“Every good gift and every perfect present is from . . . the Father.”—JAMES 1:17.
1. What good things does the ransom make possible for us?
THE ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ makes many blessings possible. For example, the ransom arrangement opens the door for all of Adam’s children who love righteousness to become part of God’s family one day. Another blessing is that we can live forever in happiness. More than that, the ransom is connected with matters that are very important to everyone in heaven and on earth.—Hebrews 1:8, 9.
2. (a) What very important matters in heaven and on earth did Jesus include in his prayer? (See opening picture.) (b) What will we discuss in this article?
2 About two years before Jesus died, he taught his disciples to pray: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.” (Matthew 6:9, 10) Let us examine how the ransom is connected to the sanctification of Jehovah’s name, the rule of God’s Kingdom, and the doing of God’s will.
“LET YOUR NAME BE SANCTIFIED”
3. What does Jehovah’s name represent? How did Satan attack Jehovah’s name?
3 First of all, Jesus prayed for Jehovah’s name to be sanctified, or treated as holy. Jehovah’s name represents Jehovah himself, who he is. He is the most powerful and righteous Person in the whole universe. Jesus also called him “Holy Father.” (John 17:11) Because Jehovah is holy, everything he does and any laws he makes are holy. But in Eden, Satan slyly questioned God’s right to set standards for humans. He lied about Jehovah and attacked God’s name, or reputation.—Genesis 3:1-5.
4. How did Jesus treat God’s name as holy?
4 Jesus, on the other hand, truly loved the name of Jehovah and did everything he could to sanctify it. (John 17:25, 26) How? By his conduct and teaching, Jesus helped others to see that Jehovah’s standards are right and that everything he asks of us is for our own good. (Read Psalm 40:8-10.) Even when Satan caused him to suffer and die a painful death, Jesus remained loyal. He proved that it is possible for a perfect man to obey Jehovah completely.
5. How can we treat Jehovah’s name as holy?
5 How can we show that we love Jehovah’s name? By our conduct. Jehovah requires us to be holy. (Read 1 Peter 1:15, 16.) This means that we worship only him and obey him with all our heart. Even when we are persecuted, we do our best to live in the way Jehovah teaches us. By living according to Jehovah’s standards, we bring glory to his name. (Matthew 5:14-16) We prove that his laws are good and that Satan is a liar. We are not perfect, so we will make mistakes. But when we do, we repent and do our best to stop doing things that dishonor Jehovah’s name.—Psalm 79:9.
6. Why can Jehovah view us as righteous, even though we are imperfect?
6 Whether we are of the anointed or of the “other sheep,” Jehovah forgives our sins if we have faith in the ransom. He accepts as his worshippers those who dedicate themselves to him. He declares anointed Christians righteous as his sons and the “other sheep” righteous as his friends. (John 10:16; Romans 5:1, 2; James 2:21-25) Therefore, even now, the ransom makes it possible for us to have a good relationship with our Father and to sanctify his name.
“LET YOUR KINGDOM COME”
7. What blessings does the ransom make possible?
7 In the model prayer, Jesus said: “Let your Kingdom come.” How is the ransom connected to the Kingdom of God? God’s Kingdom, or government, is made up of Jesus and 144,000 chosen from mankind. The ransom makes it possible for these humans to be resurrected to heaven. (Revelation 5:9, 10; 14:1) They will be kings and priests and will rule over the earth with Jesus for a thousand years. During that time, Jehovah will use the Kingdom to make the earth a paradise and to help all humans become perfect. Jehovah’s servants in heaven and on earth will finally be one family. (Revelation 5:13; 20:6) Jesus will destroy Satan and remove all the problems that he has caused.—Genesis 3:15.
8. (a) How did Jesus help his disciples understand that God’s Kingdom is important? (b) How do we support the Kingdom today?
8 Jesus helped his disciples to understand the importance of God’s Kingdom. How? Immediately after his baptism, Jesus began to preach “the good news of the Kingdom of God” everywhere he went. (Luke 4:43) He also told his disciples to be witnesses of him “to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8) Today, by means of the Kingdom-preaching work, people have the opportunity to learn about the ransom and become subjects of God’s Kingdom. We show that we are loyal subjects of the Kingdom by assisting the anointed to preach the good news worldwide.—Matthew 24:14; 25:40.
“LET YOUR WILL TAKE PLACE”
9. Why can we be confident that Jehovah will fulfill his purpose for humans?
9 What did Jesus mean when he next said: “Let your will take place”? When Jehovah says that something will happen, it will happen. (Isaiah 55:11) Satan’s rebellion could not stop Jehovah. What was Jehovah’s will for the earth? He wanted the earth to be filled with the perfect children of Adam and Eve. (Genesis 1:28) If Adam and Eve had died without having children, God’s purpose to fill the earth with their children would have come to nothing. So Jehovah allowed them to have children. The ransom gives all who exercise faith the opportunity to become perfect and live forever. Jehovah loves people and wants us to have the wonderful life that he intended for us.
