Welcome to INTO THE LIGHT Journal!

This journal is NOT about me but about the GREAT Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ and ALL that He has done for me—who saved and changed (inside-out) a great sinner like me. I don't claim that I know everything about life. But one thing I am certain, that apart from the love and mercies of Christ—I AM NOTHING. "... God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Galatians 6:14). I’m attesting the words of Charles Spurgeon: "My hope lives not because I am not a sinner but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died; I don’t trust that I am holy but that, being unholy, He is my righteousness. I don't have to be rich, but I must be pure. My faith doesn’t rest upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ IS and what He has done for me. The love of Jesus is the source of salvation. He loves, He looks, He touches us, and we live!"

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 10:36)

Serving in Christ's throne of grace,

Erlinda Mejia-Olsonღღღ

What Makes You Complete?

By: Erlinda Mejia-Olson

Bible Scripture Reference: read  Colossians

In this world, my net worth is nothing. But, for Christ Jesus, He found me worthy enough (though I am not) because He loved me and died for mejust as He found the whole world worthy because He loves each one and died for all (John 3:16). Therefore, my faith, my person, my calling is secured in Him and through Him.  He is my treasure. My worth. Christ Jesus, is all that makes me complete.

Friend, what is your worth?  What makes you complete?  Let me share with you this brief excerpt I read from Fourth Baptist Church's Adult Bible Fellowship.  Brief as it is, but it is certainly worth pondering about:
What does it take to make a person complete? Money? Bill Gates' estimated worth is $60 billion. Oracle’s CEO, Lawrence Ellison, is said to be worth $55 billion. Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Alsaud’s worth is $30 billion. Warren Buffet’s is $28 billion. Paul Allen comes in at $25 billion. But you haven’t heard any of them claim to be complete, have you? Fame? Famous people have their share of problems. Stalkers dog their steps, pushy photographers invade their privacy, and admiring fans hound them for autographs. Likely, famous people would admit they are not really complete, but completely frazzled. 
The message of Paul’s letter to the Colossians reveals only one way to be a complete person. It is the way of faith. Through faith in Christ, every believer is “complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10)
Friend, don't let Satan, the world, or your flesh lead you to think that you are worth nothing, otherwise, Christ wouldn't have left His Heavenly throne and died for you and me. Just the thought of it, is all worthy of praise and honor!  Crown Him the LORD of ALL!

~ ISAIAH 53 ~
Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

A Faith That Saves

By: Erlinda Mejia-Olson

EPHESIANS 2:8-9 ~ "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."

In His providence, God has used the tough things in my life to draw me closer to Him, to show me His great love, and to teach me many things. I have learned that I am not perfect, and I have the scars to prove it.  Countless of them. They serve as a physical reminder of a spiritual reality that I can never be perfect on my own.  I need a Savior.

Know the Gospel. The Gospel, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, means "good news," the good news that, in light of God's perfection and our imperfection, God has made a way for us to know Him, and that way is Jesus.

Paul, speaking in his letter to the church in Corinth says, "For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures," (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

What happened on the cross at Calvary was that every sin of every person was placed on Jesus, and God the Father poured out His wrath on His Son. God looked at Jesus, His Son, as if He had committed the sins of horrible men and women and was punished for it, not just the murderers and the child molesters, yes, them too. But my sins and your sins, all the pride, all the selfishness, all the lies, all the unkind thoughts and actions.

When you know the Gospel, when you know what has been done for you and you remind yourself of it every day, you don't get offended when someone criticizes you because you realize that you actually deserve much harsher criticism, but you've avoided it because of Jesus.

You forgive your loved ones or your friends when they slight you or treat you unkindly because you realize how much you have already been forgiven because of Jesus.

The Gospel is not just a ticket to heaven. It is a whole way of living. Some of you who know Jesus still struggle to understand how this applies to your daily life, and even if you do understand, my challenge to you is this: talk to yourself.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, "Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself?" We do it to ourselves every day. Every morning, we wake up, and it begins.

