What is God Like?
Often, we think God is like us. Let’s use Scripture to see what God is like.
He is Holy
You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. (Habakkuk 1:13)
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)
For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. (Psalm 5:4-5)
He is Righteous and Just
For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright. (Psalm 11:7)
But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, And God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness. (Isaiah 5:16)
God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day. If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready. (Psalm 7:11-12)
What is the State of Man?
Depravity & Condemnation
Have you ever wondered how God looks at you? Do you ever wonder if you are good enough to go to Heaven?
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6)
“For God commanded, saying, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER.’” (Matthew 15:4)
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” (Matthew 5:21-22)
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)
“’YOU SHALL NOT STEAL,’ ‘YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,’” (Matthew 19:18)
For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10)
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT CONTINUE IN ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO DO THEM.” (Galatians 3:10)
Would you honestly consider yourself to be a good person in the eyes of God?
What is the Great Dilemma?
Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)
He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD. (Proverbs 17:15)
So the real question you should be asking yourself is, “How can a holy God accept sinful men?”
What Did God Do?
God cannot change. He is holy, just, righteous, but, also, He is love. So, how can and does God respond?
God’s Motivation: Love
God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [appeasement] for our sins. (1 John 4:8-10)
The Cross of Christ:
The Payment for Our Sin
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:23-26)
Acceptance of the Payment:
Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4:24-25)
Let’s review this for a minute. We are faced with a holy and just God, One who cannot live with evil or wickedness. We have broken His laws, therefore, we are wicked in His sight and He is ready to execute judgment on us.
What a great dilemma.
But, because He is love, He willingly gave His Son to pay for our sin through His painful death on a cross. Death on a cross was the most cruel way to kill someone at the time. He, also, suffered in the spiritual realm. He was separated from God some way, some how, as part of the penalty for our sins so that we would not have to suffer both the physical and spiritual suffering He went through for us.
This is the difference between religion and real Christianity. All other religions are trying to work their way to God and Heaven, whereas, the Bible teaches that it is God who reached down from Heaven to save us.
What Should Man’s Response Be?
Repentance begins with recognizing your own sin against God and His Commandments. It is also agreeing with God that we have sinned against Him.
For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. (Psalm 51:4)
Real recognition of one’s sinfulness and guilt will lead to genuine sorrow, shame and even hatred for one’s sins against God.
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (Romans 7:15)
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)
What are the signs of genuine repentance? Apparent sincerity of confession alone is never definite evidence. It must be accompanied by a turning away from sin and turning to the things of God.
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:16-17)
And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 3:10)
What is Faith?
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
And being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. (Romans 4:21)
Faith is Based on the Promises of God
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31)
Fortunately, we don’t have to have blind faith. The Bible can be proven historically, scientifically, through archeology, accurate prophecy, and manuscript evidence.
Example of a Believer
Man’s purpose is to glorify God.
So that God may be glorified in all things. (1 Peter 4:11)
Worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:3)
Basis of Genuine Assurance
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
A true Christian is a new creation and will live a life that reflects God’s radical work of re-creation in his/her life.
You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? (Matthew 7:16)
Assurance is based upon self-examination in the light of Scripture. Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed you fail the test?
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13)
Test of Biblical Assurance
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
How can one be assured that he is saved and going to Heaven? Ask yourself these questions. Look up the verses following the questions. Test yourself and see if you are in Him (Galatians).
Are you walking in the light? 1 John 1:5-7
Do you confess your sin? 1 John 1:8-10
Are you obedient to the Lord according to His word? 1 John 2:3-4
Do you have a love for the brethren, other Christians? 1 John 2:9-11, 3:14
Do you talk with God (prayer)? Matthew 6:7
Do you have a hatred of the world system? 1 John 2:15-17
Do you love the teachings of the Word of God no matter what happens? 1 John 2:24-25
Do you have a love for righteousness based on God’s word? 1 John 3:10
Do you see the Spirit of God in your life? 1 John 4:13
Do you see the discipline of the Lord in your life? Hebrews 12:5-8
Do you fellowship with other believers? Acts 2:42, Hebrews 10:25
Do you have a heart for those who don’t know Christ and His salvation? Luke 10:2, 1 Corinthians 9:16
Do you see fruit in your life? Galatians 5:22-23
Are you motivated by gratitude for what God has done for you? Romans 6:17, 2 Timothy 1:3
Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to confirm these things in your life or to bring them into your life so that you will be assured of your salvation.
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