God has given us wonderful news! In order to understand this good news, you need to understand that there is a reason for this wonderful news. The reason for the good news goes back a long time – back to the beginning – when men first offended God. Let’s take a look at what happened, the impact that it has upon us, and God’s solution.
- All Men Are Sinners. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” This is an important verse that helps us understand that there is a serious problem. In order to understand our predicament, we need to understand what sin is and why it is so serious. Sin is more than doing bad things. It is our choice to go our own way rather than humble ourselves before our Creator and go His way.God created our world and made the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. Their story is found in the first few chapters of the Bible. He placed them in a beautiful garden and explained to them that they could enjoy all the delights of this garden except one – the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God warned them that if they ate of that tree, they would surely die. Satan came to Eve and began tempting her. He first questioned God’s authority and what God had said to them. He then told them that if they ate of the forbidden fruit, they could “be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Satan was actually telling Adam and Eve that they could be their own masters by rejecting God’s way and going their own way. Adam and Eve chose to do their own thing and reject what God had said. This is what sin really is. While doing bad things is sinful, that is not the whole story. Sin is choosing to go “my own way” instead of God’s way.This has been a problem ever since that first choice. Because Adam sinned, this choice of going our own way has become natural for all of us. We want to do our own thing and be in charge of our own lives. Isaiah 53:6 puts it this way, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; ….” We will look at this verse again when we look at God’s good news, but it is important that we understand that sin is more than doing bad things – it is an attitude of the heart against God. We inherited a sinful nature from Adam, but that is not all – we also choose to disobey God’s Law.
- All Men Are Condemned to Die Because of Sin. Remember God’s warning to Adam and Eve? Because God is holy, He told Adam that if they ate of the forbidden fruit they would surely die. Adam and Eve did not die physically the moment they ate of that fruit, but they did die spiritually. The moment they chose to go their own way rather than God’s way, their fellowship with God was broken. They began to die physically. They began to hide. They began to blame others for their sinful choice. Their sinfulness was not limited to them, however. It was passed down to their children and through them to all mankind. Because Adam sinned, all of his descendents are sinners. This includes you and me.Romans 6:23 tells us the same thing that God told Adam and Eve, “The wages of sin is death.” From the time when God told Adam that if he ate the forbidden fruit he would surely die, the payment or reward for sin has never changed. The wages of sin is still death! Physical death is a part of this death, but only a part.Some people think that we will be condemned or rewarded after death based upon our good deeds, but that is not true. Jesus said that those who have not trusted in Him are already condemned. Because of our sin, without a Savior we are already under condemnation – the condemnation of death. Physical death is a vivid realization of this spiritual reality – A sinner is already dead – he has no fellowship with God.Some people think that when we die we will stand before God and He will decided if we have done more good to outweigh the bad that we have done. This is not true, either. Romans 3:20 says, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” God tells us right and wrong in the Bible not because we can become righteous by doing good deeds, but to show us how sinful we truly are. This is horrible news.Are you ready for the Good News?
- Jesus Died in Our Place! The penalty for sin is death and that penalty has never changed. It is just as real today as it was the day God told Adam in the Garden. The Good News is that Jesus, God in flesh, paid that penalty – He paid the penalty for sin on the cross. Romans 5:8 makes this clear, “But God [shows] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus Christ died in our place.Remember Isaiah 53:6? Let’s look at the entire verse now. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” This is the Good News. We are all sinners. We are all under the condemnation of death because of our sin. But Jesus paid that penalty.This is what the Cross is all about. Jesus was born of a virgin – He did not inherit the sinful nature that all other mankind inherited from Adam. He lived a life without sin. He willingly paid the penalty for sin when He died upon the cross. But that is not the end of the story! After He died upon the cross, He was actually buried. On the third day after His death, however, something wonderful happened – He rose from the grave. This is wonderful news! No sinful man could have died for sin because he could not pay the eternal penalty for sin. Jesus, however, because He is God, was the only one who could pay that penalty. When He rose again from out of death, He proved that His payment for sin was sufficient. That is Good News! Sin has been paid for.
- Whosoever Will May Come! The Good News is wonderful, but the Good News does not help everyone. You see, the Good News is limited. It is limited to those who will receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Christ’s death upon the cross is sufficient to save all men, but it will only actually save those who place their faith and trust in Him. Jesus said, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18).”Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
The Good News is that Jesus died to save sinners. If you are a sinner, He will save you if you will receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
Will you receive Him as your Savior today? Do you realize that you are a sinner? As a sinner, you are already condemned to eternal death because of your sin. Another sinner, like yourself, cried out to God as he prayed and said, “God be merciful to me a sinner (Luke 18:13).” Jesus said that that man went down to his house justified – His sins were forgiven. Will you humble yourself today and ask God to save you?
God, I know that I am a sinner and that I have sinned against you. I know that because of my sin I deserve death. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and rose again on the third day. I now receive Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. I now surrender my life to you.