God created human beings in the image of God to be the object of His love. To love God and fellow beings is the natural response of mankind. Yet humanity rebelled against God and sinned. The result was estrangement from God who is the source of life. The Bible calls this condition ‘death’. Sin caused humanity to go astray from the purpose of the Creator. Being thus separated from the love of God, everyone is beset with problems and strife, each member at war with oneself, each other, the environment and God. In short, man is lost.
We, humans, need love, security, acceptance, a sense of adequacy and freedom from guilt that only God can give. In pursuit of these needs, humankind try to manipulate others, manage circumstances and change themselves if that is necessary, in their own wisdom. Yet the world remains unloving and non-accepting and insecure as ever. Most people who appear to be successful feel inadequate and live under guilt feelings. Mankind is living in frustration and often in hostility. Peace and joy and abundant life are just illusions.
God in His infinite love and Grace has provided for this tragic situation. Jesus Christ, who died and rose again, is the solution to the lostness of humankind.
The Bible declares in II Corinthians 5:21 that through His death on the cross, Christ has taken upon Himself the sin of humanity and its punishment which is death. Jesus offered himself as the sacrifice to redeem us by becoming a curse for us. In ‘exchange’ he offers to mankind His own righteousness and His life.
Receiving this offer of God is the only means for any individual to live a meaningful and peaceful life in this broken and hurting world.
To receive this exchanged life, a person has to acknowledge that he or she is lost. No person can relate to God in the person’s own capacity. It is only by trusting in Christ that a person’s relationship to God is restored. In other words the person is reconciled to God. After this is accomplished, it is possible for the person to come to reconciliation with himself, others and the environment.
The good news to the lost in sin is that ‘Christ died and paid the penalty of the sinners and that by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ one will enter into the eternal life’.
An individual who has trusted in Christ for salvation may lose the joy of life when that person stops looking to Christ and depends on the ‘self’ to earn continued favour with God and success in life.
Such a person is miserable and defeated in his life as a believer. This believer may regain his peace and joy. This is possible when the believer experiences the Exchanged Life in his daily life by faith in the Grace of God.
The good news to the defeated Christian is that ‘the believers need to know and count that he too is dead, buried and resurrected with Christ and that the victory in life is through the yielding of the members of one’s body to righteousness’. The one, who exchanges the ‘self-life’ with ‘Christ-life’, will be more than conquerors in all the sufferings and difficulties of life.
This is the MESSAGE OF THE CROSS
Grace Counseling India is committed to spreading the Message of the Cross as the solution to the problems of needy people around.