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D3 – Jesus Christ: The Great Teacher

“The officers answered, ‘No man ever spoke like this Man!’” John 7 vs. 46

In our past two lessons we saw that the Lord Jesus is the Christ, is the promised Saviour and  God almighty. Through Him, God appeared to mankind in human form. Today we shall learn that the Lord Jesus is the greatest teacher to have ever lived.

There has never ever been a teacher like the Lord Jesus Christ. Every word that He spoke was truth.  His words were in fact the words of God. That is why people reported of Him, “No man ever spoke like this man.” He taught many subjects. However, for today’s lesson, we will look at only some of the great lessons that He taught people:

The Two Roads

The Lord Jesus taught us that our lives are similar to a journey. The journey of life divides into two roads. One road is narrow and the other road is broad. Each one of us must decide for themselves which road we want to follow. But before we can decide which road to follow, it is important that we know how each one will end. The Lord Jesus Christ encourages us to follow the narrow road. The Bible says,

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7 vs. 13-14

Heaven or Hell - where do the two roads lead to?

The narrow road leads to Heaven and the broad road leads to hell. The Lord Jesus taught that Heaven is a wonderful place prepared for those who love God and have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. He  has promised to come back to take them to be with Him:

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14 vs. 3

Hell on the other hand is a terrible place of torment. It was prepared for Satan and his demons. The Lord Jesus Christ taught that hell is a place of unquenchable fire. One the most vivid descriptions of hell is found in the last book of the Bible:

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone… and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”  Revelation 20 vs. 10 

The Bible clearly teaches that there is a place called hell. Yet there are many people today who refuse to believe that. They say that God is love therefore He cannot make a place like that. They ignore the fact that God is Holy and He must punish sin. On top of that God has been very patient and given each person an opportunity to repent. Have you repented of your sins? Do that now to avoid hell.

The law

The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to destroy the law that was given in the Old Testament through Moses. He said in Matthew 5 vs. 17, 

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

He taught that people should keep the law fully, and not just on external matters like not eating pig meat or not doing anything on the Sabbath day. He wanted people to know that the law demands more than just doing things that other people could see. 

He exposed our failures in keeping the whole law of God. He condemned wrong thoughts, hatred and unfaithfulness. He taught that the law of God demands that we become perfect. For instance, if you have never killed a person yet you have feelings of hatred or dislike towards somebody, Jesus taught that it was just as bad to hate someone as it is to kill someone. 

He further made it clear that no one on earth has ever managed to keep the whole law of God except the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Not even one person! All people have sinned. The Lord Jesus Christ was perfect. He had control over His thoughts, His actions and His speech. He offended in none of these things and God was pleased with Him. As for us, none of us are perfect. Therefore none of us can be saved by trying to keep the law of God. 

The law cannot save us but with it comes the knowledge of sin. It exposes our sinful condition and leads us on  to the next step which is Christ Himself. The Bible says, 

 

“Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3 vs. 24

Repentance

No one can be saved through keeping the law of God. The Lord Jesus made that very clear. He gave us a way to be saved in Luke 13 vs. 5:

“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise die.”

What does repentance mean?

To explain the word “repentance” more clearly, Jesus told a story about a young man in Luke 15 vs. 11 – 32. This young man took his part of his father’s inheritance and travelled far with it. He settled in a new place and spent everything his father gave him with “fairweather friends” until he had no money or property left. His friends abandoned him, he had no food and his clothes had become old. In that desperate and sad state he found a job far away in a pig farm. His job was to feed pigs and clean up the mess they made. It was not a pleasant job! There was no food for him that he even desired the pig-food. 

Finally he came to his senses and started thinking about his father, his family and how he used to live. He felt so guilty about what he had done. He remembered that life was better at home than where he was now. So, he went back to his father’s house. His father saw him coming a distance away and ran towards him. He embraced his long lost son and kissed him. 

The young man broke down and said, 

“Father forgive me, I have sinned against heaven and against you, I am no longer fit to be your son. At least make me one of your servants.” 

But his father forgave him and took him back again. He was his son and always has been even-though he may have disobeyed him. He threw him a party and welcomed him home.

