God loves you. God made the universe, and God made you. The good news is that God loves you and wants you to live forever. Now to continue to the good news, we have to know that there is bad news too.
Sadness, sickness, suffering, selfishness, sin, these are all ugly words that describe a world that has fallen away from the joy of knowing God. This falling away happened long before you or your grandparents were even born, and it resulted in a disease that infects every human spirit. This disease is called Sin and it has three effects: 1) spiritual blindness in life so that we cannot find God on our own power. 2) a selfish bent towards a will to power and personal gratification at the expense of others, what we call “sins.” 3) permanent separation from God in death.
It is not fair to you or to me that we are born with this disease. It is not fair either to inherit a genetic disposition to heart disease, asthma or eye problems, but we are born with these things and we cope with them. We do a lot better coping with the physical problems we inherit than with the spiritual problems we inherit. We accept the physical problems as part of life but we either deny the spiritual problem or we convince ourselves that we can cure our own spirits. We can’t. The troubles in our world of unfairness, injustice, loneliness, addiction, lust, fear, bigotry, anger, violence and greed are all the results of either denying that humankind has the spiritual problem of Sin, or of thinking that we can overcome Sin on our own.
So we come back to the good news. As Jesus Christ God entered into the human experience as a fully human being. He experienced the worst the world could throw on top of him: injustice and violence were heaped upon him so that he, though innocent of any crime or sin, was executed. He received this, knowing that by his death without sin, he would rise again from the dead. So this is the good news: Death, the final outcome of sin, is no longer a state of permanent separation from God. Death becomes instead a gate into the presence of God for eternal life, never to die again, never to know unfairness, injustice, loneliness and all the rest that is ugly and wrong. The problem of Sin is cured in Jesus Christ, whose Spirit has never known sin. The Spirit of Christ is now ready to be YOUR cure from Sin and death.
This is what the good news means to you. Receive Jesus Christ in faith, and your Sin-driven spirit will be reborn in the Spirit of Christ. Just as people with a physical disease need to have faith in their doctors to receive treatment, so we need to have faith in Jesus Christ for our spiritual cure. This is what preachers and Christians mean when we say “repent.” It means we don’t want to be slaves to our sins anymore, and we want the assurance of knowing that death will be only a momentary bridge between this life with its mix of joys and sorrows, and a far better, eternal life.
Our world understands that it is unethical for treatments to be forced upon an unwilling person. We know this is true of doctors, but did you know this is also true of God? It is unfair you were born with Sin like all the rest of us, but it is absolutely fair that God has given you the choice: Receive the cure available through Jesus Christ and live forever in relationship with him, or reject it and be forever separate from him. When you accept Jesus Christ in faith, he sends his Spirit to dwell inside you as your deposit and assurance that death for you is the doorway to eternal life with God.
Receiving Jesus Christ sometimes has a dramatic impact on a person’s moral fiber, cure from addiction, or even physical healing. This is not true all the time for every person. Our bodies still march toward the grave, and believers in Jesus are still prone to serve their old natures of sin compelled by the instincts of our bodies instead of living into the instincts of the Spirit of Christ. Churches are filled with imperfect people who make mistakes. These same people also share together in this faith: that their sins are forgiven and that their Sin is cured in the love of God through Jesus Christ.
A word from the New Testament of the Bible on which this page is based is found in John 3:13-21.
This is a prayer that you can pray to receive the cure for Sin and the forgiveness of sins, and to be reborn in the Spirit of Christ: God, I believe Jesus paid for my Sin when he died on the cross and that you raised him from the dead. I repent of my sins; please forgive me for Jesus’ sake and make Jesus Lord in my life. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I may live for you now and forever. Amen.