Below you will find an email that I sent to someone who is seeking, but feels unsure and scared. I thought I might share this with you in hopes that you could benefit from the GOOD NEWS contained in God's Word, but also maybe you could send this email to other people that you love. Please copy and paste the below message and personalize it for them and don't be afraid to send it.
I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to write to you today about the hope that I have, a hope I would love to share with you. I know that the enemy (the accuser of the brethren) can make it really hard for us to make choices to move toward the Lord; I know this because I still struggle with it myself. But, I have a hope in the power of GOD and a trust in His promises. I would like to share some of those amazing promises with you today. Listen to this...
John 3:17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. [NLT]
To me this means that Jesus came to save us, not to Judge us. He is not here to give us a little bit of help and encouragement to overcome our sins, but instead to actually save us from them. The key is that He is the one doing the work. He is the One saving us, we cannot save ourselves.
Now we should look at the most famous verse that precedes this one...
John 3:16 "For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. [NLT]
First, what is our part to play in the salvation offered to us through Jesus? We must believe in Him. Well then, we must ask ourselves the question, "What does it mean to believe in Him?" Do we simply need to believe that He existed? Do we need to believe that He is who He said He is? What does it mean to believe in someone? I think it means that we believe what they say. We trust in what they tell us. We know and trust that they will do the things they say they will do and that they have the power and capability to do it. Something else I want you to consider in this verse; I want you to look at what it doesn't say, but what Satan wants us to think it says. Here is how the Enemy wants us to interpret this passage...the way we unfortunately interpret it all too often.
For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes about Him and struggles with sin and overcomes it, will not perish but have eternal life.
That isn't what it says is it? Don't get me wrong. Jesus does want to take care of the sin in our lives, but He needs to be the one to fix it. If He isn't the One to fix it, we take the credit to ourselves, nullify His power, and then become subject to the law because we said "I can fix it, I don't need your help Jesus". That would be like the branch that had been cut from a tree saying "I can live without the sap of the tree and I don't need the Gardener to graft me back into the Tree. I can produce fruit all by myself." Still, the fruit never comes from a dead branch unless God gives it power to bud! (Num 17:1-13)
Here is another lie the accuser of the brethren likes to tell us.
"Oh my! Look what you just did! I can't believe you did that. I wouldn't go to God right now...He's not too happy with you."
Even though we like to put that on God, He isn't that way at all. In fact He is the opposite. He really does love us more than we can imagine when we are lost in our sin and weakness.
He passed by no human being as worthless, but sought to apply the healing remedy to every soul. In whatever company He found Himself He presented a lesson appropriate to the time and the circumstances. Every neglect or insult shown by men to their fellow men only made Him more conscious of their need of His divine-human sympathy. He sought to inspire with hope the roughest and most unpromising, setting before them the assurance that they might become blameless and harmless, attaining such a character as would make them manifest as the children of God.
Often He met those who had drifted under Satan's control, and who had no power to break from his snare. To such a one, discouraged, sick, tempted, fallen, Jesus would speak words of tenderest pity, words that were needed and could be understood. Others He met who were fighting a hand-to-hand battle with the adversary of souls. These He encouraged to persevere, assuring them that they would win; for angels of God were on their side and would give them the victory. Ministry of Healing" pg 26.1 - E.G. White
Look at this amazing, and I really do mean amazing, promise from God...(emphasis supplied)
Romans 5:5-11 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God's condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
I don't think that it said anywhere in there that Jesus died only for good people. I'm pretty sure that He showed His love for us while we were...
- utterly helpless
- still sinners
- still His enemies
Here is what I want you to see. God sent His Son to die for you while you were utterly helpless. Have you ever felt utterly helpless? God sent His Son to die for you while you were a sinner. Have you ever felt like a sinner? God sent His Son to die for you while you were still His enemy. Have you ever felt like God's enemy? He loves you when you are all of those things...isn't that Good News?!
Now, here is the hope that goes even further...notice this statement in Romans 5:10...
"...we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son."
What are we being saved from? The answer is sin. Through what are we being saved? The life of His Son. Think about that for a moment...
We are being saved from sin through His LIFE not His DEATH. His death paid the price that sin required, for "the wages of sin is death". This payment reconciles us back to God. Through the LIFE and DEATH of Jesus we are able to see the true character of God because Jesus said,
"Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? " John 14:9
His DEATH proved that His love never stops...it never changes, it endures forever, even to the point of the second death. What amazing love!
"He was treated as we deserve, so that we could be treated as He deserved." E.G. White
His LIFE show us how much the Father loves us and what it means to trust completely in the Father for all things. As we behold (dwell upon, seek after, look into the face of) the LIFE of Jesus and the unfathomable love of the Father we will be drawn to repentance (turning back to God).
Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
But, now that we are justified (justified means to be set-right and no longer under judgement) and reconciled (reconciled means a restored relationship) he wants to save us from our sin. God does not want to leave us in our sin, He wants to save us from it. This is GOOD NEWS. He will do the work. He will save us. He will cleanse us...He's the only One who can.
1John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (emphasis supplied)
How does He do that? How does He save us or cleanse us from sin? Through faith in His power and beholding His life as we "hunger and thirst after righteousness"!
If you know a little of the sanctuary service that the Israelites followed you know that the lamb was sacrificed because of the sins of the person. The lamb died after taking on the sin of the repentant sinner. But that wasn't the end of the story. If we follow the Way or path of the blood after the sacrifice, the blood of the lamb was taken through the whole sanctuary and ultimately brought to the throne room of God, also known as the Mercy Seat. The life is in the blood (Lev 17:11) and it represents the life of Jesus. Through His life (the whole of how He lived on this earth; how He interacted with others and showed the character of God) Jesus saves us from our sins.
You might now ask, where is this power and how do I behold Him?
I recommend you read all of John Chapter 6, but here are a few of the key verses:
John 6:35 Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.
This implies a hunger and thirst existed before they came to Him...notice the progression...
John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is My flesh."
...He is defining it for us even more...
John 6:55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. Joh 6:56 Anyone who eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him.
So tell us Jesus, what is the "life" you are referring to?
John 6:63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
His Life is His Word. If we believe in what He tells us (His Word and Life), then we will be saved from our sin through the Spirit, not through human effort. His Word tells us that He will do that work. We need to partake of His "flesh" (Word) and drink His "blood" (Life/Spirit) and He will save us. He reconciles us back to the Father so that we can come boldly before the throne of God...not because God's wrath was somehow satsified, but because by seeing God's character in the life of Jesus we are convinced that we no longer need to fear [be scared, frightened, afriad] God, but we can now fear [be in awe of, tremble before His goodness] God.
This is the Good News!
This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ - the Good News that is His Life given for us and there is so much more to learn about His love for us! Read your bible today and ask God to show you His love in those glorious pages. If you don't have a bible, contact me and I'll do what I can to make sure you have one.
In Christ's Love,