The Uniqueness Of Jesus Christ

The Bible says “There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Only Jesus can pardon sin. Gives Purpose: Not only is Jesus of Nazareth unique as the only one who can pardon our sins, but he is also unique as the only one who gives purpose, peace and power to life. Let us consider purpose. You will remember, according to the Bible, in Colossians 1:16, it was through the Son that God made the whole universe, and to the Son He has said that all creation shall ultimately belong. One can readily see that God has created everything for a purpose. There is order, system and design to the whole creation. Man is the highest expression of God’s creation; Man is the only part of creation with intelligence. God created man with a free will, with a right of choice. He can say “yes” or “no” to God, and for the most part man has chosen to say “no.” Those who have said “no” have never discovered God’s purpose for their lives.
No building contractor would think of constructing a beautiful building without consulting the blueprint of the architect, the designer. How can we be so foolish as to try to build our lives without first consulting the great architect of life, the One who created us for a wonderful purpose? The Bible says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23). “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). There are great benefits to be derived from being where God wants you to be and doing what God wants you to do. God does not stand over us with a big stick. Rather, He has established His laws to govern the whole of creation and, if we violate these laws, we must pay the consequences; even as a man who violates the law of gravity must pay the consequences, or the man who violate the laws of traffic must pay the consequences, or the failure to adhere to the laws of traffic endangers not only the life of the one who violates the law, but also the lives of others. We do not break God’s laws they break us.
Take, for example the mater of marriage. The Bureau of the Census reported in 1979 that 1,170 out of each 2,359 marriages in America end in divorce. That’s nearly one out of two! That one/two ratio was corroborated by a consumer report in the June 22, 1981 issue of U.S. News and World Report (Page 12). Yet it is a well-established fact that a Christian husband and wife who daily read the Bible and pray together will experience a remarkably high degree of stability in their marriage. Why the great contrast? Jesus Christ makes the difference. He brings real purpose to marriage. With these facts before us, who would dare take the gamble of marriage without Christ? You say, “I don’t understand. How can Christ make such a great difference?’ Simply in this way: If you are on the throne of your life, your ego and the ego of the one whom you marry will war against one another. Friction is inevitable. However, if Christ is on the throne of the lives of both husband and wife, He will not war against Himself and there will be peace. Discord will turn to harmony and hate will turn to love. Many times I have had the privilege of kneeling in prayer with men and women who have been on the verge of divorce. Their lives were in shambles, their homes places of discord and friction. But as they have given their lives to Jesus Christ, harmony, peace and love have come into their homes and hearts. Of course, the same truth applies to individuals as well, for no man is complete without Christ.
I have found through the years that people who know Jesus Christ have a purpose for life. Those who do not know Him are like a ship upon a rough sea without rudder and without sail, fritting with the tide. No matter how brilliant you might be or a how successful as an athlete, as a student, as a business or a professional person, unless you know Jesus Christ, you will never know real purpose in life. God has made us for Himself, and as St. Augustine said centuries ago, “Thou has made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” H.G. Wells, famous historian and philosopher, said at the age of 61: “I have no peace. All life is at the end of its tether.” The poet Lord Byron said, “My days are in the yellow leaf. The flowers and fruits of life gone, the worm and the canker, and the grief are mine alone.” Thoreau, great literary genius, said, “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.” Ralph Barton, one of the top cartoonists of the nation, left this note pinned to his pillow before he took his life: “I have had few difficulties, many friends, great successes; I have gone from wife to wife, and from house to house, visited great countries of the world, but I am fed up with inventing devices to fill up 24 hours hours of the day.” Pascal, French physicist and philosopher, put it this way, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which only God can fill through His Son, Jesus Christ.”
Dare I say that there is a vacuum in your life? I do not know you. But in all honesty, in the quiet of your own heart, if you do not know Jesus Christ, you are saying today, “Yes, there is a vacuum; I am not satisfied with my life.” And you never will be until you invite Christ to show you the very purpose for which He created you. There is no one else who ever lived who can do this- no religion, no philosophy, no man. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John. 14:6) As you are introduced to him, He will show you that purpose for which He created you. Gives Peace: Jesus alone can pardon sin, Jesus alone can give purpose to life. Third, Jesus of Nazareth is the only One who can give you peace. He is the Prince of Peace. There will never be peace in the individual heart or at the peace table of the world until the Prince of Peace reigns supreme in the hearts of men. In John 14:27, Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” In Matthew 11:28, He says “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden; and I will give you rest.”
Perhaps you are now experiencing fears and frustrations in your life. Perhaps you are worried about your grades, your social life, your finances, problems in your home. You say, “Of course. Everyone has these problems.” Yes and the Christian is not exempt. Becoming a Christian does not mean that you will suddenly be ushered into a utopian situation, but rather you will have One with you who said, “Peace, be still; lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, upon every occasion and at all times I am with you. I will never leave you, nor forsake you My peace I give you.” Some time ago I was asked to be one of the speakers at an international Christian Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. On this occasion I was speaking at a conference of which The famous presidential prayer Breakfast is a part. A young naval commander, who was representing the Pentagon at the breakfast, was my old fraternity brother and debate colleague of mine during my college days. He sought me out and we talked together. He told me the story of a tragedy that had recently taken place in his life through the loss of a child. He asked if I would come and talk with him and his dear wife.
