Bible Lesson 42

Understanding our God and His Great Gift of Life

Perhaps what we need to do occasionally in our lessons is to stop and look back and find what is the very worst thing that a human creature can do. Certainly there are many things that are not especially helpful or good for us to do, but the very worst thing that any of God?s creatures can do is to sin. Sin, pure and simple, is disobedience to what God has spoken to. Sin begins when anyone under God begins to pit himself against God; and incidentally we are all under God, He is Sovereign over all things.

Sin did not originate or begin, with Adam. Sin began in heaven when Lucifer, one of the angels, decided that he wanted to be God. (See Isaiah14:12-14) God had him put out of heaven and he took up his place here on the earth. You can imagine that Lucifer (Satan) wandered here on the earth angry at His creator and looking for any way that he could get back at God. Isn’t it strange that the very sin that got Lucifer kicked out of heaven, is along the same line that he used to seduce Eve and cause her to sin?

Satan spoke to Eve and quoted false scripture to her. He said, “Has God indeed said, you shall not eat of every tree of the Garden?” Satan who had indwelled the body of the serpent, in effect, told her that God had forbidden her and Adam to eat of any trees in the garden. Of Course, she knew that God has said that they could eat of every tree in the garden except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan knew the hearts of Adam and Eve and he knew that if he could just shade the truth a little bit that he could make them desire to distrust God and break the only commandment that God had given that first couple.

Now, there are multitudes of good questions that we could ask about why God did what He did in the way He created the heavens and the earth; and why God didn’t set it up so that Adam and Eve would never have sinned. I have heard a lot of those questions, and I have heard good men attempt to answer them. Let me tell you on the authority of the Word of God, that nobody knows but God Himself, why He did what He did, the way that He did.

He is God and He is the Creator, Sustainer, and Savior of His creation and He did what He did because He wanted to (See Ecclesiastes 8:3; Psalms 115:3)! Since God does not change, even in our time, you were not saved because you wanted to be saved, you were saved because God willed it so (See John 1:13). There is much that we cannot know while we live here on the earth about our God; but there is much that we can know because He has revealed it to us in His inspired Word, the Bible.

We know that God has a definite plan for every one of our lives and as we live God works all things together to complete His perfect plan. We know that God hates sin and will punish every unrepentant sinner in a general judgment.

God has identified sin for us in His written Word and Has commanded that we study that Word to know the truth. There is only one way for us to gain real life, and that is to seek the forgiveness of our sins in the blood of Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, God in the flesh. Perhaps you have never thought about or contemplated any life beyond this physical life that we live for a very limited time on this earth, but the truth is that there will be an eternity for every one of us.

Those who never trusted Jesus Christ for salvation will spend eternity, a time without end, in the literal flames of hell. We could never make you understand what hell would be like, other than to tell you what Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, said about it in Luke Chapter 16 and verses 19-31 where Jesus relates the parable of the rich man and the beggar, and Jesus said that the rich man “lifted his eyes, being in torments, ?..and cried and asked Father Abraham for mercy, and asked that the beggar be sent to dip his finger in water and cool his tongue,” for “I am tormented in this flame.” Eternity is forever and most of us, who have ever had any kind of pain for a short period, knows that to have pain that is never relieved would be too much to bear. Just imagine back when you were growing up and had a tooth-ache or an ear-ache or a back pain, just imagine that you could not have gotten some relief from that pain. That will be what hell will be like plus the fact that we will know that we could have trusted God, and so now we can see the sinfulness of sin.

That is how much God hates sin! Sin has been defined as “missing the mark”, and violating the Character of God. It is many things but the long and short of sin is that it is “anything that is not of faith.” That should bring sin into clear focus for us; because that means that if you are reading this lesson, and you have not been born again, having been recreated “in Christ”, dead to sin and obedient to God, then you are a sinner. You are lost and undone, not having any hope for eternity; but there is good news because God inspired the writer of the book of Romans to write to us and proclaim that there is a way out of sin, and God said “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.” ( See Romans 10:9-10).