On a daily basis, we are faced with two simple choices. We can either listen to ourselves and our constantly changing feelings about our circumstances, or we can talk to ourselves about the unchanging truth of who God is and what He's accomplished on the cross for us in His Son, Jesus.

I realized that I was spending more time listening to myself rather than talking to myself. But because I know God, I know myself, and I know the Gospel, I began to remind myself of these truths daily.

If you haven't already:

*Make and stick to a plan to read the Bible.

*Join a small group Bible study.

*Choose friends who want to know Jesus like you do. "Our friends paint themselves on our faces. "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friends" (Proverbs 27:17). "The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray." (Proverbs 12:26)

*Choose a Bible believing church.


Because I have done these things, in the midst of conflict, I am able to remind myself of the Gospel. The final thing I have learned: know your purpose. The Westminster Catechism (a lot of you probably haven't heard that one before) states, "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him."  This seems at first blush a rather odd thing to have as our purpose.  It goes against everything our culture tells us that we should want or live for.  Don't just dismiss God or assume that you know who He is because you don't understand Him. He is knowable.

If you seek the truth, it will stand under the hard questions. As a brief answer, we start where we began. Know God. We know God is perfect, and so His desire for us to glorify Him is rooted in this perfection.

One author explains this when he says, "When a human glorifies himself, he robs others of joy, but when God displays and exhibits His glory, He shares joy with His creatures and wholeness with all creation." Put most directly, without the knowledge of God's glory, we would be robbed of true joy."

How do we glorify God? The answer is in the second part of the equation—by knowing God, by enjoying Him, by being like Jesus. What did Jesus do? He served. Mark 10:45 says, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." He came to serve us, and He did it joyfully.

A few years ago, I was struggling with the daily grind of constantly doing something: for my family, for my career, for my value and reputation in the community, and so forth (which I detest)—trying to meet project deadlines, cooking meals, doing household chores, replying to work emails, trying to please my family, my in laws, my friends, my sphere of influence, only to turn around the next day or even the next moment to have to do it all over again. I thought, "Is this it? Is this all that I'm supposed to be doing?" It appeared as though, I was molding myself to become this "superwoman",  that I am not.  It felt awful!

Titus 2 says, older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled (verses 3-6).
I was serving—just like Jesus, but I wasn't doing it with joy. Big difference. Being able to journal is part of fulfilling my purpose to serve with joy because I know that one of my roles is to encourage and challenge other women whoever they are, wherever they may be.
Another role in which I serve with joy is to share my faith in Christ with those who are not Christians. First Peter 3:15 says, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. I have many roles, including others not mentioned here, most notably being a wife, but in all of these I have one purpose—To be more like the LORD Jesus. To serve with joy.

Many have asked why. I don't ask why because I know the answer, and here it is. We live in a sinful world. Bad things happen, but it was not supposed to be this way, and it will not always be this way. God has a plan. He has made a way for sinful people, you and me, to be with Him in a perfect world. The way is Jesus. This is the way to know God and someday be free from this world of disease and pain. Second Peter 3:9 says this, "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." So God is being patient, patient so that everyone has the opportunity to repent and to make things right with Him. That is why there is evil and suffering in the world, because when He does return to bring judgment, there will be no second chances.

*Acknowledge that you have sinned and that you have a serious problem before you in light of a God who is perfect and just.

*Recognize that there is nothing you can do to save yourself.


*Trust that Jesus, who died to pay the penalty for your sin, has risen from the dead and given you His righteousness.


I am dying, but so are you. Neither of us knows if he will even see tomorrow, and perhaps the reason that I am suffering now, the reason that God is waiting to bring judgment against all the evil in this world, is because He's waiting for you, for you to acknowledge your sin and to turn to Him for forgiveness. Maybe you are the one we are waiting for. Jesus suffered. God did not spare Him. Why would He spare me if my suffering would result in good for you? If my suffering is the means that God would use to bring even one person to Himself, it is an honor for me to suffer.

