God v. You

Romans-5-8

From the beginning of time, people have wrestled with the power of sin. It comes in many forms: pride, jealousy, immorality, and every other form of self-satisfaction. These all stem from the root of original sin, and just as Satan appealed to Eve’s appetite for the only thing God withheld, so Satan stands before us with lies. He tells us that doing the right thing according to God’s standard only keeps us from happiness and self-satisfaction.

Describing the progression of sin, the Bible says:

But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. — James 1:14–15

While Satan tempts our desires, he stirs up our appetites for sin. When we give in to the desire, he scores a victory, and we experience miserable defeat.

But it doesn’t need to happen that way. Jesus Christ overcame the power of Satan on the cross. He died for you and for me. He was victorious over death because He defeated sin.

God will not tolerate sin. He condemns it and demands payment for it. God could not remain a righteous God and ignore sin. His holiness and His justice demand retribution.

The tendency today is to feel that such a statement is too severe. So we find ourselves manufacturing another gospel. We may say that sin is not so bad. But God said all sin is very bad and demands the death penalty.

You may say, “That’s pretty harsh.” It is indeed — so harsh that God’s love determined to send Someone who would pay the most brutal penalty. That Someone is the Lord Jesus Christ. He came willingly. Jesus, the perfect Son of God — who knew no sin — chose to bear our sins Himself. The Bible says,

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. — 2 Corinthians 5:21

The very fact that God sent His only Son to the cross in order to pay for sin shows that sin must be dark and black indeed in the sight of God.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8

“The Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins,” is the One who will “rescue us from the present evil age” (Galatians 1:3–4).

This is the wonderful story of the cross. Jesus paid the debt of our sins on the cross of Calvary to free us from having to suffer the penalty due us. People have turned their souls over to Satan, but from the cross of Christ we can hear the Savior say, “I have come to rescue you… come to Me. I bear the weight and the marks of your sin to set you free.” He went willingly to the cross to recover the ownership of your soul. Christ paid the highest price with His precious blood to ransom all who are lost in sin.

Then what is the problem, you may ask? If Jesus died on the cross for our sin and God has forgiven us, then all is well, right?

If we were to take this position we would be as Adam and Eve, unwilling to admit our disobedience against God.

We must acknowledge before Him our transgressions. We must accept responsibility for our sin. Our hearts must truly be repentant for our rebellion against a holy God.

We must realize repenting of our sin is our only hope of receiving God’s salvation. And then we must turn from a life of sin to a life of truth and walk according to His truth. The Bible tells us clearly that all of us as sinners must repent and turn from our sin.

Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. — 2 Timothy 2:19

Repentance is more than just being sorry for our sin; it is a complete turning away from our total depravity. When we do that, Jesus Christ frees us from the consequences of sin, which is guilt and ultimate eternal separation from His presence. Only then are we delivered from the clutches of Satan and from His eternal dominion of Hell.

Perhaps you are saying, “Billy, this is archaic, hard to believe. You’re asking me to believe that Someone I’ve never seen can forgive me of what I’ve done out in the open or even in private?” Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

When we look up to the Savior, He looks into our hearts and says, “I have already forgiven you. The blood I have shed will wash away your guilt.” The Bible says, “The Son of Man [Jesus] has power on earth to forgive sins” (Matthew 9:6).

This is the story of the cross. As Peter put it, Jesus “‘himself bore our sins’ in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed’” (1 Peter 2:24).

Jesus stands ready to forgive you, pardon your offense against Him, and receive you into His care. His will is to save men and women, not condemn them; for He has a profound interest in His creation, so much so that He paid your penalty and mine.

Every sinner must come to an hour of decision.

We are criminals by conviction. We are imprisoned by law. The King is willing to grant us mercy for our offenses. He has made provision to forgive our sinful deeds, and He offers us His grace. Failing to respond to God’s grace will have devastating consequences.

So in the case of God v. you, do you make the plea for Jesus Christ to save you? He will if you admit your guilt and accept His pardon, then live for Him now and with Him in eternity. Or will you reject the pardon? Will you try to convince yourself and others of your innocence?

You can be acquitted of the penalty of death. This is why the Bible says, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13–14).

You don’t have to spend the rest of your life on earth and through eternity imprisoned by your guilt. You can be pardoned. And when the King pardons, your name appears in Heaven’s record, the Book of Life.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. — 1 Peter 3:18

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Your Turn

How has God brought you to repentance? Does your pride ever get in the way of God’s pardon and forgiveness? Share your thoughts and comment on our blog. We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

Billy Graham

Billy Graham, the world-renowned author, preacher, and evangelist has delivered the gospel message to more people face-to-face than anyone in history and has ministered on every continent of the world; millions have read his inspirational classics.

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