here’s how:
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. // Romans 10:9 NASB
That’s all it takes to make Jesus your savior! After that, we encourage you to do these three things to grow in your relationship with Jesus.
- Show Up. The local church is God’s house, and it’s where you should show up regularly to connect with Christ and with community. If you haven’t already, we invite you to visit a Courageous campus near you! If you aren’t in our area, get plugged into a local church near you.
- Grow Up. Join a group! Engaging in authentic community with fellow believers helps you grow in ways you may not even expect. As you grow closer to people in your group, you’ll find your people (you know, those ones who walk right in and help themselves to anything in your fridge). Your group members are who you grow up with, encouraging each other along the way.
- Step Up. Use your influence, gifts, and talents to serve others while serving Jesus! As you serve at your local campus, you get to be a part of helping others find Jesus. It’s that simple.