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Romans 6:23

'For the wages of sin is death, but ...

the gift of God

is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.'

Before a person goes to the doctor for help he or she must first realize their need. So it is with the sinner who comes to God. An essential first step is to realize one's bankruptcy before God. Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." It is important for those who think they are 'good' to remember Eden and that it only took one sin for the first couple to be removed from paradise. James 2:10 'For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.' Since sin results in separation from God, the sinner is eternally separated from God at death and must be subject to eternal punishment (Rev 21:9).

God had compassion on his creatures and offered them a path to forgiveness. To signify the dire consequences of sin, God demanded a blood sacrifice to 'cover' the sin of the people. Leviticus 17:11 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.' Despite the 'covering' that God offered Israel, there was still a problem. Hebrews 10:11 'Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.' Although the animal sacrifices 'covered' sin, the author of Hebrews emphatically states, 'it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins' (Hebrews 10:4). If blood sacrifice is the God-prescribed means to take away sin, but animal sacrifice would not suffice to remove sin, how can humanity have their sin eradicated so that they may be reconciled to God?

John 3:16 'For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.' Because God needed a perfect sacrifice for sin, He sent His Son, Jesus the Messiah, to lay down his life for those who believe. Notice the sacrificial language of John the Baptist, 'Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world' (John 1:29)! Since Jesus lived a perfect life without sin, his death upon the cross was sufficient to ?remove? the sin of those who believe in Him. What then does God require? Acts 17:30 'God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent.' All those who are convicted of their sin should turn to God in repentant faith to receive the eternal gift that is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

A broken heart and a completly trusting faith is what God asks. Come to Christ totally, humbly and fully to receive his full grace and forgiveness. Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'

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