The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Update: October 12th, 2010

Our Prob­lem:

The Bible explains that when a per­son is born into the world, he/she inher­its some sig­nif­i­cant rela­tion­ship prob­lems between them­selves and God. These prob­lems are the result of the first dis­obe­di­ence of man against God. When God cre­ated the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, and placed them in the Gar­den of Eden, He gave them one sim­ple command.

The LORD God took the man and put him in the gar­den of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God com­manded the man, say­ing, “You may surely eat of every tree of the gar­den, but of the tree of the knowl­edge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

Later, Satan cast doubts on these instruc­tions from God, say­ing to Eve:

“Did God actu­ally say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the gar­den’? … “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, know­ing good and evil.”

Your first reac­tion may be:

“First of all … I don’t really under­stand what all this has to do with me … I didn’t rebel against God.”

Well, I can cer­tainly under­stand that you did not rebel against God in the Gar­den of Eden. But, when a per­son is born into the world, they will inher­ited the same spir­i­tual prob­lems that Adam and Eve did.

“Lis­ten, I’m not really try­ing to be mean or any­thing, … but, there’s no need to con­tinue, because I really don’t believe all that bible stuff any­way …”.

I can cer­tainly under­stand peo­ple not believ­ing the Bible. It has a rep­u­ta­tion among many as being an out-of-date old archaic book of morals … noth­ing more. But, this is a rep­u­ta­tion cre­ated by the vast major­ity of peo­ple who have never read the Bible. Hon­estly, wouldn’t you like to know what the Bible says before you decide whether or not to believe it? I mean, if Satan really exists, and he hated Adam and Eve enough to want to destroy them, then the last thing he wants you to do is know about the good news God has for you in the Bible — the mes­sage of love and hope of hav­ing a rela­tion­ship with God. Besides, all I really want to do is share what the Bible says. I’ll let you decide what you want to do with that infor­ma­tion, alright? Fair enough?

If you’re read­ing this sen­tence, then I’m assum­ing you sim­ply want to know what the Bible says — that’s a great step in con­sid­er­ing a mes­sage of hope in a start­ing a new rela­tion­ship between you and God.

Now, before we under­stand that good news, we really need to fully under­stand the bad news of our cur­rent con­di­tion before God. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s instruc­tions, hop­ing the lie from Satan was true, hop­ing to be like God, three major things happened:

  • They lost their joy­ful and inno­cent rela­tion­ship with God.
  • They gained a nature that opposed God. This includes out­wardly (by their actions) and inwardly (by a self­ish way of think­ing and new desires).
  • The real­ity of “death” entered the world.

And more bad news for us…

Today, we can see that the fall of mankind has directly effected us — our nature, our lifestyle, our way of think­ing. How? Well, by com­par­ing our own moral behav­ior against the stan­dards of the ten com­mand­ments would be an excel­lent way to see this.

Here’s a quick list­ing of those com­mand­ments:
(1). Do not have any other Gods other than Me — The One True God — the Cre­ator of the world.
(2). Do not wor­ship or bow to any idol of any false god.
(3). Do not use the name of God in a casual or pro­fane way.
(4). Spe­cially observe the sev­enth day by rest­ing on this day and by remem­ber­ing God through­out this day; this is to be done in observ­ing that God cre­ated every­thing in six days and then God rested on the sev­enth day.
(5) Honor your mother and father.
(6) Do not mur­der.
(7) Do not have sex­ual inti­macy with any­one other than your spouse.
(8) Do not steal.
(9) Do not lie.
(10) Do not look on any­thing that is not yours and desire to have that as your own — this would include your neigh­bors pos­ses­sions, or spouse.
See

These com­mands from God demon­strate that our moral nature was changed after the fall. Remem­ber, there was no need for the ten com­mand­ments before the fall — we did not have any rebel­lious ten­den­cies against God. Now, how­ever, we nat­u­rally rebel against God — and we are nat­u­rally self­ish. Whether we are reli­gious or not, God has cre­ated us with the under­stand­ing that we are to be good. There are lots of peo­ple who live in guilt because they know they are not liv­ing by a stan­dard of good that they know they should be keep­ing. And yet, we find from our nature that it’s impos­si­ble to live as we know we should.

So, how do we live with our­selves, know­ing that we’re sup­posed to be good … but find­ing that we can not do so?

We sim­ply lower the stan­dards; we sooth our con­science by com­par­ing our­selves with oth­ers that we con­sider to be worse than we are. This is a way to excuse our­selves in our own minds. This also demon­strates that our way of think­ing was changed after the fall. But God’s stan­dards are not “pulled down” to some­thing that excuses us. God oper­ates from “per­fect stan­dards”. This is ter­ri­ble news for us. In fact, the Bible says we will be judged after we die.

