Q: "Why believe in Jesus? What does Jesus offer me?"
A Way Out of Darkness – So many of the problems we encounter in life are brought on by ourselves or by others. Many can be avoided simply by having God’s wisdom and guidance.
He personally offers to be our guide, our light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”1
By beginning a relationship with him, he can guide us in life’s decisions, in our relationship problems, even in how to view life. God created us and knows us intimately. He knows all the details of our past, present and future. His counsel is unsurpassed. Only God, with unlimited wisdom and love can give us this kind of guidance.
Satisfaction, an End to Our Inner Thirst – We look to so many things in life, trying to quench that thirst for peace, for meaning, for purpose. Many times we’ll turn to possessions, experiences, relationships, food or drink, vacations, job positions….and it goes on and on. None of them give lasting satisfaction. It’s all temporary, even the best experiences.
What our heart and soul yearn for is a relationship with a being that is perfect. Constantly available. Infinitely loving. Only God provides that. He alone meets our deepest needs.
Again, Jesus provides this as no other. He said, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.”2
Payment for Our Sin – When Jesus died on the cross, it was not merely a gesture of love. Jesus’ death on the cross accomplished something. Every sin, every thought or action we know is wrong -- that sin was paid for by Jesus on the cross. Instead of us receiving the punishment for our sins, Jesus took our place.
“God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” All the sins we will ever commit…those sins we committed last year, 10 years ago, today, 20 years from now…all of them were known by Jesus when he hung on the cross until death.
All of his beatings, being lashed over and over by a cat of nine tails whip, then having his nails pounded through his wrists and feet, and then his cross stood upright, where he hung until death…all of that was to pay for our sin.
Because he paid the penalty on our behalf, Jesus freely offers us his complete forgiveness and a fully restored, close relationship with himself.
Eternal life – We do not get to heaven by our own efforts. It’s not by our living a good life or avoiding certain sins. We can never be good enough. Instead, God says that eternal life is a free gift that he offers us. The Bible is clear about this.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”3
The apostle John, a close follower of Jesus wrote this about Jesus: “…everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”4
Jesus said that all who believe in him receive eternal life. Jesus said, “Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears my word, and believe him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”5 He said, “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish.”6
Eternal life is simply the continuation of a relationship that we begin with him now. It’s an eternal relationship. John again wrote, “…God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God [who believe in Jesus], so that you may know that you have eternal life.”7
It is important to be sure that you have a relationship with God…that you have received Jesus’ forgiveness and received Jesus into your life. This link explains how: How to Know God.
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Footnotes: (1) John 8:12 (2) John 6:35 (3) Romans 6:23 (4) John 3:15-17 (5) John 5:24 (6) John 10:28 (7) 1John 5:11-13