I’m a GOOD Person…why do I need a SAVIOR?

Human beings are needy creatures.  Every day in every life there is a need of some type.  Sometimes you get what you need and sometimes you don’t.  

If I were to ask you what is it that you need right now, what would you say?  How can you tell a need from a want?  How do you know that you need anything at all?

Usually, there’s a sense of something missing or there’s something in your life that isn’t quite what it should be that sets you off on a path of defining what that something is.

An external circumstance can trigger the process, such as when you think about the coming winter, you might have a thought that you need a new coat.  Sitting beside the road waiting for a tow truck might cause you to ponder the need for a new car.

But how do you know that you really need something?  Probably, it’s more than a just passing thought about something that would be nice to have.  It’s a sense of urgency.  Your mind revs up a notch or two and you try to figure out a way to get that void you have suddenly become aware of filled to your satisfaction.  If you’re like me, you find that your thoughts keep coming back to the need until a plan of action is decided on and you act on your plan.

To be more specific to the topic at hand, how do you know that the need you have is for a Savior?

In the first chapter of Romans, the Apostle Paul tell us that since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been plainly displayed in the very creation itself, and it seems that most of mankind does have some inner sense of God’s existence.  But this inner sense can be ignored, even to the point of being extinguished.  Indeed, Paul goes on to say that mankind freely makes use of this ability to ignore God and in doing so, becomes blind to the evidence that God has so abundantly provided for us.  God does not force Himself on His creation.  He announces His presence to all, but not everyone acknowledges the message.  He calls, He calls, He calls, but at some point the calling stops. 

You don’t believe in the God of creation but replace Him with a god of your own creation.  That everybody worships something is abundantly clear.  Everybody worships something.  Instead of God the Father it could be the god of possessions, or the god of fame, or the god of the environment, the god of hatred, or even the god of self.  What you choose to listen to is what you will hear.

Well, suppose when the call came you got the message and have accepted that there is a God.  But this act leaves an emptiness that needs to be filled because now you want to know what God is like and you don’t really know anything about Him, except that He is. 

No doubt you have heard the term “holy” used in conjunction with God, but what does this mean?  How do you find out more?  What is GOD like?

More than likely you have heard someone say that Jesus is the answer, or that you need to be saved.  If you aren’t a Christian, the thoughts that run through your mind are probably something like “Saved from what?  Why do I need a Savior?  I’m not so bad… I can take care of myself.  Preacher, go and save yourself.  I don’t need it.  What I really need is another burger and another beer. You tell me that Jesus is the answer.  Well, if Jesus is the answer, just what is the question?”

 Simply put…it is how do you deal with the sin in your life?

When you hear someone say that they are saved, what they are in effect saying (or what they should be saying) is that they will not be held accountable for the sin in their life.  But keep this in mind; just saying you are saved doesn’t make it so.  There is a transaction of sorts that takes place between a person and God, whereby the individual recognizes that they are indeed a sinner, truly desires to turn from their sinful ways, and seeks salvation.

So if someone is not saved, what are the consequences of sin?  Well, they are probably more than you think, because you are on your own…the master of your fate…the pilot of your soul, so to speak.  Perfectly free to represent yourself and plead your case before a holy God.  And you will get the chance to do so.  The book of the Revelation speaks of the Great White Throne Judgement where the books will be open and the accounts examined.  All you have to do is measure up.  Just remember what the standard is.

Someone might complain that the playing field isn’t exactly level.  After all, God created the physical world then put us here in a physical body that is fine-tuned to recognize and respond to all sorts of physical and emotional urges, and then promises to hold us accountable if we don’t rise above the temptations.  Since God created us and the world He put us in, our sins are actually God’s fault, aren’t they?

In James chapter one the Bible says (NIV):

 13When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

 But, you might say, there are many, many temptations in this world and they come at you from every direction every day of your life.  It just isn’t fair!

In 1st Corinthians chapter 10 Paul writes:

13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (NIV)

God has provided a way out?  What way is that?  Perhaps you don’t recall ever realizing that there was a way out of giving in to temptation.

The Apostle Peter tells us in 2nd Peter chapter one:

3Hisdivine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.(NIV)

So the way out is knowing God.  It’s in God’s plan for your salvation.  But there’s a vast difference between knowing about GOD…and knowing GOD.

God has a plan for your salvation, but what if you don’t like the plan?  What if you don’t agree with it?  What happens if you refuse to accept the terms and demand some type of negotiations be held because, after all, you have some rights, some say, you get to provide some kind of feedback, don’t you?

