The Bible teaches us that God created the universe and that he had a reason why he created everything, including why he created us. God is a truly amazing being, unlike anything in the universe, and in his infinite love and wisdom, he wanted to share his life with others so that they could enjoy his glorious nature.
…he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth… (Acts 17:25-26 ESV)
God created humanity in his image, which means that he created us in such a way that we could recognize what God is like and praise and enjoy his greatness especially by imitating him. God provided for all of humanity’s needs at creation, but humanity rejected God’s authority, refusing to be what God had created them to be. They chose to live for themselves, and each of us is born into this rebellion and makes the same choice. We rebel against God by doing whatever we think is best for us instead of living the holy lives God tells us to live.
…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23 ESV)
Now God had promised to provide life for humanity if they continued to obey, but he also promised that they would die if they rebelled. When the first two humans rebelled, God kept his promise and punished them, but he was also very patient with them. He continued to watch over them and care for them. He wanted humanity to come to him and acknowledge that they had done what was wrong and seek his forgiveness. Some did respond to God’s kindness toward them and were able to have a relationship with him, but many did not. Instead, they tried to enjoy life on their own.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9 ESV)
From the very beginning, God began to promise that he would send someone who would take care of this problem so that humanity could be restored and once again enjoy life with him. In time, God sent his Son, Jesus. Jesus is God. He became human and lived as a man the way that God had always intended humans to live. He joyfully imitated his Father and showed everyone how great God is. Jesus did not deserve to die. He deserved the life that God promised those who obey, but Jesus came to take the punishment that humanity deserves. He lived in their place, earning eternal life, and died in their place, paying the punishment for their sin. God the Father raised his Son from the dead, showing that Jesus had not died for his own sins and that Jesus was the way to have eternal life with God.
…Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Phil. 2:5-8 ESV)
…you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. (Acts 3:15 ESV)
Now think about what Jesus’s life and death teach us about God. What we see from Jesus’s life is complete righteousness. Jesus never lied or lusted, never stole or murdered. He was also perfectly loving, willing to give up his life for the sake of others, even for those who hated him. He showed us what God is like—he’s righteous and loving. God’s righteousness means that he must punish sin, but in his love, he forgives those who come to him.
The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty… (Exod. 34:6-7 ESV)
Jesus came so that we would turn from living for ourselves and trust in him to save us. That is why God has been patient with us. He wants us to recognize that he is our creator who rightfully determines how we were made to live and our judge who determines whether we have or not. He wants us to turn in sorrow from our rebellion and to trust in what Jesus did when he came and lived and died for people like you and me. We should trust in Jesus to provide forgiveness for our sin and make us right with God. God has given us time to respond to this good news, but we do not have forever to respond. There will come a day when we will stand before Jesus, and everyone who is not trusting him for deliverance from our rebellion will be punished eternally in hell. Then those who are trusting in him will enjoy a perfect life with God forever.
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:30-31 ESV)
But we don’t wait to live with God in the future. Those who turn from their old way of life to follow Jesus and who are trusting in him begin their new life with him right now. God the Father gives them his Holy Spirit, who begins to make them more and more like Jesus so that they can imitate God the Father just like Jesus did. That’s how we’re all about God’s glory through Jesus. We want everyone to see how great God is, and we joyfully show his greatness as we imitate him. We can only do that because of our connection to Jesus and by the power of his Spirit.
…he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Cor. 5:15 ESV)
If you’ve never responded to the good news that Jesus has come and provided salvation by his life, death, and resurrection, I would urge you to respond today. Tell God that you’re sorry for your sin. Tell him that you want to turn from the way you’ve been living and you want to start listening to Jesus, and tell him that you’re relying on what Jesus did to forgive your sins and make you right with him. And then come and tell us about your new faith in Jesus Christ so that we can help you in your commitment to follow him as your Lord and Savior.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (Jn. 3:36 ESV)