God has good news for you! He sent
it by way of a man named Paul. It's recorded in the Bible, in the New
Testament book of Romans.
What I'm going to share with you is
a summary of that good news from God. I'm not going to directly quote from
Romans. I invite you to read the book of Romans itself to discover this good
Paul starts by telling us several
things we know all too well, that we are all sinners and that we are all
going to die. These things we know. We all violate rules and go against our
consciences. And we're all mortal, destined to die. This doesn't sound like
good news, does it?
But Paul assures us that we're in
this condition through no fault of our own. Paul places the responsibility
for our condition on one man, Adam, the father of our race. When Adam
sinned, back in Eden, all of his descendants became mortal dying sinners.
Now we didn't "elect" Adam as our head. We didn't choose him as our parent.
We had no choice at all in what he did, or in what we became. Yet we suffer,
we are affected, by what he did. It is true that when we sin, we exercise
our own volition; we sin willingly, and experience the consequences.
Nevertheless, death lies ahead for each one
of us, not because of anything we have done, but because of
what Adam did.
In fact, later in this book of
Romans, Paul tells us that it is God Himself Who claims direct
responsibility for placing the human race in the condition in which we find
ourselves. It is God Who has made us mortal sinners. It is God Who has
placed us in this world to experience both good and evil, for a very
specific reason--to save us.
That's the good news: that God
intends to save us from our condition as mortal sinners through the death of
the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul assures us that because of what Christ did for
us, in dying on the cross, we will all be raised to immortality, delivered
from our mortal dying condition, forgiven of our sins, reconciled to God. It
has always been God's intention to save us.
God left nothing to chance.
Remember, we had no choice in becoming mortal sinners. But, being sinners,
we have all acted like sinners through our own volition, choosing to sin.
Nothing we did could have changed our condition. And, too, there's nothing
we could have done to make ourselves righteous or earn ourselves a
relationship with God. From the beginning, God placed us in this "school of
hard knocks," subjecting us to a mixture of good and evil, with the same
goal in mind, so that each of us would ultimately desire to love and have
fellowship with Him. Goodness, love, joy, and so
forth, however, cannot be truly appreciated apart from experiencing their
absence, their loss, or their opposites.
And in saving us God also leaves
nothing to chance. Salvation is totally God's work. It was accomplished by
Jesus Christ's obedience to God, and His death on the cross for sinners. He
died for all of us. God's intention is to save all of us. He will be
satisfied with nothing less. We will all be saved in due time.
Paul insists that we are saved
totally by grace. There are no conditions we have to perform in order to be
saved. We don't have to repent, be baptized, tithe, join a church, speak in
tongues. We're saved through faith. If we believe the good news, we are
saved. But we're not saved by believing it. Faith is not a condition. It's
the result. The faith to believe is given to us by God. Not only is there no
way we could have qualified for life, or earned God's forgiveness, but
nothing we do after receiving God's forgiveness can disqualify us from fully
experiencing God's salvation. Nothing! According to God's purpose, some of
us will be chosen to receive this gift of faith in this life.
The rest will be saved later. But all mankind, each
in his own order, in due time, will be receive the salvation Jesus secured
by His death on the cross.
So what, specifically, is this good
news from God? Jesus Christ, God's Son, died, and rose from the dead, and He
did it for you. Jesus actually died; His death secured the forgiveness of
our sins. He was actually raised from the dead; His resurrection secured our
justification. We are, in God's sight, not just forgiven sinners, but fully
righteous. Not only that, but He is completely conciliated to us, and asks
us to be conciliated to Him, thus establishing complete reconciliation.
There is no condemnation--only peace between us and God.
Jesus did this for us while we were
sinners. In fact, this salvation was planned even before God created the
world. God has no backup plans. The sin of Adam and Eve did not take God by
surprise. God is God. He's absolutely sovereign. He knows the end from the
beginning. He is operating all things according to the counsel of His own
will. And His intention has always been to save mankind, and, to be
reconciled with all His enemies. You see, even God's enemies are fulfilling
His intention. Good and evil are both necessary to fully reveal God and His
goodness and love.
You may have thought that millions
are going to spend eternity in "hell." Nothing could be farther from the
truth. That would mean that God is a failure--either unable to save those He
wants to save, or unwilling to save all He could have saved. That's not good
news. That's not what God's Word declares. "Hell," as most envision it, is a
You may have thought that we can
refuse God, resist God's will, even choose to be lost, or, if we're not
careful, become disqualified and lose our salvation through sin or neglect.
Again, nothing could be farther from the truth. How can we possibly
disqualify ourselves from something we never "qualified for" in the first
place? Salvation is a gift.
What do we have to do to
be saved? Nothing. We've already done all we need to do: be
lost! The Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior, not we, ourselves. He's
the One Who saves. He actually saves. He's the Good Shepherd. He's the One
Who seeks and finds His lost sheep. Jesus doesn't seek and save
provisionally, potentially, or conditionally. He actually seeks and actually
finds lost sheep, and returns them to God's sheepfold.
Are you lost, a sinner? God loves
you. Christ Jesus died for you, and rose from the dead for you. Believe in
the Lord Jesus Christ. If you do, that's proof that you have been
saved by the Savior. Continue believing, and thus continue being saved in
your daily experience. Reconciliation and peace with God are yours. This is truly good news. By: Richard C. Condon