In Luke 15:13, a younger son decided that he would live to please himself, and not his father. So, he left his father and he went to a distant country. He no longer wanted his father’s attention, so he separated himself from his father.
To be ‘far away from God’ is a word-picture. We cannot really escape from God (Psalm 139:7-12; Jonah chapter 1). However, we can refuse to accept his authority over our lives. That happens whenever we choose to do evil things (Isaiah 59:1-2). We are all guilty: because of our wrong and evil acts, words and even thoughts, we turn away from God (Romans 3:9-18). We separate ourselves from God; we even refuse his love and kindness to us.
The Bible urges us to return to God (Isaiah 55:7). However, we cannot do that by our own efforts. It is only possible to return to God because God has made it possible. Romans 5:6-9 tells us that Christ died for us. The blood of Christ is a word-picture for his death. Christ accepted the punishment that we deserve (Isaiah 53:4-6). He did it so that we can receive a right relationship with God. The Bible urges us to turn from our evil deeds and to receive Christ into our lives (Acts 2:38).
God forgives everyone who does that. He gives them a right relationship with himself. He makes them into his sons and daughters (John 1:11-12). He gives them a place of honour and authority that is near to him (2:6). In the future age, God himself will live with them, and they will always be with him (Revelation 21:3-4).
Next part: ‘One new man’ (Ephesians 2:14-15)
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© 2018, Keith Simons.