Have You Heard

All Four?

Have you heard the Four Aspects of the Christian Message? There are many "versions" of the Christian message. Some do a good job of presenting God's message to mankind, but many do not. Some are imbalanced and others are simply incorrect. What is written here certainly does not lay claim to being complete in presenting God's message. However, it does offer four aspects of the Christian message which present Jesus Christ as the coming King and Righteous Judge who is now extending mercy and forgiveness to give hope and purpose to an undeserving people.

Jesus will return bringing rewards for those who have who have obeyed and longed for the Kingdom of God and His appearing. He will bring judgement to those who have refused His grace.

Aspect #1: Absolute Purity

We must understand the holiness and purity of God because we all need a standard or example to live by. God is absolutely pure and will always remain so. This is one of the most basic aspects of His nature. Here is an analogy to illustrate God's purity and His commitment to remain so.

Imagine for a moment that you have a large swimming pool in your yard. An average pool can hold in the neighborhood of 30,000 gallons of water. Let's also say that the water in that pool is absolutely pure, nothing at all but pure water. Now, to represent impurity, imagine that you spill one grain of salt into your pool and it dissolves. No big deal. However, if you invite God to come and enjoy a swim with you, He will not. Why? Because He is absolutely pure and will not deny His nature by touching that which is in any way impure. This may seem extreme, but it serves well to illustrate the point. 

God is the creator of all things and is the eternal standard against which all things will ultimately be judged. He does not take such an unwavering position because He is egotistical, stubborn or selfish. He does so to maintain an absolute standard and to preserve creation from completely breaking down. If there were no absolute standard for purity, no rules or laws by which creation must operate, we would be without hope. 

Imagine that you are the pitcher in a game of baseball. The batter has two strikes against him, and you throw your best fast ball. He swings and misses by a mile! He's out! But wait a minute. Suddenly the batter begins to protest because he doesn't want to be out. He throws such a fit that the umpire agrees to change the rule to four strikes. 

How long do you think the game of baseball could survive if the rules were changed every time someone was upset about getting out? This is why God will not change his laws. He is unchanging in Hisrules for all creation because He knows that creation would have no future without His absolute standards. God has even given us a book, The Holy Bible, to teach us His standards.

Aspect #2: The Condition of Man

Have you ever lied (even once), stolen (the value is irrelevant), committed adultery (God considers lust to be adultery of the heart), killed (hatred is considered murder by God). These are just four of the Ten Commandments! Be honest, you are guilty of breaking God's law. Without His forgiveness, you will not be saved but will be judged and found guilty. 

There are many scriptures that describe the condition of man. Here are two: "... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23); and "The heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9).

God originally created man in His own image and had wonderful fellowship with him. He longs to "go swimming with us" but because of sin, our impurity, He had to separate himself from us. Scripture tells us about this: "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Sin is the root of all the problems in the world. Man chose to rebel against God and His rules. He even began changing the rules to suit his own selfish desires. Man has developed whole philosophies and systems of false religion to suit his own desires and cover up his guilty conscience. Sin, in its most basic state, is simply retaining control and ownership of our own lives, or in other words, making our own rules.

Someone once told a story about sitting on a hill watching a flock of sheep grazing in a green pasture below. Against the beautiful green grass the sheep appeared to be pure, clean and white. Then it began to snow. Gradually, the green grass was replaced by pure white snow. Suddenly the man realized that the sheep were not as clean as he had originally thought. Now they looked dingy and dirty against the freshly fallen snow. Had the sheep suddenly become dirty? No, the man simply had a new standard against which to judge their condition. 

Understanding the holiness and purity of God enables you to see your own true color or condition. Sooner or later, all who remain in sin will stand accountable before God and be judged according to His unchanging holiness. Anyone found lacking His standards of holiness will be found guilty.

Aspect # 3: Redemption

If you have understood the first two aspects of the Christian message, you will have to agree that we are in big trouble unless God has a plan to forgive us and free us from sin. The good news is - He does! Because of God's great love, He made a plan to redeem sinners and save them from the wrath to come. 

