The Precious Saviour
It is obvious that all is not well with our world. But what exactly is wrong with it? It may be humbling for us to admit it, but the real problem is with man himself. Adam was our representative in the first paradise and when he sinned and fell it affected us all: “by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners” (Rom.5:19). What does it mean to be a ‘sinner’?
To be a sinner is to be unrighteous. Our mind, will and affections are opposed to God and we devote ourselves to the things which He forbids. The Word of God declares us to be filled with “all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness” – and much more (Rom.1:29-31).
To be a sinner is to be corrupt. The truth about our race is that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). This bias towards evil is present from our conception. When David repented of his adultery he acknowledged, “I was shapen in iniquity” (Psa.51:5). All our actual sins spring from the polluted fountain of our corrupt hearts.
To be a sinner is to be guilty. We have broken God’s law and are liable to its penalty. If it is a serious thing to break the law of the land then it is far more serious to disobey God’s law, every commandment of which is “holy, and just, and good” (Rom.7:12). When we do so we contract a debt we cannot pay and are in danger of eternal punishment.
Our sin leads to misery. However happy we may appear to be with life, the reality is that we are spiritually dead and in danger of everlasting ruin. By our sin we have lost our likeness to God and our friendship with Him. The prospect before us is to be “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2Thess.1:9).
Our plight being so serious, only God can provide the remedy. The Bible reveals that in His love to mankind God has sent a Saviour into the world. His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, became man in the womb of the virgin Mary. Before her child was born the angel said to Joseph her husband: “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt.1:21). This is the good news of the gospel!
Jesus is our great Redeemer. To redeem means to buy back what is captive. We are in slavery to sin, the world and the devil, and God, being righteous, requires a ransom for our deliverance. The Redeemer had to be man so that He could obey God’s law and suffer its penalty on behalf of sinners; the Redeemer had to be God so that His obedience and suffering would be of sufficient value to save a countless number from their sins.
Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and then died on the cross, shedding His own innocent blood. He was “once offered to bear the sins of many” (Heb.9:28). Just before He died He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30): His sacrifice was complete and the proof is that “he rose again the third day” (1Cor.15:4). By His death Christ has satisfied God’s justice and put away all the sins of His people. He has removed the enmity between God and men and opened up the way for the hell-deserving to return to God.
How may we benefit from what Christ has done? We need a new heart, for Jesus said, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). We must confess our sin to God and ask His forgiveness, like the publican who prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). We must trust in Christ alone for righteousness and acceptance with God. Go to God just as you are, looking to the precious Saviour, and you will find pardon, peace and eternal life.