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GOD DESIGNED MAN TO HAVE A WONDERFUL LIFE FOREVER... WITH HIM
God wants mankind to experience peace to live abundant, love-filled lives forever.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
" I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)
However, most people satisfy restlessness (more, more, more) or emptiness (why, why, why)
by pouring their energies into family, career, hobbies and other loves and passions.
Then God doesn't play a major role in daily life.
MAN DOING HIS OWN THING
The list of wonderful, fun, joy-filled activities goes on and on:
family, barbeques, career, skiing, golfing, playing, hiking, watching football, going shopping, gardening, swimming....
But weeks full of activities can squeeze out the desire to seek and spend time with
By focusing only on our passions and not also on God's passion,
we separate ourselves from the Presence of God and His intimate communication with us.
This separation is called, "sin".
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
MAN DOING HIS OWN THING... FOR ETERNITY
While a man is alive on earth, God gives each man the free-choice
to be separate from God, autonomous, and to avoid His life-giving Spirit.
God honors each man's choice as a choice for eternity.
A choice against God and His ways is a choice against spiritual life in the Presence of God
and a choice for spiritual deadness without the Presence of God.
Eternal spiritual separation from God's Presence is called, "Hell".
On the other hand, a man who chooses God's ways and plan (see "The Cross of Grace" below),
also makes his or her choice for eternity.
Eternal spiritual intimacy in God's Presence is called, "Heaven" or "Paradise".
"There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." (Proverbs 14:12)
"But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear." (Isaiah 59:2)
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
THE CROSS OF GRACE
Two thousand years ago a man did, in fact, choose God
and actually acted upon God's intentions completely, 100 per cent.
That man was unusual. He was God incarnate, God in flesh, God with us: Jesus Christ or Emmanuel.
Jesus made it deliberately clear He was Jehovah God in flesh (see Jesus is God for more information).
God the Father showed us Himself, in Spirit, through the person of Jesus to bring us back into a close relationship with Him.
Why, then, did Jesus have to die on the cross? Why not just let bygones with man be bygones?
God has eternal character traits of
justice and righteous perfection as well as of love.
His justice and righteousness distinguish good from evil.
God is good. And He doesn't turn a blind eye to evil and tolerate it.
So if man pursues choices which go against God's world of what is right,
God views this sin as wayward or rebellious against His ways of goodness and love.
The problem with God's standard of absolute holiness is no man then qualifies as being perfectly acceptable to God.
And God's character of justice and righteous can't tolerate even a small amount of evil.
Rather, He must cast evil away from Himself, away from His holiness and perfection.
In other words, evil is punished sooner or later by being eternally severed from God's source of life.
God's plan of salvation through Jesus is a simple, beautiful and elegant plan
which satisfies God's justice and righteousness in punishing evil.
Jesus - being fully God as well as fully man - is designated as man's mediator to reconcile wayward man to God.
Jesus spiritually took our sin upon Himself when He was crucified on the cross.
Our sin spiritually transferred onto Jesus and was punished on the cross instead of us.
This once and for all punishment of sin on the cross satisfied God's righteousness and justice by casting down evil.
God's plan of salvation through Jesus is even more simple, beautiful and elegant
in that the plan satisfies God's justice and righteousness in rewarding perfection with Paradise.
Jesus led a perfect life for God, Jesus never sinned.
As a result, God the Father raised Jesus from the dead on Easter morning.
Jesus is now living again with the Father in Paradise, in Heaven.
This resurrection of Jesus satisfied God's righteousness and justice in rewarding perfection with Paradise.
So Jesus had to die on the cross to satisfy God's justice and righteousness with respect to both evil and good.
Jesus also had to die on the cross because of God's love for mankind.
Jesus, designated as man's mediator, allows man two things.
Jesus allows each man's sin to be put on - imputed on - Himself and thus punished on the cross.
Jesus also allows His own perfection to be put on - imputed on - each man who has faith in Him.
So the child of God who has faith in Jesus also rises from past dead ways.
Through faith in Christ a believer is literally "born again" into a second, new life.
The first birth being out of the womb. The second birth springing up from the vital Spirit of God.
The old dark history of a person is placed on the cross, forever forgiven by God, and
the light of Christ's perfection now shines via the Spirit in the believer's life.
God's Spirit - Christ's Spirit - lives inside the believer.
This miracle of "born again" spiritual transformation is the greatest miracle event on earth.
There is nothing weird or embarrassing about being "born again".
Rather, the miraculous transformation is a story of God's love, power and grace.
by leaving our sin and turning to Jesus,
our sins and resulting spiritual death are spiritually put on Jesus' death on the cross.
By leaving our sin and turning to Jesus,
His purity in God's eyes is spiritually imputed on us.
The miracle is complete with His life-giving Spirit coming to live in us.
"For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5)
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
"He [the Father] made Him [Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
"In Him [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace." (Ephesians 1:7)
"He Himself [Jesus Christ] bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls." (1 Peter 2:24-25)
"For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit." (1 Peter 3:18)
"Jesus answered and said to him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?' Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' ' " (John 3:3-7)
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3)
"...fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God." (1 Peter 1:22-23)
JESUS KNOCKS ON THE DOOR OF YOUR HEART
The Gospel of grace is about entering into a relationship and communication with Jesus Christ Himself.
You admit you're not utterly pure and perfect. And you put your faith in Jesus and His cross.
The tough part may be to humble yourself to a seemingly simplistic reality:
that He wants His Spirit to live in your heart.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
"If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
"Behold, I [Jesus Christ] stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:20)
And Jesus said He is the one and the only way to God.
"He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him." (John 5:23)
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.' " (John 14:6)
"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life." (John 5:39-40)
"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (John 8:24)
"And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God; but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God." (Luke 12:8-9)
Would you like to experience His Presence with you and living in you?
WHAT TO PRAYSalvation Prayer Bookmarks
When you sincerely ask Jesus into your heart
the Bible says
"But as many as received Him [Jesus Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:12)
"Because you are sons [of God], God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!' " (Galatians 4:6)
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)
HE HAS PROMISED YOU
"And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:11-13)
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1)
"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." (John 14:10, 27)
"The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17)
"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Fathers commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you." (John 15:9)
To grow in your faith and your relationship with Him:
Written by Catherine Gortner / Please feel free to distribute / Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.