Column

The Uniqueness Of Jesus Christ

Who, in your opinion, is the most outstanding personality of all time? I once directed some similar questions to a brilliant young medical student. He was from another land, and had been a devout follower of one of the great Eastern religions. My first questions were: “John, who in your opinion is the greatest leader that world, has ever known? Who has done the most good for mankind?” After a moment of hesitation, John replied, “I am sure that Jesus of Nazareth has done more good than anyone who has ever lived. I would say that He is the greatest leader.” What make Jesus Christ unique? Unique Personality: Then I asked, “Who do you think is the greatest teacher?” No doubt he thought of Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Confucius and the other great philosophers of ancient and modern times. But he answered, “The greatest teacher is Jesus of Nazareth.” Finally I asked, “John, in your opinion, who has lived the most holy life of anyone who has ever lived?” To this question his reply was immediate. Obviously the world knows and he knew that in all recorded history, there has never been anyone like Jesus of Nazareth. Visit any part of the world today and talk to adherents of any religion. No matter how devout they may be or how committed to their particular religion, if they know anything of the facts, they too, will have to acknowledge that there has never been a man like Jesus of Nazareth. He is the unique personality of all time.
Worldwide Influence: He is the One who has changed the whole course of history. Even the date on your morning newspaper gives witness to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, lived on this earth nearly two thousand years ago. “B.C”. Means” before Christ”, “A.D.,” anno domini, is the Latin phrase meaning, “in the year of our Lord.” Trace the life and influence of Jesus Christ and you will observe that His message always effects great changes in the lives of people and nations. History is HIS STORY- the story of the life of one man. Remove Jesus of Nazareth from history, and it would be a completely different story. One writer described Jesus’ influence in this way: “Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today he is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever have sat, and all the kings that ever reigned put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life, Jesus of Nazareth.”
Though Jesus has influenced the whole world, I would call your attention especially to the effect He has had on society’s view toward women. Aristotle said, “Society would be completely disorganized if women were on equality with their husbands, just as it would be if slaves were on equality with their masters.” Socrates asked fellow Athenians, “To whom do you talk less than to your wife?” Plato recommended that women be cared for by the state. But Christ put an end to all this. The New Testament declares that in Christ there is neither male nor female, slave nor free. Wherever Christ has gone, the sacredness of marriage, women’s rights and suffrage have been acknowledged: institutions of higher learning have been established; child labor laws have been enacted; slavery has been abolished; and a multitude of other changes have been made for the good of mankind.
Personal Influence: It has been my privilege to visit hundreds of campuses where I have talked to thousands of college men and women about Jesus of Nazareth. Naturally, I have met professors and students alike who are militantly antagonistic toward Christ. Some of them contend that Jesus Christ is just a myth or that He is a great man and nothing more. One such skeptic was Dr. Cyril E. M. Joad, one of the world’s greatest philosophers, who was for years head of the Philosophy Department at the University of London. Dr. Joad and his colleagues, Julian Huxley, Bertrand Russell and H.G. Wells, have probably done more to undermine the faith of the collegiate world of the last generation than has any other one group. Dr Joad believed that there is no such thing as sin, that man was destined for a Utopia. With sufficient time he felt that man would have heaven on earth. Dr. Joad was militant in his antagonism against Christianity and wrote many books which have made a great impact upon the atheistic thinking of the students’ world during the last generation.
In 1948, the magazine section of the Los Angeles Times carried a picture of that venerable old scholar and with it a statement concerning the dramatic change that had taken place in his life. It told how for many years he had been antagonistic toward Christ Christianity. He had once denied sin, but now he had come to believe that sin was a reality. Two world wars and the imminence of another had demonstrated conclusively to him that man was indeed sinful. Now he believed that the only explanation for sin was found in the Word of God, and the only solution was found in the cross of Jesus Christ. Before his death, Dr. Joad became a zealous follower of the Savior. Another example is Lew Wallace, a famous general and a literary genius. He and his friend, Robert Ingersoll, covenanted together to write a book that would forever destroy the myth of Christianity. Mr. Wallace tells how for two years he studied in the leading libraries of Europe and America, seeking information that would enable him to write the book that would destroy Christianity. While writing the second chapter of his volume, he found himself on his knees crying out to Jesus saying, “My Lord, and my God.” The evidence for the deity of Christ was overwhelmingly conclusive. He could no longer deny that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. The One whom he had determined to expose as a fraud had captured him. Later Lew Wallace wrote Ben Hur, probably the greatest novel ever written concerning the times of Christ.
