You must be born again — Part 1

John 2:23-3:21

John’s Gospel remind us that something is very wrong with people:

  •  John 1 tells us that  Jesus came to his own, but his own received him not. Yet
  • John 2 records that many ‘believed’ on Him because of the miracles he did.

What did they believe about Jesus, and what were they trusting him for? Why didn’t Jesus entrust himself to them? (John 2)

  • John 6:15; The people saw Jesus’ miraculous sign of feeding, but they only wanted to make Jesus a king like David.
  • John 6:60; Some disciples rejected the idea that they needed Jesus to die for them (give his body and blood) in order that they might have eternal life.  They stopped following him because Jesus insisted on the point. They did not think that they needed to be reconciled to God.
  • John 8:31-36; Again, those who are said to have believed in Jesus rejected his teaching that they were sinners and needed him to set them free from their terrible slavery to sin and death.
  • This attitude is true of all people.  Note the flow of the last few verses of John chapter 2. The Lord Jesus knew all human beings (pantas), and he had no need to have someone explain human beings (anthropou) to him. He already knew what was in human beings (anthropw ). This is perhaps a reference to Jeremiah 17:9. What is true of one is true for all.  There was a human being (anthropos), named Nikodemos. He was a person just like every other person. He is our case study.  He had seen the signs that Jesus had done. He concluded that Jesus must have come a teacher from God, yet something was very wrong with Nikodemos.

People must be born again:

This is another way of saying that God must act if any human being is to be put right with him. This is not something we can manage for ourselves.  Nikodemos did, and did not, see this. Jesus had said to him:

Unless a man/woman/child be born again (or from above), he or she cannot see the kingdom of God,” nor can they enter in. [1]

One of our problems is that we cannot see that we are out of favour with God. Unless we are born again, we will either deny the existence of God, or, if we claim to believe in God, we will deny that there is a problem with the relationship.

Another problem is that we cannot do anything ourselves about the problem even if we acknowledge there is one. What did you do in order to be born?

Again, we cannot appreciate God’s way of dealing with our sin problem, unless we are born again.

Nikodemos thought of the solution which Jesus offered merely in physical terms, ‘How can an old man like me be born again?’ Surely, he thought, this is impossible (mee dunatai).

Jesus’ reply to Nikodemos contrasted the life of a human being as Adam left us …

  • in a condition of sin and misery
  • which is implied in the words ‘that which is born of flesh is flesh’
  • that is, dead in sin because of Adam’s sin and doomed to die for that reason.

… to the life which Jesus Christ alone can provide us

  • in a condition of acceptance and forgiveness
  • which is implied in the words ‘that which is born of spirit is spirit’ (or ‘spiritual’),
  • that is, alive in Christ, because of who his is and what he has done.

Even a learned Pharisee, steeped in the Scriptures from his youth, did not see what Jesus was talking about. But he should have understood. “Are you a teacher in Israel, and you don’t know these things.” God had revealed what he meant to do for sinful people in Old Testament, namely that God would come and save.

God acted for us.

  •  The Spirit of God acts sovereignly in the new birth (John 3:8) changing heart, mind and will. The Spirit gives us the ability to trust Jesus by applying work of Christ to us.
  • The Son of God was lifted up (John 3:14-15) just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. Moses was told to make a model of the snakes that God had sent as punishment for sin.  People who were bitten by the snake were simply to look to that bronze snake and they would be healed. If they did not, they would die.  Being ‘lifted up’ was the way Jesus described his death on the cross.  It is the same language that he used in John 12:32-33.
  • God the Father sent the Son to do these things for us (John 3:16).

Please see Part 2.

[1] Compare Matthew 5:20 – Our righteousness has to exceed that of the Pharisees and Scribes. E.g., We need Christ’s righteousness, which comes to us with faith in the new birth.  Who is the great one in the kingdom of heaven? The one who teaches and does every scratch and tick of the law, namely, Jesus Christ the righteousness one. He becomes our righteousness if and when we trust him.

You must be born again — Part 2

This post follows on from Part 1.

This is the way God’s love comes to the world.

In the Greek language there is a way to distinguish between ‘natural’ and ‘actual’ consequences.

