CHRISTIANITY---THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD RELIGION IN THE WORLD
Why? The world does not understand God's GRACE!
Many people think Christianity teaches that:
1. You are a sinner but you must not commit sin.
It really teaches:
1. That you as a sinner cannot help but sin, for your good and loving nature, the image of God, in which you were created, has been corrupted by sin. God's word in Genesis 1:27 says: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God's word in Romans 3:10 says: As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; Romans 3:11 says: there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. Romans 3:12 says: All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." Romans 3:20 says: Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. Rom 3:21 says: But now righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (Rom 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (Rom 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Rom 3:24) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
2. If you sin God does not love you.
The Bible really teaches:
2. God always LOVES you for His very nature is Love. "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. 1 John 4:16." Rom 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." He loves you in spite of your sin and rebellion against Him. However he will never force you to submit to Him. He says: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Rev. 3:20.
3. God punishes you if you sin.
3. God does not punish you for sin now. He knows that the sin itself will hurt, damage and punish you. It is sin that will evenually separate you from God eternally. He has provided a real remedy for sin: It is his grace, through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. This remedy not only pardons all past sin but provides power to be free from sin so that you never need to sin again.
4. If you do not sin too much you will go to Heaven.
5. If you do enough good deeds, you will go to Heaven.
4 & 5 The sin you have committed or the good deeds you have done has no bearing in your right to go to heaven. Jesus has prepared a place for all who have trusted, that is, put their faith in Him and the remedy for sin he has provided by his grace.
Most people, therefore, think that:
6. That it is generally more fun and profitable to sin than to be good.
7. Sin, when I do it, is not so bad.
8. Somehow I will get by. Someday God will have mercy on me.
6, 7,and 8 That is only wishful thinking. The penalty for sin is death. We sin because we do not love God and our fellowman as we should. God's grace includes filling our hearts with His love, so that we can be free from sin .
9, When I sin, I have a good reason. I don't really want to hurt anybody.
9. This shows how twisted your thinking has become because you don't understand or accept God's grace.
10. I could stop sinning if I really tried and if I believed it was worth the effort.
10. You cannot stop sinning. If you have ever really tried, you know that you can't. Sin will never let you go. Jesus has the only remedy for sin. He will forgive your sin and will give you the power to stop sinning. Believe in Him today. Accept his grace. Get your life straightened out, and begin to really live!.
Do you know what God's GRACE is?
Let me explain the difference between LAW and GRACE.
Do you want to live under Law or do you want Grace? Consider this:
God's law is good and was given to us to show us how we should live. God's penalty for sin (law-breaking) is spiritual death.
Grace is the forgivenes and power over sin provided through Christ's sacrifice for us on the Cross.
Law is the way God tells us what is right and wrong, it is the way men deal with sin and crime.
Grace is God's new way of dealing with sin.
Law sees sin as an evil act of disobedience.
Grace sees sin as a motive and intention to do selfish, evil or mean things that hurt God, yourself or others.
Law exacts judgment, condemnation and punishment for sin or crime.
Grace grants mercy and responds to the confession of sin and true repentance with pardon and forgiveness and provides for and enables renewal, reconciliation, and restoration of fellowship with God and our fellowman. It enables us to have victory over sin.
Law backs up its demands with fear, power, and punishment.
Grace loves unconditionally and places great value on the sinner.
Law puts down and degrades the lawbreaker.
Grace forgives, restores and empowers him.
Law condemns and sentences the perpetuator.
Grace accepts and cherishes him.
Law regards a sinner as a criminal never fit to live freely in society.
Grace sees him as a precious soul in need of love and restoration.
Law has no hope for him.
Grace will, when he repents and turns from his sin by believing that Jesus is the Son of God, and trusts God's provision for salvation, grants him salvation and eternal life.
Under Law he is always a convict.
Under Grace he becomes a newborn child of God!
Are you under the LAW or under GRACE?
Continues in Part II