As we talked together that evening, they both invited Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord. As Christ came into their lives, they experienced a wonderful peace. Their lives were changed. The following year l was invited to return to Washington where again l had the privilege of participating in the international Christian Leadership Program. Again my commander friend was present, representing the Pentagon. Tragedy of tragedies, he told me that shortly after my pervious visit another of their children became ill. She had cancer of the nervous system, which resulted in her death. I shall never forget that day as Frank and l talks together. With a warm, understanding smile, he said, “Though l do not understand it, as dearly as we loved our little child and much as we hated to see her go, during the presence of her illness and after she was gone, the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ was so real! We do not understand it, but through it all we had a peace that passes all knowledge”. Gives Power: Heartache and sorrow will come into your life too, but Christ, the Prince of Peace, waits to sit upon the throne of your life and to give you His pardon, His purpose and His peace. Yet even pardon, Purpose, and peace are not all that Christ can give, for Jesus of Nazareth is the only One who can give you power to live a new life. Frequently men and women will say to me, “l would like to become a Christian, but if l do, l am sure that l will never be able to live the life. You don’t know the mistakes that l have made, the resentments that l have, the tendencies to sin, the immorality, the heavy drinking, the cruel tongue and many, many other problems. l do not believe l could live the Christian life.”
But as these people have given their lives to Christ, they have discovered that the Christian life is a supernatural life. You and l cannot live it, no matter how good we are Jesus Christ literally comes to live within us, and He lives His life in through us Therefore, it is no longer what we do, but what He does, because He is the One who provides the power and we are merely the instruments through which He releases that power. This is what Jesus taught a man named Nicodemus who came to see Him one night (John 3:1-21). Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews. He was a good, moral and ethical religious leader. He asked Christ, “Rabbi, (meaning Teacher), we know that you have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these sins that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, l says to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” Nicodemus did not know what He meant. He asked if he must enter his mother’s womb the second time to be born. Jesus replied, in essence, No, you are born once in the flesh, but in order to enter the kingdom of God you must be born of the Spirit.” You see, we are born with a physical body to live on a physical plane. But the kingdom of God is a spiritual being. If we are to have fellowship with Him, we must become spiritual creatures.
Picture a caterpillar crawling in the dirt. It is just an ugly, hairy worm. lf you could communicate with this caterpillar, you might say, “why do you crawl in the dirt? Why don’t you fly like the butterfly?” No doubt it would reply, “It is impossible for me to fly for l am earthbound; l can only crawl in the dust.” Then you might suggest, “Let us perform an operation. We will attach some butterfly wings to your body.” But that would do no good. Then you could say, “Why don’t you take a course in aviation? Then you will be able to fly. But all that this is to no avail. So it is with people who try to become Christians by good works, such as good conduct, church attendance, reading the Bible, praying, etc- rather than the way of the new birth, as Jesus commanded. One day the caterpillar weaves about its body a cocoon, and later, out of that cocoon, emerges a beautiful butterfly. We do not understand fully what has taken place. We only know that a butterfly soars in the heavens. So it is in the life of a Christian; this new birth takes place when Jesus of Nazareth, the risen Lord and Savior, comes to live within you.
Intellect, Emotions and Will: I said earlier that there is a throne in every life. If you are on that throne deciding what to do with your life, it is quite likely that you are not a Christian. Christ knocks at the door. In Revelation 3:20 He says, “Behold l stand at the door and knock” (the door of your heart, your will, your intellect, you emotions). He promises, “If you will open the door, l will come in and have fellowship with you and you with me. “The Bible says that as many as receive Jesus, to them God gives the power to become His sons. And if any man is in Christ or if Christ is in any man, he is a new creature; old things are passed away and all things are new. Commitment to Christ involves the surrender of the intellect, the emotions and the will – the total person. Let us say for the sake of illustration that you had heard many fine compliments about a certain person of the opposite sex. You could hardly wait to meet that person. The actual meeting was even more exciting. Intellectually you liked what you saw you liked his looks, his personality, his many other qualities. You liked everything about him. Was this enough to launch a marriage? No. There is more to marriage than mutual respect and admiration. As you spent more and more time together, you became better acquainted. Then it happened. Cupid found his mark, and you were in love. Is this marriage? No. There is more to marriage than the intellect and emotions. One day you become engaged and the wedding day arrives. How exciting!
Intellectually, you believe that he or she is the most wonderful person in all of the world. Emotionally, your heart beats twice as fast when you are together; but now something even more important is about to take place. As the two of you exchange vows before the minister or the one of authority, you commit your wills, one to the other. The marriage is not a true marriage if there is no mutual giving of one to you other. There you have it a marriage relationship involves the intellect, the heart and the will. So it is in becoming a Christian- one must give himself wholly to Christ intellect, emotions and will. Someone may say, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe that He died for my sins. Why I have believed God. I believe that He died for my sins. Why, I have believed this all of my life. Am I not a Christian?’ Not if that person has refused to yield his will to Him. Another may say, “I remember when I heard a wonderful sermon at a youth retreat or during a special series of meetings in our church. My heart was stirred and I had a great emotional experience. I even responded to the invitation to go forward for counsel. Am I not a Christian? Not if that person has never relinquished the throne of his life, his will, to Christ. Still another may say,” I go to church regularly; I read my Bible and pray daily. I try to live a good life. Am I not a Christian?” Not unless he has surrendered his will to Christ.
The surrender of the will is the key to becoming a Christian and the secret to living a victorious Christian life. An outstanding young athlete and social leader wanted to become a Christian, but like so many, he was afraid to surrender his will to the will of God. He had worked out detailed plants for his life but was reluctant to become a Christian, for fear God would change those plans. As we talked together, I explained that God loved him dearly so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for his sins and that God had a wonderful plan for his life. I asked, “Don’t you think you can trust One who loves you this much and who is infinitely wiser than any man?” “I had not thought of it that way,” He said. “I will trust Him.” As we prayed together, he invited Christ into his heart as Savior and Lord. Yes his life was changed. But you may be sure that he has no regrets, for he is now devoting all of his time to challenging others to become Christians also.
Dr. Lewis Akpogena

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