The Bridge to Eternal Life

A Summary of the Bible's Message

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;

And the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

(Isaiah 53:6, written 700 B.C.)



A. MAN’S PROBLEM “… each of us has turned to his own way…” (Isaiah 53:6a)


1. GOD & MAN: TOGETHER   In the beginning, everything was perfect. God created the first man and woman with certain characteristics which set them apart from the animal world. For example, God breathed into man an eternal spirit, a creative mind, heart-felt emotions and a free will. These characteristics made it possible for God and man to enjoy communication and fellowship with each other. In the beginning, God and man were close friends.

“God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…" So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26,27)

God gave to man the responsibility and privilege to choose whether or not he would honor, love and obey his Creator-Owner. God (who didn’t create man to be a robot) commanded,

"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)


2. GOD & MAN: SEPARATED Adam and Eve chose to listen to Satan and to disobey God. They followed their own way instead of God’s way. The Bible calls this sin. God is holy and cannot ignore sin. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they died spiritually. Their sin separated them from God. After man disobeyed God, the Bible says:

“the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid…"” (Gen. 3:8-10)

“…Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

The close relationship between man and God was broken. Sin created a great divide between man and God. Do you understand why? Many people recognize that there is some kind of a gap, but don’t understand the seriousness of it. Many try to bridge this gap by doing (or by not doing) certain things. But what does God’s Book say?

How can this gap between man and God be bridged?

B. GOD’S SOLUTION “…and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6b)

To discover God’s solution for our sin problem, we must not ignore 4 foundational truths about God and man…

1. GOD IS HOLY   The majestic Creator-Owner of the Universe is a loving, merciful God, but He is also a holy Lawgiver and a righteous Judge. His justice demands that all His laws be kept perfectly—24 hours a day, seven days a week. God’s mercy cannot contradict God’s justice. All sin must be punished. Only perfect, holy people can live with a perfect, holy God.

  “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” (1 John 1:5,6)

. . . without holiness no one will see the Lord… Our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:14, 29)

2. MAN IS A HELPLESS SINNER   As descendants of Adam, we are far from perfect; we are sinful creatures, separated from our holy Creator. By ourselves, we have no way to bridge the gap between us and God. From the beginning, God’s uncompromising “law of sin and death” (Genesis 2:16,17; Romans 8:2) made it clear that even one act of disobedience would produce death. Death means separation. Man is spiritually dead—separated from God, the Source of Life.

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned…” (Romans 5:12)

“Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die…” (2 Sam. 14:14)

God is pure and holy. A single sin is as awful to God as a single drop of cyanide would be to us in a glass of water. Adding some clean water to the poisoned water will not fix the problem! Likewise, no amount of good deeds, prayer and fasting can fix our sin & death problem. God cannot tolerate sin. Man must die and face God’s righteous judgment. We are helpless sinners.

“The soul who sins is the one who will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4)

“Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27)

“…Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

Sin is such an offensive thing to God that the penalty not only requires the separated sinner to die physically, but also eternally. God’s Word calls this “the second death” because it is a state of eternal separation from God.

"The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15)

Because man was created to live forever, and because we are sinners, the uncompromising “law of sin and death” demands that we “pay” sin’s penalty for all eternity. We are helpless to save ourselves from the awful consequences of sin. This is not good news. We need a way whereby our sin debt can be removed, without compromising God’s holy laws. We need a way to bridge the gap.

3. GOD HAS PROVIDED A SOLUTION   God Himself has made a way so we can be brought into a holy relationship with Him and escape the “second death.” God’s solution for man’s sin problem not only displays His great mercy and love, but also demonstrates His perfect holiness and justice. On the same day that Adam and Eve sinned, God promised to send into the world a deliverer (the Messiah). He would be born of “the seed of the woman.” He would not have a human father. He would come from Heaven. He would not be tainted with the sin nature common to all of Adam’s descendants. God’s plan was to visit the world in human form. He would do this by causing His Word to become flesh. Many reject this. Nonetheless, this is the central message of the Scriptures of the prophets.  Once you understand this, the proverbial pieces of the puzzle fall into place. The Scriptures of the prophets (the Bible) makes perfect sense. The One true God is not limited by time and space. He can be in more than one place at a time. The Scriptures are filled with pictures and prophecies about God’s plan to send us a perfect, all-powerful Savior.