Does that seem strange? I suppose it does, but really, it is the only way that all of this makes any sense at all. A God who sees my suffering but is unable, or worse, unwilling to spare me? A God who sees my suffering but allows it with no greater purpose or hope? My God is able to save me, and He will; but save me from what? From a life without Him. There is a place where there is nothing good, not even a gentle rain or a child's laugh. It is a place where everything that we despise about this world, the evil, the injustice, is the rule with no exceptions.

Hell is a physical place where God is not. Instead, He will bring me to a perfect world where He is, Heaven, where life is full of wonder, adventure, and joy, everything good, for all eternity. My God is able to save me, and He will. This suffering is temporary, and the life I will live in eternity will make all this seem light and momentary.

As one speaker explained, "God allows in His wisdom that which He could easily prevent by His power."

Can that faith save? We all have faith in something, but not all faiths save. The faith I have saves, so when I say that death is not dying, the part of me that will die is only a shell. I have lived a seemingly picture-perfect life from the outside looking in. In truth, I have been very blessed, but in my life there have been many difficult things that the Lord has allowed.

I have made poor decisions in my life in the past, and have hurt others, and have been hurt as a result of them.  I have known the searing pain of loss with the death of a loved one.  I have learned that the greatest evidence of God's love is seen when I stand at the foot of the cross. He took my shame upon Himself and rescued me. I have learned that being a Christian is not just hope for the future, although it is most definitely that, but that it is the joy of knowing and trusting in a God who is loving and faithful no matter what the circumstances. So, when I say that death is not dying, death will not kill my soul. It is eternal just like yours. It is just this physical body that will die, but even it will be raised again just like Jesus. It will be better than the one I have now.

Like everything, it will be better because God is going to make everything new, and I know this, why?  Because I know God. I know myself. I know the Gospel, and I know my purpose. I know I have a faith that saves because my faith is in the LORD Jesus alone.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
____________________________________________
LORD Jesus, though this physical body that You have blessed me will die, but I know that my soul will not die. Thank You for giving me the wisdom to know my purpose, and for giving me a willing heart to obey You and to be used by You. Above all, thank You for the gift of salvation which You freely purchased for me by Your precious blood. I am so thankful that my salvation is You and in You alone according to God's Word. I pray at this very moment that there will be souls out there who will come across this journal and will get save, to come to a personal relationship with You and be blessed. I pray in Your name, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Amen.

The Incomparable Christ: The Twofold Nature of Christ

By: Nancy Leigh DeMoss
(Revive Our Hearts via INTO THE LIGHT Journal)
... So without ever ceasing to be fully God, without laying aside any of His God-ness, Jesus took on, clothed Himself, in our human nature so that He could reconcile us to God.  And if that doesn’t move you, nothing will ...
Within the first few hundred years after the life of Christ here on this earth, there were several controversies that arose within the church that had to do with the person and nature of Christ. Who was He really? They were sorting this through and wanting to make sure they got it right, so I want to give you at the beginning of today’s program just a real quick church history lesson. This all took place within the first three or four hundred years after the life of Christ here on this earth.

First, there was a man named Arius. I referred to him a few programs ago. He was a teacher from Alexandria, Egypt, who believed that Christ was a highly exalted being, but He was a created being who was not Himself the eternal God. So he elevated Christ, but he said Christ was not fully God. That was a heresy that has perpetuated itself many times in many different ways over the past sixteen or seventeen hundred years, the Arian heresy.

Then there was a bishop in Laodicea whose name was Apollinaris. I’m not expecting you to remember this, but I just want you to get a glimpse of some of these streams and how these heresies evolved. This man agreed that Christ was indeed fully God. But he couldn’t see how He could be both fully God and fully man, so he taught that Christ had a human body but not a human mind and spirit. Outside He looked like a man, had a human body, but inside He was fully and only God.

