|Volume 24 Number 5 May 2022
Jesus Christ has all authority everywhere, all of the time – period! End of story! “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’” (Matthew 28:18 NKJV). God the Father bestowed that authority on the Christ (Matthew 11:27; John 3:35), and He will retain that authority until the end of time when He returns it to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
Jesus Christ delegated authority to His apostles (Matthew 16:19; 18:18; 2 Corinthians 13:10; Ephesians 3:3), and the Holy Spirit empowered them (Acts 2:1-4) and additional divinely inspired penmen (2 Peter 1:21). However, for the theme of this article, we will neither allude to them nor to the holy epistles they penned. People who cherish red-letter editions of the New Testament and revere the words of Jesus Christ over the rest of Scripture fail to realize that even the Word that our Lord conveyed to His disciples came from God the Father (John 17:8; 14:10; 17:14). Nevertheless, we will forego appealing to any but the words of Jesus Christ to accommodate persons having affection for red-letter New Testaments, as well as regarding the theme – “Because Jesus Said So!”
Nothing on this earth is more important that the salvation of souls! This material world and everything in it is temporary and will not endure eternally.
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? (2 Peter 3:10-12)
Not even our earthly bodies will survive as they are once this material existence is no longer a reality.
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:50-53)
Humans are dual beings – each possessing a body and a spirit. Though the tangible, material world around us appears to be the most important consideration, this world and even our bodies are temporary. Our spirits or souls within our bodies (James 2:26; Ecclesiastes 12:7), though, will endure and be fitted with immortal bodies, as we have seen already. Therefore, the preparation of one’s soul – salvation – is much more important than obtaining possessions and worldly wealth.
Jesus spoke about activities that involve the saving or the salvation of souls. Belief or faith in Him as the Son of God (Romans 1:4; 2 Corinthians 1:19) – the Savior (Titus 1:4; 1 John 4:14) – is the natural, logical and essential beginning of the road to salvation. “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). The source of that belief must be the Word of God rather than human creeds, etc. (Romans 10:17; Matthew 15:9).
Jesus, likewise, affirmed the necessity of repentance to be saved. “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). In addition, Jesus stated the importance of confessing or acknowledging that He is the Christ and Savior. “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).
Mankind is not deterred on the road to salvation by hearing the Word of God, believing that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God, our Redeemer and Savior. Neither repentance, though a challenge for anyone, nor confessing before others one’s confidence that Jesus is the Son of God prove to be significant obstacles on the road to salvation. Baptism – immersion in water for the remission of sins (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12) – is the point at which most people conscious of their need for salvation balk. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ clearly taught the relationship of baptism to salvation. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” (Mark 16:16).
Why is belief that Jesus is the Son of God necessary? Because Jesus said so! Why is repentance of one’s sins necessary? Because Jesus said so! Why is confessing or professing that Jesus is the Christ necessary? Because Jesus said so! Why is Christian baptism necessary? Because Jesus said so! Period! End of story!
The fundamental component underlying Christian living is the home. Vital to the home is the honorable institution of marriage (Hebrews 13:4), populated with children (Genesis 1:28; 9:1; 1 Timothy 2:15). Without offspring, one’s family line, specifically, will end, and generally and more widespread, society will falter. Jesus spoke authoritatively about marriage and divorce. “‘And I [Jesus] say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery’” (Matthew 19:9). Jesus taught that, ideally, marriage is between one man and one woman for life and that there is only one or a single exception. “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate’” (Matthew 19:4-6).
Why is marriage between one man and one woman? Because Jesus said so! Why is marriage intended to be permanent? Because Jesus said so! Why is there is only one reason for divorce with permission to marry another eligible person? Because Jesus said so! Period! End of story!
Though the apostle Paul enumerated in several of his writings various sins that the children of God need to avoid (Romans 1:29-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:4-5; 1 Timothy 1:9-10), Jesus Christ also listed the same sins and others. “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Why are murderers and fornicators classified alike and traveling toward hell? Because Jesus said so! Why are idolaters and “all liars” grouped together and on the road to hell? Because Jesus said so! Christian living requires its practitioners to “abstain from every form [kind, type, category] of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22) because Jesus said so! Period! End of story!
True Christianity is not merely a membership without responsibilities (James 2:17). Jesus Christ declared the chief obligation of disciples of Christ is to preach and teach the Gospel to everyone everywhere. “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’” (Mark 16:15; c.f., Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8). Why should each Christian share the Gospel with non-Christians? Because Jesus said so!
There are additional acts of service beyond sharing the Gospel that Jesus calls upon Christians to do. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Why must Christians perform an array of good works? Because Jesus said so!
Jesus Christ expects His disciples to partake of the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:20) or Communion (1 Corinthians 10:16). “And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me’” (1 Corinthians 11:24-25; c.f., Luke 22:19-20). Furthermore, Jesus Christ fellowships with Christians during the Lord’s Supper. “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom [the “church,” Matthew 16:18-19]” (Matthew 26:29). Why does Christian worship include observance of the Lord’s Supper? Because Jesus said so!
Another aspect of Christian worship is giving a freewill offering (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4; 9:7). Jesus also taught about giving. “…Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). Why does Christian worship include giving? Because Jesus said so!
Aside from the words of Jesus, the New Testament reveals that there are five activities of Christian worship, in no particular order. They are giving and the Lord’s Supper, already noted, plus teaching or preaching (Acts 20:7), singing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16) and prayer (1 Corinthians 14:15). However, our emphasis throughout this article pertains to what Jesus said.
Jesus Christ informed His apostles that the third person of the Godhead – the Holy Spirit – would provide them with the very words they would preach – the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16). “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26). “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-15). The Gospel is the “Gospel of Christ” (Romans 1:16; 15:19, 29; 1 Corinthians 9:12, 18; 2 Corinthians 9:13; 10:14; Galatians 1:7; Philippians 1:27; 1 Thessalonians 3:2) – the good news belonging to or attributable to Jesus Christ. Hence, not only the words of Jesus Christ – highlighted in red-letter editions of the New Testament – but all of the words in the New Testament are the product of divine inspiration – attributable to the Godhead but verbally communicated to human penmen.
In like manner, the Old Testament is the result of inspired writers (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). In addition to the red-letter words of Jesus, all Scripture deserves to be viewed as coming from the same divine source. As such, then, and for a fuller understanding of God’s will for and plan for mankind, we will resort to all of God’s Word (Romans 15:4), though in this Christian Age, we are amenable to the New Testament portion of the Bible (Romans 7:6-7; 2 Corinthians 3:7-16; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 8:8-13).
Why must faithful Christians abide in the teachings of the Gospel or the New Testament, beyond merely the words that Jesus personally spoke? Because Jesus said so! Why do Christians study the Old Testament in addition to the words of Jesus and the balance of the New Testament? Because Jesus said so!
Why is the best practice to implement the New Testament into one’s life? Because Jesus said so! Period! End of story!