Repent and be baptized

God is a perfect all knowing God. He knows our every action and thought.

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. (Psalms 139:2)

God is the Judge of this earth and he judges with justice. He is a righteous God.

but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. (Isaiah 11:4)

And

Lord, the God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence. (Ezra 9:15)

If we sin against him or against our fellow human being, we will be judged. We may not know all the commandments. But all of us have a conscience and a perceived concept of fairness. If we have been unfairly treated by someone, we certainly know, though if the situation is placed in reverse, we may not.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Sin can be divided generally into three categories,

  1. Iniquity, sin committed by our ancestors
  2. Trespass, sin committed intentionally despite knowing the law or our conscience weighing against our hearts
  3. Sin, sins committed in ignorance

If our ancestor worshiped a false idol, then because God judges us not only as individuals but along blood lines, then a child can be born with iniquity and “inherit” a generational curse. This is fair because similarly God blesses those households who love him and place him in first place.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him God nor gave thanks to him but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their woman exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. (Romans 1:21-26)

Many countries legalize same-sex marriages. Some people may be born with homosexual inclinations and may feel that it is natural and seek society acceptance. In the Book of Romans, it is clearly written that God curses the household with unnatural sexual relations because of the iniquity of worshiping false idols.

If we are pulled over by a traffic policeman on the highway for exceeding the speed limit, we may plead ignorance by truly claiming that we did not know what the speed limit is. Yet even after taking that into account, the policeman will still write out a traffic summon. That is because we are subject to the law of the country we are in and we must abide by its law. The officer of the law within his given jurisdiction has the authority to enforce it. So it is with sinning unknowingly against God.

All of us are to be judged by God and everyone of us will fall short of his standards of righteousness. If God judged us like an examination, his pass mark would be 100%. Even 99% would be considered a failure. And an example of the script of the examination would be the laws of the Book of Leviticus. You have to keep every single law forever to pass. But, none of us would even pass the ten commandments given in the book of Exodus. And in the Sermon on the Mount given in the Book of Matthew, Jesus Christ tells us of standards of God, standards that none of us by ourselves can achieve. For example:

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister, will be subject to judgement. (Matthew 5:21-22)

Based on the standards of God’s righteous, no one is righteous. We cannot compensate the bad that we do by doing good deeds. There is no scale where our good deeds and bad deeds are measured up and we will be saved if our good deeds outweigh the bad. In a court. If a doctor is found guilty of murder, would it be fair to judge that because he has also saved many lives before, he is no longer guilty? Or that one saved life blots out the judgement for one life that he has taken? As long as we have committed one sin, or if we do not know the commandments, one act against our conscience, then we are judged for it severely by God.

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. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. (Psalm 5:9)

Thankfully, our God is also merciful. He knows us, loves us and wants to save us from death.

For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath. (Deuteronomy 4:31)

God has a conflict in that God is both righteousness and merciful. He has to a give a fair judgement, to punish the wicked and yet he seeks to forgive and save. In the Mosaic covenant, Israel practiced animal sacrifice, because God taught that the law require that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. That is rather than us facing death, animals, goats or calves, were sacrificed in place of our sin, as a sin offering. This was the solution for the sinful and unclean to be obtain forgiveness. Hence the high priest would enter into God’s presence with the blood of goats or calves offered for himself and the sins that the people had committed in ignorance.

But the blood of animals cannot atone for the sins of a human being. Atonement requires the blood of a human being. Furthermore, that blood has to be that of a human who has never sinned. The novel solution is God who is a spirit, to come in the flesh as Jesus Christ, that is to also entirely human, to become the high priest to offer a sacrifice for the people using his own clean blood.  That way, with Jesus Christ as the high priest, as the mediator between the people of God and God, we could come before the throne of God, with clean hands and a pure heart.

Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many, and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27)

So what does one have to do?

Repent and be baptised everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call. (Acts 2:38)

We must acknowledge the true living God, repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ, receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit and be baptised in the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.