We Have Fallen Short of God's Standard
The Gospel teaches that mankind, apart from God, is completely sinful. God had given his commands (do not lie, do not steal, honor your father and mother, etc.) And we all broke them. There is no such thing as a person who has perfectly obeyed God’s commands.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
That means that we are all lawbreakers. None of us can claim any measure of perfection. In fact, if our worst enemies could see us for who we really are they would dislike us even more. We have all violated the commands of God. Therefore we are cut off from God and are deserving of his eternal punishment.
“The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
This is serious and frightening. God is a perfect judge. No judge would be considered good if he let criminals go without punishment. Neither could a good God allow us to go without punishment.
Deep down, we all know this is true. We know we have fallen short of perfection, and that there will be consequences. Our conscience is there to tell us that we have sinned and we greatly need to be cleansed. We need someone to save us.
We Can't Fix the Situation
People try any number of solutions to cleanse or deny their conscience. Some choose to ignore the nagging demands of their conscience by numbing themselves with the temporary thrills life can offer. Some choose drunkenness and drug use to numb the pain.
Some try religion to make themselves feel better about whom they are on the inside by cleansing the cup on the outside while leaving it filthy within. Jesus criticized these religious hypocrites by saying, woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:25).
All of our attempted fixes come up short, and in sober moments those who are chasing meaningless thrills realize how empty they are. The religious folks realize how phony they are. They are all still lacking a real solution.
The fact is, we are so broken and dead inside that we can’t solve this one on our own. No good works or efforts to turn our lives around produces deep enough change and the cleansing of our conscience. The Bible says, “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
No amount of time that elapses can take away the guilt that we have for the wrongs we have done that have gone unpunished. The penalty for our crimes must be paid eventually.
What's the Solution? The Gospel!
God is the only perfect judge and he will make sure every sin is paid for. However He also loves His people and does not want to see them perish. So the Gospel is the solution! God became a man, Jesus Christ. He lived the only perfect life ever lived. Around age 30, He started publicly teaching. Three years later, He died on a cross to take the punishment from God on our behalf. To prove that his death had power and that it was the infinite sacrifice necessary to pay our debt, He rose three days later!
The Bible, which is God’s word to us, says, “God so loved the world, that He gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
Belief is more than acknowledging Him in our heads. It is a deep repentance, turning from our sin, and hanging our lives on Jesus. To use a poker analogy, it is moving “all in” and betting it all on him. If we never have this repentance, it proves that our faith was not real.
“Also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, you have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:17-18).
When we do trust in Him like that, we are cleansed.
Prayer of Salvation
Pray this Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus. Your Word says, "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:21) I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life according to Romans 10:9-10. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." I do that now. I confess Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead.
If you have prayed this prayer, welcome to the family of God! If you have questions about this Good News, contact us. Nothing is more important than these truths.