Another confirmed skeptic was the late C. S. Lewis, professor at Oxford University. For years he was an agnostic who denied and wrote many outstanding books advocating his belief in Him as Savior, in his famous book, the case for Christianity, he makes this statement: “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said wouldn’t be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on the level with a man who says he’s a poached egg or else he would be the devil of hell; you must take your choice. Either this was, and is the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a demon; or you can fell at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But don’t come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He hasn’t left that alternative open to us.” What Great Scholars say? Who is Jesus of Nazareth to you? A myth? A mere man? Or the Son of God? Your life upon this earth and for all eternity is affected by your answer to this question. Some ask, “Is Christianity really established upon positive historical facts?” Dr. Clifford Herbert Moore, for many years a professor at Harvard University, states, “Christianity knew its Savior and Redeemer not as some god whose history was contained in a mythical faith, with rude, primitive and even offensive elements. The Christian’s faith is founded on positive, historical and acceptable facts.”
A long list could be made of such outstanding scholars who are devout followers of Christ. For example, Dr. William Lyon Phelps, who was a professor at Yale University for 40 years and was one of the most distinguished professors in the history of our country, expressed his confidence in the historical evidence concerning the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ and regularly shared his personal faith in Christ as Savior. But some of the world’s greatest scholars do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, our Saviour. I am appalled when I talk about Christ to many of these men of learning, for I discover that nearly always they are ignorant of the basic truths of the gospel. Have you ever read any of the writings of Ingersoll, Thomas Paine and other well-known skeptics? You would be amazed to discover that, invariably, these men are taking issue with something that they do not fully understand. They have erected straw men, labeled them Christianity, and have then proceeded to destroy their own creations.
I have yet to meet a person who has honestly considered the overwhelming evidence concerning Jesus of Nazareth who does not admit that He is the Son of God. As I have said, I meet some who do not believe He is the Son of God. But as we have talked and reasoned together, they have been honest in confessing, “I have not taken the time to read the Bible or to consider the historical facts concerning Jesus.” Their resentment has been based upon an unfortunate childhood experience, upon the inconsistency of some Christian or perhaps upon the influence of a college professor; but always they have admitted that they have not honestly considered the person of Jesus Christ and his claims on their lives. Concerning Jesus of Nazareth Paul says in Colossians 1:15-20, “And He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation. For in him all things were created, both in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible … For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in him, and through him to reconcile all things to himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross: through him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven” “ In Hebrews 1:1, 2 we are told, “ God, after he spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in his son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the world.” In Colossians 2:3 Paul states, “ In whom (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