So Arius said that Jesus was not fully God. Apollinaris, the second one, said that He was not fully man. Then came along another popular preacher and bishop in Constantinople whose name was Nestorius. He affirmed that Jesus was fully God and fully man, but he thought that therefore Christ must be two persons in one body, one divine person and one human person. So he denied the unity of the two natures in one body.

Then the opposite issue or heresy arose in relation to how those two natures, divine and human, were related. A man named Eutyches, again a churchman, a teacher, denied the distinction of the two natures. He said that Christ had only one nature that was a mixture of human and divine. It wasn’t fully human; it wasn’t fully divine. It was a mixture of the two.

Now, in relation to each of these heresies, the church leaders met and convened what were called councils to clarify the truth about Jesus. Who was He—God? man? How does this all come together?

You cannot fault them for this being a tough assignment. We’re having a hard time wrapping our minds around some of this because it’s supernatural. It’s mystery. It’s not comprehensible to human beings with finite minds. But they went back to the Scripture and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit clarified these issues.

The final one of those councils dealing with who was Jesus convened in 451 A.D. They met in a city called Chalcedon, which is in modern day Turkey, and they addressed these various issues and heresies. They came up with what is known as the Chalcedonian Creed, which since that time, though you may not be aware of it or familiar with it—since that time, that creed has been accepted by Catholic, Protestant, and orthodox churches as the biblical position on the person and the incarnation of Christ.
It’s a very important document. It’s not the Bible, but it takes the biblical teaching and summarizes it in one document. Now that document, the Chalcedonian Creed, can be summarized in four, important doctrinal statements about Christ. Let me give you those four statements.
  • Number one: Christ is fully and completely divine—fully God.
  • Number two: Christ is fully and completely human—fully God, fully man.
  • Number three: The divine and human natures of Christ are distinct—they’re not one in the same.
  • Number four: The divine and human natures of Christ are completely united in one person.
That means there were two distinct natures, one human and one divine, united in one person, the person of Christ. This whole concept that Christ is fully God, fully man, has distinct human and divine natures, two natures that are united in one person—that concept came to be known by theologians (I’ll give you a fancy word here) it’s known as the hypostatic union of Christ, spelled just like it sounds, hypostatic union of Christ.
I won’t go into great detail about how all that emerged, but it is one of the most profound concepts in theology and one of the most important. This is what makes Christ incomparable, the incomparable Christ, the fact that He has two distinct natures, one human, one divine, that are united in one person.
He is not two persons. He is one person, fully God and fully man, the Son of God and the Son of Man. Again, this makes Him incomparable. There is no other “god” in the history of the universe that has ever become a man, and there is no other religious leader who could claim to be God. They could claim to be God, but they weren’t God.
Jesus is the God/man. We’ve been skirting around this in the last few sessions. We’ve been approaching it, but I want to pull what we’ve talked about on the deity of Christ, the humanity of Christ—I want to pull that together today and take a deeper look at the two-fold nature of Christ.
If you’re following along with us in Oswald Sanders’ book, it’s chapter 12, "The Two-Fold Nature of Christ." Now, this is a little bit of tough sledding. I acknowledge that we are in some deep territory doctrinally.
But let me say that the goal of all this is not to be able to spout off terms like hypostatic union or to name these early church fathers. The goal is to see Christ, to get to know Him, to love Him, to be ravished by His beauty, and as you do, you’ll find that sin is less alluring and that life’s pressures are less overwhelming when you see the greatness and the grandness of who Christ is.
You may wonder as we talk about some of these things, what’s the "so what" of all this? What are the practical implications? Well, what’s really practical is that we’re getting to know a Person by studying these things. This is who He really is, and if we’re going to know Him and trust Him and love Him, then it’s important to get this.
Now, I’m not saying that we can ever fully understand it because we can’t, but we need to at least affirm that this is true—Jesus, the God/man. This is a cardinal, foundational Christian doctrine, and as I’ve said, it’s something that our finite minds can no-way, no-how comprehend or explain. This is mystery, and we need to acknowledge that when we’re trying to explain it.
Have you tried to explain it to your four-year-old, how Jesus could be God and could be man? I’ve struggled trying to explain it to you. I’ve spent many hours over these last weeks trying to think through how to make this at least a bit comprehensible, but we’re dealing with mystery.
We’re dealing with things that are beyond our reach, and the secular world sees that as a cop-out. They say if you can’t explain it, it can’t be true, but the fact is, if we could understand this, if we could put Jesus in our little box that we could figure out, then He wouldn’t be amazing anymore. He wouldn’t be incomparable.
