“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that who so ever shall believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16. Growing up in the Church I had many opportunities to attend classes and groups on how to share your faith and every one of them looks at this verse and teaches you how to explain the path to salvation. As fallen beings God still loved us so much that He gave up a part of Him self to come to Earth and to die on the cross so that when we die our souls wouldn’t also perish and be consumed by the fires of Hell that is the eternal judgment that awaits all those who sin. This simple statement falls so short of summing up the entirety of scripture that is the Bible, which in it’s many pages revels to us God’s plan to reconcile man to Him self. God’s love for us is so great that when we turned away from Him, He already had a plan in motion to bring us back to Him. He suffered man’s rejection of Him and His love for thousands of years so that when the time came He could full fill His will through Christ. God wants each of us to be able to experience the full richness of his love but with out the cleansing blood of Christ through His death we could never again enter God’s presence.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said ‘behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29. Under the law instituted by Moses the priests could only enter the holiest of holies after sacrificing an unblemished lamb. The blood of a blameless lamb as the image of Christ represented the cleansing to come that would allow all who accepted it to one again fellowship with the father. With out Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf we are condemned to suffer our eternal separation from the father. “But to as many as received Him to them he gave right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” John 1:12. I became a child of God as a young man of the age of twelve. My parents were both Christians who attended Church regularly. I grew up learning the sorties of David and Goliath, Samson and Delilah, and David and Bathsheba and as a child that is what they were. When I was old enough to join my parents in service I heard the pastor talk about various aspects of Christian living and the path to salvation many times. Still I never understood the connection, I thought going to Church every Sunday and listening to the preacher was what allowed you to be called Christian. On a Sunday morning when I was twelve the Pastor was speaking about salvation and the consequences of not accepting it. It suddenly dawned on me that if I died I was going to hell. So I came forward that Sunday and accepted Christ.
I don’t think that on that Sunday I fully understood what it was I was doing because I still continued to live as I wanted and rebel against God. My life was always in conflict with my faith and came to a head only just this last couple of years. My flesh and spirit were at war with in me and I was trapped in the middle and begging God to show me the way. While visiting my Parents back home for Christmas I attended Church service with them for the first time in many years. Something about that Church grabbed me, it was the since of family that each of them had, the love they had for God and the passion I had been missing all these years. Like Paul I was on the road when Christ reached down spoke to my heart. My sin had blinded me to the fact that my true identity lay not in my self but in Christ. That the faith I held on to was in fact God holding on to me all those years and never letting go. All I had to do was let go of my self and fallow Him and He would heal my wounds of self-doubt and hatred. “This is a faithful saying worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” 1 Tim 1:15. I am the lost sheep that was found and now I want nothing more than to fallow God in surrender to His will that I may not go astray again.