Houto … hoste + infinitive indicates a statement of natural consequences. For example, ‘He is such a generous person that he would give you the shirt off his back’ – this is true whether he actually does or does not give you his shirt. It is a statement about the nature of the person.

Houto … hoste + indicative indicates a statement of actual consequences: ‘He is such a generous person that he actually did give me the shirt off his back’. This is not just what the person would do, but what he really did do.

John 3:16 indicates a statement of actual consequences. Jesus really was sent, and he really did save.

In this way God loved the world.’  People might think the ‘so’ in translations of 3:16 means ‘so much’.  The force of the word ‘so’ is about manner, not amount. It says, ‘This is how God’s love is shown. In this way particular way.’

God the Father gave the Son, who in his humanity became the only acceptable sacrifice for our sin.

For whom did Jesus die?  For all and any who will trust Him — those to whom the Holy Spirit brings new birth. What is the effect? Everlasting life rather than the death penalty. ‘We judge in this way: that if one died for all, then all died; and he died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and rose again.’ 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

To ignore Christ’s death for sinners is to ignore God’s love for sinful humanity.  To reject Christ’s life, death, and coming back to life again as the necessary condition for our peace with God is to reject God’s love.

The message of the Bible is NOT primarily one of condemnation.  It is first and foremost a message of hope, of rescue, of life.  It is Good News.  If God intended simply to condemn, the Bible would have been unnecessary.  The Lord Jesus came to seek and save that which is lost.  To give his life a ransom for many.

Trusting Christ is the way a person receives God’s gift of life.  Not to trust Christ simply leaves a person under the judgment that is due to our sin.  What makes the difference between a Christian and someone who is not a Christian?  Jesus Christ.

Back to the problem and the solution.

Jesus Christ has come as the light of the World.  Our natural reaction as sinners is to run away from the light (like cockroaches do, I suppose).  The light is hated because it shows up our sin; our rebellion against God.  Jesus came to save his people from their sin.

So, if we come to Christ on His terms and in His way, that is a demonstration of the power of God at work.  What is the work of God? That we trust in the one whom God has sent.  We must trust Jesus Christ. If we trust him, we ought to tell the good news of Jesus to others.

By What Authority? Part 1

This was the question the religious leaders asked Jesus — Matthew 22:23-32.

After Jesus had entered the temple and was teaching there, the high priests and the elders of the people came to him, saying, ‘By what authority do you do these things? And who gave you this authority?’  In reply Jesus said to them, I will ask you one question too. If you answer it for me, I will tell you by what authority I do these things.  Where did the baptism of John come from—from heaven or from human beings?’  So they reasoned among themselves, saying, If we should say, ‘From heaven, he will say to us, Then why didn’t you believe him?  And if we say, From human beings, we fear the crowd, because all the people hold that John was a prophet’.  So in answer they said to Jesus, We don’t know.  Then he said to them, ‘I will not tell you, then, by what authority I do these things.’

 ‘What do you think? A man had two sons.  And going to the first, he said, Child, go today and work in my vineyard. In response he said, I don’t want to; but later he reconsidered and went.  Then going to the other son, he said the same thing. But this one answered, I will, Lord, but he did not go.  Who of these two did the will of the father?  And they said to him, The first one. Jesus said to them, I tell you truly, that the tax collectors and prostitutes enter the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him.  But the tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. And when you saw this, you did not then reconsider and believe him.’

This incident happened in the week before Jesus died on a cross and rose again. The day before this incident, He had entered Jerusalem in triumph, riding on a donkey. Images of the promised king flowed into the minds of the people. Great crowds had followed him, and children kept calling out,

Salvation! Happy is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Ps. 118

Jesus then entered the temple, and threw out those who were there simply to make money. People were either selling animals for the sacrifices required by the law (probably at an inflated price), or they were getting a good exchange rate on the money that would be used to buy the animals.  This was the week leading up to one of the great feasts of the religious year, the Passover.  It was a time when the people remembered that long ago God had rescued them from slavery in Egypt. God had spared their first born children because young lambs had been killed in their place.  Israel was to remember that God promised forgiveness of sins through the death of a substitute.  It was the language of the Passover that the prophet John the Baptist had used when he first pointed Jesus out. He had said,

Look, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29

So, the religious leaders came to Jesus.  They were not happy with him. Jesus had a habit of pointing people to the Scriptures in a way that made these leaders look foolish.

