Christ's death bridged aspects of God's nature
Darrell Brazell, pastor, New Hope Fellowship, 1449 Kasold Drive:
Jesus' death was necessary to bridge two seemingly opposite, yet fundamental aspects of God's nature: his love and his holiness. God's love constantly moves him to seek relationships. God's holy justice demands payment for sin.
A holy and just God cannot simply ignore sin any more than a righteous judge can ignore crimes against the innocent. The part of each of us that demands just punishment for someone who harms a child comes from the fact that we are created in God's image and therefore have an innate sense of justice.
Every sin (whether great or small in our eyes) is an even greater offense to God's holy justice than child abuse is to ours. God doesn't judge on a curve but instead has a holy standard of perfection.
If this were the end of the story, we would be without hope. However, the very God who demands payment for sin also provides that payment through the death of his son, Jesus Christ. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (II Corinthians 5:21).
God the Father placed the sin of all mankind upon his son, who in turn paid the ultimate price through his sacrificial death. That payment appeases God's justice, allowing him to receive all who accept that payment with open arms.
Through the death of Jesus, God is forever done with the sin of all who accept his grace. Jesus' death redeems us and empowers us to approach a Holy God as dearly loved children who have been made perfect by his cleansing blood.
- Send e-mail to Darrell Brazell at email@example.com.
Every person sins and needs a savior
The Rev. Dan Nicholson, pastor, Lawrence Christian Center, 416 Lincoln St.:
According to the writings of the Holy Bible and the teachings of the Christian faith, Jesus Christ had to die in order to redeem all mankind from its sins.
Since the beginning of creation and the original sin of Adam and Eve, all mankind is born with a sinful, fallen nature - sometimes called an "Adamic nature" or "original sin." Man is in no way able to save himself. It is absolutely impossible and futile to think that one can "earn" his way to heaven or be "good enough" to go to heaven. Every man born of woman is a sinner and in need of a savior.
God, in his great mercy, knew that man could not redeem himself. So he sent his only son, Jesus Christ, because he had the nature of his Heavenly Father.
In dying on the cross, Jesus Christ became the only sacrifice that God would accept for the sins of the human race. According to the Bible, believing in Jesus Christ, being born again of the Holy Spirit and accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior is the only way any human being can go to heaven.
Jesus himself said in the Gospel of John 14:6: "I am the way, the truth and the life: No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." This statement is confirmed by the Apostle Peter in the Book of Acts 4:12: "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
I realize these statements might be offensive to some and certainly not "politically correct," but they are "biblically correct!"
- Send e-mail to Dan Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org