How do you get to heaven? Do your best? Hope that God will be merciful? Rely on a church to negotiate with God and get the best deal they can? These can be placed alongside a cart load of other ideas but in essence they boil down to trying to please God through self-effort, hoping for the best or trying to ignore the issue!
Are we meant to go through our days wondering if we can know God or not? Does God want to fill us with the fear of doubt wondering if it is possible for ordinary mortals to know that their sins are forgiven before they die.
God in the minds of many has a huge heavenly scale where at the end of life he will weigh our evil deeds against our good deeds and we just observe hoping that it will tilt towards good thus earning God’s merits. I have bad news for you. God has set an impossible standard, absolute perfection and the Bible is clear that no one can reach that level, no one!
The sins we commit cannot be negated by the amount of good works we accumulate. We can never clear the offence of our sin by what we do. In accounting terms all our good works are placed in the debit column and are useless. The Good News is that God has done something amazing – he sent Jesus and he was punished for our sin on the cross. Because of that sacrifice for sin complete forgiveness is offered to all who believe.
1 John 5:11 gives this testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know, be absolutely sure, that you have eternal life.
We owed a debt we could not pay; he paid a debt he did not owe!
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
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Sundays at 11.00 am
Wednesday 8.00 pm
Newry Baptist Church
31-33 Lower Catherine Street