For example, when they tried to correct Jesus’ disciples because they did not wash in the approved way, Jesus didn’t seem to care. He spoke instead about the evil condition of the human heart, mind and will.  He told them that man-made traditions were unable to fix our sin problem, and he accused them of paying far more attention to their traditions than to the word that God had given them.

Side note: A tradition is a belief people have, or a thing people do, because it is handed down from the past. Christmas is celebrated in different ways in different countries because of different traditions. Some traditions are good. Paul says the Lord’s supper is a tradition that we have received from the Lord Jesus. Some other traditions are or can become very bad, especially if they are made more important than the things God tells us to believe or do in his Word.

On another occasion, when Jesus was teaching people about what is allowed on the weekly day of rest, he reminded the Pharisees that God had said, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice’, and gave them scriptural examples from the life of David and the work of the priests to show that the oppressive rules of the Pharisees were twisted (Matthew 12). Again, Jesus corrected the ugly views on divorce that these leaders had, and explained a passage in Deuteronomy by referring to the first chapter of Genesis (Matthew 19).

Often the Lord Jesus corrected these sorts of errors by asking, Have you never read this in the Scripture? The Pharisees certainly would have read the Bible, but Jesus’ question was not just about reading, it was about changing people’s thinking. What effect did God intend his word to have.  What should we believe in the light of His word, and what should we do in response? These are the things Jesus wanted the leaders to think about. We should think about them too.

Finally, just the day before, when they had asked Jesus to silence the children who were calling out loudly that Jesus was the Son of David, Jesus asked if they had ever read that ‘From the mouths of nursing babies God had ordained praise.’ Who did Jesus think he was? Who did the people think he was? It was time, these leaders thought, to take matters firmly in hand.

Jesus had entered the temple, and as his custom was, he started teaching people the Scriptures.  As he started to teach, the high priests and elders came with their question. It seems to me that they had been waiting and watching for him.  As soon as they saw him, they gathered together and went for Him:

By what authority do you do these things, and who gave you that authority?

It was a good question to ask.

Continue in Part 2

By What Authority? — Part 2

Matthew 22:23-32, continued from Part 1

‘Authority’ is the right to do or be something.  A policeman has the right to give a speeding motorist a ticket. Teachers in some jurisdictions require registration or they have no right to be in a classroom. Usually, this authority comes to a person from someone else, sometimes from the government, sometimes from parents, sometimes from an employer.  The Bible tells us that all authority comes from God, and we find out about it through his word.

Jesus clearly spoke with authority.  He was continually amazing people with the things he said.  Jesus certainly acted with authority when he threw the money changers out of the temple, declaring with Isaiah and Jeremiah that the temple was to be a house of prayer, not a robbers’ den.  These leaders, however, had a twisted view of authority.  They were very concerned to maintain their own authority.

They had intellectual authority.  They had been taught, they were the learned ones.  They were the teachers.

They had moral authority.  They were not ‘sinners’ like the people Jesus hung around with.  You remember the blind man that Jesus healed, how he was cross-examined by the religious leaders?  They said that they knew Jesus was a sinner (because he healed people on the Sabbath), but when the healed man reminded them of some uncomfortable facts, they said to him, ‘You were wholly born in sin, and do you teach us!’ John 9:34.

As Jesus himself had said, these leaders, … sat in Moses’ chair. But Jesus had also said, ‘Do as they say, but not as they do.’

This last point is important.  These leaders had real authority, but they abused it.  Their authority came from the word of God.  If they taught that word, they were to be listened to.  Sadly, they were teaching the traditions of men, and by these traditions they set God’s word to one side and ignored it. And this, I think, was the point of their question.  Jesus was not in their favour.  He had not gone to their schools, he was not sent by them, he did not teach what they taught. He was not acting under their authority.  Who gave him the right to teach and to command in the ways he did?

Jesus could have given them an answer straight away—he had silenced them often enough in the past—but he chose to let them work it out.  I suspect these leaders already knew the answer Jesus could give, and they were hoping to use his answer as an accusation. After all, they had been planning to kill him for some time. But Jesus turned their plot against themselves:

You tell me about the baptism of John, he said, is it from heaven or from men.

Stating the question in a slightly different way,

Had God sent John as a prophet, as one who spoke God’s authoritative word, or was he sent by people like you, by mere men with a merely human message?  Was his message vital truth from our Creator and Judge, or was it one message among many others which people may listen to, then accept or reject without fear? Did John have real authority, or really none at all?

These leaders weren’t slow.  They knew the options and their consequences immediately.

If we were to say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then didn’t you believe him?’

In other words, ‘Why don’t you summit to the Word of God.  You are supposed to lead the people in the things of God.’  If John’s message was from heaven, they of all people ought to have believed it, obeyed it, and urged people to do the same.  When John preached repentance, the leaders ought to have been the first to admit their guilt before God.  They ought to have been most welcoming of the Lord Jesus.

You see, John message did not come in a vacuum. Many of these men would have been young at the time when King Herod was visited by the wise men after Jesus was born.  Their own teachers were most likely the men who told the king of the prophecy regarding the Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. When John began to teach that the Christ was near, it ought to have rung true to them immediately.  Surely the high priests would have heard the amazing story of the birth of John the Baptist, the son of a priest?  This is probably why these leaders had sent to John originally and asked him if he were the Christ.  But John had pointed to Jesus and testified that God from heaven had spoken of Jesus saying, This one is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.

Concluded in Part 3

By What Authority? — Part 3

Matthew 22:23-32 continued from Part 2

‘If we were to say from heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then didn’t you believe him?’

There are a number of related reasons why these leaders would not confess Christ as Lord, and all of them reveal the weakness of our sinful condition:

Pride: like the rich young ruler, they had probably convinced themselves that they had nothing to repent of.  They believed they had always kept the commandments.  They stood in the traditions of the fathers.  Pride still keeps people from trusting Christ today.  Jesus, as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, is a great offence to our pride.

Fear: if Jesus was the Christ, he would diminish their authority, they would have to give place to him. John the Baptist had been eager to give all honour to Jesus, but the religious leaders were not. Jesus actual told a parable with this theme a little later on. Submitting to Christ means we give up control of our life and follow him in the way he tells us to in the Bible. Without the mighty grace of God, no one will do this.

Atheism: they really did not want to believe in God.  The apostle Paul, a former Pharisee, wrote that those without Christ are ‘without hope and without God in the world.’  The phrase, ‘without God’ comes from the Greek word, Atheist.  Not to trust Christ is to be a practical atheist.  It does not matter how pious or sincere people may be in whatever religion they might choose to follow, if a person is without Christ, that person is an atheist—separated from God by their sin and under his judgment.

In short, the Leaders were at war with Jesus, and so is everyone else until the Spirit of God draws a person irresistibly to the Cross of Christ, to Jesus who alone can rescue us.

The other option was just as uncomfortable for them:

And if we say, From human beings, we fear the crowd, for all of them hold that John was a prophet.

Why would they fear the people? Jerusalem at the time of the Passover, at least during the Roman occupation, was a volatile place.  It could easily erupt into a riot, precisely for reasons of religious belief.  Both the Roman governors and the high priests were sensitive to this fact.  When the plot to kill Jesus was formed, originally they had planned not to kill him during the feast, partly because they wished to avoid a riot.

What did the people believe?  That John was a prophet.   The people believed that John the Baptist was a man with a message from God.  They believed that he was not speaking on his own authority. In fact, John was unmistakably a prophet, because God’s word is unmistakably God’s words.  Even in the Old Testament, at a time when people were most angry with God and most determined to resist His will, they knew that God had spoken to them. The case of Jeremiah is a clear example of this. When Jeremiah told the people of the wrong they were doing, it wasn’t rocket science to see he was right.  When the judgment he had warned them about came just as he had said, it was clear as day that God had spoken by him.  Then, after all this, when the people who were left after the Babylonian attack asked Jeremiah what they should do, God spoke to them clearly by his prophet, the one they knew to be a prophet, but they then did everything they could to resist what God had said. And this resulted in further pain and suffering for them.  So, even though many of the people of Jesus day did not act upon John’s message about Jesus, all the people had correctly identified John the Baptist as a prophet. They had all gone out to be baptised by him.

So, it would have been suicidal for the leaders to say that John was not a prophet. Not only would they have been considered fools, they could have been torn to pieces.

So the religious leaders took what many people today think is the safe way out.  They said: ‘We don’t know.’

They played dumb, thinking this was a safe move. It was not. God had spoken by John and they knew it.  John had pointed to Jesus in the clearest terms, declaring him to be the Christ, the saviour of the world, the hope of Israel. The only right conclusion was that Jesus is who John said his is. These leaders knew it and were hardening their hearts against the word of God spoken by John; they were cutting themselves off from the salvation revealed in all the Scriptures. They were sinning against truth; they were sinning against light.

The Lord Jesus did not leave them to be comfortable in their rebellion.  After they had already understood the answer to Jesus’ question, he told them a story of a father who had two sons.

The first son represents those whom the religious leaders considered to be trash. Tax collectors, prostitutes.  These people had heard the word of God and at first refused it. They were sinners.  But when they heard of God’s mercy in Christ from John the Baptist or from Jesus himself (eg., in the word) they repented, changed their minds, trusted Jesus and were accepted by the Father.  ‘This is the will of God,’ Jesus said, ‘that you trust him whom the father has sent.’

The second son represents those who say, ‘I’m going to do things the right way’, yet keep on resisting the Lord Jesus Christ.  Some people refuse to confess their sin and ignore their desperate need for Jesus to rescue them.  With all their piety, some people refuse the way of righteousness by refusing Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Some people are determined to hold onto their own authority, their own ideas of what is right, their own intellectual pretensions, instead of submitting to the word of God.

The big question for us is, How are we responding to the Word of God?

  • Do we acknowledge the authority of Jesus Christ?
  • Do we receive him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, as the one who has taken away my guilt—guilt that I have no way of removing myself?
  • Do we follow him as Lord, according to his word?

The good news is that if we will come to Jesus in repentance and faith, He will never send us away.

Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13) — Part 1

If Christianity is a contest, we’ve lost already. A reading of Luke 13:1-5 suggests this.

Some who were present with him at that time told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate mixed with their sacrifices. In answer, Jesus said to them, ‘Do you think that these Galileans suffered such things because they were more sinful than all [other] Galileans? No, I tell you; rather, unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen [souls] who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them — were they greater debtors than all people who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; rather, unless you repent, you all will likewise perish.

I was once told that, ‘All you need to do to keep God happy is live by the 10 Commandments and Sermon on the mount.’

This is easier said than done. Jesus spent a great deal of time showing how far we are from doing ‘all we need to do’. People naturally think, if they think about these matters at all, that there is a hierarchy of goodness, and if you past 50% (or just do better than others) you’ll be ok. That’s where the Galileans come in.

Galileans, in the minds of your average resident of Judea, were either country hicks or revolutionaries. They were looked down upon by respectable Judeans. A fellow called Nathaniel initially questioned Jesus’ character on this basis: ‘Can anything good come from Nazareth?’

These particular Galileans were either in the temple making sin-offerings when Pilate took vengeance on them for some crime he thought they had done, OR they were terrorists caught in the act of killing Romans (or Roman sympathisers) and Pilate slaughtered them over the bodies of their own victims.

Were these Galileans worse than all Galileans because this sudden death came upon them? Did they receive a special judgment from God for their evil? Jesus said, ‘No’.

The Lord Jesus says we are all in the same boat as the Galatians; unless we repent, we will all perish.  He repeats this message with an example of his own — those who seem to have been taken in an accident – a tower in Jerusalem fell on them. Were they worse than others? No, they were just like us. Unless we repent, we all will likewise perish.

Jesus did not say this because he was somehow in a bad mood that day, and it was not said because Jesus had little concern for the people he was speaking to. His aim was to use some vivid and real examples to benefit people who were in great need but didn’t know it.

What is a Sinner?

Technically, sin is not doing what God requires of us, and it is also doing what God tells us not to do. The sober reading of the law of God shows us that we don’t do what God says and we do do what he forbids.

