The Right Clothing
Grandes lignes: Story of creation and the entrance of sin. Prodigal son. The only acceptable clothing is the garment of salvation. Receive Christ and you will be accepted in Heaven.
|Numéro de texte:||MM13|
|Thème:||Resurrection of Jesus; Saviour of Sinful Men; Nature, character of God; Ascension; Creation; Prophecy, fulfillment of; Death of Christ; Faith, trust, believe in Jesus; Satan (the devil)|
|Genre:||Bible Stories & Teac|
Ce texte est la directive de base pour la traduction et l'enregistrement dans des langues étrangères. Il devrait être adapté selon différentes cultures pour garder sa pertinence. Certains termes peuvent être ajoutés ou retirés pour parfaire le résultat.
My dear friends and countrymen. First of all, I want to bring you greetings of peace and news of joy for your life. I have something very important to tell you. Please listen to me very carefully. You may be wondering what the purpose of life is. You may ask yourself, "Why am I here? How did this world get here? Is there anyone who can solve my problems? Why do I face sickness and death? Can God be really merciful to me? Is it possible for me to know the great God Who created the universe? How can I have my sins forgiven and find peace? My friends, I can help you by telling you a true story. It is the story of the love of God to all people, to you, me and everyone. Yes, my dear friends, God loves_you!_ It is because He loves you that He created you in order to have fellowship with you!
In the Holy Book of God we read that God Himself made heaven and earth. All He needed to do was to speak and everything came into being. He created everything we see around us. He also created all people. He created you and me.
GOD IS GREAT. He has always been there, and He always will be there. God can see everything. He can even see you. God can hear you too. If you will speak to Him, He will listen to you. God speaks as well. What He says is true. You can trust Him to speak only the truth because He is truth. People are limited. They cannot do everything, but God can, because He is the Almighty. He knows everything and He understands everything. God is holy. There is nothing unclean in Him. He is completely righteous.
GOD IS LOVE. God is not like a human being. He is not created. He is there from eternity. When He created us, He gave us a mind to reason with, a heart to love with, a conscience with which to distinguish good from evil, and a will to choose to do what is right. That is the reason why you are very important to God. He made you different from everyone else so you are precious to Him. When God created you, He created you for Himself...So there is a real definite purpose for your life.
Now you might ask, "Why do I have problems though I try to obey God?" or "If God is good, then why is there wickedness?" It is true that God is good and what He has created is good and beautiful, but someone came to try to spoil everything. Wickedness does not come from God. Because God is holy, righteous and love, He cannot do anything wicked. For example: God cannot lie or act unjustly, nor will He cause people to sin.
In the beginning when God created our first parents, Adam and Eve, they lived together in perfect harmony. There was only peace and joy. But there was one thing that Adam and Eve were not supposed to do. They were not allowed to eat from a certain tree in the beautiful garden where they lived because God had said to Adam, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 2: 16, 17) So God gave Adam and Eve a free will so that they could choose to obey Him or to disobey Him. He also told them that if they did not obey Him the result would be death.
The one who came to destroy what God has done is called Satan. Satan came into the garden and caused Eve to doubt God's word. He said to Eve, "Did God really say, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'" (Gen. 3:1) As Eve listened to Satan she began to doubt God's love. Both Adam and Eve took Satan's word more seriously than God's word because they chose to disobey God and obey Satan. When they disobeyed, sin came into their hearts and the result was that they were separated from God. And since that time everyone has been born with a sinful heart and because of that everyone on this earth is separated from God. In the Holy Bible, it is written: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
You too are separated from God. You know what it is to be jealous, or be critical, or be a gossip, or to trick people. All these things and probably many other bad things are in your heart and are the reason why you are separated from God. Everyone of us is a sinner before God.
Now, my friends, listen carefully. God has Good News for you. He loved you so much that He did not want you to be separated from Him. So, He made a way for you to come back to Him.
Let us think again about Adam and Eve. It is written in the Holy Bible that when they disobeyed God and sinned they suddenly knew that they were naked. They were ashamed and made clothes out of leaves to cover themselves. Because they sinned against God they became afraid of Him and tried to hide from Him, but God called them. He said that because they disobeyed Him, now they had to be separated from Him. And the result of that separation meant death. However, because God still loved Adam and Eve, He said He would provide a way of salvation from death for them.
Then God took an animal and killed it. As it lay there Adam probably asked, "What is the matter? Why doesn't it breathe? Why doesn't it move?" God probably had to tell Adam and Eve that this is death. You see, they had never seen anything die before. Then God made proper clothing for Adam and Eve from the skin of that animal. The clothing that they had made themselves was unacceptable to God. So an animal had to die. Blood had to be shed. But this did not cleanse away Adam and Eve's sin... this only covered their sin. God told them that one day their sins would be taken away by a perfect sacrifice. Just the blood of an animal to cover their sins would not be enough. A perfect sacrifice had to be offered.
You may ask, what is the perfect sacrifice? Did God send a perfect sacrifice? You see, God is just and righteous. Sin must be punished, and God has said that the payment for sin is death. But God also desires to have fellowship with us. So how could He work these two things out? On one side we are separated from Him because we are sinners, and on the other side He desires to have fellowship with us. So He sent Jesus to earth. The Holy Book says this about Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world." (John 1:29) Jesus was without sin, and while on earth, He was the only One Who never sinned. He was perfect. Therefore He alone could make the perfect sacrifice to take away our sins. Jesus died, giving His life as payment for our sins.
How did it happen that He died? One day the religious leaders of that time, who were angry men and jealous of Jesus, sent soldiers to arrest Him. The soldiers took Jesus to Pilate, the governor, who examined Him. The governor said, "I find no fault in this man. I will punish Him and let Him go." But the people answered, "Many people are following this man. If you let Him go, you will not be the king's friend." And the crowd cried out that He should be crucified. Led by the soldiers, Jesus carried His own cross to the place of crucifixion. Many people followed Him. Jesus was nailed to the cross by His hands and feet and left there to die.
Was He not able to save Himself from His enemies? Of course He was able, but He knew it was written about Him in God's Word long ago, "For the transgression of my people He was stricken." (Isaiah 53:8) These words were fulfilled in Jesus. Even as He hung on the cross Jesus prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them because they do not know what they are doing". At noon it became dark all over the earth. At mid-afternoon, 3 hours later, Jesus said, "Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit." And then He died. The earth shook and the sky became light again. After Jesus died, His body was taken down off the cross and buried in a tomb. The tomb was sealed and guarded by soldiers.
But three days after Jesus died a very wonderful thing happened. He rose from the dead! Many people saw Him. He talked and ate with His followers. He was on earth for 40 days and then He returned to Heaven to be with God. God had accepted this perfect sacrifice of Jesus for our sins and God brought Him back to life. Now Jesus is alive forever and wants you to believe in Him as your Saviour.
SIDE B Let us think about Adam and Eve again. After they had sinned they knew that they needed to be clothed. So they made their own clothes out of leaves. But this clothing that they made for themselves was not proper clothing, and it was not acceptable to God. Just as He had to make new clothing in order for Adam and Eve to be acceptable to Him, we too must be clothed by Him alone.
What are the clothes that cover you? Is it something that you made yourself? If it is, then you are like Adam and Eve. You too are unacceptable. But God loves you and this amazing love is shown in a parable that Jesus, the Lamb of God, spoke while He was here on earth. A parable is a story which helps us to understand a certain truth. This parable gives a picture of the love and compassion of God,and how we can be welcomed as sons and daughters into His presence. This is the parable that Jesus told.
There was a father who had two sons. The older son worked in his father's fields, but the younger son did not want to obey and serve him father. So he asked his father for his share of the inheritance, took the money, and went as far away from his father as he could. In this distant country he wasted all his money in wicked ways, and became penniless. When he had nothing left, there came a famine in the land where he was, and he began to starve. He was so hungry that he was forced to become a keeper of pigs, and was even ready to eat the food the pigs ate. Then in his misery he began to think of his home where the servants all have plenty to eat. He no doubt also remembered his father's love for him.
Up until this time He thought he had done a good thing in leaving his home and seeking freedom for himself. But suddenly "He came to himself, and said, 'I will arise, I will return to my father.'" (Luke 15:18) His eyes were opened, and he saw how foolish and also how sinful he had been in treating his kind father as he had done. His mind completely changed, and instead of wanting to disobey his father and go away from him, he wished to become his obedient servant. Instead of staying far away from his home, he decided to return and confess his sin to his father. After having done so many wicked things he thought he did not deserve to return as a son any more but as a servant. So one day he arose and left the pigs and the dirty life he had been leading, and started off toward his father's house.
He was still a long way from home when his father saw him, and with great joy ran out to meet him, and hugged and kissed his son. The son said, "Father, I have sinned against heaven (that is, God) and against you and am not worthy to be your son!" But the father said to his servants, "Quick, bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; He was lost and is found." So they began to celebrate." (Luke 15:22-24)
Dear friends, in this parable the father is a picture of God, the heavenly Father. And the son represents us, the human race who has sinned against God. God the Father waits for you too. He is waiting to clothe you with the robe of righteousness which he has provided through Jesus Christ. But, first you must turn to Him and confess your wicked ways and forsake them so that God can cover you with that robe of righteousness.
The only clothing which is acceptable to God is faith in Jesus Christ because Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me." (John 14:6) Jesus also said that He would not reject anyone who comes to Him. That means that anyone who hates his sin and turns from it and believes on Jesus Christ as his Saviour will surely be forgiven. Faith in Jesus means that you leave your own ways and that you commit yourself to Him and follow Him only. What will you choose today?
Jesus said, "Come unto Me, all ye that are heavy laden." (Matthew 11:28) If you decide to come to Jesus Christ and accept Him as Saviour, you can pray to Him in this way, "Saviour Jesus Christ, thank you for dying for me and shedding your blood for the cleansing of my sins. Now I turn away from my sins and come to you for forgiveness. I want you to be my Saviour. Please come and live in my heart. I want to obey and follow you all the days of my life. Amen." If you pray this prayer, Jesus will hear you and when you die, He will take you to heaven to be with Him always. There will be no more sorrow, sickness and suffering there, only peace and joy forever.