The Truth of God - by Keith Petersen
July 26, 2015
The Truth of God
Any right minded Christian has a deep, abiding concern as to the welfare of every man’s soul – including yours. Death is all around and none can say with certainty that they will be here the next day. My intent in this letter is to present to you – if you don’t already know Him– Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
The truth is, inherently, a simple matter. God has set truths in His creation and they always apply.
One unassailable truth is that our lives here are bounded, naturally, by death. Our time here – by any standard – is short – the Scripture says, “[for] what [is] your life? It is even a vapor, appearing for a little while, and then disappearing.”
The only meaningful antidote to death is life – and man in himself and in his own power cannot provide life. Man’s life as such is finite. Life, of course, is only truly life if death has been removed.
Only God has the power of life, and the power to remove the curse of death. The Gospel – or, “glad tidings” as it is referred to in Isaiah 52 (and, elsewhere in the Bible including everywhere throughout the New Testament) is stated thus – “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that announceth glad tidings, that publisheth peace; that announceth glad tidings of good, that publisheth salvation” – and it is God’s message to men that life eternal is available to each.
The issue at hand is simple – God is perfectly holy and we are not. Once Adam and Eve fell from innocence they fashioned aprons sewn together of fig leaves in an attempt to hide the evidence of their sin and then promptly hid from the presence of the Lord. Why would any hide from God? The Bible says two things that highlight this issue: “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5) and “But all things having their true character exposed by the light are made manifest; for that which makes everything manifest is light.” (Ephesians 5:13).
Thus our nature – exactly the same in independence as seen in the fall of Adam and Eve when they moved away from the sure word of God – is that we don’t want “self” identified as sinful and lost, and we don’t, reflexively, want the authority and rights of God in our lives. God’s nature in light shows in painful contrast our nature of moral darkness. So, we stay away from the full effect of the light.
God knows all this. We cannot – you cannot – hide from His gaze and understanding. Hebrews 4 says “And there is not a creature unapparent before him; but all things [are] naked and laid bare to his eyes, with whom we have to do.”
This would all be untenable for us if God were only a righteous and just Judge, since we plainly stand before Him in the place of sin and failure. But, as has been readily pointed out by others the Bible says that God is “a just God and a Savior” (Isaiah 45:21).
The truth is that the entirety of the Bible – the entirety of God’s ways with man since the inception of time and creation – distinctly show to us as His creatures that His abiding desire is that we be brought into a suitable and eternal relationship with Himself. God does not desire our death – quite the converse – He is a God of love (1 John 4:8). The Bible clearly states that “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
The righteousness of God demands that death be imposed to halt the activity of sin. The love of God provides a way for man to come into eternal life, and this through the Cross of Jesus Christ. Herein is the Gospel – we see a Man – the very Son of God come down to earth – a Man who alone “knew no sin” and yet went in utmost love for you and me to the Cross to bear the penalty for your sins, mine and all others.
This, then, is the most astounding truth in God’s universe – and the Scripture says that “we being still without strength, in [the] due time Christ has died for [the] ungodly.”
How repeatedly as we move on our course here through this world do we refuse the overtures of this God of love. Yet, in our circumstances we are faced with the reality that a fully righteous Man – a man fully obedient to the will of God (unlike us) and who (unlike us) literally fulfilled a righteous and holy law in every particular (see Matthew 5:17) – has atoned on the Cross for the sins of unrighteous mankind. God has accepted this sacrifice – how could He not? The Lord didn’t have to die for His salvation – He alone was without sin. Indeed, it shows forth the love of God that in such a way we have been secured – none could say it was an easy matter for God to save men – He gave His own Son over to the curse and suffering of the Cross. The Bible says we have been bought with a price and it is by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. All the sacrifices in the Old Testament simply looked on towards their actual fulfillment in one supreme sacrifice in the Cross of Christ. God has fully resolved the issues between Himself and man in the Cross of Christ the Messiah.
The single, great remaining question is: “Do you believe in what God has done to effectuate your salvation?”
Why would we desire a relationship with a God who insists on holiness? Wouldn’t it be easier if God just accepted us as we are and worked from there? But, this is false reasoning. The only relationship that will work is based on the absence of sin and death. This is simple – if sin is allowed to remain the relationship is doomed – and, this truth forms the backdrop to the message of the Glad Tidings.
There is only one way to be saved and it is through faith. The Bible says “ye are saved by grace, through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). Abraham is called the father of those who believe. It says in Genesis 15 that the Lord said, “Look now toward the heavens, and number the stars, if thou be able to number them. And he said to him, So shall thy seed be! And he believed Jehovah; and he reckoned it to him [as] righteousness.” Many hundreds of millions have been saved by God through faith – will you be one of them?
My friend – will you believe in the Lord Jesus as your own, personal Savior? What do you have that you could possibly put in the place of that which is offered freely to you by a God of love? Perhaps you are younger – like the prodigal son who thought he could avail himself of all that was provided to him by God in life with never a thought as to his own responsibility – and then found out that life could carry “a famine”. Perhaps you are older – like King David who could say “I was young and now I am old” – and you are facing the simple certainty that your affairs in this world are starting to close down. Moses said, “Teach us to number our days that we may acquire a wise heart.”
To the natural mind Christianity can appear as a system of constraining rules from a stern God. This could not be further from the truth. Any relationship has a necessary structure – and a full relationship with God simply demands a suitable response from ourselves. God capacitates us through “the unspeakable free gift” of the Holy Spirit to properly meet the moral obligations of our relationship with Him and, reflexively, with men here. Christianity is not attainment; it is endowment.
If you fear God, the Bible says that “the fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9). But, greater than this is the love of God – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). We have to come to God through Christ in simple faith and repentance. The Bible closes with this statement: “And let him that is athirst come; he that will, let him take [the] water of life freely.” Amen.