God's Plan of Salvation
Would you consider yourself to be a good person?
Many of us believe that we are generally good people. We know
that we all make mistakes and do things that we regret,
but we try to make up for those in many ways such as
giving to charities, or doing a good deed, or by apologizing
if we hurt someone. And we can always find someone who
is way worse that us and convince ourselves that we are
certainly better than that other person. We feel that
we intend to do good things and that most of the time
we are good so overall, we are good people.
But the reality is that is our standard. Two people
can look at one object and be thinking completely different
things. So just because we think that we are a good person
doesn't really hold much weight. The opinion that
matters is God's opinion. He set forth commandments
for us to follow and most of us know them well. So we
should ask ourselves, "Have we ever lied?", "Have
we ever stolen?", "Have we ever used the
Lord's name in vain?". The answers to these
questions are most likely all to be yes. Regardless of
the number of times we've broken a commandment,
it makes us guilty. We are liars, thieves, and blasphemers,
and those are only three of the ten commandments.
Some of us might say that was a while ago and we have
changed our ways and we don't do those things anymore.
But the fact that it was done even one time makes us
guilty. If we murder some one once, even if it's
a long time ago, we are still a murderer. No amount of
time erases the fact that we are guilty of a crime. God's
standard is perfection. James
says, "He who follows the whole law, but stumbles at one point, he
is guilty of all". Only one infraction against
God's commandments is the same as if we had broken
every law He set forth.
The Perfect Judge
Now when we die, we will face God on judgement day.
So, will we be innocent or guilty? If you are realistic
with yourself, you realize that you are guilty. So what?
God is very clear in Romans
, "For the wages of sin is death". The death referred to is punishment
in hell for eternity. So now, you have realized you are
guilty of sinning against God, breaking His commandments.
Will you go to heaven or hell?
If you think you God will overlook your guilt because
He is a loving God and send you to heaven anyway, despite
your guilt, than imagine yourself in a courtroom guilty
of a serious crime. You stand before the judge facing
the penalty for your crime. Will the judge overlook your
crime because He is a nice person, or because you are
sorry? Of course not. He is a just person and He must
see that you serve the punishment for your crime. The
same is true of God. He is loving, but He is also just
and He will punish sin. So based upon your confession
of breaking God's law, you are guilty and sentenced
for the punishment, which is eternity separated from
God, bound for hell. Does that concern you?
The Good News
If so, than there is good news for you! You may think
that you are hopeless and there is nothing to do, but
God provided a way for you to avoid punishment and to
be completely forgiven of your sins. God sent his Son
to take the punishment for you sins and mine. He did
this out of love because He knew that you could not keep
the commandments on your own power. Jesus came to this
earth and lived a sinless life, without blemish. He died
on the cross and took your punishment upon Himself. He
then rose from the dead and He is alive and stands at
the right hand of God the Father in heaven.
What God requires of you is this, "Believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved" (Acts
). You need to put your trust and faith in Jesus
Christ and believe that He died on the cross and that
if you ask Him, He will completely forgive your sins.
When you profess Jesus Christ as Lord and humble yourself
and ask forgiveness for your sins, He is faithful and
will forgive you of your sins.
There is nothing outside of this that you must do to
be forgiven of your sins. It is God's work and
His grace that forgives sins and saves people. His Word
says in Ephesians
, "For by grace you have
been saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is
the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no
one may boast". God gave His one and only Son as
the perfect sacrifice to take our punishment. If we only
believe, we are saved by His grace. What an awesome and
wonderful God we have to do that for us!