The Good News

This may start off sounding a bit like bad news, but sometimes we need to know the bad news to know how really great the good news is. Even though its a bit long, this is definitely worth reading the whole thing.

The Condition of Man

Most people think they are reasonably good people. They may say, “I've never killed anyone”, or “I dont take drugs”, or “Ive never done anything as bad as ...”. We judge ourselves by our own standards and morals, or compare ourselves with others we deem as worse than us. Even if we break our own rules, we justify ourselves and list the good reasons why that behaviour was acceptable.

But what of Gods standards. How would we stack up against what he would deem as acceptable. Lets look at some of the commands God has given in the bible. Ask youself the following questions, and I will give my answer from my life, and mention what the bible says about it:

  1. Have I ever told a lie, even if we consider it a “white” lie?
    Me – Yes (Plenty). Someone who has lied, even if its just 1 lie, is a liar.
    Bible - “You shall not give false testimony ” (Ex 20:16) “...and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur” (Rev 21:8).

  2. Have I ever stolen anything, irrespective of its value. e.g. Stolen time from your employer, stolen a pen from work, copied a C.D., or downloaded music/movies without paying?
    Me – Yes (All of the above). Someone who has stolen something, irrespective of its value, is a thief.
    Bible - “You shall not steal.” (Ex 20:15) “nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:10)

  3. Have you ever murdered anyone? If not physically, have you ever hated someone and wished them dead?
    Me – Yes.
    Bible - “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.” (1 John 3:15) You shall not murder. (Ex 20:31)

  4. Have you always loved God with all you heart, mind and strength?
    Me – No.
    Bible - “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matt 22:37)

  5. Have you ever used “God” or “Jesus”, as a swear word or as an expression of anger.
    Me – Yes. Imagine if everytime I stubbed my toe, or got angry at someone I said your name, basically rubbing your name in the dirt. I kinda think you would appreciate it too much.
    Bible - “You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” (Ex 20:7)

Ok, so theres are few rules out the bible, how did you go? Im kinda guessing if your like everyone else on the planet, you have broken at least one of Gods commands. The bible says “For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” (Jam 2:10) For example, if I broke one of the laws of this country, I am considered a law breaker. Its the same with Gods laws. The bible says that “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). We have all sinned, and done something wrong.

Ok, so we have broken a couple rules. Big deal, I aint going to hell for that surely?

The holiness and justice of God


2 Cor10:12 says “But they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding.”

If I only ever played a game of 1 on 1 against my 5 year old son, I think I would consider myself awesome at basketball, the best in the world. But, if I was to then play 1 on 1 against Shaquille O'neal or Michael Jordan, I would firstly remember I am very short only 5'8” tall. I would also very quickly realise I am actually really bad at basketball, and would get wiped off the court.

When we compare how good we are against others, we get a false view of our goodness. We need to compare ourselves with Gods perfection, holiness and awesomeness. Then we will get a feel of how bad our sins really are.

Ps 129:4 “Yahweh is righteous.”, Isaiah 6:3 “Holy, holy, holy, is Yahweh” and Ps 68:35 “You are awesome God”.

Earlier I mentioned some of the laws of the bible, (like lieing and stealing), the law is not just a set of rule, but reveals who God is. God is not a thief, so he says dont steal, because he wants us to be like him. God is not a liar, so he says dont lie, again because we are to be conformed to his image. In this way, the law reveals the character of God. He is holy. So we are to be holy because he is holy.


As well as being perfectly righteous, God is also just. Isaiah 61:8 “For I, Yahweh, love justice”. If in our human court system, someone was being tried for raping and killing your mum, and 10 others. Then that person didnt get caught straight away, but went and did some nice things after that like helping out at a homeless shelter for a year and then they got caught. Then during their trial, the judge said, even thought you raped and murdered 10 women, since you were a nice person for the last year, and since I am a loving judge, I will let you off. You are free to go. Would you consider that judge to be just? Was justice served? No. You do the crime, you do the time. The judge would be more loving, if he protected society from the murder, and punished him for his horrific crimes.

