Christ Alone — No. 3

[Please see No.1 and No.2 as they might help make sense of this post]

A keystone is the wedge-shaped stone piece at the apex of a masonry vault or arch, which is the final piece placed during construction and locks all the stones into position, allowing the arch to bear weight.

The leaders who opposed Jesus were trying to hold their religion together while rejecting the central figure of the old testament. Nothing in the old testament makes sense without Jesus Christ. As Peter said, All the prophets from Moses foretold the coming of the Christ who must suffer and rise to bring forgiveness and life to otherwise un-saveable people.

Peter and John now tell them that this Jesus, whom they condemned, God did not condemn – God had raised Jesus from the dead. This fact means that Jesus had no sin of his own – no sin at all. He alone of all human beings was without sin. That’s what resurrection means – it mean a dead person receives life again — an endless life — and it only happens to people without sin.

You might see here one very good reason why Salvation is by Jesus Christ alone. Jesus is alone without personal sin.

But why then, how then, could Jesus have died, since he was personally sinless?

Peter had previously told people in the temple that the death of Jesus brings forgiveness of sin to those who trust themselves to him. The temple was the place where the Israelites were taught that sinners may be forgiven by the death of an acceptable substitute – this truth was illustrated by the death of lambs, bulls, goats, pigeons in the place of sinful Israelites. Israelites would bring the animal, place their hands on the head of the animal (to represent a transfer of sin from the sinner to the animal) and then the animal was killed instead of the sinner. The sinner went home alive.

The deaths of these animals were symbolic – like the Lord ’s Supper is symbolic today. These sacrifices did nothing in themselves, but they pointed people to the coming saviour.  While they were useful to teach the message of substitution, the animals themselves were not effective in taking away sin – only the death of a truly good human would do. As Peter said in Chapter 3, the Christ had to suffer, as all the Old Testament prophets said.

Jesus death was possible only because he was bearing the sins of other people – sinners like us.

But how can a mere man fix the sins for others in a real and effective way? Ezekiel 14:14-20 tells us that if Daniel, Job and Noah – each in their own way foreshadowed Christ – were present, they could not give us their righteousness, nor could we give them our sins – each person will die for his own sin.

The Bible’s answer is that Jesus Christ, though a true human being, is not merely a human. He is God too.

The message of the angel to the Shepherds was that the Saviour, Christ the Lord, is born in Bethlehem. Jesus is the LORD, the Creator God.  Matthew 1:21 tells us that Joseph was to call the baby, Jesus, for He (the baby) will save His people from their sins. Jesus means the LORD saves. Jesus is the LORD.

  • Because Jesus is really human, he could die as a human being. But because Jesus is really good, he could die if and only if our sins were regarded as his – reckoned to his account.
  • Because Jesus is really God, his actions, his death and resurrection can be applied to sinners like us.

He bore our sins in his own body on the cross. He died as the substitute for condemned sinners like us. By his death he took the condemnation due to sinners like us.

Anyone who trusts Jesus Christ is regarded by God as having already died for their sin – there is no longer any sin attributed by God to those who trust Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus each one who trusts him is regarded as now being without sin.

  • Because Jesus is sinless, he was raised from the dead never to die again. Remember, only sinless people are resurrected to everlasting life.
  • Because God regards those who trust Jesus as sinless, God will raise them to everlasting life as well.

These truths about Jesus are why Peter and John could go on to say of Jesus of Nazareth:

‘There is salvation in no other ; for there is no other  name given to men under heaven by which we must be saved.’

This means that there is no one else like (Greek: allos) Jesus who can save, only Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and that there is no one different from (Greek: heteros) Jesus who can save, only Jesus Christ of Nazareth can and does save.

Peter says there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.

  1. We need saving – our situation is desperate. There is a resurrection to everlasting punishment.
  2. The rescue comes only on the basis of who Jesus is and what he has done.
  3. If we are to be safe, we must share in that rescue that Jesus of Nazareth supplies. He has won it by his death and resurrection and he offers it to sinners.
  4. We are simply to trust Jesus Christ — that he was done all that is necessary for our eternal safety.

Reject Jesus at your peril. Receive him and you have forgiveness and everlasting life. Jesus himself guarantees it.

