To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the lifegate that all may go in.
God. Believe in Him or not, He is real. If you don’t believe it now, one day (fairly soon I think) you most certainly will.
…..be the glory,…..
When us mere mortals think of glory, our programmed minds usually spring to something like a sporting victory, and the glow that surrounds such a thing for some people. That glow, my friends, is a false god. There is only One who actually, truly deserves glory.
…..great things He hath done!
He created the stars also. If you are grimly hanging on to the religious belief that in the beginning was nothing, which then exploded, and billions of years later via rock soup and monkeys here we all are – then you have infinitely more blind faith than I do. The heavens declare the glory of God. Open your eyes.
Wait a minute? What IS love? If you listen to the “experts” at Fox News or most other media outlets, you may be forgiven for thinking that it has something to do with diamonds, dimensions, or determination. If you love someone, so we’re told, we’ll do stuff for them, with them, or to them. We’ll buy them stuff, and never expect anything in return. Apart from being “loved” right back of course. Yup – when it boils down to it, love is all about the exchange of stuff. Right? We give and we get. Fair and balanced.
“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
No. Love has absolutely NOTHING to do with us at all. On our own, we are absolutely INCAPABLE of anything even remotely approaching true love. God alone IS love, and God alone has demonstrated what love IS.
…He the world…..
Wait a minute? What IS “the world”? And why does God love it? Good question. The world is us. You know – “we are the world” and all that cutesy philosotainment they feed us:
“We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me…”
I’m not going to be PC here. That, and almost everything else like it, is garbage. You know the song. It talks about God, so it must be OK right?
“Send them your heart
So they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand…”
And there, my friends, is the ultimate lie of this and every other age:
WE ALL MUST LEND (God) A HELPING HAND.
God’s sacrifice of His own Son AND….
That is what the world is. Arrogant, prideful, blind. We ALL think from time to time that we (the world) can do something to help GOD! Astonishing.
The world is indeed us. We are imperfect, God is perfect. We can do NOTHING to bridge that gap. We are lost, and without hope. We have collectively and individually rebelled against the One who created us and the universe we see stretching out into apparent infinity. We nailed the One who came to open our eyes to a cross. We crucified God.
But, He still loves us. He loves us enough:
….that He gave us His Son
Who yielded His life….
So while we are all singing blindly along about “saving our own lives” and lending God a helping hand, God Himself has given absolutely EVERYTHING to get our attention. He gave His Son to save our wicked souls. But we are so full of our own importance that we simply (if anything) say: Oh! Thanks God! Now what can I do for you?
One of the unique truths presented by Biblical Christianity is that there is, as I’ve already said, NOTHING that we can do to help God save us. Think about it. True Christianity teaches that ALL humans are so far gone that it took the death of GOD HIMSELF to meet the requirements for our recovery. Christianity is not some sort of “sinners anonymous” 12 step program during which we feel better and better about ourselves as we check each box off.
WE CAN NOT DO ANYTHING TO MEET GOD’S STANDARD.
God has done it all for us.
….an atonement for sin.
There. I said it. The “S” word.
So – what is sin?
There’s nothing complicated about sin. It simply refers to the fact that we are imperfect. One of our biggest imperfections is to look at everyone else and point out their imperfections. We are very good at that. The problem is, though – we are imperfect at it. Sometimes we look at people we love and overlook certain things that drive us crazy about people we don’t love. Most of the time we look at other people and point out things that drive them crazy about us. And we end up hating the sinner instead of the sin.
God, however, is perfect. He hates the sin, not the sinner. And that is why He can still love US. But even though He loves us, we are still fully, completely and eternally responsible for the things we do that God hates. When society sends someone who has committed a crime up before a judge, we don’t expect the Judge to smile sweetly and say “it’s OK. I love you Mr. Criminal. What you did was very, very bad, but you can go free anyway.” We expect the Judge to lock the rapist up and throw away the key… or send him to be fried. So WHY do we expect the ultimate, perfect Judge to overlook our crimes? WHY do we think that a perfectly holy, righteous God is going to smile sweetly and usher us into heaven without demanding that we pay the price for our sin?
But we can’t. We can’t pay the price. Why? It has already been paid for us, that’s why! Paid with the life of the One who created the universe.
The absolute uniqueness of true Christianity is that it tells us that God came to us, rather than tries (like all other religions – including much that calls itself Christianity) to teach us how to get to God.
Jesus Christ is not a swear word. He was and is God made flesh, a willing and perfect sacrifice for a fallen creation. His perfect, sinless life met the requirements of a perfect, sinless God. And when Jesus freely offered His life for us, He became the atoning sacrifice that satisfied the righteous anger that God has towards sin.
So, there is nothing complicated about sin. There is nothing complicated about the solution. God has answered all the questions, done all the work, offered the only way out. He has offered it to everyone – regardless of race, wealth, intelligence or anything else. Nobody can buy it. Nobody can earn it. Salvation is a free gift.
The lifegate has been opened for us. Will you go through?