Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"for what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

I was in fourth grade. It was about 7 in the morning. My mom and I were just about to walk out the door to take me to school when the phone rang. My mom went into the other room to answer it, back in those days they didn’t have cordless phones. After about 30 seconds I heard her scream. She ran into the room, eyes full of tears, and picked me up in her arms and sobbed into my shoulder. (I was pretty big by fourth grade, mom didnt pick me up too often anymore) “what’s wrong mom?” I had already started to cry, not even knowing what was wrong. “Grandma’s dead”. You see my grandma had a weak heart and about 10 years before had artificial valves put in. One of these valves failed and as a result her heart filled up with blood and exploded. She died alone on the floor of her apartment in a pool of her own blood. I will never see my Grandma again.

Death is something that affects all of us. I don’t think there is anyone reading this who hasn’t experienced someone in their lives dying. And if you haven’t you will. And guess what. Each of us are going to die some day unless Christ returns before that. Death is painful. Death is powerful. Death is tragic. But I want to talk about something even more tragic. A dead soul.

Eph 2:1-10

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ ( by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
(NASU)

Some thoughts:

Life without Christ: Death (:1-3)
  • Dead to a relationship with God
  • Dead to everything good, because God is the source of goodness
  • the reason for our deadness: our sins
  • enslaved to Satan
  • enslaved to our lusts
  • objects of wrath
  • in a sense Spiritual zombies, going through life without ever really having it
  • To God, in our sins we are all dead, a corpse lying in a puddle of blood all alone

Christ: the Life giver (:4-6)
  • BUT GOD – the two sweetest words in the Bible
  • Christ resurrecting girl (Mark 5), Lazarus (John 11) those resurrections were powerful. But you know what? They eventually died again. The resurrection we have in Christ is even more powerful, it is eternal. It is a resurrection of our souls and our bodies that will last forever
  • Christ broke into the dungeon of our sin where we were dead and helpless and saved us from Satan and ourselves
  • Why? Because of His great love for us
  • How? Through paying the price of our sin (death) through defeating the power of death (resurrection) and by calling us to himself and giving us the faith to answer him (predestination)
  • We were dead spiritually, Christ died physically. He was raised physically, we are raised spiritually

New Life in Christ (:7-10)

  • We have eternal life now!
  • We are seated with Christ!
  • We are the means by which God has chosen to show His glory!
  • We are not saved through our works, but we are saved to do good works that reflect the goodness of our Savior


I want you to take a look at the picture below.

This is a girl who we met in Uganda. She was born with AIDS. From the moment she drew her first breath she breathed in disease and death. Within a few years of her birth, both her parents were dead. She had no one to take her in. No aunts or uncles, no brothers or sisters. But even if she did have someone to turn to this probably would not have been much help because a common practice in Uganda with children who have AIDS is to kill them so that no one has to feed a child who is going to die anyways. The most common method of killing these children is by binding their hands and feet and putting them on the freeway to get run over. But this did not happen to this girl. Instead she just lived on a little mat on the side of the road. She only survived by eating the scraps of garbage that people would throw to her as they passed by and the grass that she could reach. By the time I met her she was too weak even to speak. This girl found no pleasure in life. Every moment of her life was marked by pain without relief. She is dead now. There was only one thing that could ever give hope to this precious girl. Eternal life through Jesus Christ. This girl has passed from the unimaginable pain of this world into the eternal love and joy and life of Christ Jesus! Only God could give life to this girl. We may not have such a horrible life as her, but we are just as dead in our sins. Our souls without Christ are in the same condition as her body was, Dead and rotting. Only God can give life to our souls. Are you still sitting on the side of the road rotting? Are you alive?

By His grace,

For His glory,

jrf

1 comment:

scott zeller said...

thank you for this post. it was inspiring and challenging... i think you know what i mean.

sez