As people, we have a problem that we may not even recognize. This problem exists in every culture and social circle. This problem will always have a penalty associated with it. The problem is SIN. The Bible teaches us, people sin from birth.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Sin comes with a steep penalty that no one wants to pay. The penalty for sin is death and eternity in hell
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
But thank God, there is hope. A man named Jesus Christ is our hope! Christ chose to give up life as God in order to present us with an answer to our sin problem. He is the only answer we have for the penalty that we must pay.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
I love this scripture. It may be one of the most well-known scriptures in the Bible. But let us think about something. What if someone gave you a gift? I do not know about you but I kind of like it when someone thinks about me and gives me a gift, even if it is something small. Here in America, we celebrate people’s birthdays and give the birthday person a gift. Typically, we wrap the gift in gift wrap so the person cannot see the what it is until they take off the wrap. So, what if someone gave you a gift that was all wrapped and you say, “I wonder what is under the gift wrap?” The only way you will find out is to unwrap the gift. You will never know what it is if you leave the gift on the table and choose not to remove the wrap.
You see, God has given each of us the gift of his only begotten Son. But for us to partake in this great gift God has given us, we must remove the wrap and accept it. If we never accept the gift and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, we will never receive power over sin. We will be stuck in a life of unhappiness and despair. Or to put it more bluntly, we will be stuck in a life of drugs and alcohol with a lot of turmoil and destruction. Will you accept God’s gift for you today? If you have already accepted this gift, then you already know what I am talking about.
We cannot get this gift by our own power.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
Christ give himself as a free gift to us, and he allows us to choose him over death in sin
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
If we accept this gift and follow Christ with our whole heart and live devoted to God, he will forgive our sins, and we can rest assured of our salvation in Christ.
1 John 5:13
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
The decision to “know” Christ is the most important decision we will ever make. It is the beginning of a new life of purpose and impact that we can never know otherwise.
You might say how do I get this gift? First, you must be truly sorry for the sins that you have committed and then choose to turn your life over to God wholly.
2 Corinthians 7:10
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
The Lord wants all men to come to him with repentance
2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
The repentance called for throughout the Bible is a summons to a personal, absolute, and ultimate unconditional surrender to God as Sovereign. Though it includes sorrow and regret, it is yet more. In repenting, one makes a complete change of direction (180° turn) toward God. In other words, we choose to turn away from our old way of life, leaving our sinful ways behind and turn toward God and live his ways instead.
Consider the parable of the prodigal son. This parable is found in Luke 15. A young man became discontent with his life at home. It seemed he felt he was missing something. The young man decided he wanted to leave his father’s house and try the world for himself. So, he asked his father for his inheritance and went on his way. The Bible teaches that the son spent all that he had on riotous living. It seemed the young man probably had many friends while he was spending all he had. But when his inheritance was all gone so were all the people that surrounded him. Having nothing of any value or substance to show for the young man found himself in a hog pen, desiring to eat the corn husks he was hired to feed to the hogs. It is then the young man understands in a new way how good life really was at his father’s house. Humbled by his current existence in the hog pen and the realization of what he left behind, the Bible teaches us, the young man came to himself. The young man decides his life will be better as a servant in his father’s house than how he was living his life now. The attitude of his heart had changed, and he was truly sorry for the way he left his father’s house. Feeling unworthy to return to his father as a son the young man returns with a humbled desire to offer himself as a servant. This young man was ready for the act of repenting. In fact, repentance began in his heart when he realized what he had done and began his journey back to his father.
“And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.”
John called for the Sadducees and Pharisees to show evidence of their desire to truly repent before being baptized.
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:”
Peter also preached repentance.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”
When we repent. God saves us and makes us his child and we become a new person in Christ. Repentance is where we start down the path of “knowing” Christ.
If you do not know God as your personal savior, ask Christ to forgive you of your sins. Tell Christ that you choose to “know” and accept him as a free gift. Tell Jesus that your desire is to have more than just head knowledge but a much deeper heart knowledge where you truly “know” God. Without repentance will never truly know God and will not be able to experience the wonderful things God has for you in this life and in the next life of heaven.