The Gospel According to Jesus

The reason for this title of "The Gospel According to Jesus" is that there are many views of the Gospel over the years. Questions like below have many debatable answers:
  1. What is the requirement for salvation?
    Some says just believe in Jesus. Others add repentance from sins, baptism by immersion, speaking in tongues and belonging to a particular true church etc etc. 
  2. What is a truly saved Believers? How should a true believer behave?
    Some says we must have work of faith. Others say God's grace is sufficient. Some insists on following the Laws and accused those who said grace alone is sufficient as cheap grace and lawlessness.
  3. Will we ever loose our salvation?
    Some say yes. Some say never. Some say maybe and only under very special conditions.
To answer those questions above, it is best to go all the way back to Jesus Himself. In John 17, the prayer of Jesus to the Father, provide very clear answers. This can be used as the foundational structure to link up all other verses.

Here is mind-map of Chapter 17 organized into 8 truths about Jesus and the Believers.

Q1 The Requirement for Salvation or How to Have Eternal Life?

Point 1 above, John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. Point 2 above tells us that Jesus came into this world to let the the world know that He is the sent ONE (the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed of GOD) from the Father. His work is to let the world know about the true God as the loving Father. This point is further supported that the Believers' Oneness has the purpose to show the world that Jesus is sent from God. So, we may conclude that Eternal Life comes from knowing and believing Jesus as the one sent from God, representing God, and making God known to us. Eternal life comes from knowing Jesus and knowing God, the Father.

Notice this agrees fully with the many verses like the 10 ones below. There are of course many more.
  1. John 3:15,16,18  Believe in Him, the name of the only Son of God, the Light.
  2. John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life
  3. John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 
  4. John 6:35 “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
  5. John 6:40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” 
  6. John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. 
  7. John 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”
  8. John 9:38  He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
  9. John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 
  10. John 11:27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
Notice too, that the verses above, do not have repentance in them or in the context. The key requirement for salvation is not repentance but knowing and believing who Jesus is. Repentance without Jesus is no use - it does not give you eternal life; because eternal life is about knowing Jesus and the Father. Repentance is just telling us we know we are dirty and we want to change. But we don't know the power yet to change.

Then, is there no need for repentance? Repentance can come after knowing Christ. From knowing Christ and His words, we know the wrongs and we will repentance. Nevertheless, if anyone want to repent and then receive Christ as the Savior, that is indeed very good. There are many ways that lead one to know the very truth - Jesus as the sent One of God. Some found Jesus in times of needs. Some in sickness. Some in bereavement. etc. We don't have to limit ourselves and others to a particular way to know Christ. We just preach Jesus as the sent one from God to save us.

The shortest and most effective prayer of salvation is given in
  • Luke 23:42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.
  • Luke 23:43 And Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” 
    (one may argue that v41 was his admission of sins and repentance. But repentance without Jesus is void)
In John 16:7-11, the Holy Spirit convict the world of 3 things sin, righteousness and judgment. The sin that the Holy Spirit convicts is "not believe in Jesus" (v8). The main sin of man is the rejection of Jesus. We don't know our God. The Holy Spirit will point us to Christ.
The Holy Spirit does not convict us from other kinds of sins. Our awaken conscious, our own spirit, re-birthed by the Holy Spirit, will convict ourselves of our other sins against the Words of God. The only sin that will not be forgiven is the sin against the Holy Spirit and it the sin of the rejection of Christ.

Q2 What is the conduct of a True Believer? What is his identity?
  1. True believers belong to the Father and are given to Jesus (pt4 of mind map ).
  2. True believers have Oneness:
    Firstly, oneness with one-another just like Jesus & His Father. We are to love one another. John 3:11, 23, 4:7,11, 12, 13:34-35.
    Secondly, oneness with Jesus and with the Father - Perfectly One.
    Thirdly, oneness in the Father's Love. We love with the love of Jesus 1John 3:23
  3. We are in the world but NOT of the world. We belongs to Christ & the Father. Hence, the world that does not know their God will dislike us.
  4. We are sanctified in the Truth of God's Words. The is the Growth to the Image of Christ.
    We are to receive and keep the Words of God.
    We will then experience the Joy of His and His Words.
    We will want to obey the Laws not just physically but in the spirit. The love of God and the Christ in us will cause us to surpass the requirement of the Law. We keep the laws naturally because of our new character. If we reject the Laws, then we are actually reject the giver of the Laws and we need to question ourselves whether have we truly believe and accept Jesus.
  5. God is glorified in us through our works as in Jesus. John 17:4,10
    When we accomplish the work that Jesus give us, we glorify God.
Q3 Is our salvation secured?

Who is holding who? John 17:11,12,15 tells us that it is Jesus and the Father that are keeping us. Jesus does not loose the people v12. John 10:28-29. There are triple emphasis there, Jesus' hand, Father's hand, Jesus+Father=One's hand!

No comments: