The Main Teaching of the Bible It seems like everyone would know. The Bible has long been the most popular book in the world. It teaches a message that is unique. It teaches a message that both offends and comforts many. Somehow, the main teaching of the Bible is unknown to so many even though the Bible is in more homes than any other book! In the beginning it was so good. The Bible starts out saying, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). God created you and me and everything else. God is not dependent on His creation. On the contrary, His creation is dependent on Him. All men are dependent on Him. Also, since God is the Creator, He is the Master of heaven and earth. God is all-powerful, and He is the Ruler over all. He created man with the intention of having a personal relationship with Him (Acts 17:27). He is a loving personal God. We want it OUR way! Because God is the Creator, He sets the standard. His standard is very high. God says to man, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). God created men without sin – man was morally perfect. God and man enjoyed fellowship together in harmony. Genesis 3 tells us how Adam, the first created man, rebelled against God. He chose to do things his own way. He sinned against God. Since that time all men are born sinners. The Bible says, “all have sinned and come short of the glory [perfection] of God.” You have fallen short of His standard. I have too. What have we gotten ourselves into? Sinning against God is no small matter! Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages [paycheck] of sin is death [spiritual death], but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Because we have all sinned, the wages (or, paycheck) that we earn is death. This death is more than just a physical death. It is a spiritual death. It is the opposite of ‘eternal life’ mentioned in the last part of that verse. This means that we deserve to spend eternity in Hell separated from God. We deserve this because we have fallen short of His standard – His law. James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” We all know this to be true. We wouldn’t tell the police officer that we didn’t break the law because we only broke one speed limit. Certainly we have all broken God’s law. The requirements of the law must be satisfied. The “wages of our sin is death.” Page 2 Page 2 of 3 What can be done? It is important to understand that we can never do good deeds to be saved. Eternal life is a ‘free gift’ (Romans 6:23). A gift is never deserved. It can never be earned. We owe a great debt, and none of us is able to pay it because we are spiritually poor. Even if we could pay the debt for our past sin, we still wouldn’t have what it takes to stop sinning. We are helpless. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.” Isaiah 53:6 says, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.” We all naturally go ‘our own way.’ We need to be freed from our sin-debt and freed from our bondage to sin! Only one Man can do it. Because God is perfect, He must punish the sinner with the sentence of death, but because He is loving and merciful, He finds a way for a sinner to have eternal life and to be in a perfect relationship with Him. God shows His love and mercy in saving sinners - without compromising His holy standard. He does this by sending His own Son, Jesus (God Himself), to die instead of the sinner. God treats Christ as the sinner (He is put to death), and God treats the sinner as Christ (perfectly sinless). This is the great exchange! Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ died instead of us (‘for us’). Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus becomes the substitute for the sinner. Only Jesus Christ is able to save us. He is the only worthy substitute. He is sinless because He is God. He is qualified to be our substitute because He is man. He died on the cross in place of sinners, and He rose from the dead having victory over death and sin! So, what now? God does not want you to die without Him (2 Peter 3:9). He offers you eternal life! To be saved you must… (1) Admit that you are a sinner with a selfish heart. (2) Admit that you deserve eternal death in hell apart from God. (3) Ask for God’s forgiveness. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. When you ‘confess’ your sins to God you are agreeing with God that your sinful words, thoughts, and actions fall short of His perfect standard and are therefore deserving of death. God graciously forgives you of your sin if you ask Him. He can forgive you of your sin and still be perfect because His perfect (holy) standards are met when Jesus Christ takes the punishment for your sin. (4) Accept that Jesus Christ took your place and suffered the punishment on the cross, which you deserve. (5) Submit to Jesus Christ as your Master. Romans 10:9-10 says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord [Master], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” You must accept that Jesus is your Master – the ultimate authority in every area of your life. You must be willing to give up everything to obey Him. (6) Ask God to Page 3 Page 3 of 3 save you. Romans 10:13 says, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” If you have never committed your life to Christ and asked Him to save you, God is pleading with you right now to do so! If you have questions or want more information, let me know by using the contact page.