April 2014

WHY AM I A CHRISTIAN?

Jesse Vishwanathan

The Gospel brings God into the human equation!

We live in a country where a new religion is found at every corner, a new cult formed every single day. India is a perfect amalgamation of religions, religious practices, and in many ways a perfect reflection of the ancient Athens.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean being just one of the thousands of people who write the name of their religion on their school forms. In this perfect spiritual mayhem, nothing makes sense; yet a new myth, a new ‘spiritual mantra’ is given birth every day in a desperate bid to fill the big void in the human conscience, to quench the thirst for spiritual knowledge, to hush the silent fear of an unknown, impending and inevitable judgement for every ‘evil deed’. No sane person can deny the experience of a silent condemnation or an itching guilt they had when they did something ‘wrong’. These disturbing guilt feelings in people give rise to a subconscious need for ‘salvation’ and ‘justification’, and sometimes even a desire to make restitution by resorting to religious observances and rituals.

Religions of the world preach salvation based on the merits of a person. They preach that spiritual height and inner peace, and even material prosperity, can be attained by climbing mountains, pilgrimages, praying daily, observing traditions, exhibiting a good moral conduct, etc. The demands and obligations that religions thrust upon man leave little room for God’s intervention in the chaotic affairs of mankind. Man is being deceived by the religious systems of this world into believing that he is his own master and therefore is capable of saving himself from the deadly consequences of his evil thoughts and deeds. God is conveniently left out of this human equation.

World history has proved time and again the absolute truth that man is incapable of saving himself from his sin and guilty conscience, however religious and good he may try to be.

We can understand the true significance of the Gospel even when we look at it from a human viewpoint on religion, salvation and justification. The Gospel (Good News) brings God into the human equation! It provides a perfect foil to hide man’s incompleteness and does away with sin without compromising the unquestionable justice of God. The Gospel also highlights love (an attribute of God) in a degree incomprehensible by human intelligence. This love, which is the prime essence of the Gospel when once understood and experienced, can make one realise that it is absolutely divine in nature, a love which cannot be fathomed by any human psychology, philosophy or school of thought. This divine Gospel is not based on the achievements of humanity or the devotional efforts of any human; it is based on the one act of a single Man. The amazing beauty of the Gospel is the fact that this was no ordinary man! He was the Man Christ Jesus – the perfect and sinless one (1Tim.2:1-7;1Pet.2:21-22;1Jn.3:5).

Jesus is the beginning and the end (the Alpha and the Omega – Rev.1:8) of the Gospel and the central fulcrum, with the all-consuming judgment of God on one side and the all-encompassing and fulfilling love of God on the other as levers.

You might ask in astonishment, “What is this perfect act that no other religion has ever taught about, so perfect that a single act of one person could bring salvation to all humanity through all ages?!” Well, it is an act demonstrated in human history through a life lived in complete fulfilment of the divine law, a life that culminated in a disgraceful death on a rugged cross, followed three days later by a glorious resurrection that decisively defeated the power of death and hell once and for all! Jesus lived that life, Jesus endured that death and Jesus rose up on the third day so that none of us should die eternally in hell!

As a Christian, my only ‘effort’ is to believe on this divine Person who was born of a virgin and was the Son of God.

From a logical viewpoint, if there is a God I ever need, it’s not just the creator God who made me in His image (because, in that case, as my creator He would be nothing more than my master and I would be His puppet. But our free will is a gift from God who desires to be more than a creator to us. If we define our relationship with Him within the constraints of the ‘creator-created’, then we are merely stating that we would never have the choice of a partnership with God, nor would we have any say in such a relationship). I do not need a God who will slay my enemies (because it contradicts one of the characteristics of His nature – just and impartial). I do not need a God who defends me and punishes those whom I hate.

The God I know and worship is the One who did not spare His greatest possession – His own Son – but gave Him up for me. My God’s riches are infinite and incomparable, and the price He paid to save me from sin and make me His own prized possession cost Him everything He had! So, every time I lift up my hands to praise Him, I know that He is the only one I need, and He is the only one I want.

Yes, I am a Christian because I belong to Christ! (Rom.1:6).

Editorial: HE IS ALIVE! - Jacob Ninan

IN THE MASTER’S SERVICE - Vivek Salins

THE PLATFORM FOR CHANGE - Jacob Ninan

WHY AM I A CHRISTIAN? - Jesse Vishwanathan

THE SPIRITUAL MAN - P. Samuel Manoharam

HE IS RISEN! - K. V. Varghese Ampat

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