John 3:17-18 For God sent not his son into
the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He
on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Last time we studied we saw that humans are sinful, that sin is genetic, and that humans got that way of their own accord. I also hinted about a cure for this condition, the grace of Jesus Christ.
Like any disease that first step to a cure is knowing you're sick. This is a particularly bad problem with sin, because everyone has this disease. Think of it like this: You are born blind, unless someone were to tell you about sight you probably wouldn't realize you were blind. Now go farther, and say your parents are blind, their parents were blind, in fact everyone ever born was blind. The only way anyone would know what sight was like would be to get a description of it. Of coarse, you wouldn't be any less blind having heard the description. This is what the law does in relation to sin. The law is a "description" of righteousness, we aren't any more righteous for knowing the law, yet it shows us that we are sick. Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Yet many people who have been shown their sin, think they can cure themselves by keeping the law. This is as successful as the blind people in our example trying to see from the description of sight. A blind man can't make himself see by acting like he can. Neither can a sinner be righteous by keeping the law. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death;. Just because you "turn over a new leaf" doesn't change the fact that you have sinned and as such you deserve death. So now we know that we are sick with sin, but we can't cure ourselves.
Not that anyone wants to be cured. Continueing our first scripture John 3:19-20 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. Jesus tells us here that men love the darkness(darkness being a metaphor for sin in the above passage). Think carefully about this. Sin is what we all would do, if it were up to us. We love sin. So now we can see that we are all sick with sin, we can't cure ourselves, and that even if we could we wouldn't want to.
So in order to receive the cure, we need to be made to want it. Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshiped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. We see here that Lydia's heart was opened, so she could understand the gospel. This is important, for if our hearts are not opened, we just don't understand. Matthew 13: 10-11 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Only when we are given understanding, when we are made to want the cure, do we receive the gospel.
Romans 3:23-26 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiaion(old english word for substitute) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. This passage is the gospel. You have been shown that you are a sinner, who fully deserves death and hell. If you believe that Jesus died for you sins, then you have been saved from your sin. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. If you belive on Christ, you have been given the gift of salvation. The cure for sin. Not that saved people don't sin, rather sin has no power over them(but that is a whole new lesson). The next step is to live for him, which we'll study next time. In the mean time read the Bible, it will tell you what to do.
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