Advertisements

Christ Alone — No. 2

This post follows in from No.1

The Acts 4:1—14 Situation:

Jesus Christ had died a criminal’s death, and most of the religious leaders were happy that this was so.  After all, their principal men had organised it – that teacher and wonder-worker was interfering with their monopoly on right and wrong.

These religious leaders regarded themselves as just, right and good – the standard of right living. Jesus had made them feel uncomfortable, and made their pretensions look stupid; he had to go.

But soon after Jesus’ death on a cross, they heard from credible witnesses that this same Jesus had risen from the dead  – the soldiers that were guarding his tomb had told them so.

This Jesus, who had died, was subsequently seen alive by his followers over a period of forty days. Then, promising his disciples the ability to take his message to the world, Jesus returned to the throne room of God.

The message that God forgives people on the sole basis of who Jesus is, and what Jesus has done, was rapidly spreading through Jerusalem.

The body of believers was about 3000 strong when Peter and John were used to heal a man outside of the Temple in Jerusalem. The forty-year-old man had been lame from birth. This man was recognised by everyone in the temple. He had been sitting outside that place of worship for years, begging. Peter had told him to stand up, invoking the authority of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Soon after this, Peter explained to the gathered crowd that this same Jesus, whose authority had healed the lame man, can and will deal with the far greater problem of their sin. Peter declared that the resurrection of Jesus meant forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available. All who trust Jesus are forgiven and will be raised to life again, just as Jesus had been.

This is where Acts 4 commences – the religious leaders heard what Peter and John were saying and they were not happy. So, Peter and John are arrested and put in prison till the next day. The council was gathered, and those who were principally active in the arrest and murder of Jesus were again in charge of questioning Peter and John.

The council asked:  By what power, and in whose name do you do this thing?

This might have been simply a question of authority – Peter and John were not recognised teachers. They had not been taught and approved by members of the council. They had not been authorised to teach, and particularly, they were not authorised to teach the forgiveness of sins and the hope of the resurrection through Jesus Christ. For the religious leaders, Jesus was the bad guy.

This question might also have been asking “Who enabled you to heal this man?” Perhaps they wanted to know if it had been Beelzebub or the God of our fathers that they served.

How did Peter and John answer?

Firstly, their answer was Spirit motivated.

  1. This does not mean that what they had to say was a secret that needed the Spirit to give them new information. What they spoke about was undeniable fact.
  2. Rather, the Holy Spirit enabled them to be bold in telling the facts. God the Spirit gave clarity and focus to their message

Then, Peter and John gave the facts:

This man, whom you know to have been a cripple, was made well by the authority (the name) and power of Jesus Christ, the same Jesus whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead.

Notice how quickly Peter and John moved from noticing the healing to tell about the healer, Jesus Christ.  The really important message was the facts about who Jesus is and what he has done. Peter and John said that his Jesus whom you leaders killed, God raised to life.

This resurrection message is very important. Our death as humans goes back to Adam’s sin – sadly death is what all sinful humans deserve. The religious leaders knew from their holy book (our Old Testament) that death came to people by disobeying God (by our sin), and that the person who sins shall die.

Further, the death penalty in the Old Testament was a punishment for great crimes, for terrible wrong doing.

These leaders had regarded Jesus as a terrible wrong-doer – they had put him to death as very bad person.

But Peter and John state that Jesus was the keystone that the builders rejected – the religious leaders thought that they were the ones who would make the church grow strongly. They thought of themselves are builders of God’s kingdom. But Peter and John tell them that they are bad builders. They rejected the central piece – the “head of the corner” – the key stone. Jesus Christ is the keystone.

More about the idea of ‘keystone’ in the next and concluding post.

Christ Alone — No. 1

The meaning of the title to this post, and subsequent posts, is that salvation comes through and by Jesus Christ and no one else. In our modern world, you will often get at least two responses to such a statement.

How can you say I need to be saved? Saved from what?

Most people will admit that sometimes they might need help in emergencies, like in a flood or fire, but people tend to deny that they need to be ‘saved’ in any ultimate sense. Many simply say that when you are dead, you’re dead and that’s it. No final judgment, no worries.

The thought that they might have done anything bad enough to need saving is offensive, and even if they’d admit to having done great wrong, they tend to assume that, somehow, they can manage the consequences themselves.