We shouldn’t be able to figure Him out completely. We have to take a lot of this by faith. But as we do, we marvel, and we worship. He really is the incomparable Christ.
The concept of Christ having two natures in one person is affirmed in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Let’s look first at the Old Testament. For example, in Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6, we have what is, for many of us, a familiar Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah.
“For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given” (NKJV). Now, here we see a reference, a veiled reference, 700 years before Christ was born, to the fact that He would be one Person. This is talking about one Person. This is not two different people, a child and a son. This is one person, but with two natures.
“A Child is born,” speaks of His which nature? His humanity. “A Son is given,” (from heaven) speaks of which nature? His deity, the fact that He is God. So a Child is born to the virgin Mary. A Son is given. This is the gift of God from heaven. That’s His deity.
You see the same concept—two natures, one person—in Galatians chapter 4, verse 4, “When the fullness of time had come,” this is the time we celebrate at Christmas, “God sent forth his Son,” the One He was talking about in Isaiah 9. He sent forth his Son, “Born of a  woman,” two natures.
Son of God, He is God. He is equal or the same substance as God and born of a woman—His deity and His humanity. We’ve been looking at those. We looked at them separately earlier in this series. Now we’re looking at the two-fold nature of Christ at one time.
You see this concept, the two natures in one Person, affirmed in many of our great hymns. For example, one of the great hymns that we sing and one of the earliest Christmas carols ever written, “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” it has this phrase, “Born a child and yet a king,” the two natures in one Person—born a child and yet a king.
This concept, two natures, one Person, is affirmed in many of the great confessions and creeds of our faith. For example, the Belgic Confession, written in 1561, says,
We confess that He is Very God and Very Man; 
Very God by His power to conquer death and 
Very Man that He might die for us.
Two natures; one Person.
Now, Jesus was always the divine Son of God. He was always equal with God. He was always of the same substance with the Father. Before there was time, in eternity past—and we talked about this earlier in this series when we talked about the preexistence of Christ—before there was time, before eternity began, before He came to this earth, He was always the divine Son of God.
But when He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary, He took on a second nature, a human nature, and He did that—don't ask me to explain this; I'm just telling you—He did that without in any way diminishing His deity. He added that human nature to His divine nature that He'd had forever.
You see both these natures in the Gospels. For example, Jesus went to a wedding. That's His humanity, His human nature, but what did He do while He was at the wedding? He changed the water to wine. That's His deity, His God-ness, His God-hood.
He went out on a boat with His disciples and fell asleep in the bottom of the boat because He was tired. What nature is that? His humanity, and then He got up and rebuked and stilled the storm. What nature is that? His deity—two natures, one Person.
Chrysostom was one of the early church fathers who lived in the late 300s and the early 400s after Christ. He said it this way,
I do not think of Christ as God alone, or man alone, but both together. For I know He was hungry, yet I know that with five loaves He fed 5000. [humanity and deity]
I know He was thirsty, and I know yet that He turned the water into wine. I know that He was carried in a ship, yet I know that He walked upon the sea. I know that He died, yet I know that He raised the dead Himself.
I know that He was set before Pilate, and I know that He sits with the Father in His throne. I know that He was worshiped by angels, yet I know that He was stoned by the Jews. . . . Some of these I ascribe to the human, others to the divine nature—for by reason of this, He is said to have been both God and man.
Now, it's important to realize that two-fold nature of Christ is not temporary, but it is permanent. He is still the God/man, and He will be forever. Today, He is enthroned in heaven in His resurrected, glorified body. The scars of the nails in His hands, the scars of the spear in His side are still visible in that glorified body.
And what does He do with that human nature, the God/man? He represents us to the Father. As our Advocate, He intercedes on our behalf. How precious and powerful is that?
So we see here as we look back at the church fathers grappling with these things—and we're trying to grapple with these things that boggle the mind—we see the importance of right thinking in relation to Christ. It's not surprising that this would be an ongoing battleground, not only in early church history, but in our day as well.
Satan doesn't want us to know who Christ really is, so as in the early days of the church, erroneous teaching arose about the nature of Christ, they had to go back to the Scriptures, study it out, and affirm the truth about Christ. That wasn't the end of it. Today there are still people, even within some of our churches, promoting false, erroneous teaching about Christ. And what do we have to do? Keep going back to the Word and affirming the truth about Christ.
