This blog is about our adventures in newly wedded life as husband and wife. But it would be nothing without the power of God and the love our Lord has bestowed on us, His work in us, and His promises to us. Without Him, we wouldn’t have a story, we would never have met, we never would have existed. It is only right to explain my God and His wondrous love to you and me.
Marriage itself is a picture of Christ and the church- the greatest love story ever told by the greatest Lover Who ever was. What exactly did He do?
God is perfect and just. He created this world we live in and gave man the freedom of choice. Man chose to disobey God and sinned (went against God). This sin brought a curse on mankind; the greatest aspect of this curse being separation from God. The relationship between the perfect God and his creation was broken. Because he is perfect, God requires that anyone who would be in his presence be fully perfect. Therefore our sin separates us from God- since his standard is perfection! Because God is just, he required a payment to be made to take away man’s sin. Romans 6:23 in Scripture says that, “The wages (or payment) for sin is death”. In order for our relationship to be right with God once more, we need to get perfection from the outside of us. Our sin makes it impossible for us to get right with God on our own.
If the story I am telling you ended here, life would be hopeless. It might seem that God was not fair or not powerful enough to prevent this from happening. But God is the creator and he gave us the freedom to choose him or choose our own way. We have all chosen our own way: Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.
But God did not leave us in the hopeless state we got ourselves into. After years of promise, God sent his Son, Jesus Christ- God in the flesh. Christ, being all God and all man did what we could not do for ourselves. He lived a perfect life, and though the Bible says in Hebrews 4:15 that Christ “was in all points tempted as we are”, he did not sin- and therefore, did not deserve death. However, Christ endured a humiliating and excruciatingly painful death on a cross, submitting himself to death- for you and me! He took upon himself the punishment we deserved. He was sinless yet he suffered the penalty for our sin.
Christ didn’t just die for our sin. He wasn’t just a heroic figure or a good man for suffering in our place. He did what we could not do. Three days after he was dead and buried, Christ rose again. Accepting Christ’s self-less sacrifice, God raised from the dead; therefore, Christ conquered sin and death.
God the Father was pleased with Christ’s payment for sin. The fractured relationship between God and mankind was mended. Our sin debt was paid for.
However, God still gives man the freedom of choice. People have the freedom to choose whether they would rather live life without God, completely reliant on self. This refusal to seek God may appear to be a life of pleasure and freedom, but we are wired with a desire to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We are born with an emptiness in our heart and soul that craves something. Many spend their lives searching for that ultimate satisfaction; but there we can’t be ultimately satisfied with money, relationships, position, drugs, or sex. Sure, they may bring a high that satisfies for the current moment, but we are left having to come back for more and more. These things cannot satisfy our inmost heart- because that part of us can only be fulfilled by a relationship with our Creator. Anything outside of this leaves us empty, dissatisfied, hopeless. Choosing to live without God ultimately ends in death. And because God is a just and righteous God, he allows us to take the punishment for our own sin; eternal damnation of emptiness, pain, suffering, and regret.
But we don’t have to take this punishment! That is why Christ died in our place. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world (mankind), that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him (Christ) should not perish, but have everlasting life”. Out of love and a desire to reconcile his creation to himself, Christ suffered the consequences of our sin so that the wrath of God’s judgment was satisfied. We have been given the choice to admit that we have sinned and tried to go our own way and to claim Christ’s death and resurrection from the dead as our only hope. If we believe that Christ is the only way to God, that his shed blood on the cross took our sin debt away, God forgives that sin and heals our broken relationship with him. Scripture says in Romans 10:9, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved”. The soul that hears and believes this redemption story as true is given eternal life. The rest of Romans 6:23 provides this promise: “For the wages of sin is death; BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.
Nothing we can do will get us to heaven. A life dedicated to doing good isn’t good enough; Isaiah 64:6 says, “All our righteousness (the good things we try to do) is as filthy rags”. God required the death and shed blood of a perfectly righteous man for our sin; and that requirement was met through Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8 makes it clear: “For by grace are you saved through faith; it is not of yourselves, but by the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”. The only way to heaven and the only way to make things right with God is through Christ. No other roads, no other decisions, no other lifestyle. Anything other than Christ fails.
I can’t imagine going through life and thinking that this is all there is. I would be so lost, so desperate to find meaning in something, anything- constantly being unsatisfied with myself and my life. I know I am horrible about living my life remembering this amazing promise of life and everlasting love. I complain and gripe- but I have no reason too. God has been so good to me when I am completely undeserving. Romans 5:8 states: “But God commends (poured out) his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners (and therefore, his enemy), Christ died for us”.
I would be wrong if I presented you this redemption story without giving you a warning. There is a cost to following Christ. Accepting him as the salvation of your life also means making him the Master of your life. It isn’t all sunshine and butterflies- it is hard to follow him in this world. But he supplies us with everything we need to know to follow him. He has given us his word through the Bible, has provided a communication with him through prayer, and has supplied the church- which really just consists of other people who are striving to follow him- and most importantly, God has sent his own Spirit to dwell in the hearts of those who choose to follow him. I’ll be the first to admit that it is hard being a Christian. But it is so worth it. I have found complete satisfaction in him. I have Christ’s promise that he will never leave me or forsake me. As my creator, he knows what is best for me so much more than I think I know myself. As much as I fail by being a control freak, in my heart I know that it doesn’t matter what I do. God is in control of this world and has a plan for my life.
None of us knows how much time we have left. I really hope you will consider the God who made you and loves you. Even when you and I have screwed up in our lives with our sin, he passionately pursued us, providing a way to mend the relationship between him and us. There is a heaven and there is a hell. There is a punishment for sin, and you do suffer the consequences if you don’t turn to Christ. But marvelous blessing and eternal life await the life that turns to him!
And that’s the most wondrous love story ever told.