"He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."
Colossians 1:18

About me

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Simple Truth (Part 1 of 5)

Author’s Note:  We'll inaugurate this blog with a daily series on the gospel:  what it truly is, how it should affect believers, and how unbelievers should respond.  I urge you, whoever you are, to take a moment to read on.

God, the only true God and He who created all things (Is. 45:18, 44:24), being entirely holy (Rev. 15:4), sovereign (Ps. 103:19), and eternal (Is. 40:28), lives in three Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (cf. Matt. 3:16-17, 28:19).

Although the world, as God created it, was “very good,” (Gen. 1:31), the human race has nevertheless become an unvarying group of sinners (Rom. 3:23, Eccl. 7:20), people who disregard God’s commands at every turn (Rom. 8:7-8).  This universal sinfulness has killed us spiritually (Eph. 2:1), making each of us worthy of eternal punishment (Rom. 6:23, Eph. 2:3, Matt. 25:41), and utterly  hindering us from pleasing God (Rom. 8:7-8).   God is entirely just, and must meet offenses against His own insuperable holiness with appropriate retribution (Ps. 7:12-13; 75:7-8):  an eternity of agony, separated from Him (Rev. 14:11, Matt. 25:46). 

It was not, however, God’s intention that the entire human race go down into eternal hell.  The masterful and incredibly loving stroke, devised before time began (Titus 1:2, Matt. 25:34), came in the form of Jesus Christ, God Himself, becoming fully human while still fully God (Phil. 2:6-7) and living a perfect, sinless life (1 Pet. 2:22, Heb. 7:26).  This life culminated in Christ willingly and sovereignly going to His own death (John 10:18) as His heavenly Father unstintingly laid the full weight of eternal punishment for the sins of many upon Him (2 Cor. 5:21, Is. 53:4-12).  We see that if Christ so suffered and died for our sins, then the just punishment for those sins has been depleted, and we need no longer go to Hell for them.  What gracious and superlative love!

After He had taken the Father’s just wrath upon Himself and died, He wondrously took up His life again three days later (Matt. 28:1-6, 1 Cor. 15:3-4), rising triumphantly from the dead and showing Himself to many (1 Cor. 15:5-8).  If He has raised Himself from the dead, then He has gloriously conquered sin and death – not only is He able to keep people from hell, then, but He can also give them eternal life (Rom. 6:3-10, 1 John  5:11)! 

The uniqueness of this act cannot be overlooked or understated.  When Jesus said that “no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6b), He demonstrated the solitary access He offered to the Father.  The apostle Peter later affirmed the same truth:  “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) If we would be saved from the just wrath of God for the sins in our hearts, we must seek that salvation by the means which He, the sovereign and only true God has established.

What is our response to this?  How can we have this life and avoid our eternal doom?  The command in the New Testament is that people “should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.” (Acts 26:20b; cf. Matt. 4:17).  In other words, we must remorsefully admit of our sinful character to God, and beg Him to forgive us on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice on behalf of sinners.  We must also understand that, according to Acts 26:20, we cannot claim to be repentant, but then continue to live and act just as we did before; we must count the cost (Luke 14:26-35).  Our salvation, if genuine, will bear the fruit of good works because we want to please God (1 John 5:3, Rom. 7:22)!

This is the story of us all, friends.  Have we ourselves availed ourselves of Christ’s precious blood and loving work of grace?  Have we humbled ourselves before a mighty and just God?  If so, do we now seize the opportunity to share this extraordinarily good news with others?  More on this later.


Anonymous said...

"When Jesus said that “no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6b), He demonstrated the solitary access He offered to the Father"

Beautiful. Welcome to the blogosphere Josh!

Josh said...

Thanks, Diane! It does not get any better than the unique glory of the Savior!

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Bluehost Coupons