By Simon Ifeanyi Ezeh
Jesus Christ of Nazareth remains the only authorized mouthpiece of the Almighty God as well as the finality of all things relating to the kingdom of God. But, his words are as repugnant to Christians (his supposed followers) as it is to those who openly declare their unbelief in him, unfortunately.
For those who are new to my articles, the keynote of my faith in God and Jesus Christ is the nature of the words of Christ, not the Bible. I have proven every single word of Jesus Christ and they are demonstrably powerful and as potent as they were since two thousand years of Christ’s earthly ministry in person.
Every single miracle like making the sinner repent and turn a new leaf, raising the dead, healing the sick, opening blind eyes, making the lame walk, chasing out demons etc. which happened at his word about 2000 years ago, still happens only in his name or at his word and in greater numbers even though he’s gone back to heaven where he came from. It’s not so with any other person, prophet etc. in Christianity or any other religion whatsoever. For me, every scripture in the Bible is only correct to the extent that it agrees with the words of Jesus Christ and that’s the basis of all my articles.
To see the clear expression of the supremacy of Christ over everyone else, please read the following scriptures which have been summarized in my own words:
⦁ John 5:39-40. Jesus Christ says that people search the scriptures ostensibly to inherit eternal life but won’t go to him who is the very source of life especially since every word of God in the scriptures speaks about him. By this scripture, Jesus is saying that people should simply ask him for whatever they want to know about God and his kingdom instead of exerting untold efforts in searching, reading and studying the Bible, sometimes obtaining all manner of degrees in the process and assuming that those degrees are enough to make their assertions credible.
⦁ Jesus Christ only has the answers; the rest is a waste of time. His words are in red, or in italics in most Bibles. Read them with such desperate attention to understand his language and style because your life depends on it. That’s not to say that one shouldn’t read other parts of the Bible apart from Jesus’ words, we’re just drawing people’s attention to Christ as the yardstick for accepting or rejecting whatever is presented to us in the name of God as true or false.
⦁ Matt 11:27. Jesus Christ alone knows God!!! If you want to know God, listen to Jesus Christ only. If you didn’t hear it from him and it’s at variance with his doctrines, forget it. It’s a lie!!!
⦁ Lk 9:35. God spoke from heaven, commanding us to only listen to Jesus Christ.
⦁ John 14:6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
⦁ Mar 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (What could be more emphatic than this?)
⦁ Mat5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jotor one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
⦁ Matt 23:23. Jesus Christ says that the most important aspects of the law are justice, mercy and faith. This last point is deliberately included for those who might argue that the law has actually passed away and have been replaced by the Pauline phantom grace. The question for them would be, “Did justice, mercy and faith, which are the key aspects of the law, also pass away?” Of course, they didn’t. Without Christ, there’s no knowledge of God and in Christ, every knowledge of God is complete. Everyone else is irrelevant!!
Having established the primacy of Jesus’s testimony over that of anyone else especially as Christ is called the faithful witness, we proceed to say that the question of how to inherit eternal life was asked Jesus Christ while he preached the gospel on earth in Mark 10:17-23 and he directed the inquirer to go and obey the law.
That was his response to the rich young ruler who asked him how to obtain eternal life and we notice he (Jesus) did not say or imply that the law (Ten Commandments which now become two: absolute love for God and to love our neighbours as ourselves) is evil or impossible to keep neither did he offer to keep the law on behalf of the rich young ruler nor did he (Jesus) tell the rich young ruler to believe in him, wait for him to die on the cross and rise the third day in order to be saved.
The Lord Jesus Christ did not mention anything about the grace concept neither did he speak in platitudes that would lead the man into some theological cul-de-sac and have him confused for life. He did not also talk about his (Jesus) blood neither did he say or imply that the route to eternal life would change after he had finished his ministry and left for heaven.
Mark 10:17-23 is not the only place where the Lord stated conditions for salvation; the whole of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5, 6 & 7 and Lk 6 is on the conditions, works or actions of men that make for salvation: what we must do in order to be blessed and spend eternity with God. Grace wasn’t mentioned or implied in all the cases. A lawyer had asked the Lord the selfsame question in Luke 10:25-37 and Jesus simply directed him to obey the law just as He did the rich young ruler.
What’s the law? Absolute love for God by keeping the ten commandments as explained as well as amended by Jesus Christ and loving one’s neighbour as Jesus Christ loves us (not just as oneself). Those are the commandments which we must keep in order to be sons of God or to inherit eternal life. Remember, ‘Thou shall not commit adultery, has been amended or extended to, “Thou shall not lust”, just as “Thou shall not kill” has been extended to, “Thou shall not harbour bitterness against your neighbour” and the law of Sabbath rest has been explained to mean rest or deliverance for man from all kinds of afflictions as against the earlier reason which was that God rested on the seventh day of creation.
Jesus Christ teaches us that the sabbath is not about staying idle on Sundays (or any day you choose) but about doing good and setting the oppressed free and this sabbath clarification: the fact that God never rests and is always working, doing good is found in John 5:1-17.
I’m not sure what our problem as human beings is. The Messiah who was sent by God to explain what no one could explain to humanity has severally demonstrated that his message is very simple, as simple as looking up the sky to tell whether or not it’d rain (Matt 16:1-4) but man would not receive the simple message for salvation unless it’s made complex and mysterious!!! Jesus Christ says, “You’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father”, (John 14:9) in other words, whatever I’m saying is what my father is saying…no differences whatsoever!!
The only place in the Bible where Jesus is supposed to have said that he shed his blood for the remission of sins is in Matt 26:26-29 but that contradicts the central idea of his gospel which is repentance for sinners and mercy from the Merciful God and seeks to change the gospel to that of sacrifice and blanket forgiveness on the basis of a mere confession.
He’d earlier taught extensively and tautologically in John 6:53-63 and John 15:3, that we could only live or be saved or be cleansed from our sins if and only if we eat his flesh and drink his blood which he also explained to be his words that his followers must imbibe and practice as their life’s code of conduct. Since he’s not known for doublespeak, he couldn’t have said that his words are his flesh and blood and also said that his blood is wine in a cup and his flesh is a piece of unleavened bread.
One case must be wrong and it’s obviously that in Matt 26:26-29. Part of the confusion is Christ’s apocalyptic style of presentation but a keen follower of Christ would remember that he refers to suffering as “cup” as in the Gethsemane episode.
The suffering of Christ is his ‘cup’ and it’s very important because his obedience to the extent of dying simply for God’s sake is a most profound demonstration of his faith in God as an example for us to follow. (God commanded him to obey and be used as a perfect example of God’s faithfulness to be demonstrated by raising him from the dead to counter his enemies and show us that death isn’t a potent enough threat to obeying God).
It’s funny to know that contemporary Christians couldn’t even trust God with their mundane possessions, let alone their lives in spite of Christ’s example of absolute trust in God. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Lk 16 offers us an insight which is that the entire process of dying and rising from the dead is designed to encourage our faith or cause people to believe in God no matter what dangers they face but many people didn’t believe even after he rose from the dead and appeared to them and many won’t still believe today in spite of the testimony.
The Lord’s message is so simple! As in John 8, those who obey God are his sons whereas those who don’t are not, although we were all created by God. These sons of God won’t be judged again by God since they are sons of God as in Matt 25:31-46 just as those who aren’t sons of God are already condemned even while they still move around in the flesh. Simpliciter!