By Elizabeth Prata
This post first appeared on The End Time in September 2011. It’s been slightly edited.
Many people believe in a god. If, as people say, ‘a god’ does exist, then it stands to reason He is far above us in ways and thoughts. And if He is far above us in ways and thoughts it stands to reason that He is perfectly holy, just, and wise. For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. (Ephesians 2:14).
It also stands to reason that if He is so far above us, then we are below Him in ways and thoughts and wisdom. We are not equals, that is for sure.
Now, the standout attribute of our God (not ‘a god,’ because He is the only one, of course) is that He is holy. Holiness is described as “A quality of perfection, sinlessness, and inability to sin that is possessed by God alone.”
What is it that makes Him holy and us not holy? Our sin. Sin is anything we think, say, or do that displeases God. It is cosmic treason, as RC Sproul said. It is disobeying His holy Law.
Since we cannot go through life perfect, then we sin, and we displease God. Our sins keep us from having a relationship with Him because He is holy and we are not. Every sin we commit is a brick in a wall between us and Him. If we die with that wall there, it stays there for eternity and we will go to hell and be separated from Him forever. There.we are punished for those sins we had committed while alive on earth.
But He made a way for us, sinful though we are, to have a relationship with Him. He desires communion with His people. The way He made, is through His son Jesus. He said to His Son, (Hebrews 5:5; Psalm 2:7) in effect, ‘I am going to ask you to set aside your divinity, pour yourself into human flesh, and live a life on earth, be accused though you are sinless, and die a terrible death on the cross. You will exhaust all My wrath for sin, being the sacrificial Lamb in the people’s stead. Once your blood is shed, it will pay the debt humanity owes me for their sins and they will be covered.’ Jesus said ‘OK.’
After Jesus died on the cross and was buried, on the third day God made Him come to life again. He ascended and dwells with God in heaven. He welcomes believers home to Him when they die! (Hebrews 1:3) It is simultaneously a beautiful and a horrific plan.
What I just said is re-stated from Ephesians 2.
What a person has to do to find faith is to believe that Jesus was and is the son of God, died for our sins, and rose to life again. If you believe that then by default you also believe that you know you’re a sinner and you ask Him to forgive the sins. Because His blood covers you, your confession and belief will enact your pardon. The brick wall will come down. We are justified and regenerated.
Jesus says that once you believe, THEN He makes all the truths of the Bible come alive in your brain. The Bible will no longer be a dry, dusty, incomprehensible book but the Living Word from a Living God who loves us. You know what else He does for us after a you believe? He sends the Holy Spirit to be inside us to help us resist sin and temptation. Oh, we still sin, we’re human after all. But the more we submit to the Spirit’s leading, the less we WANT to sin, and the more He helps us resist it. Like I said, it is a relationship.
For that relationship to begin, you must first understand that you sin. Do you believe this?
How can a person obtain faith? “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.“—Romans 10:17. Charles Spurgeon preached on this topic, “How can I obtain faith?“. Click the link to read the whole sermon. He began with saying this:
It is difficult to make men understand that the salvation of the gospel is not by works but entirely by grace, that it is not presented to men as the reward of their own endeavors, but is given to them freely upon their accepting it by an act of simple faith or trust in Jesus Christ.
That is all there is. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. We obtain faith by grace. It is all His grace given to us.
Faith comes by hearing the Word. “For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14).