The Bad News and the Good News
July 16, 1998 • By Ed Wrather
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23 NKJV.
Before we can have salvation, we must first realize our need for a Savior. Before we can be forgiven of our sins, we must first realize that we have sinned.
One of my first experiences with sin that I remember was when I was four or five years old. My mother had brought us with her to do the shopping and I noticed a large glass bowl full of small knives. These knives were shiny and glittery. The green one was the one that I wanted. But it cost five cents and I didn't have five cents and I knew my mother wouldn't give me the money. So, I reached into the bowl and took the green knife. I was a thief. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway. It was definitely sin.
Usually, I can tell that story to a group of people and ask them if they have ever stolen anything and most will hold up their hand. I can then ask if they have ever disobeyed their parents and usually the rest will hold up their hands. Or, have they ever cheated, or lied, or deceived anyone?
I was a Christian, but I still remember having a discussion with a man working with me early in my Christian life. In this discussion I came to realize that it wasn't just the things that I did or didn't do that could be sin. I suddenly realized that I could sin through my thoughts. Taking those thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) was not an easy thing to do. At that point there was clearly a war raging between my old nature and my new nature.
Most of us can agree that we have sinned, and if we have sinned, we need a Savior because the apostle Paul also tells us in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death...." I'm glad that Paul goes on to tell us in Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Have you sinned? Have you called upon the name of the Lord? Do you know someone else that needs a Savior? Why not let them in on the Good News? I wish I had heard about it when I was a little boy with a green knife in my pocket.