Fundamentals of a Christian life - 2 of 5
The second in a series that summarise what the Bible says about what we need to do to re-establish our relationship with Him – to truly become a ‘friend of God’.
Part 2: Connecting with God
So what is this about ‘sin’?
We are created by God – we are his creatures. We exist because of Him, but sin separates us from Him.
Sin is about us (the ones created), telling our creator that we are not His and that we are not going to do what He has asked. Instead we will do as we please. This sort of thinking is rebellion against our God – it is sin.
Sin is about ‘missing the mark’ on the target that God has given us. Just like in archery when you pull back the bow and let the arrow fly, but you do not have the strength or the skill to make the arrow go all the way to the target .
Sin is living life in a way that excludes God.
Sin is living in a way that breaks God’s laws.
Sin is the opposite of righteousness, which is required for us to be pure or holy for God.
What are the consequences of sin?
Sin makes us enemies of God. Sin separates us from God. Sin results in punishment since a righteous God cannot accept or condone any sin 
So the message is clear. The result of sin is that God’s wrath – His punishment, is coming our way. And the punishment for all sin is eternal separation from God in hell 
How can we avoid those consequences?
Sin must be punished, but there’s a way that our punishment can be diverted to someone else. For example, if we’re fined for breaking the law in our country, we don’t need to pay if someone else kindly pays our fine for us. Just like that, God has made a way for Jesus Christ to take our punishment.
God’s purity and righteousness means He can’t tolerate sin. But that severity against sin is matched by His awesome love for us . By allowing His perfect son, Jesus Christ, to pay our penalty by dying for us on the cross, God’s righteousness is upheld at the same time as His love is demonstrated.
So we can be saved from God’s righteous judgement.
The bible says that we who are Christians have been justified by ‘His blood’. That is, we have been declared innocent by God and are no longer to be punished. This is possible because of Jesus’ sacrifice of His life 
Jesus Christ’s death saves us from what sin causes – punishment and condemnation.
But that’s not fair!
And indeed it isn’t fair that someone perfect should suffer for someone else’s imperfection. But that is God’s awesome love being demonstrated through His grace.
And it’s even less fair, when we don’t first have to make ourselves good to be able to earn God’s grace and mercy.
God’s grace means that we can receive the good things He has for us, even though we don’t deserve them. In fact it is important to understand that we do not need to work for our salvation. Actually, we can’t – it’s impossible for us to ever make ourselves good enough for God. (This is one of the most important lessons for us from God’s dealing with the nation of Israel in the Old Testament before Christ came).
In other words, we do not need to do any work, or make ourselves good enough, or even pass an exam to win God’s favour. We already have God’s favour – His grace.
All we need to do, in fact all we can do, is to believe in God and accept that Christ has died for our sins. It’s like accepting a gift – if someone gives us a gift, we can’t enjoy that gift until we accept it and unwrap it.
To accept and unwrap the gift of salvation, we need to acknowledge that:
- Jesus, the Lamb of God, has already died for us
- Jesus, the Son of God, has already risen from the dead 
- Jesus, the High Priest is sitting down at God’s right hand 
God’s work of salvation is hard for us to understand completely. However, what we can understand is what we must do in order for God’s grace to work in us. In other words so that the salvation that God has made available to us, is really ours.
Taking away our sin and making us righteous – in other words, acceptable to God, has always been God’s plan. In fact it has been God’s plan from before the foundation of the world, to reconnect with the object and purpose of His creation – mankind.
1: Rom 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
‘We're people who love God's Word and take Him at his Word. As a result we're seeing amazing things around the world. ’ Pr Ron Carslake, Africa