Why is it only Jesus who saves? What about all the other religious figures; why only Jesus?

These are the sorts of questiona I hope to answer.

These modern responses to the proposition that Salvation comes through and by Jesus Christ alone are nothing new. They have always been the standard reactions to this proposition. You only need to read the Bible to hear the same sorts of things said by people long ago.

Such thoughts are evidence that we are not thinking about things the Bible way. For human beings the situation is not difficult-but-manageable. The situation is desperate. Our plight is not something we can manage, because the case is closed as far as our actions are concerned.

This is the real difference between the message of Jesus Christ and other religions. Other religions tell people what they must do to fix their situation. The message of Jesus is what He and He alone has done that really does save sinners.

First, then, does the bible teach Christ alone? I’ll suggest that the following few passages support a ‘yes’ answer.

  • You will call his name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
  • “Father … remove this cup from me, but not my will, but yours.” Mark 14:35-36 (Jesus implies by his acceptance of the role as saviour that no one else can do the job, and that it was the particular job – dying on a cross – that needed to be done. Compare Mark 8:27-33)
  • I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10
  • I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except by me. John 14
  • There is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy. 2:5
  • As sin came by one man and death by sin, so the gift of righteousness will reign in life though one, Jesus Christ. Romans. 5:17
  • You were once without Christ, without hope in the world. Ephesians 2:12

But I think  Acts 4:1-14 really makes the ‘Christ alone’ position clear. Please see the next post.

The Accusation, Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

The questions which this post tries to answer are: What was the charge against Jesus? Who carried out the sentence of death? and whose guards were stationed at his tomb (allegedly to prevent Jesus’ disciples from stealing his body)?

Briefly, although many accusations were made against Christ, the charges laid by the religious leaders were two.  First, it was alleged that he claimed to be the Son of God, and he was charged with blasphemy.  It was hoped that this would justify his death to the average Israelite.  The second allegation was that he claimed to be the King of the Jews, and therefore was a traitor usurping the rights of Caesar.  This would be sufficient cause for the Romans to act against him as a traitor.  The sentence of death was carried out, after an initial hesitation, by the Roman authorities.  The tomb, it will be suggested, was guarded by Roman soldiers.

As a preface to what follows, it needs to be recognised, according to the Gospel accounts, that both Jesus and his enemies understood that it was necessary for him to die.  They may have had differing reasons, but this necessity was independently recognised by both parties.  Jesus predicted his own death by the hand of the religious leaders, and his subsequent resurrection, several times during the course of his ministry (E.g., Matthew 13:38-40, 16:21-23; Mark 8:31, 9:31, 10:33-4; John 12:27-33).  The religious leaders also saw this as important.  After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, they plotted to take and kill him, arguing that “it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish” (John 11:50).  The high priest, Caiaphas, thought that if the people followed Jesus, then the Romans would respond by coming to “take away both our place and nation” (John 11:49).  The difference in the outlook of the religious leaders and Christ was that the former saw his death as a temporal expedient to maintain the power and influence they held even under Roman occupation, while Jesus saw his life, death, and resurrection, as God’s way of rescuing his people (in every nation) from their sinful rebellion against God, and as the only means of appeasing God’s anger against them.  Jesus had said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).  Both Jesus and the religious leaders saw his coming death as a substitution, one man for many.

In Chapter 26 of Matthew’s account, the chief priests, the elders of the people, and the scribes were plotting “to take him [Jesus] by trickery and kill him” (v. 4).  Judas then offers to deliver Jesus to these conspirators, and he is paid for his trouble (vs. 14-16).  The armed mob sent from the chief priest and elders to arrest Jesus was led by Judas (v. 47).  Jesus did not resist this action because it “was done that the Scriptures of the Prophets might be fulfilled” (v. 56).  These events brought Jesus before his religious enemies for trial.