But in a more basic way, we are born covenant breakers. Our first parent Adam was made good and could do good, but decided not to.  By this disobedience, he sinned and brought death upon himself and all of us, his children.  David in Ps. 51 says “In sin my mother conceived me.”, meaning that from conception, David was a sinner, and so are all of us.

What is Repentance?:

  •  It is not ‘turning over a new leaf.’
  • Nor is it joining a support group (Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers, or the local church).
  • It is not acting according to ideas of positive thinking or some pop psychology.

 So what is repentance? It is a change of mind, not a change in behaviour (though true repentance results in changes of behaviour). In particular, is it a change in our opinion about our own basic ‘goodness’ and a change in our attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ.

Continued in Part 2.

Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13) — Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

We need to repent. That is, we need to change our thinking.

This means that we need to reconsider our own position, as Jesus had urged his hearers just before the talk about Galileans (Luke 12: 57-59).

Why is it that you do not judge yourselves rightly? As you go with your adversary to the magistrate, you should give every effort to be reconciled to him, least he drag you to the judge and the judge deliver you to the official and the official throws you into prison. I tell you that you will in no way go out from there until you have paid the last cent.

Jesus says that we don’t judge ourselves correctly. we think we can get away with our wrong doing somehow. The passage, however, implies we are in the wrong, and that our Adversary has us in his grip.

In this context, our adversary is not just a fellow we owe money. This is not just practical financial advice. In this story, our Adversary is God.  He is good and we are very wrong. We are on the way to judgment – to the Archon – the chief magistrate.  Jesus says, ‘Take pains to be reconciled,’ If we are not reconciled, we will pay last cent (1/4 of a farthing). The whole penalty will be exacted from us throughout eternity. This situation is not like modern, western courts. We need to see how bad our position really is without Christ. It is just like this: without our Judge as our Saviour, we are without hope in this life or the next.

Jesus tells that we need to see ourselves and our situation as it really is – this is part of what repentance is.

Repentance also means that we need to reconsider who Jesus is, what he has done, and what that means (Luke 12:54-56 – but see also Luke 19:42-44).

And he said to the crowds, ‘Whenever you see a cloud rising from the west, right away you say, ‘Rain is coming.’ And it does. And whenever a south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot.’ And it is. Hypocrites! You understand the face of the earth and sky, but why can’t you understand the times?

Jesus saw that his hearers were good at reading the obvious from the sky and earth.

  • clouds in the west mean rain is coming
  • wind from the south means hot weather is coming

But, those who heard Jesus could not see what was obvious about him. The Old Testament promised that God himself would come and save his people from their sin. Jesus, though obviously a real human being, was also obviously far more. He

  • healed with a word people who had incurable diseases,
  • feed huge crowds from a few scraps of food
  • commanded wind and wave and they obeyed him
  • spoke of himself as judge of the world
  • spoke of himself as the one who would die to save sinners who were otherwise un-saveable.

We too need to see the obvious, but we are reluctant to. From birth we are contrary to our Creator. We sinfully misjudge him. We make war in our minds against him. We need to repent.

Repentance is a gift of God, whereby, out of a sense and hatred of our sin, we turn from our in-born rebellion against God and see the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as our only hope.

We each have been given time to repent, but how much time? (Luke 13: 6-9)

Fig tree parable

The owner of a vineyard has a fig tree that produces no fruit after 3 years. This was the usual time for a fig trees to do so. The general wisdom was that fig trees that fail to fruit after 3 years are duds.

The owner decides to uproot the fig tree and throw it away. ‘Why should it deplete the ground of nutrients for no good reason?’

The gardener says, ‘Give me a year to fertilise it and improve its drainage. Let’s see what happens. If it produces no fruit at the end of the year, then we’ll take it out.’

We have time now to repent. Don’t waste the opportunity.

  •  We have already failed in Adam. We can’t fix the situation ourselves.
  • Repent while there is time. Christ has come, lived, died and risen again, to save sinners.
  • This message has come to us. While there is life there is hope.
  • Don’t assume that the opportunity to repent will be long-lasting.

Make every effort to be reconciled to your offended Creator. This means that we must

  • understand who Jesus Christ is, what he had done, and what that means, and then
  • trust ourselves to Jesus Christ.