by PJ Salas
"The Lord is near to those who are of a broken heart; and He saves those who are of a contrite attitude." "Depart from evil and do good; seek peace, and pursue it." Psalms 34:18, 14.
Good News the Gospel of Jesus Christ
The gospel message is God's plan of salvation. It begins within us, when our heart breaks with the pain of sin, and we feel genuinely remorseful, seeking God with a humble attitude, we have forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ.
The salvation that Jesus brings moves us to depart from sin which is evil, and to seek His peace that we live peaceable with God, and with each other as much as possible, without reverting back to sin and comprising God's principles (Romans 12:18).
As we surrender our life to Christ He cleanses us from all unrighteousness, and creates in us a clean heart. He inspires a right attitude in us, and makes us a new creature in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17); and He affects us in doing good to others.
"For the grace of God shines forth, giving light, bringing salvation to all people; teaching us to refuse ungodliness and worldly longings, to live righteously, godly, and wisely in this present world; looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, so He could redeem us from all sin, and purify to Himself a special people, zealous for good works." Titus 2:11-14.
In the Beginning
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." "Then God saw everything He made, and indeed it was very good." Genesis 1:1, 31.
When God created the earth, it was perfect, there was nothing wrong with it; but that did not last. Sin entered our world through disobedience to our Creator.
God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but they disobeyed. In disregarding God's command to eat not from a certain tree, sin came into our lives (Genesis 3:1-24).
God warned Adam and Eve that if they ate from the prohibited tree they would die; but Eve, beguiled by satan, doubted God. satan in appealing to Eve, baited and incited her, insinuating God was keeping something from her, and that she would not die. Eve believed satan and ate from the forbidden, and Adam ate also.
Eve chose to disregard the truth of God's command in eating the restricted, and Adam went along with it; and we have been dying ever since.
In choosing to believe satan over God the first couple chose death over life, and satan over the Creator; and six thousand plus years later we still choose satan's lies over the Lord and His truth.
Although Adam and Eve brought sin and death into our world, we have all participated in sin ever since (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8).
Whoever commits sin is acting lawlessly, for sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Sin is the rejection of God's governance in our lives, the refusal to accept His Word, and live in obedience to Him and His truth. And because sin separates us from our Creator, who is the Lifegiver, we die.
Repent and be converted so that your sins may be blotted out (Acts 3:19).
Through God's plan of salvation, He enables us to be free of sin through Jesus, who died to take away our sins, and the penalty of those sins. Death is the result of sin, a natural consequence. And because we all have sinned (Romans 3:23) eternal loss is the experience of all who do not turn away from sin.
To turn away from sin means to turn to God and seek His forgiveness and help. By opening our hearts and inviting Jesus to come into our life, and change us, we are turning to God. Christ comes into our life and teaches us how to live without sin. He not only takes away the penalty of sin, which is death; but, He also strengthens and enables us to live without sin. Praise be to God.
Through Jesus Christ, who died in our place, we have eternal life (John 3:15, 16) by the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7).
With Jesus there is forgiveness. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Through Jesus' incredible gift of Himself, He takes away our sin (John 1:29). We can be forgiven, and free to live a life of hope and help in Christ. In our Savior, the Lord Jesus, we have forgiveness with God. Through His sacrifice, forgiveness is ours if we seek it sincerely.
"(Jesus) In whom we have redemption through His (Jesus') blood, the forgiveness of sins, by the riches of His grace" Ephesians 1:7.
Hope in Jesus
By the grace of God's love we have an everlasting consolation and good hope (2 Thessalonians 2:16). In Jesus, there is hope. In holding on to Jesus, in clinging to Him and believing Him, in depending on Him, and looking to Him, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), we have hope through faith in the Savior.
Receiving God's Salvation
Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved, for by grace we are saved through faith in Jesus, it is God's precious and loving gift to us (Romans 10:13; Ephesians 2:8).
We accept and receive God’s gift of salvation by repenting of our sins. To repent is to be truly sorry for our sin, and to seek Jesus for help; it necessitates change.
Through belief and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we can receive and accept God’s gift; but we must believe in Him, and trust Jesus to give us the ability to change.
With our heart we believe unto righteousness, and with our mouth we make confession of our sin(s) and receive God's salvation (Romans 10:10). We receive eternal life by giving our self to Jesus. Surrendering to Jesus means confessing our sins, and believing in our heart, that Jesus will save us; and He does!
Jesus is the answer to our every need and longing; and deep down it is Him we desire. We spend our lives searching for this and that, hoping to be filled-up and satisfied; but truthfully, only Christ can genuinely satisfy. He brings lasting satisfaction. He is everlasting love.
From Jesus comes authentic purpose and meaningful reward. He is the Lifegiver, the very breath we breathe (Genesis 2:7). Without Him we are nothing, literally. But with Him, we are everything we need to be, and more!
Open up your heart to Jesus, and let Him come into your life. Surrender to the Savior. Don’t delay. The promise of tomorrow is uncertain; and more importantly, without Jesus life is of no lasting value. Even when things seem to be going as they should, if we are not in the will of God, if we are not living in His truth, it is vain.
Life with Jesus is the most excellent and significant reality of the highest kind; it is a life of great worth and import. In Christ, there is hope and help to live as God would have us live.
Jesus loves you, deeply! Trust in Him. Believe Him. Put your faith and confidence in Christ. He will not disappoint you. People hurt us, they disappoint us, but Jesus never does.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5.
Jesus is calling to you, open your heart and let Him into your life.
My child, give Me your heart, and let your eyes observe My ways." Proverbs 23:26.