The Christian Message Explained
It all starts with the simple fact that God wants friendship with me. Why else would he have created mankind in the first place? Why else would he have bothered to stay in contact with us after mankind has let him down as described in the Adam & Eve account? But yet "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son..." John 3.16
But: God is perfect! Afterall He is God. The Bible talks about a God who is holy and righteous. Unlike the Greek Gods which seem to have a bigger mess in heaven, than we have on earth. Unlike some God from eastern religions who have no personality at all.
This brings us to the big problem of mankind: God is perfect, but I am not! The bible tells us that "...no one [is] righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have become altogether worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes." Romans 3.10-18
That sounds pretty harsh, but watching the evening news of any given day, it rings true.
Because God is perfect and I am not, Friendship with God is not possible just like that. You can actually trace this general feeling of mankind in most religions. Almost all have the sense that the relationship between God and mankind has broken down. Therefore God needs to be appeased and a huge variety of tasks, rites and worship practices need to be in place to make it up.
God is the giver of life. Whichever conviction or theory you might have about how exactly our world came into being, the fact that someone designed it seems most logical to me. Since God is the creator and giver of life, being cut off from Him, not in union with Him, this ultimately means death. The Bible in its usual blunt language puts it: "...the wages of sin is death,..." Romans 6.23
And here comes the real killer: I canít do anything about that. Simply because, how ever hard I try, I cannot reach God's standard of perfection. I might get further than some, maybe even further than most, but I would still fall short. "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..." Romans 3.23 Like in football, it doesn't matter by how far you have missed the goal, if it's not in, it's simply not in.
The one thing that makes the Christian Faith stand out amongst the rest is that although I can't do anything about that, God can and He did! "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3.16 Now how amazing is that. The God of the universe takes it upon himself to do something about our problem with him. He takes the first step, does it before you and me were even born.
The way he did it speaks volumes too: He died on the cross and rose again! "God presented him [Jesus] as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." Romans 3.25 God paid the price which we would have had to pay. He takes the punishment on our behalf. But death did not have the victory but God did: Jesus rose again.
Now there is one thing left to do: I accept and trust that he did it for me. When Parcelforce delivers a parcel with your name on it to your door - the parcel is yours. All that is left to do is accept it is yours and sign your name. The way we accept God's gift of life is by faith: "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe." Romans 3.22
By accepting that
God wants friendship with me,
but: God is perfect and I am not
and therefore friendship with God is not possible
which ultimately means death,
and I can't do anything about that,
but God can and did,
and He actually died on the cross and rose again.
By accepting all this and putting my trust in God
I have a great promise that: "all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" John1.12 Now I am his child!
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This artcle has been written by Michl Kohl of Morecambe Community Church and is used with permission.