Bad News/Good News. We are all born on the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak.
No one can be established through wickedness [doing things our way, even if it seems right], but the righteous [those who know and listen to God] cannot be uprooted.
We are naturally followers of Satan because we do not know God. In fact, the Law doesn’t make us sinners; it proves to us that we ARE sinners! Here’s how it works:
7 Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” 8 But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.9 At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,10 and I died. Romans 7:7-10a NLV
Without the Law, I would never have known that I was a sinner. It put a name to my desires and actions. I did not know that I was coveting until the Law told me what coveting was. If not coveting, then we could insert lust, hate, greed, idolatry, and arrogance, for all of these are components of the 10 Commandments; coveting was simply the one that Paul chose to use.
Sometimes, it helps to read it from another translation. Here’s the Amplified Version:
7 What then do we conclude? Is the Law identical with sin? Certainly not! Nevertheless, if it had not been for the Law, I should not have recognized sin or have known its meaning. [For instance] I would not have known about covetousness [would have had no consciousness of sin or sense of guilt] if the Law had not [repeatedly] said, You shall not covet and have an evil desire [for one thing and another].
8 But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness, etc). For without the Law sin is dead [the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing].
9 Once I was alive [through Adam], but quite apart from and unconscious of the Law. But when the commandment came, sin lived again and I died (was sentenced by the Law to death) [through Adam-based upon Romans 5:12].
That’s the bad news. Here’s the GOOD NEWS: Jesus not only paid our death penalty, He arranged for us to be adopted into His family as His brothers and sisters! Here is our SALVATION:
18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man [Jesus Christ] the many [we] will be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19 NIV
So, through Jesus we are declared righteous in God’s sight. We’ve been washed in the blood of Jesus and made clean! The Law pointed out to us what we deserved; Grace gave us what we needed. Watch:
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:20-21 NIV
Now, a lost person doesn’t need to know all of this doctrine in order to be saved. In fact, it would probably hinder more than it would help. What they need to know is:
- They are deceived, living without God in their lives, following the deceptive paths of the devil, and slaves to our own passions and lusts–our sin natures.
- Jesus wants to save them from their lives of destruction. He will come into their lives, cleanse them of their sin, free them from the bondage of the devil, and lead them into truth and godliness (God-like-ness).
- All that is required is that they give their lives to Him, lock, stock and barrel, from this point on, and walk with Him routinely.
The question is, are they willing to do that? Hey, are WE willing to do that?!
Abba, I pray that we would learn so much about what You did for us in salvation that we can share it with others, answering their questions, handling GENTLY their objections, and guiding them to a point of decision. I know that the ultimate decision is between You and them; I just want to make sure that they get the chance to trust You. I know You do, too. Amen.