By Dr. Gary M. Barker

Many people will admit that they commit sin and are, therefore sinners. However, most sinners are not aware of the biblical penalty for sin in the sight of God. Today in society, many people do not clearly know what sin is according to the Bible. 

1 John 3:4 declares that sin is lawlessness. It is disobeying a scriptural law of God. For example, murder, lying, and stealing are sins because these actions are violations of the ten commandments. God has pronounced that the penalty of sin is spiritual death and separation from God in a place of judgment called hell: “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). 

Jesus clearly taught that sinners were condemned in sin and would perish and go to hell if they didn’t believe in Him as their Savior (John 3:16-18). Jesus said that He was sent into the world not to condemn sinners but to save them from condemnation: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but that world through Him might be SAVED.” This is how a sinner is saved from sin’s penalty of condemnation. The apostle Paul declared in Ephesians 2:1-6 that every sinner is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins but God in His mercy and grace has provided a way to escape sin’s condemnation. Salvation or deliverance from sin’s penalty has been provided thru Christ. This deliverance is called the ‘GOSPEL” in the New Testament. The word literally means the proclamation of “good news.” The apostle Paul clearly discusses the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. The gospel is good news because it saves a sinner from sin’s condemnation. 

It is a blessed truth to know that I can be forgiven of my sins and go to heaven instead of going to hell. The gospel proclaims that Jesus paid sin’s penalty thru His substitutionary death for sin. Jesus died, was buried, and rose again, proving that God accepted His payment for sin. Jesus was punished for our sins so that we could be forgiven and avoid sin’s punishment. This is the true concept of salvation. 

Salvation is a gift of grace and is received by believing the gospel. The gospel, when believed, “is the power of God to Salvation for every one who believes.” (Romans 1:16). When a sinner personally believes the gospel, he becomes justified as a completely righteous person before God (Romans 3:24, 5:1-9). God gives a believer Christ’s righteousness and takes away sin’s penalty and condemnation (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is the “GREATEST NEWS” God has ever shared with the world. Theologically this is called “Justification” which we will discuss in my next meditation. 

I hope you have been saved from sin’s penalty and if not, Believe the Gospel and be saved today!

Getting through this together, Paso Robles