How Sin Entered the World
In the beginning, God made the world perfect and wonderful. Adam and Eve lived with God in perfect harmony. However, when tempted by Satan to forsake the good commands of God, Adam and Eve chose to go their own way and rebelled against their Creator. On the day they chose to live apart from God and his commands (eating the fruit they were commanded not to eat), sin entered the world and brought with it sickness, death and suffering; things that were never part of God's plan for his creation. Since that day the entire world, and every single person who lives in it, has been trapped by the curse of sin.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned. - Romans 5:12
There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. - Romans 3:10-12
God Had a Plan
God is holy, perfect and completely just. In so being, he hates sin and must punish it. Because of this, every single one of us born under this curse of sin rightly deserves eternity apart from God in hell.
For the wages of sin is death. - Romans 6:23a
However, God is not only just, holy, and righteous, he is also loving and kind. In his grace (his undeserved love), he made a way for us to come to him. He sent his only Son, Jesus. Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, then died on the cross and rose again to pay the penalty for our sin.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:6-8
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. - John 3:16-18
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. - 1 John 4:10
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. - Romans 3:21-24
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23
All our sins, the things that separated us from God, have been wiped out by the death and resurrection of Jesus. His death paid the penalty for our sin and when God looks at those who believe in his Son, he now declares us NOT GUILTY. Our sin has been paid for and we are covered in the righteousness (the perfect holy life) of Jesus.
What do I do with this good news?
Jesus has already done all the work! Our salvation has been won! So how do we respond?
Believe and confess that Jesus is Lord.
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” - Acts 16:31
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. - Romans 10:9-10
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. - Acts 4:12
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. - 1 John 1:8-10
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. - Acts 2:28
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. - Matthew 28:19
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. - Mark 8:34