Do You View Jesus Aright? 

When asked what they know about Jesus, many will rightly state his popularly known virtues of compassion (Matthew 9:36), forgiveness (Luke 23:34), generosity (Mark 10:45), love (John 13:34), and mercy (Ephesians 5:2). These, of course, are wonderful characteristics of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, the big problem comes when people emphasize these virtues at the expense of Jesus’s zeal for the truth (John 2:16-17), his being Lord of all (John 13:13, Philippians 2:8-11), his hatred for sin (John 9:39, John 5:22-23), and the reality of hell (2 Timothy 4:1, Acts 10:42, Revelation 20:15). Emphasizing one’s preferred characteristics of Jesus and disregarding the less popular ones is detrimental since it gives a wrong image of who Christ really is.

Is Jesus Lord? 

In our modern secular culture, we are okay with a Jesus who is not Lord over our lives. We desire autonomy to do what we please, which issues from the love of self. The fact is that if Jesus is Lord of my life, I am deprived of the freedom to do as I wish because it is he who lives in me (Galatians 2:20). It is fundamental to the Christian life that Jesus is Lord because that is how we are saved (Romans 10:9-10, Acts 16:31). 

If someone makes a profession of faith by saying that Jesus is Lord, they are essentially pledging to obey his commands and directives (1 John 1:6-7). Consider what Jesus says in Luke 14:27, that those who follow him must be willing to suffer by taking up their cross and following him. Those who profess that Jesus is Lord must renounce all they have to follow him (Luke 14:33). When Jesus is Lord of your life, it is no longer you who lives. Instead, you take up a life of faith that crucifies self daily. Those with genuine faith—those who are submitted to the lordship of Christ—indeed do follow Jesus (John 10:27). They love their brothers (1 John 3:14), they obey God’s commandments (1 John 2:3; John 15:14), they do the will of God (Matthew 12:50), abide in God’s Word (John 8:31), keep God’s Word (John 17:6), do good works (Ephesians 2:10), and continue in the faith by the Lord’s grace (Colossians 1:21–23; Hebrews 3:14). 

Yes, Jesus is compassionate, forgiving, generous, loving, and merciful, but he is also Lord. As Lord, he is not a guest in your life, but your master who has set you free from slavery to sin and bound you to him (Romans 6:17-18). The Bible does not know a compassionate Jesus who is not Lord. Following a Jesus of our own making is idolatry and not worship. Moreover, if Jesus is not Lord of your life but merely a guest, you are not really saved (Romans 10:9-10). He does not save to soothe our feelings and support what we think makes us happy. He is Lord, which means we must obey his commands, without which we have no compassionate, forgiving, generous, loving, and merciful Saviour. 

What Jesus said about Sin

Formulating a gentle Jesus who is only compassionate, forgiving, generous, loving, and merciful but never zealous for truth (John 2:16-17, John 14:6) is an incorrect view of Jesus. On matters sin, Jesus takes sin very seriously to the point that he even died so that we can be set free from it (Romans 6:6-11, 1 Peter 3:18). Christ takes sin this seriously because he is zealous for the truth, calling sin as it is. We again see this trait in Christ when he turned over tables and kicked money changers out of the temple, accusing them of turning what was intended to be a house of prayer for the nations into a den of robbers (Mark 11:15-18). His actions prompted the disciples to remember what had been written before about Christ, “Zeal for your house will consume me” (John 2:17; Psalm 69:9). 

Consider also that Jesus told the Scribes and the Pharisees, “Woe to you” seven times (Matthew 23:13, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29). Christ saw that their approach to religion was a hindrance to those who really wanted to please God (Matthew 23:13). The Scribes and Pharisees were only focused on reaching converts to Judaism. Still, their religious system only sought to bring more harm than good (Matthew 23:15). The rest of the woes called out specific sinful flaws about their religious values (Matthew 23:16-36). The indicting phrase “woe to you” hinted at the dreadful and horrific judgment that awaited these religious leaders of Jesus’ time. 

The same Greek word for “woe to you” is used in Revelation 18:10, 16, and 19 to talk about the judgment coming on Babylon for her sinful ways and influence on the rest of the world. She is destroyed because of her sinful ways. Jesus’ ability to make such a bold statement about the religious leaders’ sins shows his zeal for the truth, especially on the issue of sin. It also confirms that he is the judge who will ultimately bring punishment for sin. Therefore, cease thinking of Jesus as gentle only. Your sinful lifestyle concerns him. 

Why Jesus is Zealous for the Truth

Another reason to qualify Jesus’ zeal for truth is because he is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). If the truth wasn’t important to him, he wouldn’t be righteous and holy (Hebrews 7:26, Acts 3:14, Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 2:20). He would instead be a hypocrite who is only zealous for what is trending or whatever culture determines as truth. Since Jesus is the truth and is zealous for it, he now can bring us to the Father as he promised in John 14:6. Through him, we as believers can become righteous, sanctified, justified, and redeemed (1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 3:21-26). We now have access to the Father through Christ’s cleansing blood (John 14:6, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Ephesians 1:7) and his authentic zeal for the truth. Without viewing Christ for who he really is, then you miss out on a Savior who can bring you to the Father (John 14:6, 1 Peter 3:18). Our salvation is dependent upon the Christ who is truth, whose righteousness has in turn been credited to us in the eyes of God (1 Corinthians 1:30, Romans 4:20-24, Isaiah 53:5). 

How do you view Jesus? We often like to create a caricature of Jesus because of the incessant human desire to be in charge of our own lives. Deep down, we love our sinful nature and want to be left free to enjoy it. However, the truth is that this kind of life will only lead to destruction (Matthew 7:13). Instead of being mesmerized by the lie of a gentle only Jesus, embrace a holistic view of Christ according to God’s word. It is only he who truly frees (John 8:36). 

Reference 

Got Questions –  What is Lordship Salvation?

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