Tiistai 20.2.2018
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Peseytykää, puhdistautukaa, tehkää loppu pahoista töistänne, ne ovat aina silmissäni. Lakatkaa tekemästä pahaa. Jes. 1:16

Jesus suffered on our behalf

in English 15.11.2017 06:48 | Siionin Lähetyslehti
Man is separated from God by sin. Because the first human pair in Paradise fell into sin, the propensity to sin is inherited by all people. This inheritance takes the form of evil, distress, and injustice in the world. Many people only pursue short-lived pleasure and success, paying no heed to the will of God.
People in themselves lack the power to resist sin, even though they may sincerely want to be good. Apostle Paul says: ”There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Rom. 3:11–12.)

According to the Bible, a person who claims to be sinless makes God a liar. Such a person’s heart is not touched by the word of God, and they choose to live without the guidance and instruction of God’s word (1 John 1:10.)

God is love

God loves the people He created. He therefor sent His own son down on earth to redeem mankind from their sins.

The punishment for sin is death, eternal separation from God. The Son of God agreed to carry all iniquity and died on the cross on our behalf. He was a sinless and innocent sacrifice for our sins. He suffered the punishment that would have belonged to sinful people. But Jesus was victorious over death and rose from the tomb on the third day. His resurrection opened the way into eternal life in heaven.

This redemption by Christ was so perfect that it embraces all people in the world. We only need to believe personally that Jesus has died for us, as it is impossible to be acceptable to God without such faith. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Joh. 3:16).

The penitent sinner is forgiven

The complete word of God includes both the law and the gospel. The purpose of the law is to make people aware of what is sin, but when a sinful person believes the gospel, they are released from the bondage of sin and can believe all their sins forgiven out of grace.

The forgiveness of sins is hence the core of the gospel. The most important task of God’s kingdom is to proclaim this core message. Living faith spreads ”from heart to heart”. A believing person who has received the Holy Spirit as a gift can preach a penitent sinner all their sins forgiven. The Son of God said: ”If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven.” (John 20:23).

God’s grace belongs to all those who repent of their sins. Even a person who has given up personal faith can return into God’s kingdom by believing the gospel preached to them. A believer who is struggling with doubts and distress derives strength from God through the gospel, which gives them new courage and confidence.

Faith gives rise to joy

A happy life consists of many things, such as good health, good interpersonal relations, adequate livelihood, and security. But the greatest cause of happiness is living faith. It is a gift based solely on the merit of Christ.

Those who have believed their sins forgiven and have a good conscience feel joy and happiness. They are on their way to heaven.

A believer traveling toward heaven is not alone, for the Son of God promised to be with His own children every day until the end of the world. ”We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1).

Text: Aimo Mikkonen
Source: Päivämies 41/2016
Translation: S.-L. L.

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