Tag Archives: Life’s Purpose

Jesus Offers Eternal Life – Not Condemnation.

Ask ten Americans to describe Jesus and you’re likely to get ten different answers. Teacher. Healer. Prophet. Good. Wise. Redeemer. The list goes on. Some have a favorable view of Him, others not so much. Some hold an accurate depiction, others a flawed one. And that’s unfortunate because an erroneous understanding of Christ represents one of the biggest barriers to people placing their hope and trust in Him.

One common misunderstanding about Jesus is particularly treacherous: the belief that He came into the world to condemn mankind. This distorted view paints Jesus as a stern authoritarian who scrutinizes the world for sinners and castigates them for the slightest misstep or infraction. He gleefully administers judgment against those who fail to meet God’s standards and secretly roots against them. It is an austere and inaccurate portrait of Jesus. Fortunately, none of it is true.

Scripture tells us this: “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17, NKJV). Jesus didn’t come to condemn mankind; He came to provide salvation. That’s glorious news, but it gets better. The eternal life Christ offers is available to every person and only requires belief. It cannot be earned.

That truth confounds the world. How can a holy God allow people into heaven without working for it? The staggering simplicity of grace seems too easy, too risky, and too good to be true. But God’s word does not equivocate. John 3:15 says, “Everyone who believes in Jesus will have eternal life.” Perhaps anticipating the world’s skepticism the next verse reiterates the point. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

That’s not to say that a steep price isn’t paid for salvation. It is. But Jesus paid that price on the cross. He offered His perfect life as a sacrifice for sin. All sin. Yours, and mine. Peter’s first epistle tells us that Jesus bore our sins in His body while on the cross and that by His wounds we are healed. His physical death gives spiritual life to all who believe.

Are you working feverishly to earn God’s favor, hoping to merit a place in heaven? Do you feel trapped in a religion that demands you work your way into paradise? Have your efforts to find God left you unfulfilled and racked with despair?

Then stop relying on yourself. No amount of good deeds will secure you a place in heaven. God’s grace, through faith in Christ, is the only path to salvation. For there is no other name under heaven, by which we are saved, than the name of Jesus.

What Legacy Will You Leave?

The Bible is filled with individuals who honored, obeyed, and served God with unbridled passion. We learn of one such man in the book of Acts, named Apollos. Luke dedicates only a few verses to him but in that brief account a powerful and enduring legacy emerges.

Luke describes the man as “mighty in the Scriptures” (Acts 18:24, NKJV). In other words, he possessed real zeal for reading and studying the Bible. But Apollos was not content with keeping God’s Word to himself. We are told that he, being “fervent in spirit, spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord.” (vs. 25). He invested his time telling others about Jesus and equipping them with a biblically sound foundation in the faith. And he did so enthusiastically.

Luke then shares a brief anecdote that reveals Apollos’ humility and thirst to learn more about Christ. After speaking boldly in the synagogue at Ephesus, two believers pulled him aside and “explained to him the way of God more accurately” (vs. 26). Apollos demonstrated a teachable spirit and readily embraced the truth the pair shared. He was not a know-it-all who believed he had all the answers.

Subsequent to this encounter, Apollos decides to travel abroad and minister to the lost and saved alike. Luke informs us, “he greatly helped those who had believed through grace [and] vigorously refuted the Pharisees publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ” (vs. 28). That brief but powerful passage reveals several more attributes of Apollos.

First, he assisted other believers. Luke does not provide details but makes clear that the help provided was significant. Second, he corrected those who attempted to undermine Scripture and lead others astray. Apollos displayed a real passion for preserving the integrity of God’s revealed Word. Third, he demonstrated boldness for the Lord and did not allow vocal opposition from others to diminish his public proclamation of faith. In short, Apollos was a tireless advocate for the Lord.

Though only five verses, Luke’s narrative on Apollos reveals a tremendous witness who faithfully served the Lord, did his utmost to build the church, and lived his faith in action. He was bold, mission-oriented, teachable, grounded in Scripture, fervent in his faith, and a determined expounder of the gospel – both in word and in deed.

What a legacy! Imagine the reception he will receive in heaven, not just from God but also from a multitude of believers whose lives he impacted for eternity. He certainly exhibited for us (and others) a Christ-like lifestyle and invested his time on activities with eternal value. In the process he served as a tremendous role model for those who need to see what it means to love Jesus with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength.

What legacy will you leave when you pass from this world? If someone described your life in a couple short paragraphs, what would they say? What actions, attributes, and behaviors define you? Do you demonstrate passion for unbelievers, the downcast, and the Lord? Does your conduct reveal boldness in faith, a zeal for missions, humility, or a servant’s heart? Take time this week to reflect on these questions as you consider Apollos’ example.

If your life has focused more on the world and less on God, more on the temporal and less on the spiritual, more on yourself and less on others, then consider making some changes. Remember, it’s never too late to build a new legacy that prioritizes the Lord, your faith, the church, and proclaiming the gospel in word and in deed. As you do, you may find others modeling their lives after you and following your example.