As we said on our home page, we believe that Jesus is the Author of our story. This doesn’t mean that we are simply obedient, mindless robots, but that we have chosen to submit our lives to the will of God in order to live at peace in relationship with him. Therefore, it seemed odd to talk about who each of us are, but not talk about the Author of THE story – His story, of which our story is a mere footnote. So if you do not know the Author of our story, allow us to introduce you.
The Author of our story is the Triune God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These are not three separate gods, but one God with three distinct persons. Much like an apple has skin, flesh, and seeds that all comprise the apple, the Father, Son and Spirit all comprise God. Obviously any earthly analogy of the Sovereign God will fall short, but this is a decent analogy as long as one considers that each person of the Godhead, taken independently, is still God. Jesus claimed throughout his earthly life to be God (John 1:1,14, John 10:30, John 5:58-59, John 10:33), and those who followed him worshipped him as God (John 20:28, Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1).
Jesus was not just a great, moral teacher. C.S. Lewis points out that, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell…Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” We believe that He is the Son of God. But why was it necessary that God become a human being?
This Triune God created mankind as the crown of His creation, in His very own image (Gen. 1:27). Because forced love is not love, God allowed mankind to choose to be in covenant relationship with Him or not. Mankind rebelled and chose not to live in relationship with God, and because of this, a great separation happened between God and His creation (Gen. 3). Paul makes it clear that the penalty for sin is death, not just physical death but eternal death (Rom. 3:23). However, right from the beginning of the story, God laid out a rescue plan. In Genesis 3:15, God makes a promise that through the human race, God will intervene to put an end to the separation between Himself and people. The entire Bible is the story of how God fulfills this promise.
This promise was fulfilled in Jesus – God, who put on skin and clothes and entered the human race (Phil. 2:7). Why did he do this? Why couldn’t got have just waved a magic wand and made us right with Him again? The answer is simple: because God is just. God, as a perfectly loving and just God, has to punish sin. As said before, the punishment for sin is death. The entire human race is doomed because each of us will have to pay the price for our sin, which condemns everyone to death. There is no one who is good enough to meet God’s standard – which is perfection (Rom. 3:10).
The solution to this dilemma is Jesus- in his life, death and resurrection. God, being the only perfect One, had to take the punishment for our sin so that we could be restored in relationship to Him. He did this by living a sinless life, submitting Himself to torture and death on the cross, and raising from the dead! In doing this, He conquered death, something that we could not on our own! Now, He offers us the gift of life freely, but this redeemed relationship with God can only come through Jesus. There is no other name that can save (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). This is the Good News, that we do not have to strive to be good enough for a perfect God. We do not need to live in fear, always concerned if we have merited His favor, because His perfect love has cast out all fear (1 John 4:18).
This is what makes Christianity different from every other world religion – free and unmerited grace found only in Jesus. It is profound that God doesn’t just love us, but he likes us! He enjoys us as His creation so much that He was willing to endure a horrific death to pay the price for our sin so we could be set free (John 8:36). Not only did Jesus die for us, and hand us the free gift of restored relationship with Himself, he gave us His Spirit to dwell in our hearts (Romans 8, John 17, Acts 2). It is through His Spirit that we become holy, something that is a life-long process.
Jesus offers this free gift of grace and salvation to anyone who chooses to make Him their Lord and Savior. This Good News is for the desperate, those who realize that they are never going to be good enough, who are aware of their sin and their shortcomings and are desperate for rescue (Luke 5:31). Because God has to punish sin as a just God, you have a choice to either be punished for your own sin, or accept that Jesus was punished on your behalf. Until you accept the sacrifice of Jesus, the wrath of God remains on you (Eph. 2:3). By choosing to let Jesus take your sin which brought you death, you exchange your old self for a new self and inherit eternal life with God (Eph. 4:22-24)!
For more information on this process, click here:
Since we (Ladd and Carley) have both made this decision to follow Jesus, we are compelled into obey His commands, which includes taking this saving news to all the nations (Matthew 28:16-20). We obey Jesus not in order to be loved, but because we are loved. However, even though we have entered into relationship with Him, we still have our flesh fighting against Him, desiring to do things our way instead of His way (Romans 7). This means that our story is messy and broken and full of mistakes. We trust that God is faithful to use even our worst mistakes for His glory, and we can rest knowing that the road to holiness is marked by potholes.
This story is all about our God who is “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin (Ex. 34:6).” It is in response to this beautiful free gift that we lay down our lives to Jesus, “the Author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).” We hope that if you have not met our Author, you would choose to meet Him today and let Him write your story.
Please reach out to either of us if you have any questions concerning this process!