“[F]or if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24b)
Christianity is not about God; it is about Jesus Christ. Religion is about God (or a god); and everybody has one, even so-called “free thinkers,” whose true god, if materialized, would look eerily like themselves. Since He has been the basis of faith for millions upon millions down through history and today, my question about Jesus Christ is not insignificant, nor is it inconsequential. As the verse in John indicates, getting it wrong will leave you holding the bag—of your sins, that is—when you stand before God. My husband likes to quote C.S. Lewis,who contends that the sheer audacity of Jesus’ claims about himself forces one to categorize Him as either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord God. And to try to sidestep the decision, automatically puts one on the side of one of the first two choices.
Truth assumes the possibility of error and, by design, sets itself against it. As one reads the Bible, it becomes abundantly clear that it is a Book that presents opposites: the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:6); evil and good (1 Peter 3:11); those who are God’s friends and those who are His enemies (James 4:4); a broad way leading destruction and a narrow way that leads to life (Matt. 7:13-14), to name a few.
Having laid down the premise that what one thinks of Jesus Christ determines the legitimacy of his or her claimed relationship with God, I now take the inerrant Word of God to answer the posed question…and another.
Who is Jesus?
1. He is the Son of God and God the Son (Matt.1:11; John 1:1 & 14).
2. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth (Philippians 2:9-11).
3. He is the one who died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead
(1 Cor. 15:3-4).
4. He is the only valid way to approach God or gain Heaven (John 14:6;
5. He is the one who will be our Judge when we stand before God (Acts 17:31).
Who is not?
Oddly enough, this question is every bit as important as the other one. You see, God takes it very seriously when you or I presume to share in His glory (Isa. 48:11). When we claim to be “sons of God” in the same way as His “only begotten Son,” we have claimed for ourselves the deity reserved for Him. We only become children of God “by faith in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:26). He may live within me (Gal. 2:20), but that does not make me Divine any more than Jesus in Mary’s womb made her sinless. We may give our life for another, but it will only save a life, not a soul; and the only hope for our own resurrection is belief in His (John 11:25).
There is only one Jesus Christ; and what we think about Him determines what God thinks about us (John 1:12).