Published on March 2nd, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
Pastor Creflo Dollar: Is Jesus Enough?
Personal relationships are important to us, and relationships with others can enrich our lives and make them more enjoyable. Yet, many people fail to realize the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ. Some mistakenly believe that the simplicity of this bond with God isn’t enough to be saved, and they feel they must perform good works to help things along. But we don’t need to let religion or the traditions of man dilute this perfect union.
There is one line of reasoning that says if we fail to do certain prescribed works, we will be cut off from God. This comes from the misinterpretation of what Jesus said about our relationship with Him. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:1, 2).
We are saved by God’s grace, not by anything we do or don’t do. His salvation doesn’t depend on our behavior, and we don’t become “unsaved” if we don’t bear fruit right away. Some people feel they need to add something extra to what God brings us, to try and guarantee their salvation in case grace doesn’t work for them. But the Scriptures tell us that Jesus is enough. “And he said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When we face adversity, challenges, or hardship, Jesus doesn’t abandon us. He instead bears us up and gives us the strength to persevere. Jesus shed His blood for us as the one perfect sacrifice for all time, and when we accept Him, that blood washes away our sins and atones for our mistakes. The net result is that nothing can separate us from Jesus’ love (Romans 8:38, 39).
In the Old Testament, the priests had to make regular sacrifices on behalf of God’s people, and sin was a huge issue. They had to work hard to perform all the rituals just right, to earn God’s favor. But Jesus, Who is Grace personified, changed all that. Some people reject the simplicity of God’s promises of forgiveness, and still cling to the old ways of thinking, but sin no longer has to separate us from Him.
When we accept Jesus and what He did for us, we are born again, and we become righteous. This righteousness is not because of our own good works or intentions, but because we believe in the finished works of Jesus that were completed thousands of years ago. The sanctification we receive sets us apart from those who choose not to accept Him (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
One component of a successful relationship is open communication, and God communicates His love and acceptance for us through the Bible. We learn from the Scriptures that Jesus intercedes with the Father on our behalf, and the righteousness we gain through Him makes us worthy to stand in God’s presence. Jesus has conquered sin, and He is the bridge between us and God that didn’t exist in the Old Testament. When we let Jesus live inside us, sin is no longer a barrier to salvation.