We must begin with the triune God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit who have eternally existed in perfect love and unity. God then creates the universe in its entirety and calls it “very good”. Being that God created all He is worthy of all glory and praise and is the one who sustains all of creation. He created to display His glory and love and made the pinnacle of His creation man, whom He created “in His image” that we might have relationship with our creator God.
In us God breathed His breath of life and called us into a partnership with Him to live, work and enjoy all that He had created. We would live in perfect harmony as we worked, played and flourished together in creation. In creation we see a God who takes initiative to be intentionally present in a loving relationship with His creation.
Being that all of humanity is made in the image of God we all have dignity, worth and value. But it would be through the willful, sinful rebellion of our first parents Adam and Eve against our creator God, that we would turn from from being His children, to His enemies. Our first parents longed not to love and worship God, but they wanted to be their own gods.
This disease is not only something that we have all inherited, but embraced and lived in the rebellion. We are broken vessels, dead inside and living in darkness. We have rejected our maker and are unthankful. This sin has left us under judgment and unable to save ourselves. We relentlessly pursue anything and anyone to try and find peace, hope and purpose in our lives.
It is at this point in God’s incredible story of redemption that He intervenes and provides anyone who would believe a new life with hope and purpose.
This is the part of the story where our hero enters; Jesus Christ would come to rescue us from our slavery to sin and death. The God who creates is the God who loves with a love that is far beyond any human comprehension or imitation. For all eternity God has this plan to rescue sinners and destroy sin. God the Father would send the Son to come and live a perfect life on our behalf, so when we fall short, Jesus has met the perfect requirements of the law in our place.
Jesus would then go to the cross and suffer in our place. Jesus took on Himself all of our sin, guilt, shame and death, that we might be forgiven. Yet Jesus did not only provide forgiveness for sin but went beyond to credit to us His righteousness (right standing before God) so we are no longer seen as enemies, but adopted children who have been ransomed and purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. As Jesus died, so too did all our guilt before God.
Yet Jesus Christ did not stay dead and three days later he would raise again declaring to all of creation and every kingdom and dominion everywhere that Jesus reigns and the price has been paid. His life and death were the perfect substitution and sacrifice so all who would come and believe, can be forgiven, justified, saved and adopted into the family of God. Jesus then sends the Spirit of the living God to dwell within us to comfort, convict, free and lead us into a life of joyful obedience as we seek to know Christ more and make Him known. As we are led by the Spirit and seek to follow Him we desire to make known that truth that “Christ came to save sinners.” There is redemption for ALL who would put their faith in Jesus and Jesus alone. The redeeming work of Jesus is not limited by background, race, gender or socio-economical status, nor is based on religious works. This is a gift of grace, freely given to those who will receive the work of Jesus on their behalf.
It is because God would relentlessly pursue sinners and through repentance and faith we inherit the Kingdom of God. Our relationship with God has been restored through Jesus who; “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God”. Therefore any who would believe the Good News of Jesus Christ, are called to enter every part of our culture and participate in God’s mission to bring restoration and shalom to our world. We seek the renewal as Christians, and this is good news for those who believe.
So how is it we receive this amazing gift of grace?
Repent - To repent is a change in mind and heart on how you view your sin. So you turn from your sin and you run to Jesus for forgiveness
Confess - Confess to Jesus your sin and the hopelessness that is prevalent because of your sin. Confess that Jesus died in your place covering all your sin and you believe the price has been paid that you might receive forgiveness.
Believe - Trust that Jesus is enough, that in His life, death and resurrection you have all you need to receive salvation.
Surrender - Acknowledge that you are not your own, you have been purchased with a price and live freely as a servant of the most high God.
Obey - Joyfully obey what God has called us to in His word, allow the Bible to guide your steps, motivate your action and be the ultimate authority in your life.
We now know that God is like Jesus. He is Christ like. And if He is, He is a good God. If the Heart at the back of the universe is like this gentle heart that broke upon the Cross, he can have my heart without qualification and without reservation – E. Stanley Jones