That is what repentance is all about. Whenever you realize that you have done something wrong you must admit that you are wrong. After admitting that you are wrong, you must confess or declare that you are wrong. Do not hide your mistakes.  Finally, you must turn away from the wrong you have committed and never do it again. If you say you are sorry for stealing but you keep on stealing it means you have not repented and you are not even sorry. 

When someone is in Christ, it means he or she has repented of his/her sins. Their lives are made new. 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5 vs. 17

The new birth

What is this new birth? 

The great teacher, the Lord Jesus, once again has an illustration to help us understand the concept of the new birth. Read John 3. Nicodemus was a religious man. But he had to learn that even religious men needed to be born again. We are all sinners because of one man Adam, our common ancestor. Whoever is born through human parents is born a sinner. “That which is born of flesh is flesh”. Therefore the new birth is a spiritual birth, only obtained by believing that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross. When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ, we become children of God. That is what is meant by new birth. We receive the new life of the Lord Jesus Christ and we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

Assurance of salvation

If you are born into the family of God, He wants you to know that you are saved. We can know that we are saved because God says so in His word. Many believers are not sure about their salvation because they rely on how they feel instead of trusting the word of God. 

The Bible says, 

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” John 10 vs. 27-28

If we belong to the Lord Jesus, we may say “I know that I am saved.”

Witnessing for the Lord

We have a duty to witness for the Lord. This means that we must tell others about Him and behave ourselves in a way that would not bring shame to His name. The Lord Jesus Christ taught people the importance of telling others about Him. He said, 

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” Matthew 10 vs. 32“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” Matthew 10 vs. 32

If you are saved, you must tell others about it, so that they may also be saved. God has done so many great things for us, the greatest of which is the salvation of our souls. We must do like the man we read about in Mark 5. Jesus said to him:

“Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you. And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him…”

Mark 5 vs. 19-20

The Holy Spirit

The Lord Jesus taught His disciples that He would send them the Holy Spirit who will always be with them. He was about to die for the sins of the world. After that He would rise from the dead and will be taken up to heaven. It was important that the Holy Spirit should come to comfort them and give them power to witness for Him. It is good to know that the Holy Spirit lives in every child of God. Everyone who is born again has the Holy Spirit in his/her heart.

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever––the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14 vs. 16-17

Does every believer have the Holy Spirit that lives in them? Yes! The Bible says, Does every believer have the Holy Spirit that lives in them? Yes! The Bible says, 

“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Romans 8 vs. 9

What is the role of the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit plays an important role in our lives as Christians.  He teaches us about the Lord Jesus Christ, He guides us, He comforts us, He helps us in prayer, He gives us power to resist Satan’s temptations and so many more. There is nothing a Christian can do for God without the power of the Holy Spirit. That is why we need to be holy so that we may not hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. May we thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit!

To forgive others

The Lord Jesus taught people to forgive each other’s faults. To illustrate this, He used a story of a servant who owed a lot of money to the king. The king forgave this servant because he had nothing to pay with.

But after a while, the same servant took his co-worker to court for a lesser debt than what he himself owed the king. So when the king heard about it, he called him and said, “I forgave you when you owed me a lot of money and now you cannot forgive your co-worker who owes you a little bit of money?” So, the king reversed his judgment and threw his servant in prison.

The lesson of the story is this: If God has forgiven us, we must forgive each other. The Bible says,

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4 vs. 32

To love the Lord

As we come to the end of our lesson, let us consider the greatest commandment to be delivered by God. According to the Lord Jesus, the greatest of all God’s commandments is this:

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.” Luke 10 vs. 27

The secret to a joyful and fruitful Christian life is to love the Lord Jesus Christ. He already loves us. That is why He gave himself to die for us.

“We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4 vs. 19

How do we show the Lord that we love Him?

Certainly we can’t buy Him roses. We show Him we love Him by keeping His commandments, doing what He wants us to do. This way our lives will bring Him honor and praise. The Bible teaches us that:

“If you love me, keep my commandments……… He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14 vs. 15 and 21

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