Salvation

THE BAD NEWS

There is a separation between God and man. This separation began in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). In such a perfect place, Adam and Eve were tempted to disobey God, believing the lie of the serpent (Satan), and sinned.

God had told Adam earlier, that if he ate from this one tree in the Garden, that on that very day he would surely die (Genesis 2:16-17).  Adam and Eve did not physically die that day. Yet they were dead nonetheless. They died spiritually. They no longer had the relationship with God that they had had before. And because of their act, each of us is dead, and will also die physically (Romans 5:16-19).  We are all under the same curse.

Because of our deadness to God, we sin (Romans 3:10-18, 23). In fact, no matter how good we think we are, we all have sinned. He has given us His Holy Standard – The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), and no human being has ever kept these laws perfectly. We all, personally, have failed to keep the standard of God. To believe otherwise is to either be naïve, or arrogant. The Bible tells us that each of us has sinned. That places us in a situation that we are at odds with the creator, because he is holy (Isaiah 59:1, 2).

Our God is holy (Isaiah 6:3; Leviticus 11:45). The holiness of God can be described like this: He possesses all the qualities of goodness and no quality of badness, or sin. He always has, and always will do right. A God like this, all holy and righteous, cannot allow sin to go unpunished. 

And so, this is the place we find ourselves. Alive physically enough to think we are not dead, good enough to think we are not so bad, and possessing enough knowledge of a loving God, that gives us a false hope that he will let us slide.

Romans 6:23 says that we earn a paycheck for being a sinner. That wage, payable to you at the end of your life is death, everlasting death. This death will last forever, and will be full of torment in a place that burns with fire forever and ever (Rev. 20:10-15; 2 Thess. 1:6-12, Mark 9:45-46).

Each of us deserves this because we are born God’s enemy (Romans 5:10).  We naturally go our own way, and we walk away from God (Isaiah 53:6).

THE GOOD NEWS

Our God loves people (John 3:16-17). He doesn’t want anyone to suffer the torments of the Lake of Fire, the place of eternal punishment (2 Peter 3:9).  So He gave His Son as a gift to all of mankind, so that we all may know forgiveness.

This Gift of Jesus, His perfect Son, paid the price for our sin. He has made it so that we can have our debt, our sin paid for by the sacrificial death of the righteous Son of God in our place. We can not do good works to receive this forgiveness; it is given freely to those who believe (Romans 3:21-30).

Many people insist that there must be more than faith to have forgiveness of sin and eternal life with God.  Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 3:5 tell us differently: it is salvation (forgiveness of sin) by God’s grace through faith, it is not forgiveness by anything we do, or else we could be proud of what we did for salvation.

The Good News is this: That Jesus Christ came to this earth to be the satisfaction of God’s wrath upon sin. Each person has the responsibility to believe that Jesus Christ died in his place, and by believing that Jesus paid the penalty for his sins, he can know God, and be forgiven.  God offers salvation to all who believe (John 3:16-17).

This is done through prayer (Romans 10:9-10).  We must admit that we have sinned and missed God’s mark of perfection. We must realize that because of our sin, we will be judged for it. We must believe that Jesus took our place on the Cross, dying in our place, so that we could know God, and be His friend. By putting our trust in the work of Christ on the cross, God forgives us and makes us His children.  We are no longer under His judgment, but under His grace! By trusting in Jesus, we become His followers, and we become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Part of being a new creation is that we have a new job – we are to now have a ministry of reconciliation – which includes getting to know Him more and learning how to live to please Him.

If you would like to talk to someone or have any questions about this, call 440.943.2300 or email Pastor Rob at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Pastor Andrew at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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