In order to get help, you have to know you have a problem. Recently, I had a couple of non-serious health issues that were concerning and somewhat debilitating, but didn’t make me want to go to the doctor right away, so I suffered for a while. Finally, I asked the Lord to specifically help me by showing me what was going on through looking up my symptoms on a google search. In both instances the first article proved to be answer to my prayer. The first illness was cured by seeing the chiropractor; the second illness was cured through doubling the amount of a supplement I was already taking. God’s love is amazing, but we do have to acknowledge we need His help.
Mankind is in dire need of the Savior, but so few are aware of their need, so they don’t ask for help. How does anyone come to the knowledge they are in trouble and need help? Well there has to be some humility and honesty. But you know and I know, that’s a big problem right there because we are really good at obfuscation and sanctimony. Left on our own we are without recourse. Not only do we have the problem of self-righteous self-deception, there is also an enemy whose main purpose is to deceive. Without divine intervention we are at the mercy of ourselves and our foe, we need the love of God to break through, show us our condition and our remedy.
Recently, I watched a video that claimed to give the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, however it was lacking some key components. The Word of God was not proclaimed, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not shared, the ministry of the Holy Spirit was not referenced nor relied upon. The production was moving, filled with imagery and reasoning, but the power of God was absent. The narrator gave a wrong diagnosis and a deceptive cure. Man’s efforts to bring sinners to know their need will always produce false converts. This is a work for God and God alone.
Scripture from the masterful book of Romans outlines not only each and every human’s need but also the remedy. God is so good and kind to us that we are not left to our own resources or the lies of the enemy, He graciously catalogs our desperate need and magnanimously has given us His treatment for our disease of depravity; all we have to do is believe.
Before Paul, by the Holy Spirit, tells us of our need, he shares his confidence in the gospel of Jesus Christ, he tells us it is the power of God for our salvation. It is after this declaration the Holy Spirit through Paul tells us why we need the power of the gospel for our salvation, for healing.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Romans 1:16-18
We need the gospel of Jesus Christ for salvation because God’s wrath is directed against us due to our unrighteousness, ungodliness and suppression of His truth in unrighteousness. Just in case there are any who think they aren’t really that bad, God through Paul lays out the case against each and every human being. He broadly convicts in chapters one and two for both Gentile and Jew, then lays out the universal case against sinners in chapter three. It is in this chapter that Jesus Christ also makes clear what He has done to rescue us from our hopeless and debilitating ailment.
9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; they have become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” 13 “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under the lips”; 14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:9-18
It seems we live at a time when all pretense for decency has been cast aside and humanity has eagerly embraced this biblical definition of themselves and don’t even blush! I think that’s a good definition of a sinner, someone who does evil and does not even blush about its wickedness. However, this inability to blush means they are completely unaware of their need for the Savior Jesus Christ. Every single human being is cursed with this malady. It is only once an invalid awakens to their debilitation that they are ready for the gospel call of Jesus Christ, the gospel given in Romans chapter three, the cure for our disease of rebellious sin against Holy God.
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate both His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26
Sinners who know their sin and anticipate God’s wrath find these verses particularly glorious. Jesus Christ takes away our sin and gives us His righteousness instead. How does He do this? Is it through our efforts? No, it has nothing to do with us other than we must believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. This passage emphasizes our salvation is only through faith in Jesus Christ, not what we do. All we need is the knowledge of our illness and the realization of God’s cure.
So, what do we have to believe to be saved? First, we have to know we are in desperate straits because our sin has placed us under God’s wrath. We should be filled with great fear and shame, fear because eternity in hell-fire is the punishment for sin, and shame because God knows every sin we’ve ever committed. This knowledge should drive us to meekly beseech God for His forgiveness and grace. This great desire for God’s forgiveness and grace should bring us to trust His Son Jesus Christ our Savior for His deliverance and salvation.
So, what must we believe about Jesus Christ? Numerous verses in the Scriptures teach us what we must believe. These verses reduce the truth of God’s Word to the essentials we must believe about Jesus Christ in order to be saved. These verses are found in the book of Romans and the book of 1 Corinthians.
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:8-13
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 1 Corinthians 15:1-5
To be healed of our disease, we must believe that Jesus Christ died upon the cross for our sins, that He really died and was buried, but then He rose again from the dead the third day. We must believe this in our hearts and confess it with our mouths. We must recognize our desperate need and call upon Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Jesus Christ the Son of God walked this earth as a Man revealing God to us. But when He died in our stead upon the cross, He took the punishment we so rightly deserve. However, since He is God the Son of God, death could not hold Him, so He rose again on the third day the Conqueror over sin, death & hell. Jesus Christ proved this by appearing in His flesh and blood to those who had seen Him die. He did all this for you and for me because of God’s love.