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The Good News of Jesus Christ: Sin and Salvation
1. The Problem: Sin
The Bible explains that in God's view no-one is without sin. The origin of sin is distrust of God. To live a life fully trusting and loving God is unachievable. Mankind was made by God, for God, and to find perfection and happiness for ever with God. But through sin, man has lost his perfect relationship to God which had such vast potential, and man has become lost to God. Because God remains perfect, we are in God's view, condemned already; considered as already judged and already guilty. The consequence of sin is death, not just physical death and not annihilation but having no spiritual life and ultimately separation from God's goodness, love and mercy.
As it is written, "There is no one righteous; no, not one. There is no one who understands. There is no one who
seeks after God. They have all turned away. They have together become unprofitable. There is no one who does good, no, not so
much as one."
All we like sheep have gone astray. Everyone has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the
iniquity of us all.
He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn't believe has been judged already, because he has not believed
in the name of the one and only Son of God.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2. God's Love
God wants to save people from death but his holiness and justice prevent him overlooking sin. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves so, out of his love and mercy, God has done it for us in sending his own perfect Son to take the penalty for our sin.
The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but he is patient with us, not wishing that anyone
should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
But God commends his own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.
For we don't have a high priest who can't be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all
points tempted like we are, yet without sin.
For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses,
made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved.
3. Our responsibility
Freedom from the penalty of sin is God's free gift but to be received it has to be accepted. This means repentance and believing in Jesus. Or in other words, a decision to seek and do what God wants and live by what Jesus said and taught.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have
That if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
4. The Good News
The Bible says that when we accept God's gift of salvation we receive eternal life and are free from condemnation - free from the penalty of our sin. This means that Jesus is able to make sinners morally pure, faultless, free from our guilt and to be with him for ever. He promises to lose no-one.
Most certainly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don't walk according to the flesh, but
according to the Spirit.
Now to him who is able to keep them from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory in
great joy, to God our Saviour, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
You, being in past times alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil deeds, yet now he has reconciled in the body
of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without defect and blameless before him.
You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having
forgiven us all our trespasses, wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us. He has taken it out of the way, nailing it
to the cross.
This is the will of my Father who sent me, that of all he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise him up
at the last day.
5. If we refuse...
Knowing our weaknesses, God has made salvation available to anyone. But if we reject the love and gift of God, this Good News, which cost the life of his own Son, we are refusing eternal life, freedom from guilt and choosing to be outside God's love and under his judgment. The Bible says that other than believing in Jesus there is no other way to escape God's judgment.
How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation-which at the first having been spoken through the Lord, was
confirmed to us by those who heard.
One who believes in the Son has eternal life, but one who disobeys the Son won't see life, but the wrath of God
remains on him.
There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that is given amongst men, by which
we must be saved!
6. Jesus now
Eternal life and freedom from guilt before God is promised because Jesus has risen from the dead and now is our mediator and High Priest in the presence of God
He is not here, for he has risen, just like he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying.
Looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Having then a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let's hold tightly to our
But he, because he lives forever, has his priesthood unchangeable. Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost
those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them.
The Bible foresees that the Good News of Jesus - God's plan of redemption - will be rejected by many, even most people. Many will find the idea of the death of God's Son to reconcile man back to God as foolishness or senseless.
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are being saved it is the power of
1 Corinthians 1:18
Enter in by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those
who enter in by it. How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it.
For those who may have doubts about this Good News, such objections are not new, some are even raised by characters in the Bible. Most of these objections may initially sound convincing but the underlying assumptions made are not correct and are refuted in the Bible. God is not the problem. He is not someone to be objected to. He wants to help. Our own opinions about God and what he should or should not do, don't ultimately count for anything and are almost certain to be wrong. What matters is what God has revealed about himself and his character.
|Why does an all-powerful God allow innocent people to suffer?||The absence of suffering is only possible when man lives in perfect harmony with God. Whether we consider someone innocent or guilty, suffering is a direct consequence of mankind choosing not to live in harmony with God. In fact suffering was imposed by God to remind us that God is the source of everything good, and as soon as we move away from God things start to go bad. Suffering is one way God tries to get us to turn to him. Through Jesus, God is putting an end to suffering for those that seek him.|
|If God exists why doesn't he make it obvious?||How might we like God to make his existence obvious? Would it make any difference? God has generally chosen not to impose dramatic supernatural acts on the world. Most likely he does not think this would result in man choosing to trust and serve him. But he has left his evidence in the logic and order in creation, he has given us the written testimony of his word and the sign of the birth, life, death and resurrection of a unique man - Jesus Christ.|
|Christians and the Church put me off God||A decision on Christianity must be based on Jesus Christ alone. Christians and the Church are flawed and often they get things wrong. Someone only becomes a Christian by admitting they are a sinner, so they are no better than anyone else and maybe worse than many. Christians and the Church should follow and reflect Jesus Christ but often they do this poorly.|
|Why would God sacrifice his Son?||It is a mystery deep in the heart of God that to satisfy his justice and holiness the only way of redemption for man was for a perfect man to die and thereby suffer the punishment for sin as a representative. The only way that this could happen was for God to become a man. That God paid this terrible cost was to our eternal advantage. Such a cost has become the ultimate expression of God's immense love, mercy and glory.|
|How can a good God send people to hell?||It is hard to fully understand the answer to this but it has to do with the fact that God has given us the freedom to choose him or reject him. If we continue to reject God, he will not make us accept him so we will put ourselves beyond God's love and under judgment. God does not want anyone to end up in hell, but if they do, it will be because they refused to believe in Jesus, the only person who can save people from hell. It was Jesus Christ who warned us most about hell. The Bible teaches that because God is holy and just and perfect we all deserve to be excluded from God's favour for ever. Hell is where everyone should be. Only because of Jesus can we escape hell. In hell we will realise that God really was the source of everything good.|