I confess that my desire to be right, liked, recognized and accepted by people overshadows my attention to their need for the Gospel of Grace. I’m like a thirsty man in a desert who finds a cool refreshing spring and does not tell others who are dying of thirst about the spring. Shall I drink and be refreshed as I watch friends and foes alike die of thirst? May it never be!
People are curious about my choice to enter into full time ministry. Folks I am close with tell me that it all makes perfect sense. I chuckle. Perhaps to them it makes sense, but I find it unbelievable! But, you know something? I’ve been walking with Jesus Christ for several years now. He has never let me down. He has always been faithful to the promises in his Word (the Bible).
It took me several years to learn to trust Jesus with everyday things of life. Over time, I have experienced the freedom and peace of a personal relationship with Christ. Like a thirsty man in the desert finding a spring, I am constantly refreshed because I’ve made peace with God. You can read my story here.
Jesus Christ is in the transformation business. I’ve seen transformation in my life and I see it everyday in the lives of others. I think people who have not placed their trust in Christ get the wrong idea of who He is and the significance of what He offers. If you don’t know who He is, you can’t really know who you are (made in the image of God). Thus, there is an ongoing identity crisis among humans. But, Jesus is in the transformation business.
What kind of transformation?
Some folks think Christ came to help bad people become good people. This is faulty thinking. Jesus did not come to make bad men, good men. Jesus came to make dead men live. And the new life they live is for something greater than themselves. That is radical!
Grace that is amazing
The core of the Gospel of Grace is this; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes (trusts) in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
The relationship with God is based on His grace and love for us. But, we have a big problem. First, we don’t love God. It begs the question; Who do we love? We love ourselves. In doing so, we foolishly attempt to elevate ourselves as little gods (albeit little gods that hate, destroy, lie, murder and eventually die). We reject God’s truth and perfect love. Instead, we love ourselves and live a lie.
Missing the mark (aka Sin)
Like an archer who has an inability to hit his target because it is far beyond his range, we are unable to live up to our own standards, let alone God’s perfect standards and goodness. We miss the mark, this is sin.
Would you give the life of your only child to save a bunch of selfish people who did not love you? God did by sending his only son, Jesus to die for a bunch of undeserving rebels. Grace is not merely unmerited favor; it is favor given to sinners who deserve punishment and death. “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). We are all infected with a deadly disease called sin.
Houston, we have a problem:
What do we do about this deadly disease called ‘sin’? We must recognize that we are broken and sinful before we can realize that we are unable to save ourselves and are in desperate need of a savior or we’ll die. Jesus Christ accurately diagnoses our malady and provides the only cure. We are unable to cure ourselves. We need someone who is without the disease of sin and has the power/authority to save us.
John 3:17 goes further, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
What must I do to be saved?
Admit you are a sinner and turn away from it.
Believe that Jesus Christ is who he claimed to be and lived a sinless life.
(Through his death on the cross, he took your sin on himself and accepted your punishment. Through his resurrection, he proved who he was, conquering sin and death.)
Call on Jesus Christ and trust him alone for your salvation and righteousness before God, not your works/deeds.
Confess with your mouth the Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.
Walk in the power of the Holy Spirit
When you place your trust in Christ alone, he gives you the power of the Holy Spirit to live in you. Nothing can separate you from the love of God. You can experience the freedom that Christ purchased for you on the cross!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Jesus already paid the price. All you must do is accept the free gift of grace.