If you’re tempted to turn away now thinking, “Ugh, that verse! No thanks ~ I don’t want the negative…” Please continue and read on ~ this isn’t going where you think and it has a great ending!
It is true that these days it is not at all a popular thing to talk about or hear about, much less face our fallen nature and our sin, but it’s really good to do this ~ and for many reasons, some of which you may not have connected here.
Really, who among us does like to think about our lesser selves, and to look into the mirror honestly? But there’s purpose, and reason, and even ministry in this!
So, just for a quick bit, let’s face the music ~ the Truth about ourselves and who we are, and the reminder that yes! we need a Saviour!
…as it is written:
There is no righteous person, not even one;
there is no one who understands,
there is no one who seeks out God;
they have all turned aside,
together they have become corrupt,
there is no one who does good,
there is not even one.
~ Romans 3:12
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
~ 1 John 10:1
The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind…
~ Jeremiah 17:9-10
But, of course, the Lord in His astounding love and mercy and grace doesn’t leave us stuck with ourselves in this messy state:
“Come now, and let us debate your case,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They shall become as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be like wool.”
~ Isaiah 1:18
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that He jealously longs for the spirit He has caused to dwell in us? But He gives us more grace. ~ James 4:4-6
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. ~ John 1:16-17
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9
Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus. ~ Romans 8:1
For by grace you have been saved through faith ~ and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God ~ not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:8-10
It is part of those good works I really want to talk about today. Of the many good reasons for facing our sin and sinful nature, the point of this piece is to urge us to let it motivate us to move beyond ourselves to share Christ with others! If we lose track of our own desperate need for a Saviour and our need for that old-fashioned word redemption, we lose track of the urgency of sharing the Good News of the saving grace of Jesus with others. We can get comfy in our salvation, in our free, open relationship with the Lord God our very Creator, in our forgiven life without condemnation, and we can forget that there’s a desperate, hopeless, world out there that’s dead in its status before God and quietly, or not so quietly, dying in their hopelessness ~ which IS the very essence of “life” without Jesus. Life without Jesus is truly no life at all, but the reality and truth of the walking dead.
Telling people about the real Life, Love, and Liberty in Jesus is not just for those “gifted” in that other old-fashioned word that’s also fallen into a lot of disfavor “evangelism”. It is the calling and GOOD WORK of ALL of God’s beloved children ~ you and me and all our brothers and sisters in Christ! (Isaiah 52:7/Matthew 5:14-16, 19, 24:14, 28:19-20/Mark 16:15/Luke 24:47 to list a few.)
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. ~ Romans 10:13-15
Beloved sisters, we are all sent! But it doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming, and we don’t have to do it on our own! The enemy loves for us to think sharing our faith is something beyond us, but remember God gives more grace!
Start simple. Begin by praying for those you know who don’t know the Lord. Then take the next step of asking the Lord to open doors for you to share the love of God that you know. We don’t have to and can’t do the convicting and the persuading and the saving ~ that’s the job of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to say yes to Him as He leads us! Our job is to rest in this truth: for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good purpose. (Philippians 2:13) And His good purpose is to bring the lost home! (Mt. 18:14 / Is. 61)
Though we are fallen, we have now ~ when we believe in Jesus as our Saviour from all of that ~ fallen into His great love and redemption. (Galatians 2:20) We are loved completely, just as we are! (1 Corinthians 13) We are engulfed in His great grace through which we have His peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7). This is good news and needs to be shared, and God desires to help us do so! Let us not forget who we are and what’s been done for us and let us say Yes! when the Lord leads us to share the Gospel!
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:20-21
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and in a godly manner in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, eager for good deeds.
~ Titus 2:11-15