Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John 6:31-33)
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (6:35)
“This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” (6:50-51)
WHO NEEDS A SAVIOR?
From Ashley: Before I came to know the Lord, I was a slave to bitterness and anger over events in my past. Combined with an intense fear of man, this led me to attempt to control everything in my life. I demanded that others accept me as I came (even though I didn’t really know who I was) and imposed unrealistic standards on everyone around me. If I was not in control or if my expectations weren’t met, the vileness of my heart became evident in fits of rage. Though my acquaintances would have called me a “good person,” those close to me knew the stabbing power of my words. As for God, I believed that He only saw my external performance and I gauged that by comparing myself to others.
Thankfully the Lord used my husband’s faithful witness and various Scriptures to transform my heart of stone into one of flesh. In Romans I learned that “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That included ME, and I knew it. In Psalm 139 I read that the Lord has searched me and known me, that He discerns my thoughts from afar. He is acquainted with ALL my ways, and before a word is on my tongue, He knows it. This meant that God KNEW me — really understood the blackness of my heart . . . and at that point, so did I because the Lord was revealing it to me in no uncertain terms. I was condemned.
But then I read that “The LORD is merciful and gracious,” and that He could remove my transgressions from me, “as far as the east is from the west.” When Jesus asked Peter, “Who do YOU say I am?” I knew He was asking me the same question. The Lord drew me from death into life, and I realized that the impossible was, indeed, possible: As my Savior, Jesus Christ bore my sin on the Cross at Calvary and rose to conquer it once and for all. I cried to the Lord for mercy and grace, accepting His Son’s righteousness as my own. That was in 2003.
Since then, the Lord has been faithful to show me His authority and power, and He has led me to a place of peace and acceptance as His child. But remnants of man-fear and pride have kept me from fulfilling my Lord’s command to be baptized. Last Sunday, as I watched two baptisms from my pew, the Lord spoke very clearly: Obey me. Be baptized. I sought the Lord’s forgiveness for my disobedience, and it is only by the Spirit’s work of breaking down my walls of pride that I stand waist-deep in this water today. No longer do I live for man, but for Christ alone.
WHO IS JESUS?
Jesus is the only Son of God the Father. He came down from His heavenly home, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He walked among us in actual human flesh. He was called Immanuel, or God is with us. In His flesh He lived the perfect, sinless life that I — that you — could never live.
In the Father’s perfect timing, Jesus, the only Son of God, was crucified on a Roman cross, where He took upon Himself the full wrath of God that was due those who would come to faith in Him. For these sins Jesus paid in full with His perfect life and death. Stricken with grief, those around Him buried Him in a tomb and sealed it with a stone. For two days, nothing happened.
But on the third day, Jesus rose from the dead! This signified a number of things, most notably that the Father had accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and that Jesus had conquered death!
“But wait,” you say. “What does this have to do with me?”
. . . if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
Saved from what? Hell.
Saved to what? A glorious future in heaven with the Lord and the knowledge that, whatever comes, the Lord is working all things for your good in His Son!
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Salvation by the blood of Jesus Christ is real, effectual, and permanent!
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)
Repent, place your faith in the blood of Jesus for salvation from sin, and be baptized, to the glory of God alone!