Series 1 – Part 3 of 3
Does Jesus just want us to live a good life? To just do good things and be on our way?
I would highly suggest to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this question [links below] before we move any further.
From the previous blog posts we know two things:
- That humankind neither has a “good” moral standing with God, nor a “neutral” moral standing with God. Even if we were “good” or “neutral” humankind would eventually sin because of the power of choice. All of humanity, past/present/future has a sinful nature (a natural tendency to disobey and rebel against God). All of humanity sits in the same boat – we are naturally against God because of our sin. Because we have sin, we need a fix to be reconciled back to God.
- The fix for our sinful heart is believing and trusting in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to be saved. This fix is freely given to all who call upon Jesus’ name (Romans 10:13).
With these two points, can it be reasoned that Jesus just merely calls us to “lead a good life”? Does God ultimately call humankind to only love and serve one another in love (Matt 22:37-40, Gal 5:13)? To care for orphans and widows (James 1:27), to reach out your hands to the poor and those in need (Matt 25:35-40), to forgive others because God forgives you (Eph 4:32), or to not love money (Luke 18:18-25) or possessions (Mat 6:19-21)?
While all these things show the fruits of sanctification (being renewed and transformed by Jesus’ power), they are certainly not the point of Jesus’ message in the Gospel. In fact, trying to “lead a good life” or “doing good deeds” is actually what Jesus preached against –> it is anti-Gospel.
But how can all these verses point to that conclusion, they’re in the Bible!
With the evidence supported in Parts 1 & 2, Jesus was not calling us to be “good people”, Jesus is continually calling us to repent (where you are convicted of sin in your own life, and chose to follow after Jesus instead of choosing to keeping sinning). God does not want us to be deceived into thinking that we are “good enough” to be with Him, or that by helping others and doing “good deeds” will somehow save us or make everything right. It won’t! Jesus refuted this kind of thinking with the Jewish leaders and teachers of the day (Luke 11:38-54). They thought that they and God were on good terms because they performed good deeds or thought of themselves as “good people”. Just like today’s culture believes that”being a good person” or “trying to do the right thing” or “having one’s good deeds outweigh the bad ones” will somehow make everything right.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but it only leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12)
“He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous”, Jesus was speaking about this very thing!!! (Luke 18:9-14, Revelation 3:17). We are blind and self-deluded if we truly believe that sin doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter, and that “We’ll be fine” when we die and meet God at His judgment seat (Revelation 20:11-15).
Repentance is the answer:
- Turn to the Lord and He will not forsake you (Deuteronomy 4:29-31)
- If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
- Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
- I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:32)
- No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)
- No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:5) [repeating Himself]
- The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30)
- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.(1 John 1:9)
- Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:19)
Jesus continually called out to people to “Repent” whether they were the early Israelites, the Jews in Jesus’ day or today, or the Gentiles (non-Jews) from Jesus’ day or today. The overarching theme throughout the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation is this:
- God exists
- God created
- Man rebels
- God promises Man a Savior
- God calls Man to repent and be saved (repeats throughout every book, every story)
- God brings Man the Savior
- The Savior returns to complete His Holy Restoration
Having said all of that, God does call us to love Him and love others (Mark 12:28-31) but the reason we do it is what really matters (our heart-motivation). Christians do not try to love others and live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18) in order to gain God’s love or acceptance, or to create a better world, or do it because it’s the “right thing to do”, or begrudgingly do it because God commanded us to, or do it to feel good about ourselves [which is, in of itself, actually selfish to help others in order to feel good, but I digress].
Christians love others (believers and non-believers both) because we know we are loved and accepted by God. Christians know that God already loves and accepts them because they are adopted into God’s family through Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:5).
But wait, there’s more!
Jesus wants us to not only show love to others by helping them in the physical sense, but to aid them in the spiritual sense. How can we truly love someone by meeting all their physical needs and yet, they still die not knowing Jesus or freedom from sin? Loving someone is showing them the Gospel – that they don’t have to be away from God and die in their sins. Hating someone is where you help them through life and refuse to tell them of the most important thing that has ever mattered. Hating someone is withholding the Truth and pretending everything is fine.
Jesus calls us to love others in the physical sense, but also in the spiritual sense (their souls) through the Great Commission:
- “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
- “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
In conclusion, does Jesus just want us to live a good life? No, He wants us to repent and believe/trust in Him. After we are saved, He calls us to show love and sacrifice to others because we know Jesus has shown true love and true sacrifice to us. One of the ways to do that, is to preach the Gospel of Christ to everyone, everywhere.
<Original work by BenBRockN. Feel free to reblog, ONLY if you give credit to the original author (me). Thanks!>