Jesus Plus Nothing

1 John 5:4-5 (MSG)

“Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.

It’s hard to live as the overcomer you were made to be when your Christianity is over-complicated. 

Pastor Keenan Clark challenged us this last Sunday, to stop making our Christianity about what we do or don’t do. He suggested that instead, we make it about one thing. Jesus, and what He did for us. What makes us Holy, righteous, and blameless has nothing to do with our own striving or actions. It is simply what Jesus has done for us, nothing more and nothing less.

Pastor Keenan then shared a story from Luke 23, in which Jesus is on the cross. He is hanging there, as an innocent man next to two criminals. These two criminals in their final hours decide to make fun of Jesus. They along with the others that were there, ridiculed and cursed at Jesus. But Jesus lifts his eyes to heaven and says ” Father forgive them, because they have no idea what they are doing.”

Suddenly, something shifted and one of the criminals that had just moments before, been making fun of Jesus, now begins defending Jesus. He told his buddy, “Don’t you fear God? We deserve this, this is where our life choices have taken us, but this man…this man is innocent.” He then turns to Jesus and says ” Lord, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.”

Imagine, this man has just wrecked Jesus with his words, he had made fun of him, mocked him, and now he wants Jesus to remember him in his kingdom? Can you imagine how angry most of us would be? We would be like “Yeah right, enjoy your swim in the lake of fire!” But that’s not what Jesus does here…

Jesus looks at this man and says ” I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Wait hold up…when did this guy get baptized? When did he go to church? When did this guy read the bible or pray for someone? He didn’t.

He simply believed Jesus was the son of God and that one moment of faith overcame a lifetime of sin.

What is life all about? What is Christianity all about?


Journaling Questions:

  1. Have I over-complicated Christianity in my life?
  2. What stuck out to you the most in Pastor Keenan’s message?