But, perhaps you think this whole concept of sin is just ridiculous.  How good do you have to be anyway?  What can GOD legitimately expect out of us?  What if you still think that you are a good person, I mean a good enough person and you don’t need a Savior because you don’t have anything in your life that is really bad enough to qualify as a sin.  There’s nothing really sinful in your life, not compared to most people anyway.

If you think that you don’t need a Savior, you don’t understand what sin is, and you don’t know God.  You might know about God, and you might know about sin, but as I’m sure you’ve heard at some time or another, a little knowledge is dangerous.

To briefly state a few points:

What are the consequences of sin?  Spiritual death.

How do you avoid the consequences?  Salvation.

What does salvation require?  A Savior.

There are only two types of people in the world, saved sinners and just plain sinners.

All right, perhaps you will agree that in order to be with a holy God some way must be found to mediate the sin in your life, that in order to be spared from the consequences of sin (which is separation from God, spiritual death) you must have some avenue of salvation, a Savior.  But how do you know that Jesus Christ is that Savior and that He is the only way to salvation?

Simply put, it’s part of God’s plan.  God’s plan is not only to provide a Savior, but also to provide a way to recognize who the Savior is.

The Messiah is God, just as the prophets revealed, the very Word of God.  No longer would humanity have to relate to God as a burning bush or a pillar of smoke and fire, now God would give us something easier for us to comprehend.  No more speaking through a veil, now He would speak to us directly.  

He also gives us a great mystery in the Holy Trinity.  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  They are three and yet they are one: a mystery to the human mind.  It is a mystery and yet, the concept on a much simpler and perhaps inappropriately applied scale is not completely foreign to us.  We speak of this person or that as a unit, a whole, when in reality the person we are referring to is more than just body.  In addition to form the person has intelligence, will, emotion, character, and memories.  But when you think of that person, normally you do so as the total product.

God planned from the beginning to provide a Savior.  He knew that we would need one.  Examine the evidence for yourself using your senses, your mind, and your heart.  Listen to what they are telling you.

God knows what we are and the limitations we have.  In the book of Job, which is probably the oldest book in the Bible, we read in chapter 10:

                        2I will say to God: Do not condemn me,

                         but tell me what charges you have against me.

                        3Does it please you to oppress me,

                         to spurn the work of your hands,

                         while you smile on the schemes of the wicked?

                        4Do you have eyes of flesh?

                         Do you see as a mortal sees?

                        5Are your days like those of a mortal

                         or your years like those of a man,

                        6that you must search out my faults

                         and probe after my sin—

                        7though you know that I am not guilty

                         and that no one can rescue me from your hand?

                        8“Your hands shaped me and made me.

                          you now turn and destroy me?

                        9Remember that you molded me like clay.

                         Will you now turn me to dust again?  (NIV)

God hasn’t forgotten what a mortal is. Repeating Job’s lamentations in

 verses four and five:

                                4Do you have eyes of flesh?

                         Do you see as a mortal sees?

                        5Are your days like those of a mortal

                         or your years like those of a man,

To these questions God answers “Yes”, through the coming of the Messiah. 

God promises a way of salvation and provides the way through Himself.  He knows what we are.  He knows the trials and temptations we face on a daily basis in our lives because He has experienced them first-hand through Christ Jesus.

Now, some will say that’s impossible even for God, the omnipresent Creator of everything.  It’s a fantastic concept and one that takes faith to accept. But is it any more fantastic a concept than believing that the entire universe was once smaller than a dime?

God is a Holy God, and He knows that we by ourselves have not been, are not now, nor will we ever be holy as He is holy.  So does God hold us in judgment for failing to reach a standard He has determined must be met?  Is this a loving God who cares for His children?  Just what is God’s plan… and what does He want from us anyway?

If we follow GOD as our God with a true and earnest heart and follow the path He has provided for us, then we will be righteous in His sight and acceptable to Him.  God Himself makes up the difference for any shortages in our accounts.  That’s GOD’s plan for our salvation, and the prophets reveal to us that apart from God there is no Savior (Isaiah 43:11, Hosea 13:4).

If we know Him, we will seek the path of salvation He has provided for us… and that path is clearly marked.

Whenever someone expresses an opinion either verbally or in writing, more than likely that person has an agenda and may put a spin on their argument to try to persuade you to their point of view.  Well, here’s my agenda: the way to salvation is clear, and it is a single path.  To believe otherwise is to believe something other than the Christian gospel.  My plan was to appeal to your better reason.  And my spin, if you can call it that, was to quote the Holy Scriptures.

Do you believe in GOD?  Do you really believe GOD?  Do you need a Savior?  These are the most important questions you will ever face, and I urge you to consider your answers carefully.