The Ultimate Solution
… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…(Romans 3:23)
… the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
We have a problem. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned, and no one meets God’s standard of perfection. We have offended God and wronged him by violating his standard. God is holy and righteous. He cannot tolerate sin. You and I, because we have sinned, even if only once (and who has sinned only once?) cannot be good enough to see God and have a relationship with him; every human is a sinner. The guilt we all live with is not just some psychological feeling which we should attempt to rationalize away; we feel guilty because we are guilty of offending the God who created us. Each of us falls short of his mark, glory, and standard. And because of our failure to live perfectly, our just reward is eternal death. We cannot earn our way to heaven.
Imagine trying to jump the Grand Canyon; here, being close would not count, and failing to clear the chasm by one foot would leave us just as dead as if we failed by 100 feet. Because you and I are not perfect, which is God’s standard, we deserve death and separation from God forever.
But, God loves sinners. He offers sinners like you and me the opportunity to know him, love him and live each day with him now in a close relationship with him; he offers the opportunity to live with him forever in heaven eventually. He sent his only Son, Jesus, to open the way for us.
Jesus came to earth as God and man simultaneously. He was perfect. He never sinned, but he died on the cross to rescue sinners. His death on the cross had a purpose: to save people from their sins. His death was no unfortunate accident; he died by intention. Jesus took our sins upon himself on the cross and in exchange offers us his righteousness. Jesus took our place at the cross and offers us eternal life. Jesus took our “wages” (death) and, instead, gave us his “free gift” (eternal life).
Jesus is the only way to God. You and I will never know God or eternal life without Jesus. We will never be good enough. We cannot be moral or sincere enough. We will never even be religious enough. We will never pay our own way into God’s favor or presence by doing enough good deeds.
God does not ignore sin. You and I have a choice: either accept the wages each of us deserves for our sin, or accept the gift Jesus offers us. His shed blood on the cross pays the price for your sin and mine, and cancels it. His blood cleanses us from sin.
Notice that God offers eternal life through Jesus as a gift. How do we receive a gift? We reach out our hands and accept it. We receive the gift of eternal life from God by raising the “empty hands of faith” (Francis Schaeffer) and accepting it. This is known as faith, or believing in Jesus. God has promised us eternal life in Jesus; we believe him and ask for the free gift, trusting him to give it to us. He does.
“What must I do to be saved?” “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved…”(Acts 16:30,31). This belief is based on facts and history, but is more than mere knowledge of facts about Jesus. It is an entrusting of yourself to him to save you. You stop trusting yourself and stop thinking you can be good enough to earn heaven. We must stop trusting in our good deeds, our morals, our religious duties, no matter how well carried out. We can add nothing to what Jesus has already done for us. You and I, individually, must trust in Jesus alone to save us, to forgive our sins, and open the way to God.
Here’s how to receive this salvation:
1. Come to God in prayer and admit to him that you have sinned against him; tell him you are sorry.
2. Repent of your sins. Repentance is turning away from your sins. Turn your back on them and walk away from them. God will enable you to do this.
3. Ask God to forgive your sins because of Jesus, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead for you. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. Believe in Jesus, what he did, and what he said. Trust in his promise to save you and his power to save you. Trust him alone; you and I can add nothing to the transaction. Ask him to give you freedom from the enslaving power of sin in your life.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NASB)
4. Ask Jesus to come into your life as your Savior and Lord. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev 3:20 NASB)
God promises eternal life to those who come to him through Jesus. Realize that Jesus did not come to simply save you from hell. He came to rule in your life now as King. He loves you too much to leave you as you are; he will save and rescue you from your sins, your guilt, and yourself. He came to give you real life now, and a relationship with God himself now.
Realize also that God will not fail you or lie to you. If you ask Jesus into your life in this way, he will come in and live there by his Holy Spirit.
There is nothing greater in the world than knowing God personally through Jesus. You will have fullness of life and joy; you will have life with God forever. And with God, life keeps getting better.
Copyright 2005 Jerry A. Miller, Jr. All rights reserved.