Why Did Jesus Christ Die?

There was an eternal purpose in the death of Jesus Christ. He did not die to give us a new religion. He did not die to become a martyr. The very goal of His life was to die so God could give you and me eternal life.  

1 Corinthians 15:3-4:

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

The answer is clear in these verses –  “…for our sins.” All of us have violated God’s laws at some point in our lives. This is the definition of sin. Sin separates us from having a relationship with God. It is the roadblock to keeping us from inheriting eternal life and an eternal home in Heaven. Again, we see in Romans:

(Romans 3:23)  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

We fall short of God because we sin. We sin because we are naturally born into this world with an inclination to go against God. The “all” in this verse includes you and me.  Sin separates us from God because His holy nature and character will not allow sin to live in His presence.

The whole purpose and mission of Jesus Christ on the cross was to pay the required price for our sins – your sins and my sins.  He willingly went to the cross to die for us.

Why did Christ rise again? The simple answer is that His victory over death provides the way for God to declare those who believe as righteous:

(Romans 4:24-25)  “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

“Justification means to be “declared righteous.” Wouldn’t you like to be “right” in the eyes of God? There is nothing we can do to make ourselves right or righteous. God already did everything required and all that could ever be done for us when the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead.

It’s that simple. And the only requirement that God has is for us to put our trust in what He already accomplished for us. It is called faith. It is the opposite of doing your own good works or living religiously.

Renewed Thought – Christ died so that I might live.

What Is The Gospel?

The Apostle Paul wrote in the Book of Romans:

(Romans 1:16)  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

The “it” in this verse is “the gospel of Christ.” “It” is designed to bring every person who believes to salvation.  Salvation means we are saved from the debt and penalty of our sins. We are saved from spiritual death and freely given eternal life.

The “gospel” is very simple. While there are many different versions and ideas of what the “gospel” is, the Bible makes it very clear in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4:

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

Notice the facts laid out for us:

  1. Christ died for our sins.
  2. Christ was buried.
  3. Christ rose again from the dead on the third day.

Isn’t that simple?

Renewed Thought: The gospel is simple. Salvation is free. Trust today what God did for you when He paid the price for your sins and rose again from the dead.

Living In Pursuit

gold medal photo(Acts 13:22)  “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”

The Olympic games are over. The world was in awe as we watched Michael Phelps swim his way to more gold medals. We were amazed as Simone Biles did things in the floor exercise that did not seem possible. When you love a certain sport, watching an athlete compete at the highest level is a beautiful thing. For me it is soccer. Starting in August, every week I try to catch an English Premier League game or at least watch the weekly highlights. You know you are a true fan when you appreciate your favorite players as artists of the sport. I think we could say that about most people – whether you love golf, baseball, basketball or even ultimate frisbee. But oftentimes we forget what it takes to get to the highest levels of that sport. We only get to see the end product of a long and grueling process.

A recent article in Wired magazine said it took 8-10 years and $100,000 per year to reach the highest levels in swimming. Gymnastics takes 10-12 years and approximately $18,000 per year in expenses (it’s true – ask any parent who has a child in gymnastics!). Reaching the highest levels in anything requires an “all-in” pursuit.

Two kings in the Bible show us what it means to pursue something with all your heart.. Saul chased after David out of rage caused by jealousy.  In 1 Samuel 26:18, David asks the question:

“…Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?”

In his obsessive, evil mission to kill David we see three characteristics in the life of Saul.

  1. He was relentless
  2. He was willing to expend the time, money and energy to win
  3. He was completely consumed – every decision was driven by the pursuit

Ordinarily, this would have been the formula for success. But God had other plans because David was God’s anointed.

David is the other example of a king in pursuit of something that captured his heart. The Bible tells us the thing David pursued was God’s heart. God said he was a “man after mine own heart.” We know David wasn’t perfect. He was often much less than perfect and paid the price for his failures. But we also know David relentlessly pursued God. He was willing to invest himself and everything he had in his relationship with God. Although every decision was not driven by his pursuit of God, his repentance for his failures were. David’s success wasn’t as a king, it was as a man of God.

Which king better describes you today? Are you pursuing the wrong thing in jealous obsession like Saul? Or are you relentlessly consumed with the heart of God like David? One day we will stand before God and our rewards will be based on the pursuit and whether we were consumed with our own hearts or His.

Renewed Thought – What consumes our hearts will consume our lives.