The Pryor Times

August 22, 2013

Jesus has the words of life


Steve Lay

— There was a time in the life of Christ when many of His disciples left Him.  Jesus asked his apostles, “Do you also want to go away?” Peter answered Him, in John 6:68, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”  It is a tragic mistake to reject Christ and His words.  God said in Matthew 17:5, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”  Notice five reasons why we should carefully listen to Jesus.

First of all, Jesus gives us the words of His Father.  In John 7:16, Jesus said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.”  Jesus did not give man His own ideas or opinions. He gave us the word of God.  In John 8:28, He said, “I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.”  And He added in John 12:49, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.”  Jesus carefully taught His apostles the message God wanted mankind to have.

We must also accept the words of the apostles and other inspired writers of the New Testament.  As Jesus was nearing the time of His death, He was concerned for His disciples.  He wanted them to know that He was making provisions so that they would not be alone.  He told them that He would ask His father to give them another Helper to abide with them forever, the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17).  And then Jesus promised His apostles in John 16:13 that the Spirit would guide them into all truth.  So Jesus and the inspired writers of the New Testament have given us the message that God wants us to have.  They gave us all the truth.

Second, we must hear Jesus because God’s ways and thoughts are not the same as our ways and thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).  Many people just assume that if they like something, God will also like it.  But that is not necessarily so.  Solomon warns us in Proverbs 14:12 and also in 16:25, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”  People make a mistake when they simply do what they think they should do.  The Jews of Paul’s day were zealous and did many things they thought would please God, but they were still lost (Romans 10:1-3).  And Paul himself said in Acts 26:9 “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.”  What we think is right may not be what God wants.

Third, we must hear Christ because He has all authority (Matthew 28:18).  Many religious groups have a board that meets together periodically to determine what they are going to believe and teach.  Sometimes they decide to make changes in their doctrines and practices.  They may change their teaching on the role of women or their acceptance of same-sex couples.  But man has no right to make any changes in religion.  Jesus has all authority, because God made Him both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).  He is Lord of all (Acts 10:36).  

In Galatians 1:8-9, Paul pronounces a curse on anyone who preaches any other gospel than what Christ and His apostles taught.  And 2 John 9-11 tells us that anyone who goes beyond the doctrine of Christ does not have God.  God warns in Deuteronomy 4:2, “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

Fourth, we must hear Christ because God wants all men to be saved (I Timothy 2:4), and no one can be saved except through Christ (John 14:6).  Jesus said in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  God’s word is truth (John 17:17).  When man changes the word of God in any way, it is no longer the truth.

Fifth, we must hear Christ because we will one day be judged by His words (John 12:48).  No one will be judged by what I think or by my opinions.  No one will be judged by the manmade doctrines of any religious organization.  We will all be judged by the words of Christ.  Read what Jesus says about the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27.  Which kind are you?  Will you hear and obey His words, or will you just accept the doctrines of men?