I’m beginning a three part series on The Gospel, and will be doing an episode of The GateKeepers Radio Show on this topic, as well. If the church is going to get one thing right, this better be it!
But before we get into the Good News of salvation, we have to understand the problem. We have to understand why we need a Savior. The answer to that is the problem of sin.
In the book of Genesis, we see how sin entered the world. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s command, desiring the ONLY thing that God said that they could not have. Think about it… they could indulge themselves in anything else that God created! They could eat of every single tree in the entire world if they chose… but because God said “No” to that one single tree in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve succumbed to the tempter and ate of the fruit.
As Romans 5:12 explains, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”
Now, this is an important distinction that we have to make. Sin entered the world because of Adam, and is passed down from generation to generation. We are all sinners. But we are all individually sinners. We are sinners because we have sinned, not simply because Adam sinned. Does that make sense?
We all know Romans 3:23, which says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This is a very profound statement. Every single one of us has sinned and falls short of the glory of God.
We have two ways to receive salvation. We can live a sinless, perfect life, or we can allow Christ to pay the penalty for our sins. As Romans 3:23 explains, each one of us have sinned, so we fall short of God’s standard. What is God’s standard? Perfection! Who is the only person in the history of the world to achieve that standard? Jesus Christ.
Now, the question is, what is the punishment for our sin? Romans 6:23 explains: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There’s an obvious contrast there in that passage. The contrast between life and death. One is earned, one is a free gift. One is eternal life WITH Christ, and one is eternal death WITHOUT Christ.
Clearly sin has consequences. Even just one sin eliminates our ability to qualify for eternal salvation on our own. And we all know that we’ve committed more than one sin.
Often times pastors just jump straight to the solution without conveying the problem. We are sinners, with no chance of eternal life on our own. If it wasn’t for the saving power of God choosing to save us, we would all be destined for eternal punishment in hell. That is what we deserve. We deserve death. That is humbling. This is what should motivate us to win the lost.
I don’t want anyone to experience what they actually deserve. Thankfully God provided a solution to the problem of sin. That’s what we’ll discuss next time.