Now that the New Year has begun, gyms and weight loss programs have begun their ads in hope that people will turn over a new leaf to get their bodies cleansed - but what about spiritual cleansing? Wouldn’t it be great to start the year with a fresh outlook on life?
There are several eye-opening realities I need to present first, so stay with me as I walk through what is required to have a right relationship with the Creator of the universe.
Reality #1 – God is perfect. Men and women are not.
I hate to break the bad news, but it is impossible for a man or woman to have a right relationship with God, unless they come to this understanding. God’s standards of perfection are so far from our best, it is like the distance from Earth to the nearest star other than our sun – it is impossible for mankind to reach that distance, outside of a miracle. The Bible puts it this way – we all “fall short of the glory of God." – Romans 3:23. To have a close relationship with God, I must humble myself before Him.
Reality #2 - Just being exposed to this life makes us infected with imperfection.
Human beings have all been exposed to the deadly disease of imperfection. The Bible calls it “iniquity” or “sin.” This imperfection is what separates us from a perfect God. God cannot allow imperfection into His perfect environment. Imagine a scientist in a lab working with deadly viruses, not wearing a protective suit. Not wearing a protective suit would bring certain death. If we approach God’s heaven with sin, we will be expelled.
The good news is that God wants us to be pure so we can be with Him in heaven, and He created a cure. "...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 6:23b.
The Bible says that God has made a way for us to be perfect in His presence. I think of it as a protective suit like the scientists wear when they work with deadly viruses. The Bible says, “…let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” – Romans 13:12b-14. By putting on the perfection of Jesus, God does not see our imperfection. This is what is meant by the idea that Jesus washes all our sins away.
Reality #3 – The righteousness found in Jesus is the cure for sin.
The only antidote for the disease of sin is to put on the purity of Jesus. It is a free gift from God to you! It is a gift that can’t be left under the tree. To have a relationship with God, this gift must be received, opened, and “put on.”
Reality #4 – No payment or good deeds are required to be saved from sin.
Jesus purchased this gift with His sacrifice on the cross. In church language, it is called being “redeemed by the blood.” Here’s the part that people miss: the punishment for your sins is already paid for, and there is nothing you have to do. The Bible says, "God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!" - Romans 5:8. Notice the exclamation point? If I think I have to earn my way into God’s graces, why did Jesus have to die?
Religion, church membership, paying penance, your family – none of them can save you. Only the love of Jesus can save you.
Jesus said, "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him…" - Revelation 3:20a. Is Jesus knocking on your heart's door? Believe in Him. Ask Him to come in to your heart by faith.
Begin your life anew TODAY:
Step #1 - Admit that you are a sinner.
Step #2 – Understand that sin will keep you from God’s presence for eternity.
Step #3 - Ask God to forgive you of your sins and save you from them.
Romans 10:9,10 "...If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
Romans 10:13 "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!"
Step #4 – Stop sinning and live your life for God.
Step #5 – Find a good church.
God will help you. He loves you.
Pastor Jay Merritt
Pastor Jay Merritt writes about God in every day observations.