When the first people sinned, they violated the perfect relationship between God and humans. People were made for God, and for God’s purposes, but people did not live in the way God desired. When we fail to live for God’s purposes, we are guilty of sin! We know that “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and that “there is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). Without God, we are hopelessly filthy! We have fallen short of God’s glory! In our own strength we have no way of making ourselves clean.
God didn’t leave us in our hopeless condition! When we were completely helpless, God came to earth as a man named Jesus! Jesus was God’s Son. Jesus came and showed us the way to God. Jesus lived perfectly and then died like a sinner to pay for the consequences of our sins! Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven for all the bad things we have done. “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). Today, each person can receive the free gift of God’s forgiveness through Christ and His blood.
In our sins, we were born as children of wrath. Just as children inherit their parents' characteristics, both good and bad, all people inherit the sins that started with the first people. Because of this, we were born deserving of severe punishment and the wrath of God. But today we can be children of God through Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26). “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). We once were isolated from God and caught in our sins, but today, through Christ, we can now joyfully be called sons and daughters of God. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
The Bible speaks often of what will happen to humans after their lives on earth are over and of eternity. Some people think that we will no longer exist after we die. Other people think that everyone will go to a good place. The Bible says clearly that those who know Jesus will go to a place called heaven for eternity. Heaven is a perfect place, much like the perfect place that the first humans originally lived in. There will be no pain, and no suffering! For eternity, people who love and know God will be with Him in heaven! The Bible describes this perfect place where those who love God and know Him will one day dwell, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).
The first blessing from God was that humans “be fruitful and multiply” on the earth. From the beginning God has desired humans to produce fruit. This doesn’t mean that God wants us each to be farmers and to grow fruit! Rather, what the Bible talks about is spiritual fruit. An early Christian leader named Paul once prayed for the church that they would “live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10) We bear fruit when we do good works, through Christ, and impact our world with the love and truth of God. The Bible also talks about the “fruit of the Spirit.” The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, or self-control (Galatians 5). God gives us a blessing to be fruitful, and we need God’s help to actually see this blessing come about! The Holy Spirit will enable us to bear good fruit.
Today, even though we are forgiven of our sins and are brought into the family of God, we still need help from God. The Bible says that before Jesus went back into heaven, He promised to give us the Holy Spirit. “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26). In the Bible it says that the Holy Spirit actually dwells within us (Ezekiel 36:26-27). We no longer walk with God in the flesh, like people were able to 2,000 years ago. God told us that the Holy Spirit would be better for us than if God actually walked with us as a human. Today, the Bible says we are temples of God and God actually lives inside of us. The Holy Spirit dwells within us and helps us live fruitful lives in relationship with God.