Only Christ Can Provide What Sinners Need
|By: Mike Gendron; ©2002|
|Ever since man’s first sin, he has been trying to cover his guilt and become acceptable to God through self-effort. Adam and Eve’s futile attempt to become righteous before God was the first religious act by man. But there is absolutely nothing man can do to make peace with God. Mike Gendron shows us the solution—what Christ has done for us!|
Only Christ Can Provide What Sinners Need
Ever since man’s first sin, he has been trying to cover his guilt and become acceptable to God through self-effort. Adam and Eve made a covering for their sin by sewing fig leaves together, but God quickly showed them that the works of man could never cover sin. Innocent blood would have to be shed, “for without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22). An animal had to be slain so God could use the skin to cover their sin. “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them (Gen. 3:21). This act of God’s mercy foreshadowed His slaying of another innocent lamb, Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God. His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin for all who believe.
Adam and Eve’s futile attempt to become righteous before God was indeed the first religious act by man. Since then, thousands of religions have sprung up, each creating their own worthless set of legalistic works and rituals in an attempt to gain acceptance before God. Religious work can never earn acceptance from God. Jesus said that it is impossible for man to save himself (Luke 18:24-27). There is absolutely nothing man can do to make peace with God. Only when we realize our hopeless condition can we begin to understand the good news—that which is impossible for man is only possible with God. Everything needed to save sinners has been accomplished through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The mission Christ came to earth to do for sinful man has been completed. It is finished. The work of salvation is done. The eternal debt for sin has been paid in full.
Sinners must understand that perfect righteousness is necessary for entrance into God’s Kingdom. “Nothing unclean… shall ever come into it (Rev. 21:27). Since sinful man can never become perfectly righteous, Christ is our only hope. “Christ is the end of the Law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” (Rom. 10:4). Consider this wonderful promise of God: “those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17). The righteousness that Jesus Christ earned on this earth is given as a gift to all who come to Jesus with empty hands of faith. The only thing we can bring to the cross is our sins. What a glorious exchange—my sin for His righteousness!
Jesus is our perfect Savior and only mediator of God’s grace. Had Jesus sinned, even once, He would have been disqualified to pay the ransom for our sins. He willingly died for our sins, in our place, to pay the debt that we could never pay. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed” (1 Pet. 2:24). How devastating it is for Catholics, who continue to trust in things that cannot save them from God’s wrath. No one would be foolish enough to copy a $100 bill and trust it to have purchasing power. Yet Catholics trust in the sacrifice of the Mass (a blasphemous copy of Calvary’s sacrifice) as a sin offering to God, rather than trusting in the one-time, sufficient, sacrifice of Christ. Jesus appeared “to take away sins once for all” by His sacrifice (Heb. 9:26). “Through His blood God made Him the means of expiation (of sin) for all who believe” (Rom. 3:25). Vatican Council II denied the truthfulness of these sacred Scriptures by teaching that “Sins must be expiated… on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments.” What a terrible deception to impose on faithful Roman Catholics who look to their church for the truth! The very reason and purpose Christ became man and suffered such an excruciating death was to expiate sin, once and for all, by His perfect sacrifice. How can any church, which claims to follow Christ, withhold this truth from its people, and create in its place doctrines that nullify the Savior’s finished work?
Roman Catholic teachings also nullify another accomplishment of Christ—the purification of sins. The writer of the book of Hebrews declared that “when He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). The apostle John also proclaimed that those who trust Christ are purified from all sin, by His blood (1 John 1:7). Vatican Council II states that “in purgatory those… who have not made satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions are cleansed after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt.” Jesus reconciles sinners to God, changing their relationship with God from hostility to harmony. The sinner is reconciled to God when he trusts in Christ as his Savior. “It is in Christ and through His blood that we have been redeemed and our sins are forgiven” (Eph. 1:7). Being reconciled to God is difficult for Catholics to comprehend, for they have been taught the only way to make peace with God is through a life long journey of doing good works, receiving the sacraments, going to Mass, obeying the law, and doing penance. Peace can never be gained this way. The only response to the Gospel that will reconcile one to God is a response of repentance and faith. We must cease from trusting in things that cannot save us and put our trust in the only one who can—The Lord Jesus Christ. Sinners must believe that salvation is not based on what we can do for God but on everything God has already done for us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. As we look to what God has done for His people, let us be mindful that everything has already been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ. To enjoy these spiritual blessings we must cease from trusting what we can do and trust the One who did it all!
The Accomplishments of Jesus For His People:
- He is the only name by which men can be saved. (Acts 4:12)
- He gave us His word as truth, testified to the truth and is the manifestation of truth. (John 17:17; 18:37)
- He is life to sinners who were spiritually dead. (John 14:6)
- He gave us victory over death. (1 Cor. 15:56-57)
- He showed the lost He is the only way to the Father. (John 14:6)
- He gave His life as a ransom for many. (Matt. 20:28)
- He bore our sin in His body on a tree. (1 Pet. 2:24)
- He died for the ungodly. (Rom. 5:6)
- He gave Himself up for us as a sacrifice to God. (Eph. 5:2)
- He died for us so that we may live together with Him. (1 Thess. 5:9)
- He gave Himself to purify a people who are His very own. (Titus 2:14)
- He died for sins, once for all, to bring us to God. (1 Pet. 3:18)
- He became sin for us so, in Him, we could become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)
- He has forgiven all our sins. (Col. 1:14)
- He purified us from all sin. (1 John 1:7; Heb. 1:3)
- He has reconciled us to God, changing our relationship from hostility to peace. (Eph. 2:14-18)
- He redeemed us from the power of sin. (Gal. 3:10-14, 22)
- He provided God the grounds to justify us—to acquit us of our sins. (Rom. 3:23-25)
- He expiated (took away) our sins and will never count them against us. (Heb. 9:26; Rom. 4:6-8)
- He saved us from condemnation. (John 3:18, 5:24)
- He is able to save forever since He always lives to make intercession. (Heb. 7:25)
- He delivered us from the dominion of Satan. (1 John 3:8)
- He satisfied (propitiated) completely the wrath of God for our sin. (1 John 2:2)
- He made us perfect forever by the offering of Himself. (Heb. 10:14)
- He transformed us into new creations that long to obey God. (Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:17)
- He delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into His kingdom. (Col. 1:13)
- He holds us in the palm of His hands no one can snatch us out. (John 10:28-29)
- He has become to us wisdom from God, our righteousness, sanctification and redemption. (1 Cor. 1:30)
Why would anyone want to trust anyone or anything else? The Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient to save sinners completely and forever! Trust Him alone!