A note to Jewish readers. Judaism and Christianity are not in opposition! I know what the Jewish community often says. Many are dead wrong. Christianity is not “another religion.” It is the wife of Judaism, holding hands and joined at the hips! We are intended to be of the same family, of one “spiritual flesh” loving and working together toward a better world and reproducing more God-Loving Children who want the peaceful, law abiding world God intends for us.
Whoever it is teaching disrespect, even hate between us is a demon creating dissention in a family. It will lead to nothing good. Christians should study the Old Testament and Jews should read and carefully think about the words in the New Testament, because all of this is God’s gift to us and is intended to work together for good and teach us all how to lay the foundation for the new world to come.
Here is a typical argument that broke out between me and two other writers at Facebook just at the start of the Month “Av” which is the month that leads into the High Holy Days.
Steve: Ruth, Real Christianity is not “another religion.” It’s the wife of Judaism and they’re holding hands. Sometimes they appear to argue, but they’re really hand in hand, joined at the heart and the hips, and they’re all one and the same.
Laila: That’s ridiculous. Jews do NOT participate in idolatry Christians do! They worship a man god. We worship the one and only God! Jesus is a false image and God will not be made into any image on earth
Steve: I think if you study further you will discover Jesus was God, the Messiah, walking among us. He was a man in the flesh and God imbued into that flesh at the time of his baptism. Hews not a false image, nor an idol. It will be a tragedy indeed when a false messiah comes and Jews will accept him!
Years ago some wag insisted, “Jesus came for but reason, to die on the cross for our sins.” I thought his statement was impossibly narrow-minded.
The Bible tells us there were many reasons for the coming of Jesus to this earth. Here are more than twenty that I’ve uncovered.
- He came to fulfill prophecy.
“I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).
“Christ has become a servant . . . to confirm the promises given to the fathers” (Romans 15:8).
- He came to abolish the law.
“Christ Jesus . . . is our peace . . . by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:13-15).
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill . . . not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18).
- He came to seek the lost.
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
- He came to save the lost.
“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11).
- He came to serve.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45).
- He came to give His life as a ransom.
“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28).
- He came that men might have life more abundant.
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
- He came to reveal the Father.
“Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27).
“Jesus said to him, ‘He who has seen Me has seen the Father’” (John 14:9).
- He came to do the will of God.
“Then He added, ‘Look, I have come to do Your will’” (Hebrews 10:9).
- He came to preach.
“But He said to them, ‘I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose’” (Luke 4:43).
- He came to bring fire.
“I have come to bring fire to the earth” (Luke 12:49).
“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire . . . He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11-12).
- He came to bring judgment.
“And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind’” (John 9:39).
Compare this verse with Luke 12:14, John 3:17, and John 8:15 which says: “I judge no man.”
- He came to be king.
“Therefore Pilate said to Him, ‘So You are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world’” (John 18:37).
- He came to bear witness to the truth.
“For this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37).
- He came to save sinners.
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15).
- He came into the world to be a faithful high priest.
“That He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God” (Hebrews 2:17).
- He came to put away sin.
“Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:26 NIV).
“You know that He appeared in order to take away sins” (I John 3:5).
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Compare to John 1:35, Leviticus 16:20-22, Isaiah 53:6, II Corinthians 5:21.
- He came to destroy the works of the devil.
“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8).
“Only as a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14).
“Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” (John 12:31).
30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, (John 14:30 NIV).
- He came to send a sword.
“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, I came to bring a sword. I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household” (Matthew 10:34-36).
- He came to bear our sins.
“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” (I Peter 2:24).
“Christ . . . having been offered once to bear the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28).
- He came to provide a pattern of holy living for Christians.
“21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (I Peter 2:21 NIV).
- He came to preach and teach! “Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29).
*NIV = New International Version
God put [Christ] forward . . . to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness . . . so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy.
Jesus said, “I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.”
Jesus said, “For this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”
Jesus prayed, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”
Jesus answered, “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
[Jesus] said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.”
And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind”
Compare to: John 3:17).
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (NIV)
Jesus said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
1 Timothy 1:15
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him”
39 Jesus said,[a] “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” (NIV).
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
1 John 3:8
“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”
“Since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”
As promised in the Old Testament Scriptures, Christ came into the world to save sinners by His death upon the Cross, according to the set purpose and plan of God, that the way should be open for sinners to obtain a right relationship with God and the gift of eternal life.
The Lord, Jesus the Christ Emphasized the reasons for which He did Not come.
He did not come to call the righteous (Matthew 9:13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32).
He did not come to condemn or judge the world (John 3:17; 12:47).
He did not come to abolish the law or the prophets (Matthew 5:17).
He did not come to be served and waited upon (Mark 10:45).
CHRIST CAME BECAUSE IT WAS THE FATHER’S WILL.
He came down from heaven (John 6:38). ((SN) He was born in Bethlehem, was raised on in a monastic community a few days walk from Jerusalem, and I believe The Living Word of God entered the physical body of Jesus at his baptism. Thus the “He” mentioned here is the Living Word who came from God’s parallel universe which we may call “Heaven”.)