10. How does the ransom benefit humans who have died?
10 What about the billions of people who died without ever having an opportunity to know Jehovah? Jehovah wants people to live. So he will even bring back to life those who have died. The ransom makes it possible for them to come back to life. Then they will be able to learn about Jehovah and to live forever. (Acts 24:15) Jehovah is the Source of life. When Jehovah gives life back to those who have died, he becomes their Father. (Psalm 36:9) In the model prayer, Jesus said that Jehovah is “our Father in the heavens.” (Matthew 6:9) Jehovah has given Jesus a very important role in resurrecting the dead. Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life.”—John 6:40, 44; 11:25.
11. What is God’s will for the “great crowd”?
11 Jesus also said: “Whoever does the will of God, this one is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35) It is God’s will that people from all nations and tribes and languages become his worshippers. They are described as “a great crowd, which no man was able to number.” They have faith in the ransom and want to obey God. They praise him and say: “Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.”—Revelation 7:9, 10.
12. From Jesus’ prayer, what do we learn about Jehovah’s purpose for humans?
12 We have learned much about Jehovah and his purpose for humans from Jesus’ model prayer. One, we must do all we can to sanctify Jehovah’s name and honor him. (Isaiah 8:13) Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, which makes our salvation possible, also honors God’s name. In fact, Jesus’ own name means “Jehovah Is Salvation.” Two, Jehovah will use his Kingdom to bring all the benefits of the ransom to obedient humans. And three, we have confidence that nothing can stop Jehovah’s will from being done.—Psalm 135:6; Isaiah 46:9, 10.
SHOW JEHOVAH YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE RANSOM
13. Why do we get baptized?
13 An important way in which we show that we are grateful for the ransom is by dedicating our life to Jehovah and getting baptized. In this way, we show that we have faith in the ransom and that “we belong to Jehovah.” (Romans 14:8) When we get baptized, we ask Jehovah to give us “a good conscience.” (1 Peter 3:21) Jehovah answers by applying the benefits of the ransom to us. And we are absolutely sure that he will give us everything that he promised.—Romans 8:32.
14. Why does Jehovah command us to love others?
14 Everything Jehovah does is influenced by love. His will is that his worshippers imitate him and love one another. (1 John 4:8-11) When we love people, we make it clear that we want to be “sons of [our] Father who is in the heavens.” (Matthew 5:43-48) The two greatest commands are first, to love Jehovah, and second, to love others. (Matthew 22:37-40) One way we show love for people is by teaching them the good news of God’s Kingdom. If we obey Jehovah’s command to love others, especially our brothers, our love for him will be “made perfect.”—1 John 4:12, 20.
THE RANSOM BRINGS BLESSINGS FROM JEHOVAH
15. (a) What blessings do we now receive from Jehovah? (b) What blessings will we receive in the future?
15 Jehovah assures us that because we have faith in the ransom, our sins are “blotted out.” He can forgive our sins completely. (Read Acts 3:19-21.) As we discussed earlier, the ransom makes it possible for Jehovah to adopt some humans to become his sons in heaven. These are the anointed ones. (Romans 8:15-17) He invites those who are of the “other sheep” to be part of his family on earth. After they have become perfect, there will be a final test. If they are loyal to Jehovah, he will adopt them as his children too. (Romans 8:20, 21; Revelation 20:7-9) Jehovah will always love all of his children. The ransom will continue to bring blessings forever. (Hebrews 9:12) Jehovah has given us this precious gift, and no one can take it away from us.
16. How does the ransom help us to be free?
16 If we repent of our sins, there is nothing the Devil can ever do to prevent us from eventually becoming part of Jehovah’s family. Jesus died “once for all time.” The ransom has been paid permanently. (Hebrews 9:24-26) Adam brought us death, but Jesus’ sacrifice will bring us everlasting life. The ransom can free us from Satan’s world and from fear of death.—Hebrews 2:14, 15.
17. What does Jehovah’s love mean to you?
17 God’s promises will always be fulfilled. Just as the laws Jehovah made in nature never change, Jehovah will never change. He will never disappoint us. (Malachi 3:6) Jehovah gives us far more than just the gift of life. He gives us his love. “We have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love.” (1 John 4:16) His promises always come true. Soon, the earth will become a beautiful paradise. Everyone living will imitate Jehovah and love one another. Then all of his servants in heaven and on earth will say: “Let the praise and the glory and the wisdom and the thanksgiving and the honor and the power and the strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”—Revelation 7:12.