The Free Gift

  The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He have His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3 v 16).

  It also says, “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6 v 23).

  We are not talking here about a miserable life but a life full of unimaginable joy and pleasure (1 Corinthians 2 v 9, Psalm 16 v 11).

  What is the alternative to this life in God’s presence?

  The alternative is to be put out of His presence to a place of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth and to be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matthew 8 v 12, 13 v 42-50, 22 v13, Revelation 20 v 10-15, Revelation 21 v 8).

  The Problem

  So, what is the problem, what is stopping us from automatically inheriting eternal life?

  The problem is our corrupted nature.

  When Adam disobeyed God he corrupted his nature and has now passed on to all his descendants a corrupted, or sinful, nature.  This nature consist of desires that are contrary to God’s will and His law.  When we are tempted and turn from obedience to God’s law to follow after these corrupt desires then we are disobeying God and pleasing our own corrupt nature.  God calls this SIN.

  The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3 v 23).

  Because we have broken God’s law, and continue to break His law, we have created a great gulf between God and us.  How is it possible to bridge this gulf, have fellowship with God, and receive eternal life? 

  Well, with man this is impossible for all have sinned, and the wages of sin is death.

  With God however all things are possible.

  God’s Answer

For God to be righteous and just He must punish our disobedience?

  The very word ‘righteous’ has in its roots a meaning of punishing wrong actions.

  No righteous judge can turn a blind eye to something that carries with it the death penalty.

  Yet how can a loving God not do something to save those He loves? 

  God’s answer to our problem was the sacrificial giving of the Son of His love, Jesus.

God gives us the gift of eternal life by allowing Jesus, who was innocent and sinless, to be punished instead of us who are guilty.

  Jesus shared the Fathers glory but He was willing to give it up and come to earth to suffer and die a shameful death all because He loved us so much.

  Jesus reveals to us the complete love of God towards us.  He was the exact image of His Father.  He never said or did anything except what was given to Him from the Father.

  The Bible says that He is God manifest in the flesh.  That He is the Word of God that has become flesh and dwelt amongst men. 

  The Bible shows us that before Jesus came, God provided what He called a ‘Mercy Seat’. This Mercy Seat was a place where God and man could once more fellowship together.   The Mercy Seat was made of pure Gold but it was necessary for it to be sprinkled with the blood of a substitute sacrifice before communion would take place.  This blood would not take away a persons sins but it would cover them.  It was the High Priest job once a year to take this blood into the Holy of Holies where the Mercy Seat was.

  The Mercy Seat is the Old Testament type of Jesus Christ.  It represents Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ fulfils the work of the Mercy Seat by His death on the cross.  His death on the cross is given in order to be a substitute sacrifice for the sins of the world, however, His Blood being shed not only covers our sins but also takes them away and therefore He reconciles us back to God.

  The Bible tells us that the wrath of God is upon every one who has sinned (that means all of us).  The greatest sin is the breaking of the first commandment that God gave, which is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, with our entire mind and with all our strength.

  The mind and thoughts are where the corrupt imaginations of the heart find their outlet, eventually resulting in wrong actions.  In the sight of God, we are as guilty in our thoughts as we are in our actions.

  When Jesus was willing to die on the cross He knew it was the only way to save mankind.  Not only did He have to suffer and die, but He also had to fully satisfy God’s anger against man’s sin.  Jesus was the only one without sin yet the Bible tells us that when He died on the cross He was made sin for us.  He carried all our sins in His body on the tree and therefore received the punishment for our sins.

  Jesus not only had to suffer great agony in His body but also the awful consequence of having the sins of the whole world put upon Him.  Jesus was the only person that never sinned.  He hated sin yet here He was made sin for us, the consequences being that the Father could not look upon Him and in great anguish of soul Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me”. 

  God the Father is satisfied with the punishment that Jesus, His Son, received on the cross on our behalf.  God Himself provided the sacrifice for our sins in giving us His only beloved Son to die as a substitute for all mankind.  God has made the way for man to have fellowship with Himself once more.

  If the sacrifice is acceptable to God then the High Priest who offers the sacrifice will live.  Jesus is not only our sacrifice but also our High Priest taking the sacrificial Blood into the Holy of Holies.

  As a sacrifice Jesus had to die but as a High Priest He must live, so He was raised back to life to prove that the sacrifice was acceptable and so that as our High Priest He could enter the presence of God with His own precious Blood and therefore make a way for all people to enter with Him into the Holy of Holies.

  What Must We Do?

  What do we have to do in order to receive this eternal life?

  Jesus said we “must be born again”.  We have all been born as part of this earth (ashes to ashes, dust to dust), now we must be born from above, a heavenly, spiritual, new birth, with a new nature.

  Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh (natural birth), that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (spiritual birth).  Brackets mine.

  When we believe in and put our trust in Jesus, accepting by faith what He has done for us on the cross, then God’s Spirit will quicken our spirit making us alive to God.  He will give us a new heart whose inclination is to keep God’s law.  We will have peace with God.  We will be saved by God’s grace, through faith (which is also a gift of God) not of any works that we can do, so that no one can boast.  We just have to believe it and accept the Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts and live by faith.

The Bible tells us that it is God who first calls us and it is God who, by His grace, saves us.  However there is something in between being called and saved that we must do.  The Bible says that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved, so when God calls to us we must respond by calling back to Him.  The Bible also says "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved", so we must believe on Jesus and everything He has done for us by His death on the cross.  We are also told that as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God.  So we must receive Him as Lord of our lives.

  When we believe in Jesus then we will naturally have a great sorrow for the sins we have committed and a desire to turn from these sins and follow Jesus.

  We now must confess our faith in the Lord Jesus to other people, not only that, but He calls us to be baptised in water as a witness to our leaving the old life and making a new life in Christ.

  The Bible tells us that, when we believe in Jesus we are justified by faith, God justifies the ungodly.  We are also told that the just shall live by faith.  What about if we sin now that we are saved?  The Bible tells us that if we confess our sins (to God) then He will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  It is a continual walk of faith in the shed Blood of Jesus to atone for all our sin.