Is Jesus the only way?

Couldn’t God have saved us some other way – like give us a billion years in heaven so we could watch him in action, soak up his love and never want to sin in the first place? Or, if we did sin, why couldn’t God simply forgive us? Or, better still, why not give us the Holy Spirit from birth so we wouldn’t sin at all? Jesus had the Spirit from conception, and he didn’t sin, so why not start us off the same way?

Because God gave us a will, unlike any other creature, and he allowed us total freedom to exercise that will, rather than force us into obeying him or programming us to behave in a certain way, like the animals. God wanted us to be absolutely free to choose, even if that meant choosing to turn our will against him. We have that kind of power.

So had the angels. They had a will too, and they clearly demonstrated to us that it doesn’t matter how long you spend with God in heaven, it’s still no guarantee that we’ll turn our will toward God, because after all that time with God one third of the angels turned their wills against him. And forgiving them wouldn’t have changed their wills, either, because we also learn from the angels that once the will is turned against God the mind becomes so warped that it sees God as the enemy. The same thing happened to Adam and Eve. They turned their will away from God and their minds became so warped they hid from him. They didn’t want anything to do with him anymore, just like most human beings ever since.

So why couldn’t God have given all of us his Spirit from the start? Because our own experience tells us that even when we’ve got the Spirit, our will is so powerful it can still get us focused on ourselves and not on God. So what on earth does it take to keep our wills turned toward God at all times? If giving us a billion years in heaven doesn’t work, and forgiveness doesn’t heal a warped mind, and even a mind with the Spirit still sins, what else is there?

There’s Jesus, the only human who ever turned his will to God all the time, without fail, and he’s there for us right now still turning his human will to God on our behalf, so that through the Holy Spirit he can live his perfect will in us. He makes possible what for us has proved impossible. That’s why Jesus is the only way.

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