Before this body of men – the Sanhedrin – were brought accusers, false witnesses, to give reason why Jesus should die.  Matthew states that no reason was found at first, and Mark’s account tells why – their testimony did not agree (Mark 14:56).  The charge was not important, all that was desired was an excuse to kill Jesus.  Finally some said that “this fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.'” (Matt.26:61).  This accusation was not true.  Jesus had predicted the temple’s destruction (Matt 24:1-2, Mark 13:1-2), Luke 21:5-6), which did occur in AD 70, and he had said to the religious leaders: “[You] Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:20), but, as John goes on to explain, Jesus had been predicting his trial and death, and his subsequent resurrection (John 2:21-22).  Nevertheless, to the charge of temple desecration Jesus gave no reply.  The high priest then asked Jesus a further, seemingly unrelated question: “I put you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God!” (Matt. 26:63).  An affirmative reply here would provide grounds for a Blasphemy conviction – if Jesus were not the Christ, that is.

The records of Jesus’ answer have been used by some to deny that Jesus ever claimed to be the Son of God or the Christ.  Literally, in Matthew, Jesus said, “You said [it]”, which could mean, “[It is as] you said” or, as some have suggested, “You said [it; I didn’t].  In Mark, Jesus replied “I am”, and Luke records his answer as “You say that I am”, which, by itself, could be understood to mean “You said it, I didn’t” or “You say it [and know it to be true] yourselves.”  Possible verification for this last idea is the passage in Matthew 21:23-27.  The religious leaders had asked Jesus about the authority he had to do the things he was doing.  Jesus asked in turn about the authority of John the Baptist, the man who had publicly identified Jesus as the Christ.  They realised that to say John was a true prophet of God was to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, to deny John’s authority was to endanger their own credibility with the people.  They refused to answer his question, and Jesus had no need to answer theirs.

Together these passages suggest to me that Jesus is answering in the affirmative, that he is the Christ, the Son of God.  I say this because of what Jesus said immediately after about the coming manifestation of his authority, and the reaction of the Sanhedrin to his complete answer.  The charge of blasphemy was said to be confirmed.  Jesus then had to be taken to Pilate for execution because the Jews were subject to Roman rule and could not inflict capital punishment by their own authority (John 18:28-32).

At the trial before Pilate, the religious leaders did not accuse him of Blasphemy, but rather of treason.  He was presented to Pilate as a revolutionary.  He was accused of “perverting the nation [of Israel], and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar [untrue, see Matt 22:15-22], saying that He Himself is Christ, a King” (Luke 23:2).  When Pilate tried to release Jesus, because he found no fault in him, the religious leaders told him that he would be no friend of Caesar if he did so.  They also claimed that they, as Jews, had “no king but Caesar” (John 19:12 & 15).  The crowds only answer to Pilate’s request for evidence were louder cries for Christ’s crucifixion.  Merely to appease the crowds, and to save his own neck perhaps, Pilate agreed to kill Jesus for the religious leaders on the charge of treason.  This is one reason why “King of the Jews” was written and nailed to the top of the cross, to indicate on what charge he was executed (Matt. 27:37, Luke 23:38, Mark 15:26).

It seems possible, to me, that it was a troop of Roman soldiers who guarded the tomb.  In Matthew 27:62-66 we see the religious leaders going to Pilate to ask for a guard, because they remembered that Jesus had predicted his own resurrection.  They alleged that his disciples might come and steal his dead body to give the impression that he had risen.  The religious leaders said to Pilate, “Command that the tomb be made secure until the third day.”  Pilate’s reply could be understood in at least two different ways.  He said, “You have a guard; go your way, making it as secure as you know how.”  The clause, “you have a guard”, could mean: “You have your own guard of Jewish militia, why bother me”, or “You have your request, here is a guard”.  After the guard (of whatever type) failed to stop Jesus rising from the dead, they told the religious leaders what had happened.  If this were a Jewish guard they would naturally go to these men to report; if they were Roman soldiers they would probably give their report to the religious leaders first because they had been placed in their service.  It is also likely that they would have been reluctant to tell their superior officers about their failure.  According to Matthew’s account, these religious leaders bribed the soldiers to say that the disciples took the body while they slept, promising that “if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure” (Matthew 28: 11-15)  This promise would make some sense if they were Roman soldiers, but if they were Jewish militia, why should the Roman governor be concerned about the matter?

Thoughts on the resurrection — 1 Corinthians 15

The churches of Corinth had their problems. One of these problems was that some people there thought the Gospel as delivered to them was too prosaic, or too offensive. Paul had written that the preaching of the cross was a stumbling block to the unconverted Jew and foolishness to the unconverted Greek, but to the called, both Jew and Greek, Christ is the power and wisdom of God.

