It’s a very unpopular topic, but it’s impossible to talk about God and His Plan of Salvation without addressing the elephant in the room. If we were not separated from God by our lawlessness, why would we need a Savior?
First, let me say that Jesus was clear. The topic of sin is not an issue of finger-pointing. The old adage that one finger pointed at you leaves four pointed back at me is never truer than when noticing the sin of another. Christ admonishes his followers to remove the beam from their own eye before attempting to help their brother with the tiny sliver in his (Matthew 7:5). We are not to judge others unless we’re willing to accept the same harsh criticism we mete out to others. No condemnation intended here.
It is unnecessary for us to point to the sins of others anyway. Paul says God has written His law in our hearts (Romans 2:15) and that our own consciences show this is true when our thoughts sometimes accuse us and sometimes come to our defense. In our heart of hearts we all harbor guilt and shame.
Every one of us has messed up, chosen our own way, and defied God (Romans 3:23). The thing about sin is, we like it. I wanna do what I wanna do. I am in charge of me and you can’t boss me around. I don’t want to be defined by you or any other force outside myself. I want you to accept that I am right and to embrace my choices. I want to be the god of my own life.
Wasn’t that the original offer?
The serpent sidled up Eve, filling her head with doubts about God’s sovereignty and promises of her own magnificence if she would just take matters into her own hands. He hissed, “For God knows that in the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God…(Genesis 3:5)”
That is the crux of the matter. We each want to be our own authority. We have rejected the truth of God for a lie and worship the things God has created (including ourselves) rather than God Himself (Romans 1:25). It is hard to turn back toward the Light because we can hardly bear to catch a glimpse of our foolishness, let alone expose it to God and others.
When our choices catch up with us and we are faced with their bitter consequences, we try to save ourselves by addressing our behaviors. Diets, drug and alcohol treatment, divorce recovery programs. We can fix it. We got this.
Despite the fixation of even Church culture on sin as what you do, changing your behavior isn’t the answer. Fixing your life’s circumstances isn’t even the point, as much of a relief as that can seem. Eve ate the fruit, but the sin wasn’t in the doing, it was the change in her believing that was the problem. She fell for the lie that she could be like God and her actions followed suite (Genesis 3:6).
In humility, I must face the lie that I have tried to be the god of my own lives and surrender my rights to the one true God. Jesus came to earth from heaven to die, paying the price for my rebellion so that I would have the right to lay down my weapons and enter God’s camp. As with any surrender, this involves admitting defeat and accepting the terms of the Victor.
Good news. His terms are almost too good to be true. In exchange for our foolish notion that we can go it alone without Him, He grants us full membership in His family. We become joint heirs with Christ to all that He has (Romans 8:17). Instead of stumbling around trying to figure it out or fix it, He gives us access to His own mind and power(1 Corinthians 2:16, Ephesians 3:20)! He promises to take our messes and work them all together for our good (Romans 8:28). He takes all those crazy things you did, all those lies you believed and puts them as far from His memory as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). He remembers them no more (Hebrews 8:12). When followers asked Jesus what God requires of us so that we can be saved, He replied, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent (John 6:29 NLT).”
If you have already accepted Christ’s offer of forgiveness and believe that His death paid the price for your sin, you’re golden. Scripture tells us that His sacrifice paid the price once for all time (Hebrews 9:27-28). Though we need to ask pardon when we offend God and men, it is not a matter of our eternal salvation. As a believer, your spirit has been sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).
If you have not accepted Him as Savior, isn’t it time? If you’ve read this far, you can be sure He is pursuing you. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to salvation (John 3:16). Please don’t wait.
If you’d like more information on how to become a member of God’s family, here is a link to a website I found with lots of sound, Biblical, information on becoming a believer: https://www.compellingtruth.org/Romans-Road-salvation.html