How would you communicate the message of James 5:13–16 to people enduring chronic pain or illness? How would you address their deep questions about God’s character? How would you emphasize the importance of prayer and confession in the midst of suffering?
Sin isn’t a popular word. Most people think of sin as doing something really bad, like murder, assault, or robbery. But the word “sin” has the idea of missing the mark, not hitting the target.
The idea is that God has set a glorious standard and when we fail to live by it, we sin. We say, do, and think things that are contrary to God's standard, and the problem is that no matter how much we try and achieve change by ourselves, we just can't succeed.
The Bible teaches that our nature is imprisoned to sin. We miss the mark because we choose creation over the Creator. We look to succeed by our own strength, yet we never shake our own selfish sin. No matter what our education, religious heritage, ethnicity, or financial status, we cannot overcome the power of sin by ourselves. This is a problem.
The virgin birth circumvented the transmission of the sin nature and allowed the eternal God to become a perfect man. He never sinned, which qualified Him to be a righteous substitutionary sacrifice for sinners.
The term “restoration” in Scripture, at times, has the greater connotation of receiving back more than has been lost so that the final state is greater than the original condition.
God did not give us His Word to satisfy our curiosity; He gave it to change our lives. Can you name a couple of specific changes God has implemented in your life during the past six or eight months?
Peter’s transformation from a rash fisherman in the Gospels to a bold witness for Christ in the book of Acts boils down to one Person—the Holy Spirit.
While the word “salvation” can apply to physical rescue or deliverance it also has special significance in Scripture as a term referring to spiritual salvation.
Jesus Christ’s main purpose in coming to the world was to provide salvation for those who put their trust in Him. Jesus saves us from the righteous wrath of God the Father upon all who have sinned against him.
The slaying of the Passover lamb pictured Christ’s atoning death on the cross for the sins of the world as Christ’s applied blood causes God’s judgment to pass over sinners and gives life to believers (Romans 6:23).
Once we understand that sin and death have been companions since they entered the world through Adam’s disobedience, we can then begin to see the different destinations of those who believe versus those who do not.