“The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (meaning ‘God with us’)… The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. …For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 7:14; 9:2,6 [Written 700 B.C.])

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. …The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. … No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known… He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:1-5,14,18,10-13)


In the time chosen by God, He sent forth the promised Messiah. “The Word became flesh.” His name was Jesus, meaning “God saves.” He was unequaled in every way—in His conception and character, in His authoritative words and miraculous works, and in His death, resurrection and ascension. As the only man who never sinned, Jesus the Messiah came to pay the eternal death penalty for Adam’s race. This was God’s plan—a plan foreshadowed in thousands of years of animal sacrifices and foretold in hundreds of prophecies.


“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood [death payment] there is no forgiveness [of man’s sin debt].” (Hebrews 9:22)


In order to satisfy “the law of sin and death”, God brought in another law. It was called “the law of the sin offering” (Leviticus 6:25). This law taught that God would accept the blood of an innocent animal as a temporary payment for sin. This was God’s way of punishing sin without punishing the sinner. This was also God’s way of teaching man just how serious sin is. Sin can only be paid with death; not with good deeds. Thus, for thousands of years, those who believed God, offered up innocent lambs on altars as sacrifices for sin. But, since the value of a lamb is not equal to that of man, such animal blood could only atone for (cover) sin; it could not remove sin. A better and more perfect sacrifice would be required.


1000 years before the Messiah came, the prophet David prophesied that the Lord, the Messiah would suffer and die; that His “hands and feet” would be “pierced” (see Psalm 22; see also Psalm 2, 16 and 110).


700 years before Jesus was born, God inspired the prophet Isaiah to pen these words about the Messiah…

“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? …he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth… He was assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53)


In the Gospel record, Jesus is called the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Jesus did not come merely to cover sin, but to take it away. Jesus Himself said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)


Jesus is the Savior of whom all the prophets wrote. Because He had no sin of His own for which to die, He could die for another’s sin. And because He was the infinite eternal Word of God in a human body, He could pay an infinite price—for the whole world. In His great love, He came to die in my place and yours—to take sin’s penalty and consequences on Himself. On a Roman cross, Jesus the Messiah paid the penalty for all sin for all time.

Just as God provided a ram to die in the place of Abraham’s son (Genesis 22), so Jesus died in our place, as our substitute. On the cross, Jesus said, "It is finished!" (John 19:30) This statement, in its original language, can also be translated, “Paid in full!” Jesus Christ satisfied the symbolism of Abraham’s sacrifice and the millions of other animal sacrifices. He fulfilled the prophecies about the suffering Messiah. He paid your sin-debt in full. He has bridged the gap.

“…Christ suffered for you… He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats… Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (1 Peter 2:21,22; 3:18)

But Jesus did not remain dead. His glorious resurrection on the third day gave proof that His death payment for sin was sufficient. He conquered sin’s penalty—death itself! After Jesus rose from the dead, He said…

"Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." (Revelation 1:17-18)

As the One who has paid sin’s penalty and conquered death, the Lord Jesus offers helpless sinners the free gift of eternal life. He has, by Himself, bridged the gap. Man can enjoy a close relationship with His Creator. In the time before Messiah, people’s relationship was restored with God by believing what God would do for them in sending a Savior (looking forward). They showed their faith in God by offering up the blood of innocent lambs as covering for sin. Today we can be brought into a relationship with God by believing what He has done for us (looking backward). To those who believe, God says this of your sin debt: “PAID IN FULL!”

This is God’s Good News. Yet many continue to ask, “So what must we do for God so that God will give us this eternal life? Doesn’t He require prayers, confession, fasting, baptism, giving alms, and the like, so that we can live with Him forever? If we promise to change our behavior, will this make us righteous before God?”

The Bible’s clear answer is: “NO!”  The Scripture says:

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (Proverbs 14:12)

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

While good works will certainly be produced in the lives of true believers, they are not the means by which sinners are made acceptable to God. We cannot produce a perfect kind of righteousness that is equal to God’s standard of righteousness. He demands perfection. Still we hear people say: “Well, what if I work real hard at keeping the Ten Commandments? Will God give me eternal life then? Won’t that bridge the gap?”

