Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Penalty for Broken Laws

What's the penalty for breaking the law? Depends on what law was broken. What if you were caught speeding? What if you stole something? You might have to pay a fine or go to jail if you can't pay that fine. What if someone offered to pay your fine for you? You could choose to refuse that payment, or accept.

The laws of man were based on the laws of God. So what are God's laws? Honor God, serve no other god than Him, don't steal, don't commit adultery, don't kill, don't covet (or want) what someone else has, don't take the name of God in vain, keep the sabbath day holy, honor your parents, don't lie. Wait, don't lie? Yep, that's a sin, too. So, what's the penalty for breaking God's laws? DEATH! Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." That's a pretty stiff penalty for LYING! We all know that we are going to die one day. But the death spoken of here is separation from God for all eternity. Ever hear of heaven and hell? Well, this death is eternal torment in hell. Without hope of ever escaping. Romans 3:10 says "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one." This verse points out what we all know, we have all committed at least one sin, and more than likely we have committed a great many. So what do we have to do to have that penalty removed? Is there anything you can personally do to pay the fine God requires? Or has Someone else paid that fine for you?

Romans 5:8 says "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." While we were still sinning, or better yet, before we ever committed that first sin, Christ died for us. We don't have to clean up our act first.

John 3:16-17 says "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." The world, or the people in the world, have already been condemned. Romans 5:12 says "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." That one man was Adam, the very first man. Listen to verses 18 and 19 "Therefore, as by the offense (sin, wrongdoing) of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous." Who was that One? God's only Son, Jesus.

God's grace sent His Son to die for us "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." Grace is defined as mercy, pardon, clemency, freely given unearned favor and love of God. So how do you accept that gift of grace? How do you accept the payment of your sin by Another? Well, how do you accept a gift? You reach out and you take it. You don't work for it or it's not a gift.

So what do you do to accept the gift of forgiveness for your sins? Romans 10:9-13 says "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed...For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." It doesn't say that you might be saved, it says that you WILL be saved!

God sent His perfect Son to die for our sins. When we accept His grace, His free gift of salvation, as payment for the laws of God that we have broken, Christ's blood is what God sees. When it's our turn to enter eternity we are with God, not eternally separated from Him in a lake of fire and brimstone, a place of great darkness and torment. God did not want anyone to suffer that fate. II Peter 3:9 says "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

As someone who has accepted God's gift of grace for me, it is my job to try to convince you of your need for Him. It is your job to choose, and only you can make that decision, whether or not you will accept God's gift of grace. Why not ask Him to forgive you of the laws you have broken, and to come into your heart and life and be the payment for those broken laws? He'll accept you. He's been waiting for you!

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