The Bible makes it clear that we have all sinned. Romans 3:23 tells us that everyone has sinned and fallen short of measuring up to God’s standards. His standard is perfection (Mt. 5:48), and none of us can match it. But what is sin? The Bible says that it is transgression of the Law of God (1 Jn. 3:4). In other words, it is disobedience to His moral Law, the Ten Commandments. The first time that you ever told a lie made you a liar. The first time you ever took something that didn’t belong to you made you a thief. These are just a few examples. Let’s take just a moment to look at all ten of them (Exodus 20:1-17).
1. You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me. Have you always, every waking moment of your life, loved God more than any other thing or person? When you chase after money, or anything in your life, you replace Him as the most important thing. This includes things that are not bad in and of themselves, but which replace our love for God. At the moment that we love food, our families or our jobs more than we love God we deserve to die and spend eternity in Hell.
2. You Shall Not Make Yourself Any Graven Image. This commandment tells us that we are not allowed to define God, either with our hands or our minds. He is described in the Bible and if we do anything to try to shape Him into anything other than what He has said of Himself, we break this commandment. This includes making idols (representations) with our hands. It also includes making Him out to be less holy, righteous, just, or loving than He really is. Have you redefined God as someone less than He really is?
3. You Shall Not Take The Name Of The Lord Your God In Vain. God tells us that when we use His name casually instead of reverently, we have dishonored His name. Some people go so far as to use His name as a profanity. Instead of using a four-letter filth word to express disgust, they use the name of the God who gave them life and drag it through the mud! This is called blasphemy and is a very serious sin in the eyes of God. Have you ever used God’s name this way?
But that is not the only way you can blaspheme. Another way is to claim that you are a Christian (taking His name to yourself) and then living a life that contradicts what a Christian should be (Gal. 5:22-23). This gives the enemies of God an occasion to blaspheme (2 Sam. 12:14). Have you done this?
4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. God wants us to set aside at least one day each week to honor Him in worship. He tells us that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together in worship. Do you take one day in seven to rest and honor Him?
5. Honor Your Father and Mother. Have you always honored your parents? Have you ever rebelled against them? You might have been blessed with great parents and found it easy to obey them. However, the Bible says that if we break one commandment, we are guilty of breaking all of them (Jas. 2:10).
What is your attitude toward authority? Have you ever rebelled against teachers, employers, law enforcement, or church leadership? If so, you rebel against God because He established those authorities (Rom. 13:1-7; Heb. 13:17; Eph. 6:5-8).
6. You shall Not Kill. We know that it is wrong to kill, but Jesus said that if we hate someone we are a murderer at heart (Mt. 5:22). Have you ever hated anyone? Do you call yourself a Christian, yet hate a believer in Christ? The Bible says that you are a murderer (1 Jn. 3:15).
7. You Shall Not Commit Adultery. We know that adultery is wrong, but let’s take it one step further. Jesus told us that if we ever look with lust (sexual desire) at someone, then we have already committed adultery in our heart (Mt. 5:28). Have you ever looked with lust?
8. You Shall Not Steal. Have you ever taken anything that did not belong to you? The very first time you did it, you became a thief in God’s sight. If you steal something small, it is still stealing. If you stole it a very long time ago remember that the passing of time does not forgive sins.
9. You Shall Not Lie. Can anyone say that they have never lied? Everyone has done it. But that doesn’t make it less serious. When we lie, we contradict the very character of God, who is Truth (Jn. 14:6). We are all liars as far as God is concerned.
10. You Shall Not Covet. This means that you should not jealously desire something that does not belong to you. This is a strong motivator in our materialistic culture. Are you motivated by greed? Are you more concerned for material things than the things of God?
Can you see, as you examine yourself by the Law of God, that we are all guilty? Let’s look at what the Bible says will happen to those who break His laws. Revelation 21:8 says, “All liars will have their part in the lake of fire (hell).” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 tells us that no thief or adulterer will enter heaven. This text also says that idolaters and murderers will not enter heaven. The Bible also tells us that God ‘will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.’
Galatians 3:10 says that all who do not obey the Law are cursed! Friend, by these standards, you are in big trouble. Judgment day is soon coming (Heb. 9:27)! He’s coming to judge the world by His standard of righteousness (Acts 17:30-31), not ours. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life (Heb. 4:15). He is God in the flesh (Jn. 1:1). The Bible says that He literally “became sin for us” that we might become “the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). You cannot stand before God in your own righteousness. That kind of righteousness is repulsive to God (Is. 64:6)! He offers those who will come to Him His own righteousness so that you will be clothed in it on the day of judgment, and not in your own. An exchange must take place; you must somehow lose your sins and gain His righteousness. Romans 5:8-9 tells us that “God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then being justified by His blood we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” He paid your ‘court fine’ so that you could go free. This is wonderful news.
So, how do you receive this new life? Acts 17:31 says, “God commands all men to repent (turn from all you know to be sin) because He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness.” Friend, that day is closer than you think! You need to not only repent, but also to place your faith and trust in Jesus to save you.
Faith is not believing in a creed or believing in things that aren’t real, like Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. Biblical, saving faith is trusting in Someone who is trustworthy. Jesus is trustworthy. Abandon yourself to Him for He is the only One who can save you. All other ground is sinking sand.
If you want to get right with God, go to Him in your own words and cry out to Him for mercy. Tell Him what you have done against Him, how you have broken His Law. Turn from those sins and abandon yourself to what Christ has done for you. Commit to following Him as Lord, or Master of your life. If you need help praying to trust Christ, we suggest using Psalm 51 as a guideline. Open your Bible there and pray it to God.
(thanks to OneMillionTracts.com for this)