Come Back to the Gospel
Posted by Zema on Monday, August 6, 2012 at 1:12pm EST
Rapper JaylafĂ© recently wrote an article on staying mindful of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Check it out:
Thereâ€™s something wrong with the world. Anyone in their right mind will admit that.
When God created the world, He made the first man and woman and commanded them to take care of His creation. He also commanded them to not eat the fruit of a particular tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). They chose to eat this fruit, and sin entered the world. Mankind was no longer in a perfect relationship with the Creator. Mankind was now broken and separated, unable to meet the mark of purity and perfection God required. The fellowship between Creator and creation was broken. Because of Adam and Eveâ€™s sin, creation is still groaning under the brokenness of sin (Romans 8:20). More than that, because of Adam and Eveâ€™s sin, death has spread to all humanity (Romans 5:12). We are born sinners (Psalm 51:5), and all have sinned and fall short of Godâ€™s righteous standard (Romans 3:23).
Sin is the core issue. Itâ€™s what churns in our hearts and causes us to be selfish. Itâ€™s what babies act upon as they clamor for their own way (did you ever notice that no one has to teach a small child to be self-centered?). Most importantly, sin is what separates us from God, because God is holy (set apart from creation) and cannot be in the presence of sin (Matt. 5:48; 1 John 1:5). We know that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), because all injustice must be paid for. Hell is a literal place where the eternal punishment for sin is carried out (Revelation 20:13-15). Itâ€™s the ultimate place of separation from God. And because we have all sinned, any good works we do are regarded as filthy and stained (Isaiah 64:6).
So what are we to do? We are born sinners and are held accountable to a holy and just God for our actions. But we canâ€™t make up for sin with our good works any more than someone can cure a spreading cancer by eating healthy foods. Sin is sin, whether a thought (Matthew 5:28) a word (Matthew 12:36) an action (Hosea 7:2) or a lack of action (James 4:17). However large or small we think sin is, anything less than absolute purity deserves Godâ€™s righteous judgment. Weâ€™re lost on our ownâ€¦
â€¦ but there is a man named Jesus. He is not merely a significant historical figure, like Buddha or Gandhi, but is fully God (John 8:58) and fully man (John 1:14; Luke 24:39). He lived a sinless life (1 Peter 1:19; Hebrews 4:15). He walked the earth for 33 years, performing miracles which testified to His Godhood, and He was ultimately killed for claiming to be Godâ€™s chosen savior, the Messiah. This death, however, is of the utmost significance for us. Jesus Christ sacrificed himself on a cross almost 2,000 years ago. In doing so, He took on Himself the punishment for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2).
He was absorbing Godâ€™s wrath, or anger, against the worldâ€™s sins. And He was the perfect sacrifice who died on our behalf! In living a perfect life, Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled Godâ€™s requirement for how mankind should live. He fulfilled Godâ€™s law in every way (Matthew 5:17-20). And so, because Jesus is infinitely righteous and pure, His sacrifice on behalf of sinners is able to cover the sins of many (Romans 5:18). Because of Jesusâ€™ sacrifice and resurrection (1 Peter 1:3), He is able to forgive sins and make sinners pure in the sight of God. In fact, the Bible says that those who trust in Christ as their Savior become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
When we trust in Christâ€™s sacrifice on our behalf (Romans 5:1) and call upon Him as Lord (Acts 2:21), we are in Christ, immersed in His love, never to be let go (Ephesians 1:13). Our sins are forgiven, and we no longer live in slavery to our sinful nature (Galatians 5:1). We are saved from sins and we are called to repent, or turn, from those sins for which Jesus died. Though we struggle and work to live for Christ (Philippians 2:12-13), we are not saved because of the good deeds we do, but we are saved based upon our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (Ephesians 2:8-9). We have Godâ€™s comforter, the Holy Spirit, dwelling in our hearts, available to help us get through our lives (1 Corinthians 3:16). This is freedom in the greatest possible sense, that by faith in Jesus Christâ€™s death and resurrection on our behalf we can be called children of God (1 John 3:1)!
If you are saved, renewed in Christ, you have the promise of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28), a future and a hope in Heaven with God forever. You are called to set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:13) when you will meet your Savior, the lover of your soul, face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12). And what a glorious hope this is!
You can follow JaylafĂ© on Twitter @jaylafe
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