“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18
For God SO loved me that He gave His only Son for me so that I will have eternal life because I believe in Him. He offered me salvation. He offered me new life.
When sin entered into the world twisting and corrupting it, God already had a plan in motion to set things right again. His plan was to become the ultimate sacrifice, the required blood sacrifice for redemption. He did not want his creation to be condemned because of sin; He wanted to buy back freedom, to pay off debts owed.
And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster upon his house.” 1 Kings 21:2-29
In the Old Testament times, before Jesus came to earth, people paid penance when they realized they did something wrong. Like Ahab, who tore his clothes, wore sackcloth and fasted. He did these things to show his sorrow, to show his humbleness before God. God responded to these supplicant actions, because, at the time, there was no other way to be delivered.
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:3-6
But now there is another way, an eternal way, to be redeemed.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth. He was a man faced with temptation, yet He resisted and overcame. He brought heaven to earth, healing the bodies and hearts of the multitude. He was wrongly accused, beaten, crucified. He died, was buried, and then rose again into life on the third day, a perfect form bearing the marks of His sacrifice. He ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of His Father, to intercede on behalf of those who trust in Him; He will sit there until God sets the time for Him to return to His people.
The Bible says that when I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead, I will be saved. And when I am saved, I have been born again, born of the Spirit, born into everlasting life. I am adopted into God’s family as a daughter. I become a co-heir with Christ; I become His faultless bride.
“For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3: 20-21
Now, when I fall into sin, instead of paying penance, I ask Jesus for forgiveness, repent before Him, turning away from my iniquity. He stands in the gap for me, covers me with His blood and washes me white as snow, taking away my shame, my guilt. I no longer cower in the dark, but I stand in the light. I am a reflection of God’s glory.
Yesappa, Thank You for loving me SO much…
Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.