Key Theme: We have lived below God’s standard and deserve only death. But Jesus paid the price that we might receive forgiveness instead of punishment.
The Effects of Sin
Read Genesis 3:16-19
- Underline: pain, pain, cursed, pain, thorns, thistles, “for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
- Margin: Sin’s Fruits
Read Ezekiel 37:11
- Underline: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.
- Margin: Sin separates us from God
Sin is an everyday reality for us. Literally, sin means “missing the mark.” God has demanded perfection, and we have fallen short. Because God is perfect and holy, He cannot tolerate sin, and therefore cannot tolerate the presence of sinners such as us. The effects of sin are felt physically though pain, suffering, and even death. But there is also a spiritual consequence from sin. It is a separation from God, as if we were “cut off” from Him. Because of our sin, we are unable to have a relationship with God.
The Promise of a Savior
Read Genesis 3:14-15
- Underline: he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
- Margin: Jesus!
Read Ezekiel 37:12-14
- Underline: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people.
- Margin: Jesus brings new life
Read Romans 5:8
- Underline: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Margin: God acted for us.
God was not content with the status of our relationship. He knew that we could not restore the relationship, because we were sinful through and through. But He knew that He could do it. And so God spoke not only judgment to His people, but also hope. He told them of the savior that would come to act on their behalf. He told them that He Himself would be the one to rescue His people. While we were powerless to do it, God acted for us.
The Forgiveness of Sins
Read 1 John 1:8-9
- Underline: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Margin: God forgives
Read Psalm 103:12-13
- Underline: as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
- Margin: Our sin is gone.
Read Isaiah 1:18
- Underline: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
- Margin: God cleanses us.
God decided to make matters into His own hands and restore our relationship with Him. But because God still cannot abide sin, something had to be done. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, lived a perfect and blameless life, but suffered the death that we deserved as sinners. We have lived (and continue to live) as sinners, but receive the life and relationship with God that Jesus deserved. God forgives our sin not because we deserve it, but because Jesus paid the price so we might have the forgiveness.