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Take hold of eternal life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus is the way,
 the truth, and the life

 

 

 

 

 

The gap has been removed!

 

 

Two most important commandments

 

The two most important relationships and commandments are loving God and our neighbors as Jesus said. All of the Law and the Prophets are based on these two commandments:

 

 

Matt 22:36-38 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37  Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

38  This is the first and great commandment.

Matt 22:39,40 And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

40  On these two  commandments  hang all the law and the prophets.

 

 

 

The content of the Law

 

As far as the latter commandment is concerned, it is certainly good if we are able to love our neighbors. If everybody did this, the world would be a much better place. The majority of suffering would end right away.

   It is interesting that this important law was written in the heart of every man. Everyone has a natural understanding of how to rightly treat our neighbors and what is wrong behavior towards others. Examples of this can be seen in the religions of the world (karma -- a man reaps what he sows) and in human laws that deem punishable the offences of stealing, murder, and physical violence. In all these issues, it has been understood that some acts are right and others wrong, and that there will be bad consequences from the latter ones.

   In the same way, the law of right and wrong appears in our relationship to our neighbors and ourselves. Jesus said, “Therefore all things whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt 7:12) and And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39). In other words, since nobody wants bad things to happen to him – that he is deceived, something is stolen from him, somebody takes his wife or does violence to him – then these things must not be done to others. Through loving oneself, one can see how to love his neighbors and recognize what is right and wrong.

 

- All right, said Bonelli. Nobody defends stealing. What next?

- It is the same with lying, said Weber. People lie but nobody wants to be deceived.

- What about murder?

- It too is a universal practice, although everyone does not follow it.

- (…) It is a generally accepted issue that man is both an intellectual and moral being, he began again. We can present the following summary of this: some deny the moral norms; but although some steal, nobody wants to be robbed; although some lie, nobody wants to be deceived; although some murder people, nobody wants to be killed.

   This is the explanation of man’s morals. There is a moral and intellectual being, originator, behind man’s morality and brains, because we cannot find explanation for man’s intellectual and moral qualities from mere matter. (1)

 

Paul also taught about right and wrong in the hearts of men. He spoke about Gentiles who did not have information about God but who, however, understood that some acts were right and others wrong. They understood the difference between these two things, although they did not always act accordingly. These indicate that we really have an understanding of right and wrong, although our actions do not always follow our understanding.

 

- (Rom 2:14,15) For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law to themselves:
15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.

 

The gap between God and man

 

God’s law, or His perfect will, is connected with one huge problem, and it is that and yet none of you keeps the law (John 7:19). Nobody can ever meet the standards of God.

   For the fact is that we are all sinners and do not come even close to God's standards. There can be great and small sinners in the world, but there is still such a huge gap between God and men that no one can cross it by himself. We are all in a hopeless state as comes to God’s approval, as the next figure indicates:

 

 

 

 

The next quote indicates also how a deep gap separates us from the perfection of God. Some may be a little better than others but this is of little significance. The gap still exists and it is impossible to cross it:

 

"Wait, I’ll give you one example: the average man can jump, for example, two meters. A person who has practiced sports and is fit may jump perhaps five meters. And if he is an Olympic winner, he can jump almost nine meters, but jumping any longer will be quite impossible in our generation. Let’s suppose then that we are all standing at the edge of a canyon with 200 meters to the other side. None of us has the ability to jump over that abyss, right? Now then, let’s study the same in the form of an allegory: That abyss is the abyss of sin and God is on the other side. He inspected as poor crickets just as we are and started pity us. He knew that it was quite impossible for us to get to Him by our own powers; for this reason, He sent for us His own Son, Jesus, who is a bridge between God and man. Jesus is the mediator between God and man. We can go with Him safely, because according to His own words He is 'the way and the truth and the life’! I know that there are many, who will reject this divine solution as too easy. They’ll rather try to do something by their own power to save themselves, but no effort of man can take him to God, our destiny is to fall into that yawning abyss!” (2)

 

The gap has been removed

 

Even though there is a huge gap between God and us, the Bible teaches that Jesus came down from Heaven and bridged this gap. He came to live under the law (Gal 4:4,5) But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.) He fulfilled the Law and always acted in accordance with His Father’s will (John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.). He came down from Heaven and did everything that was impossible for us sinners to do.

   What was the result of Jesus’ actions? The Bible teaches that every man has now the possibility of having a relationship with God and receiving forgiveness for his sins through Jesus, if he only puts his trust and faith in Him (Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.). None of us needs to earn perfection any more, but it is given to us by grace and through Jesus Christ. Through Him it is possible to cross the gap between God and man:

 

 

 

Receiving grace

     

It has already been noted that Jesus bridges the gap between God and men and is our Mediator (Hebrews 9:15: And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.…). Therefore, we can receive salvation only through Jesus. Only by turning to Him, and through Him, can we receive forgiveness for our sins because He has already prepared everything for us. Turn therefore to Him, so you too will receive the grace of God and forgiveness of your sins:

 

- (John 5:40) And you will not come to me, that you might have life.

 

- (John 14:6) Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.

 

- (Acts 4:11-12) This is the stone which was set at nothing of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

- (Acts 10:43) To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins.

 

Jesus fulfilled the Law and bridged the gap between God and man, and grace came through Him. (John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.) It is clear that we must receive this grace so that we can be saved. If we turn our backs on Jesus and grace, nothing good will come from it, as the example below illustrates. Therefore, do not turn your back on God’s call: 

 

In 1892, Wilson and Porter were sentenced to be hanged for a mail robbery. Porter was executed, but Wilson was pardoned. He rejected his pardoning, and judge John Marshall of the Higher Court left the future generations this statement: “Pardoning is an act that is not legal without releasing the person, and release is not perfect without receiving. The person to whom it is offered can reject it, and if it is rejected, we do not deem the Court fit to put it into effect by force.”

   The responsibility, as you see, is yours. If you do not accept God’s pardoning, He will not force you to do it. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3) (1)

 

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION:

  

Lord, Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and have not lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn from my sins and follow You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven by Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for the salvation that You have given me. Amen. 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

1. J. Edwin Orr: 100 kysymystä Jumalasta (100 Questions about God), p.50 - 52

2. Jakov Damkani: Siionin poika (Why me?), p. 107,108

3. Oswald J.,Smith: Jumalan pelastus, p. 35

 

 

 

 

 

Jari Iivanainen




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