Sunday, December 28, 2014

Jesus' Christmas Job Description.

The Angel declared the Job description for the promised Baby. His mission, to save people (among other things). As we finish celebrating Christmas it is a good time to ask ourselves “what does ‘save’ mean”. To help understand this I’ve used four personal illustrations.

When I was about 11 years old I was on a pontoon at a swimming beach and I was pushed into the water. I couldn’t swim. The other Y.P. thought I was fooling around until my mother screamed out ‘Save him’! Someone had to dive in and rescue me. I was saved from drowning.
When the Bible uses the term ‘saved’ it means someone had to ‘dive into that situation and rescue the person who cannot save himself. This is what Jesus Christ came to do at Christmas. That was part of His ‘Job Description’. But there is much more to being saved than being ‘pulled out of the water’ – or whatever other situation. When I accept Jesus as my Saviour He saved me from my sin and judgement.

When I was about 19 years I was going to church but I was only really play acting at being a Christian. After the evening service I was standing on the street corner, alone, and it was as though God said in my heart “Shape up or ship out”! The Lord was offering me the opportunity to be saved from hypocrisy and a wasted life. That wasn’t a fun time I can tell you. I chose to shape up. I was saved from being masquerading and a useless life. The alternative was too terrible to contemplate. This decision two years later led me into Bible College. At that moment my Saviour became my Lord.

My first few days in College were great, until one night. I sat at my desk and felt guilty about being there. Memories of my past mistakes, failures and disobedience flooded the mind. The devil whispered “you are no good. You should not be a minister. You are unworthy”. He was right. He didn’t have to lie or make things up. What was I to do? I opened the Bible and these verses from Colossians 2:13-15 leapt out at me. The Lord was saying to my heart “you are saved from your past. The Devil hasn’t any power to blackmail you. You are forgiven! You are cleansed! You have been set free by Christ’s victory at the cross”.  

Over the years I’ve been challenged by people who believe that all religions are leading you to the same God. However when I looked at the Bible it said something different. Acts 4:12, John 14:6 tells us that Jesus is the only way to know and meet God and call Him ‘our Father’. The Bible means what it says. Therefore if anyone wants to know what God is like, how to meet Him and be accepted in time and eternity there is only one way. It is called ‘Salvation’ and it has been made possible because Jesus Christ came into this World to ‘make it possible’. To do this He had to live as a man and suffer an unjust death. More than that, to be the Saviour, He had to rescue us from sin and judgement by taking it from us and putting it upon Himself. However, if He was still in the tomb there is no way He could be our Saviour, only a failure. However as Matthew 28:6 and other passages tell us, Jesus conquered death and the tomb by rising again and by that became fulfilled His job description, to save all who believe in Him.  . No other religion or Faith has a message such as this, or a Saviour such as Jesus.
How then can you experience the salvation secured for you by Jesus?
First, you must recognise that you are ‘drowning’ in sin, hopelessness, and the wrath of God.
Second, you must accept the fact that Jesus is the only One who is able to reach out to you and place you on salvation’s ground.
 Third, you must invite Him into your life, by faith, and allow Him to be your Saviour and Lord.

 When you do this a whole new destiny awaits to be discovered, enjoyed and shared. You become a new person in God’s eyes. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. That is the Joy promised at Christmas. That is the reality secured at Calvary. That is the gift offered by Jesus Christ on behalf of the Father and it is yours to be claimed by faith. What a great way to end the year and face the New Year.

Today make it your day for claiming Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. 2 Corinthians 6:2
Ray Hawkins Dec 28.2014.)