The Individual in the New Testament

The teachings of Jesus stress human values; the spiritual worth and freedom of each individual. He said, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”(John 3:16); that salvation depends upon one’s being “born again” of the Holy Spirit (John 3:8). Jesus’ ministry was to the lost (Matt. 18:11;Luke 15:24), to the sinner (Mark 2:17), and to Jew and Gentile alike (Matthew 10:6;12:17-21). He said that he did not come to condemn the world but to save it, and each person who does the truth “comes to the light” and his or her deeds become manifest as being done through God (John 3:17-21).

Some very specific spiritual and material blessings or rewards were declared by Jesus for true followers: forgiveness of sins (Luke 7:47-48); answered prayer (Matt. 7:7-8;Mark 11:24); provision of necessities (Matt. 6:31-33); prosperity now, both spiritually and materially, eternal life (Mk. 10:28-30); receiving measure for measure as one gives (Luke 6:38); living with peace and joy (John 14:27;John 15:11); freedom from anxiety and fear (Luke 12:32;Rom. 8:15); receiving the spiritual power to do works as Jesus has done (John 14:12); and being seated with Christ in heaven (Rev. 3:21;John 14:3).

Jesus also taught the concept of a spiritual oneness; a unity of the Father and the Son with each believer, and of believers with each other. A believer also receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit whose indwelling endows him or her with spiritual gifts (Mk. 1:8;Matt. 3;11;Acts 1:5;2:4,I Corinthians 12-14).

It is stressed that the risen Christ has a special affinity for each individual, having empathy for human weaknesses, since in his earthly walk, he had been in “all points tempted as we are, yet without sin”(Heb. 4:15). “Wherefore, he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them “(Heb. 7:25). A believer need have no fear of physical death, for he or she will enjoy a resurrection to a higher life, being raised with a spiritual body in power and glory (Matt. 22:30;Luke 20:36;I Cor. 15:42-44).