God is truly a loving God to give His only begotten Son to die for us (iStock image)
by Ron Boatwright Connect via firstname.lastname@example.org
Man has a sin problem, but God has the solution and the answer. God is a loving God. John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life". God is truly a loving God to give His only begotten Son to die for us. That is the ultimate of love. Nothing could be greater.
Not only is the Lord loving, but He is also just. Jesus says in John 5:30 (KJV), "I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just". Yes, when we stand before the Lord on the Day of Judgment, He will be just. But justice demands that the guilty be punished. Let me give you an example. Just suppose I went out and robbed a bank, and was caught. Also suppose that the judge and I were good friends. So the judge calls me up to his bench and whispers to me that he doesn’t want to send me to prison for twenty years. He tells me, that if I will quietly walk out the back door, he will tear up all the paperwork, nothing will be said, and I can go free. Would he be a just judge? No way. But God is a just God, and can be no less.
Not only is God a loving and just God, but the Bible speaks of God as a vengeful God. In Hebrews 10:30-31 we read, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. And again, the Lord will judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God". Most people like to think of God as only a loving God, and nothing else; but this is not true. On the Day of Judgment, the majority of people will find out just how fearful it is to fall into the hands of the living God.
Why did Jesus have to die? Because God is not only a loving God but he is also just. Justice demands punishment for the guilty. God has specified in the Bible how He will erase anyone’s guilt. But we must obey God’s instructions. Those who continue to be guilty are those who have not obeyed what God has said. At the end of time when Christ comes back 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 says that He will come “In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”
God is also a God of grace. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Romans 3:23-24 tells us, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." We have all sinned. We all deserve to be punished throughout all eternity for our sins, but Christ Jesus has already taken our punishment. God, by his grace, that is His unmerited favor toward us, can now be just in saving us, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Our redemption is in Christ Jesus, and not in ourselves.
It is by the grace of God that one is saved. In Ephesians 2:8-9 we read, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." We are saved by the unmerited favor of God through our "obedience to the faith" (Romans 16:26, Matthew 7:21). There is no way that anyone could ever be good enough to go to heaven, because we have all sinned. We all deserve to be punished eternally. There is no way that anyone could ever earn his way to heaven, because heaven will be a gift of God for those who go there.
Our Lord says in Luke 17:10, "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do." We cannot do enough to earn our salvation. We read in Isaiah 64:6, "But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags." There is no one of us that deserves to be saved. It is only by the grace of God that anyone will be saved.