There seems to be increasing awareness and evidence that, in these times of turbulence, violence and evil marking today’s society, even laudable efforts to improve man’s state socially are not succeeding. Legislation, social programs, rehabilitation must be viewed in their proper setting. These deal with the external, the outward manifestations of human behavior but are not designed nor can they address the spiritual malady of the inner man. The Apostle Paul in one short phrase identified the root problem possessed by every person… “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23 NIV). That is the Divine assessment concerning all humanity.
Now what? There is a Way which transforms mankind from a position of unrighteousness to that of righteousness. Upon stating the status of all humanity, the Apostle states the remedy … “and are (all) justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24 NIV). No one presented this Truth more succinctly than Jesus Himself as He encouraged and reassured His disciples on the eve of His arrest … “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NIV).
This was not the pronouncement of bigotry, but one that eliminated any doubt and confusion as to the one means of relationship with God. Mankind need not fear which of the many ways as seen in other religions would produce such an outcome. Man did not need to reach up to God, nor was that possible, for God, in Jesus Christ, had come down to man. To the Philippian churches Paul wrote … “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross” (Phil 2:6-8 NIV)! That which could give all humanity a relationship with God would be through faith in a Person, in His accomplished Work and not by the best in human effort.
Writing to Titus, Paul reminded his fellow pastor … “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11 NIV). This good news was not limited to a few select people based on nationality, race, gender or social standing, but to “all.” Neither was it dependent of human achievement … “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:4-5a NIV). To possess the benefits of His love, mercy and grace only required an act of the individual’s will … “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved – and your household (if they believe also)” (Acts 16:31 NIV).
A decision is required from each person either to believe that Christ died for their sins, was buried and rose again or to reject that He is the only Way. God leaves it to one’s choice -- some will say no … “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 NIV). God had designed His gift of a Savior exactly as He desired so that all mankind would face only one issue in life … “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he: (Matt 22:42 NIV)?
Jesus asked that question to His disciples. Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt 16:16 NIV). By faith the disciples had embraced the good news that could transform the inner man. The Word taught, learned and applied would affect a new way of thinking, for …“It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12 NIV).