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The Bible and Sin Part 3
Our Hopelessness and God's Solution
In our last article we covered the fact that sin has entered this world through Adam and has marred all that God has created. Since then we have all become sinners by nature. But we are also sinners by choice. Scripture says to us:
"As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:10,11,23).
The Bible also tells us in Romans 1 that all mankind knew God but didn't glorify him as the one true God. Instead they turned to idols. And we have been seeking substitutes for the Living Lord ever since. Romans 1:26 says that God gave mankind over to degrading passions. In other words he allowed sin to run its course as a matter of judgement. All men freely chose to sin, and He let them have their free will.
I. Man is Dead in Sin
We also talked about sin's consequences. The penalty for defying a holy God, who passionately hates sin, is death (Roman 6:23). That includes the physical death that we see and hear about every day. And it also includes spiritual death, or separation from God. Ultimately, if nothing is done, we will all experience eternal death. By that is meant being eternally separated from God in hell. The Bible paints a totally hopeless picture for mankind apart from divine intervention.
Ephesians 2 teaches us that without Christ, we are all dead in trespasses and sins (2:1). And as we know from physical death, dead men are totally incapable of doing anything for themselves, including doing anything to earn salvation. Many people have tried to work their way into favor with God. This is impossible. Dead men can't do anything to please Him. Paul says:
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He has saved us..." (Titus 3:5).
The only way we will ever be able to accept God's solution for the sin problem is to first see that there is absolutely, positively, without a doubt, no hope of ever being able to do anything to solve it on our own. We are dead men walking.
II. God's Answer for Sin: His Son
A holy and just God could never let sin go unpunished. Man's open rebellion against the Lord of the universe had to be dealt with in order for us to have any hope of ever being reunited with Him. After painting a very bleak picture in Romans, Paul gives us God's solution to the sin dilemma. He says in chapter 5:
"For when we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (5:6-8).
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul's tells us that God the Father made Jesus, who himself knew no sin, to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21). Jesus, the eternal, sinless Son of God, the third person of the Trinity, had to become a man. He lived a perfectly sinless life here on this earth for about 33 years. He fulfilled the law perfectly, as only He could. Then He died on the cross of Calvary as our substitute. And before Christ died, he said: "It is finished!" He completed the work of salvation. And the Bible tells us : " For by one offering, He has perfected forever, those who are being sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14). In other words that one sacrifice was the complete answer for all sins, past, present and future. And Jesus' resurrection from the dead shows the Father's acceptance of that sacrificial offering.
Man's solution for sin is to do things in order to earn God's favor. Christianity says that it is impossible to ever do this. The Lord's standard is perfection. Since man could never reach up to God, God had to reach down to us. And the Bible tells us that everything that needs to be done, already has been. There is nothing we should or could do, but accept the free gift of eternal life through faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The sin question has been answered by the Son.
Salvation is a gift. And like all gifts, it must be taken in order to make it ours. If you have never accepted Christ's substitutionary death for sin on your behalf, then you are still dead and facing the wrath of God (John 3:36). Today is the day to take God's gift of eternal life. There might not be a tomorrow.
For those who have already accepted Christ, please join me in thanking our Lord for loving us enough to give us eternal life through the death and resurrection of His Son. For us, the sin question has been answered. Now we can freely serve God throughout all eternity. And one day sin will be completely eradicated from our lives and from this universe. Praise God for His amazing grace!