The word "redeem" simply means to trade one thing for another. An example would be trading in empty soft drink bottles for money. Empty bottles have little or no use as they are, they are simply litter. However, there are those who will pay a price for empty bottles, or in other words, redeem them. 

This is what Christ did for you. Without being redeemed, you are like an empty bottle which, because of your sin, has no valuable content. However, because God loves you and desires to fill you with His eternal life, He paid a price for you. He paid a very high price, because He has a purpose for you.

One of the most familiar verses in the Bible is John 3:16. It says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." This verse also helps us understand what the word "redeem" means. God loved us so much that He paid a very high price, His own Son, to redeem us.

The Bible says clearly that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23) and the rest of that same verse says, " ... but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." What a gift from God! He became a man and died a horrible death nailed to a wooden cross, shedding His blood to pay the price for your sin and mine. God sent Jesus to fulfill His law that says the wages of sin is death. Jesus was the only one who could have paid the price for sin because He is the only one that never sinned. There is no other name given under heaven whereby we can be saved (Acts 4:12). "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Rom. 5:8-9). Therefore, Christ's death and the shedding of His blood fulfilled God's law.

Through the redeeming work of Christ on the cross, you now have the opportunity to be saved from the wrath of God. The Bible says that if you, "...believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:9-10). Do you believe that God has raised Jesus from the dead? Are you willing to declare Him as your Lord? Have you ever considered the meaning of the word "Lord?" 

Have you ever considered what true belief is? If you were told the roof of your house would fall any second and you believed it, what would you do? You would get out of there! Therefore, true belief is that which produces action (James 2:17). Only the one who believes enough to take action has really believed. It is really quite practical. 

Imagine your life to be like a car which you are driving. Before you believed, you were steering your life as you chose. You may have even been religious enough to have Jesus in the car with you, but you were still the one in the driver's seat. However, when you truly believe, you become the passenger and surrender the control and direction of your life to Jesus. Now He is in the driver's seat. Jesus not only wants to be your Lord, He also wants to live in you, guide you, and be your friend and constant companion.

Are you sure of your salvation? You can be. Maybe you've just been religious and Jesus has not really been your Lord? If you are not sure, this would be a good time to become sure. Pray...

"Jesus, I believe in You. I have not honored you as God. I am sinful and have been directing my own life, but now I ask you to forgive me of my sin. I surrender my life to You and I invite You to live in my heart as my Lord. I now turn from my sin, proclaim You as my Lord and choose to follow You."

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you will take action. Stop all known sin. Get a Bible and read it (a good place to start reading is the book of John). Seek the fellowship of other Christians who love God with their whole hearts and can encourage you in your walk with God. 

Aspect #4: The Government of God

It doesn't take a political expert to see that the world has problems. In fact, much of history is an account of the problems of the world. However, there is a day approaching when Jesus Himself will actually return and govern this planet with those who have been redeemed and have followed Him. It will be a time of righteous, peace, and joy that the world has never known. The government of God is the only government with real answers. Many have sought this peace, but they have looked for it in all the wrong places. They have not found it because they did not know the Prince of Peace. Therefore, they remained a part of the problem instead of a part of the answer. By humbling yourself before God and sincerely asking Him to save you from your sin (the prayer above is a good example) you can not only be saved personally, but you can become part of the answer to the worlds problems! 

We need to understand that God has a purpose for us so we don't become lazy self-centered Christians who actually hinder the coming of the Kingdom of God. God doesn't save people just so they can sit in church meetings once or twice a week, He has a purpose in mind. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). Now you can have a purpose, a part to play in God's eternal plan! The Bible says, "...you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house..." (1 Peter 2:5). This spiritual house is called The Church. Jesus said, "...I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). As we work with Jesus, building the church according to His plan, we are preparing for and hastening the day when He will return and establish His Kingdom. 

True identity and real purpose can only be found in your Creator!

© copyright 1999
Brad Sherman
Purpose Ministries