LENT: GRACE

We are all sinners. It is who we are. Thus, we are all born with this broken identity in desperate need of grace. Moreover, Romans 3:23 says that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because sin is inherited, it is a part of us. It is in our make-up…our DNA. Ever since the beginning of mankind when Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3…sin has been passed down from generation to generation to generation.  But there is good news…there is grace available.

How Did Sin Begin?

You know the story. Adam and Eve were just minding their own business when the serpent appeared and tempted Eve on that cool, perfect day, “Did God say?” I mean did God say that you cannot have a bite of the fruit from this tree? The tree of good and evil? Why would He say such a thing? Can you trust God? Do you believe what He says? Are you not able to think on your own? Seriously, who is this God anyway?” 

 And she took a bite. 

 And so did her husband. 

 As a result, sin entered this world and caused a disruption; a chasm between God and man.  

We see it here at the very beginning. Despite living in utopia with a perfect body with no need for wrinkle cream and botox and crash diets in a perfect world with perfect animals in a perfect surrounding…Eve sinned. We sin. It is our nature. Sin is who we are. Thus, sin is something that has you. And it refuses to let you go. Furthermore, it has control over you.  

Do We Have Control Over Sin?

If sin is something WE had control over…WE could get rid of it by feeling bad, blaming others, behavior modification, or working it off. If this were the case, the Gospel message would be: 

 Jesus + Something = Salvation 

 But this isn’t the Gospel. This isn’t what the Bible says. The Gospel says

Jesus + Nothing = Salvation.

It says in Eph. 2:1, “As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins.” 

You were dead in your trespasses and sin. D.E.A.D. What does death look like? I mean really look like? 

For instance, our son Kade used to love love love love playing with lizards. He would stalk them down like an avid hunter. Play with them. Toss them around. Put them in a plastic container. And inevitably, sooner or later, the lizard would stop moving. You no longer would see it breathing. Life was completely zapped out of the little guy. But our son…who was 5 at the time, would say “He not dead. He’s okay. He’s just not real anymore.” 

You see, our son didn’t understand and comprehend the magnitude of death. It was beyond his comprehension. Simply put, he didn’t understand what it meant to die. And similarly, many of us today are caught in this same deception. We don’t comprehend the permanence of our spiritual death.  And therefore, we don’t appreciate the grace that has been made available.

How dead is dead?

It’s dead! No life. No oxygen flow. Human effort cannot bring you back to life. You can’t walk or talk. You can’t shop. Nor can you catch your breath. Why? Because you are dead. 

Spiritually speaking…that’s what we all are. We are dead in our trespasses and sins. In other words, we are without life and struggling to catch air. There is no hope on our own accord. As a result, there is nothing we can do to earn a passage-way to heaven.  We need grace.

 BUT HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS, WE WERE NOT LEFT HERE. GOD GAVE US JESUS. 

Eph. 2:4-6, “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…”

Remember, you were once a dead man walking, but now you’ve been given a new life. Grace came knocking at your door and the stone has been rolled away. Thankfully, Jesus is still in the business of rolling stones away. So, rise today. Throw off those grave clothes. Open your eyes to see the available grace. Because Jesus has set you free! Most importantly, you can live this way now…raised up (past tense because the work has already been accomplished), seated (again past tense) in the heavenly realms, not of this world.

Prayer: Thank you God for your great love for me! You are rich in mercy. Also, You have made me alive with Christ. I️  was a dead man walking in my sin, but by grace, I️ have been saved. Moreover, You have raised me up to sit in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. Help me live this way present tense. Amen.