We are ALL Sinners
Romans 3 v 23
“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God”
As much as we hate to admit it, there are no exceptions. I am a sinner, and so are you. Even though we do our best, we fall short. We aim to reach a certain standard, if we set the standard ourselves we may even succeed in achieving it, but Paul tells us what the standard is. It is God’s glory. God is perfectly Holy, perfectly Good, perfectly Just, perfectly … Perfect. And we are not. We can never be “good enough” on our own to satisfy God. We fall short, often a long way short. We don’t make the grade. So what?
The Penalty for our sins…
Romans 5 v 12
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned”
Sin has consequences – death. But worse than death – death apart from God, heaven and all the glorious things there. When the first man who ever lived decided to disobey God’s instructions and live his life his own way, the result was death. From there on death is everybody’s end in this life. Why? Because all have sinned.
Romans 6 v 23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
Death means our bodies will die. But it means much more than that. It also means separation from God forever and spending eternity in Hell. That is the wage of sin. By being sinners it is what we have earned, what we deserve, what we have chosen. But – did you see the Good News in this verse? God wants to give us a gift – the gift of eternal life. We do not need to be separated from God forever in Hell, we can spend eternity with Him.
Notice these things… It is a Gift – I cannot earn it; I don’t deserve it; I cannot work for it; I cannot do anything to make it mine except accept it – and neither can you. It’s a Gift. It is God’s gift – God gives it; I can have it because He gives it; the initiative is His. It’s a gift that’s available to you too – as we shall see in a moment.
The gift comes through Jesus – it is in Christ Jesus our Lord. We have already seen that we an do nothing to get it ourselves. We must accept it the way it comes. And it comes through Jesus – no other way.
How much does God love us…
Romans 5 v 8
“God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”
Jesus died for us. God loved us so much that He sent His only son to take our place. The wages of sin is death. Someone has to die for my sin, someone has to die for your sin. We can either do it ourselves and be separated from God forever in Hell or we can accept that Jesus died for us. God sent Jesus to die on a cross for sins that He (Jesus) had never committed, but for your sins and for mine. This is the proof that God loves us. (see John 3 v 16-17)
How do I get this gift …
Romans 10 v 9-10
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justifed, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved”.
He says ‘Confess and Believe’, or, ‘Believe and Confess’. The order is not important, the two things go together. We need to believe what God has done. God sent His Son to die for our sins. Believe it!
God also raised him from death again to prove that He accepts the sacrifice Jesus made. Believe it! Believing means more than just thinking it in our heads. It means Accept it, Trust it, Rely on it, Count on it - Believe it!
But Paul also says Confess it! Believing in our hearts should lead to action. To saying ‘Jesus is Lord’, speaking it out to ourselves and to others, living on the outside – by what we say and do – what we believe on the inside. Confess it!
When we believe we are justified – put right with God, acquitted of our sin – when we confess we are saved – from the consequences of our sin.
Romans 10 v 13
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”
Notice who this includes - everyone!
But, what does ‘call on the name of the Lord’ mean? In Bible times (perhaps more so than today, at least in some parts of the world) names were given to show a person’s character, what they were really like. The name Jesus means ‘Saviour – one who saves’. To call on His name then is to ask him (call to him) to save us (his name). That’s God’s promise to you and me – if you will accept (believe) Jesus as your saviour (his name), He will accept and save you.
How can you call?
There is no special words you have to pray to be saved. God knows your heart. He knows if you truly believe that Jesus died for you and if you really accept His way of being saved.
Pray to God, just talk naturally to him. Admit that you are a sinner and are lost unless he saves you.
Repent of your sins, that means tell God that you are sorry for them and that you will turn away from your sins.
Ask His forgiveness for them – be specific about which sins need forgiveness
Ask him to save you.
Then thank God for hearing your prayer (for he says ‘everyone who calls WILL be saved’). Thank Him for giving His only Son, Jesus, for your benefit. Now ask Jesus to help you live as He would have you live. Thank him that He will.
Romans 8 v 1-2
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
We saw earlier that sin has consequences – being saved also has consequences. The first is that we are no longer condemned. Because of sin we were condemned to death – separation form God forever in Hell. But when we believe, accept, trust what Jesus did for us on the cross this verse tells us that there is no condemnation because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Now that is Good News!
God’s promise is that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”.
If you have just prayed a prayer along the lines suggested above then you have ‘called on the Lord’ and now you are saved!
Welcome to the family of God!
Elsewhere in the Bible this is called being ‘born again’ (see John 3 v 1-21). What has happened to you is not just a single event but the beginning of a whole new life. Now you need to go on living the life of a member of God’s family.
If you have just been ‘born again’ you need to grow up, to learn, to understand who you are, to get to know God more than you do so far, to discover the future He has prepared for you. Here are a few suggestions to get you going…
Read the Bible every day and listen to what God is telling you through His Word.
Continue to pray – talk with God – ask for his help, tell him you needs, build a relationship.
Find a Bible teaching Church, go there and enjoy the company of others in His family.
Get involved in your new family, the church. The leaders will guide and direct you in your new life.
Tell others of your experience (confess with your mouth, remember?), share your joy.