Making Your Life Right With God
There is no greater responsibility than that of making your life right with Godl The wise man Solomon said, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: For this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl. 12:13). After all has been said and done, the only thing that will count in the day of judgment is whether you have respected God enough to do what he says.
Because of sin, you need to make your life right with God.
(1) All have sinned. Every person who reaches the age of accountability is a sinner. Paul told the Romans, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).
(2) Sin is transgression of God's law. John said, "Whosoever commiteth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 Jn. 3:4). To sin is to miss the mark either by committing acts of wrong doing or as James said, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (Jas. 4:17,).
(3) Sin separates one from God. Man is created without sin just like Ezekiel said, "Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee" (Ezek. 28:15). But as one reaches the age where he sins, he is separated from God. "Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isa. 59:1-2). Since sin separates us from God, we need to make our lives right with God by being reconciled "unto God in one body by the cross . . ." (Eph. 2:16).
(4) The wages of sin is death. Sin has its pay. Paul told the Romans, "For the wages of sin is death . . ." (Rom. 6:23). James put it this way, "But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (Jas. 1:14-15). The desire for evil leads one to sin and that sin grows until one is so carried away by it that he lets it become fullgrown and the final state is eternal death.
Even though we are living in times when sin is looked upon by man as not being too bad, sin is still sin and is hated by the Lord. What have you done about your sins?
God's Love For You
Have you ever thought about the fact that God's love for you caused Him to give His only Son for you?
(1) God gave His Son to die for you. Countless millions have memorized, "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" (Jn. 3:16). God's love was expressed while we were sinners. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). The love that God has shown toward us should cause us to want to make our lives right in His sight.
(2) Jesus died for sinners. Jesus was concerned about the lost. It is written, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Lk. 19:1). Paul told the Corinthians "that Christ died for our sins . . ." (1 Cor. 15:3). In fact, the Bible teaches that Jesus died for every person. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man" (Heb. 2:9). Jesus did not die for a pre-selected few, but He died that all might have the right to be saved. The love that Christ had for the church caused Him to "give himself" as Paul said in Ephesians 5:25.
Do you appreciate the fact that Jesus died for you?
The Holy Spirit Revealed The Truth
The Bible is inspired. While Jesus was still on the earth, He told the apostles, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come" (Jno. 16:13). Christ did just as He told the apostles "and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).
(1) The Bible is From God. "All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17). God breathed into men truths He wanted us to know and as we read the Bible we are reading the will of God.
(2) The word of God was revealed by the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit in the conversion of sinners is that He revealed the word by which we can be saved. Paul told the Ephesians, "Whereby when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ; which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit" (Eph. 3:4-5).
God has made known all of the truth He ever intends to reveal.
God's Plan In Saving You
God, Christ and the Holy Spirit have done their part in saving you. In fact, they have done all they intend to do. The religion of Jesus Christ is an active religion. There are some things that you must do in making your life right with God. Your part in making your life right with God involves:
(1) Hearing the gospel preached. The Bible says, "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). God does not miraculously give one faith but faith is produced as one reads and studies the word of God. God said of Jesus, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him" (Matt. 17:5). You see, the gospel is "the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16) and the gospel is that "by which ye are saved" (1 Cor. 15:1-2). Begin now to read and study the word of God.
(2) Faith in Christ and in God. As you study the Bible, you will be able to see that God and Christ are divine and that you can easily believe that they are real. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6). Jesus Himself said, "I said therefore unto you; that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (Jno. 8:24). Every case of conversion in the book of Acts involved folks believing in the Lord.
(3) Repentance. God has commanded repentance of those who would serve Him. "And the times of ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Repentance is illustrated in Matthew 21:28-30. "But what think ye? A certain man had two sons: and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented and went . . . ." Notice that the one boy said, "I will not, but he repented and went." Now what did he do when he repented? He simply changed his mind. The repentance is seen in a change of mind that resulted in a change of life - he went! So when one repents of his sins, he simply changes his mind about sin and turns away from his sins. Repentance is perhaps the hardest command in. the Bible, but God still requires it.
(4) The Confession. Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my father which is in heaven" (Matt. 10:32). You will note that the confession is a confession of one's faith in Christ and not a confession of sins! A good example of the confession being made is that of the man of Ethiopia. He said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:37). Godly sorrow brings about repentance that stems from the heart "and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:10).
(5) Baptism. Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16). This passage requires the believer to be baptized in order to be saved. It is as Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38). This passage teaches that baptism along with repentance is necessary to have your sins remitted. Baptism is a burial in water as Paul told the Romans and illustrated by the conversion of the eunuch. "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:3-4). The element into which you must be buried and raised out of is water. The eunuch said, "See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" (Acts 8:36). Why not be baptized today and make your life right with God?
(6) Faithful living. Upon being baptized, you will be "added to the church" (Acts 2:47). As a new creature in Christ you need to "walk in the newness of life" (Rom. 6:4). Upon becoming a child of God, you are a Christian. "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" (Acts 11:26). Faithful living is required in making your life right with God. Paul told the young preacher, Titus, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world" (Tit. 2:11-12). That living is important!
(7) Worship. God has required that His people worship Him. Jesus said, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Matt. 4:10). Jesus told the woman at the well, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (Jn. 4:24). Worship must be with the right disposition of mind and according to the truth. The first Christians, "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). In worship then, you must continue in the teachings of the apostles; give as you have been prospered (1 Cor. 16:2); partake of the Lord's Supper on the first day of every week (Acts 20:7); pray and, as Paul told the Ephesians, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Eph. 5:19). Proper worship is necessary in making your life right with God.
(8) Work in the Lord's church. The Lord expects His people to be a working people. Paul wrote the Corinthians, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58). Both the church and the individual Christian is called upon to do the work as God has outlined. A good example of the work of a Christian as an individual and the church as a group, can be seen in these words: "If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged: that it may relieve them that are widows indeed" (1 Tim. 5:16). As a member of the church you will want to "be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). The church is all-sufficient to do all of the work God expects the church to do. The church in the New Testament did not provide for entertainment and recreation and the support of human organizations out of the funds contributed to do the work of gospel preaching and taking care of needy saints. In making your life right with God, you must engage in the work as provided for in the New Testament.
Now that you have learned how to make your life right with God, we encourage you to take care of it right now! For it is written, ". . . Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2).
Guardian of Truth XXVII: 12, pp. 364-365, 374