This Sunday we continued our series called Helpless: Where Would We Be Without God.
Our culture works to teach us lots of things. Among those things are the fact that people are basically good. Everyone has a good nature. They just sometimes do bad things. It also teaches us that getting from where you are now to where you want to be is simply a matter of working hard to do it. You have what it takes. You just have to find it deep inside you and tap into it. Whether it’s running a marathon or passing the bar exam, if you put your head down and keep working then odds are you can get from where you are now to where you want to be. Allow me to state the obvious here: this is true because of the fact that you are physically alive and active and have the ability to improve your physical situation. However, this same mentality incorrectly gets translated to our spiritual lives. People like to think that working hard to do good things and making God happy will get them where they want to be spiritually. But when people think this, they make an incorrect assumption: that they, in their natural state, are spiritually alive and active and have the spiritual ability to improve their spiritual situation.
The Bible teaches a hard truth: that before you know Jesus you are NOT spiritually alive. You are spiritually dead. It teaches that you are not naturally good; you are naturally sinful and wicked. And it teaches that, by nature, you deserve God’s wrath. This is obviously bad news. Spiritually speaking, it’s not possible to work to make God happy. It’s not possible to do ANYTHING to make God happy. Everything you do apart from Christ comes out of your sinful nature and is therefore – sin. Getting in touch with God has nothing to do with getting in touch with something inside you. There is nothing but sin inside you. And because you are dead, you don’t respond to God in any way whatsoever. The truth about who God is and what he has done for us in Jesus is completely lost on you.
But here is what Ephesians 2:1-10 says…
You were dead in your trespasses and sins…but God….made you alive. That is REALLY good news.
Those who have trusted in Jesus Christ are no longer dead in their sins. God, because he is rich in mercy and loves them so much, has raised them up to spiritual life in Christ. That’s the clincher of the whole thing – in Christ. It means this: God sent his son to earth to die to pay the price for our sin. And so Jesus died and he rose again 3 days later. The Bible teaches that when Jesus died, we died with him. And when he rose again, we were raised with him. And now we are “in Christ”. So what’s true of Jesus is true of us. Jesus is holy so we are holy. Jesus is perfect so we are perfect. We can’t keep God’s perfect law so we aren’t justified before God, but Jesus did keep God’s perfect law. So if we are in Christ then are justified, just as He is justified.
The wages of sin is death and this is what we have all earned, but the gift of God is eternal life through his Son Jesus and what he did on the cross. You were dead, but God made you alive. Great news 🙂
Band for the week was:
- Jake Taylor – guitar + vox
- Alex Dellapenta – guitar + vox
- Jon Pritchett – guitar
- John Enzor – bass
- Brent Francese – drums
- Christy Gould – vox