God’s way of changing us from His enemies to His friends
Humanity’s problem – sin
Why is the world in so much of a mess? The Bible tells us that our world and our lives are all spoilt by ‘sin’. Sin is everything that makes us run away from God and ignore Him. Sin is all the evil things we all do and say and think which are wrong, our selfishness and pride and greed. Sin is also the in-born bias towards wrong which means we all commit these ‘sins’. None of us is perfect. We all fall short of God’s perfect standards. This sin separates us from God now and forever, because He is perfectly good and we are not. Sin is like a cloud cutting us off from God’s presence. And there is nothing we can do by ourselves to remove the barrier of sin between us and God. Only God Himself can save us.
God’s solution – Jesus Christ
God is perfect and just and must punish sin and evil. But God still loves the men and women He created. So God sent Jesus. “For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not die but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Jesus Christ is God’s Son, completely God, who became a completely ordinary man. He lived a sinless life, was crucified and died. But three days later God brought Jesus back from the dead and now He is alive forever, ruling the universe.
The Bible tells us, “For sin pays its wage – death; but God’s free gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) When we die and are separated from God forever, we are only paying the fair penalty for our sin. But Jesus was without sin (1 Peter 2:22). He did not have to pay any penalty for himself. When Jesus died, he did so in OUR place, taking OUR punishment upon Himself.
Isaiah 53:6 explains it like this:
“All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the LORD made the punishment fall on Him, the punishment all of us deserved.”
By dying in our place, Jesus has made it possible for God to forgive our sin. He has removed the barrier of sin between us and God. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead shows us that Jesus has defeated evil and death, and that God’s righteous anger against sin and sinful people has been satisfied by Jesus’s sacrifice. Through Jesus, God offers us the free gift of eternal life which we could never earn or deserve, a brand new start in life!
God’s gift of eternal life only becomes ours when we ourselves accept it. Our response has four parts.
A Admitting our sin and deciding to turn our back on it and live as God requires us to. This is what the Bible calls repentance. (Acts 17:30-31)
B Believing Christ died for ME, in MY place, and trusting that God will accept me because of Jesus. (Acts 17:30-31)
C Considering the ways in which our lives must change when Jesus is our Lord.
D Doing as God demands, accepting Jesus and openly confessing Him as Saviour and Lord by what we say and the way we live. (Romans 10:9-11) One way of doing this is by believer’s baptism.
When a person becomes a Christian many exciting things happen.
- Their sins are forgiven (1 John 1:8-9).
- They begin a new life (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- They become children in God’s family (John 1:12-13).
- They know God, not as Judge but as Father (Romans 8:15).
- God the Holy Spirit comes into their lives to be their Helper.
Jesus stands at the door of every person’s life, waiting to be invited in.
“Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they will eat with me.” (Revelation 3:20)