God loves you.
It’s that simple, and yet it’s so profound. But He doesn’t love like we love. We use the term love in all sorts of different ways: “I love pizza.” “I love Rom-coms.” “I love my friends.” “I love my wife.” And our love is often fickle, morphing and ebbing and flowing with the situation. But God’s is not–He never changes (Heb. 13:8), and His deep love for us never changes.
But how does God show His love for us? Well, the Bible tells us that “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Notice that it says God shows–not just in the past, but in the present. He continues to show us just how much He loves us by pointing to what Jesus Christ did for us.
But why Jesus have to come? God tells us four things by sending Jesus.
1. We all have sinned against God.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever looked at someone with lust? (Jesus tells us that if we’ve done that last one, we’ve committed adultery with that person. See Matthew 5:27-28). Well if you answered yes to those three questions (most of us probably did), then that makes you a lying, thieving adulterer. And that’s just scratching the surface! The truth is that all of us have broken God’s perfect law. That’s called sin. And if God is a good Judge, He has to punish sin. It can be a terrifying truth that at the end of our lives, we each will give an account to God for what we’ve done (Hebrews 9:27).
2. God loves you anyway.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
This is where things get good. Even though we have turned our backs on God, He still loves us. That verse from Romans 5 at the top of this page tells us that Christ came “while we were still sinners.” That means that God loves you before you get your life together and stop sinning. No matter what you’ve done and no matter where you’ve been. See, Christianity isn’t a religion of do-better. It’s not about trying harder. You can’t earn God’s love–He gave it while you were still fighting against Him. And He did it by sending Jesus.
3. Jesus died and rose for your sins.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received; that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3)
We said earlier that if God is a good Judge (and He is–see Psalm 89:14), then He must punish sin. A good judge can’t just let a murder go unpunished. And this is why Jesus came. Jesus, the Son of God, lovingly chose to take our place–He became a human, He lived a perfectly obedient life (He didn’t sin), and He was crucified on a cross. And while He was dying on the cross, God punished Him for everything I’ve done wrong. Everything you’ve done wrong. For anyone who believes in Him, so that God might be “just and justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). So God didn’t just sweep your sins under the rug–no, He placed those sins on Jesus, and Jesus took the punishment for them, instead of you.
4. You can be saved from your sins.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
This is the Good News (called the Gospel): after Jesus died to take our punishment, He didn’t stay dead. On the third day He rose from the grave, proving that He had finished the work He came to do. The resurrection is God’s stamp of approval on Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. Jesus has done everything necessary for us to be saved. All we do is believe in and follow Him. We’re saved only by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ. But that faith then works itself out in our lives by fighting sin and pursuing holiness (Philippians 2:12).
HOW TO BE SAVED
And if you want to be saved from the judgment and power and condemnation for your sins, it’s really as simple as A,B,C.
- Admit that you have sinned against God and that you need His forgiveness.
- Believe that Jesus died for your sins on the cross and rose again on your behalf.
- Commit to following Him with your life. Lay down your crown and let Him be the King of your life.
If you’re ready to do that, maybe it’s time to pray something like this. It’s not the words that save you–they should come from a heart that is surrendered to Christ.
Lord, I know that I have sinned against You. I have broken Your Law and have done wrong. But I thank You that even though You are a Perfect Judge, You showed Your love for me. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and that He rose again. I trust in Him and I ask for forgiveness. Please save me from my sins and help me to live for You. It’s only because of what Jesus has done that I ask this. Amen.
If you are a new follower of Jesus, then the wonderful journey of your new life has just begun. Remember, Christianity isn’t primarily a religion of do, but of believe. But because you believe, here are a few things the Bible says God has given you for your good.
The Bible. This is how God has spoken to us. He tells us about who He is, what He is doing, and what He will do. As His children, He gives us some family rules to follow as well for our good. (2 Timothy 3:16-17). If you don’t have a Bible of your own, give us a call–we’d be glad to get one to you.
Prayer. God loves to hear from His children (1 Peter 5:7). You don’t have to be “good” at praying–you’re simply talking to the God who saved you! In good times or bad, God loves to hear from you, and He delights to answer our prayers (Matthew 7:7-11).
The Local Church. It is important to be connected to a Bible-believing local church. This community of believers will support and strengthen you in your faith (Ephesians 4:11-16). If you’re in the area, we’d love for you to join us at Cashie Baptist. But even if it’s not here, get plugged into a church. Give us a call if you need help finding one in your area.
Those are good (and necessary) places to start. We’d be glad to talk about any of this with you and try to answer any questions you have about Jesus, the Bible, the Church (or anything else)--just give us a shout!