The Real Trophy of Grace: Do we Need Forgiveness
God’s Plan of Salvation for those who accept
as written by Doug Moorehead
Is God even Real?
I settled the question of whether there really is a God a long time ago, years before I answered the question of whether Jesus Christ was real. Romans 1:18-24 says nature testifies (shows us) there is a real God who created all of creation. As I sit in a tree stand (or at the base of a tree), as I fight a salmon or steelhead, or take aim at a pheasant, I am convinced there really is a God who created it all and it is not an accident. There is too much physics in the flight of a bird, the power of a steelhead, and the beauty of a sunrise to believe it is random. Romans 1 says we have to “suppress truth inside of us”. For me to say the outdoors are a mere chance of randomness is not possible. I stopped trying to suppress the truth years ago. Outdoors beauty overwhelms me with that truth.
Am I really a “sinner?”
The bible says we are lost or separated from God by choices we make. (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 53:6) I am not sure we need to read that in order to sense that something is not quite perfect here, to know that I am a sinner or how selfishly I lead my life. I get “that” each day when I get angry at others (my wife and children to name a few) just because I don’t get my way. I get “that” when I get rage-full at a driver who cuts me off accidentally even though I have done it hundreds of times myself no doubt. I get that I am not perfect when I feel unappreciated and pout or when I am passively (or actively) aggressive when I am mad…I get that I am not perfect (i.e. a sinner). I get that.
Can’t I do enough good works?
The bible says we cannot work our way to heaven, that we cannot earn forgiveness on our own or even tip the balance scales in our favor. We are hopelessly overwhelmed by our sin. I don’t like that. I want to be self-righteous and independent of need from others. But, I think I get it even though it somewhat offends me. I would like to think I do good stuff for others. I think I do more good than I do hurtful things towards others. I would like to try to work hard to tip the proverbial balance scales in my favor…but I am not sure I can. Here is what the bible says about my best good works, Isaiah 64:6 “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our good works, they are nothing but filthy rags (apart from Christ). Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.” I kind of get the fact that when a clean sponge soaks up dirty water, even one time, you can never get it clean again. Regardless of the bleach, soap, and washings and rinsing’s you give it, the sponge still has dirt inside that cannot be removed through natural processes. Likewise, I cannot work enough to clean myself up or cover my garbage. I get that…I think…even though I do not like it. But the noise and reality is still there…I am a sinner and I fall short every time I try to do good and be perfect.
Can I just avoid this?
Often I just want to avoid the whole issue of God, eternity and a judgment by God. Sometimes I think if I catch enough trophy fish, get the elusive “tirty pointer” (shout out to all you Uppers), hit the jackpot, or my kids are good enough or successful enough I can ignore my sins and pretend they do not exist. But as I read I cannot avoid what scripture says, II Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”
I want to go to heaven. I want to do better here in this life also…
So now what?
Here is what I eventually did and what you must do to have peace with Christ here and for eternity…..Trust Jesus Christ today!
1. Admit you are a sinner. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12)
2. Be willing to turn from sin (repent). Jesus said: “I tell you, no; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5). “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him” (Acts 17:30).
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
4. Through prayer, invite Jesus into your life to become your personal Savior. “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9). “For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13). “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Example of a prayer: Dear God, I am a sinner and I need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I want to turn from sin and live for you since you love me enough to forgive me. I want Christ to come into my heart and life as my Savior.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, we would like to hear the good news and rejoice with you. We would also like to point you towards some next steps in your relationship with Christ.