Now, the two-fold nature of Christ, fully God, fully man, two natures in one Person, was absolutely necessary for our redemption. This is not just parsing theological mysteries. This is crucial. It really, really matters. We cannot be saved apart from the fact that Christ was the God/man.
This is a plan that God put in motion in eternity past. In order to save us from our sin, Christ had to become a man. He had to be truly man to represent us and fully God in order to be able to save us. As a man, He perfectly obeyed God's law, and that's what qualified Him to die in our place as a substitute for our sins.
As one man is quoted in Oswald Sanders' book saying, “Had He not been man, He could not have sympathized with us; and had He not been God, He could not have saved us.”1He had to be both God and man.
One of the best explanations I've read of why this matters in redemption was by C. J. Mahaney in a book called, Christ Our Mediator, so let me read to you a lengthy portion out of that book. I don't think I can make it this clear. He said,
Only someone both fully divine and truly human can effectively mediate between God and men. . . .
Since sin has been committed by man, therefore sin must be atoned for by a man. Only a human being can be the perfect substitute for other human beings. The debt and obligation and responsibility is mankind’s alone. Neither you nor I, however, can atone for our sin to satisfy God’s righteous requirements; our own disobedience already condemns us before a righteous God. Furthermore, we’re captives to sin; it’s humanly impossible for us to release ourselves from its grip. . . .
That’s our condition—having no possible way to atone for our sin, nor any possible way to free ourselves from enslavement to it.
A divine rescue is necessary. We need a savior! And in order to be our savior, in order to pay our debt, this individual must be like us—not just God in a form that merely appears to be human, but someone fully and truly human. Yet he must be unlike us as well, since only a perfect sacrifice is acceptable. . . .
You understand that? He has to be like us to represent us. But He can't be just like us, or He'd have to die for His own sin.
Well, C. J. Mahaney goes on to say—and this is the good news; this is the Gospel.
Only Jesus Christ, truly God and fully man, could be our substitute and make this sacrifice. Only Jesus could ever stand in this unique place and position. This One who lived the only perfect life also died a completely unique death as a ransom for our sin. He paid the price you and I owed to the innocent offended party, God our Creator and Judge.2
Thank you, C. J. Mahaney. Well said.
The humanity of Christ means that He is willing to save us, but if He was only human, He would not have had the power to save us. His deity means that He is able to save us!  Because He is the God/man, He is both willing and able to save us. Praise the Lord!
And let me give you some even better news than that. He did this—He became the God/man for us. Remember that verse I read earlier, Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6, “Unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given” (NKJV). What an incredible demonstration of the awesome love of God!
So without ever ceasing to be fully God, without laying aside any of His God-ness, Jesus took on, clothed Himself, in our human nature so that He could reconcile us to God. And if that doesn’t move you, nothing will.
Now, I know that some are perhaps hearing this concept for the very first time, and you're pondering it. You're thinking it through. You're trying to grasp it. You're saying this is heavy stuff, and I would just say, “Press into it!” It's huge truth. It's worth pressing into.
But here's my concern and that is for many of us for whom this stuff is very familiar. The problem is we lose the wonder. We forget how amazing this is.
Let me just help you restore the wonder a bit by reading an excerpt from a message John Piper preached on the God/man, Christ Jesus. He says,
The union of Christ’s deity and humanity in one Person makes it such that we have all that we need in the same Savior.
Because Jesus is God, He is all-powerful and He cannot be defeated. Because He is God, He is the only adequate Savior. Because He is God, believers are safe and can never perish; we have security. Because He is God, we can have confidence that He will empower us for the task that He commands us for. And because He is God, all people will be accountable to Him when He returns to judge the world.
Because Jesus is man, He has experienced the same things that we do. Because He is man, He can identify with us more intimately. Because He is man, He cancome to our aid as our sympathetic High Priest when we reach the limits of our human weaknesses. Because He is man, we can relate to Him–He is not far off and uninvolved. Because He is man, we cannot complain that God does not know what we are going through. He experienced it firsthand.
I was talking with a friend the other day who was discussing this session with me. She had just read this chapter on the two-fold nature of Christ in Oswald Sanders' book, and she said as we were talking about it, “This chapter led me to worship because of the amazing mystery.” That's what the response should be, and that’s what I pray it will do for you as well.
Prayer:  We’re on holy ground, Father. I just want to thank You for Christ, the incomparable Christ, fully God, fully man, two natures in one Person. Not only willing to save us because He is man; but able to save us from our sin because He is God. I pray in Jesus’ holy name, amen.

