Friend, have you heard the good news?
God's Word articulates this good news in First Corinthians 15:1, 3-5, 11:
"I declare unto you the gospel [literally, "good news"]... how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; And that He was seen... and so ye believed."
Three Truths You Must Understand
Truth #1: The Problem of Sin"Christ died for our sins."
Before you can fully comprehend this good news, you must understand the bad news. God, who is absolutely holy, cannot tolerate sin. God's standard is perfection. Jesus said,
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as you Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).God is perfect, and He therefore demands perfection. Yet we all know that we are not perfect. The Ten Commandments alone reveal how grossly imperfect we are (for example, taking God's name in vain, dishonoring parents, adultery, stealing, lying, coveting). This is why the Bible says,
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:32).We fall far short of God's standard of perfection. Therefore, sin disqualifies us from getting to heaven by our own ability.
Now, the good news is coming, but consider this first. Since God's standard is absolute perfection, and yet no one is perfect, how many will make it to heaven on their own merits? Obviously none. This is the problem of sin.
Truth # 2: The Penalty of Sin"Christ died for our sins."
God, who is perfectly just, must judge sin. God is one Judge who always administers perfect justice. The Bible says,
"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25).So, can God overlook your sin? Would that be fair? No, justice demands that sin be judged. This is why the Bible says,
"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Psalm 9:17).Jesus, who cannot lie, described hell as:
Remember, friend, before you can benefit from the good news, you must understand the bad news. So if you died right now, where would you go? You see, sin not only disqualifies us from heaven, it means we deserve hell. Now we are ready for the good news!
Truth # 3: The Payment of Sin"Christ died for our sins."
God, who is perfect love, did something that did not violate His holiness and justice, but rather, satisfied it. The Bible says,
"But God commendeth [demonstrated] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).What amazing love! As we saw earlier, "Christ died for our sins," and "He rose again." Here we find the greatness of the good news.
Jesus, as God, paid the penalty we deserve to pay. The Bible says,
"Who his own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree [cross]" (1 Peter 2:24).His payment is in full. The Bible says,
When He had by Himself purged our sins" (Hebrews 1:3).It is not Jesus-plus-my-efforts. Remember, what is God's standard? Perfection. If salvation is based on what you do, can you meet the standard? No. Thankfully, Jesus paid it all! Also, Jesus's perfect righteousness can be credited to your account so that God's standard of perfection is met. The Bible says,
"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth" (Romans 10:4).So Christ died for our sins, and when Jesus rose from the dead, He conquered death, sin and hell. This is good news!
One Decision You Must Make"and so ye believed"
How can this good news be applied to you? The Bible says,
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).Notice it does not say believe about the Lord Jesus. It says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus." This is the difference between acknowledging Jesus as the Savior and depending on Jesus as your Savior. This is also the difference between hell and heaven. Jesus said,
"He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47).It is not depending on Jesus plus yourself, good works, or baptism. It is a simple choice to depend only on Jesus to save you from sin and hell. Like a child simply trusting his father by jumping into his arms, jump into the open arms of Jesus and trust Him to save you.
Friend, will you transfer your dependence to Jesus alone today, and receive the forgiveness of all you sins (past, present, and future), credited righteousness, and eternal life which is forever, and, therefore, cannot be lost? Jesus wants to save you now. He will save you if you depend on Him. So will you decide to depend on Him as your personal Savior right now and become a recipient of the good news? If so, sincerely pray:
"Lord, I admit my problem of sin. I admit I deserve the penalty for sin which is hell. But I also realize that You are my full payment for sin. The best I know how, I depend on You to save me from sin and hell right now. Thank You for forgiving all my sins, crediting Your righteousness to my account, and giving me eternal life.
If you just made this choice to accept the good new of salvation through Jesus Christ, the Bible says heaven is rejoicing over this good news about you.
Let us rejoice with you, too. , and we will send you a free pamphlet on living this new life in Christ. Please include your name and address.
God bless you.
by John R. Van Gelderen © 2001 Preach the Word Ministries, Inc. Used by permission