14 December 2008

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners

Jesus Christ came down from the glories of heaven to perform a work that no one else could do; the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us to accomplish our salvation. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).

Please note, first of all, that Christ came to save sinners. Sin is our problem, and salvation is our greatest need. You may ask, "Am I also a sinner?" Yes, we are sinners because we have broken God's Law by our disobedience and sins. God’s verdict on us is terrible: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." (Romans 3:10-12).

Do not fool yourself, saying: "I'm a respectable person; I am good at heart." You are not. You are guilty before God and unless something is done about your sin, one day you'll suffer the terrible consequences. Jesus warned us about the coming judgement and the eternal fire of Hell.

It is humbling to admit your sin and guilt; but if you do, you will be well on your way to freedom because Christ came to save sinners!

Note, secondly, who is the One who came to our rescue. "Christ Jesus came to save sinners." The Savior is Jesus, the eternal Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He is the Savior, and there is none other. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The saints, Mary or the church cannot save you. Only Christ saves, because He is the Savior appointed by God. The Bible says that Jesus came "to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45) – he shed his blood on Calvary’s cross to secure the freedom and forgiveness for his people. No one else did.

And finally, please note Christ's mission: he came to save sinners. The work of salvation is performed by Christ, not by the sinner. Don't think that you can contribute anything to your salvation such as doing good deeds, praying, attending church, giving to the poor, and generally trying to live a moral life. The Bible clearly states that salvation is by grace - an undeserved favour, a free gift. Salvation is not earned by good works or our efforts, but received by faith in Christ. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).

You cannot boast because you cannot do the least thing to save yourself. Salvation is of the Lord and therefore Christians give all the glory to Him. "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14).

Are you burdened by sin and guilt? Do you feel helpless? There is forgiveness and hope for you! Believe in Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died and rose again on the third day. Come by faith to the living, reigning and merciful Christ. May God grant you an obedient heart, that you may repent and trust in the Son for your salvation. For Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.