Again the answer is “NO!” God’s Word says . . .

"Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." (James 2:10)
“Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.” (Deuteronomy 27:26)

“All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." (Galatians 3:10,11)

We may think we live “good” lives, but God’s standard is PERFECTION. As sinners we fall far short of what God requires for a person to live in His holy presence.


“The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men… All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one [of Adam’s race] who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:2,3)

“So then, just what does God require of me? How can this gap be bridged?”

The answer is found in the forth basic element of God’s message…

4. MAN MUST BELIEVE IN GOD'S SOLUTION   God wants me to admit that I cannot save myself, and He wants me to trust HIM and HIS SOLUTION. Just as people who lived in the time before Christ were declared righteous when they believed God and His plan (showing their faith by bringing sacrificial lambs), so God will declare you righteous, the moment you truly believe that the Lord Jesus died in your place on the cross, paying the death penalty for your sin. Jesus, the Word of God in flesh, declared from the cross, “IT IS FINISHED!” If you believe God’s message, He will give you the right to live forever with Him in Heaven.

“Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)

“All the prophets testify about him (Jesus the Messiah) that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43)

Jesus said:

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

…I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

…I tell you the truth; he who believes has everlasting life.

…Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me... I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 3:14,15; 5:24; 6:47; 14:1,6)

"This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life…. I write these things to you who believe … so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:11-13)

Jesus fulfilled God’s age-old plan by paying our sin penalty in full. God’s Good News for YOU is that the moment you believe (trust, rest in, place your confidence in) HIS way of forgiveness, God will forgive you, cleanse you and clothe you in HIS perfect righteousness. God will declare you righteous because you trust HIM and HIS way of salvation.


“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

“No one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:20-26)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)

“I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10)

Clothed in His righteousness, we are equipped with all the perfection we need to live in the presence of a perfect, holy God. The gap has been bridged… forever.

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;

And the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

(Isaiah 53:6, written 700 B.C.)

Is there any reason why you shouldn't cross over to God's side and be certain of eternal life?

  1. Do you understand that God demands that all sin be punished, and that only perfectly righteous people can live with a perfect God?
  2. Do you understand that you are a helpless sinner, and that you cannot make yourself good enough to escape the lake of fire, and have the right to live with God?
  3. Do you understand that the Lord Jesus—the Eternal Word of God who became man—died on the cross in your place, paid your sin-debt in full, and then rose from the dead?
  4. If you understand these things, then do you believe in your heart that the Lord Jesus died in your place? Do you believe that He conquered death by rising from the dead on the third day?
  5. If you have truly and honestly said “Yes,” to all of the above, then on the basis of your trust in Him and His way of salvation, God has declared you forgiven and righteous.

If you have received by faith God’s wonderful gift of salvation, you may want to take time right now to thank Him. You might want to tell Him something like this:

Lord God, You are holy; I am sinful. How wrong I have been in my thinking! I thought I could make myself acceptable to You by my own efforts—by my prayers, by my almsgiving, by my good deeds… but now I understand that all my efforts are like filthy rags compared to Your glorious perfection! You are the Only One who can deliver me from sin’s penalty and declare me righteous. I believe that Jesus is your Eternal Word who became man. He is the One about whom all the prophets wrote. Lord Jesus, I thank you for willingly dying on the cross for me, in my place. Thank you for paying my sin penalty in full. Thank You for conquering death for me. I believe in You and what You have done for me through Your death and resurrection. Lord, I thank You for giving me the assurance that I will not go to hell, but that I will spend eternity with You in Heaven. I thank you too for the great privilege that is now mine to get to know you in a personal way, and to worship you in truth. I love you Lord. Thank you for first loving me! Amen.


As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find that, from now on, your life will be very different. For the Word of God teaches that, the instant you believe God’s way of salvation:

1.)    God will forgive you of your sins and declare you righteous in His sight, based on what Christ accomplished for you on the cross.

2.)    God will renew your heart by coming to live inside of you—by His Holy Spirit. He will give you a new, inborn desire to please the Lord in all you think, say and do.


  “Christ ... gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good!” (Titus 2:14)  

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)


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