Leaning On Jesus
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
Truly, we can lean on Jesus for whatever wearies and burdens us down. Sin burdens men and women down every day. What will they do with it? Come to Jesus! Lean on Jesus to take away your sins! Coming to Jesus to lean on Him requires desire and action on every man and woman’s part. God has a plan for salvation which involves His Grace, our Faith and Works of Faith (John 14:6; Galatians 5:6).
Sometimes it is said that preaching the plan of salvation is just preaching a works or merited-based salvation. Anything beyond belief is said to be leaning on your own strength and therefore cannot be necessary to God’s plan of salvation for man since Jesus paid it all. Let me make this point perfectly clear, Jesus did pay the terrible price for our sins; He paid it all; however, His offer of forgiveness of sins is not forced on anyone. Believing only is not taught in the scriptures, belief or faith must be acted on. It is when one responds to the gospel message, they are leaning on Jesus all the way.
Belief alone makes one no better off than demons, who believe and do tremble (see James 1:19). The faith that does profit is the one that works by love (Galatians 5:6). And Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15; cf. John 15:14).
When you hear the gospel (Romans 10:17) and believe the gospel (John 8:24) you are beginning to lean on Jesus.
When you are convicted of being a sinner and turn away from sin to live for Jesus, you are leaning closer to Jesus (Luke 13:3,5; Acts 17:30-31). This is moving in the right direction.
When you use your mouth to confess your faith in Jesus, you are leaning on Jesus (Romans 10:9-10). You are getting closer to forgiveness of past sins.
When you are buried in the waters of baptism with Jesus, you are leaning on Jesus to wash away the sins from your soul. Now, God forgives your past sins through the Blood of Jesus (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3ff; Colossians 2:11-16; 1 Peter 3:21). I am not saying that baptism alone saves us, the Bible does teach it is the response to the gospel that gets us into Christ (Romans 6:3-6; Galatians 3:26,27). Baptism is a step of faith (please see Colossians 2:12). You see, our faith is not in the water, but in God who applies the Blood of Jesus to the soul when we submit to water baptism. The hymn “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus” explains to us the purpose of baptism: “Just in simple faith to plunge me neath the healing, cleansing flood.”
When the audience in Acts 2:40 were told to “save yourselves from this wicked generation,” they would do so by choosing to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were convinced that the same Jesus they had crucified is now both Lord and Christ, and ask: “What must we do ?” (Acts 2:36,37). Peter tells them to “Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38). After a little more persuasion, we read: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about 3000 souls” (Acts 2:41).
Everything these people did to receive forgiveness of sins and be added to the new-born church was simply leaning on Jesus. This is what everyone who hears the gospel; then, believes in Jesus, repents or turns from sin, confesses Jesus Christ and is baptized is doing-- leaning on Jesus. We are not earning our salvation as some accuse us. This is what God’s word teaches us to do to respond to the gospel.
Another major point we must not miss is that we continue to lean on Jesus as we live in obedience to His word every day (John 14:15; Acts 2:42). Anyone who denies this is proud and self-willed and not willing to obey the truth (Galatians 1:6-9).
I have heard of people who say, “I’m leaning toward becoming a Christian.” Leaning and becoming a Christian are two entirely different things. Don’t die leaning toward, but leaning on Jesus. The logical question from this short article is: Are you truly leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus Christ?
Michael R. Baggett