Our first thought about ourselves is that we aren’t so “bad.” The problem is that we are comparing ourselves to…what? Concerning God, we must compare ourselves to His righteousness and His standards. We find those standards in a Person: Jesus Christ. He lived the perfect life so that we don’t have to in order to be pleasing to God. Notice I didn’t say “to please God.” We can NEVER please God because it takes God in us to even know what He wants, to say nothing of having the power to do it! In order for us to be pleasing to God, we need “God” in us. That’s where Jesus comes in (pun intended). Let’s look at the process.
We begin with who we naturally are according to the Bible, God’s written words to us.
Eph 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
Eph 2:2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
Eph 2:3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
- Dead spiritually, slain by our trespasses (sins) upon God’s even most basic laws, which are our willful disobedience.
Our habit is to walk in rebellion—our way over God’s way
- We follow the fashion of this world, which is controlled by the devil, the prince of this world (Jn. 12:31).
- We are under the devil’s control and Jesus calls us the devil’s children, sons of disobedience (Jn. 8:41, 44)
- Our behavior is controlled by the passions of our flesh, our corrupt and sensual nature, governed by our base cravings and dark imaginings.
- We are naturally enemies of God and we deserve His wrath, we and all mankind.
Ouch! Who knew that our rebellion, our desire to do things our way regardless of what anyone says, was so intrinsically part of us!
Can we help ourselves? Let’s see:
Rom 7:8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous [sinful] desire.
When we hear a command of God (something we are supposed to or expected to do), sin uses the opportunity to arouse all kinds of wrong desires in us, particularly rebellion.
Rom 7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.
Or, “for sin, seizing the opportunity of my moral weakness and getting a hold on me through my rebellion and disobedience, beguiled and entrapped me and, acting as a weapon, killed me spiritually. (AMP)
Rom 7:24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
We cannot release ourselves from our shackles of sin. They are wrapped up in our flesh.
Axiom: Dead people can’t do anything. We, being spiritually dead, need to have the breath of life breathed into us. Who will do this for us?
Rom. 7:25 O thank God! He will through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Eph. 2:4-5 But God, so rich in His mercy! Because of His great and intense love for us, even when we were dead in our trespasses and sin, makes us alive in Christ Jesus! He will give us the very life of Christ, the same new life with which He raised Jesus from the dead.
Do you understand where you stand? Does being an enemy of God bother you? Does being dead spiritually alarm you? Does being controlled by your base (corrupt) nature disgust you?
If not, then please, continue as you are. Maybe His Spirit will one day bring you to your senses.
If so, then know that it is the Spirit of God that has revealed to you your spiritual condition and is now calling you to Himself. (John 6:44, Mt. 16:17)
As King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus deserves complete devotion, respect, honor, and loyalty. Phil. 2 tells us that Jesus gave up His place in heaven, came to earth as a servant, became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Three days later, according to Jewish law (for someone to be declared officially dead), Jesus rose from the dead! “Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should (will) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
What does Jesus expect of us?
He expects us to give Him our all—everything! We forfeit all rights, even our lives, for the sake of His will.
In exchange for our willingness to bow our knee and trust Christ in this regard, Jesus Himself, His presence (Holy Spirit), takes up residence within us—forever: Heaven (God’s residence) begins in us right now!!!
The question is, “What will you do with Jesus’ invitation?”
Will you reject Him and choose to go your own way and follow your own will? Proverbs 14:12 tells us, “There is a way that seems right, but leads to death.” Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate (the size of one Man) and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Or, will you accept Him as your Lord, trusting Him to save you from your sin by forgiving you, to quicken your dead spirit with His own Spirit, and to take up residence within you? Will you receive His message (of salvation) and His mission (His will for your life)?
Jesus declares, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
He also offers this invitation, “Behold [here I am], I stand at the door and know. If anyone hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in and eat (live) with him, and he with Me. (Rev. 3:20)
Moses put it this way, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the LORD your God is life…” (Deut. 30:19)