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judg­ment
()

And when it comes to the judg­ment of God, we find that the grad­ing scale is based on “pass” or “fail”. We either we receive a per­fect 100 or a flat zero.

For who­ever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become account­able for all of it.

There are many who think that God should “just for­give them” … they are quick to cite a one-sided view that God is sup­posed to be a “God of Love”. They find it hard to believe that God would judge them, and con­demn them to an eter­nity in hell. In fact, many even refuse to believe in hell.

Believe me when I say that I under­stand such rea­son­ing. The truth is that we are in quite a mess. It’s such an ugly pic­ture, it’s hard to han­dle the truth! But it even gets worse, … God doesn’t owe us for­give­ness — in fact, He doesn’t even owe us a chance for for­give­ness — we blew it — big time! Unpleas­ant but true. It’s arro­gant think­ing to believe that God owes us a chance to escape the judg­ment for my sins. Think­ing along these lines demon­strates that we do not yet under­stand the sever­ity of mankind’s ini­tial dis­obe­di­ence, as well as each and every sin­gle one of us, per­son­ally, break­ing His just, holy, right­eous com­mand­ments. God is a God of Love, but, because He is com­pletely holy, He oper­ates on a stan­dard of per­fect Holi­ness, and Righteousness.

Are You Ready for Some Good News?

Here’s the good news, even though God doesn’t owe us a sec­ond chance … He is a Won­der­ful God of sec­ond chances ; He has worked out a divine plan for us to be restored to an absolutely per­fect stand­ing before Him — even our nature to be restored to one that is com­pletely per­fect before Him! Aren’t you glad! Do you want to under­stand the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

God, knew from the begin­ning that mankind would rebel. Noth­ing has caught Him off guard! And, He knew, even before He cre­ated man, what it would cost to restore fallen peo­ple back to a right­eous stand­ing before Himself.

God sent His one and only Son as our only chance of escap­ing judgment.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that who­ever believes in him should not per­ish but have eter­nal life.

Here’s how this plan works. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, vol­un­teered to set aside all His divine rights as the Son of God in heaven (). He left heaven and came to the earth as one of us. He took on flesh and blood and was born as a man on earth. Now, being fully God, and fully man, He was uniquely qual­i­fied to do for us what we could not do for our­selves. He was the only man who lived a per­fect life, com­pletely holy before God the Father — He com­mit­ted no sin ().

And then the most shock­ing event in his­tory took place. In a plan cre­ated out of love for us, between God the Father, and God the Son, both will­ingly ful­filled their parts, the Son of God vol­un­tar­ily took the full wrath of God the Father for the pay­ment of the sins of mankind. God the Father will­ingly unleashed all His holy wrath against sin onto His Son … and the penalty of sin was paid in full.

This was all nec­es­sary to set up what sev­eral have called, “The Great Exchange” (). God offers the “unspeak­able gift” ( | | ) of for­give­ness to those who choose to honor and wor­ship Him by believ­ing this good news, turn­ing from their lifestyle of sins, and trust­ing whole in His good­ness pro­vided through Jesus Christ as our only hope (). The Bible says there is only one way to God, and that’s through Jesus Christ () and His work on the cross on our behalf. Apart from that one event, there is no hope of for­give­ness or restora­tion to God. God applies our sins to Christ’s pay­ment on the cross, and give us the right­eous­ness of Christ for those that believe and accept that gift. To those that under­stand this plan (), and trea­sure this kind­ness of God by accept­ing the gift of this “exchange”, God promises to come and abide with us, being our God. Many want for­give­ness with­out yield­ing to God’s author­ity () … but this will not result in receiv­ing the gift of for­give­ness. We are told we must repent and receive a new nature (). This is what it means to be “born again” () by the Spirit of God.

