Summary: At a recent conference my wife heard Beth Moore speak inspiringly about “this Jesus” (the One revealed in the Bible), as opposed to that Jesus, dreamed up by deceived people to suit their own imaginations. The Bible warns Christians not to be led astray to believe in “another Jesus” who is not the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as revealed in Scripture. Your eternal life (or damnation!) depends on your accepting and serving the true Savior revealed in the Bible. Come and let the following verses reinforce your beliefs in the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ.
Since the garden of Eden, the devil has been a deceiver. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned when they fell for Satan’s deceptions and disobeyed God’s clear command. The apostle Paul here was warning the church (and us) to beware lest “your thoughts be led astray” by Satan. One of the things Paul feared is that believers would have their minds tricked into embracing “another Jesus” who is not the biblical One.
And that — “another Jesus” — is the one envisioned by many who claim to be Christians today. Jesus has been refashioned in their minds into a twisted caricature of the magnificent, holy, biblical Son of God. He is misrepresented by some as all love and no discipline or correction. They carefully ignore (or are oblivious to) verses like Revelation 3:19, where Jesus said, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”
I've heard Christians make anti-biblical comments to the effect that Jesus is more interested in our happiness than in our holiness. Carnal conduct is tolerated and practiced with self-affirming excuses like, “Jesus is not into my doing a ‘works trip’.” I’ve even seen some professing Christians fall for the lie that says, “Once I’m saved there’s no more need for repentance. Jesus’ blood just keeps washing away my sins without my repenting.” Wrong! In the verse just above, Jesus was commanding the sinning Christians in the Laodicean church to “be earnest and repent” of their sinful conduct.
It is very important that we have an accurate, biblically sound understanding of who Jesus is. He came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). He died and rose again to redeem us from our sins (1 Corinthians 15:2-4), not to “make us happy.” To receive that forgiveness and walk in His blessings we must know, love, and serve the true Jesus that the Bible teaches. Serving “another Jesus” [not the Savior of the Bible] or believing “a different gospel” exposes us to the “rebuke and discipline” of the Lord and, if taken to extremes, can lead to catastrophic consequences.
On the Day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter was preaching a Holy Spirit-inspired message about “this Jesus” (vs. 32) — the One Peter had known and personally walked with as a disciple for 3-1/2 years. In his sermon (Acts 2:14-39) the apostle declared a number of important truths about the true Jesus that he knew personally:
• In His ministry on earth Jesus was used by God the Father to do miracles, wonders, and signs (vs. 22).
• In “God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge” Jesus was handed over to wicked men to be crucified for the sins of the world (vs. 23; also 1 Corinthians 15:2-4).
• God raised the crucified Savior Jesus from the dead! (vs. 24)
• Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One (31; also Acts 10:38).
• There were multiple contemporary witnesses to the fact of Jesus’ resurrection (32; 1 Corinthians 15:6).
• He ascended to heaven and sits to this day in the exalted position at God the Father’s right hand (33).
• From that exalted place in heaven Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit on His earthly disciples (33; John 1:33f)).
• God the Father has made the resurrected, ascended Jesus both “Lord and Christ” (36).
“This Jesus” that Paul preached to the Jews is the one, as the angel had announced to Joseph, who would “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21). Salvation through Jesus Christ, as taught in Scripture, is salvation from sin, not a license to continue the carnal conduct we walked in before we were born again through repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).
God takes the matter of sin so seriously that, in order to redeem us from it, “Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead” as the one and only way to God the Father (John 14:6). This Jesus that Paul preached — only this sinless, perfect Jesus — was sent by the Father to offer Himself on the cross as the only acceptable sacrifice to redeem fallen mankind back to God. Good works can’t do it; good intentions fail. Only repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as the sinless, crucified and resurrected Son of God can reconcile fallen man to the perfect, absolutely holy God.
The majority of the Jewish religious leaders 2,000 years ago rejected Jesus (4:11). And the same thing is happening today. Some reject Him outright and live out their lives unredeemed, finally entering into eternal damnation in hell fire for having rejected the only Savior.
However, there are others who do receive the Gospel, who turn to Jesus for salvation and are born again. But sadly, many Christians today are committing the same error Paul warned about in our opening Scripture above — that is, they are being “led astray [to] … another Jesus.” Instead of a perfectly holy Savior who preached repentance, faith and holiness to those who would follow Him, many believers today have allowed Satan to convince them of a “Jesus” not always like the true Lord of Scripture.
For example, many who name the name of Christ today scoff at the thought of a Savior who demands very high standards. They fail to press forward, as we are commanded in Scripture, “for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). Instead, they prefer “another Jesus” who tolerates carnality, rather than a Lord who straightforwardly declared, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15, KJV).
Holiness as exemplified perfectly in the Lord Jesus Christ is treated lightly, and occasionally even put down, in some Christian circles. Yet the Bible declares that holiness is so important to God that the Scripture commands us to “make every effort…to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). I’ve heard remarks like, “Are you one of those holiness churches?” And of course the biblical reaction to that should be, “I certainly hope so. What’s wrong with holiness?” In fact, the Scriptures tell us that Jesus so loved the church that he died for the church “to make her holy, cleansing her … [to make her] holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27). That’s what the true Jesus of the Bible wants us to be!
Various heresies crept into the church over the centuries about Jesus’ Second Coming. Some simply preached that there would be no second coming. Others taught a “spiritual,” not literal, coming of Christ. Some heretics even preached that they were the second coming of the Christ, sadly leading many to follow them.
But the Bible clearly says that “this same Jesus” that the believers saw ascend back to heaven “will come back in the same way” that they had seen Him go up to heaven. It will be a literal coming of Christ to earth, not just a spiritual one. He will come in an immortal body, just as He ascended to heaven 2,000 years ago in an immortal body. And it will be not “another Jesus,” but the “same Jesus” who had come from heaven to earth … lived some 33-34 years here … preached, taught, healed, and more … then died on the cross for our sins and was raised on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:2-4) … then ascended to heaven where He sits at His Father’s right hand until the time set for His return to earth (Acts 3:19-21).
More examples could be given of “this Jesus” of the Bible, in contrast to the “other Jesus” put forth by Satan to sway people away from true faith in the true Savior. But you readers can pursue this topic yourselves at greater length by reading the four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Look for the Lord Jesus, the Christ of the Bible. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the true Jesus and to protect you from the deceptive counterfeits the devil puts forth to lead God’s people into error and carnal living.
In closing, let’s let the apostle Paul remind us of the one and only true foundation of our faith. And that is the foundation “already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Let God’s Word the Bible work together with the Holy Spirit to bring you into deep, intimate fellowship with the one true Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Holy Trinity. Instructed by God’s Spirit as He sheds light upon the Scriptures, you will come to understand the very essence of salvation unto eternal life, as defined by Christ Himself — praying to His Father in heaven, Jesus made this eternally important statement: “Now this is eternal life: that they know you [the Father], the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
Knowing God the Father and Jesus His Son = eternal life! And that is precisely why it is of eternal importance that we know the Jesus of the Bible, not “another Jesus” fabricated to suit men’s and women’s fancies.
My prayer for each of you is that you fulfill the apostle Peter’s exhortation that you “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” ( 2 Peter 3:18, KJV). And be ever thankful for the grace of God who has “given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11).
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©2019, James H. Feeney.
& Bible Studies by
Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.