HE IS THE THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANYONE LIKE HIM - BEFORE OR SINCE. Biblical Principles for Life and Service

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1 HE IS THE GREATEST THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANYONE LIKE HIM - BEFORE OR SINCE Photo Credit: IStockphoto.com Biblical Principles for Life and Service Written by Sam Doherty - Copyright 2013 All rights reserved

2 Who would qualify for a description as THE GREATEST? A sportsman might suggest Pele or Usain Bolt or Mohammed Ali An historian might propose Florence Nightingale or Napoleon. A politician might say Winston Churchill or Abraham Lincoln. A scientist could recommend Albert Einstein or Marie Curie. A technologist could vote for Bill Gates or Thomas Eddison. All of these men and women have played a significant role in our world and in the development of civilisation as we know it. But their importance and influence fade into a mere shadow when compared to the greatest, the most important, the most influential person who has ever lived on our planet the One who is considered so important that our calendar and the method of numbering our years is based upon the time of His birth - either B.C. (Before Christ) or A.D. (Anno Domini- the year of our Lord). Many thousands of books have been written about Him. Many millions of lives have been changed by Him. Many buildings all over the world have been erected in His name. Kings and presidents have acknowledged His greatness and have bowed the knee to Him. He is loved, followed, worshipped, and obeyed by countless millions of men, women and children all over the world. HIS NAME?-- JESUS CHRIST

3 Jesus Christ is the most important person ever because He is the only person who has never sinned. He never did anything that was wrong, He never said anything that was wrong and He never even thought anything that was wrong. Can you think of any other person who could be described in this way? But how do we know this? A detailed account of His life has been written in four books (which are part of the Bible) by four men, two of whom (Matthew and John) knew Him and lived with Him for years, and two (Mark and Luke) who got their information from those who were very close to Him. These historical accounts were written soon after He died and no-one who knew Him has ever questioned their accuracy and reliability. And these historical documents have been preserved for us to read. All four books portray a man who was perfect in every way. He himself claimed to be without sin when confronted by His enemies (John 8v46). His enemies said they could find no fault in Him (John 18v38) and that He was a righteous man (Luke 23v47). His friends said He committed no sin (1 Peter 2v22) and in Him there is no sin (1 John 3v5). He knew what it was to be tempted to sin but He never yielded to temptation (Hebrews 4v15). And the voice of God the Father from Heaven said This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased (Matt 3 v17). THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANYONE LIKE HIM BEFORE OR SINCE.

4 Jesus Christ is the most important person ever because of the amazing and wonderful miracles He performed and which are beyond the power and ability of anyone else who has ever lived. These miracles are recorded for us in the historical accounts written, soon after Jesus Christ died, by Matthew and John who actually witnessed them and by Mark and Luke, the friends of those who did. And none of those who were there, when these miracles occurred, contradicted these records. These are accurate historical records which we can trust implicitly. What then did they see? Here are some of His miracles. He restored sight to the blind (John 9vs6,7). He healed lepers (Matthew 8v3). He turned water into wine (John 2v9). He brought the dead back to life (John 11 v44; Matthew 9v25). He stilled the storm (Matthew 8v26). He walked on the sea (Matthew 14v25). He fed over 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes (John 6v11). All the miracles in this list were recorded by either Matthew or John who were actual witnesses of them and saw them happen. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANYONE LIKE HIM BEFORE OR SINCE.

5 Jesus Christ is the most important person Who has ever lived because of the very special words and teaching which came from His lips. He has always been universally recognized as the greatest teacher our world has ever known - whether speaking to one person like Nicodemus in John chapter 3, or to a multitude of thousands in Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7. Even His opponents had to confess that never man spoke like this man (John 7v46). The profundity, quality and morality of His teaching have been praised by the greatest scholars, and have been clearly understood by the humblest peasants. His teaching has been recognised and acknowledged by the world s political and religious leaders; and it has laid the foundation for many of the world s legal and political systems. No other teaching has had such an influence and impact upon the whole world since it was given and recorded by those who heard it 2000 years ago. There is no teaching in the world to compare with His teaching on the basic principles of life as found in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6&7). And no one has ever voiced such profound truths about God and our relationship with Him as those contained in His teaching to His disciples just before he died (John 14-16). Indeed He claimed to be the revealer of God (John 14v9) and that His words came from God (John 14v24). One disciple even called Him the Word THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANYONE LIKE HIM BEFORE OR SINCE.

