God is the Holy Creator of the universe. Since God is Creator, He has authority over all that He has made. God’s Word declares that He created all things and has been and is currently involved in His creation (Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:15–16). Everything that we have is ultimately from Him, so we are dependent on Him for all things (Acts 17:28). Man is one of God’s creations, yet is different from everything else that was created. Man was created in God’s own image (Gen. 1:27) and was created to have fellowship with Him. Man is responsible to God and will have to answer one day for everything he does.
God is holy. He is without sin, He is completely pure, and He is completely good in every way (1 John 1:5). God is the only One who says what is right and what is wrong. He does not acquiesce to the creature’s view of right and wrong nor to the creature’s way of doing things. His way is the only acceptable way (1 Sam. 2:2).
Since God is completely holy, there can be no sin in His presence. Those who desire fellowship with God must be pure, as well (1 Pet. 1:16; Matt. 5:48). God has made it clear in His Word what His standard is and how one must live up to it. One is to keep God’s law in its entirety. If he has stumbled in one point of God’s law, he is guilty (James 2:10). That is where all of humanity now stands.
Every person has fallen short of God’s holy standard. We have broken the law of God (Rom. 3:10–11, 23). All of humanity has sinned. Sin is disobedience or rebellion against God. We sin when we don’t do as He commands, and we sin when we do things He forbids. Sin is really a matter of the heart. It is not merely an external outworking of rebellion. Jesus said that if one is angry toward his brother he is guilty of murder (Matt. 5:22) and if a man looks on a woman lustfully he has committed adultery in his heart (Matt. 5:28). Even though one has sinned outwardly, he is still guilty of sin that resides in his heart, and has thus broken God’s law.
Sin must be punished. As a result of sin, one is separated from God. Man was created to have fellowship with God. Since God is holy and cannot have sin in His presence, sin keeps man from enjoying a right relationship with his Creator. God does not hear man’s prayers, nor allow man to experience the joy that results from true fellowship with God (Isaiah 59:2). Man is left on his own to deal with the guilt of his actions.
In addition to the relational separation from God one experiences when he sins, there is also a judicial separation that he experiences. Because of his sin, man deserves death (Rom. 6:23). This is an eternal death that separates one from God forever. If one dies in his sin, he will spend an eternity in hell. Man will be eternally punished because of his sin. However, if man’s sin is forgiven, he spends an eternity in heaven, where he experiences everlasting joy and fellowship with God. Man will spend eternity either in heaven or hell (Matt. 25:46).
One might think that in order to rectify this he must do whatever he can to gain eternal life. The problem with that view is that no one can do enough to honor God (Isaiah 64:6). We cannot earn salvation and we cannot earn fellowship with God. God does not and cannot excuse our sin because He is holy and just. God does not save on the basis of merit. There is nothing good or righteous we can do that warrants His appeasement of our sin (Eph. 2:8–9). So how are we saved?
Jesus Christ came to earth as both sinless God and sinless man. He was both human and Divine (Col. 2:9; John 1:1, 14). Jesus lived the perfect life that we were called to live. Because He lived in this way, His righteousness can be given to us (Rom. 5:18–19). Jesus died on the cross to pay sin’s penalty and to restore us to a right relationship with God. Sin was placed on Christ. He bore the wrath of God for the salvation of sinful people. While Christ was not sinful, He became sin to pay that penalty for us (Heb. 4:15; 2 Cor. 5:21). Christ, who is very God, was treated like He had sinned. Christ paid the penalty of sin for all who would believe. This is great news! This is the best news one could ever hear!
Christ’s death on the cross gives sinners the only way to have a right relationship with God. Since sin separates one from a holy God, sin had to be paid for in order for man to have true fellowship with his Creator. Jesus died so that we could be restored to the very purpose for which we were created. We were created to have a right relationship with God and Jesus gave us that opportunity through His death (1 Pet. 3:18). This is a great demonstration of God’s love for us (Rom. 5:8). God the Father willingly gave His Son to die so that we could be brought back to God (John 3:16; 1 Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:10). Christ’s sacrifice on the cross satisfied the punishment of sin for everyone who believes in Him, which saves them from eternal punishment and provides for them everlasting life (Rom. 6:23).
Jesus did not stay dead. Christ rose from the dead three days later (1 Cor. 15:4) ascended to the Father, and now reigns over everything. Christ’s resurrection proves that He is Lord and His sacrifice is wonderfully sufficient to provide salvation for all who believe (Phil. 2:9–11). Christ’s resurrection is how believers obtain a living hope (1 Pet. 1:3), one that can never fade. Jesus is alive and is coming again. He is the only way of salvation (John 14:6) and the only One who can restore us to the Father (John 3:36).
What shall you do with this information? Repent and believe in Christ for salvation. Repent (turn from) of all that dishonors God. It is more than just being sorry for what you have done. There are examples of individuals in the Bible that “repented” because they were afraid of what was to come (Matt. 3:5–10). That is a false repentance and not what God desires. That type of repentance leads one to an eternal hell. What type of repentance does God desire? What shall you do? You must turn from your sin and turn to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. You must submit everything about who you are (will, desires, hope) to Christ. You must remove yourself from the throne and surrender that place to Christ. Recognize that you have broken God’s law and respond in obedience to God in every area of your life. Call on His grace to help you through this new life of submission (Isa. 55:6–7).
Carefully consider this: there is a cost to this life. You are called to a life of obedience, which means that you are to forsake your sin. This might mean a change of relationships or practices that do not honor God (Luke 9:23). Christ Himself said that if one were to be wholly devoted to Him, which meant that one would not be wholly devoted to himself, he would have life in Christ (Matt. 10:39). This is eternal life. This is everlasting joy. This is being restored to a right relationship with the One who created you!
You must confess your sin to God. He will forgive you! (1 John 1:9) Now repentance doesn’t end with a confession of sin—you must believe in Christ as Lord and Savior. You must have saving faith in God’s Son, not in your own efforts (Rom. 10:9–10). Having faith in Christ means that you recognize that His death was sufficient to pay sin’s penalty. Having in faith in Christ means that you depend on Christ’s righteousness alone so that you are acceptable to God. Having faith in Christ means that you believe His resurrection and you submit your whole life to Him.
Will you repent and believe in Christ or will you remain under God’s judgment? The time is now to repent (Acts 17:30). What you have heard is true and God commands that you turn from your rebellion against Him and agree with Him, through your confession, that you have disobeyed and deserve judgment. You can’t do anything good to please Him. Call out to God and ask Him to forgive your sins and tell Him of your desire to repent. Affirm what you just read about who He is and who Christ is, and how God has made it possible for you to be reconciled to Him through His Son. Believe in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Believe in who He is and what He did for you.