So what am I getting at here? What I'm saying is we all live by a system of rules. If it wasn't for rules we'd all do whatever we want and no one could say anything. There would be no right or wrong, no accountability, no standard for actions, decisions or performances of any kind. I could simply waltz into your home and take whatever I wanted anytime I wanted. But don't be angry, you could do the same. I could simply drive 60 miles per hour down your neighborhood street ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD! Road, who said anything about roads? I'd drive through your yard if there were no rules. Well, if that's how we ran our world it wouldn't be long before we'd wipe ourselves out to extinction. If sports teams had no rules then there'd be no discipline, basically there'd be no game. Think about it, whose to say I can't use a baseball when playing NFL? Or pitch a football to the batter at home plate? No, we all know you can't do that. In fact, you'd better do everything by the book when it comes to the NFL or you'll be EXPELLED from the team. If schools had no rules, what would the standard be? No rules would mean no learning. If companies had no rules it would mean no product or service. So we see that everything in life is governed by some kind of rule in order to meet a certain standard. The standard we want to achieve will dictate the rules we set forth. When we don't maintain that certain standard in any organization by breaking the rules we will quickly find ourselves EXPELLED from that organization.
What about you? You have rules that govern your life. Things you do on a regular basis, things you do occasionally and things you would never do. That exact standard is different from your neighbors standard. Everyone has a different set of standards and sometimes those standards may change for convenience sake or if the circumstances change. But no matter what your standards are, NO ONE is okay with being treated unfairly. No one likes to be disrespected. That's a standard you have set that never changes. And the minute someone disrespects you they have breached your standard and there is a price to be paid. But yet, why is it that we can gossip, cut down or disrespect others but as soon as someone says something about us we're all over that person. Why is that? The standard we expect from others we don't seem to hold for ourselves. Follow me on this because I'm in this as well. Don't you see this? This is all part of our sinful nature. We know there are standards and we know there are rules but yet when circumstances change we try to break the rules. When we're lazy or we won't benefit by following the rules or its just one of the rules we don't agree with, because again, everyone has a different set of standards and convictions, so we break the rules. Then we expect everyone to just look the other way as we do whatever we want. Before you know it everybody's trying to get away with murder. At that point all we have is chaos and disfunction. Try running a country like that. Try running a business like that. Try raising a family like that. You can't!
Follow me now back to the Garden of Eden. God tells Adam and Eve they are free to do whatever they want and they can eat from any tree they want, just don't eat from THAT tree or you will surely die. Well, we all know the story. They ate from THAT tree. Now God has to respond. You see, He told them clearly what not to do. He laid down the law; He gave them an ultimatum; He established a covenant (a contract) and there was a breach of that contract. What should God do at this point? Does He play dumb, look the other way and carry on like nothing happened? Does he timidly approach them and be gentle as to not hurt their feelings? Or does He swiftly carry out the consequences with power and finality for going against His authoritative word of which He used to speak the universe into existence?
Friends, when God speaks we dare not think we can manipulate what He says. We dare not think we know better than He or that He may overlook our offense as to play dumb. In all actuality, when we condone sin that's what we are saying to God's authoritative word. We treat that which is perfect, pure and holy as we would our own word. We shrink God down to our size and limit His holy standard of perfect righteousness. We treat Him as weak and foolish; a mere pushover. We end up telling Him what He should be doing and we live under our own authority instead of His.
So the consequence for Adam and Eve was swift. They were EXPELLED from the garden of eden and they would eventually die.
So what does this mean for us? The Bible shows us that we all have sinned and fallen short of God's glorious standard (Romans 3:23) and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). All you need is ONE sin and the price for that sin is death. In other words, there is no money you can pay and no good deeds you can do to earn your way or pay back God for that one sin. That sin cost you your life. So IT"S OVER! Because we've ALL sinned!!! You, me, mother Teresa, the saints, my mom, your mom, Mary the mother of Jesus, Billy Graham, the president, etc., etc., and the wage of even ONE sin is death!!! WE'VE BEEN EXPELLED!!! We are kicked out of heaven and will face eternity apart from God in a place where the Bible says will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Why? Because we broke His standard. And remember, in order for Him to display His own glory, power and authority God HAS TO do what His word says.
BUT HERE'S THE GOOD NEWS!!!!! The second part of Romans 6:23 says, BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. You see, if the price of our sin is death and God sees that we're all doomed, he has a dilemma. He created us to love us, have a relationship with us and to be with Him for eternity yet we're all sinners and fall short from His standard. So does He just look the other way and act dumb? NO! In order for His word to remain true He sent His Son Jesus to pay the price for our sins and the sins of the world that whoever should believe should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). So Jesus took our place on the cross. He gave His life for us and get this, because He was sinless death could not hold Him down. Remember the wages of sin is death. But Jesus never sinned so he rose from the dead! Something that NO ONE else in all eternity could ever do because we have all sinned, including Buddha, Ghandi and Muhammed. That's why only Jesus could do this job. And that's why He is known as the Savior of the world, NO ONE ELSE. He is matchless in power and authority. Not only that but He fulfilled the old covenant that God set in motion. In other words Jesus did not break the contract, He fulfilled it and God made a new covenant with us, where Jesus is the author. Now the New Covenant states that we are saved BY GRACE through Faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). It's not like God changed His mind because He made a mistake when He gave us the standard. NO, God's standard never changes. His standard still remains and if we want to get to heaven we need to meet His standard and the only way we can do that is through Jesus and the work He did at the cross.
Friends, I know this is a lot to take in, but this is profound. Man could never write this stuff. This is God's love letter to us. He loves us so much that He did not leave us EXPELLED with a death sentence but provided us a way back in and a chance to truly experience LIFE the way HE intended it to be. You know what, being expelled from school, a team, or ostracized from a group is one thing, but being expelled for all eternity from heaven is another. Friends, this is why I do what I do. There is SO MUCH at stake here. Don't shrug this off. Choose God and His way today. You can be saved by just placing your trust in Jesus and His work for you on the cross. Say something like this "God I believe in your authoritative word and that Jesus died for my sins. I submit to your Lordship in my life. Teach me your ways and help me to live for you."
Friends, if you said that prayer for the first time please contact us at KHCN, we'd love to help you grow in your faith. We would also like to give you a Bible. Maybe you want to start or be a part of a Bible study group, please feel free to contact us.
May God bless you all as you seek and glorify Him. <><