Rom. 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”
What do you want first the bad news or the good news? The funny thing is that we wouldn’t know what good news is if there wasn’t bad news! In order to know the good news we must be able to compare and contrast it with the bad news. It is the bad news that first makes us appreciate the good.
The Bad News
The last I checked we are all human. We have physical bodies that are capable of doing amazing things. We are intellectual, emotional and moral creatures. That is what makes us so unique and different from the rest of the animals and creatures on our planet. Was it just an accident, evolution or random chance that we are who we are or was there some intelligent design behind our being?
The answer is evident: We were created by God, a supernatural and Supreme Being, who created the entire universe. And we, the human race, are the crown of his creation created in his image, as intellectual, moral and emotional beings. Gen 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” When God created man in the Garden of Eden he gave man a responsibility to oversee the earth, but was warned no t to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil lest they die. However, they both (Adam and Eve) consciously disobeyed God and ate the fruit, deciding they wanted to determine what was good and evil instead of trusting in God. What they were saying in fact was that they wanted to be their own god. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit they felt ashamed and guilty because of their sin. The immediate effect of sin was alienation from God and spiritual death. Instead of living in God’s presence in harmony, they now hid from his presence and wanted nothing to do with him. And this was a result of spiritual death. God warned them that they would die if they ate of the fruit and that death was comprehensive rendering their soul dead to the things of God. As descendants of the first human beings, we have inherited the sinful nature that Adam and Eve brought upon themselves. It is kind of like a genetic mutation of the soul which corrupts all human beings passed down from generation to generation. That is why scripture says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). And Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”
The result for us is that we are alienated from the life of God, without hope in this word. The bible says that we are, “Dead in sins and trespasses” (Eph. 2:1) and are “hostile in mind towards God” (Romans 8:7). Sin is not just a spiritual condition that is bad, but a bad condition that produces bad actions. Sin is the failure to obey God’s holy Law. His law is clearly outlined for us in the Ten Commandments. When we fail to obey God’s law or even worse, flat-out reject it and do our own thing, then like Adam and Even we make ourselves our own gods and in the process dethrone God in our lives. The consequence for this is that God must judge us. As criminal in the court of God we deserve the righteous judgment of God. “But,” you may protest, “God is a God of love, he will forgive me. It is his job!” God is a God of love but also a God of justice. He rewards those who obey the gospel and punishes those who disobey. Therefore for all those who do not believe, “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might…inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians1:8-9). God warned that if Adam ate the fruit he would die. Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.” In other words we earn our death and punishment by our sins. Death is not just physical, but rather is much deeper, affecting both the spiritual and eternal realm. If we leave this world without being forgiven of our sins we “Die in our sins” (John 8:21).
The Good News
Now that you heard the bad news here is the good news: We do not have to live in sin, or die in sin. Nor do we have to live in alienation from the life of God and face his judgment. Rather, we can be forgiven of our sins and receive eternal life. While the human condition is so dire, God had intervened to rescue us from such a deplorable state. This is emphasized in two words in Ephesians 2:5, “But God.” God decided to take action to demonstrate his love for us even though we were rebels and deserved judgment. The bible tells us that it was God’s love that sent his Son into the world to reconcile us to himself. 1 Peter 2:18 says, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.” And in 2 Corinthians 5:18, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” Usually when two parties are reconciled, they must both admit wrongdoing and make peace. But in this situation, we were the offenders and God is innocent, yet because of his great love he intervened on our behalf to reconcile us back to himself. The bible tells us that in Jesus we find forgiveness of our sins and therefore peace with God (Romans 5:1). We therefore have peace with ourselves and peace with one another. The scriptures just quoted have good endings. Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Also, John 8: 24, “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” Jesus came to die to take our place in receiving God’s judgment. He gave us his perfect record of righteousness so that we can have a right standing with God. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). It is for you and me that Jesus died. And he rose again three days later to conquer death so that whoever would believe in him would never die but live forever in the presence of God. John 11:25 says, “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” This is the story of God’s love for the human race. So if you are convicted by this and your soul is troubled, here is what you can do:
Repent of your sin and turn in faith to Jesus Christ. What does repent mean? This is not a common word in our English Vocabulary and we do not hear it often. But in biblical language it means to turn away from sin and to turn to God. It means acknowledging our rebellion against God and his law and rejecting your old ways and then turning to the cross, and placing your trust in Jesus Christ. The bible says in Romans 10:9-10, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” What does it mean to be saved? It means to be rescued by God from God. It means that when we place our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross our sins are forgiven and our debt paid. We no longer are liable to God for our sin but are now set free from sin, and made a child of God. This salvation is ultimately about reconciling sinners to their creator. It is about restoring the relationship between man and God. This can only be accomplished through Jesus Christ who is the one mediator between man and God. Only when we trust in Christ will we find the peace, joy and happiness we have longed for, because only God can give it. I hope you too will repent and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
If this makes sense to you, here is some advice:
Start reading the Bible. It is through reading the scripture that God reveals himself to you. You will learn more about the will and mind of God through the bible. It is his divinely inspired record for you.
Then, find a Bible believing church in your area and start attending service with other Christians. Christians are not self- righteous religious fanatics, but are people just like you who have experienced the grace of God in their lives. I urge you today – flee from your sin, and flee to the cross. Yesterday is history tomorrow is a mystery. Today is the day of Salvation. Repent, believe and be saved!