In chapter 15, Paul is reminding these churches of a number of things attested to by the scriptures and the apostles.[i]

  • Christ died for our sins, according to Scriptures,
  • that he was buried, and
  • that, on the third day, he rose from the dead according to the Scriptures.

This risen-from-the-dead Christ (known as Jesus of Nazareth) was seen by the twelve, and by up to 500 people at one time. Of these, many were still available in Paul’s day for comment, but some had ‘fallen asleep’, or in more bland language, had died.[ii]

Now, some of the Corinthians had got it into their heads that there was to be no resurrection (perhaps a faction of ex-Sadducees had rocked in, or ex-Epicureans or Stoics). Paul asks how it was that these could say such things, even though the OT foretold the death, burial and resurrection of the Christ, and even though those who had seen him alive (resurrected) and had touched him (after he had suffered and died) had reported these facts. Paul, like Jesus, believed in the legitimacy of testimony,[iii] but the real point for Paul was the implications that such ‘no resurrection’ thinking had for the life of the church and the peace of Christians.

Paul’s argument seems to be this: A really resurrected Jesus Christ (that is, a once dead body is revived, made alive again – never to die again) is intimately connected with the reason why the Christ had to die. The real death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has monumental implications for those for whom he lived, died and rose again. Adam’s disobedience brought sin and death to all human beings,[iv] and for this reason we are in a mess. Christ’s obedience in our place, however, established righteousness for his people, his death in our place deals with our sin and the judgment due to it, and his resurrection (never to die again, as the sin of his people has been finally dealt with), completes his rescue of his people and gives them eternal life. Sinful condemned people (mere flesh and blood) could not do this for themselves. Christ – who is both God and man – came to do it for us. He alone brings people into the inheritance of the kingdom of God.

The promise of a real resurrection for Christians is based upon Christ’s real resurrection. If Christians are not to expect a real resurrection, then Christ must have failed in his work of rescue. If Christians are not to be really raised from the dead, then Christ has not been raised, sin and death still hold sway, and we are all doomed. This seems to be Paul’s argument. But, he says, Christ is risen, so, thanks be to God, there is real and certain hope for anyone who trusts this Jesus.

Paul’s talk about the resurrection body is interesting, in that nothing he says necessarily negates a physical resurrection. He talks about differing physical bodies, heavenly ones – stars, moon, sun – and earthy ones, fish, birds, people. These physical bodies are different to suit their differing situations. The bodies that we have at the moment are suited to our present condition – that of being in a sin blighted world and destined to die – a corruptible body. The resurrection body, one that will never die, is physical too but is incorruptible and suitable for eternity.

Paul’s use of psychicon (fleshly) and  pneumaticon (spiritual) again gives no necessary support for setting up a literalistic dichotomy between physical and spirit-like existences. He uses these same words earlier in the same letter to describe those who are regenerate (Christians) and those who are not Christians. The psychicon persons do not have the spiritual discernment to receive the scriptures as they ought to, only the pneumaticon persons – those born again by the Spirit of God. The psychicon and the pneumaticon people referred to earlier were living human beings in physical bodies. There is no necessary reason for taking these words otherwise in Chapter 15.

Paul’s final comment about ‘flesh and blood’ not inheriting the kingdom of God might reasonably be taken to refer back to Paul’s earlier statements such as: “If Christ is not risen, your faith is useless and you are still in your sins; if we have hope in Christ only in this (present) life, we are of all people most miserable”. The implication, I suggest, is that any attempt at forming a ‘Christian community’ based simply on what mere human beings (flesh and blood – refer Matthew 16:17) might be able to do is doomed to failure. Without the work of God in Christ, his real death, real burial and real resurrection – his doing for us what we cannot and would not do for ourselves – we would be left hopeless, helpless and utterly (and rightly) condemned. We would be left outside the kingdom of God with no possible way of gaining a part in it.

My daughter suggested to me that Colossians 2:9 (the context is that of Paul warning the Colossians to beware of people who would cheat them through philosophy and empty deceit) as a verse worthy of reflection:

“For in him (the Lord Jesus Christ) dwells (present tense, and Paul wrote these words post-resurrection) all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (somaticos)”.