How Do You Know You Are Going To Heaven?

By God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation: What Does It Mean To Be Saved (Born Again)?

"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment," (Hebrews 9:27).

Dear Friend,

God is asking you the most important question of life. Your joy or your sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is: Are you saved? It is not a question of how good you are, nor if you are a church member, but are you saved? Are you sure you will go to Heaven when you die? God says in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again. In John 3:7, Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again." In the Bible God gives us the plan of how to be born again—which means to be saved. His plan is simple! You can be saved today.

How?

First, you must realize you are a sinner. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death. "For the wages (payment) of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). This includes eternal separation from God in Hell ...."it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement" (Hebrews 9:27). But God loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. "...He hath made Him (Jesus, Who knew no sin) to be sin for us ... that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to shed His blood and die. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11). "...without shedding of blood there is no remission(forgiveness)" (Hebrews 9:22). "...But commandeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Although, we cannot understand how, God said my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true. God cannot lie. "God ... now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross.In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: "...'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' And they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...'" Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior. "But many as received Him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). Whosoever includes you. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but shall be saved.Surely, you realize you are a sinner. Right now, wherever you are, repenting, lift your heart to God in prayer. In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed: "God be merciful to me a sinner." Just take God at His Word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church. no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it.

Just Pray:

Oh, Father in Heaven, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe that His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I believe that apart from Your Son's finished works on the Cross, there is no other way I can go to Heaven except through Him and in Him alone. I now receive Him as my Lord and Personal Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of Your merciful grace. Amen."

God simple plan of salvation is: You are a sinner. Therefore, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all of your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith. You say, "Surely, it cannot be that simple." Yes, that simple! It is Scriptural. It is God's plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as Savior today. If His plan is not perfectly clear, I'm encouraging you to read this journal over and over again, until you understand it. Your soul is worth more than all the world. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). Be sure you are saved. If you lose your soul, you miss Heaven and lose all. Let God save you this very moment. God's power will save you, keep you saved, and enable you to live a victorious Christian Life. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).Do not trust your feelings. They change. Stand on God's promises. They never change. After you are saved—there are three things to practice daily for spiritual growth: Pray—you talk to God. Read your Bible—God talks to you. Witness—you talk for God. After you are saved—you should be baptized (by water immersion, a symbolic picture of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection) in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church without delay. "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord..." (2 Timothy 1:8) ..."Whosoever therefore shall confess (testify of) Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in Heaven" (Matthew 10:32).