Is God Lead­ing You to Be Saved? … A Word About Repentant

There are many who want to be saved, and even believe this mes­sage of hope and restora­tion. Why is it then, that the Bible refers to reli­gious peo­ple who believe the gospel mes­sage, who think they are saved, but are not? ( See Mat 7:21–23). I think it’s a mat­ter of repen­tance. No one wants to be con­demned to hell for an eter­nity … even those that believe the gospel mes­sage. So, how can we tell if we really have a heart of repen­tance? Ask your­self this ques­tion: Do I des­per­ately long to be set free from every sin in my life because I see and love the right­eous per­fect holi­ness of God? Or do I just want to be set free from the sins that bring about trou­ble for me, guilt, prob­lems, rela­tion­ships with oth­ers? If you feel shame and remorse for every sin in your life because you see them as an offen­sive to His right­eous­ness and holi­ness, and you sin­cerely long to please Him, then there’s evi­dence that you are expe­ri­enc­ing repen­tance as described in the Bible. This atti­tude of repen­tance is nec­es­sary for sal­va­tion. How­ever, if your only inter­est is in escap­ing judg­ment, you need to stop and ask God to reveal to you just how bad sin is to Him. Repen­tance of sin starts with an atti­tude of agree­ing with God’s view­point about the sins in your life! It’s admit­ting that sin is wrong to the degree that God says they are wrong. It’s under­stand­ing that sin is so offen­sive towards God’s holi­ness that Jesus Christ had to die on the cross as the only way to make pay­ment match the seri­ous­ness of the offense towards God. And, it involves want­ing God’s holi­ness more than want­ing to enjoy the plea­sures of sin. (). Do you have an under­stand­ing about sin that agrees with God’s view­point? When you accept the free gift of God’s for­give­ness, you will also be given a new nature, which gives you the power to turn from sin. So, sal­va­tion is not from works, but the signs of sal­va­tion will pro­duce the “fruits of a new lifestyle” as an indi­ca­tion that it has hap­pened in your life!

Now for the best news of all, how do we accept this gift of for­give­ness for sins, under­stand­ing the plan of sal­va­tion, and hav­ing a heart of repen­tance with a desire to turn from sin? If all these things are true, the Bible says: All who call on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved (). Receiv­ing Christ, and the truth of the gospel is like receiv­ing a gift (). You sim­ply call out to Him, and ask Him to for­give your sins through the sac­ri­fice of Jesus on the cross on your behalf. Repent from sins and live in a way that pleases Him with His power to help you. (No, you will not be per­fect, but yes, you will find many changes going on — and He will give you strength to live bet­ter and bet­ter for Him as time passes ). The Bible says, as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become sons and daugh­ters of God in His fam­ily (). If you accepted this truth and desire to honor God by trust­ing in His kind­ness as your only hope — then you have been given the right to become a son or daugh­ter in the king­dom of God. You can con­tinue to grow by find­ing a Bible-believing Church, share with them your com­mit­ment to Christ, and con­tinue to grow in your new life by read­ing and obey­ing the Bible.

If you have com­ments, I’d love to hear from you. Please con­sider email­ing me at: richimages@gmail.com


15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the gar­den of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God com­manded the man, say­ing, “You may surely eat of every tree of the gar­den, 17 but of the tree of the knowl­edge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (ESV)


But the ser­pent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, know­ing good and evil.” (ESV)


“You shall have no other gods before me.

“You shall not make for your­self a carved image, or any like­ness of any­thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jeal­ous God, vis­it­ing the iniq­uity of the fathers on the chil­dren to the third and the fourth gen­er­a­tion of those who hate me, but show­ing stead­fast love to thou­sands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guilt­less who takes his name in vain.

“Remem­ber the Sab­bath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the sev­enth day is a Sab­bath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daugh­ter, your male ser­vant, or your female ser­vant, or your live­stock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the sev­enth day. There­fore the Lord blessed the Sab­bath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giv­ing you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not com­mit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false wit­ness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male ser­vant, or his female ser­vant, or his ox, or his don­key, or any­thing that is your neighbor’s.” (ESV)


27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judg­ment, (ESV)


10 For who­ever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become account­able for all of it. (ESV)


16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that who­ever believes in him should not per­ish but have eter­nal life. (ESV)


Have this mind among your­selves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equal­ity with God a thing to be grasped, but made him­self noth­ing, tak­ing the form of a ser­vant, being born in the like­ness of men. And being found in human form, he hum­bled him­self by becom­ing obe­di­ent to the point of death, even death on a cross. There­fore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, (ESV)


15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sym­pa­thize with our weak­nesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet with­out sin. (ESV)


21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the right­eous­ness of God. (ESV)


15 Thanks be to God for his inex­press­ible gift! (ESV)


24 and are jus­ti­fied by his grace as a gift, through the redemp­tion that is in Christ Jesus, (ESV)


23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eter­nal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV)


For I deliv­ered to you as of first impor­tance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accor­dance with the Scrip­tures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accor­dance with the Scrip­tures, (ESV)


Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (ESV)


10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own peo­ple did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become chil­dren of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (ESV)


20 For every­one who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But who­ever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been car­ried out in God.” (ESV)


17 There­fore, if any­one is in Christ, he is a new cre­ation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (ESV)


Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he can­not see the king­dom of God.” (ESV)


20 For every­one who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But who­ever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been car­ried out in God.” (ESV)


13 For “every­one who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (ESV)


For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV)


10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own peo­ple did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become chil­dren of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (ESV)

No comments yet.

TOP