Death, life, and a side order of eternity

The following is taken from The Message translation of the Bible. While I typically don’t rely on The Message translation, their version of the passage below effectively sums up how we got to where we are and why Jesus did what he did. THIS is what Good Friday and Easter is all about…

The Death-Dealing Sin, the Life-Giving Gift

You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn’t sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it.

Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man’s sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God’s gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There’s no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence. If death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?

Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right. 20-21 All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.

— Romans 5:12-21 (The Message)

Adam gives us death, but Jesus Christ gives us life. And, both outcomes are lasting: Eternal life or eternal death. There is no in-between and we can’t get paroled for good behavior. So, which eternity do you desire? I know, that’s kind of a stupid question, but it’s a question that we all must face and all must answer as there are eternal ramifications.

Jesus stated in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus alone. Period. Nothing more, nothing less. He is the only provision that covers and redeems our sin-infected lives and provides the only way back to a right relationship with God.

1 John 5:11-13 states, “11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Romans 10:8-10 sums it up: “8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

So, where are you today? Do you know the truth? Do you have the [eternal] life? Jesus loves you and offers forgiveness of your sins and eternal life. This comes from no one else and we cannot do it on our own. It is by grace alone and it is God’s free gift [Ephesians 2:5; Romans 5:15; 6:23].

I pray that you will believe this truth and accept this eternal gift…today.

God bless,
Will Hoyler

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