There are many things that Jesus can do for us that no one else can do, but I want to concentrate on four specific things. First of all, He is the only one who can pardon man from his sin. Second, He alone can give purpose for life. Third, only he can give peace to a troubled heart. Finally, Jesus alone can give us power to live an abundant life. Pardons Sin: The Bible tells us that God is a holy God and that man is sinful. There is a great gulf between the two and man cannot bridge this gulf. The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death eternal separation from God; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Because man is sinful, he cannot bridge this gulf between himself and God, no matter how good he is. God bridges the chasm to man through his son, Jesus Christ. The Scripture says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Now, let us define our terms. What do we mean by sin? Sin is not necessary a matter of lying, stealing or immorality. Basically sin is an attitude. Sin is going one’s own independent way. It is a lack of relationship or fellowship with God. There is a throne in your life, and either God is on that throne or you are on it. If you are saying, “I am the master of my life, I will do as I please,” you qualify as a sinner. If Christ is on that throne, he has brought you back into relationship with himself. Picture, if you will, a floor lamp. Pull the plug out of the socket; contact with the current is broken, and the light goes out. Push the plug into the socket again; the light goes on. The current is constant, the variable is the plug. Man can be compared with that plug. Because we do not have fellowship with God, we walk in darkness. We have chosen to go our own way we are guilty of sin. Now, what is God’s provision? In the Old Testament, the Israelites brought their sacrifices to the priest the lamb, the dove and the bullock. These animals had to be perfect, without spot or blemish the best in the flock. The sin of the one making the sacrifice was transferred to the innocent lamb. The animal was slain; the blood was sprinkled by the priest on the altar as a temporary covering for his sins. This pictured the coming of God’s one special lamb, whose blood would not temporarily cover man’s sins, but forever. God sent his only Son, the Lamb of God, without spot or blemish, to give his life, to shed his blood upon the cross for the forgiveness of our sins,” without the shedding of blood,” there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22).
As one studies the most popular religions of the world, he becomes aware that no provision is made for the forgiveness of sin apart from the cross of Jesus Christ. Basically most religions embrace the philosophy of good works as a means to salvation. Man subscribes to the concepts that if his bad work outweigh his good works; he will go to hell, if there is a hell. Of course, he does not know until this life is over whether he will go to heaven or to hell. What a tragedy! How inadequate is such a religion or philosophy. God has promised that we can know him, and have fellowship with him now and for all eternity, through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. After I had finished speaking at a Midwestern university campus, a group of students remained to learn how they could become Christians. Among them was a young Hindu lad from India who was pacing up and down, very angry and impatient. As we talked he said, “I resent you Christians. I resent the arrogance with which you say that you have the only way to God. I believe that Christianity is one way, but only one way. Hinduism is another. Buddhism, Shintoism and others are all ways to God.”
I called his attention to the writings of the great Hindu leader Mahatmas Gandhi, who, for all of his devotion to his religion, states in his autobiography, “It is a constant torture to me that I am still so far from him whom I know to be my very life and being. I know it is my own wretchedness and wickedness that keep me from him.” This gifted young man said that he had once believed that Gandhi was God but, of course, he no longer believed this. In addition to being devout, he was unusually brilliant. He was completing his double doctorate a doctorate in physics and a doctorate in chemistry. As we talked together, his anger began to subside, and he began to see that Christianity is different. He was that it was not just another man-made religion or philosophy, but that it made provision for man’s basic need, which is forgiveness of sin. He admitted also that he had not found the answer to his needs, though he was devout follower of his religion, diligent in the reading of the sacred Hindu writings, and faithful in his times of prayer and all the ritual of his faith. He had to confess that he had never found God. I called his attention to the differences in the lives of his Christian friends. He admitted that they had something that he did not possess. It was obvious that that “something” was the living Saviour who had come to live within them and had forgiven them of their sins.
For nearly an hour we discussed the difference between Christianity and the religions of the world. Take Buddha out of Buddishm, Mohammed out of Islam, and in like manner the founders of the various religions out of their religious systems, and little would be changed. But take Christ out of Christianity and there would be nothing left. Finally, the light came on. Now this young Hindu understood the great truth of pardon for sin through our Savior’s sacrifice on the cross. Quietly he bowed his head. This dear young scholar who had sought after God with all of his heart now prayed that Jesus of Nazareth, the risen, living Son of God, would come into his heart, would pardon his sin and become his Lord and Master.

Dr. Lewis Akpogena
08055059656
E-mail: akpogena@yahoo.com

Related posts

Expect Another One Month Holidays In Rivers

admin

ISSUES ABATTOIR

admin

ISSUES ABATTOIR

admin

Login

X

Register