When we do something that is against Gods laws, we are like that murder/rapist. Because God is infinitely more holy than us, our sin is abhorrent in his eyes. He is just and must punish sin. God will not let sin go unpunished.

There is a place called the Lake of Fire (Rev 20:15 “If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.”), where sinners will be tormented day and night forever. Hell is not a place where sinners go to party with there friends, it is a place of eternal torment. (Luke 13:28 “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”).

We think on judgement day, we will say “Oh, but God look at all the good things I did. I wasnt as bad as that other person.”, it just aint gonna cut it. Actually, I dont actually think you'll get much of a chance to say anything, you'll be in so much fear when you see the awesomeness of God.

The love of God and Gods solution

Even though we are all deserving of Gods wrath for our disobedience, God is love (1 John 4:8) and in his wisdom and love has made a way for us to be justified and receive forgiveness for our sin.

Payment for our sin must be made. God is just, and will not let our sin go unpunished. At the same time the bible says “not wishing that any should perish” (2 Pet 3:9). God doesnt want us to perish, but as we have sinned, and God is just, and our sin must be atoned for. So God sent his son Jesus to take the punishment we deserve “who his own self bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Pet 2:24). Jesus was without sin (1 Pet 2:22), and while we were still sinners (Rom 5:8), He bore the Fathers wrath (Is 53:10), and was raised to life on the third day (Acts 10:40) as the firstfruits of those raised to life (Rom 15:20), that in him we also will be made alive (Rom 15:22).

Jesus sacrifice justifies us from our sin. That, justification is a legal transaction, providing payment for our sins.

Jesus death on the cross was for everyone, not just a few people, not just for the “nice” people, not for the rich and not for the poor, it was for ALL. “And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” (1 John 2:2). Also John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Even though he wants everyone to be saved, and Jesus sacrifice was for everyone, not everyone is saved. There is a difference between Gods will, and his sovereign decree. God has not decreed that all men will be saved, even though he provides the offer for all. He has given us a free will. So how do we receive this eternal life, how do I know if my sins have been forgiven?

Repentance and Faith

We cannot do anything to earn our salvation, we can never do enough good works to be saved (Eph 2:8-9). It is not just that we sin, but we are sinners, and because we are sinners we commit sin (Ps 51:5). So how can we be saved from the wrath that is due us for our disobedience against God?Jesus has already made the legal transaction to pay for ours sins, so we could be forgiven. What we need to do on our part is to repent and put our faith in Jesus for our salvation.

Repentance means to “change your mind” which results in a change of actions. We have a change of mind in regards to sin, and in regards to God. We turn away from sin, and living for ourselves, and we humbly turn to the great and merciful God. God wrath is no longer upon us as we then put our faith in Jesus, whose death paid for our transgressions, and because he was resurected we also will be raised to life eternally.

Because we repent and believe in Jesus, the evident effect (change of actions) in our lives will be doing good works (James 2:18), we no longer love doing those things that God hates (sinning) (1 John 2:15), we will love being with other christians (1 John 2:10), and will desire to please God and do his will (1 John 2:6). These resulting behaviours continue to develop/grow in our lives daily, this is known as sanctification. It does not mean that the day we become a christian, we instantly are perfect, but rather we begin a process of being changed by God. We need to die to our old self daily, and live according to the Spirit of God (Mark 8:34-35). Also if we do sin, we know we can freely come to God in repentance (1 John 2:1). Please be clear that, all these things (being good) are the result of being saved, and are not actions that save us. A non christian can do things that appear good, but he will still end up paying for his own sins in the lake of fire, because he is a sinner and has rejected God. You can continue to grow in your faith as you read, study and meditate on the bible. Also spend much time talking with God (prayer), giving thanks to him, praising him, asking him for help, praying for other people, talk to God about anything you are facing, and worship him.

So again to clarify to receive Gods gift of salvation, we need to have a change of mind in regards to our sinful condition and in regards to God, and we put our complete faith in Jesus, whose death on the cross paid for our sins.