After God finished His creation, He said it was very good. There was no death, no sin, no evil or suffering in the world. It was perfect. God wanted a love relationship with mankind, but man rejected God and rebelled against Him. Therefore, mankind was fallen into a sinful state.
Man’s sin is the reason there is suffering in this world. Man’s sin is the reason there are difficulties and hardships in life. You can blame every bad thing, every wrong thing, every murder, every war and every death, on sin.
For thousands of years, man rejected God. But God loves man and wants to have a relationship with man. He says, “Although you are a sinner, I still love you and I am coming after you!” But God has a dilemma.
Man is sinful and cannot approach a holy God. Likewise, a holy God cannot receive sinful man. But God had a plan to fix man’s sin problem so that man could approach God and that God could receive man.
God’s plan was to be born into this world and become a man so that He could pay the penalty of sin and make a way for man to come into a right relationship with Him. His name is Jesus Christ.
Who is Jesus Christ? Some say He was just a man, while others say, He is God. We should not believe what people say, but we should see what the Bible teaches and believe God’s Word.
1 Timothy 3:16 – “… God was manifest in the flesh …”
Speaking of Jesus Christ, the Bible says that “God was manifest in the flesh”. According to this verse, we learn that Jesus Christ is both God and man. In order for God to fix man’s sin problem, it was needful for Jesus Christ to be both God and man.
Jesus had a normal human birth and grew in manhood in the same way as any other man. He possessed a sinless human nature and a holy divine nature. Jesus Christ is not 50% man and 50% God. He is 100% man and at the same time 100% God!
Why did Jesus Christ have to be 100% man? Jesus Christ had to become a man in order to pay the penalty of sin for mankind. It was man that sinned, thus only a man could pay the penalty of sin.
Why did Jesus Christ have to be 100% God? God’s plan to fix man’s sin problem involved a substitute – the innocent dying for the guilty. Only someone who was without sin (innocent) could die for sinners (guilty).
Man was disqualified to be the substitute, because all men are sinners. I cannot die for your sin because I am a sinner. Likewise, you cannot die for my sin, because you are a sinner.
The only one who could pay the penalty of sin is someone who is without sin. The only one without sin is God Himself. As God, Jesus Christ could pay the penalty of sin on the cross. God’s plan to fix man’s sin problem was for Jesus Christ to pay the penalty of sin on the cross for us.
Questions for Key Truth #10
1. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is both God and man. True or False
2. In order to pay the penalty of sin, Jesus Christ had to become a _________ because it was man that sinned.
3. The only one who could pay the penalty of sin is someone who is without sin and the only one without sin is ________, the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. God’s plan to fix man’s sin problem was for Him to pay the penalty of ________ on the cross for us.
Jesus did many things while He was on the earth. He performed miracles that proved He was God. He healed sick people. He cast demons out of people. He raised the dead and many other miracles.
Jesus Christ did not come to be a teacher, though He taught. He did not come to set a good example, though He did. The greatest work of Jesus Christ focused on His death on the cross.
The Jewish leaders were very jealous of Jesus’ popularity with the common people. Eventually, they had Him arrested. They made up false charges against Him so they could put Him to death.
But God was still in control. Actually, this was all a part of God’s plan to fix man’s sin problem by providing the sinless substitute, the innocent dying for the guilty.
Based on the false charges, Jesus Christ was sentenced to be executed. He was led to the place of execution and nailed to the cross.
Many people wonder what happened on the cross so that God is now able to give eternal life to those who believe on Him with their whole heart. The Bible answers that question for us.
2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
According to this verse, was Jesus a sinner? No. The verse says that He “knew no sin”. Jesus Christ is righteous and holy. He never spoke a sin, thought a sin, or committed a sin. He is the only one who has ever lived this way because He is God.
According to this verse, what did Jesus become? He became sin. God “made him to be sin”. God took the sin of man and laid it upon Jesus Christ while He was on the cross. Jesus paid the penalty of sin by dying on cross.
According to this verse, who did God do this for? God did this “for us”. God would only accept a sinless substitute. Since every man is a sinner, man is disqualified from being the substitute.
Without God providing the sinless substitute, there would be no way to fix man’s sin problem. God did this for us so that He could bring us into a right relationship with Him.
According to this verse, God took man’s sin and put it on Jesus Christ so that man might be what? “Be made the righteousness of God”.
For those who come into a right relationship with God, God takes the righteousness of Jesus Christ and places it upon them. When God looks at a believer, He does not see a sinner but a person with the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
This is the great transaction! God took our sin and put it on Jesus Christ so that He could take the righteousness of Jesus Christ and put it upon us. That is what happened on the cross. That is how God fixed man’s sin problem.
Jesus Christ died, was buried and three days later rose from the dead. He is now able to give eternal life to all that believe on Him with all their heart.
The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is called the gospel. The word gospel means good news. God fixed man’s sin problem through the gospel. That is good news indeed! Through the gospel, you can now come into a right relationship with God.
Questions for Key Truth #11
5. According to 2 Corinthians 5:21, Jesus “knew no ______” meaning that He was without sin.
6. What did Jesus become on the cross?
7. Who did God do this for?
8. God took man’s sin and put it on Jesus Christ so that man might be made what?
9. On the cross, God took our _______ and put it on Jesus Christ so that He could take the _____________ of Jesus Christ and put it on us.
10. Through the gospel, you can now come into a right relationship with God. True or False
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
What does a wage mean? A wage is a paycheck. It is something you receive. Suppose at your job you earn $4,000 per month. You work one month and then you receive $4,000 for the work you did.
When we sin, we are increasing our wages. But according to this verse, our wage is not money but what? It is death. The wages of sin is death. This death does not refer to physical death. Every person will face physical death.
This death means a spiritual death. It is a separation from God for all eternity in Hell because of our sin. But there is good news. According to this verse, what does God offer? He offers a gift.
What is a gift? It is a present. Do you have to pay money to receive a gift? No, a gift is free.
Suppose I gave you a gift, but then told you that you needed to clean my house first. Is it really a gift? No, because you had to work for it. A gift is free to the one receiving it.
What is this gift of God? It is eternal life. You receive the gift of eternal life when you come into a right relationship with God. Then after physical death, you will go to be with God in Heaven.
So, God offers you a choice between earning wages of sin that will lead you to Hell or the free gift that leads to eternal life in Heaven.
Many people have asked the question, “Can you know for sure you are going to Heaven before you die?” Most people answer that you cannot know for sure. Is that true? Do you need to wait until you die to find out if you are going to Heaven? No, you don’t, not according to the Bible.
This verse teaches that God offers you the gift of eternal life. If I gave you a gift, is it possible for you to know that you received this gift? Of course, because you reached out and received the gift from me. It is in your possession. You received it.
Likewise, you can know that you received God’s gift of eternal life. You can know absolutely 100% for sure that you will go to Heaven when you die, because you will know that you have received God’s gift of eternal life.
There is a difference between choosing the wages of sin which will lead you to Hell and choosing to receive the gift of God which will lead you to Heaven. The choice is yours.
Questions for Key Truth #12
11. What is a wage?
12. Is a wage earned or given for free?
13. What is the wages of sin?
14. We deserve to be eternally separated from God in Hell because of our _______.
15. What is a gift?
16. Do you have to work for a gift or is it free?
17. What is the gift of God?
18. God offers you a choice between earning the wages of ________ that will lead you to Hell or receiving the free _______ of God that leads to eternal life in Heaven.
19. According to the Bible, you can know before you die that you will go to Heaven. True or False
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