#1.3 GOD GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON (John 3:16)
A man might say, "It's not my fault, I didn't ask to be born into a corrupt world, and become a sinner before I understood anything about it. God planned it this way, he should do something about it, I can't stop all the sin around me." Well, that may be true, but look at it like this; suppose we woke up one morning and found that our house was on fire. We could say, "It's not my fault, I did not want to wake up in a burning house, I didn't start this fire, and I can't do anything about it, but somebody ought to do something about it." When we look around we might see an open door at the end of the hall, a certain way of escape if we take it; what should we do? Should we stay there and moan, "It's not my fault, I didn't start this fire," and die refusing to take the escape route? Or should we make all haste to escape, thankful that there was a way out? This is like salvation: the world is burning in sin, and if we stay in it we will die and eventually be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). However, God has shown us the way out, and he has made a clear way of escape, through Jesus Christ, for all those who are willing to take it. What should we do? continue in sin and keep on complaining, or take the escape route while there is still time? Surely the latter is the only sensible solution. This is a bible study explaining how God sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to die for all sinners.
In order to save us, God has had to make a provision to pay for our past sins, and this he did by sending his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a sinless life on the earth:
(Hebrews 4:14-15) "Jesus the Son of God ... was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
This being so, he did not have to pay the penalty for his own sin, which is death (Genesis 2:17; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23), but he was able to voluntarily lay down his own life (John 10:15; 10:18), and suffer and die for our sins:
(Isaiah 53:5-6) "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement
of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
It is like a man standing before a judge in court, convicted of a crime of which he admits he is guilty. The sentence of the judge is either a large fine, or a period in jail. The man admits his guilt, but he has no money to pay the fine, and he does not want to go to jail. What can he do? The son of the judge, having compassion on him, then offers to pay his fine if he will come and work for him, and the judge asks the convicted man if this is acceptable to him. If he agrees, his fine is paid, his debt is cancelled, and he goes free to work for his new friend. If he refuses he goes to jail. So it is with salvation: Jesus has paid our fine for past sins, and we are free to go if we are prepared to follow him. Salvation is totally free, and there is nothing that we can do to earn it (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5), but there is a requirement of us after we are saved. Jesus himself said it, "he who does not take his cross, and does not follow after me, is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:38). When we receive Jesus as our Lord and saviour, it is not unconditional, there is an acceptance that we will endeavour to follow him, and obey him:
(Luke 6:46) "And why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do the things which I say?"
So there is God's provision, Jesus Christ has paid our debt, if we are prepared to receive it.
(Romans 7:19-24) "For the good which I would do, I do not do: but the evil which I would not do, that I do.
Again Jesus Christ is the answer. The fact that he is not dead, but God raised him up after three days, his spirit can now come to dwell in our hearts to deliver us from sin:
(Acts 3:26) "To you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."
Imagine trying to get the air out of a glass. Tip it up, or spoon it out, all has no effect. Even if we put a cap on it, and tried to suck it out with a vacuum pump, we would not get it all out, and the external pressure would probably break the glass. But if we take it to a tap, and fill it with water, the water would push the air out because it is heavier than air, and it requires little or no effort. So it is with sin: we cannot get sin out of ourselves, there is no way that we can forsake sin by will power and self effort, because if we do get rid of one sin, another often replaces it. The law of sin and death operates in us, which is that sin produces spiritual death, and spiritual death causes sin; and so it perpetuates itself. The answer is through Jesus Christ:
(Romans 7:24-25) "O wretched man that I am! who will deliver me from the body of this death. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
As the spirit of Christ grows in our hearts, it pushes sin out just like water pushes air out of a glass. The law of the spirit of life comes into operation to set us free from sin. Christ is stronger than sin. Don't ever refuse salvation because of sin that you have been unable to forsake; Jesus is the answer, he will help you.
(John 1:12) "But as many as received him, to them gave he authority to become the sons of God, even to those who believe in his name."
Don't delay salvation in order to try to forsake sin first either, if you could make yourself good enough then Christ's death was pointless. Our self righteousness is just filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6). So God has made a double provision, forgiveness of past sins, and deliverance from current sins, both of which we can appropriate by faith when we are born again. A better life awaits all those who wish to receive it.
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