As we come to the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, I pray that you know the good news of Jesus Christ. This good news is rooted in the truth about the one true God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. This God has revealed himself to us in the Bible, and he has revealed himself as Triune – Father, Son, and Spirit. He is one in essence, and he is three in person. Most basically, the Triune God has revealed himself to be holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6, Revelation 4). This means God is different, unique, one-of-a-kind, set apart, pure, and whole.
According to the Bible, the one true God created human beings in his image and his likeness. And, according to the Bible, our first parents defiantly chose to reject God’s good plan for their lives. Rather than listening to the Creator, our first parents listened to a beast of the field – a beast later revealed as Satan, the devil, and the ancient serpent (Revelation 12). Tragically, the sin of our first parents has been passed down to all of their descendants (Romans 5). This means that all of us are born with a sin nature. We sin because we are sinners, and we are all dead in our trespasses and sins, completely unable to save ourselves from the wrath of Almighty God.
Thankfully, in the fullness of time, God sent his only Son to be born of a virgin (Galatians 4). In the miracle and the mystery of the incarnation, the eternal Son of God took on humanity without giving up his divinity. Jesus was the God-man, truly God and truly man, and he lived a life of perfect obedience to the law of God. Not only did Jesus live the life of obedience we all fail to live, but Jesus also died a sacrificial, substitutionary death that we might live. Jesus became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5). Jesus was cursed for us (Galatians 3). Jesus died that we might live.
The call of Jesus on your life is remarkably simple. Repent of your sin and believe the good news. Repentance involves a change of mind. This change of mind takes place when you confess your sin to God and agree with God about the gravity of your sin. Rather than making excuses or blaming others, you simply agree with God about your sin problem. Believing the good news means you believe that Jesus is who the Bible says he is, that he lived a life of perfect obedience, that he died a sacrificial death on the cross, that he rose from the dead, and that he will come again to judge the living and the dead. Repent, and believe (Mark 1).
If, by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, you will repent of your sin and believe the good news, you will be saved. God will forgive you of all your sins, declare you righteous, adopt you into his family as a child, fill you with the Holy Spirit, and give you eternal life. God will also give you a new purpose in life. That purpose involves living your life for the glory of the Triune God, and that purpose involves bearing witness to the truth about who God is and what he has done to save sinners. That purpose is summed up with two words: worship and mission. I pray that these two words mark your life in 2023.