The 12 Works of Jesus
When people talk about the core of Christianity, the phrase that is sometimes used to describe it is “the person and work of Jesus”. The person of Jesus refers to who he is (son of God, Messiah, Redeemer), while the work of Jesus refers to what he has done. Though more could be added, here are 12 works of Jesus.
1. Jesus creates us
Everything and everyone on the planet and in the universe was made by Jesus. John 1:3 states about Jesus, “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” If it exists, it’s because of the creating work of Jesus. Beyond even this, not only has Jesus made all things, but he has made them for himself. Colossians 1:16 says “all things were created through him and for him”. Quite simply, this means that Jesus himself has brought you into existence and he did it for his own purposes. You matter and your life has infinite meaning!
2. Jesus continues with us
The story of the Bible is that after God created everything and declared it to be “very good”, mankind rebelled against God. We sinned against him, attempting to usurp his throne and take it for ourselves. Ever since, death and disease and decay have been a part of life on this fallen earth. We all sin against God (Romans 3:23), yet he does not destroy us. Instead, God loves his enemies by continuing with us, showing patience, giving grace, and ultimately setting in motion a plan—at his own expense, no less—for our restoration.
3. Jesus came for us
The plan of restoring mankind came to a climax when Jesus came to earth. Jesus said in no uncertain terms that he “came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Rather than leaving us in our helpless, wretched condition, God intervened. He got involved, and did so by putting himself in our place. Jesus died on the cross to take the full penalty of our own sin, in order to liberate us from the curse. 1 Peter 3:18 summarizes: “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.”
4. Jesus convicts us
Rather than condemn us for sin, Jesus convicts us of sin. What’s the difference? Condemnation leads to shame and punishment, but conviction leads to a plea for help. In his kindness, Jesus shows us that we are sinners, that we have fallen short, that we are broken beyond our ability to repair. He does this not to crush us, but to liberate us. Humanity, left to our own devices, is doomed. Only once we see the hopeless condition we are in will we turn to Christ for help…and he is happy and able to give it!
5. Jesus calls us
Jesus doesn’t just open up the possibility of salvation; he also calls us to it! “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28). He is actively reaching out and calling each of us to respond to him in faith. His invitation is not limited but extends out into the whole world (John 12:32).
6. Jesus converts us
To become a Christian (a follower of Jesus) is an act of repentance and faith: turning from sin and believing in Jesus as Saviour and Lord. While this is something we are each called to, it really is a supernatural act of God. Becoming a Christian is more than a mere decision; it is the creation of a whole new person. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When a sinner converts it is because the saving work of Jesus has been applied to their heart.
7. Jesus cleanses us
All who trust in Christ as their Saviour are cleansed from past, present, and future sin. Our guilt is washed away and we are made sinless and spotless in the eyes of God. 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” In the Bible, sin is often likened to an ugly stain. Though our sin is as obvious and unbecoming as red wine spilled on a white carpet, God has the miracle-working power to remove the stain completely. Isaiah 1:18 says “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
8. Jesus changes us
Jesus doesn’t just remove our sin and then leave us to try and do better next time; rather, he also empowers us to change and become more like him. God’s grace is not just about second chances. It is also about the transformation of every believer. The more we grow in our relationship with Christ, with eyes fixed on him, the more our lives will become conformed to his likeness. 2 Corinthians 3:18 states “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”
9. Jesus commissions us
The Christian life is not about getting converted and then simply resuming business as usual until we die. Instead, our faith also bring with it a special commission from Jesus, a task that he demands his followers apply themselves to. Jesus gives his great commission in Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Quite simply, Christians are called to grow the kingdom of heaven and spread the gospel of Jesus everywhere they go, even to the far reaches of the earth.
10. Jesus carries us
Have you ever felt weary, fellow Christian? Have you ever stumbled, dealt with doubt, or wondered how God could ever put up with a lousy Christian like you? Fear not! Jesus does not start a job and then leave it unfinished. Rather, he promises to see the project (you!) through to completion. His own power will carry you and make sure your faith does not fail. Wether or not your faith continues does not ultimately rely on you, but on the one who bought you. Lean on the promise of Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
11. Jesus celebrates us
When we think of heaven, one of the first things that come to mind is Christians worshipping God. That is fitting and true. But there is more to it! The Bible teaches that Jesus himself will not only receive praise from his people, but will also rejoice over his people. He will celebrate and honour all who enter into his kingdom. Zephaniah 3:17 gives us a glimpse: “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
12. Jesus completes us
At long last, when The Day of the Lord finally comes, the world as we know it will end: no more sickness, sin, death, disease, pain, betrayal, loneliness, or anything else of that nature. We will be made complete and brought wholly into the redemption that Jesus bought for us on the cross. Our souls will be cleansed, our bodies resurrected to new life, and we will be in the presence of the risen Christ forever, experiencing the fullness of life as God always intended it to be lived. The promise of John 10:10 will finally be realized: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Friend, if Jesus creates us, continues with us, came for us, convicts us, calls us, converts us, cleanses us, changes us, commissions us, carries us, celebrates us, and completes us, why would you do anything but cast yourself on him?