SIN

Genesis 1:26 ~ Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like ourselves. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” {And then, man fell…}

• Hell is the eternal punishment for sin.
• Depravity = inborn or natural corruptness of human nature due to original sin.

Psalm 51:5 ~ For I was born a sinner – yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
Galatians 3:10 ~ But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under His curse, for the Scriptures say, ‘cursed is everyone who does not obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of Law’. {The law condemns – it cannot justify and save}

Romans 3:10 ~ As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous-not even one.” {We are all sinners}

Psalm 7:12-13 ~ If a person does not repent, God will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. He will prepare his deadly weapons and shoot his flaming arrows. {God HATES sin. We should take God’s holy hatred of sin and use it to provoke us to grow that much closer to Him.}

Man, in his original state of sin (depravity), hates God.

God sees us as:
1. Believers
2. Unbelievers
The rest is just distraction.

JUSTIFICATION

Justification is the judicial act of God as He pardons sinners.
1. He must punish sin.
2. He is merciful

Our justification came at the cost of Jesus’ blood. True salvation will cost the believer everything!
Jesus didn’t write the check to cancel our debt – He IS the check! It’s as if we had GUILTY written on our forehead and the wrath of God was coming at us directly. Jesus steps in between God and me and erased the GUILTY from my forehead and takes it on His.

Romans 3:23-25 ~ For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past.

Ephesians 2:5-10 ~ That even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’’ grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
{There is not a single good thing we can do to merit our salvation. Our righteousness is as filthy as rags. There is no justification apart from Christ.}

HOWEVER: James 2:14-26 confirms that we are not saved BY works, we are saved TO work. Good deeds serve as a verification of our faith. Our lifestyle is to be a WITNESS. If we boast about anything, it should be our King.

Propitiation ~ A sacrifice that satisfies justice. Reconciles us to God, but we MUST BELIEVE IT!

Many people who call themselves Christians just change their habits – We discipline ourselves to do all sorts of things. This doesn’t mean we are saved, it just means we are a quick learner. We can change our habits, but only God can change our nature.

WHERE AM I? AM I REALLY SAVED, or DO I JUST FIT IN AT CHURCH???
AM I IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD DAILY?

REGENERATION

2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.
Only the Power of the Holy Spirit can regenerate a man. We should be so saturated in Christ that we don’t even notice the old things.

Ezekiel 36:22-31 reminds us that we are brought back by mercy – not because we deserve it – but to reveal the holiness of God through the Holy Spirit that is within us. He offers us a fresh start no matter what our sins are. Why clean up an old life when you can have a new one? We deserve the deepest pit of hell. It has nothing to do with us at all – He saved us for His glory! We see people all the time who call themselves Christians, but act like the hellions of the world.

James 4:7-10 tells us how to come close to God:
1. Humble yourselves
2. Resist the devil
3. Lead a pure life (purify your hearts)
4. Let there be sorrow and deep grief for your sins
5. Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up in honor.

To understand regeneration, imagine a stone being whipped with a belt. The stone will not move, will not respond, will not bruise, and will not bleed. No matter how much discipline is thrown at it, it does not respond. Replace that with a fleshy heart (or imagine a man in front of you about to be whipped with the belt). When you strike the flesh with the belt, what happens? You get a response and eventually obedience. Obedience is God’s method of protection for our lives. Once our heart of stone is replaced (regenerated) with a heart of flesh, conviction follows by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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