All of us have lived life with our own ideas of what is right and wrong; all of us have pride which allows us to justify ourselves when we have been wrong. We have all placed value on things that are of no eternal value and brushed aside those things that are. When we want something or someone, we go after it or them.
I have just described examples of all three categories of sin. Lust of the eyes (to covet), Lust of the flesh (to fulfill bodily desires) and the pride of life (imagining yourself better than you are).
If you are willing to be perfectly honest with yourself, you are guilty of all of these. Maybe not each of these on a daily basis, but we all tend towards these behaviors. Even thinking some of these in our head makes us just as guilty as if we committed them outwardly. Sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, bringing corruption and death on all their offspring and even nature itself.
God is holy, pure and perfect. These are but a few of His attributes. Because He is holy and pure, He cannot be associated with that which is corrupt, diseased by sin. Ever since sin first entered into the world, mankind has been separated from God until the time came when He revealed His Grace and Mercy towards man. According to His own holy nature, the corruption of sin had to be dealt with through judgment. By His own nature, He must judge sin. Sin could not be overlooked; it had to be subject to His wrath or anger because it opposes everything God is, even His very Name.
The blood of bulls, goats and sheep could only allow God to see people through His eyes of compassion. That blood could never wash away the sins of those who brought those sacrifices. Those sacrifices had to be continually offered and yet man was still separated from the presence and close fellowship with God.
God had a plan though…
His Son, Who today we know as Jesus Christ, was always with the Father from eternity past and was in fact the One who created the Earth and everything in it. His Son, Who is God along with the Holy Spirit, are all God, three in one. His Son left His place, seated at the right hand of the Father, and became the incarnate Son of man, born of a woman. Fully God, yet fully man.
Growing up, Jesus knew who He was and where He came from, but more importantly, what He came to accomplish. Jesus lived the perfect, sinless life that no man had ever or could ever have done. Jesus’ entire life was sinless and pure. Just as the lamb offered in the Old Testament had to be pure and without blemish, Jesus, The Lamb of God, was pure and without blemish. This Lamb of God was to be the only possible way that the relationship between God and man could be restored. This Lamb of God would bear the judgment of man’s sin upon Himself. Jesus offered Himself willingly because of His Love for the Father. Instead of judging us for our sin, Jesus stood in our place and suffered the wrath of the Father for us. He who knew no sin, became sin for us. He had to die the death of a sinful man even though He was completely innocent.
Death Could Not Hold Him
Jesus also knew that He would rise again from the dead on the third day. Many times, He said this to His disciples. His resurrection secures for us the fellowship God wanted for us but was not possible. Jesus, the Christ, is now not just our Lord and Savior, He is also our brother, because His death and resurrection makes it possible for people to become ‘sons’ of God and if we are sons, then we have become ‘joint heirs’ with Jesus Christ to be called ‘sons of God’. God has redeemed us by the blood of His Son, that which was lost has been found, reconciled to God.
The Gift of Repentance
Most of humanity will not benefit from this wonderful act of Love; This is a sad thing but it is reality. There is an enemy who hates God, and us too who are His. Satan has been working from the beginning to thwart God’s plan and still works through deception to prevent as many as he can from being saved. God knows who will repent and who will not. To those who will, he gives the gift of repentance. Repentance begins when God allows someone to become divinely aware of their guilt before Him, suddenly realizing that they have lived as rebels against God by simply doing what they want. Having lived life independent and void of any true understanding of their own corrupt nature. This predicament leaves the individual broken and contrite, without excuse and knowing that judgment is deserved for them. Hope (the Gospel), is then introduced and they realize that God is both merciful and gracious, having provided a remedy for their predicament.
The Bible tells us that God is faithful and just to forgive our sin if we come to Him humbly, bowed down confessing our sin to Him, expressing sincere sorrow for the independent life that we have lived. The shed blood of His Son Jesus cleanses us of sin, and His death also gives us power over sin, which had previously enslaved us. By truly believing this, you then will be endued with power from on high. The holy Spirit (God) comes into you, God Himself living in you to help you live a life pleasing to Him. The Spirit gives life to our human spirit and they now begin working together in us to live a life in the will of God, fulfilling the purpose He planned for us from before we were even born.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Come to Him, praying, with a humble heart confessing that you are a sinner, deserving of His justice and acknowledge the sacrifice His Son made for you by taking that justice upon Himself. Ask God to forgive you for living as a rebel to His will and He will forgive you. Ask that your sin would be cleansed by the blood of His Son and that you might be given His holy Spirit to live from henceforth, a life pleasing to Him, living the rest of your life according to His purpose, a life that will bring glory to Him.
Now the just shall live by faith
God provided you with the faith necessary for your redemption and it will be “by faith” that you continue and grow in your new life. Faith grows by reading the Bible and by enduring the trials this commitment will bring you. You will not endure these alone, the Holy Spirit in you will provide that strength and wisdom you need to stand against the Devil. The Devil has many weapons by which to try and dislodge you from the Grace through which you have been saved and by which you have been enabled to stand. He will tempt you through his worldly minions and entice you through your own flesh. The Apostle Paul speaks with great understanding of this in his letter to the Romans. I would encourage you to begin reading in three places, several chapters each day from the gospel of John, the book of Romans and the letter to the Hebrews.
For encouragement and guidance, please feel free to connect with us whenever you wish, using the link below. The times we are now entering into will necessitate first and foremost complete dependence upon God and encouragement from other Saints.