If you recall, we began our “Big Picture” series by looking at Bible verses where God describes the future He is excited about. We found promises like, “I will be their God, and they will be my people” and prophecies like, "He will walk with them” and “live with them.”  Then, in Revelation 21-22, we see God’s ultimate vision coming to pass, fully and finally.  You and I can to look forward to that moment!

All along, God’s desire has been to have a personal relationship with us – to invite us into His kingdom family, forever. That’s what Adam and Eve were made to do, and that’s why you and I were brought into existence as well.  We were made to be close to God, always.

The Problem
The heartbreak of history is that our choice to sin has disrupted, distorted, and destroyed the purpose of our lives. It is possible that a human being can now be born, grow up, live, and die without ever walking with God. We were made to enjoy a rich, eternal, righteous, fulfilling relationship with God that would last forever, but we traded it all in for a temporary fling with pride, lust, greed, anger and selfishness.

Isaiah 59 and Romans 3 both explain: our sins have “cut us off from God” and that now we “fall short of His glorious standard.”  There is nothing that sinful humanity can do to bring itself back into the light, there’s no way for us to “un-sin” our way into God’s presence again, there are no good works or religious rituals that can save us.  We’re in trouble, all of us.  And we’re helpless to fix it!

The Savior
Jesus stepped into this world to rescue and redeem broken, aimless, sinful humanity. He came, literally, to save us from our own sins, so that we could be restored to our purpose in life, and enjoy that life eternally with Him. Jesus reconciles us to God (removes the sin that is separating us from Him), He provides the legal basis upon which God can forgive our sins, and He makes us righteous in God’s sight.  These are some of the most amazing promises in the Bible – check them out for yourself by reading 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, Romans 3:21-28 and Romans 5:1-11.

Jesus presents us with a straightforward choice.  Will we continue down the road of sin (rebellion against God, doing life our own way), or will we turn around and let Him change our direction?  Will we accept God’s offer of forgiveness, restoration, and eternal life by putting our faith in Him?  Or, like so many, will we ignore His gracious gift?

The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).

That’s GOOD NEWS (gospel) my friends. Even while we were still sinners, Jesus gave His life for us. He died to take the penalty for our sins upon Himself, so that we could be restored to a right relationship with God. Then, He rose from the dead to secure eternal victory over death.

God is offering an incredible gift to you, and to me  - He is offering to restore us.  We can be saved from certain doom and brought into His family; we can be adopted as His sons and daughters.  Will you say “yes” to God?  Will you accept His gift to you, and be restored to the life you were made to live?  Will you step into the life Jesus died to provide? 

In summary, that's what becoming a Christian is all about.

Grateful for God’s grace,

Dan Jarvis
Interim Teaching Pastor