WHAT MUST I DO?
- Scripture taken from the New King James Version of the
Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The Reality Of Sin
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the
earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the
deep" (Genesis 1: 1, 2). We read of God's creative work in the
first two chapters of Genesis. God took this creation, which was without form,
and He molded and shaped it. It was void and He filled it. There was darkness
and He brought light. It was lifeless and He made living plants, animals and
creatures. It is evident, from the record in Genesis, that God had a purpose in
His work of creating. This purpose involved the goal of creating everything
necessary to sustain the life of mankind. God even made a special place for the
man and woman (Adam and Eve) to live called the Garden of Eden.
Chapter 3, the Bible describes how Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the
garden of Eden. He had given them special instructions concerning one tree from
which they could not eat. Their disobedience resulted in the loss of man's
special place (the garden of Eden) in the world and it also resulted in the loss
of an intimate relationship with God. This separation between God and man
occurred as a result of sinfulness. The deceitfulness of sin is so alluring that
all of mankind is affected by it. Paul declares in Romans 3: 23, "For
all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." James reminds
us that sin is the result of our own choice, "But each one is tempted
when he is drawn away by his own desires. Then, when desire has conceived, it
gives birth to sin..." (James 1: 14, 15a).
There is a price, or penalty, which is required of everyone
that sins. Paul states in Romans 6: 23, "For the wages of sin is
death..." James agrees that sin causes death when he writes,
sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1: 15b).
Sin, in the garden of Eden, initially caused physical death for human beings.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they were no longer allowed access to the tree of life
Chapter 3). From that day on, mankind has had to experience aging and then at some
point death. But sin has caused more than just physical death. It
has also caused spiritual death. This type death involves our soul suffering the
punishment of our sinfulness for all eternity.
What was God's reaction to the sinfulness of man? The Bible
tells us His nature requires Him to be righteous and just, but we are also told
of His love and mercy. These characteristics led Him to envision and execute a
plan which would allow for justice to be served and at the same time allow Him
to be loving and merciful to all of mankind (Romans
3: 25, 26). One of the most startling facts revealed to us in the Bible
is God's knowing that man would sin against Him (1
Peter 1: 17 - 21). Yet, God was still willing to create us, even though
our sinfulness would cost Him a tremendous price.
God's plan required that He send His Son to this world. Jesus
experienced all of life, including its temptations and burdens (Hebrews
4: 15). He then suffered crucifixion on the cross so that He could
become the sacrifice for the whole world. Jesus not only provided the sacrifice
necessary to destroy our record of sinfulness, but He has also shown to us the
results of obeying God. If we are willing to obey God, just as Jesus did, we
will one day rise from the grave and live eternally in heaven, just as He does
On the Day of Pentecost, following Jesus' death, Peter
addressed a large group of people gathered together in Jerusalem (Acts
2: 14 - 41). He reminded them of Godís approval of Jesus and His
message through the working of miracles, wonders and signs. Peter then declared
their guilt of having crucified Jesus, even though He had been sent by God.
Would we have crucified Jesus today? Yes, we would have!
During His life on earth, Jesus kept God's law perfectly. In
so doing, He made evident to everyone His belief that God's law was right and
true. We reject God's law daily when we sin. Our sin shows we do not believe
God's law is right and true. Sin is the reason Jesus came and died on the cross.
He shed His blood for our sins, as much as, He died for the sins of those people
on the Day of Pentecost. Therefore, we are as guilty of putting Jesus on the
cross as those who actually cried out for Him to be crucified.
Peter testified to them of God's raising Jesus from the dead,
just as had been prophesied through David. Peter assured them that God had made
Jesus both Lord and Christ. Upon hearing this Gospel message, those listening to
Peter became aware of their sinful actions. They confessed their sinfulness and
their belief in Peter's message by asking, "Men and brethren, what shall we
do?" (Acts 2:
Peter instructed them to, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in
the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts
2: 38). When we continue to read, we discover that "...those who
gladly received his word were baptized" (Acts
2: 41). They understood their need for cleansing and purification from
what they had done.
Examples Of Repentant People
You have to agree that God has done far more than we would
have done. Most of us would not be willing to allow our only son to die for
someone else. We especially would not be willing to show this type of love to
people who have rejected and disobeyed us. Yet, God did it for us! We are the
ones who rebelled against Him and disobeyed His law. We are the ones who left
His side and sold ourselves in slavery to sin. We are the ones who got ourselves
into this horrible mess. Why should He come to our aid and provide a way of
escape? Why should He pay the ultimate price, the death of His precious Son, to
Each one of us must come to the realization that we are
guilty of Christ's suffering and death. Once our heart is convicted of this
truth, it will cause us to ask the same question they asked. What shall we do?
Peter commanded them to do two things. The first was they had to repent.
Repentance involved the regretting of their life of rebellion against God,
deciding they wanted to change their life in order to be pleasing to God and
then acting upon that decision by actually making the necessary changes. A
person's sorrow for sinfulness leads to a decision to change which then leads to
the outward expression of that decision.
Secondly, Peter tells them to be baptized. Baptism is not
just the taking of a bath. Baptism now saves us because it is the answer of a
good conscience toward God (1
Peter 3: 21),it is a participation in the death, burial and
resurrection of Jesus (Romans
6: 3 - 4) and it is the way we are able to wash away our sins (Acts
22: 16). Many people argue about the need for baptism or they try to
come up with reasons why baptism is not necessary. If we are trying to be like
Jesus, should we not want to follow His example? Jesus convinced John the
Baptist to baptize Him in order to "...fulfill all
righteousness" (Matthew 3:
15). Therefore, if we want to be like
Him, we will desire to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness, as well.
Please take the time to prayerfully consider what you should do to be saved.
Throughout the book of Acts, people ask what they should or must do. In each of
the instances they are told to do something [i.e. Acts
2: 36 - 41; Acts
16: 23 - 34; Acts
22: 6 - 16]. The person who wants to please God must follow His
instructions. They must do His will. Your choice could mean the difference
between life and death -- eternally. If you have questions, please send an E-Mail!
I believe it is that important!
following Quiz has been developed to help you review some of the information you
If you have any questions or suggestions, there is a form following the final
lesson and quiz for you to contact us,
or you can send an e-mail.
Otherwise, thank you for having taken the time to study through this lesson.
Lesson 10 Quiz
By: Bryan Naugle
Please answer the following questions which cover this lesson. You will
be able to see your results as soon as you finish the quiz. Words of
warning: 1. Single answer questions require a ONE WORD answer, and
make sure you have the SPELLING correct! (You may want to highlight
the answer in the above text, copy it and then paste it into the answer box)
2. Even though a dot may appear beside the right answer,
you must go ahead and click on it for the software to recognize it.