(57) Ephesians 1:13, 14; 2:4-7; 1 Peter 1:3-5, 9.
(58) Romans 3:25-31.
(59) Romans 11:6.
(60) Romans 10:1-4.
(61) James 4:6b.
(62) John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:28, 29, 37-40, 47.
(63) 1 John 5:10-13 (emphasis added).
(64) Luke 16:19-31; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10.
(65) John 1:12-13.
(66) Romans 10:3-4.
(67) Revelation 3:20; John 6:37.
What Will You Do?
Jesus did everything needed for God to forgive you of all your sin, dwell in you in the person of the Holy Spirit, give you eternal life now, and guarantee to receive you after this life into everlasting glory with Himself(57) —all without sacrificing one iota of justice.(58)
Now He commands you to repent (turn around) and believe that good news. Stop believing what the world says, and start believing what God says. He has made no other provision, no other remedy, for your debt of sin. If you willfully refuse to believe in or accept His gift, you will not be saved by any other means.
Repentance and faith are both comprehended in this, that you start agreeing with God. This He commands you to do.
Agree with God’s Word that you are spiritually dead—that your problem of sin is so very serious that not only can you not solve it by yourself, there is actually nothing you can do to even contribute to its solution. The very best that you will ever do or be in this life is still tainted with sin, and therefore can have no part whatever in winning eternal life from God.
Your agreement with God on this point will only be real when you turn completely from all that you can ever do or be, as a means (sole or partial) of winning favor from God, securing forgiveness of sins, eternal life, etc. This is true “repentance from sin.” Everything you can do being tainted with sin, you must turn from all of it.
If in any way you are trying to secure forgiveness of sins and eternal life through a mixture of what God has done together with your own works, character qualities, etc., then you still have not submitted to either His grace(59) or His righteousness,(60) and so, resisting God, you have not repented of all your sin.
All of the above is really hard to admit. It is too devastatingly humbling! It is true, nevertheless. God commands you, (and I earnestly urge you)—don’t be proud, but acknowledge God’s truth.
Fortunately there is more truth than just the above, or none of us could dare acknowledge even that. The glorious truth is, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”(61) God’s holy and righteous standards cannot be compromised in the least. You have broken and fall short of His standards, deserve nothing from Him, and can do nothing of yourself to avert His just wrath against your sin. Yet He is such a Lover that He has provided means sufficient to save you—justly—through Jesus Christ. So I am begging you, and exhorting you; receive God’s grace, and do not refuse it.
What God did in Jesus Christ—in His life, His righteousness and his atoning, sacrificial death—is sufficient means, by itself, to satisfy God’s justice, make persons right with God, forgive all their sins, and give them eternal life. God, and God alone, saves sinners. Agree with that! More, trust Him to save you by those means. He promises that He will save all who so trust in Him!(62)
For centuries, God has borne testimony in the hearts of many, many millions of people that He has given them eternal life. He also bore that same testimony in His Word and caused it to be preserved for nearly two thousand years, expressly so that you could believe it if you will. Will you? Jesus frequently said, “Let him who has ears to hear, hear. Not all did. Will you hear His Word? Listenn now, to His Word, in and with your heart:
“The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son. And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” (63)
What more could God say? How much more plainly could He speak? Do not call God a liar by disbelieving His testimony concerning His Son and the free gift of eternal life found in Him. Do not reject the Son or the eternal life He offers. You will not obtain it any other way than as a free gift. Willfully reject that gift and you will have to pay your debt of sin yourself—that is, be damned to eternal torment in Hell.(64)
Yes, you did read that right. I am sorry if such a thought offends you; I can only pray God will open your eyes to how very serious is your offense against God. Still, it is the truth that unbelievers will suffer eternal torment in Hell. I wouldn’t love you if I neglected to tell you so important a truth.
God has given you every reason to believe in His love and trust Him to save you as a free gift. Will you reject His free gift of love and then fault Him for making known to you the thing He would have saved you from? Will you condemn God because He not only tells you with what great cost He purchased salvation, but also how great is your peril?
But perhaps, instead, you have come to see your need of God’s grace, and want to trust Jesus to save you completely. Are the accusations of the Enemy, the philosophies of the world or other religions, or the feared ridicule of men keeping you from doing so? Perhaps for you the thing to do is follow the one man’s example found in Mark 9:24.
Let me ask you one simple question. Would you like to have the Son and the eternal life that is in Him? Then receive Him!(65) Do you ask how?
Listen—if you think you can live up to God’s Law, then you have never even seen it, for what it is, and are not submitted to it.(66) When you admit your utter helplessness to live up to God’s law then you are actually, finally, acknowledging and submitting to His standard of righteousness. When you submit to His standard of righteousness you are acknowledging Jesus is Lord. When you trust Him to save you completely, you are accepting Him as your Savior. So why don’t you just tell Him, right now, that you know your “righteousness” is nothing, that you need Him and His righteousness, and want Him as your Savior, to give you eternal life the way His Word promises He does. Invite Him to come into your life that way, as your Lord and Savior. He will.(67)
A simple prayer you could say to God at this point might go something like this:
“Father in Heaven, I confess that I’m a sinner. Not only have I done wrong things, but my very heart, my inmost being, is corrupt and, just as your Word says, spiritually dead. I can’t bring myself to life spiritually. So from this moment forward I will look to you for life, trusting that what you did through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is enough, all by itself, to give me life, to make me right with you and a joint-heir of eternal life with Jesus. Lord Jesus Christ, I throw myself upon your mercy and claim you as my Savior; I have no other. I thank you for accepting me, and for the assurance from your Word that you do accept me. Now, please, come into my heart, to live out your life in me.
(57) Ephesians 1:13, 14; 2:4-7; 1 Peter 1:3-5, 9.