The following column is an opinion piece and reflects the views of only the author and not those of The Georgia Virtue.
By: Dr. William F. Holland Jr., minister, chaplain, and author of the column series ‘Living on Purpose’. You can read more about the Christian life and see other works by Dr. Holland at billyhollandministries.com
Throughout history, no one has made a greater impact on this earth than Jesus Christ, yet many still do not understand who he is. During Christmas, people around the world acknowledge his birth was over 2000 years ago but actually he existed long before that. As the Son of God, Jesus is the Alpha and Omega which means he is from the beginning and has no end. This truth of him being infinite is beyond our comprehension, but nonetheless this spiritual reality places him in a unique category all by himself. Jesus said in John chapter eight and verse fifty-eight, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am” as he was trying to teach all who would listen that his virgin birth in Bethlehem, his ministry of miracles, and his death and ressurection was a carefully calculated mission to rescue and redeem all who would believe in his father’s plan of salvation.
In the spring, many also celebrate another spiritual event the world calls Easter, but to Christians the ressurection of Jesus is the real reason for the season. Christ was innocent yet willingly went to the cross, was brutally crucified, died, and then resurrected from the grave as his blood sacrifice was the only power and authority that could spiritually save those who are hopelessly lost. As he ascended back to heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit which is the third member of the trinity to comfort, guide, empower, and fill his followers with God’s presence. Since this miracle of love and mercy was given, whosoever believes his holy truth and accepts his offer of eternal life by faith, can be adopted into His royal family based on this perfect blood covenant. We realize the gospel of Christ appears to be relatively simple as Romans 10:13 declares, “Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” but the concept of free grace does not excuse or eliminate the conditions of human accountability. May we never allow a religious formality to become a substitution for our dedication to God because the true definition of covenant requires both parties to honor their vows. To believe that God compromises his word is to live in the false security of denial and deception.
It’s wonderful to be positive minded and appreciate the Lord is good all the time because He is! But it’s also important that we research God’s word carefully so we can know what we believe and why we believe it. When we ignore vital information and replace it with emotional happy thoughts, we are vulnerable to falling prey to the dangers of creating our own concept of God. Yes, we are glad to have Jesus as a Savior, but this does not mean we can justify ignoring his requirement to obey him as our Lord. He will help us overcome our fears and weaknesses, but he is also waiting for someone to embrace what it means to be spiritually transformed into his image. Jesus is no longer a baby in a manger, and he is not a magic genie or a cosmic vending machine. He is the Almighty Creator who expects and demands for his children to be spiritually developing and maturing. The book of Hebrews reveals a deeper explanation about our personal relationship with him.
Our culture is unfortunately moving away from a reverential fear concerning our accountability to God, into a more lenient and casual way of thinking. The modernized gospel message is now being presented as a smooth, painless opportunity for those who want to go to heaven, but it seems that many are only shown the front cover of deliverance and do not see the need to open the table of contents. Most people know the basics of what Jesus has done but all who declare to be his followers would benefit spending more time getting to know him intimately and discover what he is expecting from them. Becoming born-again does not mean we will have an easy life without self-discipline and even persecution, but God promises that we can have his joy and peace within our personal relationship with him. There is more good news! We have the opportunity to love and worship him today because the stone was rolled away! Jesus rose from the grave and longs to sit on the throne of our heart. He laid down his life for us, and now the least we can do is live for him.