She also suggests that 1 Corinthians 6:13-14 has some interesting things to say about the significance to Christ of our physical bodies and that people ought to use them appropriately as Christ will raise those physical bodies to eternal life.


[i] ‘Scriptures’ probably refers just to the OT, but Paul might even be including a NT Gospel within this term (and I don’t think any of the proposers of the late dates for the Gospels would be willing to stake their lives on their guesses; nevertheless, NT writers did refer to NT writings as ‘Scripture’, e.g. Peter said Paul’s letters were twisted by perverse minds as were the rest of Scripture).

[ii] They were down, as it were, and not able to be got up again by mere human effort, but God will raise them up in the last day because Jesus is risen from the dead.

[iii] Incidentally, Jesus’ comment to Thomas, who doubted just as much as the other disciples had done before they had seen Jesus alive from the dead, was rebuked for doubting the testimony of those who had told him the facts. The testimony of eye-witnesses ought to have been enough for Thomas.

[iv] Interesting that Paul’s teaching on original sin (Adam’s disobedience affecting all his children except Jesus) is not only given in Romans 5, but also here in 1 Corinthians.

Why is death certain, and what can be done?

People from all sorts of cultures fear death. Some say death is normal, and we should just get over it. But if death is simply a natural thing, why is it a terror to us? An ancient book, the Bible, tells us why.

The God who made everything, also made human beings to live forever. But this life was conditional. The first man, Adam, was told that the world was his to enjoy, all of it, except the fruit of one tree. That tree was not for him. Leave it alone, God said, and you will have life to the full. Adam and his wife decided not to be content with all that God had given; they took bad advice from a rebel creature and they stole the fruit. God pronounced the sentence of death upon them. But Adam’s situation was unique. He didn’t act for himself alone, but he represented all his future children as well. His act condemned not only himself, but all human beings who would descend from him in the normal way. Each child of Adam willingly follows Adam in his rebellion. Death is a terror because it is the judgment of our creator against our rebellion.

Even though Adam’s act was inexcusable and brought disaster into God’s good world, the news wasn’t all bad. The God whom they had offended, the one against whom they had rebelled, promised Adam and Eve one way of escape. God himself would eventually come as a human being to put right what Adam had done wrong. This one is known to the world as Jesus Christ.  Why is Jesus Christ our only hope? The Bible calls Jesus the second Adam, because he was the second person in all history who made a real difference to the human condition. By Adam’s disobedience, death came to all people. By Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, life comes to those who trust him.

Jesus’ life was one of love; love toward his God, and love toward his enemies (people like us). Jesus lived an obedient life; a substitute life to replace our bad lives. He did this as a human being. He was born a human being, yet the Bible says that God himself is his father. Jesus is the Son of God. As God, his good life can be donated to us. His good life is accepted as a replacement for our bad lives when we trust him.

Jesus’ death was also a substitute. Rebels against God deserve to die and undergo everlasting judgment, because — left to ourselves — we would and could never stop rebelling. We love our bad ways, even though they will bring us to a bad end. But Jesus died once for rebels, to take death in their place. Jesus was not personally bad, so the only way he could die was if God regarded him as a substitute. Jesus died as a sin-bearer, but the sins he bore were the sins of other people, people like us. Because he is human, he could die; because he is God, that death can be accepted as the death of sinners who trust him.

Jesus really died but he didn’t stay dead. When Jesus came back to life, it showed that Jesus is truly good. Death could not hold him, because he wasn’t personally bad. The resurrection of Jesus means at least two things. First, he will never die again, and second, those who trust him will be raised to endless life too — because his death finished the punishment that their sins deserve. The Bible tells us that those who trust Jesus are regarded by God to be as sinless as Jesus. The reason people die is because of sin. So those who do trust Jesus, are deemed to be ‘sinless’ and are given an endless life just like Jesus.

The Bible says that a judgment is coming. At that judgment every human life will be compared to the righteous life of Jesus Christ. Those who fall short of that high standard will be condemned. We all personally fall short of that standard; we don’t even maintain the low standards we set ourselves. Our only hope is to have our Judge as our Saviour – to receive his goodness as a gift, by faith. We can know that we have everlasting life simply because of who Jesus is and what he has done.  The Bible says that, if we trust Jesus, we will be saved.