[The December 2008 article featured “The ‘Jesus' the World Loves.”]
Let's start with how one comes to a true knowledge of, and relationship with, Jesus Christ. It begins with a simple understanding of the gospel1 that Jesus is God,2 who became a Man3 in order to save mankind from everlasting separation from God4 that resulted from man's sin.5 Jesus satisfied the perfect justice of God6 by His once-and-for-all payment for the sins of humanity7 through His death on the Cross.8 His resurrection from the dead9 assures the salvation of all those who acknowledge before God their sin10 and their hopelessness in saving themselves,11 and who by grace through faith12 accept Christ's sacrifice on their behalf13 and His free gift of eternal life.14 This is how one is reconciled to God15 and born again spiritually.16 This is how one's relationship with the biblical Jesus Christ17 begins.
Although that relationship is supernatural in that every true believer in Christ is indwelt by God,18 it nevertheless progresses, as any good relationship does, by getting to know the person with whom one has a relationship.
The primary way a relationship with Jesus develops is by reading the revelation of Himself given in His Word. This is the only way to obtain specific information about Him that is objective and absolutely true. In addition, not only is the content of Scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit,19 but that same Spirit of Truth is given to believers to understand that content.20 How then could those who profess to follow God's Word come up with erroneous ideas about Jesus? Regrettably, many are getting their information about Jesus from sources outside the Bible or second hand from those who claim to be teaching what the Bible says about our Lord.
3. 1 Timothy:2:5
4. John:14:6, John:3:16-17
6. 1 John:2:2
10. 2 Corinthians:7:10
16. Galatians:2:20; 1 Peter:1:23