Everything in the physical world requires the sweat of the brow to be successful. We must compete with others throughout our lifetime. We must compete against our own weaknesses and carnal nature. This is not the case in the spiritual realm.
People mistakenly think that there is some type of competition taking place for our eternal soul. Many feel that they are in a contest of good and evil. If their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds then they will be justified in the judgment. It is easy to visualize God and Satan in this epic struggle for mankind but in reality the game ended back in the Garden of Eden. The day Adam and Eve disobeyed God they lost the game. Death was the penalty for Adam and Eve’s sin. It is difficult to accept the reality that each person is lost to God when they commit that first knowledgeable sin. The sentence of death is imposed upon all who have sinned. We have already been sentenced and condemned to eternal separation from God and eternal damnation. There is no effort we can make to compensate for our sin. We can’t do anything to earn salvation. There are no rituals or commands we can obey that will deliver us from our condemnation. The game is over. There is no competition going on to win or lose our soul, it is already lost.
This information may cause one to despair but there is another truth that restores hope. It is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a story of how God had a plan to do something miraculous to redeem mankind from their fallen condition. It only makes sense that it would take an act of God to deliver mankind from damnation. This is the whole point of the gospel of Christ. God did something for us that we could not possibly do for ourselves. Herein lies the power of the gospel; God loved us so much that He became one of us. He did this so that there could be that one person who would live a sinless life and thus be free from the penalty of death. Death is the penalty for sin, not for being born a human. If a person could live without ever committing a single sin then they would not be subject to the penalty of death. The problem mankind encountered was that they were all born of Adam’s seed and death passed on to them. No one in Adam’s seed could avoid the corruption of sin so all in Adam die. God himself came to us through human birth thus giving Him a body subject to all human temptation and weakness. Because Jesus was God the Son he was able to live a sinless life despite the human body He now dwelled in. Because Jesus was innocent death could not take Him but rather He took hold of death. He was the Messiah that was prophesied to come and take the sins of the world. He went to the cross an innocent man, then something miraculous happened. He took our punishment upon Himself. He did not experience the gratification and pleasure that sin gave us when we indulged in it. He took only the shame, guilt and horrific consequences of our actions. But more importantly, He received the punishment that we deserved. Punishment that God the Father had sentenced us to. God knew when we were created that we would sin against Him. He knew that this failure would cause great suffering. He knew that we would exercise our freewill to choose against Him but He loved us so much that He would suffer to redeem us unto Himself. This is why He cried out in agony, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” When it was finally over and He had sacrificed Himself for our sins He was laid in the tomb, but death was not able to hold Him because He had not sinned. He resurrected from the grave and ascended to God, the Father.
What does this mean for us? It means that we can exercise our freewill to choose to escape the damnation that is imposed on sinful Humans. A miracle is defined as an act that is not possible for man to do. We cannot save ourselves from damnation so the only hope we have is to be miraculously delivered from it. God has promised each person at least one miracle. We receive this miracle by faith. Faith is the ability to believe in the unseen. God has given every person a measure of faith. If we use this faith to believe in the gospel of Christ then God has promised that His Spirit would come into us and supernaturally regenerate us into a child of Christ and we will no longer be a descendent of Adam. He promised eternal life to those who believe. Eternal life is God’s very life. We know this because eternal life is more than a life without end but it is a life that has always been. Only God has this life and He gives it to us freely. Since He has done all the work and suffering for us all that He asks is that we believe.
Have you received your miracle? Have you placed your trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ? All other religions in the world have in common the belief that somehow man can work to justify himself. Through their prophets, rituals and commandments they believe that they can satisfy an angry God. Some believe in a God that has no perfect justice and that He will allow mankind eternal life without any penalty for our sins. Others believe that man is the center of all things and God is only a figment of man’s imagination. The gospel of Christ is the only story that tells of God loving the world enough to miraculously deliver us without compromising His perfect justice. He did it by taking our punishment upon Himself because He was the only one worthy to do so. If you can repent of trusting the sweat of the brow and believe in the miracle of salvation through Christ then you can be saved.
Why would so many reject this wonderful redemption? It may have something to do with competition. Mans’ sinful pride wants to compete for everything so that glory and honor go to him. To receive Christ is to acknowledge that there is no competition to win. There are no trophies to win. There is only a gospel to receive and a Savior to praise.