Not Guilty

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Romans 3:19-28

TO CHEW ON: "But now God has shown us another way to heaven. It is not by 'being good enough' and trying to keep his laws.... Now God says he will accept us and declare us 'not guilty.' He will do this if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. We all can be saved by coming to Christ." Acts 3:21a,22a - Simplified Living Bible

Suppose you stood before God today and He asked you, “Why should I let you into heaven?” What would you say?

- I tried my hardest to be good.
- I did more good things than bad things.
- I doesn’t matter what I believed because I was sincere.
- My heart is clean because the wrong things that I’ve done (sins), were paid for by Jesus when He died on the cross.

I hope your answer was the last one.

One of the things Paul explained to the Roman Christians was what Jesus’ death means to everyone who believes in Him.

Before Jesus came, God gave the Jewish people rules about how they were to relate to God and treat each other (the Ten Commandments). And He told them what to do if they broke those rules and sinned. The punishment for breaking God’s rules was and is death. Before Jesus came, God required people to sacrifice animals to die in their place.

"His offering - a kid of the goats" - Artist unknown

Then Jesus came. He lived a perfect life. Then He willingly died on the cross. God accepted Jesus’ death as the payment for our sins just like He had accepted the death of sacrificed animals in Old Testament times. But now we don’t have to make any more sacrifices - ever. The penalty for our sins and the sins of everyone who has ever sinned or ever will sin is paid. All we have to do is accept it.

"Christ came into the world to save sinners" Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for dying and taking the punishment my sins deserved. Amen.

MORE: God’s Rules

We still try to obey God’s rules. But we don’t do it to earn our way to heaven. Rather we obey God because we love Him and want to do what pleases Him.

"The tablets of stone" - Artist unknown

How many of the Ten Commandments can you list?

(Check your list with Exodus 20:1-17).

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