Wednesday, May 18, 2011
His Message and You
“I have come that they might have life and might have it in abundance.”—JOHN 10:10.
How Jesus Can Change Your Life
What Does It Mean to Be a Christian?
JESUS CHRIST came to the earth primarily to give, not to receive. By means of his ministry, he gave a priceless gift to humankind—a message that revealed the truth about God and His will. Those who respond to that message can enjoy a better life now, as millions of true Christians can testify.* But at the core of the message Jesus preached is the most precious gift of all—the perfect life that he gave in our behalf. Our eternal welfare depends upon our response to this key aspect of his message.
What God and Christ gave Jesus knew that he was to die a painful death at the hands of his enemies. (Matthew 20:17-19) Yet, in his well-known words found at John 3:16, he said: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” Jesus also said that he came “to give his soul [or, life] a ransom in exchange for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Why did he say that his life would be given rather than taken?
Motivated by unsurpassed love, God made provision for humans to be rescued from inherited sin and its consequences—imperfection and death. God did this by sending his only-begotten Son to the earth to die a sacrificial death. Jesus willingly complied, giving his perfect human life in our behalf. This provision, called the ransom, is God’s greatest gift to humankind.# It is a gift that can lead to everlasting life.
What you need to do Is the ransom a gift to you personally? That is up to you. To illustrate: Imagine that someone holds out to you a gift-wrapped box. Really, it does not become your gift until you reach out and accept it. Similarly, Jehovah extends the ransom to you, but this gift is not yours personally unless you reach out and accept it. How?
Jesus said that it is those “exercising faith” in him who will receive everlasting life. Faith involves the way you live your life. (James 2:26) Exercising faith in Jesus means bringing your life into harmony with the things he said and did. To do that, you must know Jesus and his Father well. “This means everlasting life,” Jesus said, “their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”—John 17:3.
Some 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ shared a message that has changed the lives of millions of people the world over. Would you like to know more about that message and how you and your loved ones can benefit from it, not just now, but forever? Jehovah’s Witnesses would be happy to help you.
* Not everyone who claims to be Christian is a genuine follower of Christ. Jesus’ true followers are those who live in harmony with the truths he taught about God and His will.—Matthew 7:21-23.
# For more information about the Scriptural teaching of the ransom, see chapter 5, “The Ransom—God’s Greatest Gift,” of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.