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“There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement [as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away sin] through faith in his blood.” (Romans 3:21-25)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! all this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
It doesn’t matter who we are, every single one of us has sinned against God. We are all equal at the foot of the cross; we are all equally in need of mercy. Our sin prevents us from having a personal relationship with God, for God is perfectly holy and cannot be in the presence of sin.
However, God still loves us immensely and desires each one of us to enjoy a loving personal relationship with him. For that reason, God made the way for us to be reconciled to himself.
“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)
God sent his Son, Jesus, to live the perfect, sinless life we could not live. Jesus then took upon himself all of our sins and bore the punishment for them by dying on the cross. What amazing love!
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:6-11)
To be reconciled to God and to come into a loving, personal relationship with him, you must repent (turn away) from your sins and ask God to forgive you. Secondly, you must trust in Jesus to be your personal Savior, believing that his death on the cross paid the full punishment for your sins. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
As soon as you place your faith in Jesus as Savior, all your sins–past, present and future–are accounted to him…and his perfect righteousness and right standing with God is freely given to you. It is a ransom, a trading of places, and it is approriated by faith.
How beautiful is God’s love for us!
(See “Message” )
“[Jesus said] ‘But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.’” (John 12:32)
The people in this drawing come from all different walks of life. In the eyes of the world, some are more important or honored in society than others. Nevertheless, each one stands equally valued by God and equally guilty before God because of their sins. However, the wonderful message of this drawing is not condemnation but redemption.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:17-18).
Each of these people is confessing their sins to God and is asking him for forgiveness. As each one puts his or her faith in the blood of Jesus, God forgives them. The blood of Jesus flows down from the cross, symbolizing atonement for sin and the mercy of God, for Hebrews 9:22 says, “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”.
Salvation (being saved from our sins) is so simple because all we have to do is believe. Even a little child can do that! God also made salvation equally accessible to everyone, for we do not have to be holy, good or smart to appropriate it. All we have to do is come to God, just as we are, as sinners in need of mercy, and repent and believe in Jesus, and he will save us.
“Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?’ Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32)
This drawing also has a wider meaning than just salvation. Sometimes, if we are not careful, we Christians can start to look down on our fellow Christians and develop a “holier than thou” attitude towards those who are struggling with sin. We can easily get planks in our eyes (Matthew 7:1-5) and turn into Christian Pharisees. We must remember that we commit the exact same sins as other Christians do (Romans 2, Matthew 7:1-5). All of us battle against our flesh, we all struggle with temptations (1 Corinthians 10:1-13), and we all fight against the same devil.
Even as Christians, we are still all the same. We are still all equal at the foot of the cross and equally in need of mercy. Each one of us has been bought by the blood of Jesus; none of us has merited our own salvation or God’s favor through our works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Neither has any of us progressed in sanctification except by the grace and Holy Spirit of God. Therefore, no one can boast about being a greater, more holy Christian than any other for it’s only by God’s grace that we are saved, and it’s only by God’s grace that we are sanctified. Any holiness within us is Christ himself. We need to have Paul’s attitude:
“For I am the least of all the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10).