That is the great mystery of Salvation and it sounds so simple because it is God that does it all; however, let’s make sure we understand what that says. It does not say that by simply uttering with our mouth that we believe we are saved. It means that we truly believe and trust and obey and serve God through His Son Jesus Christ. It is a heart belief that causes us to be radically changed and always results in that new birth that is described in Ephesians 2:10.

That new birth involves a death to the flesh and a rebirth Spiritually. It produces a newness of life in us. (See 2nd Corinthians 5:17). We were born sinners because we inherited the nature of Adam, which was a nature of disobedience to God and an attitude like Frank Sinatra’s song which said, “I did it my way”. That nature that we were born with, was a nature that placed us instantly under the Wrath of God because God hates sin and will not look upon sin and sinners.
We are not sinners because we sin?..we sin because we are sinners. It is our nature and nothing can change that except the blood of Jesus Christ.

We are born in trouble but the solution to our problem has already been put into place it was put in place before the foundation of the world. Sin requires either the wages of sin, which is death and separation from God in hell, or an innocent sacrifice, who will shed its blood for the remission of sin (See Hebrews 9:22). Jesus Christ the Son of God, God in the flesh, left heaven and came to the earth to substitute Himself on the cross, there to shed His Precious Blood to remit our sins, if we would believe and obey Him (John 3:16-21; Hebrews 5:8-9).

The problem with our society is that we are not able to humble ourselves and consequently we prefer to judge ourselves by others around us and that makes us look acceptable. What we must do is to judge ourselves by the system that God established in the beginning, by the law of God. If we do that we have no problem seeing our depravity and our sin and knowing that we need something or someone outside ourselves to make us acceptable to God. I am afraid that over the past decades the church has been guilty of striving to convince sinners that sin is not so bad, that we all sin, and there is nothing that we can do about that.

We have made way to much of this idea that as long as we don’t commit sin as a way of life that we are alright. I believe that says to sinners that God is incapable of really changing them and so they are free to live just the way they did before they were supposedly saved. There has to be a coming to terms with sin in our lives and although the possibility for us to sin is there, it is not a probability (See 1st John 2:1). Second Corinthians 5:17 says that if any man being “in Christ”, which is where every truly saved person is (See Ephesians 2:10), that he is a “new creature, with the old things passed away, and all things have become new. When Jesus dealt with the woman taken in adultery, there in John chapter 8 and verse 11, He instructed her to go and sin no more.

She was not told that there was no way that she could live without sin but told by God in the flesh that she was to leave her life of sin. In that same chapter there in John chapter 5 and verse 14, Jesus spoke to a man that He had just healed and said: “sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee”.

Listen, good people, the Creator did not send His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ to die on a cross to make us better sinners! Jesus died to make us new creatures; and if you have been convinced of anything different, your God is too small. We are told in Romans chapter 6 and verses 3-4, that we, in salvation are baptized into Jesus? death and just as He was resurrected from the grave by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are raised in salvation and enabled to live a life that is glorifying to God, a life that demonstrates that “newness of life” in Christ. I truly believe that we have been taught, by the church and its leaders, to simply “act” and “sound” like Christians, when we don’t know what Christians are and how they are supposed to live. Over and over the New Testament assures us that in Salvation, we are fitted to live like Christ.

Galatians 2:20 reminds us that we are “crucified with Christ: nevertheless, we live; yet it’s not us that are living but Christ living in us: and the life that we live in the flesh we live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us”. What that verse says is that we who are truly saved, born again, and obedient to God have participated spiritually with Jesus in His crucifixion and victory over sin and death. That victory over death and sin is mine by virtue of my intimate connection with Christ. I am no longer a slave to sin and Satan, but now I am a bond-servant to Christ, and incidentally, I am not a free agent in the sense that I am free to return to the old life of sin. I am connected to and empowered by God Himself in Me, and it works in me to both want to do right and to do right (see Philippians 2:13)!

I am now fit for heaven, not for anything that I have done nor will do, but because God sovereignly chose to save me and fit me for heaven. Romans 8:1 tells me that “there is therefore now no condemnation to me because I am in Christ Jesus and I walk according to the Spirit. We tend to want to embrace all the “free stuff” that comes in salvation, but we neglect the work and the sweat that comes with salvation.

