Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Salvation 101, 1of6

~ You Are A Sinner! ~

The Basic Reality  ~  It is a fact that we all live in a fallen and broken world that is full of faulty and broken people, The Old Testament states this clearly,  There is no one who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46).  The New Testament confirms this reality, All have sinned” (Romans 3:23). 

“But I’m Not So Bad!”  ~  Really?  Did you hear about the fellow appearing before a judge facing charges of bank robbery.  He decided to defend himself before the judge.  After the initial evidence was presented he was given the chance to defend himself.  He told the judge he wasn’t as bad as many others.  After all there are literally thousands of banks which he hadn’t robbed—and there was only one bank which he actually robbed!  He’s still complaining that he wasn’t all that bad as he sits in his jail cell. 

The First Point About Salvation  ~  You must acknowledge that you have sinned.  It’s not a matter of being graded on a curve.  “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one … there is none who seeks after God’” (Romans 3:10-11).

Additional Scripture  ~  So where does that put us?  Do we Jews get a better break than the others?  Not really.  Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners.  Scripture leaves no doubt about it:  there’s nobody living right, not even one, nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.  They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.  No one’s living right; I can't find a single one.  Their throats are gaping graves, their tongues slick as mud slides.  Every word they speak is tinged with poison.  They open their mouths and pollute the air.  They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year, litter the land with heartbreak and ruin, don’t know the first thing about living with others.  They never give God the time of day.  This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place!  And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else?  Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God.  What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else’s sin” (Romans 3:9-20, The Message).

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

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