As we continue through our study of the gospel of God, we have arrived at our third and final question, “How are we supposed to respond toward Him?” When we look at God, who He is and what He is like in all His majesty and glorious beauty, we see that we are infinitely different than He is. Yet, even in this difference, there is a call that goes out, in the Word of God to respond to who God is (Acts 17:22-31). This is the gospel call. This is the call that goes out to all mankind, a call for repentance.
There is a question that flows out of our response towards God, and it is this; “Why do we need to respond toward God in repentance and faith?” The answer is simple: we are all sinners. As we looked at last week, God, in His absolute holiness and justice must and will punish all those who violate His Law. Those who live in rebellion against Him and love their sin will not be allowed in any way to experience His blessing. To truly understand how we are to respond to God, we need to understand where we stand before Him now. And the state that every single man is in, is not a hopeful one. Why? Because…
All Men Have Sinned……
….and therefore have broken and violated the perfect Law of God. Romans 3:23 clearly states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Mankind, as a whole have sinned, they have, “Missed the mark” and fail to attain to the standard of holiness that God requires. As God is holy, so too He requires mankind to be perfectly holy like Him (Matt. 5:48; 1 Pet. 1:15-16). This holiness, as any person knows, is completely unattainable by man (1 Sam. 2:2) therefore he remains a sinner and his very life is composed of daily rebellion against God (Rom. 3:10). Our sinfulness is inherited and passed on from one generation to the next since the first man, Adam, disobeyed God (Gen. 3). Because of his rebellion, mankind as a whole suffers the consequences of sin.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” – Romans 5:12
But we are not being unjustly punished based on the sin of one man. No, we are punished based on our own willful choices to rebel against God’s holiness and His Law and to love and serve our own sinful passions rather than Christ (Jas. 1:15). Mankind is never being punished unjustly, and even though it was through Adam that our sin entered the world, we too all love our sin and actively rebel against God and His Word. We know this because we all practice the things that are detestable to God, things that He hates and commands us to avoid. Things such as lying (Prov. 6:17), murder and anger (Matt. 5:21-26), adultery (Ex. 20:14), lust (Matt. 27-30), covetousness (Ex. 20:17), immorality, impurity, sensuality (Gal. 5:19), unrighteousness, homosexuality, drunkenness, reviling, cheating (1 Cor. 6:9-10), deceit (Prov. 12:22), and many other sins put us in a place of condemnation before the Lord. These are all sins that we have or do participate in, willfully and sometimes joyfully out of a heart of rebellion against the Lord. Perhaps the clearest passage that speaks of our willful rebellion against God would be Romans 3:10-18,
“as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
It is because of our sin, that we are in a very hopeless state. Our hope to be cleared by a perfectly holy and righteous God whose eyes cannot even look upon evil is non-existent. Left to ourselves we are completely hopeless because:
All Men are Guilty……
……and standing before God, there is no hope of restitution. Clearly our sinfulness greatly highlights the holiness of God and in the same way our guiltiness greatly highlights the justice of God. Because all have sinned and are guilty, there is only punishment and condemnation that awaits.
God’s perfect law has been violated in our sinfulness and we stand condemned by Him. James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” It only takes one sin to make us guilty before God and because all have sinned (Rom. 3:23) all are indeed guilty. The expectation then, for the guilty is judgment. And the perfect and holy God will one day judge all mankind for their sinful deeds (Acts 17:31).
It is at this point, when we come to a place of utter hopelessness, that we must realize our desperate need for the gospel. There is a remedy for this sin, and this remedy is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is this “good news” that we will look at in detail, in the following posts as we continue to answer the question, “How am I to respond towards Him?”