He did not come of His own accord or His own initiative (John 7:28).
He was sent into the world (John 4:34; compared with John 3:16).
He did not come to do His own will (John 6:38).
He came from the Father (John 8:42; John 16:28; John 17:8).
He came to do the Father’s will (John 4:34; John 6:38; John 8:29; Luke 2:49).
His aim throughout His earthly ministry was to please the Father (John 5:30).
CHRIST CAME TO FULFIL THE SCRIPTURES.
He came as the One promised in the Old Testament as the Messiah and Saviour (Luke 7:20; John 6:14; John 11:27).
He came to fulfill all the promises God had made about the coming One (Matthew 11:3-6): to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour (Luke 4:18-19).
Thus He came first to His own people – the Jewish people – to whom He had been promised (John 1:11).
Most of all He came to fulfill the Scriptures that show that the Messiah had to suffer for others and then rise from the dead (Mark 14:49; Isaiah 53; Acts 8:30-35; Acts 17:3).
CHRIST CAME TO SAVE SINNERS
CHRIST CAME TO REVEAL THE FATHER TO US.
He came to make the Father known – His grace and truth – for no one has ever seen God, but the only begotten Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known (John 1:17-18).
He came to testify to the truth about God (John 18:37).
He came to complete the law, or, expressing it in another way, to reveal more completely what God requires of us (Matthew 5:17).
He came to give to us the words of the Father (John 3:34; John 7:16; John 8:26; John 14:24).
He came to speak what the Father had commanded Him to say – and His words are the words of eternal life (John 12:49-50).
One of the reasons why Christ is called ‘the Light’ is that He revealed the Father (John 3:19).
CHRIST CAME TO SAVE SINNERS – THIS IS THE STRESS OF THE BIBLE.
To those who say, “I’m not good enough. God/Christ doesn’t want me” I say you are very confused. He came to save the spiritually lost and those who are sinners. No one is good enough that he could come only for those who are good. No one has kept all God’s law all the time and therefore all are subject to the condemnation of the law. No one is good enough!
Romans 3:23New International Version (NIV)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
In fact Apostle Paul wrote and said, No one is just. Let’s read a passage to cover his argument.
Romans 3 in the New International Version translation:
No One Is Righteous
9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”[b]
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”[c]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[d]
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[e]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[f]
So, we ALL need His righteousness and power to cleanse us, to cover our open evidence of rebellion, to shield us from the avenger (so to speak) who would come to kill us for breaking God’s laws.
He came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).
Acting on the principle that it is the sick who need a doctor and not the well, He came to call sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:12-13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32).
Because of His purpose to save sinners, He spent His time with them, much to the disgust of the self-righteous (Matthew 11:19).
He came to seek and to save the lost (Matthew 18:11; Luke 15:1-32; 19:10; John l0:16).
He came to be the Saviour of the world (John 12:47; 1 John 4:14)- to make it possible for God to save those in danger of perishing (John 3:16).
He came that we might believe on Him and be saved (John 3:16-17; John 6:29).
CHRIST CAME, THEREFORE, TO TEACH, PREACH AND THEN TO BE THE FINAL SACRIFICE TO ATONE FOR OUR SINS.
He made it plain to His disciples that He had to go to Jerusalem, there to suffer much from the elders, chief priests and scribes, to be put to death, and to be raised again on the third day (Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22) – all in accord with what was written of Him in the law of Moses, in the prophets and the Psalms (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 22:37; Luke 24:44-47).
He came into the world with the deliberate intention of dying upon the Cross (John 12:27; Acts 2:23).
He came to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
He came to be lifted up on the Cross just as the snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert (John 3:14; John 12:34).
He came to give His own flesh for the life of the world (John 6:51).
He was constantly aware of the terrible suffering that was ahead of Him in His crucifixion (Luke 12:50).
The whole programme of His earthly life moved towards the Cross as its climax (John 7:6, John 7:8, John 7:30; John 8:20; John 12:23, John 12:27; John 13:1; John 17:1; Luke 24:6-7).
He came to be the propitiation – the atoning sacrifice – for our sins (1 John 4:10).
CHRIST CAME THAT THROUGH HIS DEATH FOR SINNERS, WE MIGHT HAVE A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, AND ETERNAL LIFE.
He came that those who accept Him may receive a right relationship with the Father (Matthew 10:40; Luke 10:16; John 13:20).
He came that, by means of the Cross, He might be the way to God for us (John 14:6).
He came to proclaim the good news of peace through the reconciliation made possible by the Cross (Ephesians 2:16-17).
He came to bring us spiritual life (John 5:40; John 6:51, John 6:58; John 10:10; John 20:31; 1 John 4:9).
He came so that everyone who has faith in Him as the crucified and risen Messiah should possess eternal life (John 3:14-15; John 6:40, John 6:51, John 6:58; John 17:3).