God's Great Design
Have you ever considered why God created us? He did it for the
greatest of purposes. We have all been created by God in order to
glorify Him. God has told mankind
“ … I have created him for my glory, I have
formed him; yea, I have made him.”
Giving glory to God means that we praise Him and are thankful to
Him in all that we do. For example, the Apostle Paul said:
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or
whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
1st Corinthians 10:31
In every single thing that we do in every moment of the day, it ought to be with purity of heart and with the purpose to praise God. Our attitude should also be one of thankfulness, trust, love and obedience to Him.
Our Great Problem
Friends, let's admit it, we've failed. The Bible declares in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” We have not been thankful or trusting or loving or obedient to God. Our every action is designed to satisfy ourselves instead of satisfying Him. We are selfish and have sought out our own way instead of following the commands of our Creator.
“ ... when they knew God, they glorified him
not as God, neither were thankful; but
became vain in their imaginations … ”
That is the essence of sin. How should God react to this? How will God react to this? Well, the Bible shows that He is angry and rightly so! Our punishment for this offense is death and Hell.
Jesus Himself spoke of the eternal punishment of Hell several times. It is a real place of real consequences.
God's Great Love
If the story ended there, we would have no hope at all to escape God's wrath. But the same One who demands payment for the offense of sin has also provided a Substitute to take the place of sinners. Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God, came into the world in order to take the place of sinners.
He took the place of sinners in two ways. First, He lived the God-glorifying life we had failed to live. Even Pilate, who sentenced Jesus to death, said “I find no fault in Him at all.”
Secondly, Jesus took the place of sinners by dying on the cross - taking the punishment for sin that we deserved. After three days lying dead in the grave, God brought Him to life again, showing us that He defeated death for our sakes! That is love! Not that we loved God, but that He loved us and proved it by sending His own Son to die in the place of sinners.
Our Great Responsibility
These facts lead us to a great responsibility. To be part of God's salvation plan requires only two things:
First, we must repent. That means to have a changed mind. The Bible says that God has “commanded all men everywhere to repent.” (Acts 17:30) and ... “except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)
We have to see we're guilty before God and be genuinely sorry about the sins we've committed. Not sorry like children who got caught, but instead like children who are sincerely sorrowful for disappointing their Heavenly Father.
Secondly, we must have faith. Faith is believing that Jesus died for your sins. Not just that He died in some generic sense for the sins of all people, but that He uniquely and specifically died for your sins in particular!
The Good News about God’s love is that salvation is available for those who see their own guilt and place their faith in Jesus.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved!"