Christian Essentials: What Did Jesus Teach? Pt. 1

This post is based on the book The New Christian’s Handbook by Max Anders.

What happens when the Light of the World appears?  He sets the record straight.  Men and angels both longed to see God’s secret plan fully revealed.  It was set in motion before the creation of the world and Jesus fulfilled it.   He lit up the spiritual darkness and showed the depths of God’s love to all.

The Apostle Peter wrote:

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.”

Well This is What Jesus Taught:

1. Humanity needs a Savior and the Savior has come.
2. Righteousness is on the inside, not the outside.
3. Love is the priority of life.

Part 1:  Humanity Needs A Savior

“Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!'” Mark 1:14-15

Gospel definition

a word of Anglo-Saxon origin, and meaning “God’s spell”, i.e.,word of God, or rather, according to others, “good spell”, i.e., good news. It is the rendering of the Greek _evangelion_, i.e., “good message.” It denotes (1) “the welcome intelligence of salvation to man as preached by our Lord and his followers. (2.) It was afterwards transitively applied to each of the four histories of our Lord’s life, published by those who are therefore called ‘Evangelists’, writers of the history of the gospel (the evangelion).(3.) The term is often used to express collectively the gospel doctrines; and ‘preaching the gospel’ is often used to include not only the proclaiming of the good tidings, but the teaching men how to avail themselves of the offer of salvation, the declaring of all the truths, precepts, promises, and threatenings of Christianity.” It is termed “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), “the gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 4:23), “the gospel of Christ” (Rom.1:16), “the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15), “the glorious gospel,” “the everlasting gospel,” “the gospel of salvation” (Eph. 1:13).

gospel. (n.d.). Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary. Retrieved December 03, 2010, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gospel

It’s been about 2000 years since Jesus preached the good news of the Kingdom of God.  The basic message has probably not escaped your notice.  Most people have heard that “Jesus Saves.”  Most know something about the concepts of sin and punishment, heaven and salvation, but there is a lot of noise surrounding it.  What is the good news in a nutshell?

The good news is that salvation is a gift from God to us.

We couldn’t earn it.  We don’t deserve it.  God loves us so much, he paid for it himself, and offers that gift to us freely through faith in Christ Jesus.

In more detail:

1. Man is separated from God because of rebellion.

God is perfect.  We can’t even imagine what that is, let alone meet that standard.  Originally, we were given one line and told not to cross it; one simple rule.  It could have been any rule, but God kept it simple.  We defied even that.

God cannot tolerate sin; to do so would compromise himself.

2. God is just and must punish wrongdoing.

God is holy and just.  He must punish sin or he would be imperfect and unjust.  His impartial and unchanging decree is that the punishment for sin is spiritual death; or complete and total separation from him.

3. God is merciful.  He loves us and does not want us to be separated from him.

God wanted to forgive our sin while upholding his own righteousness.  So he came into the world as a man, Jesus, to fulfill the holy standard for us.  God took the punishment for our sin on himself, being nailed to a cross and facing the full penalty.  He overcame death and rose alive again to bring us salvation.

4. Salvation is received through faith in Christ’s finished work.

It is a gift.  It is not earned by our own good deeds, which, no matter who you are, are as dirty rags to a holy and perfect God.  We can add nothing to the cross.  The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is salvation.

Saving faith in Christ means turning in your heart to God and trusting in Christ alone for salvation.  It’s a choice we must make in order to receive him and be reborn spiritually.  God will not force us, though he warns that rejection will ultimately mean permanent separation from him without remedy.

The Gospel In Jesus’ own words.

Here is the Gospel, as taught by Jesus in his own words.

John 3:1-21, Numbers 21:4-9, John 3:36, John 12:20-33, John 19:28-30, Luke 24:36-48

John 3:1-21

1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

16 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

Numbers 21:4-9 (Jesus used this lesson from Moses to teach Nicodemus, above.)

4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

John 3:36

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”

John 12:20-33

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted upfrom the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

John 19:28-30 – The Death of Jesus

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Luke 24:36-48 – The Resurrection of Jesus

36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them,“Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them,“This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

Next in this series: What Did Jesus Teach? – Part 2: Righteousness in on the inside, not the outside.

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3 responses to “Christian Essentials: What Did Jesus Teach? Pt. 1

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