The Bad News
There is very bad news for humanity. We were God’s crown of creation. As humans, we were made in the image of our Creator—i.e., we were created from the very Life and glory of God (Genesis 1:27). His Life of meaning and fulfillment—of belonging, significance, and security—surrounded our experience. Yet, we chose to rebel. Seeking independence and knowledge contrary to God’s created intent. Our rebellion plunged us into sin-and-death, where we were trapped on the pendulum of knowing and experiencing good and evil—always choosing between right and wrong.
Our sin condition stole Life from us and we died (past tense) spiritually. In other words, we are born dead, dying, and will die. Our spirits are dead. Our souls are dying. One day our bodies will die. The consequence is clear—death. Sin-and-death! Now that’s bad news.
The Good News
The Gospel is good news! God the Son, Jesus Christ, came into our fallen world to live a perfect life but die a criminal’s death—our death sentence. Jesus died to pay the sin debt we owed. He died our death, so all who trust Him for Life wouldn’t have to face the eternal death we rightfully deserved.
‘God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8).
‘He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. (Philippians 2:5b-8, the Message Bible).
Jesus died and was raised to Life, to save sinners. In His death, we find forgiveness. In His Life, we are saved from sin—the nature to sin, the identity of sin, and fellowship with sin. ‘The old is gone, the new is come’—our nature has been exchanged for Jesus’ Life of righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:17 and 21). Our identity with sin is severed. Our sin-dead spirits are redefined IN CHRIST. Alive! Righteous! That’s the immediate. We trust Him from a repentant heart that leads to His Life of saving faith in us.
The Learning Curve
Christian living has its learning curve. There is the process of growing up IN CHRIST. We have been set free to learn how to live free (Galatians 5:1); we have become righteous for right living. It’s not a condition; it’s a promise! 'I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ' (Philippians 1:6). What God starts, He always finishes!
A promise we privileged to cooperate in. ‘Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. (Philippians 2:13, the Message Bible). What a sweet fellowship with Father God, through His Son Jesus, by the transforming power of Holy Spirit, as we—those made righteous—seek to live righteous.
We fell into sin and died. But now by God’s grace, we have entered into Jesus’ Life of righteousness. We were born sin; sin we thought, chose, and felt every moment of every day. We could never have stood in the presence of God and survived. Not on our own goodness—for we have none! But Jesus came to die. By His death He took away our filthy nature to sin, our identity of sin, and our relationship with it!
What did He do with our sin? He nailed it to His cross. He cut away our sin nature. He forgave all our sins—past, present, and future. He promises to never count sins against us again. (Consider, Colossians 2:13-14.) Jesus comes to live His righteous Life, in and through us (Colossians 1:27). He is why we have been made righteous, and are called righteous. His Life has become our identity! Our righteousness! Our Life! (Colossians 3:3-4).
How can this be? How can this ever be true about me? ‘You don’t know how bad I've been…‘You don’t know the things I’ve done... My friend, it doesn’t matter!
Remember, God doesn’t accept you based on your goodness. Jesus makes us right before God. How? He lived a perfect Life for us, died our sinner’s death, and rising to Life He shares His Life with all who would look upon Him as risen Lord and believe (Romans 10:9-13). Having been granted a repentance that leads to Life (Acts 11:18); we become responsive to His call of repentance and faith (Ezekiel 36:26-27). ‘…to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God’ (John 1:12).
If you haven't received Jesus as Lord and Life, don't wait, do so now!
*All Scripture quotes are from the ESV, unless otherwise indicated.