6 Jesus Christ is the most important person Who has ever lived because He did something no one else could ever do. He came into our world at the request of His Heavenly Father with one fixed purpose in mind TO DIE, and He made it clear to His disciples that this was going to happen (Mark 8v31, John 3 v14). At the age of 33, after over three years of miracles and teaching and having lived a completely sinless life - He offered Himself to His Father as a sacrifice for our sins. He loved us so much that He was willing to be our substitute and to take the punishment for our sins so that we would not have to do so. And this great sacrifice took place on a cross outside Jerusalem where, for three hours, He bore and endured the punishment which we deserved for our sins. And at the end of those three hours He could cry triumphantly It is finished (John 19v30). The awfulness of His death was not just the physical suffering of the beatings, the crown of thorns, the exhaustion and the nails, nor the mental suffering caused by those who mocked and derided Him, great as they were. It was the immense and incomprehensible spiritual suffering when God made Him... to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5v21) during those three hours and He took the punishment we deserved for our sin. HE DIED BECAUSE HE LOVED US SO MUCH. HAVE YOU THANKED HIM FOR WHAT HE DID? ARE YOU WILLING TO TRUST AND FOLLOW HIM?

7 Jesus Christ is the most important person ever because, after He had been dead for three days, He rose from the dead and He is alive to-day and for evermore. His resurrection and coming back to life again is one of the greatest and best proven facts of history. Many sceptics have investigated it and have come to the conclusion:-- Yes, this actually happened (Read Matthew ch. 28 and John ch. 20). During the 40 days after His resurrection, He appeared a number of times to His disciples sometimes to individuals, sometimes to groups and even on one occasion to over 500 of them (1 Cor. 15v3-8). These were not hallucinations. These events actually happened. He spoke to them, walked with them, ate with them and encouraged them. And they in turn recorded these meetings and appearances for us in their historical accounts in the Bible and no one living at that time (or since) has been able to prove that He had not risen from the dead. As a result, the disciples were changed from fearful, unbelieving people into men and women of great courage who went everywhere proclaiming the great truth CHRIST IS ALIVE, and He is still alive!. After those 40 days He ascended to Heaven and is now seated at the right hand of His Heavenly Father as the King of kings and the Lord of lords - our living Saviour. THERE IS NO ONE ELSE WHO CAN FORGIVE US AND HELP US.

8 But that is not all. There are at least two more truths we need to understand about this very special and very important Person. How could He be sinless, do many miracles, give such wonderful teaching, take the punishment for our sins, and then rise from the dead and ascend to Heaven? BECAUSE HE WAS, AND IS, GOD THE SON. He is a man; but He is also God. Humanity and Deity are combined in one person. He himself claimed to be God, (John 14 vs 7-10), His disciples declared Him to be God (John 1 vs1,14) and His miracles and resurrection proved that what He, and they, said was true. Also His Heavenly Father spoke publicly and said This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased (Matt 3v17). And now one more great truth about Him perhaps the most amazing and most wonderful truth of all. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the most important Person who ever lived, wants to have a personal relationship with you. HE WANTS TO BE YOUR SAVIOUR, LORD AND CLOSEST FRIEND. He says to you today Behold I stand at the door (of your life) and knock. If anyone (and that includes you) hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him (Revelation 3v20). Why not do that right now. TALK TO HIM AND INVITE HIM TO COME INTO YOUR LIFE. ALL YOUR SIN WILL BE FORGIVEN, AND YOU WILL START A NEW LIFE-WITH THIS WONDERFUL PERSON AS YOUR SAVIOUR, LORD AND FRIEND.

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