Jesus Christ does not turn bad people into good people, He turns dead people into alive people.
The Bible tells us we are dead in our sin (Ephesians 2:1). Not just wrong in our sin, not just evil in our sin…dead. Our problem is so much deeper than being people who make mistakes. We are spiritually dead and separated from God. And leaving the earth in that state puts us in a place of being eternally separated from God.
The Bible uses other words to describe our condition.
Not only are we dead, we are weak, or helpless (Isaiah 64:6). We can’t even do anything about our condition. No doctor, no medicine, no surgery, no seminar, no religious activity can fix it. This flies in the face of everything we want to believe. We want to think that we have the ability to fix ourselves. Dead people can’t fix anything.
We are also ungodly, or lawbreakers (1 John 3:4). This is bigger than jaywalking or littering. This is violating the holy standard of a Holy God! “I am not that bad! I know people much worse than me.” God isn’t comparing you to them. He compares you to His standard, which is holy perfection.
We are also, by nature, God’s enemy (Romans 8:7). Let that one sink in! I wouldn’t want my neighbor to be my enemy, he could do some harm. I wouldn’t want a Navy Seal to be my enemy, he could do even more harm! But the Almighty God of the universe…! That is the last thing I would want, but by nature, we are enemies of God!
And this is what makes the Gospel of Jesus Christ so glorious. Through Jesus Christ and Him alone, God turned all this around.
Read Romans 5:6-11, notice I highlighted the words I just mentioned, and I also highlighted what we have become through Christ.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
We were helpless, but God provided the power in Christ, and in Him we are strong (Colossians 1:11).
We were sinners, but God provided the substitute in Christ, and in Him we are righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We were God’s enemy, but He provided restoration in Christ, and in Him we are friends of God (James 2:23).
We were dead, but God provided life through Christ (Romans 6:5).
What side of the cross are you on? Have you cried out to God for the restoration that He offers freely through Christ, believing in what Jesus accomplished through His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead?
Do you want to remain a dead, helpless, sinning enemy of God, or become an alive, strong, righteous friend of God?
A choice must be made. It is literally a matter of life and death.