For May 18, 2019
In the Beginning, God created our ancestors, Adam and Eve, to be perfect human beings who represented the pinnacle of His perfect creation. God placed them in the Garden of Eden where they experienced complete fulfillment in unbroken, loving fellowship with God.
They lived in eternal bliss as long as they obeyed one command: do not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Unfortunately, they ate the fruit, and spiritual death and physical death happened just as God warned.
Physical death came over time, but spiritual death (or the Fall of humanity) came instantly, as the entire world became sin-contaminated.1
Sin is like a wedge that separates us from God. It restricts our ability to experience a sustained fellowship with our holy God, since He did not fall from perfection; we did, and our inherited sinful nature, which taints our thoughts, words, and actions, is highly offensive to Him.
Thus, we are sinners not because of the sin we commit. We are sinners because of the sin-tainted nature within us that is constantly at work inside us.
Trying to regain our perfection and reestablish fellowship with God is humanly impossible. Many try to earn a righteous moral position to secure God’s good graces by performing enough “good” works to convince God that we deserve to be with Him in Heaven.
Here, I would spend my entire life trying to perform one more good deed because I could never be sure if the next one would be the one that got me in. I’d be tortured to live life worried if I’ve helped enough little old ladies across a busy intersection, or offered enough people my seat on the bus or subway, or yielded my right of way to enough cars while driving through town, or gave enough money to charity, or assisted enough people in need.
As sinners, we can never do enough “good” to earn passage into Heaven. Even on our best day, God disqualifies us as unclean and our noble acts as filthy rags according to Isaiah 64:6.
We need a perfect Savior; someone who is sinless yet suitable to bear our sin. Again, Isaiah makes an astute observation: He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).
Jesus Christ is our perfect Savior whose death at Calvary (in conjunction with His resurrection three days later) paid sins price completely. Our faith in His redemptive work transforms us on the inside and allows God to declare us as righteous.
In other words, we are no longer judged or condemned by sin, as God exchanges Jesus’ righteousness for our unrighteousness. Now when He looks at us, He views us as He views His Son, Jesus Christ, and He sees us as perfect, having satisfied all of His righteous requirements.
Through Jesus Christ alone, we have God’s forgiveness and His eternal fellowship. He died on our behalf at Calvary, because He loves us more than we could ever comprehend and more than we can love ourselves. It is not our works, but our faith in His works that secures our eternal fellowship with God.
We were once separated from God, but how now we are reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. We were once enemies, but now we are at peace with Him.
In Christ, we have a new spiritual identity and a new moral position. This is God’s grace, and it is truly amazing. What a wonderful Savior!