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As Christians, we look to Jesus Christ for our salvation. He is the light of this world and the one true guide to eternal life. For non-Christians it can be difficult to understand why we have such unwavering faith in Jesus’ ability to save. Why do we believe in His power? Do we have any evidence to support our beliefs?
Fortunately, we have ample proof, both in religious and secular sources, to support our trust in Jesus. This article will explain exactly why Jesus matters and why we choose to put our faith in Him.
There is no doubt that Jesus was a real, historical figure, a Jewish man with a following of devoted disciples, who lived at the beginning of the first century AD in the Roman territory of Jerusalem.
The Jewish historian Josephus mentioned Jesus in his book, “Antiquities of the Jews.” Josephus wrote about the death of James, Jesus’ brother. The historian referred to James as the brother of “Jesus who was called Christ.” Josephus did not know Jesus himself, but his father was a priest during Jesus’ lifetime.
The Roman historian Tacitus also wrote about Jesus, referring to him as “Christ, who, during the reign of Tiberius, had been executed by the procurator Pontius Pilate.” The historians of the time do not give many details about Jesus' life or His purpose - for that, we turn to the Bible.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Son of God. The Old Testament predicted the coming of a Messiah, who would save the world from the sins of mankind. The prophet Isaiah said, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
That prophecy was realized with Jesus’ birth. God told the disciples that Jesus was His son very clearly, as we read in the book of Matthew: "Behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”
Sometimes, it is difficult to understand exactly what Christians mean when we say that Jesus died for our sins. Christians believe that all people have a tendency to sin. This doesn’t mean that people are “bad,” or that we should feel guilty all the time. It is not about blaming or criticizing.
Christians simply acknowledge that human nature is imperfect. We are living in a fallen world, far from the innocence of the Garden of Eden. And, hard as we may try to live correctly and to do right, we all stumble. We all commit sins, big and small. We can’t just ignore sin and pretend that it doesn’t matter. But we also can’t overcome our sinful nature on our own. That’s why we turn to Jesus.
Jesus died on the cross so that we could be forgiven for our sins. Paul wrote, "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." By giving up His life on the cross, Jesus redeemed us and gave us a path to eternal life and salvation.
Christians find salvation through following Jesus Christ and trusting in Him. We turn to Him in times of trouble and weakness. We ask Him for consolation when we are struggling, and we pray to Him for strength when we are struggling to do what is right.
Above all, we seek to follow his example, seeing His time on earth as an example of the best possible life man can live. Jesus told His disciples to follow and obey, asking them, Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do as I say?
The Bible makes it clear that we cannot be saved by our good deeds alone. No matter how much we work to be good, to help others, and to live decently here on earth, we will never truly succeed unless we follow Jesus Christ. Paul wrote, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to think about our sins and the great sacrifice that Jesus made so that we could all be saved. It is good to remember that God gave us this great gift because of His great love for us.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” - John 3:16
It is our duty – and our joy - to share this great gift with others. That’s why Christians are to spread the word of Jesus Christ to all, far and wide, so as to make sure that everyone has a chance at true salvation.
We as a church exist to help you meet, know and follow Jesus. No matter where you’ve been, what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you, God loves you and you are welcome at Sun Valley.