God Created You in His Image for His Glory
The entire universe and everything in it is God's work alone. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Because He is the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of all things, all of creation reflects His power and glory.
- "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork" (Psalm 19:1).
God is HOLY. Holiness is the attribute that makes God completely unique and separate from His creation. He is perfect in every way. In His perfection, God will execute perfect justice. He cannot overlook or tolerate the slightest wrongdoing or sin.
- "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing." (Habakkuk 1:13).
God’s LOVE is as great as His holiness. Out of His love, God created you. In fact, He made you the pinnacle of His creation! You, unlike the rest of God’s creation, are made in the image of God Himself.
- "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).
As Creator of all things—including you—God is supremely deserving of your praise and honor. Because God is your loving Creator, your highest responsibility is to love, worship, and obey Him alone.
- "Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created" (Revelation 4:11).
But something is wrong. Why do we all fail to reflect God’s glory and obey Him as we should?
We Have Rebelled Against Our Creator
Soon after God created Adam and Eve (the first man and woman), they willfully rebelled against God, and sin entered the human race. Every person since has inherited that sinful nature and has continued to rebel against our Creator. We are sinners both by nature (because we inherited our sinful natures from Adam and Eve) and by choice (because we willfully choose to disobey God).
- "Sin came into the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
- "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Because God is perfect in Holiness, He cannot tolerate the presence of sin. Our sins have separated us from our Creator, with tragic consequences.
- “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).
- “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
How can we sinners ever become righteous and acceptable in God’s
Jesus Came to Save Sinners
God, because of His great love, sent His Son—Jesus—into the world so that sinners may be reconciled to God.
- "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Peace with God is possible because of everything Jesus did on behalf of sinners: His Life, Death, and Resurrection.
His Life. Jesus succeeded where we failed by living a perfectly sinless and obedient life. He obtained the perfect record we need in order to be acceptable by God.
- Jesus is the “One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).
His Death. Jesus made atonement, a reconciliation between sinners and God, by dying on the cross in our place. He took upon Himself the punishment that we deserve, so that we might be reconciled to God.
- "While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Romans 5:10).
- "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 3:18).
At the cross, an amazing exchange took place. Our sins were placed upon Jesus, and Jesus' perfect righteousness was placed upon those who follow Him.
- "For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
His Resurrection. Jesus’ death is not the end of the story. Three days later, He victoriously rose from the grave! Jesus’ resurrection is proof that God had approved His perfect life and His perfect sacrifice. Sin was dealt with, and death was defeated!
- Jesus “was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:25).
But the blessings of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection apply only to those who will respond by following Him as Savior and Lord.
The Response Required of You
You must receive Jesus as Savior and Lord by a voluntary and intentional act of the will. You must trust in Him alone for salvation.
- Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
- "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
And . . . You must turn from your sins (repent) and turn to Him in love and obedience.
- Jesus said, “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
- Jesus also said, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15).
God offers us salvation as a free gift of His grace. God’s grace comes to those who are united to Jesus and to His righteousness, by faith.
- "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
- "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
For those who repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus as Savior, God promises eternal life.
The Gift that Awaits You
Jesus brings new, everlasting life to all who place their faith in Him.
- Jesus promised, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24).
- "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
This does not mean that we are free from troubles in this lifetime. But in spite of difficulties, Jesus promises to His followers a peace beyond understanding.
- Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (John 14:27).
That peace comes from knowing that nothing in the universe can separate believers from God's love.
- “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35, 37-39).
The promise of God, to those who trust in Jesus, is peace with God in this world and eternal life in the world to come. This wonderful gift of eternal life is given to all those who have been saved through faith in Jesus.
What About You?
How have you responded to Jesus Christ? On the cross, Jesus suffered the justice and wrath of God on behalf of all those who trust Him as Savior and Lord. On the other hand, those who do not trust Him as Savior and Lord will suffer the judgment of God for themselves.
- "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him" (John 3:36).
The question remains: Where do you stand in the sight of God? If Jesus returned today to judge the world, would you experience the everlasting joy of heaven with Him, or would you suffer God's wrath? Are you ready to follow Jesus as your Savior and Lord?
- Go to God in Prayer. Admit to Him that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Ask Him to have mercy on you and to forgive you of your sins. Thank Him for sending His Son—Jesus—whose life, death, and resurrection secured salvation for all who will follow Him.
- Commit Your Life to Jesus. Tell Him that you repent of your sins and trust in Him as Savior and Lord. Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit—to empower you to live a life that will bring glory to His name.
- Join a Community of Believers. As soon as possible, seek out a faithful church that will baptize you and give you guidance and encouragement in your new walk with Christ. Seek a church, like Longbranch, where the gospel is proclaimed, Jesus is glorified, and the Bible is taught.
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