Have you ever told a lie, taken something that did not belong to you, or coveted someone else’s possessions? What about hating another person or harboring lustful thoughts? When we are honest, each of us will admit to having done wrong things.
Our wrong motives and actions—even ones that seem small and insignificant—condemn us as sinners: those who have missed the mark of God’s holiness. Because of sin, each of us is justly sentenced to eternal separation from God. In this place of desperate need, God invites us to come to Him and receive His gift of salvation.
The Human Problem
Mankind has consistently resisted and disobeyed God’s Law. We have believed Satan’s lies and rebelled against loving God with all that we are. Being holy and just, God will not tolerate our sin. “Your iniquities [perversity, moral evil] have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).
God holds every person responsible for his every thought, word, and action. When we do what is wrong, “the wages [earned reward] of sin is death. . .” (Romans 6:23). Our sin condemns us to eternal separation from God and perpetual suffering in hell. (See Matthew 13:49–50 and Revelation 21:8.)
Our efforts to make amends for the wrongs we have done cannot reverse the just judgment of God. Even those who are religious, morally upright, and do good works cannot fulfill God’s requirement of perfect righteousness. “There is none righteous, no, not one. . . . For all have sinned, and come short of [failed to meet the excellence of] the glory of God” (Romans 3:10, 23).
Along with being holy and just, God is merciful and loving. He designed the human race to know Him and to bring glory to Him. We failed to fulfill this great purpose and instead became slaves to sin—but God orchestrated a plan for our redemption. He provided a Savior Who can deliver us from sin and restore our relationship and fellowship with God.
God the Father sent His Eternal Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to be born as a man to fulfill this mission. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life in complete obedience to God. He willingly took upon Himself the fury of His Father’s wrath against our sin; He suffered and died in our place.
After Jesus’ death and burial, God raised Him from the dead, thus proclaiming Jesus’ divinity and validating His sacrifice in our place. (See Romans 1:1–4.) “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing [taking an inventory of] their trespasses unto them. . . .For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Corinthians 5:19, 21).
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
In the Bible, many verses explain what God did through His love for us. Below are several references telling the “Good News” of salvation through Jesus Christ.
- “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16–17).
- “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
- “The kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Titus 3:4–6).
When we believe on Jesus Christ, accepting God’s gift of salvation, we are justified (declared free of the guilt and penalty of sin) before God because of what Jesus has done. God forgives us of all of our sins. Our relationship with God is restored; we become His children. (See I John 3:8–10.) We are redeemed from the bondage to sin and will spend eternity in Heaven with God. (See Romans 6:22.)
The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, dwells in each believer. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (I Corinthians 3:16). He is “the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ . . .” (Romans 8:15–17). “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Romans 8:9).
Accepting God’s Gift of Salvation
To receive the redemption God provided for all of us through Jesus Christ, believe the truth. Turn to God. According to the Bible, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).
Does that sound too simple to be true? God’s truth is simple! You can believe in Him. Humble yourself as a little child and admit your need for God. (See Mark 10:15.) Turn away from your sin. Come to Jesus. He beckons to you with open arms. He has already purchased your salvation—will you now receive it as a gift from Him?“Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1–2).