Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Deciphering Jesus - Martin Wiles

He faced all of the same temptations we do, ye he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15 NLT

Could Jesus really have sinned? If He couldn’t have, then how can He identify with me?

The above were theological discussions we preacher boys tossed around while in college as we tried to anticipate and formulate a good answer for similar questions others might ask us. These two questions are still on the minds of many—particular those in the 13 to 31 age range. 

Millennials—people born between 1984 and 2002, have some rather untraditional beliefs about Jesus. According to the Barna Group, while most Americans believe Jesus was God, 56% of Millennials are more likely to view Him as a religious leader who committed sins just like everyone else. In fact, fewer than half of them will even admit they believe Jesus was God. 

Millennials also struggle with believing Jesus is the only way to heaven. Fifty six percent believe they will go to heaven because they have made a commitment to follow Jesus, but the group as a whole is less likely to believe that than are their elders. In fact, twelve percent say they’ll make heaven because they are basically good people. 

Millennials aren’t the first group in history to wonder about Jesus. His historicity isn’t in question, but His divinity and what He accomplished is. First century Christians had to explain it to those who didn’t believe, to those who doubted, and to those who held mixed views. 

When deciphering Jesus, believing He was born to a virgin is essential (Luke 1:27). Our sin nature is passed through the procreation process. Had Jesus had an earthly father, He too would have inherited a sinful nature. 

Jesus was born, lived, and died sinless. This doesn’t mean He can’t identify with humans. He was tempted in the same areas we are and could have sinned, but didn’t (Hebrews 4:15). Through the power of God in Him, He overcame. 

Jesus was completely human, but He was also completely divine. He said whoever had seen Him had seen the Father (John 14:9). 

Jesus is also the only way to heaven (John 14:6). When we believe in Him, we can be confident our sins are forgiven and that our eternity will be in heaven. 

What we believe about Jesus is critical. He is God’s sinless Son sent to pay our sin debt. Only by faith in Him alone can we enter a relationship with God the Father. 

Prayer: Father, we confess our believe in Your Son as the sinless sacrifice You sent to die for our sins. 

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