Love's Most Amazing Story ... Part III
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."1
As already noted, sin is much more than external acts. It is our damaged inner condition that results in our wrong or sinful acts. Our sinful nature contaminates everything we do. It not only shows itself in external acts, but also twists our motives and damages our emotions. It is behind every broken home, every empty life, every sorrow and grief. The disease of sin weakens nations, produces sick societies, and causes physical, mental and spiritual suffering. It causes men and nations to fight, kill and destroy. And as the Bible says, its end result is death.
We need to understand that God is not opposed to nor outraged by our breaking his commandment for his sake, but primarily for our sake. As Cecil Osborne also said, "Adultery (or any other sin) is not wrong because it is forbidden in the Ten Commandments; it is forbidden in the Ten Commandments because it is destructive of human personality. God is against whatever is destructive to us. His love for us is so great that he cannot see us destroying ourselves without suffering himself. It is the suffering of God, symbolized by the cross, which is involved in sin. We suffer in our sins. Christ suffered because of them. His suffering becomes redemption for us when we are able to confess the right sins with true contrition."
Because Christ himself was sinless, only he could die to pay the penalty for and thereby save us from our sins. We simply cannot save ourselves. No matter how good (or bad) we are, we are all afflicted with the terminal disease of sin for which Jesus Christ is the only cure.
I read once about a drowning boy who was struggling frantically to save himself. On the bank his distraught mother pleaded with a man to save her son, but the man made no move. When the boy weakened and gave up the struggle to save himself, the man then jumped into the stream and rescued him.
"Why didn't you save my boy sooner?" the mother asked.
"I couldn't as long as he struggled," the man replied. "He would have dragged us both to death. When he gave up the struggle to save himself, it was easy to rescue him."
We, too, need to give up the struggle to save ourselves from our sin. Only Christ can do that. As we confess our sins to him and thank him for dying on the cross for us, he gives us his free pardon and the gift of eternal life. Why not pray to ask Christ to do this for you today? For help to do this, click on the God's Invitation link at: www.actsweb.org/invitation.php.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you love me so much that you gave your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross in my place to save me from the penalty and consequences of my sin. And Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and thank you for dying in my place to save me from my sins. I accept you as my personal Lord and Savior. Please forgive me for all my sins. Thank you for doing this and for giving me your gift of eternal life in heaven. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
Please note: For further help be sure to read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian," at: www.actsweb.org/christian and discover how to know for certain that your sins are forgiven, and that you have God's gift of eternal life.
1. Romans 6:23 (NIV).