The Love Of God
The Fall of Man:
In the beginning, Adam and Eve were given the opportunity to prove their love to God by (obeying his commands).
God told Adam in the Garden of Eden:
"You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis Chapter 2:16-17). But man in his disobedience to the word of God ate the fruit from the tree and allowed sin and death into the world. (Romans 5:12). And since we are all descendants of Adam and Eve we all are guilty of sin.
So we see that whenever we disobey the Word of God - We Sin. And this is why the world is so full of unhappiness, sorrow and pain. Adam and Eve brought sin and death into the world by choosing to set aside the commandment of God. Adam and Eve set up their own definition of right and wrong and did what “seemed right” in their own mind. They thought happiness could be found apart from God.
But God says "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (Proverbs 14:12)
The world is full of people doing their own thing. But God has concluded "All under sin". (Galatians 3:22)(KJV)
From God's Love and Compassion for mankind there came a time when he desired a relationship with man - but sin prevented that. So God in his infinite wisdom came up with a plan whereby a person's sins could be forgiven.
In the Old Testament of the Bible we see that the blood of animals was used to forgive the sins of man.
Sin Offerings: (Leviticus 4:27-35)
"If a person commits a sin unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the commands of the Lord, he is guilty." The individual who committed a sin against God had to bring a female goat without defect (flaw). He was to lay his hands on the head of the goat (sin offering) and slaughter it. Then the Priest came and dipped his finger into the blood and put it on the horns of God’s Altar. Next, the fat from the goat was taken and burned on the altar. In this way a priest was able to make atonement (putting man back in a right relationship with God) for a person who had committed a sin against the Lord - and he was forgiven.
At this point some may be asking- how can blood be used to forgive sins? Because God has said: “The life of a creature is in the blood” (Lev 17:11).
And “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”. (Hebrews 9:22)
In the New Testament of the Bible we see that Jesus Christ (The Lamb of God) shed his blood for our sins.
(1 Peter 1:18-20) (Ephesians 2:13) (Colossians 1:19-20)
Jesus Christ (John Chapter 1)
“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation (deliverance) to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:27-28)
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world
through him.” (John 3:16-17)
God clearly teaches us in the bible that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus (Matthew 1:18-25) and that Jesus was conceived, not by man, but by the Power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20). Some may ask: Why did Jesus have to be born of a virgin. It is because we are all descendants of Adam and Eve and since all of us are born with a “sinful nature” it was necessary for God to “break the chain of sin”, and this is why Jesus was conceived by the Power of the Holy Spirit (through a virgin); that he might come into the world “without sin”; thereby becoming the perfect sacrifice (sin offering) for all of humanity.
The scripture also teaches us that Jesus is the “Son of God” and that all things were created by him and for him. (Hebrews 1: 1-14) (John 10: 22-33) (John 5: 16-30) (John 1: 1-18) (Colossians 1: 15-23) (Philippians 2: 5-11)
Jesus is also referred to as the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).
Jesus Christ and Adam & Eve are the only people who have ever come into the world without having a sinful nature; and because Jesus Christ is the Son of God and was able to live his entire life, without committing a single sin he became the perfect sacrifice through which God was able to lay our sins on his Son, that we might have a second chance for eternal life. (1 John 3:4-6)(2 Corinthians 5:21)
There are many today who believe they can be saved simply by living a good life and doing what is right, but we forget that our past sins are enough to keep us out of the “Kingdom of God”, and this is why everyone of us is in need of a Savior (someone who can save us from our sins).
And if it were possible for a person to be saved simply by doing good things, then why would God have to send his Son into the world to die on a cross for our sins. Always remember that God commanded that the “only way” for sins to be forgiven is by the “shedding of blood” and God has provided only one way to “eternal life” and that is through the “shed blood” of his Son Jesus Christ. The blood of Christ is the “only thing” powerful enough to wash away sin.
Also remember that it is Faith in Jesus Christ alone that saves a person from sin and death.
God tells us in the Word of God that all the sins of mankind were placed upon his Son Jesus Christ. When Jesus rose from the dead he defeated sin and death forever; and now the only people sin and death have any power over are those who refuse to believe that God has sent his Son into the world to die for their sins.
Now we see the Love God has for each and every one of us. God loves everyone, but he will not force his ways on anyone. God gives each one of us the opportunity, to either submit to his will or suffer the consequences of our sins.
But some may ask - why all the concern over sin?
Because God is HOLY (Revelation 4:8-11) and God says that sin cuts a person off from the Life of God, Blessings of God, and the Presence of God. (Isaiah 59:1-2)
God is called the “Father of Spirits” (Hebrews 12:9). And within our bodies God has placed a spirit (which is who we really are). And no one with the stain of sin within his or her spirit can enter the Kingdom of God.
It is not God's will for anyone to perish and spend eternity in Hell (which is a place of punishment
for those who have not had their sins forgiven)(Rev 20:11-15) But God wants you and I to spend eternity with him in Heaven. But there are many people today who believe just like Adam and Eve did; that they can do as they please and that God will accept them the way they are. But God says something completely different. (Matthew 7:13-14)(Luke 13:22-30)
Jesus Christ is the only way to God and eternal life. (Acts 4:12)(John 14:6)(1 Timothy 2:5)
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath (anger) remains on him." (John 3:36) and (1 John 5:11-12)
So the question comes.
How can I be saved? or
How can I become a Christian? (follower of Christ)
God says to:
A. Repent!- turn away from sin to a new way of life.
Luke 5:32, Luke 15:7, Acts 2:38, Mark 6:12
B. Believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, and on the third day God raised him from the dead and you shall be saved. 1 Corinthians Chapter 15, Romans 10:9-13, Acts 10:34-43
C. Once you truly have Faith you will continue to live a life that is pleasing to God. When you accept his Son, God will give you his HOLY SPIRIT, so that you will have the Power to live a victorious life over sin. (Ezekiel 36:27) Colossians Chapter 3 Ephesians 4:17-5:21
God makes it quite clear from the Scriptures (Word of God) that if a person claims to have Faith in Jesus Christ - yet does not do the things he commanded. Then that person is still dead in his sins. James 2:14-26, 1 John 5:1-11, 1 John 2:3-6
“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out — those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” (John Chapter 5: Verses 28-29)
*Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.