The Word of God provides mankind with the explanation concerning the problem that is affecting the entire human race. The author of the book of First John tells us that “all unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17). Moreover, the same author also tells us in 1 John 3:4 that sin is the transgression of God’s law. As we take the time to ponder on these passages of Scriptures we can understand that God has put in place moral laws that govern the lives of mankind, and mankind sins against God when they purposefully choose to act or behave in an unrighteous manner that causes them to break the commandments of God.
The first occurrence of the biblical concept of sin took place since the beginning of creation at the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve wilfully disobeyed God by eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:6). As a result of the disobedience of Adam and Eve against God, sin entered into the world and marred God’s wonderful and beautiful creation. The problem of sin is universal in nature because it affects the entire human race. The apostle Paul tells us plainly that all of mankind have sinned and fallen short of God’s commandments (Romans 3:23).
Bearing in mind the extensive nature of the problem of sin, we can read of so many biblical accounts found both in the Old and New Testament of how mankind during various periods of bible history has to suffer the consequences of their own unrighteous actions and behaviours because they have transgressed the commandments of God. In this regard, the Scriptures tell us plainly and clearly that sin will cause mankind to be eternally separated from God. Consider what the prophet Isaiah has written in Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.”
It is a fearful thing to know that God will take action against mankind when they purposefully defy and break His law. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18). Moreover, the apostle Paul also warns mankind in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death”. The severe penalty for disobeying God is to suffer eternal damnation in hell fire (Luke 12:5; Revelations 20:14-15).
Surely, hell is a real place and there is no more hope when an unrepentant sinner passes away without having a right relationship with God. Brethren, our Almighty God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, and all of us will have to give Him an account of how we live our lives on this earth. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Indeed, all of mankind shall be judged by the law of God and no one will be able to escape God’s judgment (John 12:48; Matthew 25:46). Therefore, let us strive to live a righteous life before the sight of God so that we can have the assurance of eternal salvation in our heavenly home when our earthly lives are over (Philippians 2:12).
Having examined the problem of sin and the judgment of God, we can also understand from studying the Bible that the gospel of Christ is the only antidote which will enable mankind to be redeemed from their sins. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:16, “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.” The gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is about His death, burial and resurrection, and it is through the gospel of Christ that God defeated the condemnation of sin (Romans 5:8-11).
As we examine the Word of God, we can learn of the pattern of how God wants mankind to respond to His saving gospel message. First, having heard the preaching of the Bible, God desires us to respond by having genuine faith in Him (John 8:24). Second, there is a need to demonstrate true repentance by turning away from a life of sin and having a right relationship with God (Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19; 2 Peter 3:9). God desires mankind to approach Him with a contrite heart of repentance. Third, we need to respond to the gospel message by verbally confessing Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10). Fourth, mankind is to be fully immersed in water for the remission of their sins. It is through contact with the blood of Christ through water baptism that an individual’s sins will be cleansed and be reconciled with God.