2017 READING CHALLENGE RECOMMENDATIONS
The new year is a time to challenge yourself to reach new […]
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The Bible says that all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23). It's just that some of us may be better-looking sinners than our neighbors.
Some of us may be wealthier sinners than the people who live on the other side of town, but sinners we are nonetheless. The murderer on Death Row is no different in the eyes of a holy God than the person who tells a little lie. The Bible puts it this way: "There is none righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10).
We try to cover up our sin, but we can't get rid of it. Even though we may look relatively clean, we fall short of the standard of a perfect God. "All have sinned."
Just before I go to the dentist, I brush my teeth real hard to fool him. But he makes me rinse with a red dye that sticks to any plaque on my teeth. I can deceive myself, but I can't fool the dentist because he's using a much more thorough method to determine what's clean. Similarly, God judges us by His standard, not ours. He does not measure our standing in the community, what our parents say about us, or how we stack up compared to everyone else.
When most people see an apple with a hole in it, they assume a worm has bored its way into the apple. But the egg of the worm is laid on the blossom before the apple is ever formed. A worm has bored its way out, not in. In the same way, what comes out (sin) is what's already there.
People think if they go to church enough, read the Bible enough, and pray enough, somehow these religious exercises will satisfy God. But James 2:10 reminds us that if we break even one of God's laws, we are guilty of breaking them all.
We can't get ourselves out of our mess. Salvation is "not as a result of (our) works" (Ephesians 2:9). We can't earn it. All your striving and struggling won't free you from your sin.
"The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). The proof that we are sinners is that "It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). Physical life doesn't end with a party--it ends with a funeral. You don't want to be caught dead without Jesus Christ
But God did something truly awesome for us. "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ died for us, not when we got better, not when we fixed ourselves, not when we came up with our own solutions, but while we were still mired deep in our sins.
But Christ's death only benefits those who recognize their guilt and accept His pardon. "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved" (Romans 10:9). Your mother can't believe for you. Your father can't accept your pardon for you. Your children can't get saved for you. This is a personal decision.
You must "believe in your heart" that Jesus is God, that He paid for your sins. With a repentant heart come to Him and He will forgive all your sins and give you eternal life. Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).
Would you like to be forgiven for all your sins and live with God forever? The pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, I am a sinner and cannot save myself. I believe that Your Son Jesus Christ died on the cross in my place for my sins and rose from the dead to give me salvation. I now accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, trusting Him alone to give me eternal life and a relationship with you. Amen.
From the book Our God Is Awesome by Tony Evans, published by Moody Press, (c) 1994. Used by permission.
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