Jesus Saves



One of the biggest “successes” of the enemy (besides convincing folks that he doesn't exist) is convincing some that the book of Genesis and what happened in the beginning, in the garden of Eden, is a myth.

Yet understanding the origin of sin and the fall of man is essential to also understanding why we need a Savior and the depth of God's great mercy and love for us.

Echoes of Eden play out everyday. God gave a command to Adam: “Do not eat of the tree in the midst of the garden.” Yet the enemy came to Eve and questioned God's word: “Did God really say?”

Did God really say? People have been asking this ever since. Commentaries and books are written to discredit Scripture and the commands of God. A hot-button issue in modern times is homosexuality. “Did God really say no to same-sex love, marriage, relationships?” “The word 'homosexual' was not even added to the Bible until such and such year." “What He meant was...”

All designed to question the word and authority of God who created us and holds our being, our breath, our eternity in His hands.

And then Eve made the mistake of listening to the enemy, choosing his word over God's. It made sense to her and what she could see with her eyes. She saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and supplied wisdom upon consuming it.

All good things, right? Surely God wants us to have good food, beauty, and wisdom?

Love is love, right? Surely God wants the happiness and fulfillment of two consenting adults in a loving, committed relationship, regardless of their genitalia?

The perceived goodness (or even actual goodness) of something is not the standard by which we measure the authority of God's word or whether or not we should obey. Of course the tree in the midst of the garden was good. God made it, and it was in the Garden of Eden where He Himself was.

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Scripture is filled with examples of men and women who chose self-fulfillment over trust and obedience to God, as well as examples of men and women who surrendered their desires and wills to God by faith out of love for Him and His word. And this is what He asks of us everyday: to love Him. To love Him more than we love the world or ourselves or our “rights” or our desires. To walk according to His word, even if it goes against what we think should be, even if it goes against what appears obvious or what we want. Even if it feels painful and difficult and we don't yet fully understand why.
Will we love God more than we love what makes sense to us? Will we love God more than what we can see with our physical eyes? Will we love God more than we love our desires or the desires of others?
There was a time I considered myself an “ally” and it was a time I foolishly, like Eve, questioned God's word. “Did God really say?” “Does the Bible really mean this?” And yet in His mercy God opened my eyes to the truth in His word:

“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

“who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Rom. 1:32)

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17

Through my allyship, my friendship with the world, I made myself an enemy of God who has clearly revealed what sin is and that the penalty of sin is death. This meant that I was not loving God, nor was I loving others the way He created me to. I was supporting “rights” and actions that put Jesus in agony on the cross. I was supporting “rights” and actions that, if left uncovered by the blood of Christ and unforgiven, would lead to eternal death for someone made in the image of God.

I hold deep grief over this, along with unceasing gratitude for God's forgiveness and mercy.

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In the beginning, God warned us. “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Gen. 2:16-17

From the beginning, death has not been God's will for His creation. From the beginning, God has made clear what sin is and how to avoid death. We will never be able to look Him in the eyes and say, “But I didn't know.”

Through the authority of Scripture, we know what sin is, and we know that sin brings death. We also know that God desires for us everlasting life. This is why Jesus came: to take the death we deserve for our sin and to give us His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21), a gift we receive by faith so that we may live forever.

We are not saved by giving up our sin. Our sin, which we know is sin because we have been given the word of God, the law, shows us our desperate need for our Savior. We are saved by trusting the only One who can deliver us from the power of sin and death because He died for us and rose again. Death has no power over Him, and through the gift of His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21) it can have no power over us, either.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23)

This gift is freely available to all. Sin is the great equalizer. Whether our sin is lying, pride, adultery, murder, homosexuality, theft, witchcraft or any other thing, we are all equally under condemnation until we are born again. (See John 3) But through His word, God tells us plainly how to not die. We discover how by trusting in the Savior, Jesus Christ, of whom John the Baptist testified, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, [on the cross] that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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.” (John 3:14-16)

“For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:3-7

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace ... In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1:7, 13-14)

It is my heartfelt prayer that the truth of God's word will illuminate the mind, life, and heart of those in need of redemption. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)

Jesus alone is the Savior. Jesus alone is the Deliverer. Jesus alone can forgive your sin and give you His righteousness so you can become born again, with the nature of God, and pass from death to life.

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Please watch this man's testimony. Oh, the wonder and mercy of the Lord!