need redemption and mercy
It is easy to love words like redemption and mercy; they inspire
us and instill our lives with faith and hope. We love these words because we
truly need them. I am a sinful man who has found redemption and mercy in Jesus
Christ, the Son of God. So I offer here to you that same faith, that same hope.
The central theme of the Bible is that God loves you. His love was revealed when
Jesus Christ came into the world as a human being, lived a sinless life, died
on the cross, and rose from the dead. Because Christ died for you, you can find
redemption. Your life can be changed. Jesus said: "For God so
loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life " (John 3:16). God
has provided redemption for you; but it requires an individual response from
you—you must willing accept Him on His terms.
of our sin.
God wants to give you a life which will last forever, even after you experience
physical death—a life with meaning and fullness. However, we have chosen to
disobey Him and sin against Him. The Bible confirms this, saying: "For all have
sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We may not be
more sinful than our neighbor, or we may be far worse than anyone we know; it
doesn't matter. Either way, we are guilty before God. We all do things that we
know are wrong, and fail to do things we know are right. And that's why we feel
estranged from God—because God is holy and good, and we are not.
Beyond the feelings, there are other real consequences of our sin. God’s word
says that sin has a penalty: "For the wages of sin is death " (Romans
6:23)—sin leads to an eternity separated from Him.
But God provides redemption: "God demonstrated his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). You may
have thought that you have to lead a good life and do good deeds before God
will love you. But the Bible says that Christ loved you enough to die for you,
even when you were rebelling against Him.
Redemption is a free gift God offers you—"For it is by grace you have been
saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by
works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). The word grace
means "undeserved favor." It means God is offering you something you could
never provide for yourself: redemption—forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
Jesus said: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If
anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and
he with me" (Revelation 3:20). Imagine Jesus Christ
standing at the door of your heart (the door of your emotions, intellect and
will). The Bible says, "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in
his name, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12).
When you receive Christ into your heart you become a child of God—and His Holy
Spirit will live in your heart.
True Christianity has nothing to do with attending a particular church, or how
your parents raised you, or what country you were born in. You become a
Christian through repentance and having a personal relationship with Jesus
Christ—He is the way to redemption. It's not good enough that your minister or
your mother knows Jesus, you must know Him personally. They cannot trust in Him
for you, you must trust in Him for yourself. They cannot repent for you, you
must repent for yourself. God is everywhere all the time. He can hear you now
if you come to Him. You can say a prayer something like this:
for forgiveness . . .
"Jesus, I know that I have sinned against you. I know the truth is that I have
sinned by my own choice, and I am the one responsible for it. I know that I
have earned punishment, and that the fair punishment would be death. Jesus, I
believe that You died in my place. Forgive me for my sin. I cannot cover or
take my sin away, I am relying totally and only on You. You are the only one
who can save me. I reject my sin, I turn away from it, I repent. Come into my
life, take away my sin, and show me how to live my life in a way that is right
and pleasing to You."
would God have me do?
Jesus was asked 'what is the greatest commandment'. He replied: "Love
the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it:
Love your neighbor as yourself"
The more you come to know God, the richer your redemption will be to you. You
will benefit from praying to the Lord often and faithfully reading the
Bible—new Christians find it thrilling to start with the book of John. Also,
here are a couple great Internet sites that can help answer your questions:
10 Reasons to Believe