Human Responsibility

What does Jesus require from us?

Jesus places two chief responsibilities upon man. We are to repent and believe in him. Before this, we must come to Jesus and after we must abide in Him. These are his absolute requirements. It is what God expects. Repentance and belief are really a recognition that we must place ourselves under God's Kingship: to be forgiven for the past rebellion and to chose to be under Gods rule for the future. The dying thief expressed it as "Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom." If we refuse, we chose not to be in his Kingdom and remain outside.

Our Responsibility

1. Come to Jesus

Jesus first says "Come to Me." Jesus makes the claim that no-one can come to God except by coming to Him. He calls all who "labour and are heavy laden" (all who recognise their failure and guilt before a perfect God) and promises to give them rest by revealing God and His love to them and so to begin a new living relationship with God in which living for Him (rather than ourselves) will be the delight of our life, a light burden and easy yoke.

"Come to me, all you who labour and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me."
John 14:6

2. Repentance

Jesus says the chief requirement upon man is repentance. This is not the same as remorse or regret. It is a recognition that we are not living in obedience with God's rule and it means a change of intent to seek to live our lives the way God requires. It means choosing to live God's way, accepting that his way is best, seeking forgiveness for all the times we have not obeyed God, and committing and re-committing to be under his Kingdom.

From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, "Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."
Matthew 4:17

3. Believe on Jesus

With repentance also comes belief. Jesus says calls us to believe on the His as the Lord and Christ. Believing on Jesus is more than just believing about Jesus. It means believing in his claims, accepting his teaching and accepting him as the one for whom we live.

Jesus answered the, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
John 6:29

Jesus explained that the belief required of man is more than intellectual by often expressing this responsibility in terms of the command "Follow Me". This indicates the requirement for submission and obedience which is an essential part of the commitment to believe that Jesus seeks.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Matthew 16:24

4. Abide in Him

Having come to Jesus, repented and believed we are to "abide in Him." In other words Jesus says "Come to me and stay with me." He wants unbroken and intimate fellowship with you. On our part, abiding is nothing other than the continual acceptance of His position as my Lord and to a life of daily surrender to him, to be kept by Him, to trust Him, to remain in Him.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch can't bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me.
John 15:4

5. Grace through Faith

Our responsibility is repentance and belief. If we do this, God has promised to freely give entry into his Kingdom of eternal life with Jesus as the King. Salvation comes by grace and it is the gift of God, received through faith in Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8