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God Above Self's Featured Video

Great News!

GREAT NEWS!


STEVE:  “What I want to do is share with you one scripture that comes out of Romans 6:23 and it’s a verse that I think if you understand, that you will understand the whole Bible.  


It says, ‘The wages of sin is death.’  Now, anytime you see that word death, it means separation.  If you’ve ever been to a funeral you notice that the person that is in the casket does not look they are asleep, it looks like they are dead.  There is a difference.  That is because their body has been separated from their personality.   The Bible says the wages, or results of sin is death.  Now, that word sin is a real easy word to understand.  It is simply that middle letter: I.  It’s when I am in control of my life instead of allowing God to be in control of my life or when you are in control of your life.  It says that the results of you being in control of your life is death.  That word death again means separation.  If I was going to draw that, I might draw it like this {draws illustration on napkin}.  


There is a great chasm here.  On this side you are here, or it could be me.  On the other side of that chasm is God.  That really is the dilemma, Jim, is that because we have been running our own life what we’ve done is pushed God out of our life.  So here we are separated from a God that created us.  A God that loves us very much.  A God who wants to teach us what is right and wrong.  A God who wants to be our partner in life and yet we pushed him out of our life because we want to be the God of our own life.  


Now, the question is:  How does a person who is separated from God because of their own sin and their own self control...How do they get back together where they are on this side over here {God’s side} or actually back together with God and God is your partner in life.  Because I think that is what everybody really wants.  There are some folks that say, ‘Well I know how to get back across there.  You just build this bridge of good works.  If you can do enough, if you can stack up enough good works, then you can reach all the way across there.“  Jim, as you look at that bridge, does that bridge {of good works} reach all the way across?”


JIM:  “No.”


STEVE:  “The reason it doesn’t is because nowhere in the Bible does it say that if you do enough good things that you can work your way back to God.  In fact, here is the rest of the scripture:  It says, the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God, and it is a gift, it’s  not something we earn, is eternal life.  


Now, if death is separation from God, then eternal life is living over here {God’s side} in union with God.  That gift of eternal life is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Now, what it’s saying is, God wants to give you a gift and it’s not a bridge that you build from your side over to God’s side, but instead, it is a bridge that God has already provided.  It’s kind of a funny shaped bridge, {draws cross between chasm} but I think you will recognize it.  It is the cross of Jesus Christ.   So here we’ve got this little guy on one side of the chasm and he’s trying to get over to the other side of the chasm and he can’t do anything, he can’t do it through knowledge, he can’t do it through good works, he can’t do it through going to church, but he can by crossing this bridge.  In other words, inviting Christ into his life.  


Now, what does it mean to really invite Jesus into your life?  Well, it’s here in the scripture.  It’s a gift from God and it is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  


First of all, it uses the word Christ to describe Jesus.   Jim, do you realize that Christ was not Jesus’ last name?  It was not Mary and Joseph Christ and their son Jesus?   But everybody called Him Christ because that’s the role that He played.  He was the Christ.  The one who came to pay for your sin and pay for my sin.  You see, the results of sin is that we have to be separated from God, unless somebody pays that penalty for us.  What Jesus did when it came to dying on the cross, is that He took upon Himself all of the sin that you and I have ever committed, all the lying, all the cheating, all the laziness, all the anger, He took it all upon Himself and when God looked at Jesus, He saw Jesus as if He was looking at us and He was separated from God the Father because of the fact that He took our sins upon Himself.  


When you were growing up did your parents ever give you a spanking?”


JIM:  “Yeah.”


STEVE:  “Yeah, well mine did too.  Let me ask you this, did you ever have a friend that said, “Hey, next time you are about to get a spanking, Jim, just call me on the phone, and I will come lay across the bed and I’ll take all of your spankings for you?”


JIM:  “No, that never happened.”


STEVE:  “It didn’t happen to me either.  Now that would be a nice friend.  


Well, that’s actually what Jesus did for us.  The results or the punishment for sin is that we have to stay separated from God forever unless, somebody else takes our punishment.  When Jesus died on the cross, what He was really doing was He was taking our punishment for us.  So to accept Jesus into your life, is first of all to realize that Jesus has done something really special for you.   He’s taken the punishment of sin off of you and on Himself.  


If you realize that and you accept Him as your Christ, as the one who pays for your sin, you become a real grateful person.  You want to live for Christ the rest of your life because of what He has done for you.  


So, if you accept Him as Christ, one day you will stand before God and God will say, “Why should I let you into heaven, Jim?” and you’ll say, “You know, I haven't done anything to deserve Heaven but Jesus paid for my sin.  I’m depending on what He did on the cross and that alone to buy me a ticket into Heaven.  God will say, “Right answer, Jim, come on in.”  


So, first of all, we have to accept Him as Christ but we also, notice in the scripture it says, “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That word Lord, is a real easy word to understand.  It simply means “boss”.   If you cross this bridge, paid for by the death of Jesus, and you are back in union with God because Jesus has taken your sin upon Himself and you no longer have to be separated from God, you are in a partnership with God.  Well, if you are in a partnership with God, guess who the senior partner is?  It’s God.  The whole reason you were separated in the first place was is because you wanted to be your own God. If you enter back into a right relationship with God, He has the be the Lord or the boss of your life.  I know that scares some people, they think, “Well, my goodness well I’m not sure if I want to cross that bridge because I’m not sure if I can be good enough.  The truth is, you are still going to make mistakes.  You are not going to be perfect.  You are not promising God that you are never going to do anything bad again.  What you are saying is that God has every right to rule your life and you are willing to let Him do that. 


So, that’s really how you become a Christian.  You realize that you are separated from God, that Jesus did what only Jesus could do to pay for a way for you to come back to God and to be willing to enter into a new relationship with God, where He is the Lord of your life.  Let me ask you again, “Do you feel like you’ve crossed that bridge or do you feel like that’s something you still need to do?”


JIM:  “I think that is something that I still need to do.”


STEVE:  “Okay, I want you to listen very carefully.  Is this something you need to think about some more or is this something you would like to do today?”


JIM:  “I think it’s something I’m ready to do.”


STEVE:  “Okay, any other questions about it?”


JIM:  ‘I don’t think so”


STEVE:  “Okay, why don’t we just pray together and I’m just going to invite you Jim just to pray out loud.”


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