In the church, we sometimes shy away from certain expressions and phrases due to abuses of these terms in the denominational world. One such idea we may avoid is that of accepting Christ as our personal savior. However, when it comes to our relationship with Jesus, it should be personal, and, if we don’t know or accept Christ as our personal savior, then we don’t know or accept Christ at all.
An Impersonal Savior?
When we focus on Christ’s ministry, often we site big, impersonal events like the Sermon on the Mount, the feeding of the five thousand, the man needing to be lifted through a ceiling, and many others. There are many times we see “a great multitude” in the gospels. However, we cannot forget the stories where Jesus had personal, one-on-one interaction with individuals.
- The Rich Young Ruler – Mark 10:17. We are told in verse 21 that Jesus loved this individual, and He knows exactly what this man needs in his life. He knew the man’s heart. Jesus quickly established a personal connection with this man.
- Zacchaeus – Luke 19:1. Due to a crowd, Zacchaeus has a difficult time seeing Jesus, but Jesus knew where he was and where he lived, and he offered to eat with this man.
- The Woman At the Well – John 4:5. As Jesus engages this skeptical woman in conversation, he invites her to partake of water that eliminates thirst. In this conversation, Jesus demonstrates deep knowledge of this woman’s history and her heart.
- The Adulterous Woman – John 8. This woman is caught in the act of adultery, but Jesus ignores the accusations until He invites them to begin stoning if, in fact, they are sinless themselves. What does Jesus offer this woman? He offers her pardon despite her guilt and shame.
- The Blind Man – John 9. This man whom Jesus healed is cast out of the synagogue, and Jesus came to reassure him. Jesus knew of this man’s separation, and He sought the man out to comfort him.
- Lazarus – John 11. Jesus arrived to Lazarus’ home after he has already died. He saw the sorrow of those around Him. He knew their loss and sorrow, and He also wept, seeing the loss around Him.
Whenever God interacts with man in scripture, it is a personal interaction. He knows our needs. He knows our hopes and priorities. He knows where we are and our history. He knows the guilt and shame we carry, and he knows the sorrows in our lives. He knows of our separations and broken relationships. Most of all, Jesus knows that our greatest need is Him.
In each of these stories we briefly looked at we see “Come unto Me;” “Salvation has come to this house;” “I provide the water;” “It is He who stands before you;” “Go forth and sin know more.” In the problems all of these individuals faced, Jesus was the answer. When Nicodemus comes to Christ, the first thing Jesus addresses is his spiritual needs. He knows our need to be born again to become children of God.
We are converted to Christ, our personal savior. We are not converted to a church. We are not converted to set of rules and regulations. We follow one who knows us and who suffered and died for each of us, and He still personally invites us to come to Him, lay our sins before Him, and wholly rely on Him.
lesson by Tim Smelser