I have a colleague and friend who I often have deep theological discussions with. These discussions come at random times, but it always seems as though they come at the time when I need them the most.
Not to long ago, we had a discussion about salvation and what it means for us.
While I am going to butcher the quote, it went something along the lines of: "All too often, Christians think we are all about making bad people good, but really what Jesus came to do was to make dead people come alive."
Now, I don't know about you, but when he said that, it hit me; I have been looking at all of this all wrong.
If you joined us in service this past week either in person or online, you would have heard a sermon that challenged us to put everything into perspective. I won't go into all that this time, if you want to watch it, it's on Youtube. Often times I find that the message that I preach on Sunday mornings is really a message for me and I can only hope that there is at least one person out in the congregation who needs to hear the same thing that I do.
This week, I have been inundated with calls, emails, and even meetings to talk about what God put on my heart to say. While I am thankful for the affirmation, I think what this week has taught me is that when the Spirit speaks, people still listen. Which means a couple things.
(1. The Spirit IS real.
(2. The Spirit STILL speaks.
Which makes me think: If the Spirit is real and if the Spirit still speaks then that means that the Bible is true. Not that I have struggled with this personally, but I know many who do. And if we read the bible (and we believe everything we read), when we read Ephesians 2, we can see exactly what my friend and colleague said.
You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of the flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.
This whole thing is not about just becoming a better us, it's not just about living our "best life." This whole thing that we do, being connected to a church, being a part of the community of faith, is not just to fill a check-box on our passport to heaven, it is about celebrating the fact that I was dead in my sin, and Christ made me alive!
How's that for perspective?
Let us pray,
O God, you are good, and your steadfast love endures forever. We repent of our sin in believing that you came just to make us better and we turn to your truth that you have and will raise us from death to life. Help us to hold on to that hope of our salvation and the hope of our resurrection; that it is both a present and future hope.
Give us the ability to be a new creation, to have new life in you.
In Jesus Name We Pray,