I know the question that many will ask?..” we don’t have a works salvation” and before you say that let me remind you that I more than most know that we are not saved by works; but I also know from scripture that real salvation always works! Philippians chapter two and verse 12 reminds of the work that comes with salvation and it says “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

The Apostle Paul speaks to us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Philippians chapter three and verse fourteen, and says “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Paul also calls us to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called” (See Ephesians 4:1). The Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write to us about our salvation experience (Ephesians 2:10) and we are told there that we are saved to do good works.

The book of Acts informs us in Chapter 14 and verse 22, that we “must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Mathew chapter seven and verse twenty-one reminds us that only those who are doing the will of God will enter into the kingdom of heaven. The great commission, given to us by our Savior, charges us “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Ghost?.teaching them to observe (obey) all things I have commanded you”. We are saved to serve, not to sit!

Christians are to be conscious and clear-headed and awake and energized to do all that God has said that we are to do. That may scare some who read this but if you work for God He expects a day?s work for a day?s blessings. I can?t imagine where we ever got this idea that all that is expected of a Christians is church attendance now and then and dropping our pocket change in the plate when it is passed.

Romans 2:6-10 instructs us concerning the judgment of our works, and beginning at verse 7 the Holy Spirit says, “to them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation, and wrath, tribulation, and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil; of the Jew first, and also to the Gentile for there is no respect of persons with God”.

Everyone will be judged on what they have done, including those who are Christians. The difference is that Christians will receive a loss of reward for their motivation, but they will not receive condemnation. All unsaved will be judged and sent away into hell fire; however, the worst part about sin, is not that it will send individuals to hell for eternity, but that it pits the creature against our Sovereign God.

Sin is exceedingly sinful because it pit’s the creature against its Creator. That’s what King David said in His prayer to God in Psalms 51:4. All that God has asked of any of His creatures is that they obey His commandments, and the commandments of God are always for the benefit of the creature. Our society has perfected the art of disobedience and we seem to think that it is cool to disobey God.

There are many people today who worship a woman who has publicly said that the creature is God and that the Bible is in error when it says that there is only one way to God. It is past time for us to stop and take the time to get our priorities in order. We are the creature, we are not God, and we owe all that we are and our very heart-beat to our Creator God.

Many of us are like the wicked that are spoken to in Psalms 50 who were wicked, yet spoke as if they were God’s people, but God said that they hated instruction and cast His words behind them. They cast their lot with thieves and adulterers, and gave their mouths to evil, and hated their brother, and they considered God as one like themselves. God warned them that those who forget God stand to be torn to pieces.
God closed that Psalm with this offer?.

“Whoso offered praise glorifieth Me: and to him, that ordered his life aright will I show the salvation of God”. That Psalm along with the rest of God’s Word, the Bible, applies to us and will be applicable in the final judgment, so we need to repent of following after those who are not godly people. We need to keep the “main thing”, as the Main Thing in our lives and the main thing for God is that we obey His commands, and that includes all that the Bible says to us.

If we can get people to stand and discuss the Bible and God and the things of God with us in this society, the question normally arises about who Christ died for. Who did Christ shed His blood for? Who was saved and who was lost at the cross? The answer to that question as is the answer to all questions of life is to be found in the Bible and the answer to the question, who did Christ die for is found in many verses of the Word of God.

In Hebrews chapter five and verses eight and nine we find this, “Though He (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned He, obedience, by the things which He suffered. And being made perfect, He became eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” That’s a pretty clear verse and we cannot question what it says to us. It says that only those who obey Christ were saved by the shedding of His Precious Blood. To obey some things have to be in place. First, there has to have been command or order given, then there must be someone who will not only hear and know that order, then that one must submit themselves to the One giving the order or command, and finally, there has to be action to obey and do whatever that command is.

For instance, we all know that God has spoken to many things that pertain to life on this earth. We also know that God is Sovereign and is deserving of our obedience and that means that if we are smart and we believe the Word of God that we will obey the commands that have been given, not simply commandments, but whatever is taught by the Bible. Remember, the wages of sin are death, and that means the second death, which involves a separation from God forever, in hell; however, God has given man a gift, eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Is Jesus Christ your Lord?

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob