True Beauty: Possess it Now and Forever
Do you feel disillusioned with the culture's emphasis on outer beauty? You are justified in that opinion!
Do you wonder how it is possible to possess inner beauty that will not fade with time?
There is a measure of your worth that is different from the world's assessment, and that is in the eyes of God.
"God does not view things the way men do. People look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7b,c NET Bible).
God has told us in the Bible how we can achieve the inner beauty he wants for us.
The Bible says that God created us, both men and women, in His image. He desires to have a personal relationship with us.
However, mankind chose to disobey God. God is holy, and the ugliness of disobedience in our lives destroys our relationship with God. We sin when we are not perfectly obedient to God's standards of holiness. We all have a problem with sin in our lives.
For instance, have you ever lied to your parents, your children, or a friend? Have you cheated on a school assignment, in a business transaction, or by not reporting a significant error for which you were responsible? Have you stolen something that belonged to a friend, a store, or your workplace? Have you ever wished that you had something that belonged to a friend, or gossiped about someone?
These are just a few examples of ways that God does not want us to behave. As you can see, sin does not have to be what you might consider really bad, like murder or adultery. Any time we fall short of God's perfection, we have sinned.
The Bible says, "…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
In fact, our sin not only destroys our relationship with God, but actually causes our death.
"For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
What we have earned (our payoff) for our disobedience is eternal death, which is being separated from God forever.
God himself provided the way for our sins to be forgiven. He sent his own Son, Jesus Christ, who came to earth and lived a perfect and sinless life.
Although he did not deserve to die, and although he could have avoided death, he willingly suffered an agonizing death on a cross.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
He loved you enough to die for you long ago. He knew that you would have a problem with sin. He knew that you would need a way to be forgiven so that you could be with our holy God forever in heaven.
"God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead. He appeared to many people after he came back to life, to demonstrate his power over sin and death.
"Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and … he was buried, and … he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).
All of the work has been done by Jesus Christ.
How do we obtain this free gift of forgiveness and eternal life?
"For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
Grace is favor which you have done nothing to deserve. Saved means that you are delivered from the penalty of sin, which is death. Faith means trusting that something is true.
We receive this magnificent free gift of forgiveness and eternal life by merely trusting in Jesus alone to set us free from the penalty of sin, and to give us eternal life.
Remember that there is nothing you can do on your own to earn God's favor. This means that no act that you do—not your church attendance, the church rituals, nor all of your good deeds—can restore your relationship with God.
It is only by trusting in Jesus Christ, who died for your sins and rose from the dead, that you are forgiven for your sins and that you obtain eternal life.
Do you want to trust him now?
Tell God that you are trusting Jesus now.
Your prayer does not save you; your trusting in Jesus Christ saves you. In this prayer, you talk to God about your fresh understanding of your need for Jesus in your life, and you thank God for his free gift.
Tell God, in your own words, that you know you have sinned. Tell him that you believe that Jesus Christ died in your place, taking upon himself the penalty for your sin, and that you believe Jesus Christ arose from the dead. Thank him for forgiving your sins and for his free gift of eternal life. Tell him that you pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
If you have trusted Jesus Christ, the Bible says you have changed inwardly!
"So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
God has promised that you now have eternal life, and that he will never leave you.
You will now want to grow in your new spiritual life. You should grow to be more like Jesus Christ every day.
There are several ways by which you will accomplish this. You do this by talking with God in prayer, by studying God's Word (the Bible), and by being in a church group with other people who have trusted in Jesus Christ and who are also growing spiritually. Additional information on spiritual development may be found in ABC's for Christian Growth on bible.org, or on bible.org's Spiritual Formation supercategory.
You will want to share with others this good news about your new life. You can use this web page as a guide.
It is good to find these verses in your Bible and memorize them. It is through the words of the Bible that people understand how they can be a new person. If you do not own a Bible, you have free access to the NET Bible on bible.org.
Because your inner person is different, it will show in your outward appearance and behavior. It is important to share your good news with confidence.
"But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Yet do it with courtesy and respect …." (1 Peter 3:15).
You have hope because of your faith in Jesus Christ. That is true beauty!
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